Bedford, Virginia is brimming with beauty, exciting places to visit, and plenty to do. As Virginia’s fifth largest county, every trip through Bedford is a scenic drive. So where to start? That depends on your interest, of course. Thankfully, Bedford has a bit of something for all of us.
For the Outdoor Lover
Bring your horse, your hiking boots, your sailboat, your bike, or your fishing rod when you visit Bedford because from the trails of Peaks of Otter to glistening Smith Mountain Lake, adventure is readily at hand. Winner of the small town category in the 2020 Blue Ridge Outdoors Top Adventure Towns vote-off, you know Bedford must be a destination worthy of your adrenaline.
Smith Mountain Lake State Park can serve as your home base for lake time. Enjoy a cabin stay while you adventure within the park and outside of it, too. Launch your boat to explore the 500 miles of shoreline. In Moneta and Huddleston there are places to dock and great food to eat. Try Portside Grill & Bar adjacent to the state park, The Landing Restaurant, Los Amigos at Crazy Horse Marina, Jake’s Place, or Mango’s Bar & Grill at Bridgewater Plaza.
Peaks of Otter along the Blue Ridge Parkway is the high point and a highlight for Bedford. Enjoy a meal at Peaks of Otter Restaurant and slumber at the Lodge. Tackling any of the Peaks trails will certainly help you work up an appetite. Nearby is Peaks of Otter Winery. They’re open daily from noon until 5 p.m. and their view is superb.
For the Seeker of Farm Adventures
Ready to pick-your-own-something-or-another or perhaps pet the farm animals? Bedford is a great destination for both of those and more.
It’s Open Farm Days at Lottie J Farm! Make your way through the pumpkin patch in search of the best one, then visit the barnyard to meet the goats, miniature donkeys, alpacas, pigs, and chickens. Open Farm Days is every Saturday through October 30 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Take your pick of apples at Gross’ Orchard. Harvesting in October are Stayman/Winesap, Granny Smith, York, Arkansas Black, Fuji, and Pink Lady. Have a blast at their Apple Harvest Festival on October 16. Pumpkins, fried apple pies, live music, BBQ, horse-drawn carriage rides, and more will fill the day.
>> More Farms and Farm Markets
For the History Lover
Go back to Thomas Jefferson’s day and visit his personal retreat at Poplar Forest, an active archaeological site interpreting the lives of Jefferson, his family, and his enslaved community.
>> Join professional archaeologists for a 1 or 2 p.m. 90-minute Archaeology Behind-the-Scenes Tour October 8 and 9.
A day that should not be forgotten is D-Day, June 6, 1944. Operation Overlord of World War II remains the largest military initiative ever and included 150,000 allied servicemen. A visit to the National D-Day Memorial in Bedford illuminates their sacrifice and pays tribute the 4,415 who lost their lives on Omaha Beach in Normandy that day.
Of particular interest is the reason why the National D-Day Memorial exists in Bedford, Virginia. Proportionate to the population of Bedford in 1944 (around 3,200), the city lost more of their soldiers on June 6, 1944 (19) than any other community in the country. Those 19 men are known as The Bedford Boys.
Find a place to rest your head and fill your belly ahead of your next Bedford getaway.
Header image of Thomas Jefferson’s Poplar Forest courtesy of Destination Bedford.