Visit Abingdon VA. It is the neatest, most historic town I had never heard of, until now.
This is a post by my husband, Eric, who I blog with at Let’s Camp S’more.
For spring break we went to Knoxville, TN and Charleston, SC. We decided to venture back to Illinois via a different path, which found ourselves in Southwest Virginia.
The area piqued our interest because of Virginia Creeper Trail, which we wanted to bike on. The VTC starts in Abingdon.
Love from Abingdon VA
We started our day at the Abingdon Visitors Bureau, which is in an old historical house. This is where we met our tour guide, Amanda.
Check out my interview with Amanda.
The visitor center has all sorts of information on things to do in Abingdon VA.
The town of Abingdon VA is named after its sister city Abingdon England. As a nod to that city, there are two both of digital information booths in the city.
While we were there, we learned about Abingdon VA History. I LOVE learning a town’s history.
Most of the historical spots in Abingdon are within walking distance of each other.
The Barter Theater
The quaintest building with the coolest backstory is the Barter Theater.
This theater company opened in 1932 during the lowest points of the great depression. The theater company knew that people did not have a lot of money so they bartered agricultural goods in exchange for theater tickets.
That is where the name Barter Theater comes from.
Early on, someone bartered a piglet for tickets. The company could not see fit to slaughter the pig so it stayed on as a mascot, or so the story goes.
Abingdon also has many prerevolutionary war buildings.
The main tavern in town before the revolution is still there and is currently a restaurant. In peak season, the wait can be up to two hours, so get there early!
The Sinking Spring Cemetery has a number of very old stones. The stones are face down as not to have them weather any further.
The local historical society has a record of all the stones on file.
The oldest stone in the cemetery happens to be standing. There is an earthen dome over it to protect it from the sun and weather. A fence door protects it from everything else.
In addition to the theater, the town is supportive of the arts in general. An old rail station is now The Arts Depot.
This building is filled with artists’ studios and has many works for sale.
We enjoyed walking through and talking to the artists and learning about their works.
SW VA Love
We spend part of the day at the Southwest Virginia Cultural Center & Marketplace.
This incredible facility has information on all the craft, music, food, outdoor adventures, and local culture for all 19 counties in the region.
We enjoyed a tasty lunch at the center’s café, which serves food sourced from the area.
The Virginia Creeper Trail
Abingdon is the start of the Virginia Creeper Trail. This Hall of Fame Rails to Trails multipurpose path is 34 miles long and goes to Whitetop Mountain at the North Carolina border.
Most people bike down the trail and end in Damascus or Abingdon.
At the very beginning of the trail is one of the steam engines, Molly, which used to pull lumber along the rail line that the trail is based on now. There is a VCT information center next to Molly.
There are 49 wooden trestles on the VCT, with number 1 starting in Abingdon.
If you find yourself in South Western Virginia be sure to check out Abingdon. We are planning a return trip in the near future!