Bedford is an attention-grabbing place. The city is off the overwhelmed path within the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. It’s house to the Nationwide D-Day Memorial due to the historical past of the Bedford Boys. There’s a haunted home, a single brewery, and a handful of eating places serving savory meals.
It’s a rustic city the place persons are launched with first names and massive smiles. From nearly any level on the town, the Peaks of Otter towers within the not-so-distance. When the compulsory four-lane bypass freeway was constructed, it left downtown a peaceable bastion for afternoon walks between the eating places and outlets.
I had been close to Bedford many instances whereas highway tripping on the Blue Ridge Parkway. However I used to be at all times desperate to spend the daylight on the Parkway and roll into Roanoke simply in time for supper and a lodge. That was a mistake – there was a lot I had missed in Bedford.
After years of skipping the small city, I lastly had the possibility to spend a couple of days there. I traveled to the countryside markets and took a prolonged journey to Thomas Jefferson’s Poplar Forest. On the crossroad of Foremost Road and Bridge Road, I had a few block in every path to discover downtown. My jaw dropped on the Nationwide D-Day Memorial and dropped once more after I met Ken Parker on the Bedford Boys Tribute Middle.
Bedford is an attention-grabbing place – and I feel everybody must take a day journey to go to this small Virginia city.
Go to the Nationwide D-Day Memorial
On June 6, 1944, “Operation Overlord” commenced with over 156,000 American, British, and Canadian troopers touchdown on a 50-mile stretch of seashore in occupied Normandy, France. Over 4,000 troopers died in twenty-four hours throughout a few of the most brutal combating of World Conflict II.
Within the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains, The Nationwide D-Day Memorial is a formidable recreation of that grotesque day and commemoration of all of the Allied troopers to lose their lives. Every part from the colour of the concrete to the form of flower gardens holds a symbolic which means defined by guided excursions of the memorial.
READ MORE: Be taught the Tales of Veterans on the Nationwide Veterans Memorial and Museum in Columbus, OH
Informal guests ought to plan to spend an hour strolling by the memorial, benefit from the view of the close by Peaks of Otter, and go to the present store. An in-depth go to ought to embody a guided tour adopted by a self-guided stroll by the memorial that can take about two hours.
3 Overlord Circle, Bedford, VA | 540-586-3329 | www.dday.org
Do you know? D-Day is a navy time period designating the launch day of an operation. However after the pivotal occasions of “Operation Overlord” on June 6, 1944, “D-Day” has come to signify that particular occasion in historical past.
Go to the Bedford Boys Tribute Middle
In 2018, Ken Parker started studying books about D-Day and “Operation Overlord” for the upcoming 75th anniversary of the pivotal WWII battle. The 14th ebook he learn was The Bedford Boys by Alex Kershaw – and that modified the whole lot for Ken and Linda Parker.
Only a yr later, the couple moved from Oklahoma Metropolis to Bedford and, six months later, opened the Bedford Boys Tribute Middle. The museum is devoted to the tales of the troopers from Bedford County who made landfall in Normandy on June 6, 1944.
The museum is within the historic constructing of Inexperienced’s Drug Retailer from 1942 till 1974. “The nook drug retailer was the native hang around,” Parker defined. “The Nationwide D-Day Memorial is nice, and I counsel everybody go to, however the Bedford Boys’ footprints are right here,” he mentioned, pointing on the gray carpet beneath his toes.
Guests to the Bedford Boys Tribute Middle can be taught the historical past of the troopers who fought throughout WWII, see artifacts like Western Union telegrams asserting their deaths and Purple Coronary heart medals, and communicate with Ken Parker, the professional on something associated to the Bedford Boys.
102 North Bridge Road, Bedford, VA | 540-425-5598 | https://bedfordboystributecenter.com
Discover the Bedford Museum & Genealogical Library
The primary ground of this three-story brick constructing serves because the county’s genealogical library – tons of of books, census information, and analysis supplies fill bookcases and cupboards in a small room.
However the higher flooring of the constructing are reserved for the city’s historical past museum. Starting with Native American historical past and stretching by to at the moment’s navy companies, the museum paints a whole image of Bedford’s folks, locations, and companies. Themed rooms function show circumstances and interpretive panels to clarify the historical past, and with free admission, there’s no cause to not take a stroll by.
201 East Foremost Road, Bedford, VA | 540-586-4520 | www.bedfordvamuseum.org
Uncover Artwork on the Bower Middle for the Arts
Opened in 2006, the Bower Middle for the Arts is a spot for visible and performing arts schooling and appreciation. When the artwork academy was based in 2005, the group bought the 1847 former St. John’s Episcopal Church and transformed it for studios, lecture rooms, and artwork galleries.
One-day courses are taught all year long, although usually solely on weekdays. Learn to play musical devices, make lovely pottery, or be taught a brand new visible artwork. Discover the exhibitions within the galleries or go to one of many resident artist studios to see them laborious at work.
