Lynchburg began in 1757 as a ferry town, fording traffic across the James River. The city is built on centuries of history, boasting strong connections to Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry, and other early American patriots. Because of the city's use by the Confederacy as a supply and hospital center, it served as a battlefield in the American Civil War. Lynchburg has been designated a portion of Virginia's Rail Heritage Region. Lynchburg's historic districts contain many beautiful homes from the 19th century.
Lynchburg's name is derived from its founder, John Lynch, who, at the age of 17, began a ferry service across the James River to facilitate travel to and from New London. He would later be responsible for the bridge which would make his ferry service obsolete. Despite common misconceptions, neither John Lynch nor Lynchburg is associated with the origination of term, "lynching," though it may have originated with John's brother, Charles.
Geography and climate
Lynchburg's nickname, the "City of Seven Hills," is very descriptive of the geography of the city. Though it refers most directly to the hills near where the city was founded, these hills extend far beyond the riverfront at the James River. The area includes much of Candlers Mountain.
Spring in Lynchburg is short-lived, often it is simply a period of wide fluctuation between mid-late winter and early-mid summer temperatures. Summers are humid and hot with temperatures generally reaching 90°F. Autumns are mild; temperatures stay somewhere between 40°F and 55°F. Once winter hits, temperatures will top out near freezing until February and, perhaps, beyond. Winters can bring lots of snow to the Lynchburg area: about three one-foot snowstorms each winter.
Generally, storms will pass through over the course of a few hours, but rain systems without lightning and thunder will stick in Lynchburg for days at a time, lending to the nickname "Drenchburg." When there is wind in Lynchburg, it tends to be a very high wind. Unlike nearby areas, the warmest part of the day in this part of Virginia is generally 5PM.
- Lynchburg Visitors Center, 216 12th Street, ☏ . M-Sa 10AM-4PM, Su noon-4PM.
Lynchburg does not have direct interstate access. Instead, you can get to Lynchburg by one of three major U.S. Routes: U.S. 29 North and South, U.S. 460 East and West, and U.S. 501 North and South. U.S. 501, however, is generally only convenient for travel from the immediate northwest and southeast.
U.S. 29 merges with U.S. 460 at a three-way junction. When traveling to Lynchburg via U.S. 29S, a right exit is required to continue along U.S. 29S / U.S. 460W.
After US 29 and US 460 align together, they mostly bypass all of Lynchburg. To really enter Lynchburg from US 460, one can take US 460 Business (Timberlake Rd) and to enter Lynchburg from US 29 one can take US 29 Business (Wards Road).
- 1 Lynchburg Regional Airport (LYH IATA) (just south of the city limits alongside U.S. 29). American Eagle operates a regional flight between Lynchburg Regional Airport and Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT IATA). These flights operate on a schedule of approximately one plane arriving and departing every two hours. The airport offers a café with free wireless access.
Lynchburg is a stop on the Northeast Regional offering daily service between Roanoke and the Northeast with stops in Washington, D.C., New York City, and Boston. Lynchburg is also a stop on the Crescent between New Orleans and New York City. Both of these services are operated by Amtrak. While historically, they have both had one departure per day, the Crescent dropped to thrice weekly service in October of 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. Daily service on the Crescent will be restored on June 7, 2021. 2 Kemper Street station is located at 825 Kemper St, about one kilometer east of downtown.
Driving is perhaps the most convenient way to get around Lynchburg. Apart from the Downtown area and the area on and around the campus of Liberty University, most of the city is not very friendly to pedestrian traffic.
The Lynchburg Expressway connects most of the major roadways in Lynchburg, intersecting and merging with the business segments of U.S. 29, U.S. 460, and U.S. 501.
While the city limits are very clearly marked, they are drawn in such a way that some places within the city are inaccessible without first traveling outside the city. For instance, the planned community at Wyndhurst can only be accessed via Enterprise Dr, which terminates in two different counties.
Newcomers can find the roads in Lynchburg highly confusing. Note that a few major roads change names with no clear indication as to where these changes take place. For examples, Lakeside Dr becomes Forest Rd, Fort Ave becomes Timberlake Rd, and Memorial Ave becomes Fifth St. Further, the highway alignments can be confusing as there are multiple places where the "Northbound" lanes of one highway are aligned with the "Southbound" lanes of another. Also there are multiple sets of unrelated roads with confusingly similar names. One example is Langhorne Road, Langhorne Lane, Langhorne Avenue which are all totally separate roads in different parts of the city.
