Best Things To Do In Abingdon, VA With Kids

Family biking in Abingdon, VA

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Virginia may be for lovers, but Abingdon, VA is packed with kid-friendly adventure.

Read on for the best outdoor activities, indoor fun, and dining options for the whole family.

The Virginia Creeper Trail

The Virginia Creeper Trail is a 34-mile stretch perfect for hiking, biking, or horseback riding. You can begin your adventure in Abingdon or take a shuttle to the top of the trail for a more leisurely ride.

A bridge on the Virginia Creeper Trail in the summer.
One of the many beautiful bridges on the Virginia Creeper Trail

Why is this trail ideal for kids? Starting at the White Top Station, the first 17 miles offer a gentle downhill incline, making it accessible for all ages, including seniors.

The trail is incredibly scenic, following a beautiful river that’s perfect for stopping and wading.

You can either bring your own bike or rent one from the Virginia Creeper Trail Bike Shop.

Waterfall on Virginia Creeper Trail
There are several spots on the trail to stop and play in the water.

Twin Pinnacles Hike at Grayson Highlands State Park

Grayson Highlands State Park offers several hikes suitable for children, but the Twin Pinnacles hike stands out with its short distance and breathtaking views, making it perfect for most ages.

Grayson Highlands State Park, Abingdon, VA Twin Pinnacles Hike
Grayson Highlands State Park – Twin Pinnacles Hike

Another good hike to consider is the Rhododendron Trail, where you can encounter wild ponies.

We took our children on this trail when they were young, and they absolutely loved it.

The Channels

The Channels, the only slot canyons on the East Coast, are breathtaking and definitely worth the hike.

The hike to the Channels is a 3-mile gentle incline, which may be challenging for very small children unless they are experienced hikers or you are willing to carry them part of the way.

Gary hiking at The Channels in Abingdon, VA
The Channels Slot Canyon

We were impressed with how well-maintained the trail was. The only drawback is the limited parking, with only 10 spots available, so arriving early is advisable.

If your kids are teenagers or pre-teens, they will absolutely love this hike.

Backbone Rock

This outdoor adventure is perfect for kids of all ages.

Backbone Rock is a stunning rock ridge featuring a tunnel carved through its center. The hike to the top is short, though it includes several steep stairs.

Backbone Rock in Abingdon, VA
Backbone Rock

Nearby, you’ll find a refreshing stream for playing and another short hike leading to a waterfall, also with some steep stairs.

Beaverdam Creek near Abingdon, Virginia
Beaverdam Creek at Backbone Rock
Waterfall at Backbone Rock near Abingdon, VA
Waterfall at Backbone Rock

Backbone Rock is about 20 minutes from Abingdon, VA

The Falls of Logan Creek

The Falls of Logan Creek are conveniently located just off Highway 80, accessible via a short trail.

Since there are no road signs, you’ll need to use Google Maps to find the small parking area on the roadside.

Kristen playing in the water at Falls of Logan Creek
The Falls of Logan Creek

The falls are stunning and ideal for families to wade or swim in. Bring your swimsuit and a picnic and prepare for a day of fun.

Go Boating On South Holsten Lake

Boating on South Holston Lake near Abingdon, VA
Boating on South Holston Lake

If your family loves watersports, consider renting a boat at South Holsten Lake. Below are companies that rent speed boats, pontoon boats, and jet skis on this lake.

Enjoy watersports at SoHo Xcursions

SoHo Xcursions offers a variety of adventures on South Holston Lake. In addition to renting paddleboards and kayaks, they have an Aqua Park where you can climb, slide, and bounce on the water.

Bounce house on South Holston Lake near Abingdon, VA
SoHo Xcursions Bounce House on South Holston Lake – photo cred: SoHo Xcursions

For a truly unique experience, rent a Jetblade that propels you high above the water for an unforgettable ride.

A jetblade on South Holston Lake near Abingdon, Virginia
Jetblade at South Holston Lake – Photo cred: SoHo Xcursions

Abingdon Spirit Tours

Abingdon is rich in history and ghost stories.

If your kids are old enough to enjoy a good haunted tale, take them on a tour with the Haint Mistress of Abingdon. She not only shares spooky stories but also provides fascinating historical insights about the town.

The Wolf House where Ernest Borgnine saw a ghost in Abingdon, VA
The Wolf House – one of the haunted houses you’ll learn about on your ghost tour. Ernest Borgnine (the original voice of Mermaid Man in Spongebob Squarepants) allegedly saw a ghost here.

My family loved our ghost tour with Spirit Tours. You can book a tour here.

See A Play At The Barter Theatre

The beautiful Barter Theatre, steeped in history, showcases performances by professional actors. While it offers shows for adult audiences, it also regularly presents plays that are perfect for children.

During our latest visit, they were performing The Wizard of Oz.