305 North Bridge Road, Bedford, VA | 540-586-4235 |www.bowercenter.org
Take a Guided Tour at Historic Avenel
The historic Avenel home is haunted. No less than, that’s the story the tour guides discuss on the practically two-century-old plantation home. Inbuilt 1838 for William and Frances Burwell, the home was on a 70-acre plantation on the fringe of Liberty, the city’s authentic title. In 1985, the Avenel Basis purchased the home from the Ballard household, who had owned it for nearly eighty years.
In addition to the occasional look of a specter, the home is often used as a marriage venue. With a wraparound porch, trendy kitchen, and meticulous restoration, it’s a stunning place to say, “I do.” However if you happen to’re not getting hitched, guests can schedule a guided tour of the property by a contact type on their web site.
413 Avenel Avenue, Bedford, VA | 540-816-9385 | www.historicavenel.com
Go for a Stroll at Cloverlea Farmhouse and Memorial Gardens
Constructed within the 1780s, Cloverlea Farmhouse options one of the vital spectacular views of the Peaks of Otter wherever within the state. Right now, the College of Lynchburg owns and operates the farmhouse and property. The home is among the hottest marriage ceremony venues in Virginia.
However for day journey guests, the grounds are open throughout regular enterprise hours. Guests can hike the 7.5 miles of mountain climbing trails, discover across the farmhouse, and benefit from the gorgeous view behind the home at a reflecting pool.
Professional Journey Tip The quickest approach to get from Bedford to Cloverlea Farmhouse is to show onto Cloverlea Lane. Nevertheless, this isn’t the perfect route. The higher choice is to proceed alongside Virginia Route 43 to Woods Highway and switch towards the Claytor Nature Middle. This route is barely 5 minutes longer however considerably simpler.
1650 Cloverlea Lane, Bedford, VA | www.lynchburg.edu/cloverlea
Go for a Drive to the Peaks of Otter on the Blue Ridge Parkway
It’s simple to identify the Peaks of Otter from nearly wherever, with Sharp Prime jutting 3,875 toes above sea stage. It’s additionally one of the vital widespread locations on the Blue Ridge Parkway by Virginia.
A day journey journey to the Peaks of Otter begins on the customer middle, the place guests can accumulate their Nationwide Park Passport cancellation stamp and decide up a map for the Parkway. Throughout the highway, the Sharp Prime Retailer is open seasonally – that is the place guests can ebook a experience nearly to the highest.
READ MORE: Highway Journey on the Blue Ridge Parkway
The Sharp Prime Path is a 3.3-mile out and again path that ascends a whopping 1,300 toes to succeed in the mountain’s summit. It’s a strenuous path and one of the vital widespread within the state. A neater approach to the highest is the Sharp Prime Shuttle. A shuttle bus carries hikers to some extent simply 600 toes decrease than the summit. Whichever manner you are taking to the highest, the view is definitely worth the effort.
On the coronary heart of the Peaks of Otter is Abbott Lake. A path wraps across the lake’s periphery – an amazing place to go for a stroll after having fun with a savory meal on the restaurant. However higher than a meal at a restaurant with a stunning view of Sharp Prime can be a room with a balcony with a stunning view of Sharp Prime.
85554 Blue Ridge Parkway, Bedford, VA | 866-387-9905 | www.peaksofotter.com
Go to Thomas Jefferson’s Poplar Forest
When Thomas Jefferson wanted to flee from the countless deluge of tourists at Monticello, he retreated to Poplar Forest. Building had began on the octagonal home in 1806, three years earlier than his time period as president was accomplished. Though the retreat was by no means accomplished, it’s thought of certainly one of Jefferson’s most important architectural achievements.
READ MORE: The Definitive Listing of Each Presidential House You Can Go to within the U.S.
Guests can take a guided tour of the home, studying about Jefferson’s time at Poplar Forest together with his household and the worldwide architectural kinds. Go for a stroll across the property to the stand of poplar bushes in entrance of the home. Earlier than leaving, flick through the present store to seek out one thing greater than recollections to take house.
1542 Bateman Bridge Highway, Forest, VA | 434-534-8120 | www.poplarforest.org
Take pleasure in an Night on the Peaks of Otter Vineyard
Close to the bottom of Sharp Prime, on an unmarked two-lane nation highway, the Peaks of Ottery Vineyard is a superb place to spend a night. Guests can pattern eight wines in flights at a country constructing cobbled collectively over a long time – you may spot the earlier log house and outdated barn topped with a contemporary aluminum construction.
However there’s extra than simply wine at this mountain venue.
Throughout the peak seasons, guests can decide their very own fruit from tons of of apple bushes at Johnson’s Orchard. If you happen to’re not desirous about choosing your personal, it’s simple to pick out from baskets stuffed with contemporary fruit every day.
However essentially the most intriguing weekend exercise is goat snuggling. Guests can ebook 30-minute classes with resident goats simply to hang around or, for a further charge, feed them milk and luxuriate in a glass of wine for your self.
