Explore America’s First Frontier in Historic Abingdon, VA

In Abingdon, you don’t just learn about history, you experience it. 

Abingdon traces its roots to the mid 1700s, when the area known as “Black’s Fort” became the first English speaking settlement in the watershed of the Mississippi. 

Immerse yourself in America’s history without ever cracking a book, during a three-day getaway to charming Abingdon, VA.

Day One

Plan to arrive in historic Abingdon by late afternoon to check-in to the Martha Washington Inn & Spa. Built in the 1830s as a private home, The Martha has served as a finishing school, a Civil War hospital and a women’s college. For dinner, head downstairs to Sister’s at The Martha for upscale casual dining experience. Then sit on front porch for a relaxing evening of conversation or walk the Urban Pathway to the Virginia Creeper Trail for a short walk and scenic Southwest Virginia views.

Day Two

After breakfast, continue down the brick sidewalks towards The Arts Depot – a historic railroad depot that houses working artisan studios. When you finish touring the exhibits, visit the Abingdon Muster Grounds – the start of the Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail. This trail follows the path of brave volunteers who mustered in Abingdon to begin their journey to Kings Mountain, SC, where they defeated the British army in one of the Revolution’s decisive battles.

Head back to The Martha to freshen up before you walk to The Tavern for dinner, built in 1779.

Then take in a show at the historic Barter Theatre. Originally built as a church in 1829, Robert Porterfield opened it up as a theatre during the Great Depression for patrons to “barter” for tickets with produce and food goods. 

Day Three

Visit White’s Mill, a historic grist mill dating back to the 1700s.  Tour the mill, learn about restoration efforts, and then shop for locally ground grits and cornmeal at the Mercantile next door. 

Take a self-guided walking tour of downtown’s historic buildings (available at the Abingdon Visitor Center). In the 20-block historic district, you’ll find architecture from the 18th, 19th and 20th Century. Almost the entire downtown is listed on the National Register for Historic Places, and as soon as you step foot on the hand-laid brick sidewalks, you’ll see why.  Stroll through three centuries of history, and learn the fascinating stories behind Abingdon’s architecture.  

If you prefer a guided tour of Abingdon history, consider a walking tour with History Alive Tours. Meet characters from Abingdon’s history, like Rev. Charles Cummings, The Fightin’ Parson, or George Thomasson, drummer with militia at the Battle of Kings Mountain.

General Info

Attractions, Group Tour Friendly (15 people plus), History/Heritage Trails, Main Street Virginia, Multi-day, Student Tours, Theatre/Music/Arts

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