Kingsport, Tennessee has been called a treasure among treasures. Ideally located a few miles from the Virginia state border and less than an hour's drive from North Carolina, Kingsport was once the very definition of the American Frontier. Travelers heading west in the eighteenth century passed through what was originally called King's Port, including Davy Crocket, Daniel Boone and three different U.S. presidents. Designed to be a "model city" in 1917, today's Kingsport is bursting with activities.
Bays Mountain Park
One of the big attractions in this part of the country, Bays Mountain Park features well over 3500 acres on natural Tennessee beauty. The park, a nature preserve, features 25 miles of hiking trails and allows visitors to take a barge ride on the 44 acre-lake. Being a preserve, there are several native animals housed at the nature center, including gray wolves, bobcats and deer, in addition to screech owls and redtail hawks.
Bays Mountain Park
853 Bays Mountain Park Road
Kingsport, TN 37660
Gray Fossil Site
A mere 15 minutes from Kingsport is one of the largest fossil sites in the entire United States. The site was first discovered in 2000, and yielded some scattered bones and partial skeletons. Recently, a 13-year-old volunteer discovered a skull in the site's Elephant Pit. What came out of the ground was a half-ton complete tapir fossil.
Gray Fossil Museum
P.O. Box 9221
Gray, TN 37615
Daniel Boone Wilderness Trail
The famous pioneer first blazed the Daniel Boone Wilderness Trail back in 1775. It started in Long Island and, with the passage of thousands of settlers, was a major link for commerce and raids by Native Americans. Visitors take a fantastic, guided driving tour of the trail, winding through the countryside to Cumberland Gap and featuring several tips along the way. Nearby is Fort Patrick Henry on the Holston River, built in 1776 and surrounded by beautiful hills. However, visitors should make sure to start the trail at the Netherland Inn, at Long Island of the Holston in Kingsport. This was where Boone and his friends met before creating the trail. It is the only registered historic site that was once a stagecoach stop and a boathouse.
Known as the "White House" of Tennessee, the Allandale Mansion was at first a home built by Ruth and Harvey Brooks. Filled with furnishings and antiques from around the world, the mansion is breathtaking in its beauty. Built around the centuries-old trees that populate the property, there are also two large ponds and a plethora of dogwoods, magnolias and rhododendrons. The large Heron Dome, surrounded by benches and landscaping, is currently used weddings and parties.
4444 West Stone Drive