activities

15 New Happenings in Downtown Lynchburg

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Here’s the latest on new developments and openings in Downtown Lynchburg!

It doesn’t take long to see that Downtown Lynchburg has been a hub of activity lately. Revitalization and rehabilitation is happening all throughout the district from lofts and restaurants on Jefferson, to road expansions and reopenings along Church and Main. 

We did some digging to bring you the latest and greatest about the downtown district — see what you may have missed and be sure keep up with our weekly posts online via Facebook and Instagram. #DowntownLynchburg.

1) Dublin 3 Coffeehouse is serving up serious coffee.

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Jefferson Street continues to develop at lightning pace with the latest opening of this coffeehouse in mid-April. Stop by to check out the awesome rough stone interior, and stay for a single origin pour-over (MudHouse, CounterCulture and Lamplighter are served) to see why people are already raving. With free WiFi and great hours, we foresee a lot of productivity and good conversations happening here.

2) The Emerald Stone Grille is Downtown’s hottest new restaurant.

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If you haven’t stepped into this unique eatery on Jefferson Street, make plans to head over soon. Featuring rustic decor and lighting, the grille offers a multi-cuisine menu that gives guests a truly authentic experience. The restaurant specializes in handcrafted cocktails, a variety of appetizing starters, and entrees including duck, lamb, and steak. Be sure to take a stroll along the river after dinner for a truly relaxing evening downtown. 

3) CRISP is back and better than ever.

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After months of renovations, this downtown eatery, offering healthy, whole food has reopened in a bright and beautiful space on the corner of Church and 12th. Grab a Thai wrap, some freshly squeezed juice and cozy up to the front window from a prime view of downtown. You can find their current menu — and expanded hours, yes! — on their Facebook page.

4) Experience life in a 19th century building at The Piedmont Flour Mill Lofts.

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Downtown's most recently completed housing project is the truly unique Piedmont Flour Mill Lofts, giving you the option to literally live in a piece of local history. Dating back to the early-1800s, the building now houses multiple, high-end units complete with original wooden walls and updated with modern finishes. Each space is unique in layout, and most have views high above Jefferson Street, giving you a prime view of the river, passing trains and the bustle of downtown life.

5) Coming soon: The Wills-Camp Lofts will feature a historic, yet modern aesthetic. 

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Located right on Main Street, the building plans to offer five different loft styles for residents to choose from. Each suite will display original hardwoods and metal ceilings that date back to 1880, as well as contemporary lighting and a modern kitchen. Choose to settle in one of these lofts and you will have a one-of-a-kind living experience, complete with a beautiful view of the city. 

7) The 11th Street Lofts enter the downtown scene.

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The construction of a three-story building of single and two bedroom units recently began downtown. Located right on the Bluffwalk, each room will have a private balcony and a towering view of the James River, and will be in close proximity to many of the riverfront businesses and restaurants. 

8) The Glass House is up and running and ready to host your event.

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Since its opening last year, The Glass House has brought a variety of bands and musical acts to the streets of downtown. It has also become one of the most sought-after spaces for private events and weddings. Located on Jefferson Street, it is the perfect venue for those looking for an exciting, urban venue in the middle of the downtown action. 

9) Lynchburg Community Market is still up and running.

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Don’t let the yellow tape and cones confuse you: everyone’s favorite market is still open in the midst of the area’s current construction work. Thankfully, the work being done is helping to reinforce and strengthen the parking deck, which means the market will be safer and more accessible to guests for years to come.

10) Riverfront Park promises a summer of events.

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Before long, the days of an empty Riverfront Park will be a distant memory. Beginning with Lynchstock and continuing throughout the summer, you’ll now find events being held riverside every weekend. From events like the first ever Lynchburg Food Fest to Movies in the Park to the monthly Riverfront Park Concert Series, you’ll be making this your new go-to weekend destination.

11) The Barking Dog will be serving up breakfast in the near future.

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Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for this fun breakfast joint, slated to open around late summer. The latest installment from the Parry Restaurant Group — of Waterstone Pizza, Shoemakers, El Jefe, and Bootleggers fame — will feature a vintage diner-vibe, serving breakfast classics on the corner of 10th and Commerce. We can’t wait try it ourselves!

12) Windblown Apothecary to be offering holistic shopping by summer’s end.

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Downtown will be just a bit cooler, and hopefully healthier, with the launch of this new storefront coming to Church Street. Brought to us by the owners of Live Trendy or Die, the store will supply locals with “a brick-and-mortar source for healthy living that caters to healing and fauna.” With a planned opening for this fall, the shop will include succulents, crystals and vegan-dyed clothing. The owners also hope to collaborate with local florists so downtown residents can easily pick up fresh arrangements each day.

13) Grassroots Local Market coming soon.

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With hopes to bring downtown its own dedicated grocery space — complete with local and organic offerings — this Lynchburg co-op is closing in on its final round of funding. Be sure to look for them to open within the near future, right on Main Street, and visit their site to find out why 700 others have already purchased memberships.