1218 Elmos Highway, Bedford, VA | 540-586-3707 | www.peaksofotterwinery.com
Get a Drink at Beale’s Beer
A large treasure map covers a towering wall in a renovated rubber manufacturing facility throughout the railroad tracks from downtown Bedford. In keeping with native folklore, Bedford County native Thomas Beale buried treasure someplace within the county within the 1800s – and it has by no means been discovered.
In 2017, Trapezium Brewing Co.’s co-owner Dave McCormack determined to open a satellite tv for pc brewery in Bedford. He named it after the native story of a pirate and buried treasure, Beale’s Beer Co.
Three brewmasters work across the clock to maintain the craft beer flowing by the 30-barrel system. Lagers, IPAs, stouts, and ales are generally out there. Guests can get pleasure from samples, beer by the glass, or take house 4 packs, 6 packs, or crowlers.
However there’s greater than beer and hidden treasure at Beale’s. A pit grasp smokes and marinates meats every day. The menu options barbecue, pulled pork and rooster sandwiches, and burgers. However the perfect merchandise on the menu is their nachos – pulled rooster, pork, or brisket piled excessive with jack cheddar cheese, beer cheese, bitter cream, tomatoes, and onions on do-it-yourself chips.
510 Grove Road, Bedford, VA | 540-583-5113 | http://bealesbeer.com
The place to Eat
It’s good when locations supply issues to do, attention-grabbing points of interest, and beautiful drives, nevertheless it actually comes right down to the meals. In Bedford, native eating places serve quite a lot of savory meals good for lunch or dinner throughout a day journey go to. Along with the aforementioned Beale’s Beer, listed below are another locations to get nice meals in Bedford.
Driving previous Mountain Fruit & Produce between the Peaks of Otter and Bedford, you wouldn’t know there’s wonderful house cooking inside. The roadside market is a good place to seek out jams and jellies, nevertheless it’s additionally an amazing place for burgers and sandwiches made to order and scrumptious desserts baked contemporary each morning.
Lined outside seating overlooks the railroad passing by city on the Bridge Road Café. However don’t fear, they’ve numerous comfortable indoor seating as properly. It’s a wonderful place for breakfast or lunch all through the day, with attention-grabbing espresso drinks, pastries, and sandwiches.
Clam Diggers is an oddity – it’s a seafood restaurant in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Though it’s not the freshest seafood, it’s nonetheless scrumptious to the final chunk and price visiting. Snug tables and cubicles are unfold all through the small restaurant.
The Blue Woman affords certainly one of Bedford’s most original eating experiences – the restaurant is positioned inside a renovated financial institution. Bistro tables are wedged between rows of Ippolito Sweet made by the proprietor, Jay, the previous financial institution teller home windows. Within the again, a small desk occupies the previous financial institution vault. Meals are made to order with sandwiches for lunch and beautiful bagel sandwiches for breakfast.
If Azul seems to be like a service station, that’s as a result of it was as soon as upon a time. Right now, the Tex-Mex restaurant options outside seating in entrance of the roll-up storage doorways and some tables inside. Guests browse the menu hanging on the wall and decide a noodle or rice bowl stuffed with meat and veggies. The dinner is cooked contemporary and served in plastic baskets.
In a captivating former house, City Kitchen & Provisions options among the finest menus in Bedford. Quirky names like Sir William, Romanian Nightmare, and Loretta Lynn fill out the menu however don’t fear, every merchandise is defined. Friar Cluck was among the finest choices – a breaded and fried rooster breast topped with slaw, crack mayo, and pickles served on a delicate bun. Benefit from the meal inside the home’s varied rooms with comfy tables, or head exterior to the deck within the again.
Liberty Station affords an opportunity to get pleasure from implausible meals whereas additionally taking in a little bit of historical past. The restaurant is within the former prepare station – the identical prepare station the Bedford Boys used to depart for World Conflict II. The attractive inside options hardwood flooring, giant home windows, and murals on the partitions. Their menu contains a huge array of appetizers, steaks, and sandwiches.
Azul 306 North Bridge Road, Bedford, VA | 540-583-5088 | www.fb.com/Azul
Beale’s Beer 510 Grove Road, Bedford, VA | 540-583-5113 | http://bealesbeer.com
Bridge Road Café 210 North Bridge Road, Bedford, VA | 540-314-0809 | www.fb.com/Bridge-Road-Cafe
Clam Diggers 109 South Bridge Road, Bedford, VA | 540-587-6727 | www.idigtheclam.com
Liberty Station 515 Bedford Avenue, Bedford, VA | 540-587-9377 | www.oldelibertystation.com
Mountain Fruit & Produce 3883 Peaks Highway, Bedford, VA | 540-586-5975
The Blue Woman 107A East Foremost Road, Bedford, VA | 540-586-4622 | www.fb.com/The-Blue-Woman
City Kitchen & Provisions 309 North Bridge Road, Bedford, VA | 540-586-0321 | https://townkitchenprovisions.com