Sometimes, I need a mini-vacation to tide me over until our actual vacation takes place. So, Kyle and I took a weekend getaway to the Tri-Cities Tennessee this past weekend. If you aren’t familiar with the Tri-Cities, it includes Kingsport, Bristol, and Johnson City, Tennessee. We did not visit Bristol on this trip but it’s a great city to visit. The Tri-Cities area is about a 2 hour drive from Knoxville, so it is definitely doable in a day. I wanted a weekend to relax and destress, so we used up some free hotel points and made it a mini-vacation.
Friday Night In Kingsport
We left Knoxville after work on Friday and arrived in Kingsport around 6pm. First stop was to check into our hotel, the Marriott MeadowView Conference Resort and Convention Center. Then we headed to downtown Kingsport to grab some dinner at The Main Street Pizza Company. We split a Pine Street Pesto pizza and I got a Watermelon Sangria to start the night off on the right foot. Overall, I wasn’t impressed. It seemed overpriced for what it was, so I wouldn’t recommend it. I enjoyed seeing downtown Kingsport, though. We happened to arrive during the FunFest parade, so it was fun to watch some of the parade as we made our way to the restaurant. The highlight of the night was visiting my favorite local cidery, Gypsy Circus Cidery. (Check out my post about Gypsy Circus Cidery in Kingsport, TN.) If you are in the area and like cider (or beer! they had a lot of local beer on tap) then make sure to stop by Gypsy Circus. You’ll be glad you did.
Saturday In And Around Johnson City
The main reason for the weekend was to get out and hike some nearby trails that I probably wouldn’t get to on a day trip. To start the afternoon, we drove into North Carolina and hiked the Hawksbill Mountain Trail and the Rough Ridge Trail. (Check out these posts for more details: Hawksbill Mountain Trail in the Linville Gorge Wilderness and Rough Ridge Trail Along The Blue Ridge Parkway!) If you only have time for one hike, I’d definitely recommend Hawksbill Mountain. The views at the top are breathtaking. After we got our hiking fix, we made our way to Johnson City for drinks and dinner. We stopped at Yee-Haw Brewing Company first. The atmosphere was great, it felt like a typical hipster brewery… which I love. However, they had no ciders on tap, and the beers were overpriced. We decided to peace out and look for a place to go for dinner. We came across Johnson City Brewing Company and decided to check them out. This place was awesome. They had multiple (!!!) ciders on tap. I enjoyed a Cider with Strawberries (from Pacific Coast Cidery). Then we walked a short distance to go to dinner at Holy Taco and I was very impressed. We actually tried to replicate the tacos for dinner tonight because they are so good. I had a pineapple cider with my dinner and it was actually really good. (Can’t remember the name of the cidery who makes it!) This was my first trip to Johnson City and now I can say, it’s a pretty cool, low-key place.
Weekend Getway Overview
This past weekend was a nice change to our normal weekend routines. I am trying to make a conscious effort to explore more of the area around Knoxville, because this is truly a beautiful part of the world, and I want to experience (and photograph) as much of it as possible.
If you are looking for a little bit of adventure, then consider a Weekend Getaway to the Tri-Cities Tennessee. Explore a few local restaurants, breweries, and, most importantly, hike some trails you wouldn’t normally find yourself on. (Hawksbill Mountain is definitely a good choice!) I would also highly recommend staying in Bristol and traveling into Virginia to experience the Virginia Creeper Trail. Kyle and I biked the Virginia Creeper Trail a few years ago and loved it. I also remember that we ordered enough Chinese food to feed ten people after the trail. You know, like any normal person would do.
Do you need a mini-vacation? Take the short drive out to the Tri-Cities area and go explore!