Hunter Epperson ~ Staff Writer
Lynchburg, Virginia is more than just a college town; in fact, full of gems, stories, and hundreds of years of history.
Lynchburg, VA is known for being the place where Liberty University is perched, and situated among the shadows of the Blue Ridge Mountains and cities such as Charlottesville, Richmond, Raleigh/Durham, and Washington D.C.
But, there are actually gems within the city that makes Lynchburg’s identity unique compared to other cities.
Gem 1: Randolph College
Formally known as Randolph Macon Women’s College, this small liberal arts college is often hidden in the shadows of Liberty University.
This small little arts college actually hosted Maya Angelou as a guest speaker in 2013, has breathtaking views of the Blue Ridge Mountains, and is within short driving distance to Downtown Lynchburg.
Gem 2: Small Batch Barbeque
Thinking of having to travel far for some good barbeque? Think again. Small Batch Barbeque located at 2302 Bedford Ave, Lynchburg VA 24503 serves not only good barbeque but also good brisket beans, cornbread, and mac & cheese.
Gem 3: The Cavalier Store
Located at 2920 Rivermont Avenue, Lynchburg VA, this “hole in the wall” serves an array of foods from hotdogs, hamburgers, fries, and more.
In fact, this hidden gem is where Dr. Nina Salmon, professor of English and Senior Symposium at the University of Lynchburg, and alumna of Randolph Macon’s Women College said “that’s actually where I met my husband. […] when I use to work there, I use to make my (future) husband’s sloppy joes […]”
Lynchburg was home to a famous African-American poet during the Harlem Resistance, Ann Spencer.
Gem 5: Fort Early
Located near Historic Downtown Lynchburg, and the Historic Rivermont area, Fort Early is a gem that should be visited at least once. This fort played a major role in the Battle of Lynchburg before the Confederacy shortly surrendered at Appomattox Court House, ending the Civil War.
Gem 6: Blackwater Creek Trail
This beautiful trail is perfect for a short walk, jog, or even bike ride. Not only does this trail lead from Downtown Lynchburg to near University of Lynchburg, but has amazing features such as a tunnel, Hollin’s Mill, Percival’s Isle which allows beautiful views of Downtown but also overlooks of the James River.
Gem 7: Rivermont Pizza
This true “hole in the wall” located 2496 Rivermont Ave, Lynchburg, VA 24503 (across the street from Randolph College) offers an assortment of different specialty pizzas, and beers. This place is a must!
Gem 8: Kemper Street Train Station
This train station is full of history and a must-see.
Garland Harper, a Lynchburg native, Lynchburg historian, and former Amtrak agent for the station said “the Kemper Street train station has been around since 1912”, […] and was a station for Amtrak services since 1975.
Gem 9: Historic Rivermont area
This beautiful historic neighborhood of Lynchburg is an absolute see. Not only good for jogging, walking, or a quick drive through, this neighborhood is home to beautiful homes dating back as nearly as the 1920s Victorian-style mansions, and delicious little eateries, such as Isabella’s!
Gem 10: Historic Downtown Lynchburg
This small city dating back as early as the American Civil War was once home for textiles, clothing, and train companies has transitioned to “the place to be”. Now filled with eateries, bars, breweries, The Virginian, and lofts makes this part of town to be one of the gems of Lynchburg.
Downtown offers an array of food choices including RA Bistro, The Water Dog, and My Dog Duke’s Diner; bu for Dr. Steve Dawson a Lynchburg area native, who is another professor at the University of Lynchburg, but teaches Philosophy and Religious Studies, said his favorite restaurant in Lynchburg is El Jefe – a taco restaurant situated in Downtown Lynchburg.
Gem 11: Old City Cemetery
The Old City Cemetery is a great place for a stroll in Autumn or Spring time.
With lots of flowers, trees, and monuments this historic cemetery is home of many well-known people who helped shape Lynchburg including soldiers who died in the Battle of Lynchburg, John Lynch, and Senator Edward Carter Glass.
In short, Lynchburg offers more things to see or do rather than just Liberty University-affiliated things. Lynchburg truly offers the great opportunity to not only dive into delicious food but also dive into the opportunity to learn about its rich history through visiting one of its several historical landmarks, or taking advantage of one of its several outdoor facilities such as the Blackwater Creek Trail.