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Old 10-31-2019, 07:08 AM
 
534 posts, read 776,505 times
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Hi all,

I have posted here before. Now we are finally making our trip to scout out the area as a possible retirement location. Very excited. We will be there on November 11th for a few days. Staying right in JC. Suggestions on what to do and see to get a feel for the area? We'd like to look at Bristol too, and the surrounding area. Plus take a drive down to Asheville. We are meeting with a real estate agent who hopefully can show us around as well. Hoping our weather is decent in JC that week. I would imagine the fall colors have popped there by now?

Thank you!
TJ
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Old 10-31-2019, 07:33 AM
 
Location: Tennessee
28,275 posts, read 21,192,463 times
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What are your interests?

Fall colors in the lower elevations will probably be at to slightly past peak when you get here. I was on the Blue Ridge Parkway this weekend and colors were at peak at elevation.

If it's within the budget, the Carnegie Hotel across the street from ETSU is one of the nicest in the area. If interested in Bristol, definitely stay a night at The Bristol Hotel.

Wellington's is a good restaurant in the Carnegie Hotel if you don't want to go out. Nearby First Watch has an excellent breakfast. Good local dining options near the Carnegie include Freiberg's, Firehouse BBQ, Main St. Pizza Company, Label, and Southern Craft BBQ. There are also numerous bars, breweries, and chain restaurants in the area. Pal's is a local staple. I'd recommend a Pal's burger for lunch one day.

If you're interested in the outdoors, drive up to Buffalo Mountain or take a walk/rent a bicycle at Local Motion and go out on the Tweetsie Trail. Mahoney's is a local outdoor goods retailer that is definitely worth a stop if you're into that. You may also want to see if ETSU has a basketball game when you're here, and there are usually events at Founders Park downtown on the weekend.

I currently live in Bristol. Bristol is smaller with less traffic and less going on overall than Johnson City. Still, there's been a lot of recent development over the past five years or so in Bristol's downtown, and the retail options have expanded in Bristol with The Pinnacle shopping development. Still, Johnson City is still pretty far ahead of Bristol in most ways. Bristol and Johnson City are trending up, Kingsport is trending down, while most of the smaller towns and rural areas in the region are stuck in neutral.

If you're looking for something more rural, the Jonesborough area is probably the nicest in the region. If you want more urban, look into north/mid JC, and maybe Gray or Piney Flats if you want suburban/farther out.

Personally, I like Johnson City the best in the area. My math was a little different as I work in Kingsport, and the commute between Johnson City and Kingsport on I-26 is difficult. I also think Johnson City has the best location in the area with its proximity to Asheville. Property is also going to be cheaper in Bristol.
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Old 10-31-2019, 08:09 AM
 
Location: A Yankee in northeast TN
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If you want to look at Bristol make sure you get off the highways. They'll give you the impression that Bristol is nothing but one car lot after the other all through town.
I'd stop by Steele Creek Park and the Paramount Theater on State St (and maybe run into the Blackbird Bakery for a sugary treat) as those two places seem to me to offer quite a bit of entertainment value in Bristol if you aren't into the bar and restaurant lifestyle. There is Sugar Hollow Park a little further out on the VA side, not as big as Steele Creek but it has a different vibe to it and seems a little more suited for peaceful, solitary pursuits.
I don't know if the senior center or the library would be of interest to you, but if so they are both really close to downtown and the Paramount Theater, if you wanted to stop by and check them out too.
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Old 10-31-2019, 08:58 AM
 
534 posts, read 776,505 times
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thank you for your replies! I am outdoorsy, and want to find a path I can run on in town. We are staying at an Airbnb right in town. I believe it is near the ETSU. I want to see some parks and walking trails for sure. Probably in the morning I will get up and try to run if it's not raining. We have a kitchen set up, so hope to have breakfast and lunch or dinner at "home" and go out for another meal. Sounds like there will be good places to eat in JC. Will take a drive to Bristol, maybe on back roads then? Get a better feel? We hope if weather is good to drive down to Asheville. Is that about an hour's drive? We will be there until the 14th.

Thank you again!
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Old 10-31-2019, 09:24 AM
 
Location: A Yankee in northeast TN
12,336 posts, read 15,913,452 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tamaralj View Post
thank you for your replies! I am outdoorsy, and want to find a path I can run on in town. We are staying at an Airbnb right in town. I believe it is near the ETSU. I want to see some parks and walking trails for sure. Probably in the morning I will get up and try to run if it's not raining. We have a kitchen set up, so hope to have breakfast and lunch or dinner at "home" and go out for another meal. Sounds like there will be good places to eat in JC. Will take a drive to Bristol, maybe on back roads then? Get a better feel? We hope if weather is good to drive down to Asheville. Is that about an hour's drive? We will be there until the 14th.

