Christmas Shopping in Jefferson City, Tennessee

Second-hand and thrift stores, small boutiques and well-known chain stores offer a full day of shopping pleasure here.

This week we’re continuing our small-town Christmas shopping blog theme with Jefferson City, Tennessee. The Mossy Creek District is undergoing a renaissance, as we’ve written about here, and it’s worth a browse. Plus, there are many small boutique stores worth checking out around town.

There are also a couple of big box stores like Goody’s and Big Lots in Jefferson City (not to mention WalMart and Lowe’s…) but we’ll keep this week’s discussion focused on the more unique locations.

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Tractor Supply

Wood-burning stoves, truck and equipment parts and accessories, farm needs and…fashion? You’d be surprised how many gifts you can get at Tractor Supply for those who just seem to have everything they want and need. This store is only a hop and skip away from the Mossy Creek district, and although it’s a chain retailer, it’s full of the stuff of our rural Appalachian culture, from rugged gear all the way to hot pink cowgirl boots.

Mossy Creek Wines and Spirits

A bottle of cheer is always a good choice for a host or hostess gift. Mossy Creek Wines and Spirits has high gravity beers, fine wines and spirits for the discerning palate on your Christmas list! The staff is helpful and the selection is good. Visit mossycreekwinesandspirits.com for store information.

The Creek Café

Rest your tired feet and delight your empty stomach with lunch and treats from The Creek Café. Salads, sandwiches and gourmet local ice cream will revive you in your quest for exceptional Christmas gifts! Visit thecreekcafe.com for more information.

The Red Door Gallery

Located at 1417 George Avenue, this gallery features work by local artists and custom framing. If you’re looking for a deeply personal, heirloom-quality gift, this is a great place to look. Visit reddoorgallerytn.com for more information.

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Tickle Me Turquoise

Monograms and vibrant colors adorn the sweet keepsakes out of this shop. Located at 274 W Old Andrew Johnson Hwy, they also have an Etsy shop here.

Formal Approach

Most people consider Formal Approach a go-to prom or homecoming dress store, but it’s also a high-fashion gown paradise if you need something for an upcoming swanky Christmas or New Year’s party. They’ll help you with dress fittings and alterations, and if they don’t have exactly what you need on site they can help you order it. Visit formalapproach.com for more information.

Rowena’s

If you’re on the lookout for home decor, check out Rowena’s. They also have an upscale array of ladies’ brands such as Lilly Pulitzer and Kate Spade. Visit their Facebook page here.

The Rusty Door

As the name suggests, this store is full of rustic and farmhouse-themed stuff! Visit their Facebook page, here,  for a more detailed look at what they offer.

There are many more fun and unique places to choose from in Jefferson City! I just don’t have room to list them all. Second-hand and thrift stores, small boutiques and well-known chain stores offer a full day of shopping pleasure here. It’s one of the best ways to get to know your new area if you just recently became an East Tennessean. Shopping close to home is also a great way to keep your local economy robust, bringing in more unique and creative businesses and keeping tax dollars in your community, where it will do the most good for you and your neighbors!

Merry Christmas shopping! And, as always, if you want to learn more about finding a new home in Jefferson City or any other East Tennessean location, visit Darlenereeves-kline.com.

Christmas Shopping in Blaine, Tenn.

Take a step away from the big crowds and see what the little, local places have to offer.

It’s all too easy to get fed up with holiday shopping before you even start: the crowds, the anxiousness (What if she doesn’t like this?! What if I’m paying way too much…didn’t that store at the other end of the mall say they’d throw in a free electric bread-butterer?!)

Fortunately, although our area is full of convenient chain and big-box stores, we are built upon the legacy of homemade and cherished, not to mention quirky, things. Take a step away from the big crowds and see what the little, local places have to offer. Your gift recipients will get something unusual and you’ll have a happier shopping experience. In these weeks before Christmas we’ll look at small-town shopping in a few little-known places.

Hey, while you’re cruising the highways and byways of upper East Tennessee on a quest for holiday shopping cheer, remember: the scenery is free!

 

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Photo courtesy of Leigh

Let’s get started with a day in Blaine, Tennessee. Blaine is located just Northeast of Knoxville, and we recommend starting your Blaine shopping pilgrimage from just north of the town, heading toward Knoxville on Highway 11W, also known as Rutledge Pike.

Blaine Antiques

On the right hand side, at 1945 Rutledge Pike, this unassuming little store is worth the drive. It’s truly a treasure hunt, so don’t expect to be in and out in five minutes. Be on the lookout for unusual dinnerware, vintage and collectable toys, jewelry and antique furniture. If you’re an upcycler, this is definitely your kind of muse.

