Abingdon, Virginia: Find Art, Culture & Nature on This Weekend Getaway in the Mountains by Sheri B Doyle
Weekend getaways and summer seem to go hand in hand. In Abingdon, Va., the yearly art and antique festival, the Virginia Highlands Festival, is one of our family’s favorite getaways. Each summer, artists from all over the country gather to exhibit their paintings, crafts and goods in tents and stands in the historic downtown area of Abingdon. The high level of talent and creativity makes this festival something very special. For antique lovers, the Virginia Highlands Community College hosts an antique festival full of high quality and unique antiques.
Whenever possible our family makes the trip to Abingdon not only for the Virginia Highlands Festival, but also to take in the antique shops, quaint restaurants and beautiful boutiques in the downtown area. We ride bikes or walk through the historic neighborhoods admiring the unique old homes and tree-lined streets.
The farmers market is open on the weekends and definitely worth a visit. The local farmers, cheese makers and craftsman fill the market with gastronomical and visual delights.
While Saturdays are usually spent taking in the art and culture, Sundays are for adventure. We drive to Damascus and arrange for a bike trip down part of the Virginia Creeper Trail. There are bikes available for rent or you can bring your own. A van will take you to the top of the trail in Damascus, and then leave you to make your way through waterfalls, bridges, open fields and gorgeous countryside.
If you have the time don’t miss a trip out to author Barbara Kingsolver's restaurant, Harvest Table Restaurant, in Meadowview. The 30-minute drive from Abingdon is worth every minute!
This year's Virginia Highlands Festival is July 27 - August 5, 2018.
Main photo: Virginia Highlands Festival Facebook (credit: John Cornelius Photography)