Let me show you around Bristol, Tennessee! Bristol is a small town on the border of Tennessee and Virginia with a lot more to offer than racing. After you read this I hope you start planning a trip to the city in two states.
WHERE TO STAY
The Bristol Hotel
The Bristol Hotel is brand new to the area and is already topping the list as the #10 best hotel in the U.S. by Travel and Leisure in 2020. Check out my post on their gorgeous rooftop bar here. You can make reservations here.
WHERE TO EAT
Bristol has quite a few restaurants worth your time and money. I’ve divided them up by category so you can find the perfect place depending on your preference.
Best Coffee Shop
Bloom Café and Listening Room
Best Sweet Treat
Best Kept Secret
Eatz (family owned, serves soul food)
Best For Date Night
620 State, J. Frank’s
Best Place For Cocktails
620 State, Lumac Rooftop Bar (full post here), J. Frank’s
Bristol Station Brewery & Pub, Elderbrew, State Street Brewing, Holston River Brewing Company
Best Casual Bites
Bristol Café and Market (full post here), Cootie Brown’s, Burger Bar, The Angry Italian, Bristol BBQ, Delta Blues BBQ (full post here), The Mad Greek, Bloom Café and Listening Room, Lumac Rooftop Bar, 620 State
WHAT TO DO
Get A Photo With the Bristol Sign
While you’re downtown check out the Bristol sign. You can’t miss it!
Go Antique Shopping
State Street is covered on both sides with antique stores. You never know what you’ll find!
Enjoy The Birthplace of Country Music Museum
While many people think of Nashville when they think country music, that’s where it settled but Bristol is where it started. Learn about the historic Bristol Sessions and hear about country music legends at the museum. You can read my full post about it here.
Rock Out At Rhythm And Roots Music Festival
Bristol’s Rhythm and Roots Reunion is a three day music festival hosted every September to celebrate the birthplace of country music. There are all kinds of live music, delicious food, and handmade art on display. You can read my full post about it here. Rhythm and Roots was cancelled in 2020 but is scheduled for September 10th through the 12th, 2021.
Explore Bristol Caverns
These caverns are easy to walk and temperature controlled year-round. You can read my full post about it here.
Catch a NASCAR Race
Bristol Motor Speedway usually hosts a couple big races a year but there are quite a few smaller races as well. Check the schedule here for dates and tickets. During the holiday season you can drive on the track and get in the spirit at Speedway in Lights.
See a movie at the Drive-In
Twin City Drive-In Theatre is affordable as well as family and pet friendly. You can see my full post about it here.
Take a Walk around Steele Creek Park
Steele Creek Park was originally intended to be a state park and is over 2,200 acres. It has disc golf, playgrounds, hiking and walking trails, a splash pad, picnic shelters, and there’s even a bark park for your canine family members.
Stand In Two Places At Once
In the heart of downtown Bristol is State Street that splits the city into the Tennessee side and the Virginia side. If you straddle the double yellow lines you’ll be in two places at once. BOOM.
I hope you’ll come visit and use this post as a jumping off point for enjoying Bristol.