Contact Blaine Antiques at (865) 933-0021

Boots, Lace & Southern Grace

New in 2016 is this store for the fancy, fashionable Appalachian lady. Located just a few minutes west on Rutledge Pike from Blaine Antiques, this is a great girlfriends’ destination. The place is full of lacy tunics, jewelry and a general cowgirl flare. You’ll recognize it by the bright turquoise bench just outside the door.  Visit their Facebook page or give them a call at (865) 401-4168.

Little Dipper

Need a burger and ice cream break? Walk next door for lunch. Little Dipper is small and friendly, and they serve up lunch specials with big portions and Mayfield treats that bring in hungry folks from miles around. Visit their Facebook page or call (865) 932-4886.

Okie’s

Okie’s Pharmacy offers “Cures and Curiosities” in both locations, at Blaine and Maynardville. Locals pick up prescriptions here, but while they’re waiting they peruse tie-dyed reading glasses, old-fashioned greeting cards, luxurious lotions by J.R. Watkins and Burt’s Bees and seasonal sundries like scarves, socks and costume jewelry. Looking for stocking stuffers? Okie’s has a big assortment of old-fashioned hard candies.

Call (865) 932-7775 or visit www.okiespharmacy.com.

The Southern Belle Boutique

Headed out of town, on the right side of Rutledge Pike, is another new source for mountain fashion with attitude: The Southern Belle Boutique. Part of the Southern Elegance Salon, this new store is where Blaine ladies can go for a one-stop complete makeover.

Call (865) 228-9405 or visit their Facebook page for more information.

There you have it: a day of shopping in less than a three mile stretch of highway!

If you want to find out more about living in rural Northeast Tennessee, visit my website at DarleneReeves-Kline.com.

Lifestyle in Grainger County

Grainger County is a rural paradise for those who want the peacefulness of country life, but also want to be close enough to cities like Morristown and Knoxville for big-town conveniences.

Bordered by Cherokee and Norris Lakes, with plenty of woods, creeks, and farmland in between, Grainger County is a rural paradise for those who want the peacefulness of country life, but also want to be close enough to cities like Morristown and Knoxville for big-town conveniences. Taxes are low here, as well as land and home prices. Agribusiness is making a big comeback in Grainger County, too. The land is bountiful, yet still close to consumers in more populated areas.

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The area is steeped in history; Tate Springs, in Bean Station, was once valued for its healing springs. Bean Station, founded by one of the area’s earliest settlers, is the site of the civil war battle named after the town. In Rutledge, the Grainger County seat, you can see a replica of Andrew Johnson’s tailor shop in front of the court house. He worked there briefly in the years before he became President of the United States. For more information about Grainger County, click here.

Wineries,  Vineyards and Local Farms

Tennessee has a long legacy of growing grapes and making wine. After Prohibition, and then the ebb and flow of farming economics, Tennessee wine fell by the wayside. Now, it’s making a comeback with small vineyards sprouting all over Northeast Tennessee. Here are two near the town of Blaine, in Grainger County:

Spout Spring Estates is a pleasantly surprising winery perched atop a ridge with commanding views 360 degrees around! They host free wine tastings during business hours, as well as weddings and other events. Visit spoutspringestates.com to find out more.

Richland Vineyards grows grapes for many local wineries. You can also visit the vineyard to pick your own fruit, and taste the wines made at different vineyards from grapes grown just steps away! Visit www.tennesseewines.com/richland_vineyards.htm to find out more.

Several family-operated farms in the area sell produce to local grocery stores and farmers markets.

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Red Barn Farms, located on Highway 11W, offers everything on site from fresh produce and eggs, to family events such as the corn maze. They even have a tractor tire jungle gym in front of the barn! Check their Facebook page for more information.

Grainger County Park

When you’re on your tour of local agribusiness, take a moment to stop in at the Grainger County Park. It’s surprisingly lovely, with play structures for kids, walking paths and the perfect picnic spot: high on a hill with a splendid view of Cherokee lake spread out below.

Grainger County Tomato Festival

Tomatoes are among the most popular vegetables in the country…did I say vegetable? I meant fruit, because, officially, that’s what a tomato is. Did you know that there are over 25,000 different kinds of tomatoes? You can learn these facts and so many more about the delicious, nutritious tomato at the Grainger County Tomato Festival! It’s held every summer in the last full weekend of July. The festival started in 1992 as a way to bring the community together and celebrate and promote Grainger County Tomatoes which, as locals know, are the best around.

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Admission is free. The festival features tomato wars, races, local artists and artisans, food, and even free music!   Visit www.graingercountytomatofestival.com for more information.

For Grainger County Listings, please visit www.darlenereeves-kline.com. As always, feel free to contact me with any questions!

 

 

Lake Life in East Tennessee

The great thing about lake life in East Tennessee is that it’s very affordable. For listings and information about land and homes on one of our beautiful lakes, please visit http://www.darlenereeves-kline.com.

