I love Bristol with a big love. I've been living here for around two years and it still makes me smile on a regular basis. The Bristol Culture site regularly has articles of semi-famous Bristol folks talking about their favourite bits - here are mine, in no particular order (plus a pretty picture of the harbour that I took one evening).
The Windmill Pub
I think these guys do the best roast in Bristol. Every bit of the meal is carefully prepared from the fresh crisp yorkies to the creamy leeks, spicy red cabbage and tender meat. Amazing. They have a laid back but comfy atmosphere in the pub and all the papers to read on a Sunday.
St Nicholas Market
Particularly the Moroccan stall and the Middle Eastern food stall down the end opposite the fabric stall. The Moroccan place does the most tender meat, beautifully spiced and melting in your mouth with delicious sauce and tasty rice or cous cous. The Middle Eastern place does fantastic meals with every part of the dish carefully spiced and prepared. Their freshly cooked flat-bread is an essential compliment to the meal. There is also a wide choice of other foods from Pieminster pies to local sausages, Jamaican, Indian, BBQ, Felafel wraps and more plus several pubs (including the excellent Rummer Hotel tucked away off All Saints Lane).
St Nicholas Market and Corn Street are historic (established in 1743) and picturesque with craft
Along Corn Street are four brass 'nails' with the earliest from around 1560 and the Registry Office where you often see weddings taking place on a Saturday. We end up visiting here most weekends, especially as it's on the way to the shopping centre.
Bristol is full of lovely parks and green spaces. Our local one is the gorgeous Ashton Court; a 16th Century house and deer park with 19th Century gardens and acres of rolling fields and woods. The property was gifted to Bristol and is a great asset to the city (but don't bother with the cafe, it's complete rubbish). There is a weekly farmer's market, a small golf course, horse riding, a mountain bike track and of course the massive annual hot air ballon festival (more about that later).
Even though it's quite a way from the coast, Bristol's heart is its harbour. The small locked harbour and rivers are criss-crossed with ferries. For 80p you can cross from the SS Great Britain to the other side of the harbour (I recommend checking out the Grain Barge for a drink and a meal while you're there) or for a few pounds you can toddle gently up and down the harbour taking in the sights, admiring the passing swans and possibly getting somewhere useful like the railway station or near the shopping centre.
Bristol has masses of different festivals (many of them free) throughout the year. Mayfest is probably my favourite - a condensed 10 days of theatre, dance, music and more with all sorts of top quality bizarre bits and pieces including award-winning shows from the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Last year we loved a 1940s cabaret/ musical version of Beowulf by a hugely talented cast from America.
There are police horses stationed fairly close to our house and they can often be seen in pairs around the city centre. They are huge and brave and beautiful and I love them. They're worth a follow on Twitter for the cute photos. If you're in Bristol and happen to see them going by you can generally pat them if you ask first.
I've got lots more things to say about this fabulous city, but that'll do for now.