Mendota is an unincorporated community in Washington County in the southwestern part of the U.S. state of Virginia, at an elevation of approximately 1800 feet. It is part of the Kingsport–Bristol (TN)–Bristol (VA) Metropolitan Statistical Area, which is a component of the Johnson City–Kingsport–Bristol, TN-VA Combined Statistical Area – commonly known as the "Tri-Cities" region.
The name Mendota is native American for "bend in the river".is located on the north folk of the Holston River. At least five different Native American tribes once fished this fork and hunted the surrounding grounds. By the turn of the century, Mendota was a bustling little railroad town and a stop for passengers en route to Bristol. Eventually, the tribes and then the railroad moved on leaving Mendota struggling for a new identity. Now, as Main Street winds its way through the valley along the river, Mendota flourishes because of its rural location, rustic charm and the people who appreciate both. The nearest major city is Bristol.Mendota is widely recognized as the 'Hawk Capital of the World, and it lives up to its name.
More than 16 species of raptors (hawks) soar down the spine of the Clinch Mountain every autumn, heading south for the winter along the Appalachian Flyway. The Mendota Fire Tower is a great location to view these hawks, especially at the peak of migration in mid September when up to 1,000 birds per day can be seen soaring past. Broad-winged Hawks are the most common raptors sighted, but the sharp-eyed birder will notice Sharp-shinned, Red-shouldered, and Coopers Hawks, Osprey, Bald and Golden Eagles, American Kestrels, Northern Harriers, Merlins, Peregrine Falcons, and Swallow-tailed Kites.