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Great things to do in Clinton Tennessee

Great things to do in Clinton Tennessee

First run movies in an historic theater, a downtown made for finding treasures of the past, and a museum focused on a major Civil Rights Era event. Where will you find these things to do and much more? Just take a trip to Clinton, Tennessee a town about 20 minutes Northwest of Knoxville.

In the Spring and Fall thousands of people flock to downtown Clinton for the Clinch River Antiques Festival.

In the Spring and Fall thousands of people flock to downtown Clinton for the Clinch River Antiques Festival.

Clinton Antiques District

In a town that’s more than 200 years old, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that you’ll find a few antiques stores. Concentrated along Market and Main Street you could spend an entire day browsing through the treasures from the past.  Keep in mind that all of Downtown Clinton turns into an antiques extravaganza two times a year at the Fall and Spring Clinch River Antiques Festivals.

Statues of the Clinton 12 stand proudly outside the Green McAdoo Cultural Center.

Statues of the Clinton 12 stand proudly outside the Green McAdoo Cultural Center.

 Green McAdoo Center and the Story of the Clinton 12

In 1956, 12 high school students walked down a hill in Clinton and changed history.  Known as the Clinton 12, these African-American students were the first to integrate a state supported school in the South.  The Museum at the former African-American Green McAdoo school tells the story of the lawsuit that led to the integration, the unrest that came after outside agitators came to town and the eventually bombing of Clinton High School. The Green McAdoo Center is now part of the Tennessee State Museum system.

The Ritz is an Art Deco theater located on Main Street in Clinton, Tennessee.

The Ritz is an Art Deco theater located on Main Street in Clinton, Tennessee.

 Ritz Theater

Multi-plex theaters dominate the movie landscape, but in Downtown Clinton you can still catch a first run film at an historic theater. The Ritz opened in the 1940s and today is a family run theater where a ticket costs $5 and you still get state of the art digital picture and sound. Of course the concession stand is sure to delight you with its prices and selection too.

Hoskins Drug Store features full pharmacy service and a lunch and soda counter.

Hoskins Drug Store features full pharmacy service and a lunch and soda counter.

 Hoskins Drug Store (Lunch Counter & Soda Fountain)

Across from the Anderson County Courthouse and next to the Ritz Theater you’ll find Hoskins Drug Store, part of a working pharmacy business started back in 1930.  The store on Main Street opened in 1947 and continues operations as a full-service pharmacy with an old fashioned lunch counter and soda fountain.  Not far away on Market Street, the original Hoskins Drug Store is now a gift shop operated by the same family.

Great coffee and great tattoo art come together at Clinch River Tattoo and Coffee located across from the Anderson County Courthouse.

Great coffee and great tattoo art come together at Clinch River Tattoo and Coffee located across from the Anderson County Courthouse.

Clinch River Coffee and Tattoo

Most towns have a place or two to get great coffee, but does your town have a place where you can get a Cup of Joe and a tattoo all in one place?  Even if you can do that where you live, Clinch River Coffee and Tattoo is still worth a trip up the stairs.  Patrick will be happy to make that cappuccino or set you up for that unique artwork you’ve been wanting.  And if you’re not interested in the tattoo art, watch out for one of the many art shows Clinch River Coffee and Tattoo hosts throughout the year.  

In 2019, the Anderson County Fair (held in Clinton, TN) will celebrate its 130th year.

In 2019, the Anderson County Fair (held in Clinton, TN) will celebrate its 130th year.

Anderson County Fair (The Best Six Days of Summer)

Whether it’s the excitement of the rides on the Midway, the roars coming from the truck pull or the fried oreos, the Anderson County Fair is THE place to be during its run in July.  It’s all about good old-fashioned fun, family entertainment and an enduring sense of community.

The Clinch River flows through much of the city of Clinton providing many recreational opportunities including two paved walking paths along the water.

The Clinch River flows through much of the city of Clinton providing many recreational opportunities including two paved walking paths along the water.

Sweet P’s Snowball Shack is a popular spot in the Spring and Summer.

Sweet P’s Snowball Shack is a popular spot in the Spring and Summer.

 A walk by the Clinch River

When the Clinch River comes into Clinton it is shallow, swift and cold.  Eventually after it makes a few turns it slows down a bit as it becomes the tailwaters of Melton Hill Lake. There are at least two places where you can enjoy a nice walk by the river,  the Greenway near the U.S. 25-W bridge and behind Second Baptist Church.

 

Clinton Community Center

While it may not be as fancy as a recreation center you might find in a bigger city, this complex in the heart of town is a center of activity nearly every day of the year.  Whether it’s people swimming laps in the indoor pool, playing basketball or playing a game in the bowling alley, there is almost always something to do at the Rec Center.  

Snowball Shack

The New Orleans Snowball found its way to Clinton back in 2009 thanks to a family from Louisiana that missed having them. Today, the Snowball Shack is in another location and has different owners, but the recipes for the more than 90 Snowball creations is still going strong.

 Holiday Celebrations

While there isn’t an Independence Day Parade in Clinton, there is something magical about the 4th of July in this small East Tennessee Town.  Over the years, thousands of people have gathered at Lakefront Park for an afternoon of fun and games followed by fireworks near the Clinch River.  It’s a great way to celebrate this special day and one where you don’t have to fight the crowds or get stuck in traffic.

The Anderson County Chamber of Commerce sponsors the annual Christmas Parade that rolls through Downtown Clinton in December.

The Anderson County Chamber of Commerce sponsors the annual Christmas Parade that rolls through Downtown Clinton in December.

Christmas in Clinton is also something to treasure.  Whether it’s the special events downtown during the season to the Anderson County Christmas Parade the Christmas Season provides you with a great taste of life in a small town.

Clinton is the county seat of Anderson County, and is about halfway between the historic towns of Norris (site of the first Tennessee Valley Authority Dam) and Tennessee’s Secret City, Oak Ridge which played a crucial role in the development of the atomic bomb.

A peaceful place in the Smokies just 5 minutes off the Interstate

A peaceful place in the Smokies just 5 minutes off the Interstate

Reasons to stop and stay awhile in Sparta, Tennessee

Reasons to stop and stay awhile in Sparta, Tennessee