Author Archives: Casey Higgins

About Casey Higgins

Casey L. Higgins is a writer, editor, content consultant, and social media strategist working in the realms of travel and small business. She's also a mom and wife living in and loving the mountains and valleys of Virginia. Casey previously wrote for Virginia is for Lovers and is excited to share her enthusiasm for Virginia's family fun, outdoors, and culinary delights.

Holiday Shopping in Abingdon

‘Tis the season to shop ’til you drop, and we suggest Abingdon as an especially fine choice for buying unique, meaningful gifts. We’re the quintessential “shop small” destination with quaint boutiques lining our historic downtown streets. Let us show you why.

WEST MAIN STREET

Shops on and around Main Street between Cummings and Wall Streets offer a good selection of gift-buying options. Start at Abingdon Mercantile and Frame Shop, two stories of fantastic finds in what used to be an old hotel. Many of your favorite gift brands are found here, as well as home decor and apparel.

Abingdon Mercantile & Frame Shop

Abingdon Mercantile & Frame Shop

Stuff your stockings with sweet treats from The Candy Shed, Abingdon’s candy store. Bulk candies, lollipops, a variety of mint tins, and nostalgic candies can be found here. Want more sugar and old fashioned fun? Be sure to swing by Ellis Soda Shoppe for a float!

The Candy Shed

The Candy Shed

Looking for local handmade gifts? Check out Necessities, a trove of local love and international delights, too. Find delicious teas and foods, as well as art, kitchenware, and linens.

Those seeking something specific for someone who’s hard to buy for may have luck with a special antique or primitive gift. Try Jerroleen’s Shed, a well curated antiques and primitives store that also carries interesting “man gifts” like beard balm and “bloody knuckles” hand salve.

Jerroleen's Shed

Jerroleen’s Shed

EAST MAIN STREET

On the other side of The Martha Washington Inn & Spa and Barter Theatre is more great shopping. Start at Forget-Me-Not, a ladies boutique in what was once an old apothecary. Today that building is filled with jewelry, clothes, gift cards, and more, but none of it is the ordinary, run-of-the-mill variety. You’ll find something special here!

Forget-Me-Not

Forget-Me-Not

Abingdon Olive Oil Company is the perfect place to find a fine oil for the Betty Crocker in your life. If you don’t know where to start, the knowledgeable staff can give you great recommendations.

Abingdon Olive Oil Company

Abingdon Olive Oil Company

Katbird’s Wine & Gourmet will probably have you at “complimentary wine and beer tastings every Saturday afternoon,” and if so, we don’t blame you. Sample something new and choose a new favorite to take home for a holiday dinner or to gift a co-worker or friend. A variety of home goods and gourmet delights may even find their way into your bag as well.

Katbird's Wine & Gourmet

Katbird’s Wine & Gourmet

Two blocks back on Park Street sits Wolf Hills Brewing Company. If you didn’t find a craft beer you like at Katbird’s try the local flavor and perhaps take home a growler!

Just down Park is Holston Mountain Artisans, the perfect place to pick up a handmade gift from a local artisan. From photography and pottery to joinery and jewelry, there’s no telling what impressive handcrafted object may be the perfect gift.

Holston Mountain Artisans

There’s more GREAT SHOPPING in Abingdon, so don’t stop here. You’ll find music stores, more clothing and jewelry, and LOTS more artisan shops and galleries to peruse this holiday season.

A Very Barter Christmas: Unexpected Delights for the Holiday Season

barter-at-christmas-web

Those who have never experienced the holiday season at Barter Theatre in Abingdon are truly missing out. It’s not your average theater, and it’s not your average “come watch our holiday show and go home” experience. Rather, attending a show at The Barter Theatre during the Christmas season should be a tradition. Indeed, an annual holiday destination.

A Christmas Carol at Barter Theatre

A Christmas Carol at Barter Theatre

“The Christmas shows at the Barter are one of my very favorite things to do during the holiday season. It has become a tradition of sorts for me and my friends or family to start the season off with one of the favorite holiday classics …” Trip Advisor user Evie H.

overtheriverandthroughthewoods

Over the River and Through the Woods at Barter Theatre, Christmas 2017

At Barter Theatre during this festive season, patrons can expect elaborate, gorgeous decorations throughout the common areas, as well as hot cocoa to warm you as you come in the door. Holiday trees are here, there, and everywhere! It’s a truly delightful scene.

The gift shops – one at Barter proper and another at Barter Stage II – have souvenirs and gifts to choose from. Perhaps someone on your list needs a gift certificate to share this experience with you next year?

The gift shop in the Barter Theatre is especially festive at Christmas.

The gift shop in the Barter Theatre is especially festive at Christmas.

2016 CHRISTMAS SEASON AT BARTER

The shows rotate near-daily at Barter and Barter Stage II. Hurry to order your tickets online before they’re sold out!

BEFORE OR AFTER THE SHOW

Downtown Abingdon is especially beautiful this time of year. Stroll Main Street to window shop and appreciate the decorations or get a bite to eat. Some of the nearby favorites are Rain Restaurant & BarSisters American Grill, and Pop Ellis Soda Shoppe & Grille. At Barter Stage II, Political Dogs is serving “gourmet casual comfort food,” including excellent hot dogs, of course!

