Pickleball is popping up all over the country! A lot of players love to travel and are constantly on the lookout for new pickleball destinations – places to visit where they can also play pickleball. Now you can add the historic tourist destination of Abingdon, Virginia to your travel plans. Pickleball Channel was privileged to visit Abingdon, take in some of the amazing culture the town has to offer, and, most importantly, meet with this fun and vibrant community of pickleball players! Abingdon is a unique getaway that includes not only culture and history, but a community of healthy living that creates an ideal atmosphere for a relaxing and fun escape. And that’s just what we experienced!

The Martha Washington Inn and Spa: “The Martha” as it is known by residents was first built in 1832 as a private residence. Later it became an upscale college for young women before being turned into a hotel in 1935. The lush history of the Inn is evident just by walking through the halls. Old photos of the Inn’s previous lives dot the walls so that it’s almost like staying the night in a museum. The Inn offers a complementary glass of port every evening and a full hot breakfast every morning, making sure its guests are very well cared for.  And be sure to spend an hour or so in the gorgeous library either reading, playing chess, or just relaxing by the fireplace.

The Barter Theatre: A trip to Abingdon is not complete without taking in a little bit of theatre. Housed in a beautiful historic building and located directly across the street from the Martha, the Barter Theatre opened in 1933. During the Great Depression when money was scarce, the Barter allowed locals to attend shows by bartering for their admission with food, livestock or other goods rather than money. Many well-known stars of stage and screen started their careers at the Barter including Gregory Peck, Ernest Borgnine, Patricia Neal, Ned Beatty and… Pickleball Channel’s own Will Bigham! Today the Barter continues to engage audiences with two theaters running shows in repertory, so there is always something to see when you come in town.

Fine Dining: There are many amazing restaurants in Abingdon from the historic Peppermill to the more trendy Rain to the most amazing pizza ever made at Bella’s Pizza. While visiting Abingdon, we chose to eat at The Tavern, the oldest building in Abingdon which was built in 1779. Originally a tavern and overnight inn for stagecoach travelers, the Tavern boasted such guests as President Andrew Jackson and Louis Philippe the King of France. It has had many incarnations including a bank, barber shop, post office (you can still see the mail slot by the front door!), private residence, and it even served as a hospital for wounded soldiers during the Civil War.

The Appalachian Trail and Virginia Creeper Trail: There are a lot of hiking and biking opportunities in and around Abingdon. The legendary Appalachian Trail is nearby, but the local Creeper Trail, once a railroad line, is a 34-mile trail that runs from Whitecap Mountain on the North Carolina border into Abingdon.

The Abingdon Pickleball Club: Completing Abingdon’s commitment to physical fitness is the Abingdon Pickleball Club!  Housed at the Harry L. Coomes Recreation Center, this club is relatively new to the area, but it is growing in leaps and bounds. The Abingdon Pickleball Club has both indoor and outdoor play, which means you can visit and play anytime of the year.

For more information about planning a visit to Abingdon, check out their tourism website at www.VisitAbingdonVirginia.com

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One Comment

  1. So glad to see that Abingdon now has pickleball!

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