My Town Destination: Clinton,TN
Trip Type: Weekend Trip
Date of Visit: 10/11/19- 10/13/19
Town Ambassador/Contact: Donna Raines Phone (865)269-4522 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Clinton TN is an adorable town of 10,000 residents, and while it’s only 3 miles long by 1.5 miles wide, visitors flock to Clinton for the amazing southern hospitality heightened by its unique niche of business owners. The small town of Clinton is full of rich history and new beginnings, and is bound together by a tight knit community that has a tradition of combining the old and the new.
Clinch River Fall Antique Festival
When my town first arrived at the Clinch River Fall Antique Festival, many of our followers mentioned on Facebook, and we agree, that Market Street looked just like a Hallmark movie. But the look of Market Street was not the only thing that was Hallmark about this event. Now in its 19th year, the Clinch River Fall Antique Festival boasts unique businesses who have been there from the beginning, and new businesses who have embraced the beauty and charm of small town Clinton.
As you walk the fall lined streets, it is hard not to get wrapped up in the fun and nostalgia that antiques can bring. The glitter of the new also brings shopping excitement, with several popular vendors displaying rustic chic and handmade items. Clinton has over twenty antique shops within a mile walk, and during the festival there are also over 100 antique and associated vendors lining the streets. The event has done so well that it doubles the population of Clinton, but don’t worry, it still feels like a small town.
This truly is not your average festival. It brings people from all over the state of Tennessee, and surrounding states like Kentucky and as far as Ohio. The Festival also has a unique atmosphere with a relaxed vibe and a true appreciation for service. Many businesses along Market and Main Streets pride themselves with presenting you with service and hospitality you could expect from the state of Tennessee.
Merchants and More
A few notable places you can find this spirit of service is Clinch River Mercantile and Burrville Antiques. Clinch River Mercantile also served as My Town’s host for lodging. Where can you find people who put you up in their own guest houses? You guessed it. And Burrville Antiques served as My Town’s host for the Historic Downtown Clinton Merchants Association. This group of individuals are committed to growing and sustaining Clinton through their niche of small town retail. It’s really is an understatement to say that Clinton is hospitable; their charming ways will leave you wanting more as you return to your daily life. Few places has My Town traveled where the culture of service is so prevalent in each and every business that you visit.
Unique History in Clinton
Clinton has a rich history that starts with the Clinch River. Did you know that Market Square used to be a prime trading location, partly because the Clinch River used to be home to abundant fresh water pearls? Clinton was one of the top three places in the state of Tennessee for the pearling industry.
Another interesting part of Clinton is its location as part of Appalachia. The area of the United States that make up Appalachia encompasses about 205,000 square miles of land, including all of West Virginia and parts of twelve other states: Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia. It is an area that has a natural barrier of the Appalachian Mountain Range and has created a culture all its own. You can explore the history of this interesting and very unique sect at the Museum of Appalachia. Here you can find the most authentic replica of Pioneer Appalachia, right in small town Clinton.
The Clinton Twelve
One is Clinton’s most well known moments in history surrounds the story the Clinton Twelve. It was a privilege to visit the Green McAdoo Cultural Center and learn about the courage of the Clinton Twelve. In 1956, The Clinton Twelve were the first students to desegregate a state-supported high school in the South. They broke the color barrier in K-12 education in the American South, and made history. Green McAdoo is great place to visit in small town Clinton, and learn about this incredible story. Watch the story here.
While exploring Clinton’s history, My Town had the opportunity to meet one of Clinton’s favorite sons, and local historian, Jerry Shattuck. My Town met Jerry signing his new book Amazing Anderson-A Survey of Anderson County History. It’s always a treat to meet the individuals that help make up a small town’s culture. Make sure to pick up Jerry’s book while visiting Clinton.
Beautiful Natural surroundings lend to Clinton’s Famous Outoor Recreation
Did you know that the Clinch River is famous for the sport of rowing? Turns out the Clinch River’s ideal calm waters draws rowers for collegiate sporting events, and even rowers training for the Olympics. In Clinton, you can check out the rowing community at the Clinton Rowing Club.
In addition, The Clinch River is also famous for its trout fishing. Here you spend the day wading for brown, rainbow, and brook trout, making this a fly fishing destination for enthusiasts. Click here for the best spots anglers have shared. Another business taking advantage of the beautiful landscape is Windrock Mountain ATV Park. Located in nearby Oliver Springs, Windrock offers 73,000 acres of ATV Trails at every level. Ready for an adventure? Click here.
Also for the adventurist – The Top Secret Trail System named for for one of its stops through Secret City, has over 200 unique and interesting stops to learn about Eastern Tennessee! This super cool self-guided trail system will take you through history, and onward to today’s great dining and attractions. For a guide to “uncover the Secret Trail” click here.
The Unique, Interesting, Yours, of Clinton
What is it about a town that makes it special? A local attraction, a family-owned business that has been there forever? A piece of history you can’t find anywhere else, or a bookstore with just the right vibe? Here are a few of the Unique, Interesting, Yours of Clinton.
Stop in at Hoskins Drug Store for a homemade lunch! This historic building has been a pharmacy, soda shoppe, and gift store since 1947, and their original location on Market Street (1930) is also still in operation as a beautiful gift shop. This is one of the top staples of Clinton, and a location you cannot miss to truly experience Clinton’s culture.
Located next to Hoskins is The Ritz Theatre. The Ritz ran its first film in 1945, and was hailed, “the most modern theatre in the South” when it opened during wartime. The theatre is still a small town Clinton favorite, and a great way to step back in time for an evening of family fun, a date night, or some me time!
If you’re looking for great coffee(and hot chocolate❤) in Clinton, TN stop in at Clinch River Tattoo and Coffee Company, an interesting small town find! Noteworthy that fellow travel writer- @knoxroadtripper introduced My Town to a this very unique location.
The Apple Blossom Cafe – Home cooking and Southern Hospitality is what you find at this local favorite. Delicious food, and a family friendly atmosphere.
Master Donuts-where pig-in-blanket is a staple on their unique menu, in addition to great donuts. A fun Clinton stop any time of day!
MTT Antique and Market Finds
Great Antique Shops and Farmers Markets are familiar sights in small towns. This includes Thrift Shops, Local Eats, and the like! In Clinton, there are great Antique and Market finds everywhere you look, so below are a list of My Town Musts.
My Town Today has started a referral section of each article. It’s based on visiting a town, and finding out what town the majority of its citizens would recommend My Town to visit next.
The referral for this entry is: Oak Ridge, TN. Stay tuned for My Town to pop up there soon.
Clinton Photo Gallery Click Here: