Bristol

Part of Rhode Island’s smallest county, Bristol is a beautiful town on the bay with its own mansions, history, the oldest Fourth of July parade in the country, and great dining options. I personally recommend this town for walking around over Newport as it’s not as touristy (though parking can be a nightmare). There are a lot of restaurants and antique shops centralized in the Hope Street area and near the water.

Food:

  1. Christian’s–Pricy, but one of the best bets for dinner in the town, although service is sometimes slow
  2. Roberto’s–nice Italian place
  3. DeWolf Tavern–good food on the water, try the Naan “Philly” Filet Mignon
  4. Beehive Cafe–amazing cookies, great sandwiches, nice cafe
  5. Redlefsen’s–German/American restaurant, across the street from the water, great sandwiches for lunch (Ultimate Grilled Cheese!), sit outside if it’s nice
  6. The Daily Scoop–great homemade ice cream and right next to the water too, better than Gray’s
  7. Nacho Mama’s–good Mexican, homemade guac and chips, pricier than Chipotle, play lots of Pitbull music inside
  8. Angelina’s–well made coffee. Head to the back for games and more sitting space
  9. Sunset Cafe–decent diner for breakfast
  10. Bristol Bagel Works–good bagels
  11. Aidan’s Pub–lively bar with decent bar food, trivia night on Thursdays
  12. Trafford (Warren)–I first visited this waterfront restaurant last winter with my mom and have been consistently impressed with the food and views here. Lunch is laid-back, and they serve good American fare and the fantastic Trafford Burger. Their menu varies throughout the year and on summer nights they make creative cocktails. 285 Water Street, $$-$$$
  13. Coffee Depot (Warren)I’d first heard of this coffee shop while working at Coastal this summer, and I made my first visit a few weeks back. Inside, the shop is full of people and it feels like the sort of place where the same people have been coming to play Scrabble everyday for years. Plus, the coffee is strong and well made: flavorful iced coffee and good cortados. 501 Main Street, $

Activities:

  1. Blithewold Mansion & Grounds–great grounds, nice mansion to visit, they have lots of events like tea at Thanksgiving and beautiful Christmas decorations
  2. Linden Place–a seasonal house museum, but you can take a self-guided tour in the off-season. Beautiful and a quick day trip
  3. 4th of July Parade–oldest Independence Day Parade in the country
  4. Herreshoff Museum–interesting museum, can visit during the 4th of July Parade
  5. Barrington Books (Barrington, RI)–really nice, independent bookstore in Barrington
  6. East Bay Bike Path–good biking, running, walking path along the water
  7. Colt State Park–beautiful park that opens up to the bay, can get to it from the bike path
  8. Audubon Society–great walkway that goes to the bay and cuts through the bike path
  9. Hope Street–good antique shops along this road
  10. Wooden Midshipman (Warren)–a cool shop on Warren’s artsy Water Street
  11. Imagine Emporium (Warren)–I’ve always passed by this bright purple store and let myself wonder what the heck goes on inside without popping in to find out for myself. But before getting coffee, we ventured into this gift shop and were pleasantly surprised. I was expecting an eclectic toy shop from a children’s movie but instead found a place that is most striking for how big it is inside. The three floors of this building are packed with quirky greeting cards, umbrellas dangling from the ceiling, Rhode Island themed gifts, and an excess of lightbulbs on the third floor. 5 Miller Street
  12. Delekta Pharmacy (Warren)–This pharmacy on the corner does what trendy places in Brooklyn and Philly try to do but in a subtle and more authentic feeling way. A few products from the pharmacy line the shelves and there’s a counter to get a milkshake or drink with a couple seats next to the window as well. We didn’t stay for an egg cream, but this place is on my list to revisit soon. 496 Main Street
  13. In Your Ear Records (Warren)–I don’t know much about record shops, but this Boston-based sells a great variety of records, CDs, and movies. It’s a good place to do some browsing after visiting the other stores in the area. 462 Main Street