15 Best Things to Do in Bristol, TN

15 Best Things to Do in Bristol, TN

Bristol is a small city in Tennessee located in the Sullivan County. The city also has a twin city which goes by the same name in Virginia.

Even though the city is not very big, there are a plenty of things that you could enjoy in this lively city.

The city is greatly famous for its motor sports facilities which are considered to be the biggest in the entire country.

The city has majestic mountains, beautiful hills, and some of the most indescribable beautiful locations.

The following article will cover the best things that you can enjoy in and around this beautiful city in Tennessee.

Bristol Motor Speedway

Car race in Bristol Motor Speedway
Grindstone Media Group / Shutterstock.com


Famously known as the Bristol international raceway in past, the Bristol motor Speedway was constructed in the year 1960.

This raceway is located in the Northeast Tennessee area and is a very famous short track. The speedway is also known as the last great coliseum.

The nickname of the speedway comes from its Roman inspired architecture and unbelievable race car battles.

The capacity of this speedway is huge as it can accommodate more than 150,000 spectators at one time.

This Speedway is also one of the most famous racing venues around the world. Besides this speedway, the city also has a drag strip which is used for Thunder valley nationals, an annual racing event.

The entire speedway has a very beautiful scenery and located amidst a very lush green setting.

Steele Creek Park


Opened to general public in the year 1964, the Steele Creek Park is one of the most beautiful as well as the largest municipal parks in Bristol as well as Tennessee.

The Park has a property which covers more than 2000 acres of land. Within the property of the park, there is a 52-acre lake, multiple golf courses, night shelters, and a nature centre.

The night shelters can be rented for private stays and events while the golf course can be used by the visitors to spend some time indulging in the leisurely game of golf.

The park also has a lodge. This lodge accommodates a party room, 20 picnic tables, a conference room, as well as a kitchen which makes it ideal for any family vacation.

The park also has multiple exercise trails and grounds, Soccer goals, as well as some swings which can be enjoyed by children.

The park also has a replica of a real steam engine known as the Steele Creek express. With its multiple facilities and additional rental service and splash pad this park is ideal for visit at any time during the year.

The place is definitely worth visiting and spending some worry free time with yourself, friends, as well as family.

South Holston Dam

South Holston Dam
Dee Browning / Shutterstock.com


South Holston Dam was built in the year 1940 over the South Fork Holston river. At that time, a total number of three dams were built on the river and this was one of them.

The dam was constructed with the main objective of controlling floods and generation of hydroelectricity.

At present the dam has a foot bridge which leads to a long loop of wildlife trail along with the Osceola Island.

The dam surrounds the South Holston Lake due to which this place is quite popular among fishermen. The lake is also famous as a fly fisherman’s paradise.

The lake is perfect for enjoying some adventures like fishing, boating, water skiing, and observing nature in its natural setting.

The views are magnificent and definitely worth investing your time in.

Ernie Ford House


Ernie Ford house is a beautiful small clapboard house of historical eminence in Bristol, Tennessee.

The city is the birthplace of famous entertainer and musician, Ernie Ford. This house represented his struggle in the beginning of his career.

The house is restored and has various artefacts which exhibits his struggles and his life as an Artist.

The house is quite calm and located at a very serene place which gives very tranquil and peaceful vibes for all the visitors.

The place is ideal for visit by all the music lovers as well as fans of Ernie Ford.

Cafe Alona


Café Alona is one of the most famous and unpretentious restaurant in Bristol, Tennessee. This is an Italian restaurant and has a very classical Italian menu.

The cafe is quite spacious and is always filled with bright natural light. The cafe offers culinary menus from all around the world on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturday evenings.

Each week a different city or a country or a place and its cuisine is chosen to be put on the menu which makes the experience of each visit different.

The chefs of the restaurant make sure that they put all the signature dishes from different cuisines on the menu so that people get to taste different flavours from around the world.

If you are someone who is willing to try different cuisines while being in Bristol, Cafe Alona is a perfect place for you.

You can also take away your lunches to enjoy them in some open areas if you desire to.

Twin-city Drive-in Theatre


For all the lovers of movies, Twin-city Drive-In theatre is a perfect place.

The drive-in theatre allows the visitors to enjoy their favourite movies under an open sky.

You can also enjoy beverages and snacks at discounted prices while enjoying with your family or friends.


One of a Kind Gallery is an art gallery in Bristol which does justice to its name in entirety.

The gallery is a beautiful collection of various artistic items which are produced by the local artists and craft makers of Bristol.

The gallery has works of more than 12 artists and offers very affordable art pieces to the visitors.

Holston River Brewing Company


Holston River Brewing Company is a famous brewing company producing some exotic and high quality beers in Bristol.

The company focuses mainly on satisfying the needs of its visitors by incorporating various flavours.

The company uses best ingredients for brewing its drinks to ensure an exceptional taste.

Belmont Lanes


Belmont lanes is an entertainment and fun area in Bristol. This family owned business provides various enjoyable facilities like gaming arcades, bowling alleys, league plays, and other games.

