Johnson City, TN: Come for a Weekend, Stay for a Lifetime
Unless you’re from Tennessee (or a fan of the song Wagon Wheel) you’ve probably never heard of Johnson City, but that’s part of what makes it so wonderful. A city of 70,000 nestled in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of Appalachia in northeast Tennessee, it’s a perfect place to live, to work, to study, and to grow. That’s not just something we’re saying either – Mini Mall Storage has 9+ locations nearby and our teammate writing this has been a resident for nearly a decade now! So please, enjoy our love letter to one of the best little cities in Tennessee.
One of the most underrated features of Johnson City is the ability to find delicious food from locally owned restaurants. For high-class Southern inspired dishes try Timber. Their menu is seasonal and uses fresh, local ingredients in every dish. For dessert, try the award-winning sweets at Cakebuds Bakery or Mona Lisa’s Gelato. Pizza lovers will enjoy The Main Street Pizza Company in downtown Johnson City. For Mexican eats, Diablo and Holy Taco are downtown as well.
If you’re looking for something to wash down all that delicious food you just ate, you’re in luck – Johnson City is also home to a list of locally owned breweries and coffeeshops. Our favorite brews come from Little Animals – try their pilsner if you get the chance. All of their labels are made by Southern artists and they occasionally host the rotating night art market. The Philosopher’s House is a relatively new business that also serves as a community space. It’s a nonprofit that sells exquisite teas from around the world while also offering community-led classes on everything from fencing to speaking German.
Downtown Does It Better
One of the best places to hang out in Johnson City is downtown. Most of the aforementioned restaurants, breweries, and cafes are there, but so are a host of other things to do. Plant lovers can visit The Terrarium Plant Store and sign up for terrarium building classes that include the cost of plants and decorations, as well as seasonal classes like wreathe-making. Across from Main Street Pizza is the Generalist, an aptly named general store that sells everything from local art and clothing to retro candies and snacks.
Johnson City Public Library is also a downtown staple, offering two floors of genealogical records, books, movies, videogames, and meeting rooms. Right outside is King Commons, a beautiful park area with a playground for kids, gorgeous murals, and a walking trail that passes over the same stream that leads to nearby Founder’s Park where holiday celebrations are usually held.
Make Memories as a Family
The next generation will also enjoy their time in Johnson City. Aside from the numerous parks and playgrounds the area offers, there’s also the Gray Fossil Site and Hands On Museum, which offers musical Tesla coil shows (Guinness has certified it as the most powerful musical bi-polar coil), interactive paleontology exhibits that include a climbing tower, an interactive topobox, air rockets, circuit benches, and so much more. Several of the local parks offer splash pads in the summer, Johnson City Family Skate Center is open year-round, and so is Play It Again Retro Arcade. Whether you’re looking for something physical, educational, or just plain fun, there are a variety of options to enjoy time together as a family.
Back to Nature
The great outdoors is Johnson City’s biggest draw to visitors and locals alike. Fish at Watauga River or Boone Lake, hike any of the trails at Buffalo Mountain, golf at nearby Pine Oaks Golf Club, or head to Winged Deer Park with a pair of binoculars to watch the eagles. For those of us not adept at birdwatching, try the East Tennessee State University Eagle Cams on Facebook; they offer livestreams of the eagle nests.
Nearby Roan Mountain puts on an annual Rhododendron Festival in June, where visitors can enjoy the blooms and shop handicrafts from local artisans. Tweetsie Trail (a converted railroad) and nearby Tannery Knobs are excellent for those who enjoy biking. Tennessee also boasts the highest number of caves in the US – approximately 10,000 – and there are plenty of opportunities to visit them: Appalachian Caves, Worley’s Cave, and Bristol Caverns are all nearby. With a wide range of natural features and things to do, it’s not hard to see how Johnson City can be an adventurer’s paradise.
Feed Your Soul
If you thought a small city in Northeast Tennessee would be lacking in culture, you’d be wrong. The Johnson City Public Art Commission is committed to beautifying the city with murals, sculptures, and other art from local artists. The Tipton Gallery, the Warrior’s Canvas & Veterans Art Center, and the Fischman Gallery all exhibit works from artists near and far. Wallace Theater offers performances that range from standup comedy to Shakespeare’s plays. ETSU Martin Center for the Arts and Johnson City Art Center also offer classes and performances.
While that’s not everything we love about Johnson City, it’s a good start. We’re thrilled to be part of the community, and we offer a variety of services to residents and visitors alike. Our drive up self storage units allow for easy access to your goods, and our climate control units provide stability for items that are more sensitive to temperature and humidity changes. We even offer parking spaces for your boat, RV, or car! Security is as important to us as it is to you, so all of our storage facilities in the area are fenced and gated using OpenTech Alliance systems. 24-hour digital video surveillance is also featured at our Johnson City facilities, including high-tech Rhombus cameras.
If you’re looking to rent, reserve, or get more information, feel free to check our website, give us a call, or stop by and say hello to our friendly local staff in person at the South Roan Street storage facility in Johnson City! No matter what storage solution you need, Mini Mall Storage can help give you a seamless and stress-free experience.