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  • Writer's pictureTennessee Family Vacation

Choose Your Family Adventure - Jonesborough

Updated: Aug 3, 2023

Jonesborough, Tennessee's oldest town, was founded seventeen years before the state was granted statehood. Daniel Boone, Andrew Jackson, David Crockett, John Sevier, James K. Polk, and Andrew Johnson were among the first visitors to Jonesborough.

Tennessee Family Vacation

Located in East Tennessee (about an hour and a half from Knoxville), Jonesborough has a rich history that includes many charming buildings on the National Historic Registry, several of which house outstanding restaurants. With its rural countryside and mountains, it's a great place to vacation.

In this "Choose Your Family Adventure" post, we have listed our top picks for places to stay, eat, and shop in Jonesborough, Tennessee. Take a look, grab your planner, and get ready for your next Tennessee Family Vacation!



Tennessee Family Vacation

116 Franklin Avenue, Jonesborough, TN 37659

Step back into the “good ol’ days” and relax in this comfortable restored 1840’s house within Jonesborough’s Historic District.

Franklin House Bed & Breakfast offers clean and cozy accommodations, including three charming rooms and a "home away from home" guest apartment.

Enjoy a delicious full breakfast with your hosts and other guests in their dining room. Snacks and beverages are always available for your convenience. Franklin House has wireless internet throughout the inn.

Just a short four-minute walk to the center of downtown, you can experience warm southern hospitality and prepare to re-visit the past by touring, shopping, or taking in the sights of Tennessee’s Oldest Town.

The innkeepers will share their wealth of information about the area to help plan your trip or vacation to Tennessee or North Carolina.


Tennessee Family Vacation

232 E Main St., Jonesborough, TN 37659-1335

A warm welcome is extended to all who stay at this eclectically bohemian Jonesborough Bed and Breakfast in Tennessee’s oldest town. Innkeeper Brian Mills offers tasteful hospitality whether you are a tourist, on business or a family. Visitors from around the world will find a home away from home. English, French and Spanish are spoken.

Situated with a delightful private garden, this quaint turn of the century Queen Anne’s cottage is just a stone’s throw from Tennessee’s oldest downtown.


Tennessee Family Vacation

3937 Hwy 81 S, Jonesborough, TN 37659

Enter the Gateway to the Appalachian Highlands at Jonesborough/Cherokee NF KOA Journey

Looking to get away and relax? This small, boutique, family-friendly campground in Jonesborough offers endless ways to kick your feet up and enjoy a beautiful outdoor vacation along the Nolichucky River.

Located right off of I-26, it's close to many popular destinations, including Erwin, East Tennessee State University (ETSU) and only a short, scenic 50 minutes to Asheville, North Carolina.


UNIQUE EATS - Breakfast

Tennessee Family Vacation
Photo Credit - Matthew Finstad

142 Boone St, Jonesborough, TN 37659

"American Favorites the Olde Towne way!"

This charming little house gives the feeling of eating at home, but without the work! Family owned and operated with a recent makeover. Enjoy a country-style homemade breakfast featuring pancakes, biscuits and gravy, and fresh eggs from this locally owned hot spot that is always popular with the locals.


Tennessee Family Vacation

148 E Main St., Jonesborough, TN 37659

If you are looking for coffee and tea in a peaceful atmosphere mixed with good music, good people and good vibes, The Corner Cup will be your favorite spot in Jonesborough.

Specializing in locally roasted coffee, the aroma from their popular Chai Latte and energetic Macchiato will be the perfect pick me up on a rainy day or lazy afternoon.



Tennessee Family Vacation

109 Courthouse Square, Jonesborough, TN 37659

Established in 2018. The owners of Texas Burritos & More born and raised in West Texas. Their goal is to provide that FRESH Tex-Mex flavor you have been searching for.

Comprised of family recipes dating back to nearly 50 years, they specialize in bringing Tejano Spices to Tennessee.


Tennessee Family Vacation

1200 E Jackson Blvd, Jonesborough, TN 37659

This regional chain is a great lunch spot in Jonesborough!

This fast-food chain, founded in 1956, serving up burgers, hot dogs & fries, plus breakfast fare. Kids will love the giant burger, fries, and hotdog on the restaurant building. Great for photo op!



Tennessee Family Vacation

1003 East Jackson Boulevard, Jonesborough, TN 37659

Rocky's Pizza in Jonesborough is located just minutes from downtown. This location was the first of 3 and has been serving lovely Jonesborough for a little over 20 years!

They have a menu of delicious pizza, subs, spaghetti, salad, hot-wings, and cheese bread. Their food is made to order from open to closing time, nothing is pre-packaged or frozen. Rocky's Pizza's spaghetti sauce, meatballs, and pizza sauce are family recipes.

Meme Jean's sweet tea and the house-made ranch is the best around and keeps people coming back for more!


Tennessee Family Vacation

170 John France Rd Jonesborough, TN 37659

Appalachian Taste... Family Style.

The Kitchen at Grace Meadows Farm is a 250-acre farm with Appalachian food served family style for dinner and Saturday morning breakfast/brunch ordered from a menu.

Walking paths, a lake, a store with artisan goods and wagon rides make this an experience for groups and family gatherings.



Tennessee Family Vacation

318 W Jackson Blvd, Jonesborough, TN 37659

The Old own Dairy Bar is a locally owned restaurant. They specialize in burgers, sandwiches, hot dogs, and chicken strips. Stop by and try their vanilla soft-served of cones, cups, milkshakes, and more!



