Welcome to Downtown Lynchburg, Virginia
Located east of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Downtown Lynchburg is one of the most vibrant parts of the city. Street art scatters the walls and walkways, while local businesses fill the storefronts on our historic Main Street and beyond. Downtown LYH is the perfect backdrop for any occasion or event, from a concert to movie nights or weddings. Lynchburg is known as the City of Seven Hills. These hills represent various neighborhoods that make up the history and founding of the city. The seven hills are College Hill, Daniel’s Hill, Diamond Hill, Federal Hill, Franklin Hill, Garland Hill, and White Rock Hill.
City of Lynchburg’s History
In the early years of Lynchburg, tobacco and iron were the primary outputs. Through John Lynch’s ferry system on the James River, Downtown Lynchburg quickly became one of the largest tobacco markets in the United States. The James Calloway Furnace, which operated from 1770 until 1779, and the Davie Ross Furnace, which operated from 1781 until 1837, supplied the Continental Army with pig iron and cannonballs during the American Revolution. Lynchburg served as a major storage depot during the Civil War, as well.
Over the last 20 years Downtown Lynchburg has received a lot of revitalization efforts through its affiliation with a Main Street Community and through major renovations of historic buildings like the Virginian Hotel, Craddock Terry Hotel, Academy Center of the Arts, and redeveloped loft-style apartments.
What you can find in downtown Lynchburg?
- Main Street is the heart of Downtown Lynchburg. Boutiques, restaurants, cafes and other shops reside in unique, historic buildings with large front windows. There are over a dozen food options on Main Street alone.
- The Academy Center of the Arts theatre, formerly The Academy of Music Theatre, was opened on February 1, 1905. It became one of the most prominent theatres. After a fire and a closure, the original historic theatre was renovated decades later and reestablished its splendor on Main Street in Downtown Lynchburg.
- The Lynchburg Community Market was established in 1783 and played a key role in the development and growth of downtown Lynchburg. The market is both an open-air and indoor shopping experience with booths filled with local produce, artisans, and makers.
Explore The Bluffwalk and Historic Streets
The Bluffwalk is a pedestrian walkway providing views of the James River and the Blue Ridge Mountains in the distance. Located between Jefferson and Commerce Streets, a stroll along the walkway leads you to restaurants with outdoor dining opportunities, public art displays, shops and fantastic views. Occasional events are held on Bluffwalk and specified spaces can be rented.
The iconic Jefferson Street is home to top attractions, Instagrammable sights, and some of the best restaurants in town—some with views of the James River and iconic Bluffwalk.
One of the more historic streets in downtown Lynchburg, Historic Fifth Street was once known as the city’s African American business district. Today, 5th Street is home to various restaurants, shops, museums, and historic sites.
What are some things to do in Downtown Lynchburg?
Learn the history of Lynchburg by taking a walking tour of downtown Lynchburg neighborhoods. These prosperous neighborhoods sprang up in LYH during the 19th Century when tobacco tycoons, doctors, and attorneys made Lynchburg the wealthiest city in the nation for its size. A self-guided walking tour brochure is available at the Lynchburg Visitor Information Center. Downtown Lynchburg’s architecture also represents the historic richness and beauty of downtown.
Downtown Lynchburg is a foodie’s dream. Local restaurants are everywhere you look in downtown Lynchburg. From authentic middle eastern cuisine to pizza, to fresh oysters, there is delicious something for everyone. You’ll definitely want to check out the over 40 different dining options available downtown.
Just like food, there’s no shortage of local boutiques and stores where you can shop for unique gifts, trend-setting clothes, local art pieces and so much more. Start planning your next shopping trip to downtown Lynchburg and take a look at all of the shopping options.
The Virginian Hotel is a historic AAA four-diamond luxury stay that first opened as a grand Beaux-Arts-style hotel in 1913. The hotel has three on-site restaurants, beautiful rooftop views, and elegant event spaces.
The Craddock Terry Hotel and Event Center What was once a turn-of-the-century shoe factory and is now a residential-style boutique hotel blending the urban architecture of two landmark brick warehouses with the fashionable styling of a modern hotel. Onsite is the delicious Shoemakers Restaurant, serving steaks and fresh seafood in an elegant atmosphere.
Riverfront Park is located along the James River, it includes a large open field suitable for concerts, festivals and other special events for up to 4,000 people. It also has a large fountain/ splash park perfect for kids to play and cool off in on hot summer days.
For a little taste of adventure, you can rent bikes from Bikes Unlimited on Jefferson Street and follow one of the many biking paths around LYH. There are two different entrances to the miles of bike paths located right in downtown. Find yourself biking, walking or running on the Blackwater Creek Trail or Percival’s Island.
Annual Events in Downtown LYH
Get Downtown: Get Downtown is an event hosted by the Downtown Lynchburg Association. As the largest street festival in Lynchburg, Get Downtown welcomes over 10,000 festival-goers to the heart of our Downtown. The festival covers most of the eight blocks of Main Street and features Downtown businesses, makers, artisans, performers, and food.
PrideFest and Hill City Pride: This event happens every September, and is one way to celebrate and support our diverse community in Lynchburg. The event takes place downtown at Riverfront Park and has music performances, food, and vendors.
What’s Near downtown Lynchburg?
Downtown Lynchburg is centrally located and only a short drive away from many other unique small towns and larger cities. Check out what’s close by!
- Blue Ridge Parkway entrance: 42.6 miles
- Bedford: 27.6 miles
- Roanoke: 56.0 miles
- Richmond: 113 miles
- Appomattox: 20.1 miles
- Danville: 69.5 miles