We’re so glad you’re here! To help welcome you to the community we’ve put together a list of some of Grace Fellowship Church staff’s favorite places to eat, shop, and have fun in the area!  Check it out below. This is not sponsored in any way – we just love our city and want to share it with you. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions, or if we can help you in any way. 

Local Events

  • “We love the Jonesborough Storytelling Festival! It is unique and entertaining.”

  • “Christmas trees in Founders/King Commons. It’s free and easy for kids of all ages! We love taking out of town family when visiting for Christmas!”

  • “The Rhododendron Festival (Roan Mountain) – The community holds a festival in Roan Mountain State Park on Father’s Day weekend each year to celebrate the blooms. It’s beautiful!”

  • “Founders After 5! This takes place in downtown Johnson City throughout the summer. I love the live music and time to hang out with friends and family while sitting on the lawn at King Commons.”

  • “The Jonesborough July 4th parade is fun for the kids!”

  • “Bristol hosts the “Rhythm and Roots” festival during the summer where they block off downtown Bristol and set up multiple stages for bluegrass bands to perform. It’s a whole weekend of live music and fun! Plus downtown Bristol is super cute.”

  • “My wife and I enjoy going to the Johnson City Farmer’s Market on Saturday mornings. It’s a good chance for us to enjoy an outdoor walk and maybe find something we like at one of the booths!”

Patrick Mitchell
Patrick MitchellExecutive Pastor of Ministries
The Founders After Five summer concerts are always fun, with great small-town community vibes. There’s plenty of good food downtown, and the parks let you walk and talk, and give the kids something to do.

Local Parks

  • “I love the Founders Park area. I like the walking loop and the admiring the creek traveling through it.”

  • “Warrior’s Path State Park – the Narnia trail of scenes from the book series Chronicles of Narnia, Duck Island, trails, and trees.”

  • “I recommend Rotary Park for the splash pad or Willow Springs Park for the running track.”

  • “Willow Springs Park (Johnson City) – Plenty to do for everyone (walking paths, basketball courts, playground equipment, etc.) and there’s even a dog park you can access for a small membership fee, and the most incredible natural setting with pond life and an amazing view of our beautiful mountains!. This park is really close to GFC!”

  • “Winged Deer Park has great playgrounds, river views, and open fields for sports activities.”

  • “I love Civitan Park. It’s right behind my house so it’s easy to get to! It’s also a really good park to take walks in.”

  • Can’t pick one. Founders Park for a meal and a couple of laps to burn it off. Kings Commons Park to play and act like a kid. Willow Springs Park to have a picnic, and let the kids play. Winged Deer Park to play disc golf or walk the wooded trails. Warriors Path (Kingsport) to kayak. Steel Creek Park (Bristol) for disc golf or to walk the woods and/or lake. Bays Mountain for the lakeside trail. Buffalo Mountain for a sunset view over Johnson City on Huckleberry Knob.

Tara Roberson
Tara RobersonWorship Arts Ministry Assistant
Warrior’s Path State Park is one of my favorites because it has a lot to offer – a great playground for kids, disc golf, picnic areas, camping, canoeing/kayaking rentals on the lake, and a boat ramp!

Outdoor Activities

  • “Hiking – lots of great places around here – Get the “AllTrails” app to check out ratings and reviews.”

  • “Boating – South Holston and Watauga Lake are both beautiful lakes to boat on. You can even rent a boat at Lakeshore Marina!”

  • “Road Biking – The Tweetsie Trail or Creeper Trail are a blast – with bike rental options at both.”

  • “Mountain Biking – you’ve got to check out Tannery Knobs!”

  • “Disc Golf – Try out Winged Deer Park or Warriors Path State Park.”

  • “Watauga Lake is a beautiful area surrounded by the Cherokee National Forest and is perfect for boating, swimming, kayaking, paddle boarding, and more.”

  • “Races – We love local running events, especially when they support a great cause! The Goose Chase does an incredible job organizing and executing so many of our favorite family calendar events every year, like Goliath, Bluegrass Half Marathon, The S’Mores Run, Turkey Trot, and MORE!”