Several lots and limited on-street parking are available in Downtown Lynchburg. Two lots, the Midtown and Clay Street Parking Decks, are metered, operating on the mPARK system used in several other cities in the United States and abroad.
During the afternoon rush hour (4:45PM - 5:45PM), Candlers Mountain Rd, Wards Rd, and Timberlake Rd experience significantly increased traffic.
Several dispatch taxi services operate in Lynchburg.
- City Cab Company, 413 Jackson St, ☏ .
- Allied Cabs, 2109 12th St, ☏ .
- Gray Top Cab Incorporated, 1107 12th St, ☏ .
- Hill City Cab, 200 Oakley Ave, ☏ .
Greater Lynchburg Transit Company (GLTC) offers bus services to the area. Single-direction trips are $1.50, and day and multi-day passes are available. Most routes run though the Plaza Shopping Center as a central hub and transfer point. Because of this layout, however, travel from some points in the city to others may take in excess of an hour in spite of being only a few miles away. GLTC also operates intracampus bus services to Liberty University. This service is free to students, faculty, and visitors.
- 1 Daura Gallery, 1501 Lakeside Dr (In the Dillard Fine Arts Center at Lynchburg College), ☏ . M-F 9AM-4PM, Su 1-4PM (one Sunday a month). Open during the college academic year only. Free, donations encouraged.
- 2 Maier Museum of Art, 1 Quinlan St (On the campus of Randolph College), ☏ . Academic year: Tu-Su 1PM-5PM; Summer: W-Su 1PM-4PM. Free, donations encouraged.
- 3 Sandusky, 757 Sandusky Dr, ☏ , fax: , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. This historic house served as the Union Headquarters during the Civil War Battle of Lynchburg. Sandusky is open by appointment. Adults $5, seniors $3, students $2.
- 4 Point of Honor, 112 Cabell St. M–Sa 10AM-4PM, Su noon-4PM. Adults $6, seniors $5, college student $4, children 6-17 $3, children under 6 free.
- 5 Monument Terrace, 9th St and Church St. Commemorates Lynchburg citizens who fought and died in the Civil War, Spanish American War, World Wars I and II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. A 139-step staircase, the terrace's base is at the intersection of 9th and Church Streets and ends at Court Street in front of the Lynchburg Museum.
- 6 Old City Cemetery, 401 Taylor St, ☏ , fax: , ✉ email@example.com. Daily dawn-dusk.. The oldest continuously-operated public cemetery in Virginia, museums on-site give a glimpse into rituals of mourning over the centuries. Free, guided tours by appointment $8/adult $3/child.
- 7 Lynchburg Museum, 901 Court St, ☏ . In the former Lynchburg court house. Parking is available in the Clay Parking Deck immediately behind the building. Adults $6, seniors $5, college student $4, children 6-17 $3, children under 6 free.
- 8 Miller Park, 2100 Park Ave. 37-acre park includes a pool and a beautiful historic aviary, now used as a banquet hall.
- 9 Riverside Park, 2270 Rivermont Ave. 47 acre park includes the Sprayground, an outdoor water playground.
- 10 Peaks View Park, 199 Ivy Creek Ln. 250-acre park includes may trails, sports fields, a frisbee golf course, and picnic facilities.
Lynchburg's hills make the city great for hiking and recreational biking. Percival's Island Trail, which connects with the Blackwater Creek Trail, forms a 13.5-mile paved trail that travels through Lynchburg. The trail can be accessed at three major points off Washington St, Jefferson St, and Langhorne Rd. The trail follows both the James River and the Blackwater Creek. Off of the trail there are several hiking and mountain biking opportunities. Liberty University also maintains a system of mountain biking and hiking trails on Candlers Mountain.
Lynchburg hosts a minor-league professional baseball team as well as colleges with active athletics departments.
- 1 Bikes Unlimited, 1312 Jefferson St, ☏ . M-F 10AM-7PM, Sa 10AM-5PM, Su 1PM-4PM. Offers bicycle sales, repair, and rentals. Near the connection between the Blackwater Creek Bikeway and RiverWalk trails.
- 2 Liberty Mountain Snowflex Centre, 4000 Candlers Mountain Rd, toll-free: , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. M-Th noon-midnight, F noon-1AM, Sa 10AM-1AM, Su 1PM-midnight. This year-round ski resort is made possible with an artificial terrain technology that makes the resort the first of its kind in the United States. $5/non-peak hour, $7/peak hour, $12 ski/board rentals, $5 tube rental.