Tennessee Family Vacation

210 S 2nd Ave, Jonesborough, TN 37659

The Chuckey Depot’s original home was just down the road in Chuckey, Tennessee, and now sits within WC Rowe Park in Jonesborough. In an effort to preserve the building, it was dismantled and re-erected in Jonesborough, where it opened as a museum in October 2017. This exhibit gives the Museum a chance to showcase items that come from all over the country, including a map of railroads in Ohio and a stock certificate for the Pittsburgh and Lake Erie Railroad Company. Parking and admission are free, but donations are gratefully welcomed.


Tennessee Family Vacation

120 Melon Lane, Jonesborough, TN 37659

This family-friendly farm's activities are endless and include hay rides, cow trains, pig races, zipline, tether ball, corn hopper, and a small playground just to name a few. Pumpkins, gourds, mums and a great variety of fall decorations are available. In addition, there's the three-acre "Field Of Screams," Haunted Barn, and The Insane Inn. Also, make sure to check out: the Corn and Hay Mazes, Farm Animals for petting, Pumpkin Patches, Farm Tours, School Tours, Wagon Rides, Popcorn, Apples, Pumpkins, Corn Stalks, Gourds, Indian Corn, and Straw Bales.


Tennessee Family Vacation

100 W Main St, Jonesborough, TN 37659

On a warm October day in 1973, the town of Jonesborough hosted the first National Storytelling Festival. This event was the first of its kind and different from any other.

People around the world have since rediscovered the power of a story well told from the storytelling capital of the world.

Every October since 1973, thousands of travelers have visited Tennessee’s oldest town. They come for one purpose–to hear stories and to tell them at the National Storytelling Festival. This celebration of America’s rich and varied storytelling tradition, the oldest and most respected gathering anywhere in America devoted to storytelling.


Tennessee Family Vacation

212 Sabin Dr Jonesborough, TN 37659

Founded in 1982, the Jonesborough/Washington County History Museum and Archives collects artifacts, documents, and photographs to help tell the stories of the land and people who constituted the “mother of Tennessee.”

Your invited to visit the gallery space located in the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center at 117 Boone Street. Exhibit's include Jonesborough’s very first firefighting equipment, purchased in the late 1800s, and the clock that used to keep time in the 1847 Washington County Courthouse.


Tennessee Family Vacation

1523 Persimmon Ridge Rd, Jonesborough, TN 37659

Wetlands is Jonesborough’s very own water park - and there is no better way to cool down on a warm, summer day! Open Memorial Day through labor Day, Wetlands offers fun for the whole family! Enjoy water slides up to 200-feet long, a relaxing lazy river, a kid-friendly zero depth wading area, water bubblers, tumble buckets and much more! Wetlands also offers a full service café and volleyball court, shower and restroom facilities, picnic and pavilion areas, and lounge chairs.



Tennessee Family Vacation

117 E Main St #101, Jonesborough, TN 37659

Welcome to Gabriel's Christmas! As the only year-round Christmas Store in the Tri-Cities area, they feature the best selection of collectibles, gifts, and decor. In addition to Christmas, they also carry seasonal items for all four seasons as well as life's special moments.


Tennessee Family Vacation

115 E Main St., Jonesborough, TN 37659

This is a must-see in the oldest town in Tennessee - over 40 vendors in an 1880's building... with a hole in the floor.

Nearly 150 years ago the Jonesborough Antique Mart started its story as a hardware shop. Farmers from the Appalachian Mountains of East Tennessee could come and buy nails, seeds, and farming equipment.

Today, over 30 antique dealers fill more than 10,000 square feet of antiques, vintage clothing, Victorian furniture, early 1900s sterling silver, depression glassware, primitives, Christia’s Artware, Blue Ridge Pottery, collectibles, dolls, Boyd’s Bears, memorabilia and more.

This is a collector’s paradise!


Tennessee Family Vacation

129 E Main St, Jonesborough, TN 37659

The Lollipop Shop Loft is a beautiful retro setting in the historic district of Jonesborough. The red and white booths mixed with the black and white checkered floor will have you thinking of yesteryear. The Lollipop Loft is a private venue on the second floor of The Lollipop Shop and includes a stage, flat screen television, fireplace and couch for your enjoyment.



Tennessee Family Vacation

111 Fox Street, Jonesborough, TN 37659

Mill Spring Park is located on a quiet street near downtown Jonesborough. A lovely gazebo serves as the park's focal point. A babbling stream runs through the park, making for an excellent backdrop for photos or a picnic lunch.

Mill Spring Park has the Lost State Scenic Walkway, restrooms, and a gazebo for public use and rental. Mill Spring Park also includes the Slemons House, which houses the Storytelling Resource Place.

The Storytelling Resource Place's mission is to collect, preserve, and make storytelling resources available in a public space where visitors can use the resources and view the artifacts.


Tennessee Family Vacation

188 Stage Rd, Jonesborough, TN 37659

Located about 1 mile from downtown, Stage Road Park is 3.5 acres of landscaped playgrounds, gardens, and walking trails. The park features a playground for children ages 2-12 years old, a basketball court, and a pavilion, that accommodates up to 50 people (available on a “first come, first serve” basis).

The Lost State Scenic Walkway meanders through the park as well.


For more information about Unique Eats in Tennessee, visit the Tennessee Family Vacation Explore page.



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