Bristol, RI, often gets lost in the New England travel shuffle.
Located halfway between Providence, R.I. and Newport, R.I., travelers tend to either stay in those two cities or drive directly from one to another. While there’s no doubt that Providence and Newport are fabulous travel destinations, it’s a shame that visitors to this area often pass through Bristol.
Bristol, to us, is one of the most appealing towns in New England. With spectacular views of the Narragansett and Mt. Hope Bays, Bristol also has a beautiful downtown with tree-lined streets, beautiful residential homes and municipal buildings, a good diversity of charming little local shops and surprisingly, a great “foodie” scene with more than 40 area restaurants (some waterfront).
A Bristol vacation can get pricey if, say, you dine by the water, stay at a B&B and shop to your heart’s content. If you have the money, we say “Go for it!” as Bristol embodies so many of the qualities and endearing one-of-a-kind nuances that we love about small town New England. If, however, you are on a budget and within proximity for a day trip, we have found ways to visit Bristol without spending a dime. Just fill the gas tank, bring food and drinks for your picnic and you are pretty much set!. Without further ado, here are some free destinations to enjoy in Bristol:
Colt State Park is located on a beautiful stretch of the Narragansett Bay. It features 464 acres of scenic bliss — the perfect place to have a picnic, go walking or boating, fly a kite, enjoy bike and wooded hiking trails, game fields, horseback riding and an idyllic, immaculate landscape. There’s also a small town beach, public boat ramp, an observation tower as well as a chapel by the sea if you are so inclined to get married (there is a charge for that)! Colt State Park is without a doubt, the nicest state parks we have visited, to date, in New England! More on Colt State Park…