With much bigger attractions than its small-town charm suggests, Abingdon, Virginia, is a gateway to rich history and exciting entertainment. The town itself is nestled in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, with brick sidewalks leading the way to a vibrant fine arts and crafts scene with a buyer-friendly creative gallery and an artists’ market. But hop on nearby Interstate 81 and you’ll discover so much more.
As home of the first U.S. colony, Virginia is rich with American history, and Abingdon’s no exception. This includes unexpected heritage sites, like a museum honoring the birthplace of country music in nearby Bristol, Virginia. Closer to Abingdon but further back in time is a house museum that was once the home of two affluent families during the Civil War era. Take the tour to learn about 19th-century textiles and housekeeping, and peek inside a Victorian bedroom. Back in downtown Abingdon, Main and Valley streets in the historic district offer a great opportunity to take in 19th-century urban architecture as you stroll.
In the Abingdon area, outdoor lovers can choose their own adventures. Get in on the ground floor by strolling the nearby Bristol Caverns to marvel at unique rock formations and an underground lake. Or take the long road by seeing how far you can go down the Appalachian National Scenic Trail, which spans more than 2,000 miles from Georgia to Maine. To really take in the view, hike up the trail at Mount Rogers National Recreation Area where you can also fish and ride horseback. The park also includes access to the 34-mile Virginia Creeper Trail for hiking and biking. For even more fishing, head to South Holston Lake, which covers more than 1,600 acres.
For live entertainment, head to the historic local theater to see a stage performance where many great film stars got their start, including Gregory Peck, Ned Beatty and Ernest Borgnine. To see today’s stars perform, head over to Abingdon’s movie theater and arcade. If you’re looking for something with a faster pace, drive over to the Bristol Motor Speedway, and take in a race on the half-mile concrete oval track.
After a lap of the Abingdon area, a rest and a swim are well deserved. For a cozy place to kick back, head to the Country Inn & Suites By Carlson, Abingdon, VA. Located at Exit 19 on Interstate 81, the hotel welcomes you with a seasonal outdoor pool and free coffee and cookies served around the clock. In the morning, fuel up for more Abingdon adventures at our complimentary hot Be Our Guest Breakfast with waffles, eggs and more. Come for the history and stay for the southern hospitality until the trail calls again.