Recreation

graphicCome Play with us

Swimming and boating … historic walking tours and wine tastings … camping and skiing … gazing at hawks soaring above the Blue Ridge Mountains. Or perhaps you’d care for a concert in Roanoke? A dinner overlooking the Peaks of Otter? Shopping in Lynchburg? Walking through Native American villages at Virginia’s Explore Park? Come with us, then, and discover the array of wonders that Bedford offers visitors of all ages and interests.

Smith Mountain Lake
Water sports have never known such a home. Nestled in the protective embrace of the mountains, this picturesque lake offers over 20,000 acres of playground for boaters, fishermen, swimmers, skiers, sailors and water enthusiasts of all ages. Smith Mountain Lake State Park, 1235 State Park Road, Huddleston, VA 24104, 540-297-6066. For reservations or more information on any of Virginia State Parks, call 1-800-933-PARK or visit www.dcr.state.va.us.

The Peaks of Otter
Rising out of the Blue Ridge Mountains, two prominent peaks stand out against the sky, giving Bedford one of the most beautiful backdrops in Virginia. Contact the Peaks of Otter Visitor Center at 540-587-4995 or 877-HI-PEAKS (toll-free). For information on the Peaks of Otter Restaurant and Lodge open year-round, call 800-542-5927 or 877-HI-PEAKS or visit www.peaksofotter.com. The Peaks are located 11
miles from downtown Bedford. Blue Ridge Parkway Information line (toll-free at 1-828-298-0398) provides a recorded message about the parkway and current road conditions.

The Appalachian Trail
From Georgia to Maine, with Bedford, Virginia, as the perfect resting place — this is the famous Appalachian Trail. Near Bedford, it meanders through the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Washington-Jefferson National Forest, offering some of the most striking scenery anywhere. Access the AT at Milepost 91 on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Art Museum of Western Virginia
Regional art exhibits, cultural resource library and educational programs. Located in the Center in the Square, downtown Roanoke. 430-342-5760, www.artmuseumroanoke.org.

Center in the Square
Home to arts and entertainment, the Center in the Square houses the Mill Mountain Theatre, Opera Roanoke, Roanoke Ballet Theatre, the Science Museum of Western Virginia, the Hopkins Planetarium and the Arts Museum of Western Virginia. 542-342-5700, www.centerinthesquare.org.

Harrison Museum of African American Culture
Featuring local and regional history and art exhibitions.
540-3345-4818, www.roanoke.com/harrisonmuseum.

Virginia Museum of Transportation
Vintage trains, cars, carriages, exhibits and events.
540-342-6898, www.vmt.org.

graphicMill Mountain Theatre
Year-round live professional theatre on two stages.
540-224-1215, www.mmzoo.org.

Lynchburg, Amherst, Alta Vista, Brookneal
Discover Lynchburg and Central Virginia, a short drive from Bedford’s downtown. History, natural beauty, arts and culture in every direction.
434-847-1811, 800-732-5821
www.DiscoverLynchburg.org

Roanoke and the Roanoke Valley
Just off Interstate 81 and one-half hour from Bedford on Route 460 West, Roanoke’s cultural delights, living history, ethnic diversity and nationally recognized attractions include exciting festivals and events, professional sports, NCAA championships, fine dining, concerts, ballets and shows.
800-635-5535
www.visitroanokeva.com

Mill Mountain Zoo
This is "where the children play." The regional zoo offers picnic facilities and restrooms located in the zoo and on park grounds. A miniature train (additional charge) takes visitors on a ride around the premises.
540-343-3241
www.mmzoo.org

Explore Park
At milepost 115 on the Blue Ridge Parkway, this outstanding outdoor living history museum includes interpretations, mountain biking, hiking, fishing, canoeing and kayaking, as well as picnic facilities. Open May through October, with equipment rentals.
540-427-1800, 800-842-9163
www.explorepark.org

Shenandoah Valley
Discover the heart of the Shenandoah Valley by visiting nearby Staunton, Waynesboro and Augusta County, Virginia.
Staunton Augusta Visitors Center — 800-332-5219
Waynesboro Augusta Co. Chamber of Commerce —
800-471-3109

Appomattox
Visit the Appomattox National Historical Park, where Robert E. Lee, Commanding General of the Army of Northern Virginia, surrendered his men to Ulysses S. Grant, General-in-Chief of all United States forces, on April 9, 1865. This 1,800-acre national park in central Virginia includes the McLean home (surrender site) and the village of Appomattox Court House, the former county seat for Appomattox County. Also visit the Appomattox Museum, Clover Hill Village Living History Museum and more. Appomattox Visitor Information Center, 434-352-2621, www.appomattox.com.

Lexington
The Old South truly lives in the quiet streets of Lexington, amid the hallways of Washington & Lee University and the cadets of Virginia Military Institute. Experience it: The National Historic Landmark, Lee Chapel and Museum was built in 1867 under the supervision of Robert E. Lee, and he and members of his family are buried beneath the chapel. Virginia Military Institute, founded in 1839, is the oldest state-supported military college in the nation. On May 15, 1864, the VMI Corps of Cadetsgraphic was engaged as a unit in the Civil War battle at New Market, Virginia. Tour the Stonewall Jackson House, the only home the Confederate general owned. Include a visit to the VMI Museum and the George C. Marshall Museum. Choose a play or concert at the Theater at Lime Kiln. Lexington & The Rockbridge Area Visitor Center. 877-4-LEXVA2, www.lexingtonvirginia.com.

Natural Bridge
One of the most renowned wonders of the new world, Natural Bridge was among the more popular sites for worldwide visitors in the 18th and 19th centuries. Even young surveyor George Washington left his mark, carving his initials on the bridge in 1750 while surveying the site for Lord Fairfax. Visit the Natural Bridge, Cedar Creek Trail and Nature Park, The Natural Bridge Caverns, The Wax Museum and Factory.
Natural Bridge Inn & Conference Center 800-533-1410
www.naturalbridgeva.com
Natural Bridge Wax Museum and Factory Tour, 800-323-8843.

Luray Caverns
A tinsmith and a local photographer uncovered the wonders of Luray Caverns in 1878. Since then, millions have made Luray Caverns the most popular cave in Eastern America and an internationally acclaimed destination. Four million centuries in the making beneath Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, this U. S. Natural Landmark awaits your discovery. 540-743-6551, www.luraycaverns.com.

Dixie Caverns
Located in Salem, Dixie Caverns not only takes you down into the wonders of the Earth but up, as well, into the mountain itself, opening to the magnificent cathedral room.
540-580-2085
www.dixiecaverns.com

 

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