Gems Of Lynchburg

Hunter Epperson ~ Staff Writer

Photo overlooking Wards Road from Liberty Mountain in Lynchburg, VA. Photo taken on March 20, 2021 by Hunter Epperson. 

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.

Photo of train trestle on Black Water Creek Trail in Lynchburg, Virginia. Photo taken on March 22, 2021 by Hunter Epperson. 

But, there are actually gems within the city that makes Lynchburg’s identity unique compared to other cities. 

Gem 1: Randolph College

Photo of Randolph College in Lynchburg, Virginia. Photo taken March 20, 2021 by Hunter Epperson 

Formally known as Randolph Macon Women’s College, this small liberal arts college is often hidden in the shadows of Liberty University. 

Photo of Randolph College in Lynchburg, Virginia. Photo taken March 20, 2021 by Hunter Epperson 

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

 Photo of Small Batch Barbecue in Lynchburg, Virginia. Photo taken March 20, 2021 by Hunter Epperson 

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

Photo of The Cavalier Store in Lynchburg, Virginia. Photo taken March 20, 2021 by Hunter Epperson 

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 […]” 

 Gem 4: House and Garden Museum of Anne Spencer

Photo of the Ann Spencer House in Lynchburg, Virginia. Photo taken March 22, 2021 by Hunter Epperson 

Lynchburg was home to a famous African-American poet during the Harlem Resistance, Ann Spencer.  

House and Garden Museum of Anne Spencer  is free of charge to visit, and is located at 1313 Pierce Street, Lynchburg, VA

Gem 5: Fort Early

Photo of Fort Early in Lynchburg, Virginia. Photo taken March 22, 2021 by Hunter Epperson 

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

Photo of the iconic tunnel on Blackwater Creek Trail in Lynchburg, Virginia. Photo taken March 22, 2021 by Hunter Epperson 

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

Photo of Rivermont Pizza in Lynchburg, Virginia. Photo taken March 22, 2021 by Hunter Epperson 

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

Photo of empty benches inside the Kemper Street Train Station in Lynchburg, Virginia. Photo taken March 20, 2021 by Hunter Epperson 

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

Photo of “Villa Maria” in Lynchburg, Virginia. Photo taken March 20, 2021 by Hunter Epperson 

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

Photo of a house in Rivermont Avenue, Lynchburg, Virginia. Photo taken March 20, 2021 by Hunter Epperson 

Gem 10: Historic Downtown Lynchburg

Photo of Downtown Lynchburg from Percival’s Isle in Lynchburg, Virginia. Photo taken March 22, 2021 by Hunter Epperson 

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.

Photo of Downtown Lynchburg. Photo taken March 20, 2021 by Hunter Epperson 

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. 

Photo of James River flowing past Downtown Lynchburg in Lynchburg, Virginia. Photo taken March 22, 2021 at Blackwater Creek Trail by Hunter Epperson 

Gem 11: Old City Cemetery 

Photo of the chapel at Old City Cemetery in Lynchburg, Virginia. Photo taken March 22, 2021 by Hunter Epperson  

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. 

Photo of the Old City Cemetery in Lynchburg, Virginia. Inside the picture contains graves and a monument for Confederate soldiers who died in the Battle of Lynchburg. Photo taken March 22, 2021 by Hunter Epperson  

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.

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