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Kingsport - Johnson City - Bristol The Tri-Cities area
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Old 07-10-2008, 02:44 PM
6 posts, read 16,136 times
Reputation: 11


Wife and I are visiting the Tri-Cities area in September to look for possible retirement opportunities. We enjoy the general NE TN area, especially the lakes.
Our goal is to relocate to a lake and see that Watauga or S Holston Lakes are close by.
1) Any personal views on these lakes and waterfront realestate or lakeside communities?
2)I've noted that air quality was mentioned in some of the threads, but not much details. Is there polution from local chemical or manufacturing plants? If so, how bad is it?
3)Any reccomendations on where we should stay (or not stay) while there? We'll be bringing a boat so would prefer a lodge or motel on or near the lakes. Probably stay a few nights by each lake.
4) Any personal opinions on which of the tri-cities or small towns welcome (or not welcome) outsiders?
Thanks in advance,
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Old 07-10-2008, 08:31 PM
Location: Limestone,TN/Bucerias, Mexico
1,452 posts, read 2,983,676 times
Reputation: 496
Dear 'tired of winter' - I assume you're probably relocating from the far north (as did we from CT some years ago). This area is really a perfect halfway location between the heat of the deep south and the cold of the northern states. As to your planned retirement lake search, the one place I'm a little familiar with is Watauga Lake - I think about 21 miles long (someone correct me if I'm wrong). Surrounded by beautiful mountains, it's called the most pristine lake in the chain of TVA lakes - and it *is* truly beautiful. Just last weekend we visited Watauga Point (a lovely state park on the lake) for a family picnic and enjoyed watching a myriad of sailboats and houseboats, canoes and kayaks cruising the lake. There are several nicely developed places to camp out - either in a camper or roughing it in a tent, and nearby is Lakeshore Marina with a restaurant and cabin rentals overlooking the lake. I don't have a website for you but their number is 423-725-2201. The Mountain City or Elizabethton Visitors Centers would probably also have some good info on other places to stay.
There are several newish (within the last 10-15 years) lakefront communities on Watauga but prices have really climbed since they were first developed. And there aren't any real towns very closeby, except for Butler - the *old* Butler was buried beneath the lake when the land was flooded by TVA. Then there's Hampton - which until a few years ago wasn't very desirable at all. But there are some signs it's trying to change its look and reputation. The good thing is that the lake is surrounded by Cherokee National Forest so development is somewhat restricted. But this area is just not the same as established recreational lake-towns in places like Maine or New Hampshire, for instance, so you don't find the same amenities you might find in those places. You have to travel a bit! But if you enjoy the country and natural beauty and don't mind a half hour+ drive to get to the city, Watauga Lake would be a good choice. As to air quality, I don't believe there's a problem - unless you have allergies...
Best of luck in your search!
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