Considered one of the hidden gems of the Northeast, Bristol has that classic quaint, cozy New England vibe right off the coastline. Bristol delivers first class cuisine, rich history, striking architecture, diverse waterfront activities, family fun and more alongside miles of accessible coastline, surrounded by Narragansett Bay to the west and Mount Hope Bay to the east. Anyone eager to connect with nature will find themselves right at home in Bristol. The town features beautiful nature escapes ideal for social distancing and each with a fascinating history. With the vibrant fall colors recreating Bristol with hues of red, orange and yellow, there’s no better time to visit and soak in all the town has to offer.
Colt State Park:
Featuring four miles of bicycle trails with a bayside view, six distinct campgrounds, 464 acres of pastoral fruit trees, and a luxurious flower garden, Colt State Park is an ideal spot for a coastal drive, stroll or bike ride. The park has an exceptional view of Narragansett Bay on the western border. Colt State Park used to be the home of industrialist and politician Samuel P. Colt’s summer house and the park was named after him. Samuel P. Colt was part of the large and wealthy DeWolf family on his mother’s side and was father-in-law to Ethel Barrymore (Drew Barrymore’s great aunt).
East Bay Bike Path:
East Bay Bike Path is a multi-town bike path in Rhode Island connecting Providence and Bristol. It travels 14.5 miles from Independence Park in Bristol to India Point Park in Providence, passing many state and local parks and recreation areas while also offering exceptional views of the Narraganset Bay. The path follows the former Providence and Bristol Railroad and is mostly flat, with the exception of a large hill as the path switches from an alignment alongside Veterans Memorial Parkway in East Providence to the former rail right-of-way.
Blithewold Mansion, Gardens & Arboretum:
A fusion of architecture, landscape architecture, horticulture, and decorative arts, Blithewold Mansion, Gardens & Arboretum is among the few late 19th and early 20th century New England estates that retain their integrity and authenticity down to the details of plant materials and interior furnishings, family archives and artifacts. It is considered to be one of the finest garden estates in the region and features diverse gardens, specimen trees, and a forty-five-room English style manor house filled with antiques and artwork, all chronicling the rich social history of the lives of one family over a span of more than eighty years. Though the mansion remains closed, the garden and grounds will remain open throughout the fall. Visitors must purchase tickets online prior to arrival.
Mount Hope Farm:
Located on 127 acres of pristine space, the Mount Hope Farm is the ideal location for leaf peepers and fall hikers. The farm is designated an Arboretum, which is essentially a botanical collection composed exclusively of trees – perfect for spotting the beautiful autumn shades of red, orange and yellow. There is even evidence the farm has been hosting people as far back as the Pokanoket Tribe of the Wampanoags – the same tribe that greeted the Mayflower in 1620. What better place to visit in the fall than the potential location of the first Thanksgiving Feast and one of George Washington’s favorite New England properties.
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