Bristol : Virginia


What It Is Like to Retire in Bristol

Bristol is a small town located in southwest Virginia, in the Blue Ridge Highlands.  The town is on the Tennessee border where it has a twin sister also named Bristol, directly across from it.  The two Bristols share a common downtown district on  State Street  which divides the two states.  For a small town, Bristol is known to have one of the most advanced broadband systems in the country which they began implementing in the 1990’s.  It is more famously known for being the actual  “Birthplace of Country Music”, as auditions and recordings were first made there for national distribution, and  included such names as the Carter family and Tennessee Ernie Ford, (who was born on the Tennessee side of the street).


Where to Retire in Bristol and Home Prices

According to Zillow, the median home value in Bristol was only about $117,500, in late 2019.  Low home prices are probably due to the fact there are more than 40 manufactured home communities within the two Bristols.


What Is Special about Bristol

Bristol is a small town proud of its music history and is a tourist destination for country music lovers.  It also has many parks and large green spaces, along with a downtown with several sites on the National Register of Historic places, which includes the Bristol Railroad Station and commercial historic buildings.


What Is Not Special about Bristol

Bristol is small and isolated from large cities.  The nearest large airport is in Charlotte, NC more than 200 miles away. Bristol is not considered a walkable community.


Who Will Like Retirement in Bristol

Retirees looking for a small town with a low cost of living, and enjoy NASCAR, baseball and country music would like living in Bristol.


Local Economy Is Driven by

Retail, and Manufacturing


Climate and Physical Environment

The average January temperature in Bristol is 33 degrees.  The average July temperature is about 73 degrees.


Restaurants & Cultural Scene

Known as "The Birthplace of Country Music",  Bristol is full of music history with country music murals and monuments lining State Street. The new Birthplace of Country Music Alliance Museum provides live performances and also features collections of musical instruments and memorabilia from country music legends. Bristol is a also a popular stop along The Crooked Road: Virginia's Heritage Music Trail.   The  Bristol International Speedway which is actually on theTennessee side, is home to the “world’s fastest half-mile” and hosts two NASCAR races each year.  Baseball fans can enjoy the Bristol White Sox, an Advanced Rookie Team with the Chicago White Sox. The town also has 15 parks and recreational areas for horseback riding, hiking and wildlife watching.



The crime rate in Bristol is a little below the national average.


Medical Facilities

Wellmont Bristol Regional Hospital is nearby in Bristol, Tennessee.



Tri-Cities Regional Airport is in Blountville, Tennessee, about 20 miles away;  the closest international airport is in Charlotte, NC about 200 miles away;  Bristol is below average in walkability when compared to other towns.


Valuable Links

City of Bristol

Birthplace of Country Music


What people are saying about Bristol

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