bugsy running on lone rock beach with the airstream and f-150 in the background

One day in Unicoi and Johnson City, TN

We visited Unicoi and Johnson City in May 2017 while full-timing in the Airstream in Virginia. We also visited Nashville on this trip.

bugsy on pinnacle mountain fire tower

We needed a stopover to break up the drive from Nashville to Charlottesville and wanted to be able to fit in a hike, so chose to stay at Woodsmoke Campground in Unicoi, TN and hike the Pinnacle Mountain Tower Trail. Bonus: we were close enough to Johnson City to grab a beer at a couple breweries and have a nice dinner.


Woodsmoke Campground is just lovely. It’s easy to access from the interstate, but you’d never guess the highway was so close when you’re tucked away in your campsite in the forest. Downtown Johnson City is about a fifteen minute drive, and the Pinnacle Mountain Tower trailhead is just outside the campground entrance.


pinnacle mountain tower trail
pinnacle mountain fire tower

The Pinnacle Mountain Tower Trail takes you up a gradual, well-maintained climb for just under five miles one-way to the oldest fire tower in the Cherokee National Forest. Climb 40 feet up to the observation deck for a panoramic view of the surrounding mountains. It’s a great hike and we enjoyed it very much.


We cleaned up post-hike and drove to JC for the evening. Last time we visited we hit JRH and Yee-Haw; we wanted to go to JRH again and didn’t want tacos for dinner (despite reaffirming our White Duck love in Asheville) so we skipped Yee-Haw and tried Johnson City Brewing Co.

johnson city brewing co flight

Johnson City Brewing is in a cool old building amongst many cool old buildings on the downtown strip, and we shared a tasting flight on the patio out front. I found the creative beers interesting, but J wasn’t in love with the IPA, which the big factor in his brewery opinion making.

beer at JRH brewing

JRH was as good as we remembered: tasty beer in a relaxing space.


After abusing our bodies with all the beer and food we could find in Nashville (we do it for you, fellow travelers), we were craving something healthy for dinner. Label Restaurant filled the bill with salads, seafood, and customizable meat dishes. They have fish tacos and I didn’t get them–that shows you how in need of a detox I was!


2 responses to “One day in Unicoi and Johnson City, TN”

  1. […] we visited there’s a White Duck Taco Shop! If you’ve read any of our Asheville or Johnson City posts, you know about our love for White Duck tacos. We each just got a single taco as a snack and […]

  2. […] based in Asheville. We hit it anywhere we can find it, like Greenville SC, Johnson City TN (twice), and Charleston […]

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