Ready to pack a bag and hit the road for a solo adventure?
By Jodi Helmer
You’re not alone. Research shows that solo traveler bookings increased 42 percent over a two-year period and women were leading the trend.
We created an itinerary for a solo adventure in Lynchburg that highlights the historic charm, world class arts, outdoor exploration and inventive fare that will make the trip one of the highlights on your travel reel.
Start your day with breakfast at Market at Main and then set out on a self-guided tour of prominent local architecture. The Downtown Architectural Walking Tour highlights art deco, neoclassical and Federal style buildings, old tobacco warehouses and historic churches located throughout the historic downtown district. At Monument Terrace, check out the sculptures and statues lining the path that leads 139 steps from the street to the Lynchburg Museum, housed in the 1855 courthouse building.
The Lynchburg Museum is the perfect spot to learn about the history of the City of Seven Hills. In addition to permanent exhibits on local arts, culture and architecture, the museum hosts several rotating exhibits. In 2021, “We the Women” is one of the featured exhibits. The collection highlights the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment and honors local suffragists who helped women get the right to vote.
The Maier Museum of Art is another favorite stop for arts enthusiasts. Located on the campus of Randolph College, the collection of American art spans from impressionism to realism and includes works by such well-known artists as Georgia O’Keeffe and Andrew Wyeth.
A morning of arts appreciation works up an appetite. Stop into the Farm Basket for lunch. In addition to a menu featuring soups, salads and sandwiches, there is also a popular retail shop that stocks kitchen and dinner ware, gifts and clothing, and local treats such as artisan mustard, apple butter, shortbread cookies and other gourmet treats.
For more retail therapy, head back downtown and browse the local shops where you’ll find everything from candles and garden décor to clothing and jewelry.
Downtown is also the starting point for the Riverwalk. The 3.5-mile trail starts on Jefferson Street (near Amazement Square) and winds through Riverfront Park. Walk or rent a bike and follow the trail, hailed as “the ultimate urban/scenic nature walk.” The views of the James River from Percival’s Island bridge are unbeatable.
The views from the top of the climbing wall at Rise Up Climbing are great, too. The indoor climbing gym offers basic skills classes to help solo climbers master the skills to climb to the top of the wall.
Dinner at Waterstone Pizza is the ideal way to end your day of solo adventure in Lynchburg. The casual menu features woodfired pizzas and the patio in historic downtown is a great spot for people watching and reflecting on a day of solo adventures.
Jodi Helmer writes about food, drink and travel for National Geographic Traveler, Hemispheres, Huffington Post, AARP and Our State. She lives and works on a hobby farm near Charlotte, North Carolina.
Learn more about Jodi HERE