Downtown or Out of Town, Find Your Space in Abingdon
Just off I-81, only ten minutes north of Bristol, Tennessee, and two hours northeast of Asheville, North Carolina, Abingdon, Virginia is easily accessible and the perfect spot for a getaway. This Blue Ridge Mountains destination in Southwest Virginia has an amazing combination of experiences and space to enjoy them all.
This walkable historic downtown is a breath of fresh air for those who enjoy exploring local shops, savoring the flavors of independent eateries, and discovering amazing art. Nearby there are historic attractions, outdoor adventures, and more to explore.
The arts scene here is the perfect place to start with outdoor performances and spacious galleries offering the perfect settings to take it all in. Abingdonis home to the famous Barter Theatre (127 West Main St, 276-628-3991). No trip to Abingdon is complete without a visit to this amazing theatre. Professional performances are offered year-round in the historic 500-seat venue. (This is the nation’s longest-running professional theatre.) In 2020, the theatre began performances at the historic Moonlite Drive-In (17555 Lee Hwy, 276-628-3991), giving new life to this classic attraction.
The Arts Depot (314 Depot Square, 276-628-9091) is for the visual arts lovers. The non-profit facility includes three large galleries and seven resident artist studios housed in a 19th-century freight station. And art lovers won’t want to miss a visit to the William King Museum of Art (415 Academy Dr, 276-628-5005). With its six galleries and frequently changing exhibits, the museum is considered the premier visual arts facility in the region. For a mix of art and regional culture, many venture to the Southwest Virginia Cultural Center and Marketplace (1 Heartwood Circle, 276-492-2400) which showcases the music, crafts, foods, and attractions of the region throughout its galleries. This is also the site of one of three of Abingdon’s beautiful LOVEworks sculptures, featuring the enduring Virginia is for Lovers theme. This and the other two sculptures, located on downtown’s Main Street (150 West Main St), honoring Daniel Boone, and at Food City (151 Cook St), celebrating the Creeper Trail, make excellent photo opportunities.
For those looking for outdoor adventure, the Virginia Creeper Trail (AbingdonTrailhead: 300 Green Spring Rd) is a favorite for cyclists as well as hikers and equestrians. The downtown trailhead offers access to up to miles of trail on one of America’s Hall of Fame Rails to Trails routes. It includes 47 original trestle bridges and amazing views of rivers, forests, and farmlands. Just a short drive away is Hidden Valley Lake Wildlife Management Area(Access to the area is from U.S. Route 19, between Abingdon and Lebanon, on State Route 690) offering plenty of opportunity for hiking and rock climbing. Also, these open lands provide good bank access for anglers. Hidden Valley Lake supports populations self-sustaining populations of largemouth bass, bluegill, redbreast sunfish, and black crappie. Channel catfish and northern pike are stocked.
Anglers find the quality and variety of fishing in the region is outstanding. Options include the trout-stocked waters of Big Tumbling Creek or the highly-rated fly fishing at Whitetop Laurel Creek, a natural wild trout stream, ranked as one of the finest in the Southeast.
Boasting more than 30 independent restaurants, Abingdon has been named in USA Today’s Best Small Town Food Scene list for two years running. Local favorites include Bella’s Pizza (872 East Main Street, 276-628-8101), where you can enjoy the fun atmosphere while eating great pizza, calzones, and more. Luke’s Café (823 West Main Street, 276-623-2233), an eclectic music and art-inspired café with the best fish tacos in the area. Tenderloins Steak and Seafood (735 East Main Street, 866-836-3372), a new restaurant with a relaxing ambiance and a massive bar selection. After dinner, stop by Anthony’s Desserts (284 West Main Street, 276-623-1500) and enjoy a sweet treat, or The Ice Cream Stop (660 West Main Street, 276-676-0447) for a cone of ice cream or a banana split.
Abingdon, Virginia is the centerpiece for a great Southwest Virginia experience. Surrounded by mountains, the outdoors beckon. Entrenched in history, the stories unfold. Filled with creativity, the arts come alive. Abingdonis committed to the history, culture, and vitality of its downtown. The result is a beautifully preserved historic district and a welcoming, vibrant business community filled with shops and more than 30 independently owned restaurants. With easy access from I-81 or scenic state routes 11 and 58, Abingdon is located just 15 miles from the Virginia-Tennessee border in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. Its convenient location makes it the perfect vacation destination to enjoy history, the outdoors, and the arts. There are a host of lodging options in and around Abingdon, from luxury inns, B&Bs, and cottages to mountain cabin rentals, to family- and budget-friendly hotels with easy Interstate access.