Bristol

22 Best & Fun Things To Do In Bristol (TN)

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Bristol is a relatively small city in Sullivan County, Tennessee that shares a border with its twin city, Bristol in Virginia.

From the main street to the downtown district, Bristol offers a lot of tourist attraction sites and fun activities to make your vacation the best you’ve ever had.

You can even visit the famous Birthplace of Country Music, a museum located in Bristol, Virginia, and  Bristol Motor Speedway, one of the greatest motorsports facilities in the USA.

This guide contains the 22 best and most fun things you can do to have the best time during your stay in Bristol, Tennessee;

1. Visit Bristol Motor Speedway

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The Bristol Motor Speedway is a short track and speedway located in Northeast Tennessee.

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This speedway has Roman-inspired architecture and incredible race car battles which has made it a popular tourist attraction in Bristol.

This speedway has a carrying capacity of over 150,000 persons and when you visit you’ll know why it’s one of the most recognizable racing ways.

You’ll see the entire speedway set in a beautiful lush green surrounding.

You can attend the annual racing event, Thunder valley nationals held at the Bristol Motor Speedway.

A visit here should be on your list of the best things you’ll do during your stay in Bristol.

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2. Watch the Bristol State Liners

If you love baseball, watching the Bristol State Liners play should be on your checklist of the most fun things to do in Bristol.

The Bristol State Liners is Bristol’s entry to participate in the Appalachian League.

You should watch the State Liners play at The Appalachian League where other colleges’ freshmen and sophomores come together to compete.

You can watch either the regular season or the league championship games during your stay in Bristol.

3. Visit the Birthplace of Country Music Museum

The Birthplace of Country Music Museum is Bristol’s newest iconic tourist attraction site and a visit here should be one of the fun things to do during your stay in Bristol.

Visit this museum and you’ll see exhibits displaying Bristol’s musical heritage and the Bristol’s sessions through technological objects, multiple film experiences, and a special exhibits gallery.

You could attend artistic programming and educational programs hosted in this museum or watch live music performances in the theater.

If you love music then a visit to this museum will be an unforgettable experience for you.

4. Go For The Rhythm And Roots reunion

If you love country music vibes, during your stay in Bristol, Tennessee, you should visit the Rhythm And Roots Reunion.

The Rythm And Roots Reunion is a music festival to celebrate the history of country music in Bristol and it holds September every year.

At the festival, you’ll hear great country music from various local and international artists, upcoming acts, and headliners. 

You can easily get food from nearby booths and you’ll see more than 100 international artists performing at the festival.

This festival should be on your checklist of the most fun things to do in Bristol.

5. Visit Ernie Ford House

The Ernie Ford house is a historic charming small clapboard and tourist attraction site in Bristol, Tennessee.

You can visit Ernie Ford house who was a famous entertainer, and musician in Bristol and lived here during the early years of his career.

You’ll see many artifacts displayed showing Ernie’s life, struggles, and achievements as an Artist.

You can even come here to meditate because the house is peaceful, serene, and tranquil.

If you love music and you love Ernie Ford, then a visit to this house should be one of the unforgettable things you’ll do during your stay in Bristol.

6. Visit the Rocky Mount

Rocky Mount is one of the historical landmarks and tourist attraction sites in Bristol that you should visit during your stay there.

Rocky Mount belonged to William Cobb and his family, and this home was instrumental in shaping the future of the US.

You’ll find costumed interpreters who will take you through the Rocky Mount log home and out-buildings. 

You’ll find interpreters portraying various members of the Cobb family, neighbors, and servants. 

You could also participate as a costumed interpreter but as a guest if you are interested.

7. Explore Steele Creek Park

Steele Creek Park is one of the most beautiful and largest parks in Bristol, Tennessee.

Exploring the over 2000 acres of park’s land, you’ll see the 52-acre lake, numerous golf courses, night shelters, a nature center, and multiple golf courses.

You can also lodge in the park with your family because the lodge room includes a party room, 20 picnic tables, a conference area, and a kitchen.

You and your loved ones can participate in fun activities like hiking, exercising, playing soccer, swinging, and you could also ride the replica of a steam engine, the Steele Creek Express.

This attraction site should be on your checklist of the best and most fun things you’ll do in Bristol.

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8. Have A Fun Day At  Steele Creek Nature Center

Steele Creek Nature Center is located inside Steele Creek Park and it’s one of the best nature centers in Bristol you should visit during your stay there.

Steele Creek Nature Center is an educational facility with exhibits displaying the natural history and beauty of Steele Creek Park.

You’ll have a fun day with the educational displays, live animals, and information about nature in Steele Creek Park.

You could engage in other facilities in Steele Creek Park such as playgrounds, amphitheater, picnic areas, paddle boats, walking trails, Splash Pad,  and an 18-hole disc golf course.

9. Explore South Holston Dam

South Holston Dam is one of the dams built along the South Fork Holston River in Bristol.

You can explore the dam and go through the footbridge that leads to the lake on Osceola island.

At the lake, you can watch the fishermen or participate in fun activities like fly fishing, waterskiing, canoeing, and boating on the lake. 

Exploring this dam is one of the most fun things you should do during your stay in Bristol.

10. Laugh at Blue Ridge Comedy Club

Blue Ridge Comedy Club is owned by Shawn Carter, a producer and professional comedian from Boston.

Since the pandemic, you can visit here to laugh your heart out during your stay in Bristol.

You’ll laugh and have the best time with Boston’s best talents, classes, open mics, showcase shows, workshops, and other events held at Blue Ridge Comedy Club.

11. Try Different Delicacies At Cafe Alona

For an unforgettable dining experience, a visit to Cafe Alona should be on your list of things to do in Bristol.

