Bristol is a small town in Tennessee’s Sullivan County. It is the twin city of Bristol, Virginia, which is only a few miles away. The two towns have a lot in common, from the main street, which serves as a border between the two states, to the downtown district and its reputation as The Birthplace of Country Music.
Things To Do In Bristol TN, While the museum is in Bristol VA, Virginia, it highlights both Bristol, Tennessee, and Bristol VA, Virginia’s roles in the birth and development of country music as a new music genre. Bristol is also home to Bristol Motor Speedway, a legendary NASCAR short track and one of the country’s largest motorsports facilities.
Tennessee Ernie Ford was born in Bristol Hotel, and his birthplace is now a house country music museum open to the public. Call the attractions and restaurants ahead of time to confirm the current hours of operation.
12 Best Things To Do In Bristol TN Today
1. Bristol Motor Speedway
Bristol Motor Speedway, formerly known as Bristol International Raceway, was built in 1960 and is located in Bristol, Northeast Tennessee. Because of its Roman-style architecture and epic battles bristol hotel, it is popularly known as The Last Great Coliseum at theme park.
Fans and participants enjoy the track’s steep banking, two pit roads, concrete surface, and stadium-style seating. The speedway is one of the world’s largest sporting venues, with a capacity of nearly 162,000 spectators at Southwest Virginia.
Bristol also has a quarter-mile drag strip, which is used for the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals, an annual NHRA event. Because of the scenery and location, the drag strip is popularly known as Thunder Valley.
151 Speedway Blvd, Bristol, TN 37620
2. Steele Creek Park
Steele Creek Park in Bristol is one of Tennessee’s largest municipal parks. The park, which opened to the public in 1964, spans more than 2,000 acres and includes miles of hiking trails, a 52-acre lake, a nine-hole golf course, a nature center, and nine shelters that can be rented for private events at country music museum.
There is a lodge with a party room, kitchen, and conference room, as well as 20 picnic tables scattered throughout the park, a large multi-use playing field with soccer goals, exercise trails and stations, a kids’ playground with a swing set, a horse-shoe pit, Steele Creek Express – a bright red replica of a real steam engine, paddle boat rentals, and a splash pad at downtown bristol.
4 Little Ln, Bristol, TN 37620, Phone: 423-989-5616
3. South Holston Dam
South Holston Dam, located on the South Fork Holston River in Sullivan County, Tennessee, was built in 1940 for flood control and hydroelectric power generation. The dam is one of three on the South Fork Holston paramount bristol.
The valve gate was closed in 1950, and the accumulated water formed South Holston Reservoir. The dam now impounds the 7,550-acre South Holston Lake, which straddles Tennessee and Virginia.
Cherokee National Forest borders about 60% of the lake’s shoreline. A footbridge beneath the dam leads to Osceola Island, which has a one-mile loop wildlife trail. The lake is popular among anglers for smallmouth bass fishing. It’s also known as a fly fisherman’s dream. It’s also ideal for boating, water skiing, and nature watching.
Holston View Dam Road, Off Highway 421, Bristol, TN
4. Ernie Ford House
Ernie Ford House is a small white clapboard house in Bristol, Tennessee, where world-renowned musician and entertainer Ernie Ford was born and raised at national park.
The beautifully restored house contains artifacts from his illustrious career and can be toured by appointment through the Bristol Historical Society.
Ford began his 50-year career as a successful radio personality, which led to his signing with Capitol Records in 1949. Until 1976, he had eighty-three albums and scores of singles on the label, including his famous version of Merle Travis’ anthem to the working man, “Sixteen Tons.”
1223 Anderson St, Bristol, TN 37620, Phone: 276-466-9116
5. Cafe Alona, Bristol, TN
Café Alona is an Italian restaurant with a twist in Bristol, Tennessee. The spacious, bright, and unpretentious restaurant serves a basic menu of Italian classics and takes its guests on a culinary journey around the world every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evening at theatre bristol.
Every week, a different country and its distinct cuisine is the destination. What’s on the menu? It is unexpected. Chefs Alona Kennedy and Jeff Smith create one-of-a-kind dishes that best represent each country, including an appetizer, an entree, and a dessert.
If you are not feeling adventurous, you can still order from their regular menu. Café Alona is open for lunch from Tuesday to Friday and also provides take-out meals. They are also well-known caterers for both large and small celebrations and events.
1154 TN-126, Bristol, TN 37620, Phone: 423-574-3333
6. Bristol Caverns
Bristol Caverns, one of Tennessee’s oldest natural attractions, attracts and amazes large crowds of tourists each year.
Visitors will find beautiful stalactite and stalagmite formations in various sizes and dazzling hues of red, blue, and even sparkling wine as they tour through levels of vaulted chambers and the winding banks of an ancient underground river over 100 feet below the earth’s surface.
The caverns date back to the frontier period when Native Americans used the underground river to attack and flee from foreign settlers. In addition to tours, gemstone panning and photography are available.
1157 Bristol Caverns Highway, Bristol, Tennessee 37620, Phone: 423-878-2011
7. Lost State Distilling
Visit this family-owned distillery, which was named the country’s best new craft distillery in 2020 by USA Today readers. Lost State Distilling takes pride in producing high-quality spirits from only the best ingredients.
