If Frank Capra had made a Southern version of It's a Wonderful Life, he might have set it in Abingdon, Virginia, with its tree-lined Main Street, scenic Blue Ridge setting, historic Martha Washington Inn & Spa, and legendary Barter Theatre.
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.
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.
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 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.