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.
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.
Address: 127 W Main St, Abingdon, VA 24210, Phone: 276-628-3991
2.Virginia Creeper Trail Club
© Virginia Creeper Trail Club
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
© 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
4.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
5.Abingdon Farmers Market
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
6.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
7.Historical Society of Washington County, Virginia
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
8.St. Thomas Episcopal Church
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
© Play Date
Local and family owned, Play Date is an indoor playground and party venue for kids under the age of ten. Families love going there and spending hours in the safe, clean, and fun atmosphere where children can play and socialize with peers their age while getting some exercise in as well. While they’re having a good time, parents and guardians are welcome to socialize themselves, sit back, relax, and enjoy a cup of coffee while they look over their kids. Play Date is open all year long but may occasionally be closed to the public for party rentals. It’s a wonderful place to take the kids, especially on rainy days, as they’re guaranteed to have a good time!
Address: 125 Charwood Dr, Abingdon, VA 24210, Phone: 276-206-8383
10.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
11.The Tavern Restaurant
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
© Morgan's Abingdon
Foodies from all over flock to Morgan’s Abingdon to feast on their array of fresh seafood, handmade pastas, and mouthwatering entrees, all of which are created with local ingredients. The menu changes every so often to make the most of seasonally available produce, but no matter when you go, it’s guaranteed to highlight tantalizing dishes which are full of flavor. Popular items on the menu include the apple and whisky brined pork chop, filet mignon served with fingerling potatoes, and the blue crab cakes topped with roasted corn relish. Their brunch is locally famous so if you get a chance, drop in for a bowl of shrimp and grits.
Address: 190 E Main St, Abingdon, VA 24210, Phone: 276-258-5632
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
13 Best Things to Do in Abingdon, VA
- Barter Theatre, Photo: lapandr/stock.adobe.com
- Virginia Creeper Trail Club, Photo: Virginia Creeper Trail Club
- Abingdon Vineyards, Photo: Abingdon Vineyards
- Abingdon Arts Depot, Photo: Abingdon Arts Depot
- Abingdon Farmers Market, Photo: diak/stock.adobe.com
- William King Museum of Art, Photo: William King Museum of Art
- Historical Society of Washington County, Virginia, Photo: WavebreakMediaMicro/stock.adobe.com
- St. Thomas Episcopal Church, Photo: evannovostro/stock.adobe.com
- Play Date, Photo: Play Date
- Rain Restaurant and Bar, Photo: Rain Restaurant and Bar
- The Tavern Restaurant, Photo: vm2002/stock.adobe.com
- Morgan's Abingdon, Photo: Morgan's Abingdon
- Charleys, Photo: Charleys
- Cover Photo: Melinda Fawver/stock.adobe.com