When it comes to Appalachia, the Virginia Creeper or Appalachian Trail are the things that usually come to mind. However, it also boasts rich history and culture, and the Highlands Festival is the perfect opportunity to experience it. Abingdon in particular is best known for its well-preserved Colonial, Victorian, and Federalist history. Enjoy lectures about the architecture and walking tours of homes and other historical buildings. And if history isn’t for you, there are plenty of legends and ghost stories that have been passed down through the ages. The Ghost tours through the cemetery should definitely go on your to-do list if you have some free time at night. During the day, the Virginia Creeper Trail is open for hiking along with talks about the trail’s past life as the Virginia Creeper Railroad. And to top it all off, with history comes antiques which are prime for those of the younger generations to buy and take home a little bit of Appalachian history with them. So, if you’re a history buff, not only can you attend these events when the Festival comes around, you can even volunteer to help with the planning of the events. The committee is looking for people willing to help, so why not help by spreading the history and culture of Appalachia?
‘For over 200 years, Abingdon has been the cultural, political, and sometimes the economic center of the entire region with a rich history that draws people from throughout the region to Abingdon.‘ — Ben Jennings