>> More Places to Eat

STAY THE NIGHT

Walk to the show when you stay the night nearby. Consider the illustrious Martha Washington Hotel and Spa, also glittering with stunning holiday décor. The Park Street Guesthouse is just two blocks away and offers all of the comforts and privacy of home.

>> More Places to Stay

EXTEND YOUR STAY

Expand your footprint beyond downtown Abingdon when you visit “must-see” places like Heartwood: Southwest Virginia’s Artisan Gateway and Harvest Table Restaurant in Meadowview.

A Christmas Tree, fresh cut from the McDaniel Tree Farm in nearby Konnarock, loaded with artisan ornaments for sale at Heartwood: The Southwest Virginia Artisan Gateway in Abingdon, VA

A Christmas Tree loaded with artisan ornaments for sale at Heartwood: The Southwest Virginia Artisan Gateway

No trip to Abingdon is complete without at least a short jaunt on the Virginia Creeper Trail. Walk a brisk mile or two to work up an appetite for hot soup or a hot toddy.

>> More Ways to Play

 

A Destination Christmas in Historic Downtown Abingdon

There’s too much noise in the world today. Too many distractions, and too much chaos. Settle down and settle in with a destination Christmas in Abingdon, Virginia.

Abingdon is a small town that’s big on culture and hospitality. Here, you can escape the hustle and bustle and focus on what’s important: your loved ones. Let us show you the way.

Christmas in Abingdon

DELIGHTFUL STAYS FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY

The Martha Washington Inn & Spa is the grand dame of Abingdon. Steeped in history, this hotel was originally the home of the Preston family but has seen life as a dorm for Barter Theatre actors, a women’s college, a makeshift Civil War hospital, and eventually a hotel.

Merry Christmas Eve!! Cc: @jasonbarnette #abingdonva #themartha #holidays #christmas

A photo posted by Abingdon, VA (@visitabingdonva) on

The Martha’s appeal for families are numerous: an on-site restaurant where kids under 12 eat free, the spa and heated pool, the fire pit, the beautiful decorations, the history, and of course, the ghost stories! Depending on the number of family members getting away with you, your accommodation options range from Martha’s Residence, a two king suite with fireplace seating areas and an optional connecting Deluxe King room, to the Family Friendly Suite, a two bedroom apartment with a king and two double beds.

“Our family, as well as other relatives, recently stayed at the Martha. We all had a fabulous time! This hotel is elegant, charming, and beautiful both inside and out. We found the rooms spacious compared to other historic hotels we’ve stayed in. The pool is also quite large for a hotel and it was so relaxing to sit in a jacuzzi outside in the middle of the winter. We also enjoyed the library and could have spent hours inside reading all the interesting books.” – TripAdvisor user Jennifer S.

Abingdon’s bed and breakfasts are stunning. Inquire with an innkeeper about renting the whole house if your family wants a private, more intimate environment.

Summerfield Inn is a 1920s Colonial Revival with plenty of room for the whole gang. Seven guestrooms with en suite are in the main house while three additional suites are available in the Carriage House. You’ll want to choose your room carefully as some sleep up to three people and at least one has its own special perk: the Rose Room has a two-person whirlpool tub!

“This location was central for widely separated family members. Lots of room for a gathering …” – TripAdvisor user Tim11502

While breakfast is not served at A Tailor’s Lodging, morning beverages are available and the location is top-notch. Tucked away within the historic downtown, the property offers three queen suites with fireplaces and en suite. The Tailor’s Shop is a sweet little cottage with private entrance and kitchenette.

A Tailor's Lodging in Abingdon, VA

“This is a great place to stay have stayed here several times of the last few years. This is a place you can rent the whole house for you and your guests. Very quiet and close to the Barter Theaters.” – TripAdvisor user M7735XUgregb

Copper Lantern Boutique Inn is also a centrally located bed and breakfast that consistently receives incredible guest reviews. The 1873 Georgian Colonial boasts five immaculate suites with fine linens and shower amenities.

“We traveled from Colorado to join family members in Abingdon. The Copper Lantern Inn was our home base for a 5-day stay in Abingdon. The Inn’s central location was perfect for hiking, shopping, dining … It was a delightful meeting place for our family.” – TripAdvisor user Carol K.

Have you considered a cabin or cottage? It’s the ultimate “away from it all” Christmas destination, and we happen to have a few options within historic downtown Abingdon.

Creeper’s End Lodging is two new cottages built in a Colonial style and offering two rental spaces in one of them and three in the other. Each cottage can sleep up to 10 guests and each unit has its own kitchenette, which means everyone gets a turn at cooking!

“What a fabulous place for a family reunion! We took over the place and were in heaven. Lovely furnishings and very comfortable. They thought of everything a traveler might need. Close to trail, park, good food, the Barter, and a wonderful yard to play in!!”- TripAdvisor user Cathryn T.

Another excellent collection of cabins is that of Crooked Cabin Properties, a trio still within the historic downtown of Abingdon. The largest and most accommodating for a full-family getaway is The Brook House with sleeping arrangements for eight in 3,000 square feet. Need more room? The Creekside Hatch is an adjacent two-bedroom cottage that sleeps four more people.

 

“A wonderful experience in a lovely historic town. We had a 20 year reunion at the Brook House and it could not have been more perfect. Spacious, clean, we had everything we needed for a perfect weekend.” – TripAdvisor user Alice P.

EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO MAKE IT MEMORABLE

Prepare your family for a fantastic Christmas getaway to Abingdon with these resources.