Bedford, Virginia is a perfect hub for exploring South-Central Virginia. Located just 30 minutes from downtown Roanoke and Lynchburg, and close to Appomattox where the Civil War ended, Bedford is home to a number of exciting attractions. Aptly located, The National D-Day Memorial overlooks the community that suffered the highest per capita losses on D-Day, the largest amphibious landing the world has ever seen. Both an educational and emotional experience, the Memorial honors the Americans and the Allied forces that participated in the invasion of Normandy on June 6, 1944 during World War II. With its English Garden, haunting invasion tableau, and striking Victory Plaza, the Memorial stands as a powerful tribute to the valor, fidelity, and sacrifice of D-Day participants.
Bedford was also home to another American hero, Thomas Jefferson. During his Presidency Jefferson realised that once he left public life he would no longer have any privacy. Taking this into consideration he began designing a remarkable octagonal house in Bedford that he would use as a personal retreat to escape and relax. Poplar Forest is the only house besides Monticello that Jefferson designed as a personal residence for himself, and elements of his private side can be seen at this architectural jewel. The annual Thomas Jefferson Wine Festival held at Poplar Forest each November, showcases Bedford’s five wineries as well as several other select vineyards from the region. Guests looking to take in both fantastic sites can benefit from admission savings by purchasing a joint ticket to The National D-Day Memorial and Thomas Jefferson’s Poplar Forest at either sites.
Just minutes away from the Historic Centertown Bedford, you will discover the legendary “Peaks of Otter” on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Along the drive you will pass some of Bedford’s famous apple and peach orchards where you might stop for some home-made peach ice cream and fried apple pies! A variety of wonderful restaurants, cafes, art galleries, antique and specialty shops can be found in Centertown, and The Bedford Museum provides a free overview of Bedford’s rich heritage.
Smith Mountain Lake offers a wide array of recreational opportunities and Smith Mountain Lake State Park offers cabins and a public beach.
The Bedford Area Welcome Center is the perfect place to begin your explorations of the region. It is also a stop for the Smart Way shuttle that transports people to Lynchburg’s Amtrak Station to connect with Amtrak’s Northeast Regional Train.