Why I Love Carter County
Published 11:40 am Wednesday, July 13, 2022
I was born and raised in Elizabethton. As a lifelong Carter County resident, husband, father, local small business owner, and coach, I am honored to call Carter County my home. I grew up in Lynn Valley with my parents, Randal and Kim Lewis, and my sister, Andrea Lewis. I attended Hunter Elementary and Unaka High School where I was a member of the basketball, baseball, and golf teams. After graduating high school with honors, I attended King College on a baseball scholarship and later transferred to Walters State Community College where I received my degree in Production Horticulture. For the past eight years, I have operated a local lawn care, landscaping, and hardscapes business. In May 2022, I was elected as the Republican Nominee for Carter County Trustee. My wife, Brittany, and I currently live in Lynn Valley with our children, Gracie, Carter, and Millie, and are members at Southside Christian Church.
1. What do you think makes Carter County unique by comparison to other places?
Carter County is the best place in the world to live. The beautiful landscape, including our lakes, rivers, and mountains, are all picture perfect. We are also blessed by the people who live in our community. The people of Carter County are the number one reason why our community is so unique. People here are respectful, kind, loving, and gracious. In today’s world, that is hard to find. We are fortunate to have a wonderful education system for our children, with many schools receiving Level 5 awards over the past few years. We have wonderful church communities that are welcoming and spread the word of God. Our downtown has grown tremendously over the past few years and when you are attending events held downtown or shopping in one of the stores, you can’t help but feel pride and admiration for all the hard work that has been put in to make it a place where our people want to gather and feel welcomed. We can walk down our streets, ride bikes on the Tweetsie Trail as a family, and attend the State Parks and community playgrounds without having to worry about crime in our county. This speaks volumes to the people in our community and why Carter County is blessed in so many ways.
2. What is your favorite place to visit in Carter County?
There are so many good options, but my favorite places are the Watauga River and Roan Mountain State Park. A lot of my childhood was spent at both places. During the summer, my friends and I would go fishing in the river almost every day. I went camping a lot with my grandparents at Roan Mountain State Park and made new friendships each visit. As I have gotten older and established a family of my own, these are traditions I have continued with my children. As a family, we love to camp at Roan Mountain State Park and kayak down the Watauga River. My son and I fish on the Watauga River under the bridge near our house and it brings back many wonderful memories from my childhood.
3. Do you think living in Carter County has changed you in any way?
I have always lived in Carter County, so I can’t say that it has changed me. What I can say is that I do believe living in a caring, loving, and friendly small town has made a huge difference in who I am today. I grew up knowing how to be respectful, contributing back to your community, putting in a hard day’s work, value family, and most importantly, loving God. I may not have had this upbringing living somewhere besides Carter County. I am thankful that this is the only place I have lived and for the people in this community that has helped shape me into the person I am today.
4. What is your favorite time of the year?
The cool, fresh air and stunning colors of our mountains during the fall makes Carter County a must see during the fall season. I really enjoy the cool nights watching football and camping with my family. Not only this, but “IT’S FOOTBALL TIME IN TENNESSEE!” can be heard throughout our great county during the fall. My family and I enjoy attending the fall community events, pumpkin patches, and walking through downtown during this time of the year.
5. If you were to meet someone planning a visit to the Carter County area for the first time, what places would you tell him or her not to miss?
Carter County has so many wonderful places for visitors to visit. Watauga Lake and River are a must in the summer months. Roan Mountain and Sycamore Shoals State Parks are perfect places to visit in the fall, spring, and summer. Another must for a visitor to stop at is the Blue Hole in Stoney Creek, especially on those hot summer days. For the baseball fans, I would highly recommend catching a River Riders game at the Northeast Community Credit Union Ball Park. In the fall, the Beck Mountain Corn Maze is a must-visit for families. Downtown Elizabethton is a perfect stop for visitors with wonderful places to eat and shop — Coffee Company, City Market, Big Dan’s, J’s Corner, the Southern Restaurant, Dino’s, Red Chili, Jiggy Ray’s — there’s something for everyone Downtown.
I would recommend some of my family’s favorite places to eat including Kimbo’s, Highlander BBQ, Shirley’s, and Sammons. There are so many great places to visit and eat in Carter County; you can’t go wrong with any choice.