Set at the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, you’ll find a weekend filled with hiking and biking trails, wineries and orchards, restaurants, and shops when you visit central Virginia. Discover for yourself why Bedford was named the “2020 Top Small Adventure Town” by Blue Ridge Outdoors and one of “15 Best Small Towns to Visit” by Smithsonian Magazine.
Cover photo: Jet skiing at Smith Mountain Lake.
Get your day going at Falling Creek Park, featuring winding bike trails, an epic bike park, and a challenging disc golf course. There’s also a playground, picnic areas, and skate park located nearby for a full morning of fun.
Head into historic downtown Bedford for unique shopping and dining options, like antique and vintage items from Dirt Road Treasures and a six pack from Beale’s, a craft brewery and full-service restaurant. Swing by Mountain Fruit Produce for baked goods, homemade ice cream, fried apple pies, local produce, and more. If time permits, visit the Peaks of Otter Winery & Johnson’s Orchard to sample wines like Cinfulicious, Virginia Apple Lovers, and Kiss the Devil. Don’t miss the giant Johnny Appleseed and handmade LOVE sign for some fun photo ops.
Check into the Peaks of Otter Lodge, reopening for the season on May 3, and settle into your room. Make sure to stop by the lodge’s restaurant for dinner and the lounge for drinks, sometimes featuring live local music, before enjoying the sunset over Abbott Lake from your lakefront balcony or patio.
Watch for otters swimming in the water as you enjoy a breakfast overlooking the lake at Peaks of Otter Restaurant. Once you’re fueled up, head out on a hike up Sharp Top Mountain, or one of the other nearby trail options, for stunning vistas of the area. With more mileage along the Blue Ridge Parkway than any county in Virginia, you’re sure to find an awe-inspiring view in Bedford. Locals recommend getting up early to catch the sunrise!
Stop by the Bedford Area Welcome Center for a photo with the LOVE sign, then cool off at Smith Mountain Lake, voted Best Lake in the 2021 Best of the Blue Ridge Awards. An afternoon of watersports could include boating, canoeing, kayaking, jet skiing, paddle boarding, and fishing. Several lakefront restaurants are accessible by car and water, including Mitchell’s Point Marina, Drifter’s, Portside Grill, Beacon Pub, and Jake’s Place, offering delicious bites and refreshments. Check into Mariners Landing lakefront resort where water equipment and boat rentals are available on site (advance reservations recommended). You can also check out Smith Mountain Lake State Park, about five minutes away, for hiking and biking trails.
Spend the night at Mariners Landing with amenities that include a private beach, fishing dock, pools, golf course, fitness center, and dining options all on site. The Landing is a popular restaurant option for dinner. Don’t miss another epic sunset over the water!