Home to the Birthplace of Country Music, Bristol, VA has a rich history that continues today. If you’ve never been to two places at once, head down to State Street and experience being in two states at once! While you’re downtown, there are plenty of other activities and places to visit!
620 State – The owners that brought the Tri-Cities Label, Southern Craft BBQ, and more, have a new restaurant in town. Offering a wide menu of sushi, burgers, steaks, and pasta, you can find just about anything here. However, their sushi and Japanese fare do stand out as some of the best around.
Burger Bar – This divey walk-in joint brings us back to the era of 1950’s diners. Bring an appetite because portions are large and you’ll want to get one of everything. Of course you can’t go to the Burger Bar without having a milkshake. While traditional flavors like vanilla and chocolate are great, we recommend a banana fudge shake.
Quaker Steak & Lube – While we typically don’t go for chains, Quaker Steak is a notable mention. Just across the street from Burger Bar, Quaker Steak offers a never ending list of draught beer, and an equally long list of wings, making this place worth a stop. Like spicy foods? Try their Eat Heat Challenge by eating six wings made from scorpion pepper venom and concentrated capsaicin. Not so fast though: you’ll have to sign a waiver first.
The Bristol Hotel – The prestigious Bristol Hotel offers two separate dining experiences in house. The first, Lumac, offers sweeping views of the surrounding Appalachian mountains on the rooftop bar. Serving craft beer, small batch whiskey, and a limited bar menu, Lumac is a great place to meet up with friends, family, or co-workers. Feeling something a bit more refined? Dine-in downstairs at Vivian’s Table for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. We’re not sure who Vivian is, but we love her lobster pasta and slow braised pork osso bucco.
Bristol Station Brews & Taproom – Conveniently located near State Street, the Station has a 10 barrel brewing system to provide beer enthusiasts with uncommon craft flavors. Winners of the Tennessee Championship Beer award, some of their notable brews include: Vanilla Imperial Porter, Bearded Goat Bock, and Double Loco Imperial IPA.
Elderbrew – Bristol’s first small-batch brewery focuses on concocting one barrel at a time. Available only at their taproom on 6th street, brews like Thai Fighter, Halfling, and Bring Out Your Dead, tingle the senses and make you wanting more.
State Street Brewery – Another mainstay of downtown Bristol, State Street Brewery prides themselves on creating enjoyable, flavorful, and unique beers. Pull up a stool and enjoy one of many beers. Our favorites are the Razzle and High Hopes.
Bristol Caverns – Located on the Tennessee side just south of Bristol, the caverns are truly a remarkable sight to behold. Paths follow an ancient underground river that flowed more than 200 million years ago.
Bristol Rhythm and Roots – The annual Rhythm and Roots Festival, held in the fall, offers residents and visitors the best in Americana, classic country, fold-rock, and Appalachian music across the downtown area. This multi-day music festival has grown substantially over the past few years and brings in people from all over the country! Local vendors, breweries, and restaurants get involved to provide an amazing experience for all.
South Holston Lake & Dam – Whether you like to swim, boat, kayak, raft, or just fish on the shore, Holston Lake is a popular summertime retreat. Boat and raft rentals are available through the marina. Make sure to bring plenty of water and sunscreen, you’ll need it!
The Birthplace of Country Music Museum – Established in 2014, and an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, the Country Music Museum is a must-do. With over 24,000 sq. feet across two levels, you’ll leave with a new appreciation of country music. Within the exhibit are a performance theatre, radio station, large space for venues, and a learning center.
Shops on State Street – Shop local! These locally owned and operated shops are the quintessential Main Street USA feel. From antiques to art galleries, and everything in between, you’ll have a blast walking along State Street to see what you discover!
The Pinnacle – The region’s premier shopping, dinning, and entertainment destination. The outdoor-style shopping center has something for everyone in the family.