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“One City in Two States, Downtown Bristol Virginia-Tennessee”

Downtown State Street
Ranked #2 of 12 things to do in Bristol
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Bristol has a proud heritage going back more than 150 years of being both a fun place to visit and a “Good Place to Live”. With so much to do and enjoy, everyone feels at home in Historic Downtown Bristol. As a Certified Main Street Community, Downtown Bristol has more to offer every day – more activities, more shops, more homes, more offices and more life. Believe in Bristol is a nonprofit 501 ( c ) 3 organization composed of dedicated citizens, business owners, government officials and other friends of Bristol who recognize the role a vital downtown plays in preserving and furthering our communities identity, spirit and economy.
Bristol, VA
Level Contributor
113 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
“One City in Two States, Downtown Bristol Virginia-Tennessee”
Reviewed July 26, 2013

If you can't afford a trip to the Four Corners area of the American Southwest where four states come together, save yourself a bundle by coming to the Cities of Bristol, in Tennessee and Virginia, two hours north of Knoxville Tennessee up Interstate-81. The cities bill themselves as a "Great Place to Live," and I can vouch for that, having lived here with my wife, a native Bristolian, since 1991. Lots of tourists like to have photographs of themselves standing in the middle of State Street with one foot in Virginia, the other in Tennessee, or beneath the famous Bristol Sign with one side pointing to each state -- but be careful of the traffic! State Street is dotted with independent restaurants (a couple of chains like Macado's), most of them well worth the visit (the Blackbird Bakery is among our favorites), and there are many antique shops and crafts stores that can make a half-day pass quickly. The people are Southern-friendly, and the town is also known as the Birthplace of Country Music (the famous Bristol Sessions were held in a recording studio downtown in 1927, the commercial recording debuts of Jimmie Rodgers and the Carter Family [the famous Carter Fold is not far away in Hiltons, Virginia). Bristol is also becoming increasingly important both for its NASCAR-Bristol Raceway ties and the quality and variety of its musical activities (not all of them its country-bluegrass roots).

Visited June 2013
4 Thank giorgio11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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170 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Bristol, Tennessee
1 review
“No Place Like Home!”
Reviewed June 26, 2013

Everyone on State Street Smiles at you when you walk by... Awesome food and great shopping. Love the History

Visited June 2013
Thank tennesseeriver
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Attalla, Alabama
Level Contributor
83 reviews
26 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
“Nice downtown with great eateries and antique shops”
Reviewed June 17, 2013

Enjoyed the walk down State Street. Offered lots of choices for food and drink (we chose Macado's). Loved all the antique stores that went on forever!! Just a neat place to visit and enjoy.

Visited June 2013
1 Thank Donna B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oak Ridge, New Jersey
Level Contributor
942 reviews
427 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 731 helpful votes
“More than may first meet the eye!”
Reviewed June 13, 2013

When I first got here at a Friday lunchtime, my impression was that it was nice, but nothing special - and parking is limited. The shopping is nice, but the real attraction isn't immediately obvious - the oddity of a state line that runs right down the middle of the street. It took a minute to realize that US flags on either side of the street alternate with Tennessee flags on one side, and Virginia flags on the other. Perhaps not a whoop-de-doo attraction, but I also like Four Corners in Arizona.
There are several good restaurants in the area, and it was in looking for a dinner stop that I discovered something pretty neat - Border Bash. For a full description, go to http://visitbristoltnva.org/events/details/Border-Bash-with-The-Tillers-and-Hurray-for-the-Riff-Raff/346. Basically, they black off Downtown State Street on selected Friday nights, weather permitting, and set up booths, kiddie attractions and a stage for live music. It was just a really nice way to spend time after dinner.

Visited June 2013
Thank HowlnBubba
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Everyone should go there!”
Reviewed May 10, 2013

I love this street and how cool is it to be in two states at the same time. I drove down the middle of the street and told my daughter "hey you're in VA and I'm in TN". Still has that small town feeling! The murals on the sides of the building are awesome! And you can still se the hills and mountains!

Visited April 2013
Thank Mountainmotorhiker
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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