Abingdon is one of Virginia’s most historically-significant towns, with a number of sites that visitors of all ages will enjoy exploring. Be sure to take a stroll down their Main Street which has a vibrant fine arts and crafts scene as well as several renowned galleries and museums.

Some of the architecture you’ll come across in the Historic District dates back to the late 1700s; for example, the Barter Theatre is the longest-running theatre since it opened in 1933. Other popular places to visit include Abingdon Vineyards, Abingdon Arts Depot, the St. Thomas Episcopal Church, and the Abingdon Farmers Market.

1. Barter Theatre

Barter Theatre
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The Barter Theatre is the longest-running professional theatre in the entire United States. It was officially opened on June 10th, 1933, right when the nation was in the middle of the Great Depression. A lot of theaters began closing their doors and actors found themselves out of work when people realized they could no longer afford visiting the theater. The concept of the Barter Theatre was to solve that problem by allowing patrons to pay for their theater tickets with food goods; this would keep actors in work while giving people the chance to have a good laugh. The interesting concept was a booming success and visitors today can see professional productions throughout the year. Browse our Romantic Weekend Getaways in Virginia guide for more ideas.

Address: 127 W Main St, Abingdon, VA 24210, Phone: 276-628-3991

2. Virginia Creeper Trail Club

Virginia Creeper Trail Club
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The Virginia Creeper Trail Club, or the VCTC, is a nonprofit volunteer organization that is dedicated to the maintenance and preservation of the Creeper Trail corridor. The VCT is a 34+ mile rail-to-recreation trail that has been open for over thirty years. Visitors from across the US visit the trail to enjoy walking, running, people watching, biking, fishing, horseback riding, cross-country skiing, geocaching, and several other activities. It’s also a great destination for wildlife viewing, as you’ll see much of the local flora and fauna along the trail. Be sure to take along your camera because you’ll come across some spectacular scenery of fields, forests, farmlands, and more.

Address: Virginia Creeper Trail Welcome Center, Abingdon Trailhead, 300 Green Spring Road, Abingdon, VA 24210, Phone: 276-525-4457

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3. Things to Do in Abingdon: Abingdon Vineyards

Things to Do in Abingdon: Abingdon Vineyards
© Abingdon Vineyards

Abingdon Vineyards was started in 2001 by retired engineers Janet Nordin and Bob Carlson. It is now owned and operated by the Gardner family, who grew up in California’s Wine Country and were long-time visitors of Abingdon Vineyards right up to when they took over in 2018. Visiting the vineyard will give you an opportunity to meet the incredible team, explore the land, and take a tour of the production facility. The vineyard is located right on the South Holston River, which is a perfect place for you to enjoy your wine tasting along with a picnic. There are tons of cheese, crackers, salami, and other artisanal snacks available as well. Popular choices include the 2018 Pinot Noir Rose, the 2018 Riverside Rose, and the 2013 Home Town Red.

Address: 20530 Alvarado Rd, Abingdon, VA 24211, Phone: 276-623-1255

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4. Abingdon Arts Depot

Abingdon Arts Depot
© Abingdon Arts Depot

The Abingdon Arts Depot is a non-profit community-based art gallery that was established in 1990. The gallery’s mission is to provide educational opportunities for the community as well as provide a platform for regionals artists to showcase their pieces in a working artists’ studio. They have several gallery exhibits throughout the year, and the main “Spotlight Gallery” features eight juried exhibitions yearly. The three large galleries are housed in a 19th century freight station, and some of the pieces you’ll see there include jewelry, folk art, 3D tapestry weaving, portraiture, hand felting, clay sculptures, and oil, acrylic, and watercolor paintings.

Address: 314 Depot Square SW, Abingdon, VA 24210, Phone: 276-628-9091, (website link)

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5. Abingdon Farmers Market

Abingdon Farmers Market
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Farming has always played an extensive role in Abingdon; the city’s agricultural heritage has shaped the history of the city and its people for several years. But even as commercial agriculture declines as the area’s leading industry, Abingdon farmers found creative ways to market their products and continue to thrive. The Abingdon Farmers Market is one such endeavor that has evolved from little roadside marketplaces to more established vendor markets. It is a great place for visitors to source high-quality, locally-grown foods that are fresh, delicious, and great for the entire family. Other aspects of the market also include live music, cooking demonstrations, children programs, and much more.

Address: Cummings St, Abingdon, VA 24210, Phone: 276-698-1434

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6. Things to Do in Abingdon: William King Museum of Art

Things to Do in Abingdon: William King Museum of Art
© William King Museum of Art

The William King Museum of Art showcases both regional and international art which vary from historic to contemporary. The building it’s housed in is in itself a historic masterpiece - a renovated 1913 building that was formerly a school. In addition to the wonderful exhibitions, the museum also features an outdoor sculpture garden, several resident artist studios, and the VanGogh Educational Outreach Program which takes art into the classrooms. If you’re in Abingdon for an extended period of time, join one of the museum’s classes for youth and adults; these include drawing, painting, printmaking, ceramics, and jewelry making.

Address: 415 Academy Dr NW, Abingdon, VA 24210, Phone: 276-628-5005

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7. Historical Society of Washington County

Historical Society of Washington County
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The Historical Society of Washington County, Virginia (HSWCV) was founded in 1936 to preserve the history of Southwest Virginia through a collection of books, digital images, historical documents, and much more. Now headquartered on Main Street, HSWCV originally started as a small collection in founders’ homes. It is now one of the finest small historical and genealogical research facilities in the state; their renowned for having a very clear system which makes information easily searchable from their reference library with over 7,000 volumes. Be sure to stop by the store to purchase unique historical books, a digitally reproduced matrimonial certificate from an 1800’s Washington County family bible, and t-shirts among other things.