It also organizes weekly events on which all the zones are available at discounted rates and additional facilities.

Paramount Centre for the Arts


Paramount Centre for the arts in Bristol is a place which was built in the late 1930s. It is a performing arts centre having multiple uses.

The Centre is located right in the heart of Bristol, Downtown. This performing arts centre is famous for organising various entertaining events in the field of music, dance, film, theatre, family entertainment, comedy, as well as other arts.

The place is also listed on the national register of historic places and has a very vintage and lavish interior designing.

The theatre is operated by a non-profit organisation which charges no to very less amount for all these entertaining shows.

The Centre welcomes various artists from around the world some of which are winners of prestigious awards like Grammys.

The Centre is also great place for enjoying some local music as well as art forms. The theatre has a believe that that complete dark would allow the spirits to take over the theatre, due to which a single lamp is kept well- lit during the shows.

The place is definitely worth checking out and the events are fun. To make the most out of your visit, make sure to check the event calendar and visit when your favourite artists are performing.

Rhythm and Roots reunion


The famous and award-winning rhythm and roots reunion music festival was started in the year 2001 as a tribute to the legacy of country music in Bristol.

The festival celebrates its various artists, its upcoming acts, and its diverse headliners.

Rhythm and roots reunion is a festival where you can expect to spot some really great and unadulterated country music coming right from the Artists in live concerts.

Just like other lively events of the city, the festival also takes place in the downtown area in the month of September.

The festival has 16 different stages and welcomes more than 100 artists from around the globe.

The festival takes place at a very imminent place of the city due to which it is very easy to grab some food as well as other necessary items while enjoying the festival.

If you visit the city during September, this festival is definitely an event you should consider attending for making best memories of your trip to Bristol.

State Street Farmers Market


State Street farmers market in Bristol was opened for the first time in the year 1999.

This market is supported with the help of governmental agencies of the surrounding four cities which include Bristol Tennessee, Sullivan County Tennessee, Bristol Virginia, and Washington County Virginia.

The market is a place where all the local Vendors as well as farmers of the area come together to display and sell their produce.

The market is open seasonally from May to October. The farmer fest is not place which is ideal only for grabbing some freshly produced farm items but also enjoy various festivals and events.

Various events such as National farmers market week, tomato Fest, corn fest, pumpkin palooza, etc. are organised in this market which are perfect for enjoying and understanding the agricultural setting of the city.

The festival is very lively and offers a lot of exposure to the locals.

Downtown Bristol

Downtown Bristol
Dee Browning / Shutterstock.com


Bristol is also believed to be the place where country music took birth. Downtown is a vibrant place in Bristol which celebrates this form of music and everything that the city has.

Downtown is a very vibrant area in the city which started in the early 2000s and has grown tremendously in importance as well as infrastructure since then.

Many buildings have been renovated, some new installed, and some diversified since the inception of this area.

At present, downtown is home to more than 20 businesses which include various restaurants, nightclubs, antique stores as well as a few speciality shops.

If you are someone who is looking for a mix of classic Bristol yet fancy vibe of the city, Downtown is the place you should head to.

The place attracts a lot of visitors due to its urban setting, beautiful shops, and unique restaurants.

Downtown is also famous as a venue for major entertainment events as well as music festivals round the year. The place is quite lively and worth visiting.

Bristol Caverns


Bristol is a great place to visit for all those people who are interested in exploring the underground Caverns.

The Caverns in Bristol are far below the surface of the earth and are majestic. Every time a person visits these Caverns, they can rest assured about a very exciting yet strange experience.

Most of these chambers are paved, well lit, and vaulted along the banks of an ancient underground river.

Some of these Caverns are as old as 200 to 400 million years while some are a bit recent belonging back to 100 or 50 million years ago.

Most of the formations are a combination of different colours like red, blue, grey, brown, and Lucius white. These colours are due to the mineral content of the rocks.

The Caverns are not uniform in shape and some are huge while the others are very tiny. With each view and each forwarding steps, you can experience the artistic mastery of nature right from the floor to the ceiling of the rooms.

These are definitely worth checking out for a unique and one of a kind experience in Bristol.

Country Music Murals


Country music murals are another artistic and colourful art pieces which are located in the downtown centre.

These murals are actually very colourful and honours the legacy of the Bristol session. It is believed that these sessions in 1927 were the actual reason of development of country music in the world.

The murals are built around those sessions and represents some artists along with their musical instruments.

The murals are just extremely beautiful and exquisite. These are well preserved and maintained by the locals as well as authorities of the city alike.

While enjoying the murals you can also enjoy various surrounding things like the market or various racing events. You can also enjoy a jam concert series near these murals.

Bristol is a small, but a very tourist friendly city in Tennessee. The city has a lot of adventurous and beautiful places to visit.

In addition, it is surrounded by beautiful views and natural gifts, which make it a perfect spot for natural hiking and camping.

You should definitely visit this city if you are a musical lover and find out why.