Washington County, VA

Offers business-building advantages among life-enriching amenities.  Built with a work ethic forged in the history of the region, a perfect blend of past success and future progress helps move businesses forward at a pace of their choosing.

Where We Are

Washington County is close to both natural recreation and major metropolitan areas, further enhancing the quality of life for residents. In a day’s drive or less, you can reach:

  • Asheville, NC (< 2 hours)
  • Charlotte, NC (3 hours)
  • Nashville, TN (4.5 hours)
  • Richmond, VA (5 hours)
  • Louisville, KY (5 hours)
  • Atlanta, GA (5 hours)
  • Columbus, OH (5.5 hours)
  • Virginia Beach, VA (6 hours)
  • Myrtle Beach, SC (6 hours)
  • Washington, DC (6 hours)

Our Communities

Washington County includes three incorporated towns: Abingdon, Damascus, and Glade Spring, each with its own unique character and amenities. The Twin Cities of Bristol, VA and Bristol, TN are located adjacent to the county and provide additional cultural attractions, recreational amenities, educational opportunities, and shopping.

Abingdon, population 8,146 (U.S. Census Bureau, 2014), is recognized by several leading national publications for it’s livability and quality of life attributes. Located along the I-81 corridor halfway between Roanoke, VA and Knoxville, TN, its cultural and recreational amenities include:

The Barter Theatre, Virginia’s State Theatre

William King Museum of Art, a regional arts and culture museum 

Virginia Creeper Trail, one of the nation’s premier “rail-to-recreation trails”

Southwest Virginia Cultural Center and Marketplace, a stop along the Crooked Road – Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail

The Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail, a driving and walking trail that traces the route used by militia during the pivotal Kings Mountain campaign of 1780, begins in Abingdon

Abingdon Farmer’s Market

Damascus, population 796 (U.S. Census Bureau, 2014), is the gateway to the Mount Rogers National Recreation Area. Crossed by several major trails, the town is a destination for hikers and wilderness tourists. Trail Days, an annual hiker festival, draws upwards of 20,000 visitors each year.

Trails include:

Appalachian Trail

Virginia Creeper Trail

Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail

Iron Mountain Trail

U.S. Bicycle Route 76, a.k.a. the Trans-America National Bicycle Trail

Daniel Boone Heritage Trail

Crooked Road Music Trail

Glade Spring, population 1,792 (U.S. Census Bureau, 2014), is a small but welcoming community located along I-81. Attractions include:

Virginia Salt Trail, an 8.5 mile multi-use trail that links Glade Spring and Saltville

Glade Spring Farmer’s Market

Bristol, known as the “Twin Cities,” sits right on the Virginia-Tennessee state line. The largest city in the area with a combined population of nearly 44,000, Bristol has a number of unique amenities, including:

Bristol Motor Speedway: World-famous half-mile track; hosts the NASCAR Sprint Cup

Birthplace of Country Music Museum: Celebrates Bristol’s seminal country music heritage and designation as the Birthplace of Country Music by the U.S. Congress in 1998

South Holston Lake: Popular for fishing, boating, skiing, and other recreational activities

Paramount Center for the Arts: Features nationally known musicians, Broadway touring shows, ballet, symphony, and choral and chamber music

Shopping: A variety of shopping options, from two large malls to smaller specialty shops selling art, antiques, clothing, décor, and outdoor gear.

Economy

Washington County’s economy is rooted in agriculture.  An abundance of natural resources, multiple water sources, and fertile soil established the region as an early production center by the mid-19th century. Timber, tobacco, and salt were leading products through the mid-late 20th century.  Today, Washington County remains an eminent agricultural community, and is a leading Virginia community for cattle and egg production.  Many small farms also support the County’s multiple farmer’s markets and locally-owned restaurants. 

In addition to agriculture, proximity to central Appalachian coal producing communities established Washington County as an early center for multi-state regional commerce.  A robust cluster of banking, finance, legal, and professional service firms continues to provide an important network of services which benefits many types of businesses and industries.  

Development of major domestic interstate systems during the mid-20th century helped to promote greater economic diversification, and positioned Washington County for growth of manufacturing and distribution companies. At present, almost 2 out of every 10 jobs are in manufacturing/distribution.  

Washington County looks forward to a bold and vibrant future.  The County is pleased to see new growth opportunities in emerging technology and talent driven businesses. Continued support of investments in critical infrastructure, including high-speed fiber, is prioritized by community and state leadership.