Co-written by Krista Boothby, Marketing & Public Relations Coordinator with the Lynchburg Office of Economic Development & Tourism
Once the competition is over, it is time for more fun! Check out the list below of some exciting things to do in – and around Lynchburg during (or before and after) your next sporting event.
1. LOVE the Urban Trails
Lynchburg has more than 40 miles of urban trails that wind through the city. Walk, bike, or run on the Blackwater Creek Trail at Percival’s Island, crossing the historic James River. Snap a photo with the LOVEwork then explore the downtown area where delicious local restaurants are at every corner. If you are thinking about biking, rentals are available at Bikes Unlimited and Blackwater bike shop!
2. Thomas Jefferson’s Poplar Forest
Get to know the other side of Mr. Jefferson at Poplar Forest, his octagonal retreat home away from the hustle and bustle of Monticello. On your way back to town, stop to shop and grab a bite to eat at the Shops at Wyndhurst.
3. Lynchburg Community Market
Saturday morning is the best time to visit the bustling Lynchburg Community Market, the third oldest continually operating farmers market in the country. Engage with local artisans and farmers then head down 12th Street to the Bluffwalk for alfresco dining with a view.
4. Liberty Mountain Snowflex Centre
Ski, snowboard, or tube year-round at the Liberty Mountain Snowflex Center, the first of its kind in the country! Then fuel back up with delicious tacos from Tacos Locos just down the road.
5. The Maier Museum of Art
Photo Credit: Jill Waugh
The Maier Museum at Randolph College was the secret storage location for the National Gallery during the Cold War. Today it is home to one of the best American Art collections in the country. After you tour the museum, grab a craft brew and a slice of pizza at locally-owned Rivermont Pizza.
6. Riverviews Artspace
Blend the historic with the modern with a river ride on a replica 19th-century Batteau, the long-haul truck of its day, at James River Adventures, then get contemporary at Riverviews Artspace’s Craddock Terry Gallery.
7. Amazement Square
Downtown Lynchburg is home to the award-winning children’s museum, Amazement Square, where kids of all ages can learn, play, and explore. Afterward, take the family down the block to MayLynn’s Creamery for an ice cream cone.
8. Walk the gardens at Old City Cemetery
Despite being a place of burial, the Old City Cemetery is one of the most popular attractions. With beautiful picnic areas to enjoy the weather and five small museums to explore. The cemetery also has the largest public collection of antique roses in Virginia!
9. Presbyterian Cemetery Twin Towers Memorial
The Presbyterian Cemetery on Grace Street is the final resting place for many Lynchburg notables, including the infamous General Jubal Early and Edwin “Ned” Emerson, actor and confidant of John Wilkes Booth. But one of the lesser known monuments at the cemetery is a memorial created and erected by local artist Adrian Gagesteyn of New York’s Twin Towers.
9. Point of Honor
Visit Lynchburg’s most famous historic home, Point of Honor, once the residence of Dr. George Cabell, personal physician to Patrick Henry and friend of Thomas Jefferson. Take in the views of Downtown Lynchburg and the Diamond Hill Historic District then take a nature break with a walk on the Point of Honor Trail.
10. Old Sandusky and South River Meeting House
One of the finest examples of Federal-style architecture in Central Virginia, the Sandusky mansion served as Union headquarters during the Battle of Lynchburg. Visit the museum to hear the tale of its owners during the home’s occupation. Nearby, is the South River Quaker Meeting House, organized in 1757 when the mother of Lynchburg’s founder, Sarah Lynch, donated two acres of land to the congregation.
11. Cocktails with a View at Skyline Grill
Enjoy a refreshing cocktail and enjoy the best view in town at Skyline Grill atop The Virginian Hotel in Downtown Lynchburg. With fabulous signature cocktails and delicious cuisine, Skyline Grill is the place to relax and catch up with friends.
13. Rise Up Climbing
You wouldn’t expect to find a rock climbing place downtown. Well, guess what… there is! Rise Up Climbing was established in 2008 by Dan Hague. Rise Up Climbing has more than 6,000 square feet of climbable surfaces that accommodates all levels of experience. For an adventure with friends and family, Rise Up Climbing is an experience you won’t forget.
