For some excitement and thrill, why not consider a vacation to Abingdon? You’ll find that this historic town has everything from fun to relaxation.
On the borders of Abingdon lie the northern reaches of South Holston Lake and the center of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
These features have made it an important human settlement for hundreds of years, so many historical sites can be seen.
And all around are high-altitude natural attractions for nature lovers, adventurers, and literally everyone.
So why not consider this amazing city as your next vacation destination?
Here are the top things to do in Abingdon (VA).
Fun Things to Do in Abingdon (VA)
1. Explore South Holston Lake
The spectacular South Holston Lake is the largest water feature in the region and serves as a natural source of irrigation for the surrounding farmland.
This 7,580-acre reservoir is mainly in Tennessee, but its northernmost portions spill into Virginia.
Many Abingdon residents consider the lake a prime destination for water recreation.
To access this lake, head to Washington County Park or the marinas on the coast.
Kayaking, canoeing, and boating are options for getting to the more isolated sections, even those across the state!
You can also test your fishing skills by fishing in the lake; you might just catch some freshwater fish, including large and smallmouth bass, walleye, and various catfish species.
2. Visit the Charleys
Charleys is a chain restaurant that offers fresh and tasty fast food.
Known for their grilled subs, especially their Philly cheesesteaks, the restaurant dates back to 1985.
Fresh cheesesteaks, loaded gourmet fries, and natural sodas were on the original menu and are still on their menu today.
The restaurant uses only premium ingredients; hand-picked vegetables, 100% USDA choice steak, and all-white chicken are always grilled fresh to order.
Be sure to try their jalapeno fries, which are loaded with jalapeno-lime seasoning, diced jalapeno, smoked bacon, cheese sauce, and creamy ranch dressing.
3. Don’t Miss a Thing at Wolf Hills & Wolf Cave
While strolling the charming back streets of Abingdon, Virginia, keep your eyes peeled for Wolf’s Cave.
Tucked away at the corner of Plumb Alley and White’s Alley, this cave was once home to a large pack of wolves in the past.
In 1760, Daniel Boone was out camping with his dogs near a cave when some wolves attacked them.
It caused Daniel Boone to name the area “Wolf Hills” because of that incident. Even today, you can see the cave’s opening by looking from the windows of the building on it.
The cave runs many yards below Cave House (a home on the same property) and Main Street in Abingdon but is off-limits as it is privately owned.
Things to Do in Abingdon (VA) at Night
1. Try Some Good Wine at Abingdon Vineyards
Abingdon Vineyards is owned and operated by the Gardner family, who grew up in the California wine region and were longtime visitors to Abingdon Vineyards until they took over in 2018.
Take a trip to the vineyard and allow yourself to meet the amazing team, explore the land, and probably also take a tour around too.
It is located right on the South Holston River, making it the perfect place to enjoy wine tasting along with a picnic.
Tons of cheese, crackers, salami, and other artisanal snacks are available. Popular choices include the 2018 Pinot Noir Rose, 2018 Riverside Rose, and 2013 Home Town Red.
2. See a Movie at Mallory Theater
Mallory Theater is home to some of the best Southwest Virginia/East Tennessee performers and a renowned artist and illustrator named Charles Vess.
Visitors can enjoy a comprehensive arrangement of beautiful nature-inspired artwork and landscape art beautifully displayed in the 220-year-old historic Main Street home.
3. Grab Dinner at Rain Restaurant and Bar
The Rain Bar can be seen in the historic center of Abingdon. The remarkable establishment was set in 2010 and has improved to become an ideal attraction for visitors to see and enjoy delicious food.
The staff you will meet here are excellent at their duties, and you can choose from a large selection of dishes from their recognizable menu.
You can choose to entertain yourself in a relaxed atmosphere on their outdoor terrace, which is perfect for casual gatherings with colleagues and friends.
Their signature dishes to look out for include selling tomatoes with fresh mozzarella and confit sriracha chicken wings.
Things to Do in Abingdon (VA) For Couples
1. Explore the William King Art Museum
Housed in an unmistakable Greek Revival building that was once a school, the William King Museum of Art inspires intrigue for those who see it for the first time.
Fortunately, it’s open to the public, so you can check it out whenever you want to satisfy your curiosity.