14) Amazement Square is undergoing a $5 million expansion. 

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With a growing demand for educational programs in Lynchburg, Amazement Square is adding 17,000 square feet onto their current location. The new space will offer five classrooms, more space for traveling and in-house exhibitions and theater performances and a designated workshop for design staff. They also plan to stabilize the nearby train tunnel for a time travel exhibit that is sure to add to the incredible learning experience found at Amazement Square.

15) The Virginian is poised for greatness.

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The completion of this massive restoration and renovation — one that will restore a historic, circa 1913 landmark, while also promoting local business — is slated for the end of 2017. For now, check out the latest photos of the work that is underway, and be looking for the hotel boutique, conference center and roof top restaurant to send out updates as progress moves forward!

BONUS: Work on the The Historic Academy of Music Theatre continues!

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Restoration of one of Lynchburg's most notable historic treasures is coming along. The 1905 Academy of Music Theatre has been silent since 1958, but is finally poised to reopen in 2018, creating a beautiful 800-seat venue right here in Downtown Lynchburg. This one is a game changer!

PLUS: Lynch’s Landing has officially rebranded as the Downtown Lynchburg Association.

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We have an updated name, logo, and plenty of new programs and events planned for this upcoming year. Learn about our recent changes and the reasons behind them here.

As always, thanks for reading and keep up with us on social media: now the Downtown Lynchburg Association on Facebook and still @DowntownLynchburg on Instagram.

Share your favorite discoveries and adventures with us by tagging #DowntownLynchburg. 

12 Family Activities to Help You Explore Downtown Lynchburg

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For every parent who has ever faced the Battle of Boredom, we’re here to help. Downtown Lynchburg offers more to explore than ever before for all kids from the active to the artistic and everyone in between. Check out our list of 12 family activities that promise to break your routine and involve the whole family in memorable and exciting adventures. Share your discoveries by tagging #DowntownLynchburg.

1) Learn Something New at Amazement Square  

If there’s one thing you do on a visit to Downtown Lynchburg, it should be the nationally recognized Amazement Square. Kids of all ages will find something to engage their curiosity on four floors of interactive, colorful exhibits that combine movement and play with history, science, music, and more. Pretend to be an architect and draft a building in the “office” or explore the James River with a running replica complete with working dams and canoes.

Located at 27 Ninth Street and on the web at www.amazementsquare.org.

Percivals Island in Downtown Lynchburg
Percivals Island in Downtown Lynchburg

2) Get Up Close and Personal with Nature on Percival’s Island.  

If bugs, fish, and other wildlife fascinate your kids, take them for an adventure on Percival’s Island, which can be accessed from the corner of Washington Street and Concord Turnpike. Practice reading maps at the trail information display, take some family photos at the LOVE sign, and get ready to explore. Take the RiverWalk Trail which is paved and spans the whole island, or go off the grid and explore the many hidden foot trails. With two large walking bridges spanning the river at different points, you’ll have great views of both the city and the wooded areas. Everyone will enjoy the quiet sanctuary of the woods whether walking or biking.

Parking available at Washington Street and Concord Turnpike and more information on the web at www.lynchburgparksandrec.com.

Lynchburg Museum in Downtown Lynchburg
Lynchburg Museum in Downtown Lynchburg

3) Go Back in Time at the Lynchburg Museum 

Perched at the top of Monument Terrace, the Lynchburg Museum is a great activity for middle-aged and older children who are learning an appreciation and sense of place. Downtown Lynchburg boasts centuries of history and much of it is carefully housed in our old courthouse where curated exhibits reveal what life was like for those who built Lynchburg. Discovery is the name of the game, so after your visit, spark conversation by asking what each child found interesting and memorable. You may be surprised at what stood out to them!

Located at 901 Court Street and on the web at www.lynchburgmuseum.org.

Lynchburg Community Market in Downtown Lynchburg, VA
Lynchburg Community Market in Downtown Lynchburg, VA

4) Get Culinary with the Lynchburg Community Market

There’s nothing quite as satisfying as creating a meal from start to finish. Get the whole family involved by deciding what you want to prepare (the market blog has some great suggestions) and then divvy out assignments. After making grocery lists, visit the Lynchburg Community Market where kids can select all of their ingredients—fresh and local and on the spot; they can even practice paying with cash if you want to up the ante. Grab a quick snack or dessert for later from one of the many food vendors and enjoy the fresh air.

Located at 1219 Main Street and on the web at www.lynchburgcommunitymarket.com.

First Friday in Downtown Lynchburg, VA
First Friday in Downtown Lynchburg, VA

5) Appreciate Downtown Lynchburg’s Culture with First Fridays

No longer is cost an excuse because First Fridays means you and your family can enjoy the Downtown Lynchburg scene without admissions costs plus the free trolley rides make it especially easy to pop in places like Riverviews Artspace and the Renaissance Theatre. Starting at 5 p.m. on the first Friday of every month, this uniquely downtown event invites you to explore 10+ stops, each filled with fresh exhibits, a variety of art, history, music, and more.

