Co-written by Krista Boothby, Marketing & Public Relations Coordinator with the Lynchburg Office of Economic Development & Tourism
The State Games of America will be coming to Lynchburg July 31 – August 4, 2019. 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) the State Games.
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 grab a bite at Waterstone Pizza. Bike rentals are available at Bikes Unlimited.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
7. Rock the Night Away at Cheers to the Weekend
Downtown Lynchburg is rockin’ during the weekend. Cheers to the Weekend kicks off Friday nights with an outdoor concert at Riverfront Park beside the James River. Food and beverage vendors are on site.
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
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.
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.
12. Picnic at the Old City Cemetery Museums & Arboretum
Stop in at Greys, 5th & Federal, or Daughters and Sons restaurants on historic 5th Street to pick up lunch (dessert at Mama Crocketts or 5th Street Grind) then enjoy a picnic at the Old City Cemetery Museums & Arboretum.
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.
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 more beautiful scenery while enjoying at the Farm Basket shop and restaurant.
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 worth a visit for the story it tells, its beautiful surroundings, and historic significance.
16. Rise Up Climbing
Feel like climbing the walls? Head Downtown to Rise Up Climbing indoor climbing gym. Hang on tight and have some fun then grab a healthy, but yummy, meal at Crisp or Urbavore.
17. Trampoline Park and Fun Sandwiches at Macados
It’s best to dine at Macados (pronounced Macadooz) AFTER visiting Jump, Lynchburg’s only trampoline park. With over 10 square feet of connected, world-class trampolines including angled wall trampolines, foam block pit, jousting pit, basketball goals, and dodgeball court..
A beautiful 30 minute drive to Milepost 63.7 will get you onto 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.
19. Batteau Ride and 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.
20. One Way Out and Locked Up Escape Rooms
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.
21. 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.
Pick up lunch at Blue Ridge BBQ and picnic at Ivy Creek Park Lake. Canoe and kayak rentals are available, pet animals at the Nature Center, or work off lunch with a hike on the trails.
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 four! If you attend a Hillcats Baseball game, get a pic of their LOVE; our other three are at: Perical’s Island Trailhead, University of Lynchburg campus, and at the Craddock Terry Hotel.
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.