The Barter Theatre in Abingdon, VA

The Barter Theatre’s history is captivating. During the Depression, patrons could pay for tickets with produce and livestock, giving the theatre its unique name.

Many famous actors, including Larry Linville, Gregory Peck, Ned Beatty, and Ernest Borgnine, began their careers at the Barter Theatre.

Enjoy the many award-winning restaurants

USA Today has recognized Abingdon as having the “Best Small-Town Food Scene” for several years in a row. This town offers a wealth of great dining options.

Read my full post on best restaurants in Abingdon, VA here, but here are my best restaurant picks for families with children.

JJ’s Restaurant & Sports Bar

JJ’s may be a sports bar, but they’ve created a very kid-friendly environment.

With games for children and a spacious seating area, it’s an ideal spot for families.

Seafood and sandwich at JJ's Sports Bar in Abingdon, VA
Seafood & Sandwich at JJ’s Sports Bar

Parents will also appreciate the diverse food options.

JJ’s Sports Bar offers kid-friendly choices like hamburgers and sandwiches, as well as more upscale dishes such as seafood and pasta.

Greeko’s Grill & Cafe

Greeko’s Grill & Cafe serves delicious, made-from-scratch Mediterranean dishes, including falafel, souvlaki, and tzatziki.

Desserts from Greekos Grill & Cafe in Abingdon, Virginia
Delicious desserts from Greekos
Greekos Grill Lamb Platter Abingdon, VA
Lamb Platter & Greek Nachos

They also offer a fantastic kid’s menu that features traditional Greek dishes as well as American favorites like cheeseburgers and pizza.

Be sure to indulge in a few desserts while you’re there. They have some excellent choices, like Baklava and Cheesecake.

Luke’s Cafe

Luke’s Cafe combines great food with a hip Rock ‘n Roll atmosphere.

Hamburger from Luke's Cafe in Abingdon, VA
The Santana Burger
Truffle Cheese Fries from Luke's Diner in Abingdon, VA
Truffle Cheese Fries

Both kids and adults will find plenty to enjoy, with a variety of gourmet hamburgers, salads, and sandwiches on the menu. And be sure to try their amazing truffle fries on the side.

Children of all ages will love the delicious food and the 50s decor.

Endulge in Ice Cream

Nothing keeps kids happier than indulging in some delicious ice cream. And Abingdon has two great ice cream shops you should visit.

Chocolate Brownie Shake from Shaked in Abingdon, VA
Chocolate Brownie Shake from Shaked
Ice cream cone from The Ice Cream Stop in Abingdon, VA
Hand-dipped Ice Cream from The Ice Cream Stop

The Ice Cream Stop offers hand-dipped ice cream, shakes, banana splits, and more.

Shaked offers artistic and scrumptious shakes, baked goods, sundaes, floats, and more.

Anthony’s Desserts

While we’re on the topic of sweets, let me introduce you to a wonderful dessert shop in Abingdon.

Anthony’s Desserts offers gourmet baked goods and hand-dipped ice cream.

Anthony's Desserts Abingdon, VA
Anthony’s Desserts is a must-visit for families!

Their desserts are so beautifully crafted that you might feel guilty biting into them, but you’ll be glad you did once you taste how delicious they are.

Pal’s Sudden Service

My son introduced me to the fantastic hamburgers at Pal’s Sudden Service, and I have to say, the Frenchie Fries are also excellent.

Hamburger, fries, and drink from Pal's Sudden Service in Abingdon, VA
Pal’s hamburgers and fries are perfect for kids & adults!

Initially, I was hesitant to try this place because I usually avoid restaurants with giant hamburgers and hot dogs on the roof. 🤣 However, I was pleasantly surprised.

Pal's Sudden Service Family Restaurant Drive Thru Abingdon, VA
Pal’s Sudden Service in Abingdon, VA

The hamburgers here are delicious and affordable. This would be a great place to pick up burgers and fries for the family to take to a nearby park.

Rendezvous International Cafe

To see a smile on your children’s faces, treat them to a sweet crepe from Rendezvous International Cafe.

Popular flavors include the Crunchy Strawberry Crepe and the S’mores Crepe.

Mixed Berry Salad from Rendezvous International Cafe in Abingdon, Virginia
Rendezvous International Cafe Crepe Breakfast Abingdon, VA

This cafe also offers savory crepes, excellent coffee drinks, sandwiches, salads, and more.

Everything we’ve tried here has been fantastic. You’re sure to find something to please every family member here.

128 Pecan

128 Pecan offers casual and comfortable dining that’s perfect for all ages. The menu features a variety of options, from sandwiches and tacos to soups and salads.

Fish Tacos from 128 Pecan in Abingdon, Virginia
Fish Tacos & Fries
Cuban Sandwich at 128 Pecan in Abingdon, VA
Classic Cuban Sandwich

We particularly enjoyed the Cuban Sandwich and Fish Tacos, and the fries were also a big hit.

