Best Things to do in Kingsport TN

Are you looking for the best and most enjoyable activities in Kingsport, TN? Known as the Mountain Empire, Kingsport is a charming place nestled in Tennessee. Interestingly, the name Kingsport is derived from the rearrangement of “Lord’s Port.” Situated on the banks of the Holston River, this small city boasts a rich historical background and an abundance of natural beauty. That’s why you’ll discover a plethora of fantastic things to do in Kingsport TN. 

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Often referred to as the Mountain Empire, Kingsport spans a portion of southwest Virginia and the mountainous regions of northeastern Tennessee. Kingsport, Tennessee, is a small city located on the banks of the Holston River in northeastern Tennessee. The area is steeped in history and offers breathtaking natural scenery. Visitors to Kingsport can immerse themselves in nature or spend a day exploring the city’s art galleries, museums, and restaurants.

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Here are the best things to do in Kingsport TN:

1. Kingsport Aquatic Center

Kingsport Aquatic Center

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One of the best things to do in Kingsport TN is to visit The Kingsport Aquatic Center, a top-notch facility that offers year-round fun for tourists and locals alike. This state-of-the-art Aquatic Center features a sprawling indoor area spanning 46,000 square feet, complete with three remarkable multi-purpose pools. Notably, it boasts the only Olympic-sized indoor pool in the region, making it a must-visit for swimming enthusiasts. 

Additionally, there’s a 50-meter lap pool with eight lanes, ideal for those seeking swimming lessons or looking to get active. For those who enjoy aquatic adventures, the center offers an indoor aqua obstacle course and an outdoor pool equipped with two thrilling water slides and a water play area. As if that’s not impressive enough, visitors can also indulge in a leisurely swim under the sun.

Address: 1820 Meadowview Parkway, Kingsport, Tennessee 37660, United States

2. Fun at Kingsport Carousel

Fun at Kingsport Carousel

The Kingsport Carousel originated from the vision of Gale Joh, a resident of Kingsport, TN, who enlisted the support of local civic leaders, volunteers, and donors to bring his dream to life. In 2015, after years of dedication, the Kingsport Carousel finally opened its doors to the public. 

This remarkable attraction showcases 32 meticulously carved and hand-painted animals, along with 24 sweep animals and two charming chariots, making it a true work of art. The carousel is housed inside Pat’s Roundhouse and can be rented for special occasions like birthdays and other events. Operating from Wednesday through Sunday, the carousel’s opening hours vary depending on the season.

Address: 350 Clinchfield Street Kingsport, TN 36770, United States

3. Explore Bays Mountain Park and Planetarium

Explore Bays Mountain Park and Planetarium

One of the best things to do in Kingsport TN is to visit Bays Mountain Park and Planetarium. This expansive nature preserve, owned by the City of Kingsport, spans 3500 acres and offers a host of exciting activities. With its stunning landscapes, a 44-acre lake, and an extensive network of 38 miles of trails, the park is perfect for biking, hiking, and running enthusiasts. Additionally, visitors can get up close to various wildlife species, including bobcats, reptiles, birds, and more, thanks to the park’s wildlife habitats.

For thrill-seekers, the park features a thrilling ropes course complete with 300-foot zip lines, providing an exhilarating adventure. To top it all off, visitors can cap their visit with a visit to the state-of-the-art planetarium, where they can enjoy fascinating exhibits. Bays Mountain Park is open daily, with operational hours varying throughout the seasons. Make sure to include a trip to this remarkable attraction in your plans to fully appreciate all that it has to offer.

Address: 853 Bays Mountain Park Road Kingsport, TN 37660, United States

4. Lamplight Theatre

Lamplight Theatre

LampLight Theater, a non-profit establishment, is dedicated to providing high-quality entertainment and promoting family and Christian values. With a goal to become America’s premier Christian Performing Arts Center, LampLight Theater aims to nurture and empower artists of all kinds, encouraging them to utilize their talents. The theater serves as a versatile venue for theatrical productions, dinner theater, concerts, conferences, and various other events.

