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Kingston, Tennessee

Kingston, Tennessee, population 14,572, is located in Roane County, TN., 18.3 miles from Oak Ridge, TN and 34.2 miles from Knoxville, TN. Kingston is the county seat of Roane County.

Kingston has a rich river heritage as evidenced by the graves of several riverboat captains buried in the Old Bethel Presbyterian Cemetery.

The city was founded in 1799 and is the second oldest city in Tennessee.

The closest airport is McGhee Tyson Airport (TYS).

On September 21, 1807, Kingston became the capital of Tennessee for one day to fulfill an agreement with the Cherokee nation, where the tribe was led to believe that if they ceded the land in and around Roane County, Kingston would become the capital of Tennessee.

Kingston Hotels >>

kingston watts bar lake
Watts Bar Lake; image courtesy of TVA

Kingston Attractions:

American Museum of Science & Energy opened in 1949 in an old wartime cafeteria. It was originally named the American Museum of Atomic Energy. Its guided tours took visitors through the peaceful uses of atomic energy. The present facility, opened in 1975, continues to provide the general public with energy information. The name of the museum was changed to the American Museum of Science and Energy in 1978. Live demonstrations, videos and other programs are scheduled for the general public daily.

Big South Fork Railway - Sit back and enjoy the breathtaking scenery of the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area while the Big South Fork Railway train makes its way through deep gorges and hugs steep cliff lines to take you back into a bygone era of logging and coal mining. Located approximately 45 minutes from Clinton.

Civil War Sites Tour - Prepared by the Knoxville Civil War Roundtable. The Civil War Sites Tour covers significant Knoxville Civil War sites. Includes the Bleak House, Second Presbyterian Church, Crescent Bend, Cherokee Heights, West Wing of Union Lines, Pontoon Bridge Site, Fort Hill, Mabry-Hazen House, Confederate Cemetery, Forts Dickerson and Stanley, General Burnside Headquarters, Battery Wiltsie, Immaculate Conception Church, Third Creek Valley, National Cemetery, Fort Sanders, and UDC Monument.

Frank H. McClung Museum - is a general museum with collections in anthropology, archaeology, decorative arts, medicine, local history, and natural history. The exhibits document ways of life, cultural trends, and technologies from prehistoric times to the present day, and showcase much of Tennessee's past -- its geology, history, art, and culture. The McClung Museum is a special place -- a place of discovery, a place to learn about the world around us.

Oak Ridge National Laboratory - ORNL is a multiprogram science and technology laboratory managed for the U.S. Department of Energy by UT-Battelle, LLC. Scientists and engineers at ORNL conduct basic and applied research and development to create scientific knowledge and technological solutions that strengthen the nation's leadership in key areas of science; increase the availability of clean, abundant energy; restore and protect the environment; and contribute to national security.

Secret City Scenic Excursion Train - Turn the clock back to yesteryear and return to the heyday of passenger railroading with the Southern Appalachia Railway Museum's Secret City Scenic Excursion Train. Trains depart from the Heritage Center (formerly K-25) near Oak Ridge, Tennessee, an historic Department of Energy facility where research and development plunged the United States into the Atomic Age. The train winds along Poplar Creek and Highway 327 in the beautiful hills and valleys of East Tennessee. Additional route and facility history is available, as are views of a typical trip. Each round trip travels approximately 14 miles and lasts about one hour. Trains are pulled by 1950's vintage Alco diesel locomotives. Seating is in an air-conditioned coach and a dining car, both restored from the 1940's era of passenger railroading. An open-air concession car has souvenirs and snacks for sale.

Star of Knoxville - an authentic paddlewheeler with a capacity 325 passengers. The main deck seats 144 passengers and is fully enclosed, air conditioned, and heated for year-round comfort. The vessel is equipped with two (2) bars, a dance floor, band stage, and is exquisitely decorated for the most elegant dinner and entertainment available. If you don't feel like having the black-tie event, the atmosphere is functional as a jeans and shorts type of place for the family reunions and football parties. The Tennessee River is one of the most beautiful rivers in the east. While cruising, you will enjoy one of the most breathtaking views in Knoxville. Not only will you see some of the history of the river, you will most certainly be relaxed by the river's beauty.

Watts Bar Lake - Kingston is situated along the shores of Watts Bar Lake. Watts Bar provides 722 miles of shoreline and over 39,090 acres of water surface. Hundreds of boat slips are offered at area marinas. Marinas also offer large and small boat rentals, cabin rentals, houseboats and supplies. Numerous coves and islands with natural sand beaches offer ideal spots for virtually all water sports. Fishermen can cast a line in the wide open flats or the narrow winding river channels and expect to see jumbo crappie, lunker, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, trophy stripers and a wide array of freshwater fish.

Kingston Festivals:

Christmas in Old Appalachia - held the first Sunday in December at the Museum of Appalachia. There is also an annual Open House welcoming folks for an afternoon of old-time carols, wagon rides, pioneer demonstrations, gift shopping, and more. Admission to the entire Museum will be free that afternoon (but please bring a non-perishable food item for the Norris Area Food Bank). Activities will run from 1 to 5 p.m. with seasonal music in the Hall of Fame and auditorium. Old-time musicians, bluegrass bands, the Museum of Appalachia Band, and many other great local groups will perform throughout the complex. Also performing will be several area choirs and a community chorus.

Oak Ridge Dogwood Invitational Regatta - This two-day event is part of the annual Dogwood Arts Festival. It will include a Cardboard Boat Race and Events of the Tennessee State Rowing Championships. The event is open to Youth, College. Open, and Master programs.

Secret City Festival - held annually in June and draws over 20,000 attendees. Record crowds dance to the oldies and croon along to their favorite tunes of yesteryear. During daytime festival hours, crowds gather at the BMX Bicycle Stunt Show, where festival-goers are entertained with flips, jumps, slides, and all kinds of other bicycle stunts. Tennessee State Parks bring their eagle and owl for folks to have their photos made with, and Oscar the Robot flirts, teases, and wins over crowds with his charm and wit.

Windrock ATV Club Fall Ride - More than 250 ATV enthusiasts will ride the challenging trails of Windrock Mountain during the Windrock ATV Club Fall Ride.


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