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  • Writer's pictureCheré Dastugue Coen

Standing in Two Places at Once

Three Southern cities—Bristol, Copperhill and McCaysville—have state boundaries running through them!

copperhill tennessee state line

Ever wonder why mapmakers draw state boundaries straight through towns? I know I do. What were they thinking?

But then, it’s fun to find the state line and place one foot in one state and another foot in the other.

bristol state street
Me doing a quick two-step on Bristol's State Street.

Take Bristol in Southwest Virginia, for instance, a town that’s both in Tennessee and Virginia. Not only does the state border run smack dab in the middle of town, but in the middle of the street!

If you stand on one side of State Street (aptly named), you’re in Virginia, and if you stand on the other sidewalk, in Tennessee.

Naturally, the Virginia side is lined with the Commonwealth’s state flag while the Tennessee flag flies proudly on the other. At one intersection, the parallel street is Commonwealth Avenue on the Virginia side and Volunteer Parkway on the Tennessee side, named for the mascot of the University of Tennessee.

Just be warned that heavy traffic rolls down State Street so if you want a photo standing in both states, wait for a break in cars and move fast. I managed a quick two-step for the camera but it was quick!

On the southern side of Tennessee at the Georgia border, the state line runs through the twin cities of McCaysville, Ga., and Copperhill, Tenn. It’s easier to snap a selfie here for the traffic on Grand Street is lighter and there’s a handy line on the asphalt to show you where to plant your feet - it's right outside the Yellowbird Coffee Shop. Visitors may also do the one foot in Georgia, the other in Tennessee photo opp inside the Copperhill Brewery or the Copper Grill in Copperhill. Or look for the line at the Hometown Foods IGA grocery store parking lot across Toccoa and Ocoee streets.

copperhill tennessee
My husband Bruce in Copperhill, Tenn. and Ga.
Me at the Copperhill Brewery which spans two states.

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