Our Certified Arts Community and rich history are a feast for the eyes.
Start your journey with a trip through our historic towns, where you’ll find rich rail and coal heritage from the boom days, which brought wealth and prosperity to our region. So much, in fact, one of our tiny towns had more millionaires per capita than anywhere in the nation (and the mansions still line the brick streets!)
Head underground for a hands-on look at coal life in the Pocahontas Exhibition Mine, or take a mini ride on the rails on the Ridge Runner Train. The Regional Coal Archives and the Regional Coal Heritage Interpretive Center can fill in all the little details.
All this heritage inspires amazing artisans. Colorfully decorated trains line Chicory Square, and Princeton is postered with massive, intricate murals. The galleries showcase everything from traditionally crafted glassworks to quirky creations with a unique flair.
The art really comes to life on stage, though. Enjoy everything from German dinner theater to cafe house performances to grand arts center productions. The Chuck Mathena Center features national touring acts and shows, and the local volunteer orchestra revives classical works.
Concord University’s esteemed musical programs keep Athens in tune, while Bramwell’s acclaimed troupe brings back their beloved classic, “Smoke on the Mountain,” each summer.