- 3 LaHaye Ice Center, 1971 University Blvd (Directly across from Extended Stay America at 1910 University Blvd), ☏ , fax: , ✉ email@example.com. M-F 11:30AM-1:30PM; F Sa 7PM-9PM, Su 1PM-3PM. Open year round, hours subject to change for summer. $5 admission, $3 rental.
- 4 Lynchburg Hillcats Baseball, 3180 Fort Ave, ☏ , fax: . Class A Advanced affiliate to the Atlanta Braves. Free parking for all games behind the stadium.
- 5 Liberty Flames and Lady Flames, 1971 University Blvd (Box office is in the Vines Center), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. NCAA Division I teams representing Liberty University, playing mainly in the ASUN Conference. The football team is independent (not in a conference) in the top-level FBS. The main sports venues are on campus, most notably Williams Stadium (football) and the Vines Center (basketball and women's volleyball; also hosts many university events). The school is building a smaller on-campus venue to be known as Liberty Arena; once it opens in 2020, all of the teams that now use the Vines Center will move there. A few games that are expected to draw very large crowds will remain at the Vines Center.
- [dead link] Lynchburg Hornets, 1501 Lakeside Dr, ☏ , fax: . NCAA Division III teams representing Lynchburg College, playing in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference.
- Randolph WildCats, 2500 Rivermont Ave, ☏ , fax: . NCAA Division III teams representing Randolph College, playing in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference.
- 6 [dead link] Renaissance Theatre, 1022 Commerce St, ☏ , ✉ RTC@rtc-lynchburg.info.
- 7 Liberty University Tower Theater, 1971 University Blvd (Inside Campus North beside the Tilley Student Union), ☏ . Adults $12, seniors $10, students $7.
- Lynchburg College Theater, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Adults $10, seniors $8, students $5.
- Randolph College Theater, 2500 Rivermont Ave, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Adults $12, seniors $7, students $5.
- 8 Regal Cinemas River Ridge Stadium 14, 3411 Candlers Mountain Rd (Inside the River Ridge Mall), toll-free: . This theater is accessible through the mall. Premium 3D showings. $8-10.
- 9 Venue Cinemas, 901 Lakeside Drive (In Pittman Plaza Shopping Center), ☏ . Commonly known as the "Dollar Theater," this theater shows second-run films at a discounted price. $3.
- Blue Ridge Summer Theatre Festival (Sweet Briar College), 134 Chapel Road Sweet Briar, VA 24595, ☏ . Put on annually by Endstation Theatre Company, resident theatre company of Sweet Briar College. Features outdoor theatre. Adults $15-22, students $7-15.
- 1 Givens Books and Little Dickens, 2236 Lakeside Dr, ☏ , fax: . M-F 8AM-9PM, Sa 9AM-7PM, Oct-Dec: Sa 9AM-9PM. Independently-owned bookstore also serving as a teacher supply, toy store, and café. Sells new, used, and antique books.
- 2 Outdoor Trails, 4925 Boonsboro Rd #2, ☏ , fax: , ✉ email@example.com. M-F 10AM-8PM, Sa 10AM-6PM. Wide selection of quality camping, hiking, and other sporting goods. Prepare to be greeted by two well-behaved dogs, both good with children.
- 3 Lynchburg Community Market, 219 Main Street, ☏ , fax: . Indoor/outdoor farmers' market and more. Seasonal offerings, several locally-owned restaurants, and many locally-made crafts.
- 4 [dead link] Easter Island, 5505 White Oak Dr (Behind Long John Silver's on Wards Rd), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. M-Sa 10AM-7PM, Su 1PM-5PM. Quirky shop with locally-crafted jewelry, a wide selection of incense, clothing, unusual musical instruments and other things.
- River Ridge Mall, 3405 Candlers Mountain Rd, ☏ .
- La Carreta Mexican. M-F 11AM-2:30PM & 5PM-11PM, Sa noon-10PM, Su noon-2:30PM & 5PM-9PM. Authentic Mexican restaurant with several locations in the area. $7-11.
- 4 Texas Inn, 422 Main St, ☏ . M-Sa, 24 hours, closed Christmas.
- 5 King's Island Restaurant, 2804 Old Forest Road, ☏ , fax: , ✉ email@example.com. Voted best Chinese year after year.
- 6 WaterStone Pizza. M-Th 11AM-10PM, F Sa 11AM-11PM, Su noon-10PM. $10-15.
