The time between the hustle and bustle of the holidays and the awakening of Spring can often times be a cold and much needed time for vacation days.  Rather than jetting off to a tropical island for a week, we suggest having a winter staycation in the comfort of your home and town!  While it may be tempting to spend your week on the couch with a cozy blanket, we feel it’s also extra important to make the most of vacation days by planning some fun winter staycation activities.

A staycation is a great opportunity to strike a healthy balance between relaxation time and trying new activities.  We’ve put together a list of 7 local activities and ideas for you to try during your winter staycation.

Try a New Restaurant

If you’re a self proclaimed foodie, try a new cuisine or drink.  If you have tried all the local places, visit your favorite for a full course treat – and don’t forget the desert!  One of our favorites is Jack’s 128 Pecan.  Located at its namesake, 128 Pecan Street, the New American eatery offers some great flare!  Not only is the food fantastic, but the staff is just as delightful.  The Wednesday night Pasta Bolongnese will leave you fully satisfied, and Jack, the owner himself, will likely be there to greet you with a big smile and a “come on in”.  Trust us – you won’t be disappointed!

Treat Yourself to Something Special

One of the little gems in town is a place truly made for relaxing and healing!  Salt of the Earth is the only local salt cave and if you’ve never been, you don’t know what you are missing!  Salt therapy is known for its relief of allergy and sinus issues, stress relief and removing toxins from the body.  Salt of the Earth also offers other services including Salt Room Yoga, Reiki and massage therapy.  What a way to relax right here in town!

Take an Arts & Crafts Class

Holston Mountain Artisans prides itself on being a ‘member-owned non-profit cooperative…celebrating 47 years presenting the finest local handcrafts and art, and passing these skills on to the next generation’.  This local point is full of creativity and with events throughout the year should be on your checklist!  In fact, on February 24th, basket weaver Barbara Holt will teach participants how to make a reed basket with oak handle.  Ready to sign up?  Call (276) 628-7721 for all the details.

Visit a Museum

Right here in our little town, we are fortunate to have the William King Museum.  This premier facility boasts itself as “Never the Same Museum’ and offers both permanent collections, interchangeable exhibits and scheduled events.  Learn more about the museum on their website at

Host a Party

Now, you may be thinking – a party, after the holidays?  When we say party we mean a low key event with close friends and family.  You’ll have extra time to prepare, which eliminates a lot of the stress that comes with hosting a party after a long work week.  You can have a totally casual get-together, or choose a fun theme – and feel free to think outside the box in that regard (since many of us are already flooded with invites to ugly sweater parties during the holiday season).  Watching movies and baking cookies is always a fun and low key group activity.  If your’re seriously missing the summer months, try a tropical theme – a few cheesy palm tree decorations. margaritas, and summery foods should do the trick.

Catch a Movie

When was the last time you went to the movies and wasn’t totally exhausted from the week?  Like most of us – probably not very recently.  The Abingdon Cinemall offers all the latest movies, but also features foreign & indie films on Monday and Tuesday at 4:30 PM and 7:30 PM.  Why not do something a little different?  Oh, and if you are feeling like a kid again after relaxing – make good use of the arcade!

Take a Day Trip

When we say staycation, we don’t rule out the occasional day trip – in fact it can be rather refreshing!  Just a hop and skip away from Abingdon is the High County in scenic North Carolina.  The High County is comprised of three significantly different towns – Boone, Blowing Rock & Banner Elk.  Boone is home to Appalachian State University, but isn’t your typical college town.  With many local eateries and arts and crafts stores, the local possibilities are endless.  Blowing Rock is the Village area with quaint shops and eats – you won’t even notice a chill in the air because the charm will warm you right up!  Finally, Banner Elk is the place for you if you want to hit the slopes!  Local ski spots include Sugar Mountain and Beech Mountain – each with both skiing and snowboarding activities.

Happy Staycationing!