The Fourth of July celebrations are the main feature, associated with the population of Bristol, Rhode Island
The town is also noted for its many historic exhibits that reflect the culture and history of the Bristol Rhode Island area. Maritime history is a big part of that and the Herreshoff Marine Museum has a collection of boats, steam engines and historic photographs. There is a gift shop and the America’s Cup Hall of Fame. The Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology exhibits kayaks, canoes, textiles and Hopi dolls. There is also a history of weapons display. Other collections look to the outside world and include Chinese Taoist paintings and religious artifacts from Africa.
Coggeshall Farm Museum gives an insight into the everyday rural life in the region. A 1790 farmhouse and blacksmith’s shop take visitors back in time. They can stroll through the pastures and kitchen garden and children can pet the farm animals. Mount Hope Farm offers tours for the public, where they can walk through the saltwater farm and its woods, streams, fields and ponds. The farm is also available to hold functions.
Linden Place, on the waterfront, is an elegant 1810 mansion. The grand house and grounds are open to the public, who may recognize it from its use in The Great Gatsby film, starring Robert Redford and Mia Farrow. Blithewold Mansion, Gardens and Arboretum is another elegant example of the fine life, as enjoyed by the wealthy of Bristol Rhode Island. The large house was built in the style of an English manor house.
The town is also known for its liberal arts university, Roger Williams University. It was founded in 1956 and is a private, co-educational establishment with degree courses that include law, marine biology and architecture. The university has attracted many respected guest speakers and has collaborative programs with other universities across the world. Sport is also an important part of the curriculum and there are 16 varsity athletic teams, representing this educational stronghold in Bristol Rhode Island.