- 7 Sakura, 6113 Fort Ave, ☏ . M-Th 11AM-9:30PM, F 11AM-10:30PM, Sa 2PM-10:30PM. Low-key Japanese restaurant. Not a dinner-and-show restaurant, but great food.
- 8 Depot Grille. M-Th 11AM-10PM, F Sa 11AM-11PM, Su 11AM-9PM.
- 9 Bull Branch, 109 11th St, ☏ . M-Tu 8PM-1AM, W 6PM-1AM, Th-Sa 6PM-2AM, Su 8PM-midnight.
- 10 Koto, 2160 Wards Rd, ☏ . Teppanyaki-style Japanese steakhouse with sushi bar. Offers free dinner meals for birthdays (dine-in only, show ID for verification).
- 11 Shoemakers American Grille, 1312 Commerce St, ☏ , fax: . M-F 11AM-2:30PM & 4:30PM-10PM, Sa 4:30PM-10PM. Offers private rooms and extensive wine selection. $12-40.
- 1 Inklings Bookshop & The White Hart, 1208 Main Street, ☏ . M-Th 7AM-10PM, F Sa 7AM-11PM, Su 10:30AM-4PM.
- 2 The Drowsey Poet, 3700 Candlers Mountain Rd (in the Candlers Mountain Shopping Center), ☏ . M-Th 7AM-11PM, F 7AM-midnight, Sa 9AM-midnight, Su noon-10PM.
- The Muse Coffee Company, ☏ . Local coffee roaster.
- 1 [formerly dead link] The Residence Bed & Breakfast, 2460 Rivermont Ave, toll-free: .
- 2 Federal Crest Inn, 1101 Federal St, toll-free: . Check-in: 3PM-6PM, check-out: 11AM. $165-245.
- 3 Norvell-Otey House, 1020 Federal St, toll-free: , fax: . $169-199.
- 4 Craddock Terry Hotel, 1312 Commerce St, ☏ . Check-in: 4PM, check-out: Noon. On the waterfront of the James River a few hundred feet off of Main St. $169-209.
- 5 Kirkley Hotel and Conference Center, 2900 Candlers Mountain Road, toll-free: , fax: . $83-360.
- 6 Hilton Garden Inn, 4025 Wards Rd, ☏ , fax: . Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 11PM. $103-169.
- 7 Wingate by Wyndham, 3777 Candlers Mountain Rd, ☏ , fax: , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 8 Holiday Inn, 601 Main St, ☏ , fax: , ✉ email@example.com. Check-in: 3PM, check-out: Noon. $90-150.
- 9 Extended Stay America, 1910 University Blvd, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 11AM. $67-77.
For emergencies occurring on the campus of Liberty University, call the Liberty University Police Department, ☏ .
- 10 Thomas Jefferson's Poplar Forest, 1542 Bateman Bridge Rd, Forest (Avoid the bridge on Bateman Bridge by taking Thomas Jefferson Rd), ☏ , fax: . Mar 15 - Dec 15: Daily 10AM-4PM. Not as well-known as Monticello, Poplar Forest was a country plantation designed by Jefferson as a second home. Now it's an historic house museum. $14.
- 11 National D-Day Memorial, 3 Overlord Circle, Bedford. Tu-Su 10AM-5PM. $7.
- 12 Appomattox Court House National Historical Park, VA 24, Appomattox (From U.S. 460, take 24E to U.S. 60), ☏ , fax: . Site of the surrender of the Confederate States of America. Reduced fees after Labor Day and before Memorial Day.
- 13 Peaks of Otter Visitor Center, 85919 Blue Ridge Parkway, Bedford, ☏ . Base for two popular mountain hikes.
- 14 Crabtree Falls, 11581 Crabtree Falls Hwy, Rt 56, Montebello. Crabtree Falls is the highest vertical-drop cascading waterfall east of the Mississippi River. Viewing area at the base is handicap accessible. Free.
- 15 Natural Bridge, 15 Appledore Lane, Natural Bridge, toll-free: , fax: , ✉ email@example.com. Tickets for cavern and other Natural Bridge attractions are available separately or as a package.
|Routes through Lynchburg|
|Washington, D.C. ← Charlottesville ←||N S||→ Danville → Charlotte|
|Roanoke ←||SW NE||→ Charlottesville → Washington, D.C.|
|Charlottesville ← Amherst ←||N S||→ Danville → Greensboro|
|END ←||N S||→ Bedford → Roanoke|
|Roanoke ← Bedford ←||W E||→ Farmville → Petersburg|
|END ← Buena Vista ←||N S||→ Durham → Southern Pines|