Cafe Alona is a popular tourist attraction and one of the most affordable Italian restaurants in Bristol.

At this Italian restaurant, you’ll get a classic Italian meal in a spacious and bright light setting.

You’ll also enjoy different flavors from all over the globe because every week the menu changes to a new country.

Cafe Alona is the perfect place to try different delicacies during your stay in Bristol.

12. Visit Bloom Cafe 

The charming Bloom Cafe is situated in downtown Bristol serving one of the most delicious espresso-based coffees in Bristol.

You can get other types of drinks too such as teas and freshly-made smoothies. 

If you visit this cafe, you can get various delicious breakfast, brunch, and lunch options even those suiting your diet.

You can also attend events hosted by the cafe such as bingo nights, live music, or art classes.

13. Drink Beer At Holston River Brewing Company

If you love beer then one of the best things you should do in Bristol is drink the beer brewed at Holston River Brewing Company.

The Holston River Brewing Company is a popular brewing company known for the best, high-quality, exotic beers in Bristol.

You’ll get the best beer satisfying your expectations with different flavors and the best ingredients used giving it a unique taste.

This should be on your checklist of fun things to do during your stay in Bristol.

14. Visit Belmont Lanes

If you want entertainment during your stay in Bristol, then a visit to Belmont Lanes should be on your list of things to do in Bristol.

Belmont Lanes is a family-owned entertainment area in Bristol with so many enjoyable facilities.

 You’ll have fun with the gaming arcades, league plays, bowling alleys, and other games made available.

You could also attend weekly events here all prices are reduced and you get to use additional facilities.

15. Visit One of a Kind Gallery

One of a Kind Gallery in Bristol will give you a one-of-a-kind experience during your stay in Bristol.

At this art gallery, you’ll see various artistic items created by local artists and craftsmen in Bristol. 

You’ll see artworks from more than 12 artists and these arts are very affordable.

If you love artworks, a visit to this gallery for an unforgettable experience should be on your list of the best things to do in Bristol.

16. Enjoy Views At Country Music Murals

The County Music Murals is an artistic, colorful, and vibrant art found in the downtown center of Bristol.

You can enjoy the views from these colorful murals honoring the legacy of the Bristol session including some artists and their musical instruments.

These murals are stunning, beautiful, and well maintained by both city authorities and the locals.

You can come with your camera to take pictures of the mural and surrounding areas such as markets and various racing events. 

This should be on the checklist of fun things to do during your stay in Bristol.

17. Enjoy Local Music And Art At Paramount Centre for the Arts

The Paramount Centre for the Arts is a historical center that provides art performances located in Bristol’s Downtown.

You can attend various entertainment events in music, dance and film, theatre, family entertainment, and comedy performed at this center.

At these events, you’ll meet many local and international artists, some of whom have won prestigious awards like Grammys.

This center is a great place to enjoy local music and art during your vacation in Bristol.

18. Visit Twin-city Drive-in Theatre

For an amazing theater experience during your stay in Bristol, a visit to the Twin-city Drive-In Theatre should be on your list of things to do in Bristol.

As a movie lover, this place is just perfect because you can enjoy your favorite movies under open skies at the drive-in cinema.

You can get beverages and snacks at the food stand for affordable prices while you enjoy your movie.

Visit this amazing theatre to enjoy this memorable experience in Bristol.

19. Attend Festivals At State Street Farmers Market

The State Street Farmers Market in Bristol is supported by the governmental agencies from Bristol and Sullivan County in Tennessee, Bristol, and Washington County in Virginia.

At this market, you’ll see various local farmers and vendors come out to sell and display their different products.

You should attend this market from May to October and you’ll enjoy its different festivals and events such as National farmers market Week, Tomato Fest, Corn Fest, and Pumpkin Palooza.

At these festivals, you’ll enjoy the urban agricultural environment, this should be on your checklist of fun things to do during your stay in Bristol.

20. See East Hill Cemetery

East Hill Cemetery is a historical landmark and cemetery of various unknown travelers, local pioneers, and their descendants.

East Hill Cemetery has the bodies of people who lived normal, standard lives, and those who were popular and achieved much.

You should see this cemetery for some silent self-reflection during your stay in Bristol and it’s well maintained by an active board.

You can also donate or give gifts to East Hill which is much appreciated and used for maintenance and upkeep of the cemetery.

Seeing East Hill is one of the best things to do in Bristol.

21. Explore Downtown Bristol

Downtown Bristol is the birthplace of vibrant country music and exploring here is one of the best and most fun things for country music lovers to do in Bristol.

Exploring Downtown Bristol you’ll see over 20 businesses, including nightclubs and antique shops, and several specialty shops.

Here, you can get the perfect mix of old Bristol and modern city life because of the unique location, urban setting, and beautiful shops.

You can also attend major entertainment events and music festivals held all through the year in Downtown Bristol. 

22. Explore Bristol Caverns

You can explore underground Caverns during your vacation in Bristol.

The Caverns of Bristol are magnificent caverns below the surface and you’ll enjoy this unique and exciting experience.

These caverns are over 50 million years old with well-lit chambers,  many color formations due to the mineral content in the rocks, and varying in size and shapes.

Exploring these caverns is a fun unforgettable experience and should be on your list of fun things to do in Bristol.

Planning A Trip To Bristol

With all these exciting places to visit and fun activities to do, you surely want to plan your next vacation with your loved ones to Bristol.

Bristol offers the best entertainment and fun historical sites, artworks, parks, and museums to keep you and your loved ones engaged during this vacation.

Start planning your trip to Bristol and consult this guide to have the best and most fun stay in Bristol.

Have a great day.

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