Kingsport, TN Balances Food and Fun
Where to enjoy amazing local food and then work it off in the great outdoors.
A double deal of lifestyle options awaits in Kingsport: The food and beverage scene is budding, and thankfully, fitness activities abound, too. Kingsport residents can fill up on delicious local food – from international cuisine to down-home flavors – while burning those calories on endless outdoor trails, at local pools, or in multiple gyms and fitness centers. Here are a few suggestions on where to eat and where to work it off!
First, We Eat
Locating the best pizza joint in town is priority No. 1, and the local consensus leads to Chef’s Pizzeria. Chef’s has been slinging pies since 1991. From classic toppings to killer calzones, crowds come in droves to get their bites in, especially during lunch. Chef’s is also known for the midday salad bar.
If all that indulgence leaves one craving dessert, Little Cake ought to be on the itinerary. The picture-perfect little shop brims with bite-sized cupcakes and delectable goodies. Pop in during Happy Hour for deals on Little Cake’s delights and drop by during the holidays for limited edition specials.
Stir Fry Cafe is a go-to for Asian-inspired eats. Half-price sushi nights are a Kingsport tradition, but don’t overlook the noodles or Japanese whiskey selection.
Of course, we can’t talk Tennessee without a little (or a lot) of barbecue. Center Street Grill and Smokehouse cooks up can’t-miss platters of pulled pork and brisket paired with loaded baked potatoes. Center Street also serves a proper patty melt and a “Southern Burgerâ€ with pimiento cheese and fried green tomato.
Devoted gourmands will love Abingdon Olive Oil, an olive oil and accouterments emporium selling and sampling products from around the world.
Then, We Sweat
To balance the feasts, there are plenty of options to get and stay fit. Kingsport has outdoor fitness options in abundance. For one, there’s the Holston River, offering paddleboard, kayak and canoe opportunities throughout town.
A notable go-to is Warriors’ Path State Park, thanks to over 12 miles of trails, watercraft rentals on Patrick Henry Reservoir, and a seasonal, family-friendly pool. It is also home to one of Kingsport’s four golf courses. The 18-hole Warriors’ Path Golf Course also has a driving range, practice green and practice bunker.
Mountain bikers will find their home base at Bays Mountain Park, which features over 32 miles of mountain biking trails. On foot, visitors can explore the 39 miles of hiking trails that cover the park’s 3,500-acre expanse. Those looking to take their bravery and agility to new heights can venture onto the Bays Mountain Park’s ropes course.
Pedestrians and bikers can also meander along The Kingsport Greenbelt, a scenic linear park connecting neighborhoods, marshlands and hubs across town. The dog can come along for a run, too, as the greenbelt is pet friendly.
When the weather isn’t cooperating, residents can get their exercise indoors, thanks to numerous gyms and yoga studios. The Kingsport Aquatic Center – home to the HMG Competition Olympic-size pool – hosts multiple aquatic classes, including interval, strength and cardio training.
To make staying well a team affair, join a Kingsport sports league: There is adult basketball in the winter, adult softball in the spring and adult outdoor volleyball in the summer.
Life is good for fur babies in Kingsport, thanks to a plethora of pet-friendly services and businesses. Since pet wellness is always a top parental priority, it’s essential to note Kingsport is home to numerous veterinarians and groomers.
People and their dogs can enjoy two Kingsport dog parks. Downtown dwellers are closest to The Barking Lot, a 150-by-35-foot grass lot, giving dogs a safe space to socialize and stretch their legs. The Barking Lot is open to the public from dusk until dawn and is free.
Dogwood Park is a membership-only community dog park that lies adjacent to Hunter Wright Stadium off Granby Road. The 3-acre park is a bit stricter because of its membership status and has specific registration rules for its participants. The park is divided into two weight-specific sections and features a 6-foot chain-link fence. To ensure all dogs are correctly registered, a keyless entry system secures the park. Agility equipment is also available at this location. Dogwood Park is open daily from sunrise to sunset.
When it is time to grab some grub, be sure to pack up the pooch for the ride, as Kingsport has over 20 pet-friendly restaurants. There’s nothing like sipping a Saturday brew with your four-legged buddy at Model City Tap House or Bays Mountain Brewing Company.
If you’d like to learn more about the Kingsport area, check out the latest issue of Livability: Kingsport, Tennessee.