Abingdon Vineyards

If you’re a wine lover traveling with children, Abingdon Vineyards is the perfect spot. You can sip your favorite wine while your kids play in the beautiful outdoor area.

Abingdon Vineyards, Virginia
Scenic outdoor area at Abingdon Vineyards

The vineyard features a stunning tasting room and an even more impressive outdoor space. Picnic tables are by a scenic creek, where both kids and adults can splash and play.

Wine Flight from Abingdon Vineyard in Virginia
Enjoy wine flights by the river!
Honeysuckle Wine from Abingdon, Vineyards, VA
Their Honeysuckle Wine was one of our favorites.

Feel free to pack a lunch and bring water shoes. I highly recommend trying their wine flights – we enjoyed sampling several of their excellent wines.

White Birch

White Birch is a cozy cafe offering delicious and healthy breakfast and lunch options.

Thai Chicken Wrap from Best Restaurant in Abingdon, VA White Birch
Thai Chicken Wrap
Power Bowl From White Birch Kitchen & Juice Bar in Abingdon, VA
Birch Power Bowl

Popular menu items include Biscuits & Gravy, Cinnamon Crunch French Toast, Birch Power Bowl, and Thai Chicken Wrap.

Juice from White Birch Kitchen & Juice Bar in Abingdon, VA
Pink Punch – Fresh Squeezed Juice
Cocktail from White Birch in Abingdon, Virginia
Majik Moment Marguerita

They also feature a Juice Bar with various fresh-squeezed juice combinations, and they even offer craft cocktails that you can enjoy there or take to go.

The Girl & The Raven

The Girl & The Raven is a spacious coffee shop with a beautiful interior and a cozy vibe. We’ve loved everything we’ve tried here and can’t stop thinking about how good the food and lattes were.

The Girl & the Raven Coffee Shop Abingdon, VA
The Girl & The Raven Coffee Shop

Open for breakfast and lunch, even simple dishes like Avocado Toast have a gourmet flair.

Avocado Toast from The Girl & The Raven Coffee Shop in Abingdon, VA
This was the best Avocado Toast ever!
Mocha Latte from The Girl & The Raven in Abingdon, VA
The Mocha Lattes were phenomenal.

They also offer a kid’s menu featuring favorites like Grilled Cheese and Hamburgers.

I highly recommend this as a top choice for families seeking made-from-scratch meals with fantastic culinary flavors.

Upscale Dining in Abingdon, VA

If you’d like to treat your family to upscale dining in Abingdon, VA, here are some fantastic choices:

  • The Tavern – One of the best restaurants in Abingdon. It’s housed in the town’s oldest building, dating back to 1779. The food is incredible, though a bit pricey. Reservations are recommended if possible.
  • Foresta – This is another one of my favorite restaurants in Abingdon. While it may be a bit pricey for dining with small children, the food is exceptional. The decor and atmosphere strike a perfect balance between sophistication and whimsy.
  • Summers Roof and Cellar – Summers is an upscale restaurant known for its wonderful food. What makes it truly special is its location atop a building, offering lovely views of downtown Abingdon. They do serve brick oven pizza, which would be perfect for kids.

Family Friendly Accommodations in Abingdon, VA

If you’re visiting Abingdon with your family, you’ll want a comfortable place to stay. Here are my top recommendations for family-friendly accommodations.

The 119 Airbnb

The 119 is a beautifully decorated Airbnb that can accommodate multiple family members. It features three bedrooms and two bathrooms, with one bedroom offering two queen beds.

The 119 and Airbnb in Abingdon, VA
The 119 – a family-friendly Airbnb – Book HERE!

Conveniently located, it’s just steps away from the Virginia Creeper Trail and downtown Abingdon. And did I mention that it’s pet-friendly? This is definitely a great vacation home for a family.

Check prices and availability for The 119 here.

The Martha Washington Inn & Spa

Although the Martha Washington Inn is renowned for its luxury and spa services, it is also an ideal retreat for families.

They offer a family suite with one king bed and two queen beds, providing ample space for everyone.

The Martha Washington Inn & Spa Abingdon, VA
The Martha Washington Inn & Spa

The Martha features numerous kid-friendly amenities, including a mini golf course, trampolines, tennis courts, a pool, and a jacuzzi.

Saltwater pool at Martha Washington Inn in Abingdon, VA
Heated saltwater pool
Outdoor jacuzzi at Martha Washington Inn in Abingdon Virginia
Multi-level outdoor jacuzzi

For those looking to explore the Virginia Creeper Trail, the inn provides a convenient free shuttle service to the top of the trail.

Centrally located, the Martha Washington Inn is close to all of Abingdon’s top attractions. It’s right across the street from the Barter Theatre and within walking distance of several fantastic shopping and dining options.

Check prices and availability for the Martha Washington Inn here.

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