Bristol is a community of about 4000 - a small village surrounded by residential neighborhoods and productive farmland. The village occupies a picturesque location, nestled against the Bristol Ledges, with the foothills of the Green Mountains as its backdrop. Bristol Village Cohousing is located on North Street, around the corner from Bristol’s historic Main Street (just to the left of the photo above).
Founded in 1762, Bristol serves as a commercial hub for five small Addison County towns. Almost everything you need in your daily living is easily accessible on foot. Shops, restaurants, a fitness center, the public library, a drug store and a grocery are all located within a block or two of the cohousing community. Other amenities within a short walk are the post office, a locally owned hardware store, a traditional medical facility, and an alternative healing center. The town green, with an attractive new playground, is across the street.
Both the elementary school and the high school are within easy walking distance.
Bristol is a vibrant community, with many cultural and local events sponsored by an active citizenry. There are several recreational facilities in town. Much more can be reached within 20 minutes by car.
Bristol is located 30 miles south of Burlington and 12 miles north of the college town of Middlebury. Both are accessible by bus; the bus stop is a block from the cohousing community.
For more information about Bristol, check out DiscoverBristolVt.com.
Shops, restaurants and commercial establishments
Bristol is home to several restaurants – you’ll find pizza, Chinese food, diner fare, a pub and both gourmet ice cream and a creeme stand.
Local stores sell gifts, books, housewares, office supplies and second-hand items – look also for Green Mountain Shoe and Apparel.
Also located within walking distance of Bristol Village Cohousing are a beautiful local library (The Lawrence Library), a gym (Bristol Health and Fitness), a hardware store, a veterinary hospital, the Mountain Health Center, chiropractors, acupuncturists, physical therapists and a couple of banks.
Cultural and local events
Bristol Band Concerts are held at the bandshell in the town green every week from mid-June to Labor Day.
Holley Hall, across from the town green, offers a variety of plays, dances and classes all year long.
Bristol Town Green: Located in the center of the village, the green includes a bandstand, fountain and children’s playground, and is the site of festivals, band concerts, and movies on the park.
Local festivals and events are held in the town throughout the year. Key events are:
Annual July 4th parade and celebration, with fireworks, food, music, family activities and the famous outhouse races
The Stampede, a three day yard sale, raising money for a local charity.
Harvest Festival, with music and vendors.
Cool Yule celebration includes bazaars, concerts, and a chocolate walk.
Maple Magic, A fun day of maple sweets, treats and bargains from downtown merchants – great way to combat cabin fever.
Recreational facilities, outdoor adventures
Bristol Veterans Memorial Park - a 24 acre wooded area surrounding Burnham Falls, located 5 miles east of the town center, with paths and picnic areas
Sycamore Park - a day-use recreation area 3 ½ miles from the village, with picnic tables, excellent swimming & fishing areas and six interpretive sites.
Bartlett Falls – a scenic swimming hole located about 2 miles from the village.
The Ledges – a trail a few blocks from Bristol Village Cohousing, heading uphill to a birds-eye view of the town
The New Haven River – located along the edge of the village and offering great spring white water adventures.
The Recreation Field is home to playing fields and host to many town events throughout the year. In or near the rec field are the following amenities available for public use:
Two newly-refurbished public tennis courts
An outdoor ice-skating rink, available in winter
A skateboard park
The Hub Teen Center, open weekdays and offerings a variety of events
The Mount Abraham Union High School indoor swimming pool is open to the public year round.
Within a 20-minute car ride, you’ll find
The Lincoln Peak Vineyard - located about 15 minutes away in Middlebury. Enjoy a taste of local wine and the summer concerts offered on site.
Golf courses – two public golf courses are located 15 - 20 minutes away: the Ralph Myhre Golf Club in Middlebury and the Cedar Knoll Country ClMiub in Hinesburg.
Skiing – Bristol is located about 20 minutes from downhill skiing at Sugarbush, Mad River Glen, and the Middlebury Snowbowl. Rikert Nordic Center is also about 20 minutes away in Middlebury.
Hiking – access to the 273 mile Long Trail, the oldest long distance hiking path in the US, is about 15 minutes from Bristol Village. Mount Abraham, one of the highest peaks in Vermont, is located about 20 minutes from the village on the Long Trail.
Two historic towns are 15 minutes away (and there is daily bus service to both)
Middlebury is the county seat of Addison County. Because it is the home to Middlebury College, the town has many restaurants and shops. Some other features:
The Marble Works, an historic district with restaurants, shops and other businesses located downtown near the Otter Creek Falls.
The Town Hall Theater, with year-round music, dance, opera and plays
Middlebury College, with a full schedule of performing arts, films, an art gallery and college sports
The Marquis movie theater
Tasting rooms at the local Woodchuck Cidery, Otter Creek Brewery and the Drop In Brewery.
The Middlebury Natural Foods Coop, open 7 days a week, offering members and nonmembers wholesome natural foods and environmentally sound household products.
The Middlebury Farmer’s Market, open Wednesdays and Saturdays from May – October. An indoor Farmers Market is open on most Saturdays from November – April.
The Trail around Middlebury, a 16 mile recreation path that circles the village, available for cyclists, walkers, cross-country skiers and snow shoers.
Porter Medical Center, a 45 bed community hospital, offering comprehensive medical care and 24 hour emergency services.
Located on Dead Creek, Vergennes is the smallest city in Vermont. You’ll enjoy:
The Vergennes Opera House, offering a year-round schedule of jazz‚ opera‚ folk and classical music, as well as theater performances.
Summer Band concerts on Monday evenings in Vergennes City Park
A Farmers Market from May – October
Dead Creek Wildlife Management Area, a destination for birders and a great place to view shorebirds, waders, snow geese and short-eared owls.