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© 2023 by City of Bristol Virginia, Office of Economic Development

Nature's Playground

Bristol is the heart of Southwest Virginia and a dream come true for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.

Southwest Virginia experiences four distinct seasons with moderate
climates – the average spring and summer temperature is 78
degrees while fall and winter average 38 degrees. The mild
conditions make recreation possible year-round.


Just a few miles away, Damascus, Virginia– more commonly known
as “Trail Town USA” provides some of the best hikes in the east,
accessing the Appalachian Trail and the neighboring Jefferson and
Cherokee National Forests. Combined you have access to more than
250,000 acres of unspoiled woodlands and endless outdoor
activities.


The 35 mile Virginia Creeper Trail runs from Whitetop Mountain to
Abingdon, Virginia on a Rails to Trails sponsored cyclist dream. If
you prefer winter sports, Beech Mountain, Sugar Mountain and
Winterplace resorts are just a short drive away.


Gentle flowing rivers such as the Holston, Clinch and Watauga offer
flat water kayaking opportunities and the nearby Nolichucky river is
said to be one of the most technical big water runs in the south, and
one of the top 10 whitewater experiences in the country.
World class fly fishing, the Spearhead trail systems for off-road
vehicles, boating and water sports at 4 nearby TVA recreational
lakes – truly an outdoor paradise for every kind of adventure seeker!

National Acclaim


Some distinctions that have brought national recognition are:

  • Designation as “Birthplace of Country Music,” due to contributions to the music industry in the first decades of the 20th century.

  • Bristol Motor Speedway – “The World’s Fastest Half-Mile” and one of the five largest sports arenas in the county, seating 160,000 race fans.

  • Barter Theater in nearby Abingdon, one of the longest running professional theaters in the country.

  • Storytelling Capital of the World in nearby Jonesborough, Tennessee, home to the International Storytelling Center and National Storytelling Festival.