Introduction to Bristol, Tennessee

Bristol, Tennessee, in Sullivan county, is 21 miles NE of Johnson City, Tennessee and 121 miles NW of Charlotte, North Carolina. The city benefits from easy access to the nearby cities and towns that it shares the Johnson City-Kingsport-Bristol metropolitan area with. Bristol contains a population of approximately 24,821.

Bristol History

Bristol is located in Sullivan County. It is said that the city was named after Bristol, England. Bristol was formerly known as Sapling Grove. In 1852, Joseph R. Anderson laid out a plot of land of about 100 acres as the original town of Bristol. The official incorporation of Bristol occurred in 1856. The Virginia and East Tennessee railroads reached Bristol in 1858. Bristol is also home to the King College.

Bristol and nearby Attractions

  • William King Regional Arts Center
  • Sycamore Shoals State Park
  • Fields-Penn 1860 House Museum
  • Warriors Path State Park
  • Hands On! Regional Museum
  • Audubon Park

Things To Do In Bristol

The Volunteer Plaza Shopping Center, Southgate Crossing Shopping Center and the Virginia Avenue Shopping Center are the popular local shopping destinations. The Fields-Penn 1860 House Museum, the Hands On! Regional Museum and the William King Regional Arts Center provide insight into the area’s history. Local churches include the South Bristol United Methodist Church, the First Church of the Brethren and Rosemont Presbyterian Church. Patterson Park, Rotary Park and Steele Creek Park are in the area as well. The city hosts the Rhythm and Roots Reunion every September.

Bristol Transportation

Knoxville McGhee Tyson is the nearest major airport.

Bristol Higher Education

King College is the local institution of higher education. Other nearby institutions include East Tennessee State University, Southwest Virginia Community College and Walters State Community College.


Total Population 26,705
Male Share of the Population 48.2%
Female Share of the Population 51.8%
Senior Citizens 18.1%
Employed Population 16+ 11,052
Age of the Population 42


% of people married 47.7%
Average household size 2

Education and Earnings

Population % with Bachelor Degree or Higher 22.4%
Median Earnings25+ $27,204
Median Earnings Without High School Qualification $14,583
Median Earnings With High School Degree $23,006


Median Family Income $47,859
% Above Poverty Level 81.2%
% Below Poverty Level 18.8%

Commute & Sprawl

Average Commute Time 21 minutes
% Working from Home 2.2%
% Walking and Biking to Work 1.6%
% Using Public Transportation 0.7%


People Living Alone 33.4%
Median Gross Rent $612
Median House Value $103,100


Other(often includes Hispanic and African American) 20.6%
US/American 0%
English 16%
Irish 12.6%

Bristol Almanac

Category Value
Nearest Medium City 21 miles NE of Johnson City, Tennessee (center to center)
Nearest Large City 121 miles NW of Charlotte, North Carolina
County Sullivan
Metro Area Johnson City - Kingsport - Bristol
Standard Zip Codes 37620
P.O. Box Zip Codes 37621, 37625
Phone Area Codes 423
Time Zone Eastern (-5 hours from GMT)
Daylight Savings The city observes Daylight Saving Time.
Latitude 36.595
Longitude -82.188

Bristol Climate

Nearest Weather Stations


  • Temp ranges are avg daily min and max for the month
  • Precipitation is rainfall (and rainfall equiv of snowfall)

Station ABINGDON 3 S
Distance 13.3 miles
Jan Temp 22 to 43 F
Apr Temp 39 to 67 F
Jul Temp 61 to 85 F
Oct Temp 40 to 68 F
Annual Precip 47.4 inches
Distance 23.5 miles
Jan Temp 22 to 43 F
Apr Temp 39 to 64 F
Jul Temp 61 to 83 F
Oct Temp 39 to 67 F
Annual Precip 41.3 inches
Distance 30.8 miles
Jan Temp 21 to 43 F
Apr Temp 38 to 66 F
Jul Temp 62 to 85 F
Oct Temp 39 to 68 F
Annual Precip 44.9 inches

Neighborhood and Nearby Area Names

According to the US Postal Service, Bristol, its neighborhoods, and/or surrounding areas are also referred to as:

Stephen Holston (37620)

Note that not all alternate names are acceptable for use in US Post Office addresses.

Nearby Cities and Towns

Location Population Median Family Income
Bluff City 1,791 $50,000
Elizabethton 14,322 $43,301
Johnson City 64,614 $55,273
Kingsport 52,835 $54,267
Watauga 360 $55,208

Bristol Hospitals

(Voluntary non-profit - Other)
(423) 844-1121
Emergency Service: Yes

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Bristol High Schools

Serves 1,100 students.

Bristol Colleges

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