Two young men walk in the business district in historic Lexington, Virginia, via Joel Carillet /

8 of the Most Walkable Towns in Virginia

Considered the "Birthplace of the Nation," Virginia is a rich tapestry of the country's history. This state harbors diverse landscapes and charming communities between verdant mountains, rolling countryside, and iconic waterways. Whether seeking historic architecture, cultural attractions, or natural scenery, walkable destinations deliver an especially intimate way to experience the Old Dominion's appeal.


Historic downtown of Staunton, Virginia
Historic downtown of Staunton, Virginia. Image credit MargJohnsonVA via Shutterstock

History collides with Southern hospitality in this lovely little town, famous for birthing America's 28th president, Woodrow Wilson. Staunton's unique charm emanates from its walkable historic district, which impresses with a cluster of rustic buildings. Walking along Coalter Street, you'll encounter gorgeous Victorian architecture on buildings housing restaurants, galleries, and museums, including the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library & Museum. Staunton's rich heritage shines through the American Shakespeare Center, which draws drama enthusiasts to watch classic plays from Shakespeare.

The Camera Heritage Museum on Beverly Street shows more of the town's character. This historical institution documents the evolution of photography from a historical, artistic, and scientific point of view. Further along, Trinity Episcopal Church stands out for its Gothic Revival Style and serves as a vital downtown landmark on the National Register of Historic Places.


The historical Barter Theatre in Abingdon, Virginia.
The historical Barter Theatre in Abingdon, Virginia. Image credit: Jimmy Emerson DVM via

Set in the picturesque foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, this adorable southwest Virginia is full of charm and character. Its pedestrian-friendly downtown core invites newcomers to experience artsy vibes, a rustic personality, and a delectable dining scene. The vibrant Main Streets harbors a cluster of treasures led by the historic Barter Theater. As the country's longest-operating professional theater, it is a testament to Abingdon's deep cultural roots. Abingdon's main drag also hosts the Antique Barn, an excellent stop for collectors interested in old treasurers and souvenir items.

Further exploration will lead you to the Historical Society of Washington County, dedicated to preserving the region's historical and cultural heritage. One of the best times to explore downtown is during the Abingdon Farmers Market, which sparks the neighborhood with bustling trade and opportunities to mingle and socialize.


Central Street through Middleburg, Virginia.
Central Street through Middleburg, Virginia. Image credit Nigel Jarvis via

Middleburg earned the moniker "Nation's Horse and Hunt Capital" for centuries of serving as the hosting community. Through the years, it has developed a unique character and heritage, which comes to life in its historic downtown district. The district is walkable and friendly, exposing a rich mix of inns, shops, restaurants, and museums. Highlights include the historic Red Fox Inn & Tavern on Washington Street, a Middleburg mainstay since its establishment in 1728. A vibrant craft winery, brewery, and distillery scene provides newcomers with generous tasting opportunities, and you can stop by Mt. Defiance Cidery and Distillery to be part of this culture.

The National Sporting Library & Museum is a must-visit. It displays diverse artifacts related to equestrian and field sports. After long hours on the streets exploring the town, remember to rest with a delicious plate at Tremolo Bar.


Beautiful historical buildings in Virginia Tech University in Blacksburg, Virginia
Beautiful historical buildings in Virginia Tech University in Blacksburg, Virginia

Home to Virginia Tech, this Blue Ridge Mountains gem has an infectious, upbeat vibe that compels tourists to return for more. This town presents a charged social atmosphere and a bustling downtown best discovered on foot. At the heart of it is the College Avenue Promenade, a pedestrian-friendly link between the Virginia Tech campus and downtown Blacksburg. Here, you'll notice a bustling cultural scene with venues like the Lyric Theater. This popular spot was opened in 1930 and features a blend of Spanish Colonial Revival and Art Deco architectural styles.

More than 200 businesses across the community, most lining Main Street, leave tourists with more than enough to see and do. Mellow Mushroom Blacksburg draws patrons with its stone-baked pizzas and craft beers. Meanwhile, the Blacksburg Farmers Market & Market Square Park delivers one of the most immersive cultural experiences for first-timers.