  • Laurel Falls (I like the Dennis Cove trailhead best). Round Bald on Roan Mountain. Bays Mountain. Disc golf at any of a dozen places. Sunset on Beauty Spot on Unaka Mountain. Sunrise on Nolichucky Ridge, the Erwin Fire Tower, or on Round Bald. Epic hikes and adventures at a hundred places within two hours.

Benjamin Kisoni
Benjamin KisoniGlobal Outreach Coordinator
Going hiking on Roan Mountain to the Beauty Spot. It’s beautiful!

Family Outings

  • “Bay’s Mountain has a planetarium, nature programs, wildlife exhibits, trail systems, and a lake which makes this a great place to enjoy an afternoon.”

  • “In August, you should go to the Appalachian Fair in Gray, TN! Fun carnival rides and petting zoos!”

  • “Barter Theatre in Abingdon, VA is less than an hour away and offers high quality performances in a beautiful, historic setting. In the summer, they offer drive-in performances at the Moonlite Theater which are family-friendly.”

  • “Hands On Museum has great activities for kids that are also educational. There is also a fossil museum from the archaeology work on the property!”

  • “Tweetsie Trail is great for riding bikes as a family.”

  • “Bright’s Zoo is a locally-owned zoo that is great for kids! You can feed giraffes, ride the train, do gem mining, and feed goats.”

  • “Quantum Leap is a really fun trampoline park that also has laser tag and axe throwing. Kids and parents love it!”

  • “Jonesborough Repertory Theatre – my children have enjoyed being a part of the kid’s productions like Frozen and Peter Pan.”

  • “Rotary Park has a great splash pad for when it’s hot outside.”

  • “Oversized Playground in King Commons Park, plus lots of nearby restaurants and food trucks.”

  • “Laurel Falls Hiking Trail is my favorite.”

  • We love Just Jump Trampoline Park in Johnson City!

Sanja Lyon
Sanja LyonEarly Childhood Ministry Coordinator
We live near to GFC and we love to bike downtown as a family, enjoy free yoga or music in the downtown parks, and (depending on the season), eat from food trucks or local eateries!

Date Night Restaurant

  • “The Label or Southern Craft; both are local, located downtown, and have really great food! I suggest sushi from Label or the BBQ tater tots from Southern Craft!”

  • “Aubrey’s has a good gluten-free menu and they will easily accommodate special requests.”

  • “Holy Taco – I love the food and atmosphere. BEST queso I’ve ever had. Queso is very important to me.”

  • “Gourmet and Company – small, intimate setting with great food and an opportunity to talk.”

  • “We love Wellington’s inside of the Carnegie Hotel. Great locally sourced menu. Always delicious!”

  • “Timber! is a great restaurant with a cozy atmosphere and friendly staff. You have to try the JC hot chicken sandwich!”

  • “Cafe Lola – good food, romantic atmosphere, and locally owned!”

  • “Evelyn’s Kitchen Table, everything made from scratch. So fresh and good.”

  • Cafe One11 has the best sushi in East Tennessee!

Blake Tyree
Blake TyreeStudent Pastor
My wife and I enjoy Gourmet & Co. It’s fancy and fun to go to for an anniversary or other special occasion.

Family Restaurant

  • “Cootie Browns – Eclectic, colorful atmosphere, great service, a menu with something for everyone, and KEY LIME PIE. (You’ve gotta get the Maytag appetizer, too. Trust me.)”

  • “Kitchen at Grace Meadows – they have delicious food served family style in a beautiful setting.”

  • “Everyone’s Pizza is our favorite local pizza place!”

  • “We have a big family to feed, so we like White Duck Taco Shop because we can eat outdoors with our family almost year round and it’s a diverse and yummy selection of tacos for a really affordable price!”

  • “Cheddar’s has something for everyone.”

  • “The Firehouse Restaurant (Johnson City) Family owned and operated. Great bbq that’s oh-so-good, but other Americana fare is served if someone in your bunch isn’t a bbq fan… burgers, chicken, salads, variety of sides and veggies, and much more. There’s also a real fire engine inside that kids love to look at.”

