This Southern Town Would Have Been the Perfect Setting For "It's a Wonderful Life"
Take A Stroll
Abingdon's entire 20-block downtown district is on the National Register of Historic Places, with some homes and buildings dating all the way back to the 1700s. In December, as you meander along Main Street, Plumb Alley, and Valley Street (they run parallel to each other), you'll see charming old structures trimmed with festive holiday greenery.
See A Play
As the State Theatre of Virginia and the nation's longest-running professional theater, the Barter claims an impressive list of alumni, including Gregory Peck, Ernest Borgnine, and Patricia Neal. Find performance dates and times at bartertheatre.com.
Eat & Drink
Start off at Zazzy'Z Coffee House, where the Holiday Blend is a much-anticipated town favorite. Get baklava with a side of history at Balkan Bakery (located inside Zazzy'Z). Owner Angela Cvetkovski serves Eastern European delicacies with centuries-old recipes like Cherry Strudla as well as Spinach and Feta Burek. At BoneFire Smokehouse on West Main Street, order a juicy pulled-pork sandwich. The Tavern Restaurant serves hearty dinners in Abingdon's oldest building. Enjoy an after-dinner cordial selected for you by chef Joe Fugo.
The weekly Abingdon Farmers Market has gifts such as fragrant soy candles and soft alpaca gloves. At T Tilley Gallery and Garden, find pretty potted plants as well as paintings and sketches by Virginia artists. Other must-stop shops include Persnickety, a clothing-and-gift boutique, and the Abingdon Olive Oil Company, where the staff lets you sample products to your heart's content.
Stay the Night
The Martha Washington Inn & Spa is a member of the National Trust for Historic Preservation's Historic Hotels of America program. From the moment you step up to the grand, beautifully decorated front porch, you'll be blown away by the inn's rich history. Enjoy a glass of port beside a roaring fire, take a dip in the atrium-enclosed heated saltwater pool, or get pampered at the spa.