Abingdon, Virginia: Attractions
Creativity fills the air in Abingdon. The surrounding Blue Ridge Mountains provide inspiration for the truly unique arts community where imagination blossoms and a love for the arts is all around. Visitors can find this creativity on display in many forms and mediums including culinary, visual, performing, traditional and theatrical arts.
Abingdon is quickly becoming the regions focal point for the culinary arts. The Abingdon Farmers Market has taken the lead in bringing farm products to local restaurants. Each spring the chefs from local restaurants, like House on Main and Heartwood, meet with the area farmers and discuss the year’s plantings and what will go into their menu preparations. The local farm to table food movement has inspired our chefs and will inspire our visitors.
Barter Theatre has been the driving force behind the performing arts in Abingdon. The Barter Theatre was founded during the Depression and gets its name from the custom of bartering produce from the farms and gardens of the area to gain admission to see a show. Today, Barter Theatre has a reputation as a theatre where many actors performed before going on to achieve fame and fortune. The most recognized of these alumni include Gregory Peck, Patricia Neal, Ernest Borgnine, Ned Beatty, and Kevin Spacey.
Crafts, visual and contemporary art can be seen in venues like the Arts Depot, Holston Mountain Artisans, Heartwood and William King Museum. Visitors can interact with our local artists at their workspace in the Arts Depot and William King Museum. William King also hosts an average of nine exhibitions each year, showcasing art of the region and of the world. Holston Mountain Artisans and Heartwood showcase the craft cooperatives of the region, offering a wide selection of finely made arts and crafts.
If visitors enjoy arts, crafts, music, history or antiques, Abingdon has an event to entertain everyone. With arts and culture as the backbone of the community, Abingdon is home to the annual Virginia Highlands Festival. The festival is held each year at the end of July and there is something for everyone, young and old alike, with a variety of arts, crafts, activities and performances.