  • “Barberitos is always a good choice. The prices are good and there are plenty of options for kids and adults!”

Amanda Brown
Amanda BrownLocal Outreach Coordinator
7 Hermanos Mexican Restaurant: All you can eat chips and salsa, need I say more?!


  • “Blackbird Bakery in Bristol – their donuts and cinnamon rolls are worth the occasional drive.”

  • “Olde Towne Pancake House (Jonesborough) They have like ten different kinds of pancakes… need I say more? But there are other things on the menu as well; omelets, biscuits and gravy, grits, oatmeal, and home fries. They also serve lunch with a menu consisting of burgers, onion rings, chicken tenders, fried catfish, and more. And they serve breakfast all day!”

  • “Kay’s Kitchen in Newland NC (about an hour away). They do a Saturday and Sunday brunch that is amazing and worth the drive… cook-to-order omelets, pancakes, french toast, and so much more on their brunch buffet.”

  • “First Watch has unique and traditional food that everyone will enjoy. Love their home fries! Only open for breakfast and lunch.”

  • “Open Doors Coffee House has the best local coffee and waffles!”

  • “Crumb Bake Shop – it’s so good! Grab a bagel sandwich or bakery item and hang out in the cutest space. Bonus – grab some telos coffee (a local roaster) while you’re there!”

  • First Watch and Maple Street Biscuit Company aren’t local, but they are family favs. Crumb Bakeshop is amazing and has savory and sweet. Wheeler’s Bagels is unique and good too. All four have great coffee.

Jacob Bouvier
Jacob BouvierYoung Adults & Groups Pastor
Maple Street Biscuit Company. Try “The Squawking Goat” biscuit. Enough said.

Coffee Shop

  • “Open Doors has good coffee with a cause –  supporting mentoring relationships for kids through Rise Up!”

  • “Still Waters Coffee (Gray, TN) – Great seating, great coffee.”

  • “Blue’s Brews – cute local airstream trailer (yes, an Airstream!) with great seasonal menus. Typically can be found parked in front of The Cookie Crate!”

  • “Corner Cup in Jonesborough is small and quaint, everyone knows each other, and it’s connected to the Makers Market (shopping, homemade crafts).”

  • “Pike House for options to have private conversations. Very laid back and quiet atmosphere.”

  • “Go to Dos Gatos for their Lavender Latte with homemade syrup!”

Lauren Pope
Lauren PopeElementary Coordinator
Open Doors… unique coffee drinks, super friendly staff!

Live Music

  • “Music on the Square offers live performances featuring a variety of music on Friday nights during the summer in Jonesborough, Tennessee’s oldest town.”

  • “Founders after 5 (during the summer)”

  • “Wild Wing Cafe has live music most weekends, as well as good food.”

  • “The Down Home has been a staple in Johnson City since 1976.”

  • “Grey Eagle or The Orange Peel in Asheville”

  • “The Johnson City Symphony Orchestra performs classical music at venues throughout the Tri-Cities.”

Matt Murphy
Matt MurphyLead Pastor
During the summer the city hosts “Fridays After 5” where every week they have live music in King Commons Park downtown. It’s super relaxed and close to great food options if you want to make a night of it.

Food Truck

  • “Alley Kat – Best Philly Cheesesteaks outside of Philly!”

  • “Mimi’s Cookies ‘n Creamery – I love desserts and sweets and Mimi’s has a great selection of homemade cookies and ice cream, ice cream sandwiches, fun specials, and more.”

  • “Me & K’s – nice people who serve good tacos.”

  • “Mae Malee’s Spring Rolls: Food is amazing!”

  • “Noli Truck in Unicoi at Scott’s Farm – so good! tacos, burgers, gourmet fries. Excellent quality!”

  • “Joe Bill’s BBQ is delicious and we love the different options!”

Katelyn Jorjorian
Katelyn JorjorianAdult Ministry Assistant
Auntie Ruths! They make the best donuts and pretzels from scratch.

