Yesterday I visited Abingdon, Virginia, for about the fifth time in the past six months. Abingdon is in the southwestern portion of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains, about 15 miles north of the state’s border with Tennessee. Abingdon has much to offer visitors and on previous stays my objective has been to identify and experience some of the highlights. Yesterday, though, my thoughts wandered from the beautiful downtown area to the interstate highway as much as 50 miles away. Why?
Surveys consistently show that leisure travelers are looking for a relaxing place when selecting a destination. South of Abingdon on I-81 in northern Tennessee there are a few small towns and lots of quiet countryside. North of Abingdon it’s at least 50 miles before you reach a moderately congested stretch of highway. For the most part, the drive pleasant with views of the Blue Ridge Mountains and rolling green pastures. In other words, even the approach is relaxing.
Yet another survey shows that the main factor in deciding whether or not a visitor will return to a destination is one simple thing: the last thing to happen. Barring any unusual circumstances, a visitor’s final experience as they see Abingdon fade in the rearview mirror will be the afore-mentioned scenic drive — a wonderful departing memory.
As if Abingdon doesn’t already offer enough great stuff, nice drives in and out of town complete the triple play.