Cynthia - Click to enlarge Edition #31, 15 December 2008

Hello, my name is Cynthia, a mermaid from the cool waters of New England. Thank you for visiting my collection of articles on coastal New England. I would like to wish everyone a very happy holiday season!

Look for other articles in this series on the home page.

Bristol, Rhode Island

This week we pay a visit to "America's most patriotic town". Each year since 1785, Bristol begins a celebration on June 14th, Flag Day, which consists of outdoor concerts, soap-box races, and a Firefighters muster at Independance Park. The celebration concludes on July 4th with the oldest annual parade in the country. This event draws over 200,000 people from around the state and around the world.

Bristol is located in eastern Rhode Island along highway 114, south of Warren. Bristol was settled in 1680, and was named after Bristol, England. Originally a part of Massachusetts, the area became a part of the Rhode Island Colony in 1747. Here is a map of Bristol.

The Bristol Visitor Center is located on Hope Street in the Burnside Building. The Visitor Center is open from mid May through late October. Hours are noon to 4pm. The Center is closed July 3rd and 4th. Bristol Shore

The Blithewold Mansion, Gardens, and Arboretum is located at 101 Ferry Road. Here you will find a 45 room English mansion and 33 acres of beautifully landscaped grounds and gardens. There are over 250 different kinds of trees and shrubs in the collection.

Another historic landmark is Linden Place at 500 Hope Street. Known as the 'Crown Jewel' of Bristol, this Federal period mansion was built for General George DeWolf. Linden Place has hosted four US presidents, was home to actress Ethel Barrymore, and was featured in the film, The Great Gatsby.

Those that enjoy boating and yachts will want to visit the Herreshoff Marine and America's Cup Museum at 1 Burnside Street. The museum features displays of 60 historic yachts, steam engines, photographs, and more. The museum is holding a Holiday Open House on December 17th, 2008.

For a very special meal, visit the Persimmon Restaurant, a small bistro located at 31 State Street. Due to limited seating, reservations are recommended. Bring someone special and enjoy a relaxing meal together.

Everyone is raving about Quito's Restaurant. Located at 411 Thames Street, Quito's serves great seafood including fish and chips, crab cakes, oysters, and clams. Be sure to try the quahog fritters!

Independance Park is the trailhead for the East Bay Bike Path which runs from Bristol to Providence. Built on a former railroad bed, the bike path is 10 feet wide and 14.5 miles long. Along this scenic route you will pass the towns of Warren, Riverside, and Barrington.

The Audubon Society of Rhode Island Environmental Education Center is located at 401 Hope Street (Route 114). The Center is both a natural history museum and an aquarium. It is also one of the many attractions along the East Bay Bike Path.

Learn more about Bristol at and  If you should see me in the water, be sure to wave!

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Photo Credits:
Cynthia at Sunrise: DSI Photo
Bristol Shore: Webshots/surfbando18

©2008 Gold Mermaid