Why Bristol?

 

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 will be located on North Street, around the corner from Bristol’s historic Main Street.

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.

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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 creemee stand. Check out the Bobcat Cafe (featuring local food and house-made beer), The Bristol Bakery & Cafe (a gathering place for locals throughout the day), and Almost Home Market (offering food and drinks, local entertainment and take-out fare). Local stores sell gifts, books, housewares and second-hand items – look also for Green Mountain Shoe and Apparel.

 Other features include:

  • Art on Main – operated as an artist-run non-profit gallery, featuring the work of over 100 artists. Items for sale include pottery, prints, jewelry, traditional arts and more.
  • Bristol Health and Fitness – a local gym offering fitness equipment and classes, including yoga and Pilates. Open to members and non-members.
  • Mountain Health Center – a federally qualified health center
  • The Lawrence Library - books and DVDs for loan, and children’s activities throughout the year.
  •  Also located within walking distance of Bristol Village Cohousing are a pharmacy, a veterinary hospital, chiropractors, acupuncturists and physical therapists.

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 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.
One of several annual events on Main Street that draws residents of the surrounding towns of Lincoln, Monkton, New Haven, and Starksboro.

One of several annual events on Main Street that draws residents of the surrounding towns of Lincoln, Monkton, New Haven, and Starksboro.

Holly Hall across the street from Bristol Village Cohousing hosts concerts, movies, and plays, and is the home of the town offices.

Holly Hall across the street from Bristol Village Cohousing hosts concerts, movies, and plays, and is the home of the town offices.

Local festivals and events are held in the town throughout the year. Key events are:

Local musicians perform at the Bristol Town Green bandstand.

Local musicians perform at the Bristol Town Green bandstand.

Fresh vegetables from local farms at the Bristol Harvest Festival.

Fresh vegetables from local farms at the Bristol Harvest Festival.

July 4th Bristol Outhouse races have been an annual tradition for the past 35 years.

July 4th Bristol Outhouse races have been an annual tradition for the past 35 years.

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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.
View of Bristol  from the Ledges.  The trail head is a five minute walk from the choosing site.

View of Bristol  from the Ledges.  The trail head is a five minute walk from the choosing site.

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. 

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 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, Vermont

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:

Middlebury panorama.jpg
Middlebury Falls
  • 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.

 Vergennes, Vermont

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.