By Brandy Centolanza
Travelers can visit Lynchburg by either plane, train, or automobile. Consider a different mode of transportation for your next trip to the city and hop on the train. Young couples, especially, might find an adventure awaits you as you pull up to the train station in Lynchburg. Head downtown, where a variety of restaurants, breweries, and unique shops and attractions welcome you, all within walking distance and with a scenic backdrop in the heart of the city.
Amtrak operates out of the Kemper Street Station just on the outskirts of downtown Lynchburg, arriving daily from the Washington, DC area in the evening or the Charlotte, NC area in the morning. The historic train station, which first opened in 1912, was renovated by the city in 2002.
The Kemper Street Station, which was built into the side of a hill, is unique in itself. The city’s restoration of the train station included upgrades to the facility as well as additions of a historic museum display and an indoor waiting area with visitor information.
Upon your arrival, you can make your way downtown in myriad ways. Conveniently located across the street from the train station is the Greater Lynchburg Transit Company Transfer Station, where you can catch a bus to your destination. You can also either uber or taxi downtown or, on a nice day, you may also want to walk into the city via the Kemper Station Trail.
Visitors can choose to bunk at a hotel near the train station or stay in the heart of downtown Lynchburg at Craddock Terry Hotel along Commerce Street. The hotel has several packages for couples and is situated on the Bluffwalk, a scenic walkway that connects Commerce and Jefferson Street. Various activities and events are held along the Lower Bluffwalk throughout the year. For more affordable accommodations, couples may also wish to consider a stay through an Air BnB, which offers various options from lofts to full homes (www.abidestays.com).
Feeling famished after your train ride? You can grab a bite to eat at one of Craddock Terry Hotel’s two restaurants, Shoemakers American Grille, a fine dining establishment specializing in steak and seafood, or enjoy a slice of pizza at Waterstone Pizza. Along the Bluffwalk, you can also indulge in burgers and beer at Bootleggers overlooking the James River, or savor some pasta at Isabella’s Italian Trattoria.
Not far from the Craddock Terry Hotel on Commerce Street is My Dog Duke’s Diner, which serves breakfast all day long; try one of their Sunrise Skillets. For dessert, MayLynn’s Creamery on Jefferson Street is also within walking distance. Be sure to check out one of the creamery’s rolled ice cream dishes.
Craft beer enthusiasts may wish to make their way over to Court Street for a pit stop at Three Roads Brewing Company, which is housed in a former Ford dealership. The brewery has a variety of beers on tap, all with car-themed monikers. Prefer a glass of vino? Head over to Reserve Tasting Room & Lounge, which features the best of Virginia’s wines.
After your belly is full, you are now ready to take in all that Lynchburg has to offer. Nature enthusiasts should head over to Percival’s Island Trail for a walk or bike ride along the water. You can rent bicycles at Bikes Unlimited on Jefferson Street, or, take it up a notch, and rent an electric scooter from Bird.
Art enthusiasts, meanwhile, may want to catch a show or view some artwork at the Academy Center of the Arts. The Academy Center of the Arts boasts art galleries as well as myriad musical concerts and productions for a perfect evening out on the town.
You might also want to shop at The Lynchburg Community Market on Main Street, one of the nation’s oldest markets. The market, which started in 1783 and features a variety of products from local vendors, is open year-round Tuesdays through Saturdays.
Before heading back to the Kemper Street Station for your departure from Lynchburg, be sure to fuel up again. Start the day with a bagel at Bacon Street Bagels or pop over to The White Hart Café for a cup of joe and some chicken and waffles or an omelet before you hit the road.
Brandy Centolanza is a freelance writer who covers health, family travel, and the hospitality industry.
She writes from her Virginia home surrounded by her husband of 20 years and their two teens, three cats,
and a bearded dragon named Craig.
See More of her work HERE