Address: 341 W. Main Street, Abingdon, VA 24210, Phone: 276-623-8337, (website link)

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8. St. Thomas Episcopal Church

St. Thomas Episcopal Church
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Founded in 1846, the St. Thomas Episcopal Church is a stunning architectural element that visitors should explore for both its religious aspect as well as its architectural one. One of its most revered features two dozen Byzantine-style icons on the stucco sanctuary walls; titled the “Life of Christ”, the series depicts scenes from Annunciation all way to Post-Resurrection. There are several unique aspects about the St Thomas collection, especially the fact that no gold was used at all, which is rare because was used as a symbolic icon of divine light. Another interesting fact is that icons are used devotion and can be used as a form of meditation for many.

Address: 124 E Main St, Abingdon, VA 24210, Phone: 276-628-3606

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9. Things to Do in Abingdon, VA: Rain Restaurant and Bar

Things to Do in Abingdon, VA: Rain Restaurant and Bar
© Rain Restaurant and Bar

Rain Restaurant and Bar can be found in downtown Abingdon’s Historic District. The renowned dining establishment opened in 2010 and has been a patron favorite within the area’s dining scene. You can look forward to excellent service, southern hospitality, and a meticulously crafted meal made with only the finest ingredients. Opt to sit out on the patio during the summer as the atmosphere is absolutely perfect for a romantic evening or even a casual night out with friends. Some of their signature dishes are the confit sriracha chicken wings and the heirloom tomato salad with fresh mozzarella.

Address: 283 E Main St, Abingdon, VA 24210, Phone: 276-739-2331

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10. The Tavern Restaurant

The Tavern Restaurant
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The Tavern Restaurant can be found housed in one of Abingdon’s oldest and most historic buildings - a tavern and inn for stagecoach travelers that was built in 1779. The tavern had several prestigious guests stay there including President Andrew Jackson, King Louis-Philippe of France, and famed designer Charles L’Enfant. Over the years, the building also housed a bank, general store, bakery, barber shop, cabinet shop, post office, and even served as a private residence before it was used as a restaurant. Today, you can feast on your choice of appetizers, soups, salads, entrees, and drinks. Some of The Tavern’s signature dishes include the New Zealand full rack of lamb, the maple leaf farms duck breasts, and the stuffed filet mignon.

Address: 222 E Main St, Abingdon, VA 24210, Phone: 276-628-1118

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11. Things to Do in Abingdon, VA: Salt of the Earth

Things to Do in Abingdon, VA: Salt of the Earth
© Salt of the Earth

Take a break from the stresses of daily life and treat yourself to some salt therapy at Salt of the Earth. Also known as halotherapy, salt therapy dates all the way back to ancient Greece and is, once again, growing in popularity around the wellness circle. Salt of the Earth offers halotherapy sessions in their salt room, where mineral salt covers every wall and pharmaceutical-grade dry saline circulates the air to create a negative ion environment. The benefits of salt therapy are claimed to include strengthening and detoxing your respiratory system, as well as promoting stress management and relaxation. In addition to the salt room, Salt of the Earth offers infrared saunas and massages to combine with your salt therapy session.

321 W Main Street, Abingdon, Virginia 24210, Phone: 276-477-4101, (website link)

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12. Charleys

Charleys
© Charleys

Charleys is a chain restaurant serving fresh and delicious fast food. Renowned for their grilled subs, especially their Philly cheesesteaks, the restaurant dates all the way back to 1985. The made-fresh cheesesteaks, loaded gourmet fries, and all-natural lemonades were on the original menu and are still found on their menu today. The restaurant only uses premium ingredients; the hand-cute vegetables, 100% USDA choice steak, and all-white meat chicken are always grilled fresh to order. Be sure to try out their jalapeno pepper fries which are loaded with jalapeno-lime seasoning, diced jalapeno, smoked bacon, cheese sauce, and a creamy ranch dressing.

Address: 404 Cummings St Ste 3, Abingdon, VA 24210, Phone: 276-525-1999

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13. Things to Do in Abingdon, VA: White's Mill

Things to Do in Abingdon, VA: White's Mill
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Dating back to the late 18th century, the historic White’s Mill offers a glimpse into the county’s agricultural roots as one of its last remaining grist mills. The picturesque mill provided meals and flour for the neighborhood’s farms and kitchens and served as a gathering place for community members. Following its purchase in 2001, great efforts were made to preserve the mill’s machinery and restore its outside structure. Visitors can taste history as well, through various stone-ground products offered at the White’s Mill Mercantile. Bring home souvenirs like stone-ground grits and cornmeal, along with non-edible products such as artwork, books, and handmade quilts.

12291 Whites Mill Road, Abingdon, Virginia 24210, Phone: 276-628-2960

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14. Southwest Virginia Cultural Center

Southwest Virginia Cultural Center
© Southwest Virginia Cultural Center

Celebrate the region’s rich heritage and artistic culture at Southwest Virginia Cultural Center. Here, visitors can learn firsthand about the area’s vibrant traditions, food, music, and crafts. Tour the marketplace to find a variety of artworks from over 100 local artisans. Several art forms are represented, showcasing the best regional craftsmanship from traditional pottery to modern paintings and glasswork. The center also serves as the headquarters for The Crooked Road: Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail, a proponent of traditional acoustic string music. Visitors can stop by the center’s performance hall to hear a variety of local musicians and genres including old-time, bluegrass, and gospel music.

One Heartwood Circle, Abingdon, Virginia 24210, Phone: 276-492-2400, (website link)

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