In addition to its focus on seasoned performers, LampLight Theater is committed to training and developing aspiring actors, fostering their talents and skills. They also offer entertainment services for tour companies and collaborate with local hotels and restaurants to create travel packages. Each year, new events are introduced to ensure there is something enjoyable and intriguing for all age groups.

LampLight Theater operates under the vision of Billy Wayne Ministries, as part of God’s mission. Through theatrical productions, dinner theater experiences, concerts, and conferences, LampLight Theater is dedicated to fulfilling God’s commission. The theater is open every Monday through Friday, from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, providing a welcoming space for artistic expression and spiritual enrichment.

Address: 140 Broad St, Kingsport, TN 37660-4202

5. Exchange Place

Exchange Place

One of the best things to do in Kingsport TN is to explore the rich history of the area at Exchange Place. With a history spanning almost 160 years, this attraction has played multiple roles as an estate, a stagecoach relay station, and even a post office. Today, Exchange Place encompasses 62 acres of land and offers visitors a unique opportunity to experience a “living history” farm, immersing themselves in the daily lives of farmers and settlers from the 1850s. 

Explore various structures on the farm, including the main residence, the school home, the blacksmith’s forge, the granary, and the barns. Additionally, Exchange Place is home to a fascinating array of rare chicken breeds, cattle, sheep, and horses. Open from May to October, Exchange Place also hosts a multitude of events and festivals throughout the year, making it a must-visit destination in Kingsport TN.

Address: 4812 Orebank Road Kingsport, TN 37664, United States

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6. Kingsport Art Guild

Kingsport Art Guild

If you’re an art lover, be sure to include a visit to the Kingsport Art Guild on your list of the best things to do in Kingsport TN. The Kingsport Art Guild is a hub for local artistic talent, showcasing the creativity and skills of artists from the Kingsport community. At the guild’s art studio and gallery, you can explore captivating exhibitions, attend engaging events, and even participate in hands-on classes and informative talks.

Located within the Renaissance Center, the Kingsport Art Guild invites visitors to explore two rooms filled with stunning paintings created using various artistic mediums. Whether you appreciate oil paintings, watercolors, or mixed media art, there’s something for every art enthusiast to enjoy. The guild is open Monday through Friday, from 9 am until 8 pm, and on Saturdays from 9 am to 12 noon. 

Feel free to drop by during these operating hours to immerse yourself in the vibrant world of art. Make sure to add this artistic experience to your bucket list of Kingsport attractions, as it offers a wonderful opportunity to appreciate and support the local art scene in Kingsport, TN.

Address: 1200 E. Center Street, Kingsport, Tennessee 37660, United States

7. Putt-Putt Fun Center

Putt Putt Fun Center

The Kingsport Farmers Market has its roots in 1977 when a group of farmers recognized the need for alternative methods to bring fresh products to customers. Initially, they participated in various fairs to showcase their food. In the early 1990s, these farmers officially established the Kingsport Farmers Market, which has been proudly serving the community with exceptional farm products ever since.

Apart from offering a wide range of fresh produce and ready-to-eat meals, the market also provides an array of engaging activities for customers. From baking classes to cooking workshops, visitors can learn new culinary skills and expand their knowledge. Additionally, the Kingsport Farmers Market hosts various events throughout the year, creating a vibrant and lively atmosphere for attendees.

Operating every Wednesday and Saturday from April to November, the Kingsport Farmers Market is a must-visit destination for food enthusiasts. Not only can you shop for delicious and locally sourced food, but you can also immerse yourself in a bustling community environment. Be sure to add the Kingsport Farmers Market to your list of things to do in Kingsport TN as it offers a delightful experience for all visitors.

Address: 308 Clinchfield Street, Kingsport, Tennessee 37660, United States

8. Fort Henry Mall

Fort Henry Mall

Are you an avid shopper in search of a fantastic destination to indulge in some retail therapy with your family or friends? Look no further than Fort Henry Mall, the ultimate place to satisfy your shopping desires. Originally known as the Kingsport Town Center, this mall stands as the sole regional shopping destination serving Kingsport. 