Thank you again!
It's kind of tough to do back roads going into Bristol as the highways serve as the quickest way to get from point A to point B, but if you have a real estate agent they could maybe direct you to some of the nicer neighborhoods to drive through.
I'm not sure what kind of neighborhood you are looking for but here are a couple of links to give you a quick peek at some areas I like. These are all in city limits, but not all 'in town'

https://www.google.com/maps/@36.5907...7i16384!8i8192

https://goo.gl/maps/AnHK1ZWLobExCmij9

https://goo.gl/maps/vuNucB8S8veJJzEs9
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Old 10-31-2019, 10:43 AM
 
Location: Gray, TN
2,157 posts, read 3,950,117 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tamaralj View Post
thank you for your replies! I am outdoorsy, and want to find a path I can run on in town. We are staying at an Airbnb right in town. I believe it is near the ETSU. I want to see some parks and walking trails for sure. Probably in the morning I will get up and try to run if it's not raining. We have a kitchen set up, so hope to have breakfast and lunch or dinner at "home" and go out for another meal. Sounds like there will be good places to eat in JC. Will take a drive to Bristol, maybe on back roads then? Get a better feel? We hope if weather is good to drive down to Asheville. Is that about an hour's drive? We will be there until the 14th.

Thank you again!
You should be able to jog around the VA Campus, which is very nice. It would be about 2 miles from ETSU to get to the Tweetsie Trail, also nice and longer.

When you go to Bristol watch out for the speed cameras in Bluff City - an automated speed trap. To get off the highways, navigate into Bristol by way of Steel Creek Park and on the way out Osceola Island (drive to top of South Holston Dam). Maybe do the Dam and Osceola Island first so you'll still have the light.

If you can arrange to eat at Ridgewood in Bluff City, it is the most famous restaurant in the Tricities and perhaps the best BBQ restaurant in the world.
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Old 10-31-2019, 01:13 PM
 
Location: Memphis
457 posts, read 1,183,559 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tamaralj View Post
thank you for your replies! I am outdoorsy, and want to find a path I can run on in town. We are staying at an Airbnb right in town. I believe it is near the ETSU. I want to see some parks and walking trails for sure. Probably in the morning I will get up and try to run if it's not raining. We have a kitchen set up, so hope to have breakfast and lunch or dinner at "home" and go out for another meal. Sounds like there will be good places to eat in JC. Will take a drive to Bristol, maybe on back roads then? Get a better feel? We hope if weather is good to drive down to Asheville. Is that about an hour's drive? We will be there until the 14th.

Thank you again!
Johnson City to Asheville via I-26 is about an hour
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Old 11-01-2019, 06:25 AM
 
534 posts, read 776,505 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DubbleT View Post
It's kind of tough to do back roads going into Bristol as the highways serve as the quickest way to get from point A to point B, but if you have a real estate agent they could maybe direct you to some of the nicer neighborhoods to drive through.
I'm not sure what kind of neighborhood you are looking for but here are a couple of links to give you a quick peek at some areas I like. These are all in city limits, but not all 'in town'

https://www.google.com/maps/@36.5907...7i16384!8i8192

https://goo.gl/maps/AnHK1ZWLobExCmij9

https://goo.gl/maps/vuNucB8S8veJJzEs9

Awesome! I really l like the first link with the older homes. Lots of character. But all three are links are nice. I can't wait to look around.

Thank you!
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Old 11-01-2019, 06:27 AM
 
534 posts, read 776,505 times
Reputation: 379
Quote:
Originally Posted by rccrain View Post
You should be able to jog around the VA Campus, which is very nice. It would be about 2 miles from ETSU to get to the Tweetsie Trail, also nice and longer.

When you go to Bristol watch out for the speed cameras in Bluff City - an automated speed trap. To get off the highways, navigate into Bristol by way of Steel Creek Park and on the way out Osceola Island (drive to top of South Holston Dam). Maybe do the Dam and Osceola Island first so you'll still have the light.

If you can arrange to eat at Ridgewood in Bluff City, it is the most famous restaurant in the Tricities and perhaps the best BBQ restaurant in the world.

Oh this is great, thank you so much! The VA campus I take it is the hospital? Thanks also for the direction and what to look for going to Bristol. We will look into Ridgewood to eat at. This is very helpful. Thank you so much.
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Old 11-01-2019, 06:31 AM
 
534 posts, read 776,505 times
Reputation: 379
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppalachianAngler View Post
Johnson City to Asheville via I-26 is about an hour

Great that is what I figured it would be. I am hoping it will be a pretty drive. I have a terrible time driving in mountain passes out west due to my fear of heights, however I have driven the Blue ridge parkway up in Virginia, and think this part might be similar, shouldn't be much exposure as far a fear factor with drop offs? My husband will be driving though, and he has now fear

Thank you!
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