Quality of Life
Situated entirely in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Carter County offers beauty like no other, with several state parks and natural areas. The friendly people, lack of congestion, affordable cost of living and plenty of recreational activities are just a few reasons that Carter County is a great place to call home.
Rivers, lakes, waterfalls, parks and endless miles of hiking and biking trails, including the Appalachian Trail, wind their way through the county. A thriving arts and festival culture give residents the sense that Carter County is truly a special place. Landmark historical areas claim the county's important place in American history, calling attention to its role in the establishment of the first democratic society in the Americas.
The Blue Ridge Mountains create an amazing backdrop for outdoor adventure and exploration in Carter County. Roan Mountain State Park, home to the highest point in Tennessee outside of the Great Smoky Mountains, is located in Carter County and part of North Carolina. Other state protected areas include Hampton Creek Cove State Natural Area, Sycamore Shoals State Historic Area and Watauga River Bluffs State Natural Area. Cherokee National Forest and the Appalachian Trail offer endless outdoor recreational opportunities.
ARTS & CULTURE
Carter County has a thriving arts and festival culture, including outdoor performances throughout the year. Both annual festivals, Covered Bridge Festival and Octoberfest are held in downtown Elizabethton. A new stage at Covered Bridge Park brings a variety of performance events. The beautiful Rhododendron Festival has been a highlight in Roan Mountain State Park for more than 60 years. On almost any summer Saturday in Elizabethton, classic cars and visitors from neighboring states come to experience the evening Cruise-In.
Carter County has some of the oldest and most important historical sites in the nation. Sycamore Shoals State Park marks the first permanent American settlement outside of the 13 colonies, the site of the famous Watauga Association, the first democratic government in the Americas. The oldest frame house in Tennessee, the Carter Mansion, still stands. The Doe River Covered Bridge is thought to be the oldest covered bridge still in operation in Tennessee.