Fall is stunning in the mountains of southwest Virginia. Make the most of the season with a fall getaway in Abingdon, VA. This small town in the Blue Ridge Mountains has plenty of cozy accommodations and indie restaurants and shops, making it a great jumping off point for exploring the region’s outdoor attractions.
Day 1– Begin your day with a ride on the Virginia Creeper Trail, a 34 mile hiking, biking and horseback riding trail. The fall season brings perfect temperatures and unbelievable scenery with an abundance of autumn color. Rent a bike or bring your own, take a shuttle to the top of Whitetop Mountain and coast 17 miles through the Jefferson National Forest. Between Abingdon and Damascus, a short distance off the trail in Alvarado you will find the Abingdon Vineyard & Winery, Washington County’s first Virginia Farm Winery. Hop off the trail to recharge your batteries with a wine tasting and lunch on the outdoor patio overlooking the South Holston River.
After the ride, unwind at The Martha Washington Inn & Spa, a historic 4-star inn. Enjoy a cocktail on the wide front porch overlooking Main Street, or schedule a massage at the Martha’s day spa to pamper those tired muscles.
Make plans for dinner at one of Abingdon’s independent restaurants, almost all of which are located an easy walk from The Martha. Abingdon’s culinary scene ranges from home-style southern comfort food to sophisticated fine dining.
Day 2 – Pick up a box lunch from a local restaurant, and head out for a driving tour of southwest Virginia’s fall beauty by traveling State Highway US 58 toward Damascus. Stop off in Damascus for a day hike on the Appalachian Trail, which runs right through the downtown, or continue on to Whitetop and Mount Rogers– the two highest mountain peaks in Virginia. The national recreation area offers great hiking, camping, picnicking and horse trails, and a chance to see wild ponies grazing on the high mountain balds.
That evening, take in a show at the historic Barter Theatre, founded in 1933 during the Great Depression, when actors bartered an evening’s entertainment for food from local farmers. The theatre now performs year-round in three venues on Main Street.
Day 3 – Stroll the tree-lined brick sidewalks of the historic downtown shopping district. Stop by the Arts Depot, located in a historic train station, and watch as local artists work in their studios. For happy hour, check out Wolf Hills Brewing Company and enjoy a craft brew and live local music, then walk over to The Tavern (built in 1779) for fine dining and cool historic ambiance.