Salons & Barbershops

  • “CS McCulloughs – Locally owned barbershop with fantastic service and atmosphere”

  • “Austin Springs Spa (Johnson City, inside the Carnegie Hotel) You get the spa experience even with just a haircut! You can change into a robe and hang out in the quiet lounge area to unwind while you wait for your hairstylist to take you back for your appointment. They have fresh infused waters, like cucumber or citrus, and sometimes little snacks like trail mix. My favorite part though is the shampooing – you get a full scalp massage and it honestly could put me to sleep.”

  • “If you’re looking for a great color, Jellybeans Salon!”

  • “Crop Hair Studio – They have a stylist trained in the “deva cut” style, for the curly-haired.”

  • “The same woman has cut my hair for the past 15 years. She’s at a hair salon called Get The Look in Gray.”

  • “Van Kye Salon – They do a great job efficiently.”

  • “Jonesborough Beauty Shop – I’ve been going there for years.”

  • “Blue Collar Barber Shop, great service and cool vibe.”

Gene Shelton
Gene SheltonAdult Ministry Pastor
Blue Collar Barber Shop, great service and cool vibe.

Pet Care

  • “Willow Springs Park has a dog park!”

  • “Mountain Empire Small Animal Hospital and they do offer boarding.”

  • “Boones Creek Animal Hospital – Personable, friendly people in a comfortable office. They have treated my dog and cat as if they were my kids!”

  • “Jonesborough Animal Hospital  – I’ve been a customer for 15 years for our dogs.  Excellent care. Dr. Chamniss is an orthopedic surgeon that gets referred to a lot as he is the only one in the area that specializes in this surgery for dogs and cats. Otherwise, you have to go to UT Knoxville.”

  • “Colonial Height Animal Hospital (Kingsport). They offer boarding. Our family has taken our dogs there for decades, and the staff treat you like family.”

  • “Blue Ridge Animal Hospital. They do offer boarding and they are very affordable!”

Donna Simmons
Donna SimmonsSupport Services Director
Mountain Empire Animal Hospital provides loving care for your furry friends. For boarding, we love Camp Bow-Wow – it’s a small, family-owned business that gives personal attention to your pet.


  • “Jessie Glover has been great to work with for our family photos!”

  • “Lois Martin – commissioned, still-life, and nature photography.”

  • “Jeremy Gouge – weddings, family photos, senior photos, etc.”

  • “Michael Kaal – He did our engagement and wedding photos, and does Christmas card pics for us every year. He’s super fun, makes you feel relaxed, and is great with kids!”

  • Emily Bartley Photography

  • Rebecca Marr Photography has shot dozens of events and family pics for us over the years.

  • Judah Hilton productions shot for two of my three daughters’ weddings.

Liz Judd
Liz JuddCommunications Coordinator
We’ve used Renee Parsons Photography for our family pictures and have always gotten such great, high quality pictures! We have several beautiful framed family pictures in our home thanks to her talent!

Service Times

A great place to start is by joining GFC for a Sunday service. Our worship services are full of dynamic worship and practical, Biblical teaching. Whether you’re brand new to faith, have questions, or have been a Christ-follower for years, our services are a safe place to learn more about what it means to follow Jesus.

Grace Kids

The goal of Grace Kids is to launch children with an authentic, reproducible faith. Birth – 5th Grade programming is available during both Sunday worship services.

Grace Kids check-in is located at the GFC Main Entrance right off S. Greenwood Dr.


GFC’s Access Ministry supports families and individuals with disabilities. Our goal is to create an accepting church environment for everyone to participate.

Access Kids – Sundays at 9:15 & 11am
Access Adults – Sundays at 9:15am


There’s probably more you want to know. Click the button below for even more info – from what to wear to where to find some coffee!

We’ve done our best to give you all the info you might need, but don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.

Click the Plan Your First Visit button below to let us know you’re coming and we will make sure to say hello and help you find your way around at GFC!  


We would love to hear from you and help in any way we can!