This facility is the hub of the fine arts on this side of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Thus, in the museum galleries, you will find collections of artworks by local and regional artists.
It also has pieces from around the world made by influential and important masters.
These exhibits rotate, so you’ll find new artwork each time you visit.
Outside, there is a sculpture garden serving as a permanent display that features the winners of past sculpture competitions.
So if the weather is nice, take some time to check out these amazing creations by local artists.
2. Go Shopping at Abingdon Farmers Market
This is one of the richest markets on this side of Appalachia.
It’s one of the best ways to share in the harvest from the fertile lands of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
So if you’re looking for fresh produce from local farmers and growers, stop by on Fridays and Saturdays.
Here you will find the freshest vegetables, seasonal fruits, and first-class root crops harvested outside the city.
In addition, to produce, delicious baked goods, preserves, soaps, and other items are also available.
Occasionally, the market will host live music concerts to keep everyone entertained.
3. Visit the Southwest Virginia Cultural Center & Marketplace
Abingdon is located in a part of Virginia near the Deep South, so the cultural identity here blends with the Appalachian societies of the northern part of the state.
One of the best places to learn about this mixed heritage is the Southwest Virginia Cultural Center and Marketplace.
This attraction serves as the region’s first stop with art, music, and events that promote its rich culture.
For music history buffs, check out Crooked Road, one of the premier attractions in the complex.
It’s one of the best places to learn about American country music and see the genre’s established singers perform.
The Cultural Center has a market where you can find cultural items such as paintings, glasswork, textiles, and other items created by local artisans.
Check out the visitor center, which has a hand-carved wooden map depicting the region’s wonders.
Things to Do in Abingdon (VA) For Kids
1. Take Them to Harry L. Coomes Recreation Center
Harry L. Coomes Recreation Center is a premier destination for various fitness and sports activities.
Residents and visitors can enjoy basketball, swimming, and more with many modern facilities downtown.
There is an indoor and outdoor pool where you can run or cool off.
Outside, there are also regulated basketball courts, outdoor walking trails, a disc golf course, and volleyball courts.
You can let the kids play on the playground, or the older kids can have fun in the well-designed skatepark.
Inside is a 1/6-mile track with a soft crash pad surface on the knees and joints.
For those who like to work out, there is a free gym and exercise room where you can work up a sweat.
2. Give Them the Time of Their Lives at Little Daydreamers
If you intend to spend a great holiday with your children, you must bring them to Little Dreamers; an indoor playground and party space for children under ten.
Many families like to visit this place to have a good time in a clean, safe, and fun atmosphere where kids can sweat and mingle with their fellow kids while still getting quality exercise.
Caregivers and parents won’t be left out of the fun as they can mingle with each other, relax and watch their children play while enjoying a great cup of coffee.
This location is available to visitors year-round but may be unavailable for visitors due to party rentals.
3. Visit Play Date
Locally owned and operated by a family, Play Date is an indoor playground and party venue for children under ten.
Families love to go there and spend hours in a safe, clean, and fun environment where kids can play and socialize with peers their age while getting some exercise.
While having a good time, parents and guardians can socialize, sit back, relax and enjoy a cup of coffee while watching their children.
Play Date is open year-round but may occasionally be closed to the public for party rentals.
Play Date is a great place to take the kids, especially on rainy days, as they’re sure to have a blast!
Indoor Activities to Do in Abingdon (VA) For Adults
1. Don’t Miss a Show at Barter Theatre
During the early times, actors and theater companies struggled to find audiences that would pay for tickets to their shows.
So a group of actors gathered in Abingdon to perform in exchange for goods such as vegetables and farm produce.
From there, “barter” was born in the Barter Theater, and this legacy is still celebrated today.
This attraction is considered the longest-running stock theater in the country, having been around since 1933.
Some famous actors of the 1940s and 1950s started here, and it continues to produce talented artists over the years.
So come and see stunning shows and thought-provoking plays during your visit to Abingdon.
These Broadway-caliber shows are sought after by many, so be sure to book your tickets in advance to secure your spot.
2. Go for Some Massage at Martha Washington Inn & Spa
After many hours of sightseeing and exploring the entire town of Abingdon, you will be truly exhausted and need a unique place to cool off and get back on your feet.
