Dandridge Tennessee
“Tennessee’s Second Oldest Town”

Town of Dandridge TN

The town of Dandridge is located in Jefferson county situated along the banks of Douglas Lake in the East Tennessee Blue Ridge Mountains. Dandridge is the second oldest city in Tennessee and is the county seat for Jefferson county. Dandridge is a historic town that sits below the Douglas Lake water level. Dandridge has restaurants and shops that line the downtown streets. Outdoor recreation and watersports on Douglas Lake make it an ideal spot for tourism and family vacations.

Dandridge offers lodging, food, and shopping to those who want to avoid crowds but be nearby to Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge. Dandridge is 2 miles from interstate 40 and interstate 81 and is a prime destination when visiting the Great Smoky Mountains.

Some top attractions to visit in the area is Douglas Lake, Douglas Dam, Tinsley Bible Drugstore, Lighthouse Pointe Marina, Mountain Harbour Marina, The shops at Roper Mansion, Smoky Mountain Balloon Adventures, Dandridge Golf and Country Club, Skydiving, and the Motorcycle Museum.

History of Dandridge TN

The town was named after the First Lady, Martha Dandridge Washington. In 1783 the first settlers came to the Dandridge area along the French Broad River. In almost 10 years the settlement grew so much the governor, William Blount, designated Jefferson county and Francis Dean gave 50 acres to build the town to become the county seat.

Travelers moving westward by stagecoach or by steamboat on the French Broad River frequently stayed in Dandridge resulting in early taverns and inns. Four of these taverns exist today. In Dandridge there are many historica lbuildings and landmarks vital to the history of the town. The Shepherds Inn, Roper Tavern, Hickman Tavern, Vance Building , and Thomas Tavern, are some of the historic buildings you will see when you visit Dandridge TN.

In 1793 the county commissioners chose a spot to form Dandridge as the county seat has become a Revolutionary Graveyard next to the Hopewell Presbyterian Church.
Three of our nation’s presidents stayed at the Shepherds Inn, Jame K Polk, Andrew Jackson, and Andrew Johnson.

Stop by the 1820 coach house which is the visitor center with a map of the 21 historical sites for a self guided walking tour.

In 1940 the Tennessee Valley Authority created Douglas Dam and Douglas Lake from he French Broad River. To save the town from being flooded a million dollar dyke of native stone set it tons of solid earth was built to hold back the waters of Douglas Lake. The dyke was a specialized engineered project out of Washington DC.

  • Douglas Lake

Back to Tennessee Mountains Cities & Towns Travel Guide