Known as the Mountain Empire region, the tri-cities, Johnson City, Kingsport, and Bristol are set on the western fringes of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
This part of the country is fascinating, considering it's so different than the place I grew up in California. I have been through the Blue Ridge Mountains many times, including a short stint working in Charlottesville, Virginia as a college strength and conditioning coach. Many of the towns are rural communities tucked inside colorful rolling valleys. There's so much preserved history in these parts, once being boomtowns for the mining and railroad industries, making that identity become rich culture. I imagine many of these communities still exist from manufacturing, hence still self-reliant and resourceful during times of economic hardship. The landscape of these regions will stay true to its roots, maybe adding modernized sports venues, schools, and other attractions to keep these places livable.
The closest I've been to this region is Asheville, NC and Pigeon Forge driving through the Smoky Mountains. Also, through parts of Eastern Kentucky. I imagine these cities have charming downtowns filled with local pride. I'm sure the homes are historic and massive with lots of property. Surrounded by nature, the views must be stunning and peaceful.
The mix of mountain culture and southern culture must be prevalent here, with tight knit communities, conservative values, and modesty.