The 10 Best Things to Do in Bristol, United States

August 2, 2017 Dorsey Hagwood

Bristol is a city in Sullivan County, Tennessee, United States. The population was 26,702 at the 2010 census. It is the twin city of Bristol, Virginia, which lies directly across the state line between Tennessee and Virginia. The boundary between the two cities is also the state line, which runs along State Street in their common downtown district. Bristol is a principal city of the Kingsport−Bristol−Bristol, TN-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.
Restaurants in Bristol

1. Birthplace of Country Music Museum

520 Birthplace of Country Music Way, Bristol, VA 24201 +1 423-573-1927
Excellent
89%
Good
9%
Satisfactory
1%
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1%
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Overall Ratings

5 based on 174 reviews

Birthplace of Country Music Museum

The Birthplace of Country Music(R) Museum, in affiliation with the Smithsonian Institution, tells the story of our musical heritage. From the Bristol Sessions and beyond, our region continues to influence music around the world. The 24,000 square foot facility, located at 520 Birthplace of Country Music(R) Way in Historic Downtown Bristol, houses 12,000 square feet of exhibit space, a rotating exhibit gallery, music mixing and listening stations, multiple theater experiences, and interactive, technology-infused media.BCMM also hosts live, year-round performances and educational programming. The museum is a must see for visitors seeking comprehensive knowledge of the music of our region and Bristol's important role in the evolution of recorded music history.

Reviewed By KECournoyer - Baltimore, Maryland

This museum tells the story of the 1927 Bristol Recordings that were the first country recordings in the United States. The museum is located across the street from a park and near Blackbird Bakery (which is delicious). Tickets are $13.65 for adults, but they offer...MoreThank you for the great review. We are so glad you enjoyed the Museum.

2. Bristol Motor Speedway

151 Speedway Blvd, Bristol, TN 37620-8932 +1 423-989-6933
Excellent
76%
Good
18%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
1%
Terrible
2%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 536 reviews

Bristol Motor Speedway

Reviewed By MissMinnow - Tennessee

We drove through the Speedway in Lights this past Saturday. The light displays were pretty cool. Driving on the track at BMS was an amazing experience. The bank around the turn is super steep! Definitely recommend holding back when you enter the stadium so you can take the turn a bit faster.
Also, try to get there early! The event opens at 6 PM, but when we got there at 5:30 there was already a line. Took about 30 min to get to the ticket booths and the first 1/4 mile (the drag strip) took another 30 min. After that it was pretty smooth sailing without much for back ups. We finished the route (with a stop at the Christmas Village inside the track) around 8:00 pm.
The Christmas Village was alright. Not really worth the stop unless you're really craving funnel cake or hot chocolate or you have kids who want to ride the carousel.

3. Bristol Caverns

Bristol Caverns Highway (Highway 435N), Bristol, TN 423-0878-2011
Excellent
61%
Good
31%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
2%
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Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 195 reviews

Bristol Caverns

Reviewed By Snowybears - Locust Grove, Virginia

First I want to acknowledge they give discounts for military. Thank you for that! The tour runs $15.00. Keep in mind they don't open until 12:30 on Sundays. (They come straight from church to open it!). You have to walk about 200 yards to get to the entrance. The tour lasts for about an hour. There are quite a few stairs but they are scattered throughout the cavern. So I do not recommend if you have a hard time with stairs. There are some that are very steep!.
They also have a fairly nice picnic area where you can have lunch. But you will need to bring it with you. You can get a cold drink inside the gift shop. However the gift shop leaves much to be desired. Pretty much just junk. They do have a small gem mining area and they sell the dirt inside.

4. Downtown State Street

State Street, Downtown Bristol VA & TN, Bristol, VA 24201 +1 276-644-9700
Excellent
59%
Good
29%
Satisfactory
10%
Poor
1%
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Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 201 reviews

Downtown State Street

Bristol has a proud heritage going back more than 150 years of being both a fun place to visit and a “Good Place to Live”. With so much to do and enjoy, everyone feels at home in Historic Downtown Bristol. As a Certified Main Street Community, Downtown Bristol has more to offer every day – more activities, more shops, more homes, more offices and more life. Believe in Bristol is a nonprofit 501 ( c ) 3 organization composed of dedicated citizens, business owners, government officials and other friends of Bristol who recognize the role a vital downtown plays in preserving and furthering our communities identity, spirit and economy.

Reviewed By Linda C - Johnson City, Tennessee

❤️Loved all the restaurants and shops. Being in two states at once was a hoot! Everyone should come to Downtown State Street!!

