Historic Jonesborough is a year-round destination. There’s so much to offer when you’re looking for something to do.
No matter what brings you to the beautiful historic town, you will find plenty of activities to keep you busy. Jonesborough is packed full of historical charm, and there are exciting activities that appeal to all ages. From parks and zoos, to and hiking to walking tours, there’s an activity that will perfectly suit your time, frame, budget, and preferences.
The days are beautiful in Jonesborough and our town parks are a great way to enjoy the outdoors. Jonesborough has seven parks featuring playgrounds, walking trails, picnic facilities and recreational activities such as disc golf and basketball courts. Our flagship park is the 130-acre Persimmon Ridge Park which also houses the Wetlands Water Park. Jimmy Neil Smith Park is located in downtown Jonesborough behind the International Storytelling Center and is a favorite location for photography and relaxation. Looking for a place for your kids to play? Check out Golden Oak Park and Stage Road Park. Both have fun and safe areas for your kids as young as 2 years old.
All of our parks are open dawn to dusk, all year long, and all have public restrooms (open March – November). Pets on leashes are permitted in all parks except in enclosed playground areas and on ballfields
Wetlands Water Park
Wetlands is Jonesborough’s very own water park. 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.
Hiking / Walking
Jonesborough offers fantastic hiking and walking trails. Whether you are looking for an adventurous nature hike, a vigorous exercise walk, or a leisurely stroll, Jonesborough has what you are looking for. Several hiking trails are located in the 130-acre Persimmon Ridge Park, just a mile from downtown. The Eldridge-Jonesborough Scenic Trail and the Lost State Scenic Walkway are perfect for exercise or leisure. No matter what level of hiking or walking you’re looking for, you’re sure to appreciate the beautiful landscape, mountains and trees and birds and to feel closer to nature when you leave. And if you’re quiet, you might even spot a deer or a wild turkey!
History abounds in Jonesborough. It is Tennessee’s oldest town, after all, and one of the best ways to immerse yourself in the history and the charm is through a walking tour of historic downtown. You can take a guided tour with one of the Heritage Alliance’s very knowledgable tour guides or walk at your own pace with our self-guided walking tour.
The Jonesborough Flea Market is a local favorite, open on weekends starting at 6 a.m. Over 200 local vendors sell everything from antiques to fresh produce. You might find that special collectible to complete your collection or the perfect handmade birdhouse for your garden. You’ll find vintage items, folk art, clothing, tools, books, automotive accessories and more. The selection changes every week so you never know what treasure you might find.
Brights Zoo is located just down the road from Jonesborough and is a very unique attraction in the hills of East Tennessee. A private, family-owned facility, Brights Zoo features some rare and endangered animals like the addax, bongo, and scimitar-horned oryx. When you visit, you’ll be able to see camels, pandas, zebras, spider monkeys, red kangaroos, and the ever-popular laughing kookaburra. You can interact with the animals with daily feedings and encounters, and even become a zookeeper for the day! Be sure to add Brights Zoo to your must-see list.
Depot Street Brewery
Known as Northeast Tennessee’s first brewery, Depot Street Brewing creates award winning brews in small batches for the freshest taste with the finest ingredients from around the globe. With a full size bocce ball court and local food trucks on the schedule, Depot Street Brewery is also part of the Brewly Noted Craft Beer Trail and Tri-Cities Brew Tours.
Jonesborough is conveniently located in Northeast Tennessee where you’ll find a wide array of activities specific to the region. All under an hour’s drive you’ll find yourself hands on while digging for fossils, sampling award winning craft beer and food, taking in historic sites and Broadway style shows, hiking gorgeous mountains to scenic waterfalls, fishing in one of the top rivers in the country, racing at the World’s Fastest Half Mile, learning about the Birthplace of Country Music, getting in touch with nature and wolves or riding on a hand carved wooden carousel. These are just a few ideas to get you started as you start your trip through Northeast Tennessee in Jonesborough.