Martha Washington Spa has got you covered, and should be a must.
The spa has a history that dates back to 1832 when General Francis Preston and his wife Sarah Buchanan Preston and their nine children.
This beautiful and well-furnished tower takes you back in time to how this family went about their daily activities; they have a distinctive feature known as the Dutch – baroque grandfather clock that will catch your eye.
Here is the perfect place for couples to enjoy a romantic getaway while enjoying the remarkable history of this city.
Visitors can still relax in their wonderful spa and enjoy a delicious meal in their restaurant.
3. Visit William King Museum of Art
This is an excellent place if you’re a history buff. The museum was known as the former school.
You definitely wouldn’t want to miss this destination during your visit.
The museum is open to the general public. It is a major center for fine arts in this part of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Visitors can view the art collections of artists from this region and present the museum’s gallery.
Artwork by prominent and notable artists is also on display, including rotating exhibits featuring winning entries from previous sculpture competitions.
Romantic Things to Do in Abingdon (VA)
1. Appreciate the Beauty of Art at Arts Depot
Abingdon’s Art Depot is a community art center located in a historic freight train station that has been around since the 1860s.
In the old building, there are studios and galleries where the works of contemporary artists are exhibited.
Admire paintings, sculptures, and other wonderful pieces created by the city’s talented artists.
There will also be seven resident artists during your visit.
You can watch them create clay sculptures, paint with watercolors, weave textiles, create jewelry, and much more.
This hands-on, real-time experience allows you to appreciate all the effort that goes into each piece.
If you are interested in these works of art, be sure to stop by the gift shop to find souvenirs made by the artists themselves.
2. Try Some Golf or Tennis at Glenrochie Country Club
Glenrochie Country Club is located in the rolling foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains; it offers spectacular views and plenty of activities.
Chief among them is the golf course, with a lush and picturesque 18-hole course that covers much of the grounds.
There were only nine when the club was founded in 1958, but others were added as the country club expanded.
The first nine holes are on relatively flat terrain, so the gameplay is friendly even for beginners.
But others are located in elevated areas that require excellent iron play and course management skills.
You can visit the country club’s other facilities if golf isn’t for you.
These include well-maintained tennis courts and a large swimming pool for cooling off baths.
3. Check in at any Restuarant Along Lee Highway
For a taste of the community’s delicious cuisine, head to Lee Highway, the main road that runs along the busiest part of town.
You’ll find local favorites that are often just a block away from each other, making for an epic foodie experience.
Bonefire Smokehouse BBQ has all the spicy southern staples, and the house specialty is delicious barbecue.
At 128 PECAN, you can enjoy traditional American fare like burgers, sandwiches, and pies – all elevated with a Southern twist.
For a change of tastes, head to The Tavern and enjoy their sumptuous American and German menu in a 1779 inn.
Free Things to Do in Abingdon (VA)
1. Take a Walk Along the Virginia Creeper National Recreation Trail
Abingdon is the site of the northern terminus of the Virginia Creeper National Recreation Trail, so many people consider it the starting point for their journey.
This trail is 35 miles long and passes through most of the southwestern Virginia cities and towns.
The other end is at Whitetop near the North Carolina border.
Along the way, travelers will pass near Mount Rogers National Recreation Area and other wonders.
These include large swathes of forests, streams, rivers, and historical monuments in several municipalities.
You can choose to either explore the trail on foot to admire each beautiful section or cycle and horseback riding.
However, no matter your choice, be sure to slow down once in a while to enjoy the scenic views of the countryside, valleys, and quaint towns along the way.
2. Explore the Exhibits at Abingdon Muster Grounds
Abingdon was of strategic importance during the American Revolution due to its location.
So many notable events took place here during the conflict, and you can learn all about them at Abingdon Muster Grounds.
This nine-acre complex houses buildings and facilities that detail the history of the Colonial Backcountry throughout Virginia.
Learn all about the stories of the Overmountain Men, African Americans, Native Americans, British Loyalists, and other people groups here.
So explore the exhibits and displays to learn about these societies that are often forgotten in mainstream history.
In addition to historic buildings, the Abingdon Muster Grounds contains the northern trailhead for the Overmountain Victory Trail.
3. Visit the Falls of Logan Creek
North of the town of Abingdon lies a majestic water feature that will captivate any visitor: the Falls of Logan Creek.
