One of the most scenic mountain destinations in Virginia is Bedford, Virginia. There you can climb to what once was believed to be the highest peak in Virginia, gaze upon said peak (and its sisters), honor the sacrifice of thousands of soldiers, splash around in Virginia’s second largest lake, and so much more.
The Adventure Begins
How do you love to enjoy a lake? Sail, wakeboard, swim, pontoon … whichever way is your favorite, you can do it at Smith Mountain Lake. At 20,000 acres and 500 miles of shoreline, there’s plenty of room to make waves and catch rays. Marinas offer boat rentals, and there are several on-the-water dining opportunities.
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Conquer new heights when you tackle the popular Peaks of Otter. The trio of mountaintops should be on every hiker’s list, and getting there is as beautiful as the view from there. Travel the Blue Ridge Parkway to milepost 85.6 to encounter Peaks of Otter Lodge and Dining Room, Abbott Lake, Johnson Farm, Polly Wood’s Ordinary, and the Peaks themselves. When you work up a thirst, Peaks of Otter Winery is nearby!
The Sedalia Center in Big Island is known for a diverse array of annual events, from an early spring Celtic Festival each March to Christmas in Sedalia in December. Upcoming this summer is the Juneteenth Celebration June 18, the Doc McCabe Bluegrass Festival June 23-25, “MoTown in the Mountains” SedaliaFest August 13, and Country Fair & Gathering September 3.
Local theater companies are a blast, creating memorable performances for their neighbors and visitors alike. Catch “The Secret Garden,” a musical by Little Town Players June 3-5 and 10-12.
The Bower Center for the Arts serves as a cultural hub for the Bedford community, bringing both entertainment and classes to the forefront of local opportunities. This summer you can catch the incredible guitartist Hiroya Tsukamoto (June 4), shop the Christmas in July Maker’s Market (July 16), or join in an Open Mic Night (July 21) to showcase your skills.
Brush Up on History
So you think you know Thomas Jefferson (or maybe you don’t), but have you ever visited his vacation home? Poplar Forest was the Jefferson family getaway post-presidency; an inheritance from his wife’s father and his space for experimental gardening and architectural pursuits. Poplar Forest has been nominated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The National D-Day Memorial is a larger-than-life destination honoring the 4,415 soldiers who fell on June 6, 1944, a marked day during World War II. On that day, both American and allied forces landed on the beaches of Normandy and were met with a barrage of gunfire from the Germans. In honor of their sacrifice, this memorial exists. Further, this memorial exists in Bedford, Virginia because Bedford suffered the most losses on D-Day in comparison to its number of residents.
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Born a slave on a Virginia plantation in April 1856, Booker T. Washington saw the arrival of Emancipation, sought an education at Hampton Institute (and taught there from 1879 to 1881), and thrived to become an influential figure in American history. He advised presidents, was a noted orator, and was the first principal of Tuskegee State Normal School (then Tuskegee Institute; now Tuskegee University), a place he championed in 1881 to offer education to African Americans. Learn about Washington’s life at the Booker T. Washington National Monument in Hardy.
Plan Your Trip
Consult DestinationBedfordVA.com to begin planning your next getaway. You’ll find everything from lodging and dining to specially priced packages and suggested itineraries.
Header photo courtesy of Destination Bedford and by J. Bohn Bishop.