TRI-CITIES, Tenn. (WJHL) — To many locals, Jonesborough and Erwin have always been considered appealing and quaint as they remain nestled away in the outskirts of the Appalachian Mountains.
More adventurers can keep the small towns on their travel radars, however, after Travel + Leisure listed both on its Top 8 Charming Small Towns in Tennessee.
The travel blog described Jonesborough as “small in size, but big in appeal,” highlighting its live music, wide array of local shopping options and centuries of history available for discovery in Tennessee’s oldest town.
Also home to the International Storytelling Center, Jonesborough reels in thousands of story-seekers each autumn. The 50th National Storytelling Festival is expected to kick off on Oct. 7, according to the center’s website.
Down Highway 81 South and over the Nolichucky River in Erwin, travelers were directed to explore hiking trails in Cherokee National Forest and discover the best fishing spots in the Appalachian Trail town.
Folks can also swing by USA Raft Adventure Resort for a wild ride down the Nolichucky. Those looking for a more relaxing pastime can take a stroll down the Erwin Linear Trail, which parallels North Indian Creek and Nolichucky waterways for 4 miles.
Heading into town, local dining options include Tacos and Grill Mexican Cuisine 2, Noli Food Truck, Rocky’s Pizza and more.
Unicoi County’s Economic Development Board Chairman Lee Brown stated in a release from the county that Erwin’s charm has always been known among the locals.
“We’ve known about the joys of living here for a lifetime,” Brown said. “Now, we are getting the rightful recognition for the beauty and charm that we offer visitors here.”
The State of Tennessee’s most recent economic study of Unicoi County found that tourism generated $12.4 million within the county in 2020.
“The county’s rich history and stunning beauty make visiting here a worthwhile endeavor,” Brown said. “Tourism has a significant and important economic impact for the county, and this latest article will no doubt help grow tourism in 2022.”
Other towns listed included Gatlinburg, Granville, Dayton, Hohenwald, Lynchburg and Leiper’s Fork. CLICK HERE for the complete list of Tennessee’s top small towns.