As someone who does NOT follow NASCAR, Bristol has never been on my radar as a destination. No offense to NASCAR fans, of course! But, when I was researching potential Junkin’ Journey locations, I fell in love with the quirky geography of it. As it turns out, the Tennessee/Virginia state line falls down the middle of State Street, which is the heart of downtown Bristol…in both states.
I’m a quasi-geography nerd and I couldn’t resist the allure of crossing the street between states- silly, I know! But when you pair that with a handful of antiques shops…well…stamp my ticket sold, because I’m heading to Bristol.
And my favorite shops along the way included…
Upon rolling into Bristol (Tennessee), I stopped at this shop first. And I have to admit, it set the bar pretty high and ended up being my favorite shop along my journey! I’m still buying décor pieces for my in-laws’ mountain cabin, so I filled a cart with all things mantiques- oil lanterns, minnow buckets, etc. But while I was a heat-seeking missile to cabin “stuff”, I appreciated each and every booth in the shop- there were plenty of primitives and mid-century kitsch throughout the store.
This is the sister shop to Village Antiques, located less than a mile away, so it’s like you get a “twofer” while junkin’! Reflective of its name, it does have more of a flea market feel than a home décor store…but there are definitely treasures and I most definitely found some bargains!
Once I made it to downtown Bristol, I bounced from Virginia to Tennessee and back again. I told you I was a geography dork! But anyway, Willow Creek was one of the two Virginia shops I hit. And it is a lovely, higher-end shop for those of you that are looking for finer antiques. I loved perusing, but left empty-handed…but not without wistfully admiring a few booths!
Also on the Virginia side of the street, Grand Antiques is definitely a gem (for someone like me). Now, the store is dim inside, so don’t let my less-than-thrilling photos fool you. There is an endless supply of primitive treasures and diamonds-in-the-rough here…tucked into dark corners and hidden in the deeper reaches of this pickers’ labyrinth.
For a break from the typical antiques mall, McClellan’s is a fun, quirky shop just off of State street on the Tennessee side. It’s small, but full- and is one of those shops that specializes in the peculiar rather than the trendy. The owner, who was as kind as can be, recommended that I look around to see if there was anything I wanted…but warned that there may be things I wouldn’t want to see! But he was just being cheeky- it’s a fun shop full of oddities that surely have tales to tell. My favorite, though, was the coffee/tea set in the window- look at that bugle on the spout!
Talk about coming full circle- this is the same shop as the first one I hit, but in Johnson City, TN instead. I checked it out on my way out of town and included it because I had just as much fun in this one as I did the Bristol store! It’s also an indicator that I will DEFINITELY be doing a separate Junkin’ Journey to Johnson City, so I’ll be swinging by here again. At this shop, though, I didn’t find anything for the cabin…BUT I did find a few primitives for projects, so it was a winning trip for sure!
Another fun junkin’ journey in the books- and now you have some ideas if you ever find yourself in Bristol! And now that I’ve set foot in Virginia, I’m pretty sure I’ll be back…hint, hint, hint.