Spend the Day in Bristol

Mount Hope Farm is an Inn and country retreat beloved by all. Come  see our Nigerian dwarf goats, Southdown sheep, donkeys and chickens.  Stroll our gardens and fields and wander down the road to Cove Cabin on the shore of Mount Hope Bay. Visitors to the Farm can walk through the 127-acre property or explore the many shops, great restaurants and lovely architecture of historic Bristol, Rhode Island.

The sleepy pastures of Mount Hope Farm surround Mount Hope (originally Montaup in Pokanoket language), a wooded promontory on the eastern shore of Bristol, Rhode Island overlooking the part of Narragansett Bay known as Mount Hope Bay. For those who study early American history, Bristol and Mount Hope Farm have more authenticity than the dubious “Plymouth Rock.” What became Mount Hope Farm was the summer camp of the Pokanoket Tribe of the Wampanoags – the same tribe that greeted the Mayflower in Plymouth in 1620 – so it is likely that the first “Thanksgiving Feast” was held on this property. (Click here for more History of Mt. Hope Farm.)

Bristol is a quintessential New England town with a population of ~23,000 and a rich mix of cultures.  Originally settled by the Pilgrims who left Massachusetts seeking religious freedom in Rhode Island, Bristol also attracted large populations from Italy and Portugal, especially the Azores. You will see the Italian and Portuguese influence in Bristol’s restaurants, grocery stores and churches. Important hallmarks of Rhode Island’s history of religious tolerance are the very first First Baptist Church in America (in Providence) as well as the first Jewish synagogue (in Newport).

Consistently named one of the prettiest and most charming towns in New England, Bristol prizes both its heritage and its warm, friendly culture. For a town of its size, Bristol is almost unique in its many historic and cultural attractions. Bristol was the site of the first battle of King Philip’s war in 1675, the rebellion by the Wampanoag Nation against settlers who bought land from King Philip’s late father, Sachem Massasoit.

Bristol holds the distinction of having the oldest, continuous Fourth of July Celebration in America. The Celebration, first held in 1785, was started by Bristolians who actually took part in the Revolutionary War. Bristol becomes arguably the most patriotic town in America during the three-week Celebration culminating in the gala Parade on Independence Day, enjoyed by more than 200,000 visitors from near and far.

Sailing and shipbuilding have played an important role in the life of Bristol since the 17th Century. The famous Herreshoff Manufacturing Company (1878) designed and built seven of the largest, most complex and powerful racing sloops the world has ever known. Of these, five were victorious in winning the prestigious America’s Cup. Today sailors from around the world come to Bristol to visit the America’s Cup Hall of Fame at the Herreshoff Marine Museum.

Also in Bristol is Blithewold Mansion, admired as an example of the Country Place Era and the Arts and Crafts movement in the country. Adjacent to the sweeping landscape of Colt State Park, Coggeshall Farm recreates the daily experience of tenant farmers in the 1790s. Roger Williams University, located at the southernmost tip of Bristol overlooking Mount Hope Bay, just a 1/4 mile from the Farm,  offers a full program of study including liberal arts, business, architecture and law. Linden Place Museum and the Bristol Art Museum are conveniently located in the historic downtown of Bristol near many of Rhode Island’s finest restaurants and shops. Bristol’s Maritime Welcome Center serves sailors and boaters who visit Bristol by boat.

Details on Bristol’s attractions and events can be find on the Explore Bristol website.

Come visit us!