Market Street in Onancock, Virginia
Market Street in Onancock, Virginia. Editorial credit: John Blottman /

Onancock's small population and scenic harbor location allow residents to walk and cycle the town streets freely while admiring the water scenery, making it one of the most walkable towns in Virginia. The atmosphere is perfect for meeting and interacting with the friendly locals over good-natured conversations. Along Market Street, you'll get a sense of Onancok's heritage from the Victorian architecture on historic buildings. The Georgian-style Ker Place takes visitors back to the 18th century with its fine display of unique period artifacts.

Meanwhile, North Street Playhouse is a popular stop for fans of performance arts. Further along, Danny Doughty Gallery emphasizes the area's artsy vibes. Multiple restaurants, including the trendy Bizotto's Gallery-Cafe, allow guests to sample diverse town flavors whenever they feel hungry.


View of the main street in Smithfield, Virginia, via Wikipedia
View of the main street in Smithfield, Virginia, via Wikipedia

Smithfield might be famed for its mouthwatering ham, but the town harbors an impressive historical heritage that promises to excite first-timers. Exploring its quaint historic district leads to new historical markers at every corner you turn, which promises a nostalgic journey back in time. Some of the unmissable highlights include the Isle of Wight County Courthouse. This Main Street icon dates back to 1750 and represents one of Virginia's four arcaded court buildings. Along the same line, you'll also come across the Isle of Wight County Museum, which peeks into the town's captivating heritage through artifact exhibits.

The main drag also hosts the bustling Smithfield Farmers Market on Saturdays, which allows foreigners to mingle with friendly locals and buy fresh produce and traditional crafts. Souvenir lovers can turn to Church Street and speculate for unique treasures at Mansion House Art and Antiques.


Downtown Farmville, Virginia.
Downtown Farmville, Virginia. Image credit Puritan Nerd via Wikimedia Commons

Considered the "Heart of Virginia," Farmville is situated just below Virginia's geographical center. This town is home to Longwood University, one of the country's oldest universities, and boasts much history and culture. Roaming the relaxed downtown, tourists will want to check out the Robert Russa Moton Museum, a National Historic Landmark commemorating the fight for civil rights. Farmville's Main Street is the center of all town activities, hosting a lovely mix of galleries, restaurants, antique shops, and other businesses. At the Longwood Center for the Center, visitors sample the town's respectable arts landscape.

Downtown Farmville also hosts numerous restaurants and eateries to ensure no hungry stomachs. If you enjoy sumptuous Southern-style barbecue, consider passing by the Fishin' Pig for trademark pork, chicken, and catfish dishes.


Businesses along a street in the historic downtown area of Lexington, Virginia
Businesses along a street in the historic downtown area of Lexington, Virginia. Editorial credit: Kristi Blokhin /

Despite hosting a youthful college population, Lexington has a retro side harbored by a historic downtown. The neighborhood offers a mix of historical markers, museums, and galleries within walking distance of one another, presenting the ideal scenario to explore on foot. Washington Street is one of the busiest in the town and hosts notable venues like the Jackson House Museum. This iconic landmark offers a glimpse of Victorian-era Lexington through the home of former Confederate general Thomas Jackson. Newcomers also come to Washington Street for the Visitor Center of Lexington, an excellent place to plan the perfect itinerary in the town.

Meanwhile, the University Chapel & Galleries offers art enthusiasts an opportunity to explore the local art scene inside a National Historic Landmark. The complex, which was constructed in the 1860s and is part of Washington & Lee University, is a must-see for art enthusiasts.

The Takeaway

A stroll through any of these walkable towns in Virginia allows travelers to soak in regional character and history unhurriedly. With colorful Colonial-era buildings, quaint shops, and welcoming communities, visitors can experience the Southern United States in its most authentic light away from congested highways. Whether browsing market stalls or window shopping, spending a weekend wandering these colonial gems ensures enduring memories and a fresh perspective. Their walkability makes exploration effortless against scenic natural beauty year-round.

  1. Home
  2. Places
  3. Cities
  4. 8 of the Most Walkable Towns in Virginia

More in Places