Kingsport Is My Favorite Little City With a Vibrant Downtown

Kingsport Is My Favorite Little City With a Vibrant Downtown

Kingsport is my Favorite Little City

Parking in the middle of Broad St in downtown Kingsport is a bit unique.
Kingsport has a great downtown atmosphere. Local shops, eateries, antique shops and a park are all a part of Downtown Kingsport.

Kingsport is my favorite city, not just because my husband Terry, also known as Sherrill, and my son Eli are from here. Daughter Page Marie and I were born elsewhere. The town fathers incorporated Kingsport in 1917 as a bona-fide city. But it has more the feel of a small town… a scene right out of a Norman Rockwell painting.

Even though we don’t live inside or even near the city limits, Kingsport is home. But then we don’t live near anywhere, except for the Virginia state line, in rural Hawkins county. This little city is such a special place… a one-of-a-kind deal.

What Other Downtown has a Church Circle?

What other town has a Church Circle? Urban Planning classes even come to check it out and study about this circle, where 4 neighboring streets merge into the circle and radiate out like wheel spokes. And 4 grand red brick churches grace this circle. This is a circle of great renown. And it invites you to stroll leisurely around it too.

Then there’s Broad Street, part of the Main Street Program. Broad Street was the car-cruising street. Still today it’s a major hang out. With all the various eateries and shops, especially the antique shops, there’s a bit of something for everyone in the four blocks that make up this part of the downtown area.

Art Galleries, Ballet and The Renaissance Center are a Part of Downtown Kingsport

Kingsport has its own ballet company and symphony orchestra. Also, there are art galleries and an old-timey newsstand, Wallace’s newsstand. The Renaissance Center also has art and photography courses. Kingsport also has bragging rights to the largest concentration of antique shops in the Southeast. But that’s not all Kingsport is famous for.

The city is home to a variety of restaurants from Pal’s Sudden Service and TK’s Big Dogs to the Rush Street Grill. We even have one premier ice cream shops, the Marble Slab Creamery. There’s Mexican, Asian and Barbecue. And there’s plenty of down home cooking at places like Kathy’s Corner. The Kingsport eating scene just is unbeatable.

Exchange Place and the Netherland Inn Part of Kingsport’s History

There’s plenty of history to soak up with the Netherland Inn, the Exchange Place and even the Holston River. The Netherland Inn was a stopping off place for the stagecoach. Pioneers would raft down the Holston River to get to Knoxville so they could travel further West. The Exchange Place is one of the older farms in the area. And there was even a schoolhouse on the property. And the family made practically everything to survive.

There’s also Fun Fest and Winter Fest, two notable events to have fun and draw visitors in with such events as the Tour De Possum Creek bicycle race, the Crazy 8’s run and live music along with a parade.

The Santa Special Train Visits Every Christmas Season

The Santa Special train also has Kingsport as its end destination. Back during the coal mining heyday when many coal mining families didn’t have much of a Christmas, someone came up with the idea to gather goods and gifts, and start with a train in Kentucky. The Santa Special winds through parts of Virginia into Kingsport, handing out the goodies along the way to the coal mining families.

Kingsport is full of good food, good music and good friends. Drop on by for some old-fashioned yarn spinning or stroll leisurely downtown. This little city is a favorite for a reason… it’s diverse. So go ahead, check it out. There’s a great deal more…


Trease L Carpenter

Trease is a freelance writer, who hangs her hat in Kingsport, TN. Her writing niche covers local events, food and travel-related articles. Travel, lifestyle and community show the story. If you want rich content with the real story, Trease is your writer/storyteller/photographer. Check out her other Southern Fried blogs. Trease also wrote the Thursday edition of the "Across the Fence" column for the Kingsport Times-News from May 10, 2010 - August 28, 2015. She is big on local tourism and anything related to travel... including all things local like the food, eateries, shops and events. So, go for the local historic flavoring, along with the varied lodging and the picture-perfect scenery . Trease also writes on writing... wordsmith crafting on another blog. Southern Fried Travel, Southern Fried tlc and the Southern Fried Scribe blogs showcase Trease's writing. So head on over and check out all the cool stuff.
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