The town of Johnson City has a population of more than 60,000 and is located in the Interstate 26 corridor. Johnson City is considered to be part of the Tri-Cities area in northeastern Tennessee, along with Kingsport and Bristol. It has quite a diverse climate, with a January average temperature of 26 degrees Fahrenheit and a July average of 86 degrees. Johnson City truly experiences the four seasons and gets approximately nine inches of snow annually. Johnson City began in the year 1856 as a railroad station and was a major center for railway transportation in the southeastern United States. Johnson's Depot, as it was once called, has gone through quite a transformation and now serves as the downtown district of Johnson City. The historic buildings of Johnson's Depot are now home to unique shops and urban eateries.
There are quite a few industries in Johnson City, but the two biggest employers are the manufacturing and retail sectors. The city is home to franchises and chains as well as locally owned businesses. The Johnson City Chamber offers quite a few activities to encourage entrepreneurship and promote interaction between its members. The city is experiencing population growth, possibly due to its low cost of living. Its cost of living index is 83, versus a national average of 100.
Despite its small size, Johnson City boasts several hospitals. Johnson City Medical Center, the second hospital built in the state of Tennessee, is a certified level-one trauma facility and a teaching hospital for medical students at East Tennessee State University. Three of the hospitals offer emergency services; there is also a pediatric emergency department within Johnson City Medical Center. One of the hospitals under construction is a children's hospital, which will also have an emergency department solely for children. Three of the existing hospitals offer specialty services, including rehabilitation, psychiatric treatment, and specialized medical procedures.
Johnson City's downtown centers around Market Street and Buffalo street and in recent years has been the focus of a major effort at revitalization by the city. Find shops, dining and live entertainment downtown, including concerts on Wednesday nights in the park.
North Johnson City is the retailing center for the town, along North Roan Street and State of Franklin Road, with The Mall at Johnson City and chain restaurants.
There are several post-secondary schools located in Johnson City, the most notable of which is East Tennessee State University. The University offers almost two hundred academic programs, four of which are completely online. There is also an accredited medical school program, which uses hands-on education at the Johnson City Medical Center, as well as a newer pharmacy program that is currently a candidate for accreditation. The city is also home to the Tri-City Beauty College and the Emmanuel School of Religion, which offers graduate programs in ministry studies.
Hands On! Museum: Geared toward children and families, this interactive museum features more than 20 exhibits to provide visitors with educational yet fun activities.
Nelson Fine Art Center: This gallery is located in the downtown area and showcases more than 500 pieces of original art, the majority of which are from local and regional artists. The gallery also offers visitors freshly brewed exotic coffee from around the world.
Boone's Creek Potters Gallery: This is a unique store offering handcrafted pottery, textiles, sterling silver jewelry, and metal and wood crafts. Shoppers can find home décor as well as dinnerware here. The store also carries crafting materials.
Buffalo Mountain Park: People who enjoy the outdoors will appreciate the trails that wind through this park, located on the northwest slope of Buffalo Mountain. Visitors can hike up to 3,300 feet to see beautiful mountain vistas.
Johnson City "Little Chicago" GhostWalk: It is rumored that Al Capone was heavily involved in bootlegging in Johnson City during the Prohibition era. This guided tour stops at several sites that are said to have been used by Capone. The tour is approximately four hours long and is lighted by lantern.
Tipton-Haynes State Historical Site: Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this property includes 11 buildings that date back two centuries. Visitors can tour the site and check out the library and archives. The site puts on several special events each year.
Blue Plum Festival: This free festival takes place in June in downtown Johnson City. It is a celebration of art and music run by Friends of Olde Downtown, a volunteer organization dedicated to preserving the culture of the historic downtown area.
Johnson City has several local media outfits: