BRISTOL, Tenn. — 8:00 AM: Experience life in the fast lane at Bristol Motor Speedway
The stadium where some of NASCAR's best racers bumped & nudged their way to Victory Lane is sacred ground. As one of only two half-mile racetracks on the NASCAR circuit, the banks are high and the track is hot. When the lights cool in the off-season though, you can take a turn on the track.
That means you’re skipping breakfast. This is your first stop.
Tours of Bristol Motor Speedway run all through the off season at just $8.00 for adults, $5.00 for seniors 55 and over, children at $3, and kids under six get in free.
12:30 PM: Nosh on burgers the size of your head at Burger Bar
Burger Bar brings you back to a time when double arches didn’t reign supreme. A staple of Bristol since 1942, it’s a local joint that survived the Burger Wars and delights in serving up whatever people want.
The only loose rule here is to get there around 11:30, or a little before the lunch rush hour. Parking is limited and things get hectic when people know things like peanut butter raspberry milkshakes are on the line.
1:15 PM Tour LC King & see what Made in America feels like
Fourth-generation owner Jack King’s understanding of what Made in America means has landed his men’s clothing store, LC King, inside the pages of The New York Times and Vanity Fair. As people continue to seek out local craftsmen to provide the clothes they put on their back, the techniques King's family perfected back when they first opened at the turn of the century is appealing to customers as far-flung as Japan.
Accolades aside, it was one of the first cut-and-sew factories in the United States. Not much has changed. You can book tours of the facility and pick up a handmade jacket on the way out.
3:15 PM: Relive the Bristol Music Sessions at the Birthplace of Country Music Museum
Gone country? Thank Bristol. The tale of how the 1927 Bristol Sessions recordings brought country music into the mainstream fold is on full, interactive display at the Birthplace of Country Music Museum. The Museum has received many awards including recognization for Leadership in History by the American Association of State and Local History.
6:00 PM (or whenever the sun sets): Rooftop drinks at The Bristol Hotel
If your day has felt like a hodgepodge of racecar and cheeseburger grease, The Bristol Hotel is a welcome reprieve above all that. Their new rooftop lounge bar offers a panoramic view of the Smokies and live music most nights.
There’s a reason this newest hotel on the block was just named USA Today’s Best Hotel. Whether you stay for a few hours or stay the night, it’s a different kind of pit stop regardless.
9:00: Late night snacks at Blackbird Bakery
If the world wants to tell you there’s something sinful about chocolate eclairs or creme brulee donuts after dark, then Bristol is the cool aunt letting you indulge past bedtime. Blackbird Bakery has been serving up late night sweets since the summer of ’08. You can keep it simple with a donut and coffee, or dip into the truly delectable with raspberry crème or crème de mint brownies. It's the perfect way to top off a wonderful day in Bristol.