Who’s ready for a three-day weekend? This is a perfect time to go on a short vacation and enjoy the warmth and sun of summer again before fall truly arrives. But where to go, and what to do? Lynchburg is all about showing you a great time, and we have everything from outdoor adventures and festivals to indoor entertainment to some of the best shopping and culinary delights in Central Virginia! Here’s a great way to spend your Labor Day weekend getaway in Lynchburg.
Friday: Time to Kick Back
Start by checking into your hotel and chilling out for a little while. Lynchburg is home to lots of great lodging options, and for a weekend trip like this, we encourage you to treat yourself. Our city has bed & breakfast and Airbnb options for a more intimate stay, elegant modern inns with amenities like gyms, restaurants and bars, and it has historic hotels with themed decor and artfully presented architecture and amenities.
After you settle in, enjoy a walk Downtown. Strolling along the sidewalks or the Bluffwalk area is a wonderful way to end the day as you watch the sun sink behind the city’s seven hills. Along the way, stray from the beaten path a little and take a tour of some of Lynchburg’s vibrant outdoor art, from the bronze Water Bearer statue to the Lynchburg History mosaic mural to the Academy Center of the Arts mural.
Saturday: It’s Tour Time!
Start off Saturday morning by sleeping in (obviously) and getting some breakfast at Barb’s Dream Hut in the Lynchburg Community Market. This restaurant serves homestyle Southern breakfast favorites that are sure to leave you feeling full but still craving more—think pancakes with plenty of butter and syrup and biscuits with gravy!
From there, load up for an outdoor day of fun and head to Thomas Jefferson’s Poplar Forest, a central historic location of the Lynchburg area located just across the Bedford County border. Call ahead to reserve a place on their tours of the grounds, and then follow along with the historic interpreters as they present the stories of this plantation, the enslaved people who worked there and Jefferson himself.
After you’ve finished touring the house and nearby archaeological sites, stick around for a little while to enjoy the summer weather with a long walk of the property. This walk will offer you beautiful views of well-tended gardens and flowers, ingenious historic architecture and lush wooded areas filled with walking trails. You may even catch the slightest colorful hints of upcoming autumn weather.
Once you return, head to Skyline Grill on the roof of the Virginian Hotel for a burger, salad or some crab cakes, and enjoy the view of Downtown Lynchburg as the sun goes down. It’s a beautiful way to finish the day, and the weekend isn’t even over yet!
Continue your chilled-out LYH getaway on Sunday with a visit to Grey’s on Fifth Street, a delightful restaurant that serves an incredible brunch that locals love. Then, head to Rise Up Climbing on Church Street to scale their indoor rock walls. This indoor climbing gym has programs, climbing routes, and learning opportunities for people of all ages and skill levels. The employees themselves experiment with new stone arrangement routes—which are set apart by using different colors of handholds—and you can time how long it takes you to get to the top of some more challenging ones.
From there, make your way over to SeaQuest to meet a bunch of awesome wild critters! From manta rays and sharks to sloths and iguanas, this is a great opportunity to learn more about the huge variety of life on our planet. Animal interactions are temporarily unavailable, but you can still see many of your favorites hanging out in their zoo homes.
Finally, head over to One Way Out Escape Room for a group challenge. Hang out in a locked room with your friends and solve the many enigmas required to open the door. This is a great opportunity to work together and have some fun moments that will last a lifetime!
(Image Via Small Batch BBQ)
All of this fun is bound to work up an appetite, so once you’re done, head to Small Batch BBQ on Bedford Avenue for some succulent barbecued pork or chicken with fries and coleslaw. Then pay a visit to our latest local brewery and taproom, Three Roads Brewing, for a crisp, cold craft beer or, since you’re already downtown, you can end your evening with a trip to Maylynn’s Creamery on Jefferson Street for an evening treat of handmade ice cream in hand-dipped, soft-serve, rolled or sandwich form.
Monday: Outdoor Adventure Time!
Enjoy a filling breakfast at Market At Main on Commerce Street (try their fluffy, homemade waffles!), and then set out into the great outdoors with a walking tour of Lynchburg’s stunning natural surroundings. It’s still summer, but you may catch the slightest hints of leaves beginning to change color on Blackwater Creek Trail. Don’t forget to stop by the roaring waterfall at Hollins Mill and explore Hollins Mill Park nearby.
Old City Cemetery Museums & Arboretum is also a fantastic history park for a late summer walk, filled as it is with antique roses and other flower exhibits. If you’re feeling like getting a little extra activity in, grab some frisbees and do the frisbee golf course at Peaks View Park, which stretches across the verdant hills and through the thick trees of this popular green urban oasis. Don’t forget to wave to fellow park visitors!
We’re sure by this point you’ll want to get some lunch, so finish your Labor Day weekend adventure with a delicious lunch special from RA Bistro on Main Street, and enjoy some relaxing food and conversation about the weekend before you head home.
We hope this itinerary gave you some great ideas for activities to do right here in LYH, and we hope to see you out and about this Labor Day weekend.