Fort Henry Mall first welcomed guests on March 10, 1976, as a two-level establishment situated at the intersection of Fort Henry Drive and Memorial Blvd. It is currently owned by the Hull Property Group. Visit Fort Henry Mall and immerse yourself in a delightful shopping and dining experience in Kingsport, Tennessee. The mall boasts a range of friendly retailers offering a diverse selection of items, including shoes, clothing, accessories, and much more. 

Additionally, the mall provides fashion tips, seasonal style ideas, gift guides, and other helpful resources. Fort Henry Mall encompasses everything you need and even features cozy seating areas where you can relax and savor delectable food offerings. Your visit is bound to be an enjoyable one

Address: 2101 Fort Henry Dr, Kingsport, TN 37664-3658

9. Cattails at MeadowView

Cattails at MeadowView

If you’re looking for the best things to do in Kingsport TN, one activity you shouldn’t miss, especially if you’re a golfer, is visiting Cattails at MeadowView. This exceptional golf course deserves a spot on your checklist. Designed by Denis Griffiths and established in 1998, Cattails at MeadowView quickly gained popularity as a local favorite and one of the finest public courses in Tennessee.

Golf enthusiasts can look forward to experiencing breathtaking views of Bays Mountain, as well as navigating the undulating terrain and well-maintained greens. The course features picturesque holes, including Bentgrass Greens, Bermuda Fairways, and a variety of scenic elements such as bunkers, serene streams, and six stunning lakes that run alongside the fairways. It’s important to note that tee times and golf lessons should be booked in advance. For sports lovers, a visit to Cattails at MeadowView ranks among the top things to do in Kingsport TN.

Address: 1901 Meadowview Parkway, Kingsport, Tennessee 37660, United States

10. The Netherland Inn

The Netherland Inn

For over two centuries, the Netherland Inn has stood as a prominent landmark in Kingsport. This historical property holds a special place in the National Register of Historic Places. Once an essential destination for travelers journeying westward to Tennessee and beyond, the inn has witnessed the passage of time and served various purposes, including functioning as a boatyard and a stopover for stagecoaches. 

Notably, it was even occupied by Presidents Andrew Jackson and James K. Polk. Today, the inn has undergone extensive renovations and transformed into a museum. Within its grounds, visitors can explore the schoolhouse and kitchen wing, which now house a children’s museum and a pioneer transportation museum respectively.

Address: 2144 Netherland Inn Road Kingsport, TN 37660, United States

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11. The Inventor Center

The Inventor Center

Discover the best things to do in Kingsport TN by immersing yourself in a hands-on arts and crafts experience at The Inventor Center. This dynamic center offers a range of artistic activities, such as woodworking, metalworking, fine arts, animation, and coding. The main goal of The Inventor Center is to foster an artistic community of skilled artisans and innovative thinkers who can contribute to the enhancement of their local communities and the entire region. Whether you’re a visitor or a resident, you can participate in various classes tailored to your interests.

For regular attendees or residents, The Inventor Center provides monthly memberships that grant different levels of access (Maker, Artisan, or Innovator) based on individual needs. Members enjoy 24/7 access to the center’s facilities, while non-members are welcome to utilize them on weekdays from 3 pm to 8 pm and on Saturdays between 10 am and 5 pm. As one of the city’s premier educational attractions, The Inventor Center is a must-visit destination that deserves a spot on your list of the best things to do in Kingsport TN.

Address: 118 Shelby Street, Kingsport, Tennessee 37660, United States

12. Allandale Mansion

Allandale Mansion

If you have an interest in history or architecture, make sure to include a visit to Allandale Mansion on your itinerary of things to do in Kingsport, TN. As a prominent landmark in East Tennessee, this beloved treasure of Kingsport was constructed in 1953. While the mansion serves as an excellent venue for events, visitors are also permitted to leisurely explore the surrounding grounds. Inside Allandale Mansion, there is a wealth of discoveries awaiting you. 