While their products are available in a variety of local stores, visitors are invited to their distillery to sample their craft gin, rum, and Tennessee whiskey, as well as a special selection of spirits available only in their tasting room.
Franklin Four Straight Bourbon Whiskey, Secession Tennessee Gin, Cinnamon Maple Flavored Whiskey, and their very limited Franklin Four Cask Strength Single Barrel Bourbon are among their spirits. Lost State Distilling, in addition to its tasting room, offers daily tours of its distillery as well as a year-round gift shop.
200 State Street, Bristol, Tennessee 37620, Phone: 423-797-4432
8. Paramount Center for the Arts
The Paramount Center for the Arts, which opened in 1931, has long been a historical landmark and pillar of the performing arts in Bristol. The theater quickly became popular in the thriving city after it opened, showcasing Hollywood blockbusters, presenting live touring performances, and hosting weekly Saturday morning cartoons for thousands of children.
The theater was restored in 1989 after it was recognized as an important part of the community, carefully preserving its original Art Deco interior while upgrading its facilities.
Today, the Paramount Center for the Arts is a multi-use facility that attracts thousands of visitors each year for a variety of performances such as theater, film, music, dance, comedy, and family entertainment.
518 State Street, Bristol, Tennessee 37620, Phone: 423-274-8920
9. Tri-Cities Escape Game
Tri-Cities Escape Game is ready to host you for a night of mystery and laughter, whether for a birthday, team building, or a simple friendly gathering. With over 1,500 five-star reviews, their rooms are rated as some of the best escape games in Tennessee.
Players’ wits will be put to the test as they attempt to solve these inventive and fully immersive games. Tri-Cities has three rooms, each with a different theme and mission, such as returning an ancient relic to the Amazon, investigating alien abductions, and protecting a secret Jurassic island.
Several dining options are available just steps away for players to enjoy after their game on Bristol’s lively State Street.
642 State Street, Bristol, Tennessee 37620, Phone: 423-573-2114
10. Flip-Side Retro Arcade
Flip-Side Retro Arcade allows you to relive your favorite childhood games. This family-friendly arcade features vintage pinball machines and classic gaming consoles dating back to 1931.
From the 1970s to the 1990s, you’ll find all of your favorites, including Nintendo, Sega Genesis, Pac-man, Space Invaders, and Tron. There are also over 30 different pinball machines in the arcade, ranging from solid-state machines like Star Trek ’79 to interactive LCD machines like the Wizard of Oz.
Kids and adults alike can enjoy unlimited gaming thanks to the arcade’s all-day admission tickets, which even allow players to leave and return later in the day. The Flip-Side Retro Arcade is open from Wednesday to Monday.
1393 Volunteer Parkway Suite 10, Bristol, Tennessee 37620, Phone: 423-573-3547
11. Just Jump Trampoline Park
This massive indoor trampoline park will keep you entertained all day. Just Jump Trampoline Park, at 25,000 square feet, has been a favorite among Bristol families since its inception. This location is one of many, with others in Georgia, Florida, and North Carolina.
Just Jump takes pride in its numerous positive reviews, many of which emphasize the park’s safety and cleanliness.
There are numerous attractions at the park, including a large open jump area, two dodgeball courts, a gladiator pit, and even a ninja course. Jumpers can also enjoy new attractions such as a virtual reality ride and a laser maze for an additional fee.
315 Bristol West Boulevard, Bristol, Tennessee 37620, Phone: 844-344-5867
12. Bristol Skateway
Whether you’re spending time with family or going on a date, Bristol Skateway is sure to provide hours of entertainment and laughter. This family-friendly skating rink is popular among locals due to its relaxed atmosphere and upbeat music, which makes every skating session more enjoyable.
Throughout the week, Bristol Skateway hosts a variety of skating events and parties, as well as lessons led by highly experienced instructors. Skaters can also enjoy some fun games at the arcade or grab a bite to eat at the concession stand, which serves Coca-Cola products, pizza, hotdogs, nachos, and more.
210 Skateway Drive, Bristol, Tennessee 37620, Phone: 423-968-9680
FAQs Things To Do In Bristol TN
Is Bristol TN worth visiting?
Bristol has many exciting and beautiful places to visit. It is well-known for its motorsports facilities, which are thought to be the largest in the country. The city also has magnificent mountains, lovely hills, and some of the most breathtakingly beautiful locations.
Is Bristol getting a casino?
Hard Rock International is building the permanent Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Bristol, which is scheduled to open in 2024. The Seminole Tribe of Florida owns the entire gaming and hospitality conglomerate.
Is Bristol TN closer to Canada than Memphis?
Bristol, Tennessee is located closer to Canada than it is to Memphis, Tennessee. Bristol is located in the state’s northeast corner, about 400 miles from the Canadian border… and 450 miles from Memphis in the southwest corner.
Does Bristol TN have tornadoes?
Bristol has a lower risk of earthquake damage than the rest of Tennessee and the rest of the country. Bristol’s tornado risk is significantly lower than the Tennessee average and significantly lower than the national average.
Is Bristol TN nice?
Bristol, recently named the Most Charming Town in America by ShopOnMain.com, is uniquely situated within a day’s drive of half of the population of the United States. Bristol has an excellent quality of life, with low living costs and moderately priced real estate.