If you’re looking for a dose of history and adventure in the heart of Virginia, Abingdon is where you should be. This quaint town has stood for over two centuries and holds its unique heritage proudly with family-friendly attractions that leave no one bored. From tea parties to river trips to wineries, there are plenty of 8 fantastic (and historical) things to do in Abingdon that will make it a memorable experience from start to finish. Come unleash your curiosity amongst well-preserved architecture and gorgeous nature trails as we explore all of Abingdon's best activities!
Where is Abingdon, Virginia?
Abingdon is located in Southwest Virginia and is easily accessible from Interstate 81, U.S. Route 11 and the Virginia Creeper Trail. The town itself is nestled in a valley between two ridges of the Appalachian Mountains, giving visitors a picture-perfect postcard of rolling green hills and beautiful landscapes. Abingdon has been called “the friendliest place in America” for its small-town charm and welcoming atmosphere.
What are some things to do in Abingdon?
1. Wolf Hill Mansion
If you're a history buff, a visit to the Wolf Hill Mansion is a must-see attraction when in Southwest Virginia. Built in 1809 on an estate that dates back to 1690, this historic mansion is one of the oldest homes in the region, and it offers a glimpse into the lives of Virginia's early settlers.
The mansion has been beautifully restored to its original grandeur, with many of the original features, such as the ornate woodwork, fireplaces, and chandeliers, still intact.
Visitors can take a guided tour of the mansion's grand rooms, which are decorated with antiques, artwork, and furniture from the same century it was constructed in. Each room is a testament to the exquisite craftsmanship and attention to detail that was prevalent during that era.
During the tour, you'll learn about the mansion's rich history and the people who lived there, including the prominent Virginians who were instrumental in shaping the state's history. The knowledgeable guides will share stories and anecdotes about life in the mansion during the 19th century, as well as the architectural style and design of the building.
The Wolf Hill Mansion also hosts special events throughout the year, such as holiday tours, garden parties, and antique shows. These events provide a unique opportunity to experience the mansion's beauty and history in a more intimate setting.
2. Virginia Creeper National Recreation Trail
Abingdon's Virginia Creeper National Recreation Trail is a breathtaking outdoor destination that is perfect for anyone looking to explore the natural beauty of Virginia. The trail stretches for 30 miles and winds its way through some of the most serene and picturesque landscapes in the area.
Whether you prefer hiking, biking, or horseback riding, the Virginia Creeper Trail has something to offer everyone. The trail is easy enough for beginners, yet challenging enough for more experienced outdoor enthusiasts. With its gently rolling hills and scenic overlooks, the trail offers a peaceful and relaxing escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
Along the trail, you'll encounter a variety of natural wonders, from babbling streams to towering forests to stunning mountain vistas. You may even spot some of the local wildlife, such as deer, birds, and other small animals.
3. The Martha Washington Inn & Spa
Attend a Tea Party at The Martha Washington Inn & Spa – Step back in time with an elegant afternoon tea service at this luxurious inn that was once frequented by presidents such as Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson. Enjoy the sweet treats and gourmet sandwiches while indulging yourself in a relaxing spa treatment afterwards!
4.Vineyard & Winery
If you're a wine lover, then a visit to the Abingdon, Vineyard & Winery is a must-do activity when visiting Abingdon, Virginia. Situated in a picturesque countryside setting, the winery offers a serene and relaxed atmosphere for visitors to enjoy some of the best local wines in the area.
The winery offers a variety of wines for you to sample, including reds, whites, and specialty blends that are all made from locally-grown grapes. You can take a guided tour of the vineyard to learn about the winemaking process and the history of the winery. The knowledgeable staff will take you through the vineyard, explaining the grape growing and harvesting process and answering any questions you may have.
After the tour, you can visit the tasting room and sample some of the wines, which are expertly crafted by the winemakers to create a unique and flavorful experience. The tasting room also offers a selection of small plates, such as cheese and charcuterie boards, to pair with your wine.
5. Barter Theatre
Barter Theatre is an iconic cultural institution that has been a cornerstone of the Abingdon community since its founding in 1933. As the longest-running professional theatre in the United States, Barter has played an important role in shaping American theatre and showcasing some of the country's most talented performers.
