Located in Northeast Tennessee and home to ridges, mountains and valleys, Johnson City/Washington County has every modern convenience while offering serenity, mild seasonal weather and breathtaking, year-round scenic beauty.
With outdoor attractions and amenities such as the Tweetsie Trail, Tennessee’s longest Rails to Trails project, a revitalized downtown filled with shopping, dining and events, and a thriving local music and arts community, Washington County has a robust diversity of activities and experiences.
Storytelling, theater, music and regional crafts are the traditional cultural heartbeat of the region. Secondary or college-level sports share the spotlight with great musical attractions. Active civic organizations, festivals, walking/running/bicycling groups, along with area farmers markets enhance the quality of life and offer an ideal sense of community.
Downtown Johnson City creates a culture that can’t be beat when the charm of downtown specialty shops are combined with popular events like First Fridays, Founders After 5, and holiday happenings like Johnson City’s Christmas Parade and “The Friendliest Festival in the South,” Blue Plum Festival.
Shopping in the Tri-Cities region has its hub in Johnson City. The Mall at Johnson city is the area’s retail anchor, with over 90 stores. Among the variety of other shopping choices in Washington County are downtown Johnson City, the Boones Creek area and in Jonesborough, where you’ll find antiques, crafts and Appalachian heritage handiwork.
Nearby Jonesborough, Tennessee’s oldest town, offers the opportunity to experience the International Storytelling Festival.
Gain an education in Washington County’s heritage with a historic tour or site visit at Natural History Museum & Gray Fossil Site, Rocky Mount State Historic Site, or Tipton-Haynes State Historic Site.
Recreation and sports activities are available for participants and spectators alike. Memorial Park Community and Senior Centers offer programs in pickle-ball, swimming, bridge club, arts & crafts and more. From playing golf or tennis, going rafting, fishing, hiking (senior groups), biking or walking to watching collegiate athletics at ETSU, catching a flyball at a Johnson City Cardinals minor league baseball game, taking in some motocross at Muddy Creek Raceway or experiencing “AMERICA’s Night Race” at Bristol Motor Speedway, the options are endless.
Winged Deer Park, one of Johnson City Parks & Recreation’s many city parks, is a 200-acre district park featuring five softball fields, three soccer fields, batting cages, an 18-hole disc golf course, playground area, half-mile walking track and paved fitness trails, which wind through the forested section of the park. A lakefront area features two sand volleyball courts, picnic shelter, public boating access, green space, lighted handicap accessible boardwalk, amphitheater and a festival plaza. Nearby state parks round out the outdoor recreation opportunities with Warrior’s Path State Park in Kingsport and Rocky Fork State Park in Unicoi County.
Our average population of 65,800, a low cost of living and high quality of life are what make Johnson City/Washington County a truly special place to thrive and relax. We enjoy four glorious seasons that afford us gorgeous gardens, road trips and a rich diversity of sporting life.
Examples of 200k Homes
Washington County is fast becoming the medical hub of Northeast Tennessee.
The success of the medical community is enhanced by the presence of East Tennessee State University. ETSU accepted the first class of students into its new College of Pharmacy program in early 2007. The ETSU Quillen College of Medicine on the campus of the Veterans Affairs Medical Center enhances the region’s medical preparedness and is home to Tennessee's only College of Public and Allied Health.
From primary care physicians to specialists, the area has a number of highly qualified medical professionals who provide the utmost care.
Tax and Living Expenses
It’s not just about the natural resources. It’s about personal resources, too. They’ll go further and last longer due to the area’s low cost of living, reasonable home values, as well as no state income tax or pension tax. With steady growth in communities, it is a place anyone would be proud to call home.
The Council for Community and Economic Research rated the Johnson City area as one of the Top 10 most affordable cities in the United States. According to Kiplinger’s Personal Finance (2012), Johnson City also ranked fifth least expensive metro area to live. A healthy and growing industrial, educational, healthcare and service industry helps Washington County control its growth and offer a standard of living not easily found elsewhere in the country.
According to a cost of living comparative study done by the Washington County Economic Development Council, the cost of living index in Johnson City is 86.7% of the national average, “proving that a dollar goes further here.” Niche Ranking 2015 ranked Johnson City No. 4 Best Town in Tennessee, based on overall livability and quality of life.
The median home value in Washington County is $90,000.
East Tennessee State University, King College, Milligan College, Northeast State Community College and Tusculum College offer higher learning opportunities. Several of the area’s college and universities have been recognized for their excellence by national magazines.
Experience Living in Washington County
I study everything. Before I retired, I studied and read about the best ways to retire and also the best places to retire. Tennessee and Virginia were my best. The deal maker was the location of the Mountain Home Veterans Administration and Medical Center. The rest is history.- Bob
Small City, rural culture, but with big city attractions and arts. Affordable housing, quality healthcare, several colleges, lifestyle variety, outdoor activities and sports, affordable taxes, Storytelling in Jonesborough, friendliness of the people. This is what we love about East Tennessee and why we chose to retire here.- Washington County retirees
We hope you will take time to enjoy the beautiful scenery, music, heritage and culture. From fossils to live music to golf or riding the rapids, you will find an experience like none other.
Discover Tennessee Tour
Tennessee’s array of amenities will please any interest. Whether you enjoy a active lifestyle or prefer a more leisurely pace, Tennessee provides natural beauty, a mild climate, urban conveniences and rural peacefulness.
Contact us for your personal tour of a Retire TN county.