Mountains…rustic cabins…apple butter…woods and wildlife. These are things that people associate with life in our part of the state. People often come to East Tennessee for the mountains, with their fabulous views and abundant wildlife. Locals know there’s more to outdoor recreation around here than hiking  and camping, though; we have great boating and water sports, too! Douglas and Cherokee Lakes offer miles of public and private shoreline, beaches, shallow coves and deep main channels. Here’s a quick look at some of the fun our lakes have to offer:

Sailing

You don’t have to live in a coastal town to be a sailor! The sparkling waters and lush summer breezes of our lakes are a siren call for land-locked water-lovers. Since the 1970s, The Cherokee Lake Sailing Club, located at Black Oak Marina in Jefferson City, Tennessee, has been hosting races, beach parties and other sailing community events. Sailing is an excellent way to get involved in a fun, passionate community and get out on the water at the same time.

 

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Black Oak Marina

To learn more about the Cherokee Lake Sailing Club, click here.

Competitive Fishing

Lakes Cherokee, Douglas, and even Norris slightly further north are frequent destinations for professional bass fishing tournaments. Anglers pull their boats from all over the Southeast USA for a chance to reel in the biggest fish, or the most combined weight. It takes a tremendous amount of skill, figuring out which coves to go for and which bait will entice the fish the most.

The Hamblen County Dock, at Cherokee Park in Morristown, is the launching point for many of these highly competitive events.

 

Hamblen County Dock
Hamblen County Boat Dock

Please visit Fishing League Worldwide at www.flwfishing.com for more information about fishing tournaments in East Tennessee.

Water Skiing

If an adrenaline rush is more to your water-recreational style, you’ll be happy to know that water skiing and boarding are popular in the area, too.

(Check out this quick reference article about skiing in East Tennessee!)

Many marinas offer boat, jet ski and water ski rentals. H2O Sports in Dandridge (smokymountainh2osports.com), Black Oak Marina in Jefferson City (blackoakmarina.com) and Lakeside Marina in Bean Station (www.cherokee-lake.org/lakeside-marina) are worth a look if you’re on the search for a rental.

The great thing about lake life in East Tennessee is that it’s very affordable.  For listings and information about land and homes on one of our beautiful lakes, please visit www.darlenereeves-kline.com.

A Day at the Beach with Ice Cream on Top! Yes, You’re in East Tennessee.

The beach at Cherokee Dam is free to use, and it has some unique features that are appealing, especially for families with young kids!

So, you’re considering moving your family to Jefferson County in East Tennessee. Like much of the land in this area, there are beautiful, rolling hills, great views and even lakefront property if you like living in the country, and if you prefer town life there are quaint, historic houses near Carson-Newman College as well as modern subdivisions nearby.

But what can you do with your family? There are lots of fun, affordable (in some cases, even free!) activities in this fair county to help you make lasting memories. One of the local favorites is the beach at Cherokee Dam, just minutes from downtown Jefferson City.

The Tennessee Valley Authority maintains multiple dams in our corner of the Southeast USA for the purpose of generating power to residents. The lakes created, as well as surrounding land, provide tons of recreation for swimmers, campers, picnic-ers, day-trippers…all for free, or for a nominal access fee, depending on the site. Click: here for a list of swim beaches maintained by the TVA.

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The parking area, with the beach and Cherokee Lake just beyond. Picnic areas are up and to the left.

The beach at Cherokee Dam is free to use, and it has some unique features that are appealing, especially for families with young kids! There is a sandy beach at the edge of the water, a stone-walled public bathroom, and many lunch spots complete with picnic tables and even grills—charcoal not included! You can stroll over the dam itself and get an amazing view of Cherokee lake on one side and the steep back end of the dam on the other side. There are walking paths mown into the grassy fields stretching away from the parking lot at the beach, too. In one morning you could get in a swim, a walk, a view and a lunch before heading back to town! Oh, and there are great swings under the tall trees, a few yards up the hill from the water. They are the really tall kind that remind me of my childhood, so you can swing a long, swooping arc while the sparkling water and shady trees seem to tilt around you…or, I guess your kids could swing, too, while you take a break with your camp chair and your novel!

Reserve a bit of energy after your day at the beach, because it wouldn’t really be complete without award-winning ice cream. That’s right, award-winning! No typical store-bought here! Drive the five minutes or so it takes to get from the beach to The Creek Café, located in the historic Mossy Creek section of Jefferson City. Click: here for the website. The ice cream comes fresh from The Apple Valley Creamery. Click: here to visit their website.

“Voted best ice cream in East Tennessee by WBIR TV and ranked #1 local restaurant on Trip Advisor.”

For more information about the renovation of the historic building housing the café, click:  here. Jefferson City really is a special place, with motivated people working hand-in-hand to help revitalize this historic town. Trust me, you can taste the community love in the amazing ice cream!

 

110 E Old Andrew Johnson Hwy

Jefferson City, TN 37760

(865) 308-9084

http://www.thecreekcafe.com