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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Lynchburg, VA | History, Vineyards, and Tubing

Confederate Monument
When you think of travel, do you think of traveling domestically or internationally?  Would you consider a vacation to a nearby state or does vacation mean a long haul trip to faraway places? I have to admit that when I think of travel, I don't always think about those cities and states close to home.  I've probably been to Vermont less than a half dozen times and I live fairly close by in Massachusetts.  My first time to the Berkshires was only last month and yet I live two hours away. For whatever reason, I don't always think about the United States as being a destination on my vacation bucket list.  That could be because I have lived in a variety of places in the U.S. from New York, where I grew up, to all of the places afterwards including Philadelphia, Mississippi, New Hampshire, and so forth. Sometimes getting from point A to point B meant driving through other states such as North and South Carolina, Delaware, or Virginia, but those places were never the destination themselves. When I plan a vacation for myself or my family, it often means a visit to somewhere new that I know nothing about, where I can learn about that country's history and culture. Why then wouldn't I want to learn more about the history of my own country?  When I recently had an opportunity to visit Lynchburg, Virginia I thought, "Why not?"

The Blue Ridge Mountains
Lynchburg, VA is located in the eastern foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains.  The Lynchburg Regional Airport offers daily departures and arrivals with USAirways and a flight from Charlotte, NC is only a little less than one hour.  With a population of just under 77,000, Lynchburg offers visitors as well as residents small town charm with big city amenities including cultural events, shopping, dining, and of course, history.  If you are a history buff, you have to make your way to Lynchburg!  For example, you might want to visit the National D-Day Memorial, which opened on June 6, 2001 in nearby Bedford, VA.  Why Bedford?  Because the town suffered the greatest per capita loss of life during the invasion of any town in the country.

Snowflex Centre
With a community rich in education, Lynchburg is home to five colleges and universities including the large and nationally recognized Liberty University as well as Lynchburg College, Randolph College, the Virginia University of Lynchburg, and Central Virginia Community College. What that means to visitors to the area is that you will have access to many of the same activities that the college students in the area ask for such as skiing, snowboarding, or tubing without any snow.  Sounds crazy?  Read on!

DeVault Family Vineyards
An affordable getaway to Virginia might include a stop at one of the state's 200+ vineyards and wineries, one of the many festivals held throughout the year, or a vacation full of adventure and fun including hiking, biking, or a trip  down the slopes at the Snowflex Centre.  Over the next few posts I will focus on some of the major attractions of this area including the National D-Day Memorial, Thomas Jefferson's Poplar Forest, and Appomattox Court House National Historical Park.

I highly recommend that you discover Lynchburg and consider a domestic vacation to learn more about the rich history of this area and maybe it will spark your interest in learning more about the history of the United States.

Marian Krueger

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