701 State St, Bristol, VA 24201-4142 +1 877-989-2557
Excellent
95%
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5 based on 38 reviews

Benjamin Walls Gallery

Experience the signature gallery of internationally recognized fine art photographer Benjamin Walls. • Six International Awards • Exhibits in 50 museums in 12 countries • Four-time Smithsonian exhibitor • Collectors include Grammy award winners, Fortune 500 CEOs, Hollywood producers, and politicians alike • A results-oriented environmentalist and community advocate, Benjamin has helped raise over $300,000 for charity since 2010. Allow one of our friendly art consultants to share Benjamin's work with you! Also offering boutique luxury trips-- destinations include East Africa, Cuba, Australia, and New Zealand, with other destinations coming soon. These are NOT photo trips, but luxury trips that focus on a premier experience of the destination.

Reviewed By James K - Bristol

A collection of large award winning photos from around the world.






















This is a wonderful collection of award winning photographs of wildlife, nature and landscapes from around the world. The art and photographic quality is world class. The gallery is located on historic downtown Bristol Virginia/Tennessee "State Street", with multiple eateries, gift and antique shops in easy walking distance. Very gracious staff. Have had several wonderful one to two hour tours and have bought a wonderful photo book there.

6. South Holston Dam

Holston View Dam Road, Off Highway 421, Bristol, TN
Excellent
72%
Good
25%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
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Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 78 reviews

South Holston Dam

Reviewed By scoutdreams - Estero, FL

We stopped here for a picnic lunch and ate by the river near where they oxidize the water and they had just released water from the dam upstream. That was cool to see the water rise and the man made water diffusing falls become louder. We then went up to the dam and that was super impressive. There is a little building at the top of the dam with quite a lot of information on the dam and area. Worth a stop.

7. Sugar Hollow Park

23261 Sugar Hollow Dr, Bristol, VA 24201 +1 276-645-7300
Excellent
68%
Good
28%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
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4.5 based on 49 reviews

Sugar Hollow Park

Reviewed By Nanette132 - Brisbane, Australia

Just stayed 4 nights at Sugar Hollow campground for the Rhythm and Roots music festival. It's a very good campground with super friendly staff. They now have wifi and cable TV at the sites. There is a swimming pool for summer, soccer and softball fields, good hiking trails and disc golf. It's popular for picnics and receptions, also it's a pick up point for the shuttle to the music festival. Target and Wal Mart are close by and it's only 6 miles from Bristol and the best priced campground in the area.

8. Steele Creek Park

4 Little Ln, Bristol, TN 37620-7240 +1 423-764-4023
Excellent
68%
Good
27%
Satisfactory
5%
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4.5 based on 74 reviews

Steele Creek Park

Reviewed By Rbander - Bristol, Tennessee

With plenty of trails and open air spots, Steele Creek is my favorite walking/hiking location near my home. You can bike along the trails, fish and wade across the cold stream that cuts through the park. There is also a train that runs during the summer and fall for the kids. One of the best family friendly attractions in Bristol, TN.

9. Bristol Station Brews & Taproom

41 Piedmont Ave, Bristol, VA 24201-4160
Excellent
64%
Good
16%
Satisfactory
12%
Poor
8%
Terrible
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Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 24 reviews

Bristol Station Brews & Taproom

Bristol Station Brews & Taproom is the first brewery located downtown. Founded with the passion to make great beer, our goal is to provide a beer for everyone -- whether you're a novice or a beer aficionado. Expect to see a wide selection every time you come to visit, and our beer menu is constantly changing. We are family and pet friendly with a large outdoor space waiting for you to come and relax. We are sure you will find something you like, so come try a sample, drink, and enjoy.

Reviewed By Trip M - Lansing, Michigan

As I grow my list of visited breweries ,I never pass up an opportunity to try a new one. Bristol Brewery is in downtown Bristol, VA. This was the second of three that I sampled while passing through the area. The facility itself had ample seating. The brewing area is a part of the decor which I really like. The problem is their beer. I ordered their Sunset IPA. It is their version of a west coast IPA. It was so bad that I could only stomach half of it it. In their defense the first one that I visited was not much better. Oh well, you don't know unless you stop.

10. South Holston River Company

5 Euclid Ave, Bristol, VA 24201-3558
Excellent
100%
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5 based on 5 reviews

South Holston River Company

Reviewed By Nooner56 - Magnolia Springs, Alabama

Patrick Fulkrod Owner Operator of the South Holston River Company was awarded 2014 Orvis Guide of the year. I have taken several trips with Patrick and all trips have been rewarding and fun. If you are looking to fly fish the South Holston River or the Watuga River select Patrick for your guide. Patrick knows these rivers and can put you on the river in a Five Star trip.

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