aerial of bristol nh streets of downtown

Bristol Is a Small Town With Big Amenities

December 14, 2021 6:09 am

Bristol, New Hampshire is a small town tucked away just 25 miles northwest of the state’s capital of Concord. People here love the beautiful scenery of Bristol, encompassing the southern portion of Newfound Lake just south of the White Mountain National Forest. There are about 3,000 year-round residents so the community is close-knit, and very vibrant.

Bristol has more to offer than most other rural towns because it remains close to many major recreational attractions and business centers, while also having lots to offer right in town. You can grab breakfast in the morning at an old-fashioned diner, do yoga paddleboarding on the lake, go hiking, or run errands in the afternoon, and end your night listening to live jazz with a glass of wine at the local cafe.

The town is small, but the amenities are world-class.  Bristol residents really do reap the benefits of living in “the Hub of the Newfound Lake Region”. 

Great places to eat

The dining options are endless in Bristol. You won’t have any trouble finding a locally-owned spot with friendly staff and delicious food for a reasonable price. There’s authentic Mexican and Chinese cuisine, amazing pizza, great seafood, and plenty of fresh, homemade dishes at the many locally owned restaurants in town.

We’ve got a list started of some of our favorites here if you’d like to learn more about our dining scene. Great Places to Eat in Bristol, NH.


Residents and visitors alike appreciate the variety in services in this small town. Bristol is home to three dry cleaners, three hardware stores, and three pharmacies, just to name a few of the services you’ll find here in town. 

The dry cleaners are all located near the Central Square Historic District, so you can pick up and drop off on your way through running errands. Wizard of Wash and Bristol Laundromat are both on Lake Street, and All Ways Clean is on Winter Street. 

Want to take a walking tour of our historic downtown? Go to our Historic District Commission Walking Tour Map.

If you’re looking to buy supplies for your latest home improvement project, you can find a couple of hardware stores on Summer Street. For your pharmacy needs we’ve got a Rite Aid nearby and when you need to fuel up, a variety of gas stations on Lake Street towards Central Square, including the locally-owned Park & Go Market.

Access to a decent grocery store in a rural area is crucial and sometimes hard to come by. Access to quality, affordable food is a huge benefit for our residents with two grocery stores to choose from. Hannaford Supermarket on Pleasant Street near the airport is a New England-based chain that supports local farms and businesses by carrying their product in their store. Shacketts is a family-owned grocery store that has been in business for 76 years, known for their amazing donuts. They also have a seafood shack next door where you can purchase fresh fish, ice cream, and sandwiches. 

The Great Outdoors

Bristol is a very active community, so you’ll usually find people hiking, hunting, fishing, swimming or coming up with some other form of outdoor activity in our beautiful town. Considering how easy and convenient it is to access nature when living in Bristol, it is important to mention the endless outdoor recreational activities that are available. You can go hiking, biking, fishing, swimming, and so much more. The Lakes Region has many incredible golf courses to offer, including Birdie’s Range in Bridgewater and White Mountain Country Club in Ashland. But the fun doesn’t end when the warm weather does! Located just a short drive away, Ragged Mountain Resort in Danbury and Tenney Mountain Resort in Plymouth have great skiing and snowboarding trails.

While it is great to get outside as much as possible, it’s nice to have indoor recreational options as well. There is a list of Bristol gyms, yoga studios, and dance classes here.

Access to Healthcare

Moving to the country shouldn’t mean a longer drive to the doctor. Here in Bristol, we’re fortunate to have nearby access to a choice of clinics and hospitals.

Mid-State Health Center is the medical office in town, located on Robie Road. Mid-State prides itself on its high-quality, innovative patient care at an accessible price point. Should you need to visit a different type of care center, there are great hospitals nearby as well. Concord Hospital has locations in Laconia and Franklin, and Speare Memorial Hospital is in Plymouth.

Great Location

If you can’t find it in Bristol, you won’t have far to drive to get it. About 45 minutes from Concord, and an hour from Manchester, you’re never too far from anything. If the beach or mountains is your thing, we are about 90 minutes from the Seacoast and close to the White Mountain National Forest. 

For businesses who operate in Bristol, it’s really a dream location. With new high-speed internet service, companies and employees can work remotely with little interruption. When travel to the office or a business trip is required, it’s never too far to a major city or airport.

Bristol is conveniently located on Interstate 93, which can quickly take you north and south in New Hampshire and on to the Boston area in a little under two hours. But once you get into Bristol and see what we have to offer, you may not want to leave.

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