To experience the charm of small town Virginia visits to Abingdon and Staunton should be on every traveler’s must-visit list
Experience live theater, art, and history in two of Virginia’s most charming small towns. Your itinerary includes days filled with fun and nights spent at luxurious historic hotel properties. Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Abingdon and Staunton are home to thriving artistic communities.
Duration: 3 Days
Suitable for: Everyone
Day 1: Explore a historic hotel and theater and more small town Virginia things to do
Check in at Abingdon’s historic hotel, The Martha Washington Inn & Spa. You’ll love the elegant surroundings of this historic inn, originally built in 1832 as a private home, and later a Civil War hospital and an elite women’s college. This historic hotel offers luxury around every corner including a 4-Star Spa with a saltwater pool helping to relax you for another day of adventure. Before dinner enjoy the walkable tree lined, brick sidewalks in Abingdon’s historic district and visit unique shops like Holston Mountain Artisans, the Arts Depot, Necessities or Abingdon Olive Oil Company.
Next, head to Barter Theatre for a lavish production of a Broadway-style show. This 500-seat theater is the State Theater of Virginia, with historic details dating back to 1830.
Day 2: Enjoy a true Appalachia lunch and a beautiful Abingdon State Park
Explore Abingdon’s Muster Grounds, a certified National Park Service location that is the northern trailhead of the Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail. This picturesque nine-acre park has significant history and is where the Overmountain Men gathered to start the march to join the Battle of Kings Mountain.
Before heading to Staunton, have lunch at the Southwest Virginia Cultural Center and Marketplace for a true Appalachia lunch, handmade wares by local artisans, or even a traditional square dance for your group.
By bus or foot see Staunton’s four historic districts featuring an array of architectural styles while learning about the history and architecture of this award-winning “Main Street.” The tour includes stops at Trinity Episcopal Church to see 12 original Tiffany stained glass windows and Sunspots Studios to watch live glass blowing demonstrations. Check in at the historic Stonewall Jackson Hotel before taking in an award-winning performance at the Blackfriars Playhouse.
Day 3: More things to do in small town Virginia
Take a tour of the world’s only re-creation of Shakespeare’s indoor theater, the Blackfriars Playhouse. There you’ll get a behind-the-scenes look as you go on, behind and under the stage. Photography, including selfies, is encouraged. Next up, head to the Inn at MeadowCroft for a Southern-inspired tea luncheon complete with a beautiful spread of homemade tea sandwiches, shortbread and scones all served with clotted cream and, of course, tea.
Discover the life and legacy of the country’s 28th President in the city where he was born at the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library and Museum. Take a guided tour of Wilson’s birthplace, as well as a self-guided tour of the museum featuring Wilson’s early years, his eventful presidency, suffrage, prohibition and World War I. Highlights include the President’s restored 1919 Pierce-Arrow limousine and a state-of–the-art World War I trench exhibit.
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