The Martha Washington Inn at Christmas

  • Abingdon, VA | the Barter Theatre | Jonesborough, TN | Saltville, VA


December 14 - 16, 2022


  • Enjoy accommodation and rich ambiance for two nights at the storied Martha Washington Inn, decked out in her Christmas-season finest
  • A festive evening play at Virginia's state theater, the acclaimed Barter Theatre
  • Great site visits: touring in charming Abingdon; Jonesborough, TN, Saltville, VA, and other Appalachian mountain towns
  • Delightful small group camaraderie and holiday cheer!

Trip Description

Let’s explore around Abingdon, Virginia, and enjoy a festive stay at a storied Southern hotel – the Martha Washington Inn – just in time for the holidays!


Day 1

Depart from Greenville / Spartanburg, SC and Asheville, NC, and embark on our holiday journey!  Happily, the map will reveal that no great “driving distance” is required.  Our initial destination is Jonesborough, Tennessee – the state’s oldest town (and one of its best preserved).  We’ll enjoy lunch in the Main Street Café, and then a visit to the 1797 Chester Inn, just across the street.  The Chester Inn is a Tennessee state museum and interprets the story of early Jonesborough.

Jonesborough is also a shoppers’ dream . . . so enjoy free time for holiday shopping (whether openly or covertly!) & browsing, before we reconvene “at the end of Main Street.”

We’ll continue our drive to pretty Abingdon, Virginia.  Check into the festively decorated, historic Martha Washington Inn, and relax.  This evening, we’ll enjoy a delicious dinner “uptown” at the Tavern on the Courthouse Hill . . . located inside a 1779 inn, the oldest building in town.

Dinner and overnight, Abingdon.

Day 2

Enjoy breakfast in the Martha Washington.  Afterward, we’ll meet up with a local guide – in costume – to take us back to Abingdon’s formative days of circa 1780.  Lots of fun in store for this very interactive experience!

We’ll then drive to Chilhowee for lunch; visit the gravesite of William Campbell (who fits into many if not most of the stories we’ll explore in Abingdon); then drive up and over Walker Mountain to the historic town of Saltville (known in the 18th and 19th centuries as “the Salt Works”).

We’ll return in time for rest and relaxation at the Martha, or enjoy a walk through Abingdon’s charming downtown, lined with churches, historic homes, and boutiques.

This evening, we’ll enjoy an early dinner at the Martha Washington’s excellent restaurant; followed by a festive show across the street at the Barter Theater. This is the acclaimed state theater of Virginia, which earned its name during the Great Depression, when locals traded “ham for Hamlet” to see rising stars like Gregory Peck perform!

Day 3

Enjoy another delicious breakfast at the Martha.  This morning we’ll pack up, say goodbye to our hosts, then enjoy lovely drives (with built-in exploration and stories) as we wind our way home.

Our drive will take us close to Virginia’s highest peaks; then to Mountain City, Tennessee, for lunch.  “Over the river and through the woods . . . “

Return home in the late afternoon – refreshed, and ready for more holiday cheer!

Featured Experiences

The Martha Washington Inn and Spa

Enjoy beautiful accommodations for two nights (and fantastic dining) at one of Virginia's most beloved and historic 4-star hotels: the Martha Washington Inn and Spa.  Located in the heart of Abingdon's charming downtown, enjoy exploring on foot or by bicycle; schedule a spa treatment; or relax in the library or on the gracious front porch with a glass of wine.

What's Included

  • Comfortable transportation
  • Accommodation for 2 nights
  • Breakfast, 3 lunches, and 2 dinners
  • All activities / admissions per the itinerary
  • Guide and concierge service throughout the trip

Trip Price

$1,870 / person (double occupancy; single supplement, $290)

What's Not Included

Price is all-inclusive, except for alcohol and trip insurance (optional).

..well-planned, from interesting and fun excursions planned each day, to comfortable lodging and transportation. Our trip leaders, Chumley and Khal, were impressive with their knowledge of each area we explored and gracious in their planning of every aspect of our trips.

Trip insurance safeguards your travel investment, your belongings, and most importantly, you. Though trip insurance is optional, we strongly encourage travelers to purchase trip insurance in the event you have to cancel or leave a trip for any reason. Please note, all trip participants should wait for confirmation from Explore Up Close that the trip has the minimum sign-up required to be a “go” before purchasing travel insurance. Please confirm with Explore Up Close before making any additional travel arrangements.

Once you have received confirmation from Explore Up Close, we recommend contacting a travel insurance provider directly to request a quote and compare pricing and features. You can find other providers that may fit your needs at, or we can gladly connect you with our travel agent.

This trip departs from Greenville / Spartanburg, South Carolina and Asheville, North Carolina. If you live elsewhere, please contact us to discuss travel arrangements, and we will look forward to assisting you!

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