The mansion itself boasts an elegant interior often referred to as “the White House of Kingsport.” Furthermore, the expansive 25-acre grounds feature notable attractions such as the picturesque Heron Dome, the charming Amphitheater, the historic Harvey’s Barn, and the exquisite Brook’s Pavilion. Allandale Mansion offers a captivating experience for those intrigued by its rich history and stunning architecture.

Address: 4444 West Stone Drive, Kingsport, Tennessee 37660, United States

13. Mountain Music Museum

Mountain Music Museum

Immerse yourself in the rich musical history of East Tennessee, North Carolina, Southeast Kentucky, Virginia, and West Virginia at the Mountain Music Museum. This historical center is dedicated to preserving the legacy of 19th-century music, which evolved into the beloved genres of bluegrass and country music that we know today. Operated by the non-profit Appalachian Cultural Music Association (ACMA), the museum showcases a variety of exhibits including vintage musical instruments, recordings, photographs, and other memorabilia.

Inside the museum, you’ll find a collection highlighting renowned 20th-century performers such as the Carter Family, the Stoneman Family, Jimmie Rodgers, Flatt and Scruggs, Mac Wiseman, The Stanley Brothers, Tennessee Ernie Ford, Mel Street, Archie Campbell, and many others. Delve into the exhibits at the Mountain Music Museum, where you can discover fascinating artifacts that bring the region’s musical heritage to life. Additionally, the museum frequently hosts live shows to promote contemporary genres of music, making it a must-visit destination for music enthusiasts of all kinds.

Address: 316 Broad St, Kingsport, TN 37660-4206

14. GRIP Outdoors Kingsport

GRIP Outdoors Kingsport

Discover the top attractions in Kingsport, TN, surrounded by picturesque hills and the tranquil Holsten River. Immerse yourself in a wealth of outdoor activities and exciting experiences. At GRIP Outdoors, embark on a thrilling river journey, where you can choose from a variety of boats for a memorable ride along the waterway. Experience the freedom of kayaking with flexible rental options, available for two, one, four, eight, or two-hour intervals. For a leisurely adventure, indulge in an all-day tubing trip down the river. 

Float in comfort on inner tubes equipped with convenient floating coolers, ensuring easy access to refreshing beverages throughout the day. Life jackets are included in the rentals, and transportation to drop-off and pick-up points along the river is provided. If fishing is your passion, GRIP Outdoors also offers advanced bookings for fishing equipment rentals. Discover the best things to do in Kingsport TN, where natural beauty and exciting outdoor activities await you at GRIP Outdoors.

Address: 1837 Netherland Inn Road Kingsport, TN 37660, United States

15. Kingsport Public Library

Kingsport Public Library

Experience the best things to do in Kingsport TN, by immersing yourself in the rich history of the city at the Kingsport Public Library. Uncover fascinating and captivating information about Kingsport’s past within its walls. The Kingsport Public Library is a treasure trove of historical resources, open from 8:30 am to 7:00 pm on Mondays through Thursdays, and from morning to 6 pm on weekends. 

Located in midtown Kingsport, the lower level of the library houses the archives of the City of Kingsport, offering a wealth of documentary heritage for exploration and study. Delve into the archives to access a wide range of materials, including papers, photographs, and records pertaining to individuals, organizations, industries, businesses, and various aspects of the city’s history. 

These valuable resources are meticulously preserved for the purposes of conservation and research. The Kingsport Public Library not only serves as a repository of knowledge but also hosts engaging events for children and teens, such as storytimes, “Paws to Read” sessions, the Teen Book League, and more. Adults can also partake in the library’s diverse lineup of events and meetings designed to cater to their interests and enrichment.

Address: 400 Broad St, Kingsport, TN 37660-4262

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Final Thoughts

Kingsport, TN truly offers a remarkable experience with its captivating blend of history, natural beauty, and vibrant culture. Whether you’re seeking outdoor adventures, exploring art and culture, or indulging in local cuisine, this charming city has something for everyone. From wandering along the picturesque Holston River to delving into the fascinating historical sites, the best things to do in Kingsport TN will leave you with cherished memories and a deep appreciation for this hidden gem of the Mountain Empire.

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