Destination guide

A charming New England waterfront town

This charming New England waterfront town lies on a peninsula flanked by the Mount Hope and Narragansett Bays just a few miles south of Providence, the Rhode Island capital. It's got a long history that dates back over 3 centuries and is famous for hosting the oldest 4th of July celebration in the entire country. If you want to experience the festivities, be sure to book up your Bristol vacation rental early. Wander along the historic tree-lined Main Street to admire the old town stores and centuries-old properties, or sail out from the harbor to explore the bays.

Things to do

Packed with historical attractions

For such a small place, Bristol is packed with cultural and historical attractions to keep you busy. From Bristol vacation rentals, visitors can easily reach the BAM art museum which houses a variety of works in a mid-19th century carriage house. Perhaps the finest piece of architecture in town is the Linden Place in the waterfront district. Many a president has walked through the doors of this historic home. At the Bristol Historical & Preservation Society you can take a glimpse back in time to Bristol's history through artifacts and memorabilia inside a former county jail.


A busy harbor to sail from

Boating is big in Bristol and the harbor squeezes in hundreds of yachts on its moorings. Perfectly situated on the East Bay Peninsula, the calm bays and continual year-round winds make for ideal sailing conditions. Back on land, you can easily reach Colt State Park and its miles of coastal scenery, marshes and ponds. It's particularly popular with bikers and skaters, though walking is just as fun. To experience the town at its best, be sure to visit for the colorful July 4th parades which have been annually held into the town since the late 18th century.


A maritime climate

The town has a maritime climate which is notoriously fickle, but has distinct seasons to enjoy. During the summer, the days are typically hot, but cooled by the breeze from the sea and best spent on the ocean, whether by boat, kayak or paddleboard. Though the number of visitors drops during the fall and winter, it can be a wonderfully peaceful time, with a plethora of cozy eateries and bars to huddle in. Bracing walks along the waterfront are lovely at this time of the year. As spring approaches again, the temperature begins to warm, and the days are bright and sunny.

Natural features

Sea hawks circle on the morning thermals

Your Bristol vacation rental will be just minutes away from the glorious Colt State Park, a sweeping strip of land overlooking the waterfront and characterized by manicured lawns, large fruit trees and flowers. If you decide to walk, the pathway goes from beautiful waterfront town houses to a protected marshland inhabited by many coastal bird species. Under the stone bridge at high tide, you'll be able to spot wading herons searching for fish in the estuary or large sea hawks which circle on the early morning thermals overhead, keeping their beady eyes peeled for prey.

How to get there

Transportation options to and around Bristol

The nearest airport is in Providence, RI (PVD-T.F. Green), located 9.3 mi (15 km) from the city center. If you're unable to find a flight that fits your schedule, you could book a flight to North Kingstown, RI (NCO-Quonset State), which is 9.4 mi (15.2 km) away.

Where to stay around Bristol?

Our 2019 property listings offer a large selection of 717 vacation rentals near Bristol. From 321 Houses to 82 Cottages, find a unique house rental for you to enjoy a memorable stay with your family and friends. The best places to stay near Bristol for a holiday or a weekend are on HomeAway.

What is the best area to stay when traveling to Bristol?

Whether you're traveling with family or friends, here are the areas with the largest selection of vacation rentals for a holiday trip or just for a weekend in Bristol:

  • Point Judith: 502 vacation rentals
  • Matunuck: 603 vacation rentals
  • Bonnet Shores: 126 vacation rentals
  • Narragansett Pier: 523 vacation rentals
  • Newport East: 368 vacation rentals

For other neighborhoods, please use our search bar to access the selection of vacation rentals available.

What are the popular points of interest near where I can stay when traveling to Bristol?

HomeAway offers a large selection of vacation rentals near lovely places in Bristol. From HomeAway travelers, the most popular points of interest to stay for a holiday trip or just for a weekend are:

  • Colt State Park: 1,358 vacation rentals
  • Blithewold Mansion Gardens and Arboretum: 1,393 vacation rentals
  • Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology: 1,288 vacation rentals
  • Musee Patamecanique: 1,329 vacation rentals
  • Coggeshall Farm Museum: 1,358 vacation rentals

But there are many other points of interest around Bristol listed on HomeAway where you can find your place to stay. Please use our search bar to access the selection of vacation rentals available near the point of interest of your choice.

Can I rent Houses in Bristol?

Yes, of course. HomeAway has 321 Houses in Bristol. Our other popular types of vacation rentals in Bristol include:

  • Cottages: 82 rentals available
  • Condos/Apartments: 222 rentals available
  • Cabins: 82 rentals available

But you can also enjoy a great stay in one of our other vacation rentals including Bungalows and more.

Can I find a vacation rental with pool in Bristol?

Yes, you can select your preferred vacation rental with pool among our 99 vacation rentals with pool available in Bristol. Please use our search bar to access the selection of vacation rentals available.

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