Tennessee is filled with natural treasure's and wildlife, culture and historic sites to enjoy. With ongoing events
scheduled yearly, and exhibits that highlight the state's historic past
you're certain to discover something new in Tennessee. The state has endless
recreation to enjoy as well as entertaining shows and festivals, so anytime
of the year is a great time to visit the area.
On this trip we visit Green McAdoo, located in the historic downtown Clinton, a Main street Community that is beautifully restored and now has many antique shops, local stores, an old-fashioned dinner, and one of the few old-fashioned movie theaters left in the country. Special events are held throughout the year, like the Clinch River Antiques Festival, which brings in antiques collectors from across the country.
At the Green McAdoo Cultural Center you discover a piece of America's Black History. The site is dedicated to the first desegregated public high school in the south, Clinton High School. The museum is located in the original Clinton Colored School and tells the dramatic story of 12 students who took a historic walk into history by choosing to attend the newly integrated high school. It was in August of 1956 when these twelve young people in Clinton, Tennessee walked into history and changed the world. Clinton High School holds the honor of having the first Black to graduate from a public high school in the South. It was a great victory for the Civil Rights Movement, and you can learn more about this fascinating story at the Green McAdoo Cultural Center.
Not far away in Lake City is the county’s first and only winery or we should say Meadery. The Shady Grove Meadery opened in October 2007 and makes wine out of honey. Tastings and tours are offered, and local arts and crafts are available to purchase in the store as well as cheeses, honey and more.
You'll also find the Coal Miners Museum in the area that tells the incredible story of life in the 1800s for the men and boys who worked in the mines. Their lives were rough and their stories are tragic, but they are honored here for the courageous work they did and the much-needed laws that came from their sacrifices.
Another great site to visit is the Museum of Appalachia features over 30 historic log structures on 60 acres of land with more than 250,000 artifacts that commemorate the pioneer heritage of this beautiful countryside. The John Rice Irwin’s open-air museum has been referred to as the “the most authentic and complete replica of pioneer Appalachian life in the world.” There are several events hosted here including the 4th of July Anvil Shoot, Tennessee Fall Homecoming, and Christmas in Old Appalachia that brings the feeling of the 19th century to life in today’s modern world.
For more Appalachian culture, step into the Appalachian Arts and Crafts Shop, where 19th century traditions are kept alive by local crafters. Traditional and contemporary works of pottery, weaving, quilts, baskets and other mediums can be seen here. There’s also an educational facility for anyone interested in learning a new craft.
These are among the many attractions to enjoy while visiting Anderson County, which is also well known for its recreation opportunities. From Norris Lake and Norris Dam to more than 20 marinas dotting the lake, there’s something for everyone. Norris Lake offers 34,000 acres of recreational space and more than 800 miles of shoreline.
Nearly all of the lake’s shoreline is undeveloped, so it’s surrounded by picturesque views including Norris Dam State Park, Big Ridge State Park, Chuck Swan Wildlife Management Area, and other protected areas. The lake offers fishing, boating, camping, and multiple marinas, which in turn offer houseboats, cabins, restaurants, campgrounds, and more. For the extreme sport lover, Windrock Mountain provides a perfect outlet with ATV riding, rock crawling, mountain bike riding, and other extreme sport activities. Operated by Coal Creek OHV, the mountain offers 72,000 acres of trails to explore.
By Melody Schubert
For more information and a full schedule of countywide events, visit www.YallCome.org or call 800-524-3602.
To learn more about destinations to explore and events visit the Oak Ridge Convention and Visitors Bureau at www.oakridgevisitor.com.