Johnson City began in 1856 when Henry Johnson founded Johnson’s Depot, which was a railroad center for the Southeast. With three important rail lines crossing through the town, it soon became one of the central cities in the region. Johnson City is primarily located in Washington County, although some outer parts of the city are in Carter and Sullivan Counties. The city is nestled between mountains and valleys, rivers and lakes, making it a great place to live. Johnson City is just west of the Blue Ridge Mountains and east of The Great Smokey Mountains. You will often hear reference to the Tri-Cities, which includes Johnson City, Kingsport, and Bristol. The area has many other wonderful towns to explore in Tennessee, Virginia and North Carolina—all a short drive away—and part of the larger region called the Appalachian Highlands.
The towns of Jonesborough, Elizabethton, Unicoi, and the city of Kingsport border Johnson City.