Introduction to Bristol, Virginia

Bristol, Virginia is 22 miles NE of Johnson City, Tennessee (center to center) and 121 miles NW of Charlotte, North Carolina. The city benefits from easy access to the nearby cities and towns with which it shares the Johnson City - Kingsport - Bristol metropolitan area. Bristol contains a population of approximately 17,367.

Bristol History

Bristol originally went by the name Goodson. Initially, it was inhabited by the Cherokee Indians. In the 1700s, Scotch-Irish pioneers settled in this region. The community came into existence in the early 1800s when a railway survey was re-routed into this region which was then located on a tract of land called Sapling Grove. It is the twin city of Bristol, Tennessee, and is located directly on the Tennessee-Virginia state line. Bristol is also known as the "Birthplace of Country Music", with the first commercial country music recordings organized in 1927 by Ralph Peer of the Victor Talking Machine Company.

Bristol and nearby Attractions

  • J F Hicks Memorial Library
  • Birthplace of Tennessee Ernie Ford
  • Sycamore Shoals State Historic Area
  • Literacy Academy of Bristol
  • Eastern Park
  • Clear Creek Lake

Things To Do In Bristol

While in Bristol, one can visit the Sycamore Shoals State Historic Area which is a reconstructed fort on the Watauga river. The birthplace of Tennessee Ernie Ford is also close by. The city’s public libraries provide a host of valuable information about the regional history and culture. Bristol also has a number of reservoirs and creeks that are worth visiting. Among these are Clear Creek Lake, Beaver Creek Lake, Goose Creek, and the Susong Branch. The Eastern Park, Randolph Field, and Mumpower Park are places where one can enjoy a variety of sports and other physical activities. The Literacy Academy of Bristol hosts a number of cultural events and functions. The Rhythm and Roots Reunion festival is celebrated in the city every year.

Bristol Transportation

Tri-Cities Regional TN/VA Airport is close by.

Bristol Higher Education

Residents of Bristol can enroll at Virginia Intermont College or Graham Bible College. Other higher educational institutes nearby include Northeast State Technical Community College and East Tennessee State University.


Total Population 17,524
Male Share of the Population 46.6%
Female Share of the Population 53.4%
Senior Citizens 19.2%
Employed Population 16+ 7,103
Age of the Population 42


% of people married 46.2%
Average household size 2

Education and Earnings

Population % with Bachelor Degree or Higher 23.3%
Median Earnings25+ $27,877
Median Earnings Without High School Qualification $12,352
Median Earnings With High School Degree $22,663


Median Family Income $45,363
% Above Poverty Level 79.6%
% Below Poverty Level 20.4%

Commute & Sprawl

Average Commute Time 18 minutes
% Working from Home 2.4%
% Walking and Biking to Work 3.2%
% Using Public Transportation 1.7%


People Living Alone 32.2%
Median Gross Rent $649
Median House Value $114,500


Other(often includes Hispanic and African American) 21%
US/American 0%
English 17.8%
Irish 11.8%

Source: American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau, 2015, www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/.

Bristol Almanac

Category Value
Nearest Medium City 22 miles NE of Johnson City, Tennessee (center to center)
Nearest Large City 121 miles NW of Charlotte, North Carolina
Metro Area Johnson City - Kingsport - Bristol
Standard Zip Codes 24201, 24202
P.O. Box Zip Codes 24203, 24209
Phone Area Codes 276
Time Zone Eastern (-5 hours from GMT)
Daylight Savings The city observes Daylight Saving Time.
Latitude 36.61
Longitude -82.18

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 12.5 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 29.7 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
Station ERWIN 1 W
Distance 34.8 miles
Jan Temp 25 to 46 F
Apr Temp 41 to 68 F
Jul Temp 63 to 86 F
Oct Temp 43 to 70 F
Annual Precip 45.8 inches

Nearby Cities and Towns

Location Population Median Family Income
Abingdon 8,143 $59,375
Damascus 759 $35,833
Lebanon 3,388 $48,504
Nickelsville 430 $56,500
St. Paul 1,080 $54,500

Source: American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau, 2015, www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/.

Bristol Public Libraries

Bristol Public Library
Bristol, Virginia
(276) 669-9444
Library Web Site

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More Information for Librarians

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Results:  5
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Bristol High Schools

(Sorted by Number of Students)

Serves 701 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 11.6

Serves 557 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 13.9

A Non-traditional School

A Non-traditional School

Bristol Colleges

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Additional Details
Bristol Colleges
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