Visitors to Barter Theatre can enjoy a wide range of performances throughout the year, including plays, musicals, and other live productions. With a diverse repertoire that spans everything from classic dramas to contemporary comedies, there's something for every theatre-goer to enjoy.
But Barter Theatre is more than just a performance venue. The theatre is also home to a well-preserved collection of historic buildings that offer a fascinating glimpse into the area's past. Visitors can take a guided tour of these buildings, which include the historic Main Stage, the intimate Barter Stage II, and the beautifully restored Gilliam Stage.
During the tour, you'll learn about the theatre's rich history and the people who helped shape its legacy. You'll also get an up-close look at some of the theatre's most iconic props, costumes, and set pieces, many of which have been used in productions throughout the theatre's storied history.
6. Historical Society Museum
If you're interested in learning more about Abingdon's rich history and culture, then the Historical Society Museum is the perfect destination for you. Located in the heart of downtown Abingdon, the museum is dedicated to preserving and showcasing the area's unique heritage and traditions.
Inside the museum, visitors can explore a wide range of exhibits and artifacts that offer a fascinating glimpse into Abingdon's past. From Native American artifacts to Civil War memorabilia, the museum's collection spans over two centuries of local history. You can see photographs, documents, books, and other historical items that tell the stories of the people and events that shaped Abingdon's development.
One of the highlights of the museum is the extensive collection of items related to the town's early settlers and pioneers. You can learn about the challenges and triumphs of these early residents through displays of their clothing, tools, and household items. Other exhibits showcase the town's development as a center of commerce, education, and the arts, with items ranging from antique musical instruments to rare books and manuscripts.
The museum also hosts a variety of special events throughout the year, including lectures, workshops, and guided tours. These events offer visitors the chance to delve deeper into the area's history and culture and to learn more about the people and places that have shaped Abingdon into the vibrant community it is today.
7. Wolf Hills Brewing Company
Wolf Hills Brewing Company is a popular local brewery that offers a unique and exciting experience for visitors. Whether you're a craft beer enthusiast or just looking for a fun night out with friends or family, there's always something going on at Wolf Hills.
One of the brewery's most popular events is their live music nights, which feature performances from talented local musicians. The brewery's outdoor space provides a great setting for these events, with ample seating and a relaxed, laid-back atmosphere. Guests can enjoy the music while sampling some of the brewery's signature craft beers, including a variety of IPAs, stouts, and lagers.
In addition to the live music, Wolf Hills also hosts food trucks on select evenings, offering a range of delicious and unique food options to complement your beer. From classic pub fare like burgers and fries to more exotic options like Korean BBQ and gourmet tacos, there's something for everyone to enjoy.
8. Holston River
Holston River is a great destination for those who love fishing, especially if you're looking to catch largemouth or smallmouth bass. The river is renowned for its abundance of both species, and there are plenty of opportunities for anglers to test their skills and reel in some big catches.
Whether you're an experienced angler or a beginner, the Holston River has something for everyone. The river's calm waters provide a tranquil setting for a relaxing afternoon of fishing, and the scenery along the riverbank is truly breathtaking. You can enjoy the sounds of the river flowing and the birds singing as you cast your line and wait for a bite.
In addition to the river, the Holston River Fish Hatchery has a stocked lake that offers even more fishing opportunities. The lake is home to a variety of fish, including trout and catfish, and is regularly stocked with new fish to ensure a great fishing experience for visitors.
Abingdon is truly a place where history and adventure come together in perfect harmony! From historic mansions to trails and vineyards, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in this charming Virginia town. So why not make your getaway plans today and experience all that Abingdon has to offer? You won’t regret it!
Abingdon has something for everyone! Whether you’re looking to explore the town’s history or spend a day outdoors, Abingdon is sure to have something to offer. With its rich culture, diverse landscape, and myriad of exciting activities, this small Virginia town is worth visiting at least once in your lifetime. So make your plans today and experience all that Abingdon has to offer! You won’t regret it.