With over 60 businesses in the downtown area, Bristol offers its many visitors a little bit of everything to go along with pedestrian friendly shopping and free parking.
Thanks to a strong revitalization effort, downtown Bristol is now thriving and continues to grow. Visitors will find a variety of food choices at 20-plus restaurants, several craft breweries, clothing shops, antique stores, museums, art galleries, ice cream and candy stops and much more.
Must-see attractions include the historic Bristol Train Station, which was originally build in 1856 and saw many soldiers off to battle during the Civil War, as well as the Paramount Center for the Arts, an art deco motion picture palace which opened in 1931, along with the Country Music Mural, and the Veteran’s War Memorial in Cumberland Park. Both the Train Station and the Paramount Center for the Arts are on the National Register of Historic Places.
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.
One of Bristol’s most unique features is State Street, which divides Bristol, Tennessee and Bristol, Virginia. Brass markers, emblazoned with “Tennessee” and “Virginia” on either side, run the length of the street, making this a popular stop for visitors, who like to stand in the middle of the street with one foot in each state for a photo.