Described as the “Birthplace of Country Music,” Bristol, VA, is an incredibly historic music destination that is a hidden gem in the US. Not only have countless country music stars, including Kenny Chesney and Miranda Lambert, made the pilgrimage to this small city in the Appalachian Mountains, but in Bristol, one can experience a diverse range of cultures that have amalgamated together to create some of the most iconic music in history. Located along the border of Virginia and Tennessee, Bristol, VA, is somewhat of a music mecca—connected to the birth of country music, bluegrass, rhythm, and blues. Though it appears small and unassuming, this city houses an incredible amount of musical history. It is a destination worth a detour for anyone exploring the roots of America’s music. Learn more here.
A visit to the Birthplace of Country Music Museum truly brings history alive. From the exterior, the building resembles a quaint blue structure with white trim, located just off the town’s main thoroughfare, State Street. Open since 2014, the Museum chronicles the unique musical tapestry of Bristol, VA, and has quickly become one of the most prominent attractions in the area. Upon entering, visitors are struck by the warmth and authenticity of the museum, with its cozy fireplace and devotion to historical artifacts of the genre. The first stop is often the interactive performance space and theater. Before every show, attendees gather in the arena and are welcome to the theater by volunteers. Here, Master Musician showcases the style and sound of Appalachian music. Onlookers can watch and listen as these virtuoso musicians tell the stories behind the songs and the accompanying instruments. Learn more about Feeling the Fury of Italy: The Angry Italian Restaurant in Bristol.