This beauty is located deep in the Blue Ridge Mountains and is accessible from Hayters Gap Road near Morrison Cliff.
Due to the topography, Logan Creek flows into a flowing water barrier surrounded by dense foliage.
Take a 0.2-mile trail off the road to get to this magical place.
It’s moderately busy and mild, so you can bring your pets for the trip.
They will enjoy the view as much as you!
Cheap Things to Do in Abingdon (VA)
1. Spend Some Time at Washington County Park
The large Washington County Park is considered the southernmost attraction in Abingdon, located just a few yards from the Tennessee state line.
This green space is located on South Holston Lake, with golden sand beaches on the shores.
Due to the beauty and tranquility of the county park, several campsites are set up, like Lake Shore Campgrounds and Wolf Lair Campground.
Both have modern facilities, RV and tent sites, and electricity and water hookups.
You can also try many outdoor activities available while camping, such as swimming, hiking, and sunbathing.
The park also has its own picnic shelters, playground, and even Wi-Fi for the whole family to enjoy.
2. Chill Out at the Riverside Campground
The North Branch of the Holston River runs parallel to one of the region’s long continuous mountains.
In one segment, there is a quiet retreat where you can stay for a few days: the Riverside Campground.
It is lined with hillsides and lies next to the Holston River, making it an idyllic piece of fun in the middle of the forest.
You can explore the nearby wilderness from the Riverside Campground and cruise the winding waterways.
The campground can serve as your base for these adventures as there is plenty of room for RVs and traditional tents.
The owners have installed modern amenities such as hookups, a store, and an on-site laundry for your convenience.
After exploring the surrounding trails, you can relax by the pool or play a few games in the arcade, a feature not usually found at other campgrounds.
3. Worship at St Thomas Episcopal Church
Episcopal Church of St. was established in 1864 and is a beautiful architectural structure that every traveler would love to see.
This should be a must-see for the religiously inclined and should be high on their list of fun things to do in Abingdon.
The church has two Byzantine-style paintings on the walls of the stucco sanctuary, called “The Life of Christ.” Different series of icons show the events from Christ’s Annunciation to his resurrection.
It has a history dating back to 1841 and was dedicated in 1846 by John Johns.
Cool Places to Visit in Abingdon (VA)
1. White’s Mill
The White’s Mill is a well-known destination in Abingdon; it is an iconic brand in the area and has been around since the 18th century.
This destination focuses on providing flour and meals to the people of this region for their kitchens and farms.
The White Mill was also a gathering place to disseminate information and one of Abingdon’s most fantastic attractions.
In addition to buying flour and meals, visitors can purchase handmade gifts for themselves and their loved ones, such as books written by Appalachian writers, quilts, artwork, and much more.
2. Main Street
Assuming you like good food, one of the best things to visit is Main Street.
This destination offers the best in terms of food and should be high on your list of things to do in Abingdon (VA).
Here is a great place to enjoy the best of excellent cuisine.
The main street occupies a large part of the city, where locals and visitors can treat their stomachs to the best food.
You can check out Bonefire Smokehouse Barbeque and enjoy its southern dishes with delicious barbecue.
You can also check out their traditional American dishes, such as sandwiches, pies, and burgers.
3. The Tavern Restaurant and Bar
The Tavern Restaurant and Bar is located in one of Abingdon’s oldest and most historic buildings. The pub was built in 1779 as an inn for stagecoaches.
The tavern was graced by notable visitors such as President Andrew Jackson, famous designer Charles L’Enfant, and King Louis-Phillippe of France.
Over time, the building housed a bakery, joinery, post office, general store, barber shop, and bakery and was used as a private residence before being converted into a holiday home.
During the early times, the building also housed a bank, general store, bakery, barbershop, joinery, and post office too.
The building even served as a private residence before finally being used as a restaurant.
Enjoy their variety of food selections, such as appetizers, entrees, salads, drinks, and entrees. You can also check out their signature meal, the New Zealand rack of lamb.
Abingdon is the ideal place for a perfect holiday experience for your loved ones and friends.
From the get-go, there are many exciting things to do in Abingdon (VA).
Pin this guide as you continue to explore Abingdon for a list of places to visit and things to do.