14. Appomattox Court House National Historical Park and the American Civil War Museum
A short 25-minute drive on 460 east gets you to Appomattox Court House National Historical Park, where Generals Grant and Lee met to bring an end to America’s Civil War. For the full immersive experience, stop in the American Civil War Museum just down the road from the Park.
15. Anne Spencer House & Garden Museum
Visit the home of the internationally acclaimed Harlem Renaissance poet and Civil Rights leader, Anne Spencer. House tours are by appointment, but her beautiful and eclectic garden is always open to the public. Take in the beautiful scenery while enjoying the Farm Basket shop and restaurant.
16. The National D-Day Memorial
This year marks the 75th Anniversary of the D-Day invasion at the beaches of Normandy ushering the beginning of the end of WWII. The Memorial is dedicated to those who served and lost their lives during this battle and is worth a visit for the story it tells, its beautiful surroundings, and its historic significance.
Located inside the River Ridge Mall, SeaQuest provides a hands-on experience! You can feed, touch, and interact with animals from five continents. This is a great weekend adventure that you can’t pass up!
18. Jump Trampoline Park
Lynchburg’s only trampoline park, Jump has over 10 square feet of connected, world-class trampolines including angled wall trampolines, foam block pit, jousting pit, basketball goals, and a dodgeball court.
19. Blue Ridge Parkway and Peaks of Otter Lodge
A beautiful 30-minute drive to Milepost 63.7 will get you to the Blue Ridge Parkway, “America’s Most Popular Scenic Drive”. A left hand turn onto the Parkway will lead you to the Peaks of Otter Lodge for awe inspiring scenery and a great meal.
20. Batteau Ride
Blend the historic with the modern with a river ride on a replica 19th-century Batteau, the long-haul truck of its day, at James River Adventures.
21. One Way Out Escape Room
Test your problem-solving skills and bond with your friends and family at the same time. Keep your group entertained while challenging your group to find their way out of the cleverly “locked” rooms.
22. Lynchburg Museum and Monument Terrace
Immerse yourself in the stories and people that built this city and contributed to the Nation with a visit to the Lynchburg Museum in the venerable Old Court House. The Museum sits atop Monument Terrace, 132 steps commemorating Lynchburg citizens who fought and died in domestic and foreign wars.
23. Canoe or Kayak the James River
Explore the James River in Lynchburg! Rent canoes or kayaks from James River Adventures and put-in at RiverEdge Park for a 9-mile paddle and take-out at Joshua Falls Point. Don’t forget to grab a sandwich from Magnolia Foods or The Farm Basket to picnic at one of the islands along the river.
23. Sprayground at Riverside Park
Grab a meal at Magnolia Foods, one of Lynchburg’s favorite gourmet sandwich shops then take the kids to Riverside Park to cool down at the Sprayground. Beat the heat with water buckets and misters or let them enjoy the two non-water playgrounds in the park.
24. Snap a photo with a LOVEwork
With more than 160 public “LOVE” artworks across the state, the LOVEworks represent local communities and provide fun photo ops at Welcome Centers and special events throughout the year. Lynchburg is home to nine! If you attend a Hillcats Baseball game, get a pic of their LOVE; Find Lynchburg’s other signs at Perical’s Island Trailhead, the University of Lynchburg campus, the Craddock Terry Hotel, I Scream you Scream, and Blue mountain Barn.
See more of what there is to do in Lynchburg with this Three-Day Vacation Guide!
Be sure to check out these other Virginia destinations within 60 miles of Lynchburg!
Roanoke – drive time: 1 hr. 15 min.
Lexington & Rockbridge County – drive time: 1 hr. 5 min.
Nelson – drive time: 40 min.
Charlottesville – drive time: 1 hr. 15 min.
Smith Mountain Lake – drive time: 1 hr. 18 min.
Farmville & Appomattox – drive time: Farmville – 1 hr., Appomattox – 30 min.
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