Bristol has plenty of great places to visit within the two cities but there are also some really cool venues visitors will enjoy within 15 miles of the downtown area.
Adventure Mendota offers kayak (unguided) and tube rentals from their base camp on Swinging Bridge Road on the North Fork of the Holston River, which is perfect for tubing and recreational kayaking. The water’s gentle flow ensures your first tube or kayak trip will be as good as your next 10 and the best part? Anybody can do it – no experience is necessary!
The Appalachian Caverns is the largest showcave in Northeast Tennessee. Check out the walking tours or be adventurous and take the wild adventure tours, guaranteed to get your muddy. Kids can check out the climbing wall and mine for real gems.
Barter Theatre began in 1933 with one man’s idea to have patrons pay with produce and has grown today into a year-round theatre with more than 160,000 visitors each year.
The Birthplace of Country Music® Museum, a 24,000 square foot facility, which opened in August, 2014, in affiliation with the Smithsonian Institute, tells the story of Bristol’s musical heritage. The Museum provides the BCM with a new, permanent facility to house its operations, including the museum, educational programs, and artistic programming.
Located in Northeast Tennessee in the town of Bristol, Bristol Motor Speedway is a legendary NASCAR short-track nicknamed The Last Great Colosseum for its epic battles and Roman-like architecture. The speedway is among the largest sporting venues in the world. In addition to the speedway, Bristol has a .25-mile dragstrip that hosts an annual NHRA event, the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals.
The Bristol Pirates are a minor league baseball team in Bristol, Virginia, USA. They are a Rookie-level team in the Appalachian League. As of October 16, 2013, they are owned by the Pittsburgh Pirates.
One of the largest and most stunning caverns in the region, Bristol Caverns takes visitors along the banks of the ancient Underground River that carved the spectacular caverns from the hard core of the earth 200 to 400 million years ago.
East Hill Cemetery
Called the “Most Haunted Place in Bristol”, East Hill is an American Civil War-era cemetery established in 1857, with sections for Confederate soldiers and veterans as well as a small section for African American burials. It is listed on the National Register for Historic Places.
The Paramount Center for the Arts, built in 1931 and restored in 1991, serves as a showplace for the arts in Bristol, featuring nationally known musicians, while hosting Broadway touring shows and presenting a varied performance line-up.
Owned by William Cobb, the original residence at Rocky Mount served as the first territorial capital of the Southwest Territory (which would become the state of Tennessee in 1796) from 1790 to 1792. Rocky Mount opened to the public in 1962 and has undergone several renovations over the years, adding a visitor center, museum store and, in 1990, a 175-seat auditorium, library and classrooms.
South Holston Lake, a Tennessee Valley Authority reservoir covering 7,580 acres, is considered one of the top two lakes in Tennessee and among the best in the Southeast for smallmouth bass fishing and also is well known as a fly fisherman’s paradise. The lake also provides many other recreational opportunities for residents, with 60% of its shoreline bordered by the Cherokee National Forest.
Featuring over 2,200 acres with playgrounds, picnic areas, amphitheater, nature center, paddleboats, train ride, walking trails and golf course.
Sugar Hollow Park
Located in Bristol, VA, Sugar Hollow park is a 400-acre park with three softball fields, five soccer fields, 100 picnic sites, six picnic shelters, 75 campsites, pavilion and pool.
The Twin City Drive-In Theatre ia a family operated theatre. Open on weekends during the spring and fall seasons; nightly during the summer months with a double feature showing.
Over 100 years ago, in 1910, the Bristol Gas and Electric Company wanted to do something for Bristol so they donated an electric sign to the community. The Bristol Sign, however, was first erected on top of the Interstate Hardware Company building near the railroad tracks off of State Street. In 1988 the sign, which boasts approximately 1,330 bulbs, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Bristol Train Station
The Bristol Train Station has been central to much of the local history. Indeed, local historian Bud Phillips believes “there would have been no Bristol had it not been for the coming of the railroad.”