The Appalachian Trail is accessible all along the Blue Ridge Parkway. From Bedford, access the trail at Milepost 80.5 Floyd Field, 90.9 Bearwallow Gap or Milepost 92.5 Sharp Top Overlook.
Bedford City/County Museum – www.bedfordvamuseum.org
Collections that tell Bedford’s story from its earliest Native American residents through the last half of the 20th century. Popular exhibits include the Company A of the 116th Infantry, a Native American and African American exhibits. Genealogical records and other materials for research about Bedford and Virginia are here. Inquire about our research assistance for genealogists outside the Bedford area. The Museum is open 10-5 Monday-Saturday.
Bedford Main Street – Historic Centertown Bedford – www.centertownbedford.com
Visit the heart of Bedford with shops featuring antiques, art, jewelry, gifts, collectibles, and more! Restaurants offering American and international cuisine are open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Explore the National Historic District while staying at one of several Bed & Breakfasts. Points of interest include the Bedford City/County Museum, Historic Avenue, Farmers Market, Historic Meeting House, and the Wharton House and Gardens. Walking Tour and Visitors Guide available.
Blue Ridge Parkway
The Parkway offers 460 miles of picturesque travel across Virginia and North Carolina. Ranging in elevations from 600 to 6,000 feet, the road encompasses a variety of ever changing weather conditions, regardless of the season. The Parkway was designed as a scenic leisure road for motor vehicles so bikers should use caution and be prepared for significant distances between developed areas and services that may vary by season. Parkway maps are available at the Bedford Welcome Center the Peaks of Otter Visitor Center or visit www.nps.gov/blri.
Booker T. Washington National Monument – www.nps.gov/bowa
This monument honors the life and legacy of African-American Leader, Booker T. Washington. Born into slavery on this tobacco plantation in 1856, Washington rose to prominence as an educator, orator, and founder of the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama. This historic site interprets Washington’s life through exhibits, film, a living history farm, guided tours, and special events. The park is open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Admission to the park is free.
Emerson Creek Pottery – www.emersoncreekpottery.com
Hand painting distinctive patterns have gained Emerson Creek Pottery a unique reputation among discriminating customers. No two hand painted pieces are alike. The factory outlet is located in a historic log cabin built in 1825 by blacksmith Silas Wade. Enjoy the beautiful country setting, listen to a wide variety of birds or have lunch on one of the picnic tables under the maple trees.
Hickory Hill Winery – www.hickoryhillvineyards.com
This small, family-owned and operated vineyard and winery is located only two miles from beautiful Smith Mountain Lake, in Moneta, VA. A winery and accompanying tasting room are located in a renovated 1923 farmhouse. Open for tours and tasting 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., Friday through Monday through October. Other times call for appointment, or visit the website for wines available, special events, holiday open house information and for the 2003 spring opening date.
The National D-Day Memorial – www.dday.org
Located in the town suffering the highest per capita D-Day losses in the nation, The National D-Day Memorial honors the Allied forces that participated in the invasion of Normandy on June 6, 1944. With its stylized English Garden, haunting invasion tableau, and striking Victory Plaza, the Memorial stands as a powerful permanent tribute to the valor, fidelity, and sacrifice of D-Day participants. The Memorial and gift shop are open from 10 AM – 5PM Tuesday – Sunday (some inclement weather closings possible). Admissions fees apply, mobility assistance is available. Guided tours and school programs available.
Peaks of Otter Winery – www.PeaksOfOtterWinery.com
“Fruit of the Farms Wine” features Dry Apple, Sweet Apple, Crab Apple, Cherry, Berry, Pear, Peach, Nectarine, Plum, Apple Cinnamon and Apple Chili Pepper wines, plus other new and exciting wines. This winery makes over 30 different wines annually and is open April through December, noon to 5 pm, and August through October, 8 a.m. – 5 pm (the rest of the time by chance or appointment.) Taste samples of the fresh fruit that wines, jellies, jams, butters, and sweet ciders are made from. A pavilion offers picnic opportunities and a beautiful view. Take a self-guided farm tour, with a free map, and enjoy visiting farm animals.
Smith Mountain Lake
Water sports have never known such a home. Nestled in the protective embrace of the mountains, this picturesque lake offers over 20,000 acres of playground for boaters, fishermen, swimmers, skiers, sailors, and water enthusiasts of all ages. The rolling shores are a haven for wildlife and are home to hiking, horseback riding trails, tennis and some of the most beautiful golf courses and resorts in the state.
Thomas Jefferson’s Poplar Forest – www.poplarforest.org
This historic octagonal home and beautiful plantation was built by President Thomas Jefferson’s as his personal retreat. It was a place he could escape with his family and find solitude and inspiration. When speaking of Poplar Forest and Bedford County, Jefferson quoted, “In point of soil, climate…and good neighborhood, I think it the finest part of Virginia. Poplar Forest now offers a unique experience, allowing visitors to see the restoration of the home’s interior and wings as well as archaeology in progress. Open April through November daily (except Thanksgiving) 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., with hands-on activities available in the summer. Special events throughout the season, including Independence Day.
The Peaks of Otter
Rising out of the Blue Ridge Mountains, two prominent peaks stand out against the sky giving Bedford one of the most beautiful backdrops in Virginia. In addition to Harkening Hill, these peaks, known as Sharp Top and Flat Top, were once home to Native Americans of 10,000 B.C. As a part of the Blue Ridge Parkway, The Peaks of Otter (Milepost 86), offers hiking trails, wildflower walks, group or individual picnic areas, fishing, campgrounds and a beautiful lodge and restaurant facility open year-round. Visitors can hike or take the guided bus tour to the peak of Sharp Top or hike to the restored Johnson Farm and experience southern mountain life during the 19th century. Contact the Peaks of Otter Visitor Center at 540-587-4995 or 877-HI-PEAKS (toll-free) For the information on the Peaks of Otter Restaurant and Lodge, call 800-542-5927 or 877-HI-PEAKS or visit www.peaksofotter.com.
Bedford Welcome Center – www.visitbedford.com