As the name implies, Bristol is located in Bristol, Tennessee, which is in the state of Tennessee. It is the largest city in the state, and the sixth-largest in the country, with a population of about 108,000.
Bristol Motor Speedway
Bristol Motor Speedway is a NASCAR racing track located in the city of Bristol. The speedway is owned by International Speedway Corporation, and it is one of six current NASCAR tracks owned by the company. The track’s seating capacity is 73,500, and it was the first speedway to host an entire NASCAR Cup season.
Bristol is most known for its annual barbecue festival, the Great Tennessee Butterbean Bake-Off.
Located just 45 minutes away from Bristol is Busch Gardens. The amusement park is open year-round and features a tiger mascot, Travis, who patrols the park looking for any infractions. There are more than 50 rides, shows, and restaurants at Busch Gardens. It also hosts the world-famous Halloween spectacular, the Haunted Mansion, which is one of the most popular attractions in the park.
The park is home to many endangered animals, including orca whales, black rhinoceros, Javan rhinoceros, and Sumatran tigers. In 2012, it introduced a new breed of orangutan, the Bornean orangutan, which is native to the area.
Knoxville International Airport
One hour away from Bristol is Knoxville International Airport. It is one of the largest airports in the region, and it serves as a major transportation hub, with service to major cities like New York, Chicago, and Atlanta. While the majority of the airport’s traffic is domestic, it also handles a significant amount of international flights, especially from Canada and Mexico. The airport was formerly known as Jack Swift Airport, after the famous aviator and founder of the airline, Delta Air Lines.
Nestled in the Great Smoky Mountains is Chattanooga Choo-Choo, a station on the East Coast Railway, operating as a passenger railroad from Chattanooga to Atlanta. The train stops in the middle of nowhere but provides a beautiful view of the countryside. You can take a stroll from the station and get a glimpse of Appalachia. It is one of the least-known historic railway stations in the country, founded in 1911.
The railroad eventually became part of the C & O Railway, and in 1968, Conrail bought the line. In 1997, the Regional Transportation District of Greater Chattanooga bought the line from Conrail and operates it as the Chattanoogian Rail Park. The park’s tagline is “A little train ride brings out the kid in all of us,” and it offers model railroad enthusiasts a place to build trains and put them on display. Admission is free.
Who Lives in Bristol?
Bristol is a suburb of Nashville, but it has a significantly different vibe. More than 40% of the city’s population are registered to vote, compared to 29% in Nashville. The city prides itself on being “the Athens of the South” because of its vibrant community of people and activity. The median home value is $147,300, compared to $69,600 in Nashville.
There is a large number of young professionals living in the city, which has a young and vibrant atmosphere. More than 26,000 students are registered to vote at the local public schools, with around 70 new schools opening each year. Many companies located in the area, including the NBA’s Nashville Predators, call it home.
What Are the Surrounding Neighborhoods Like?
The neighborhoods near Bristol are quite diverse. It starts with the Southside, which is a hub for nightlife and restaurants, and then moves to the Northside, which is filled with family-oriented establishments and churches. Across the street from the Bristol Motor Speedway is the Speed Street Historic District, which was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2011.
The city is working to redevelop this area, which will feature shops, galleries, and restaurants. Next to the airport is the Jack Creek Recreation Area, a large reservoir and park, complete with boating, fishing, and camping facilities. A little bit further and you will find the Fort Loudon Historic Site, a former British fortification built in 1776, as well as the Patriot’s Point Naval & Maritime Museum, which is open to the public and houses the area’s naval aviation history.
What Is the Climate Like?
Bristol is in the humid subtropics zone, similar to other southeastern cities like Atlanta and Richmond, Virginia. Winters are cold and damp, but not as harsh as those in the North, and the summers are mild but extremely humid. As a result, it is quite difficult to stay indoors during the summer months without longing for a walk in the country. As the temperatures rise, so does the humidity, which makes it perfect for sweating and grooving.
The climate in Bristol is quite temperate, which makes it a popular place for people to live, work, and play. Daytime temperatures rarely go above 95 degrees Fahrenheit, so it is quite easy to live a healthy lifestyle, with lots of outdoor activities available all year round. Even during the winter months, which are the opposite of what you would typically think of as “wintery”, temperatures rarely dip below 70 degrees Fahrenheit, so it is still quite pleasant outside, especially compared to most places, which experience an overnight freeze every few weeks. Rainfall is relatively common, with around 37 inches falling each year. The air quality is good, with a very low ozone and particulate matter level. There are many opportunities for eco-friendly living, with wind turbines and solar power generating stations common sights around the city.
What Amenities Does Bristol Offer?
Bristol is quite a bustling city, with lots of parks, green space, and recreational facilities. The Tennessee Aquarium and the Tennessee History Center are two of the area’s most prominent attractions, as well as the Biodiversity Research Institute and the Museum of Natural History. Other institutions like the Museum of Contemporary Art and the Tennessee Performing Arts Center also have locations in Bristol.
How Does the Transportation System Work?
The area is well connected to other major cities through several major airlines and several airports. The local public transportation system is also quite extensive, with the Regional Transit Authority running bus routes around the city. In addition, GRTA is a special airbus service linking Nashville, Chattanooga, and Knoxville. The airport serves as a major transportation hub, with several major bus lines and the Choo-Choo rail connecting the airport with downtown. Other transportation options include car rentals and taxis.
The combination of all these amenities make it quite easy for people to live their lives, work, and play in Bristol, not to mention the numerous options for dining and entertainment. There are lots of family-friendly activities, including mini golf courses and splash parks for children. One of the city’s most exciting new developments is the Bristol Bay Brewing Company, which opened its doors in October 2016 and offers a unique experience for beer lovers. In the summer, the area is filled with music festivals and events, attracting visitors from near and far. Whether you’re into music, food, or both, Bristol has something for everyone.