Properties go the extra mile to provide an exceptional experience
By Laura Lee
Lynchburg welcomes travelers with warm hospitality and a range of accommodations that are far from ordinary. Live it up in a chic city hotel, rest your head in a vintage train car, or connect with nature from your own farmhouse. No matter your style or budget, your adventure awaits in Lynchburg.
Craddock Terry Hotel
Built in 1905, the fashionable Craddock Terry Hotel once housed the fifth-largest shoe company in the world. The factory was converted into a hotel in 2007 by Hal Craddock, the great-grandson of founder John W. Craddock, who served as chief architect and interior designer. Today, the 44-room hotel is still all about personal touch — and shoes!
Complimentary in-room breakfast is served in an old-fashioned shoeshine box. Adding to the charm are wood-beam ceilings, exposed brick, nine-foot windows, spacious guestrooms and shoe memorabilia throughout. Bring along your pet, and you’ll be welcomed with treats from Penny Loafer, the hotel’s resident terrier.
Rent a bike on-site or lace up your walking shoes to explore Percival’s Island or the Bluffwalk. After building up an appetite, tuck into a great meal at Shoemakers American Grille or Waterstone Pizza. During your stay, you can earn Bonvoy points, thanks to a new partnership with Marriott Tribute Portfolio.
“This enables us to keep our unique identity, heritage and culture while honoring loyal Marriott guests,” says general manager Schuyler Clark. “Our location is fantastic with its walkability and all the things happening downtown. It’s perfect for visitors making a weekend of it or for locals wanting a staycation with their dog.”
The Virginian Hotel
A downtown jewel since 1913, the four-diamond The Virginian Hotel exudes modern luxury in a historic setting. The Moore and Giles Presidential Suite has hosted many A-list celebrities, musicians, and dignitaries over the years, but all guest rooms feature fine linens, palatial ceilings, and sparkling baths.
One of the finest restaurants in town, the William and Henry steakhouse serves exquisite fare in plush interiors. Skyline Grille rooftop lounge offers stunning views alongside chef-inspired seafood dishes, local beer and craft cocktails.
Part of Hilton’s Curio Collection, the hotel has been named a Top 10 “Best Romantic Hotel” by USA Today, the Historic Hotels in America Top 25 “Most Magnificent Art Collections” and the prestigious Connie Award in 2022.
“The Connie award represents our founder, Conrad Hilton, and his vision to fill the earth with the light and warmth of hospitality,” says Shelley Waldeck, director of sales and marketing. “We won for the entire Curio Collection worldwide, which includes 78 hotels. We’re honored to have received the highest hotel award across our Hilton family of brands.”
Owned by long-time friends Mary Ellen LaFreniere and Justine Button, Abide Stays features a collection of stylish short-term stays. Accommodations at Irvington Spring Farm offer fresh decor and plenty of room to breathe. The Flower Farmhouse can sleep 16 people, but smaller units may be rented as well.
“It’s really a destination unto itself,” says LaFreniere. “The farm feels really secluded but is actually right in the middle of the city. Guests love using the wood stove, sitting by the firepit, or watching their children splash in the fountain.”
You’ll love extra touches like the sauna cabin in the woods, a ping-pong table, and a small pond with a canoe and fishing equipment. The farm is part of a certified pollinator habitat, and the hostesses supply a mason jar and clippers for guests to cut their own bouquet.
All Belong Co
All Belong Co represents more than 20 properties in Lynchburg. Their latest project, The Caboose, opens this summer. Decked out in a modern-industrial style, the vintage train car overlooks the James River, and fittingly — a train track.
“People are looking for experiences and not just an overnight stay,” says owner Amy Corbett. “There’s so much room for creativity in a short-term rental, and we’ve especially loved working on The Caboose. I think this stay will appeal to everyone from little kids to those nostalgic for the days of train travel.”
At 325-square-feet, The Caboose feels like a tiny house and includes a bed, sleeper sofa, and full bathroom with shower.
Lynchburg Bed & Breakfasts
Acorn Hill Lodge
Enjoy a peaceful country getaway at Acorn Hill Lodge just 10 minutes from downtown. The Victorian-style bed and breakfast is charming and cozy, yet with the amenities of a large hotel. Start your day with breakfast at the Bistro; then schedule some time at the full-service spa. Well-appointed suites are perfect for special events or longer family stays.
History buffs can retreat to the Babcock House, dating back to 1884. This Appomattox inn is located near the site where Robert E. Lee surrendered, ending the American Civil War. Savor breakfast favorites like freshly baked biscuits, pecan pancakes and house-cured bacon. Then in the evening, relax with a house-crafted cocktail or a local craft beer on the porch. Each of the five rooms is appointed with period antiques, and the parlor provides a selection of books, board games and instruments to enjoy by the fireplace. The Babcock House is about a 25-minute drive to Lynchburg.
Lodging in the Great Outdoors
Peaks of Otter Lodge
For a room with a view, look no further than Peaks of Otter Lodge. The lakeside hotel is conveniently located on the Blue Ridge Parkway, recognized as one of America’s favorite drives. Guests take in stunning views of the three mountains known as the Peaks of Otter: Sharp Top, Flat Top and Harkening Hill. Peaks of Otter Restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner daily, while Peaks Bar & Lounge offers specialty cocktails in a beautiful, rustic setting. Be sure to take advantage of the lakeside firepit, hiking trails and mountain shuttle service, Tesla drivers can power up at the charging station. Enjoy the scenic route, Peaks of Otter Lodge is about a 45-minute drive from Lynchburg.
Holliday Lake State Park & Campground
Tucked away in the Appomattox-Buckingham State Forest, Holliday Lake State Park & Campground ensures everyone is a happy camper. Choose from a variety of camping and RV sites with electric and water hookups as well as primitive tent camping. The bunkhouse features seven bunk beds along with a deck, fire ring, grill and screened-in shelter with a picnic table.
Hike the 6-mile loop around the lake, or enjoy fishing for bass, crappie and bluegill. When the weather is nice, canoes, kayaks, Jon boats and stand-up paddleboards are available to rent. Holliday State Park is about a 40-minute drive to Lynchburg.
Laura Lee is a Virginia-based freelance writer who loves to explore the state with her husband, two boys, and dog, Lillian.