Find the map for the free trolley and more details on the web at www.firstfridayslynchburg.com.

Academy Center of the Arts in Downtown Lynchburg
Academy Center of the Arts in Downtown Lynchburg

6) Get Crafty at the Academy Center of the Arts

Interested in an artistic option? The Academy Center of the Arts is offering several family friendly workshops and activities such as three Family Saturday Workshops focused on making your own fall-themed clay pumpkins, leaves, or ornaments.  At only $10, it’s a great activity for parents and kids to be creative together and take home a meaningful keepsake. New Kindermusik classes offer an interactive musical learning experience for younger kids and are a perfect “Mommy and Me” option. If you’re interested in some entertainment as well, consider the kid-friendly shows put on this fall by the Virginia Repertory Theatre—“Pocahontas” and “The Night Before Christmas.”

Located at 600 Main Street and on the web at www.academycenter.org.

Rise Up Climbing in Downtown Lynchburg, VA
Rise Up Climbing in Downtown Lynchburg, VA

7) Explore new heights at Rise Up Climbing

Keep everyone active even on a rainy day with a visit to Rise Up Climbing. A quick 30-minute Basic Skills Intro class will get your whole family up to speed on the ins-and-outs of rock wall climbing. Available for afternoon and evening sessions, indoor climbing is an excellent way to find both a mental and physical challenge. It also shows your kids that it’s never too late to try something new. 

Located at 1225 Church Street and on the web at www.riseupclimbing.com.

Bikes Unlimited in Downtown Lynchburg, VA
Bikes Unlimited in Downtown Lynchburg, VA

8) Test Your Endurance by Biking the Trails

Downtown Lynchburg is the intersection of several biking trails, allowing you several choices on starting points, trail rides, interesting stopovers, and more. Venture off to the RiverWalk Trail on Percival’s Island or jump on to the Blackwater Creek Trail for miles and miles of exploration. If you’re new to biking and need rental options or are looking for a tune-up, check out Bikes Unlimited at 1312 Jefferson Street, which is right on the Riverfront trail. Or start more centrally on Main Street at scene3 where you’ll also enjoy seeing their creative goods made from recycled materials.

Find more information on the web at www.lynchburgparksandrec.com/trails.

James River in Lynchburg, VA
James River in Lynchburg, VA

9) Make a Splash on the James River

Canoeing? Check. Fishing? Check. Views of the James River are great but nothing beats the experience of cruising along the water in a canoe, catching some fish, and experiencing the river hands-on. Help your kids learn the basics of water safety and the skills to capture a fish and watch their confidence soar. To access the river from the Lynchburg side, check out the canoe ramp at 7th Street .

More information on the web at www.lynchburgparksandrec.com.

Ploughcroft Tea Room in Lynchburg, VA
Ploughcroft Tea Room in Lynchburg, VA

10) Enjoy High Tea at Ploughcroft Tea Room

Foreign travel is a bucket list item for every family but the high costs can make it hard to do; in the meantime, you can enjoy a taste of England in Downtown Lynchburg at the Ploughcroft Tea Room where fine teas are steeped and served in beautiful and unique teapots. The elegance, culture, and tasty bites are sure to leave a lasting impression and perhaps will even spark an interest in the history of America’s relationship with the United Kingdom. Kids may also enjoy tasting some British savories such as Cottage Pie or sweets such as Sticky Toffee Pudding.

Located at 1215 Commerce Street and on the web at www.ploughcrofttearoom.com.

Monmument Terrace in Downtown Lynchburg, VA
Monmument Terrace in Downtown Lynchburg, VA

11) Break a Sweat in Downtown Lynchburg

Whether you’re having a family competition via Fitbit or capturing some wild Pokémon, Downtown Lynchburg has plenty to get your blood pumping. See who can summit all 139 steps of Monument Terrace first or who can discover more Pokémon along the recently completed Bluffwalk. Since PokéStops tend to be linked with public art and history installations, you can truly kill two birds with one stone—technology doesn’t need to be the enemy; just use it to get your family out and about in the city.

Find maps and more on the web at www.DowntownLynchburg.com.

Civil War Tour in Downtown Lynchburg, VA
Civil War Tour in Downtown Lynchburg, VA

12) Retrace History on a Civil War tour

Bust out your walking shoes and join the Lynchburg Visitor Center’s resident Civil War historian, Judy Harvey, for a walking tour of Downtown Lynchburg. She’ll point out areas still present—from buildings to viewpoints—that connect us to the memorable events of our past. Virginia’s known for its wealth of history, and Lynchburg is no exception. Tours this fall will be held on September 3 and October 1 at 2 p.m.; they start at the Lynchburg Visitor’s Center, on the corner of 12th and Church streets, and last for approximately 90 minutes.

Confirm at (434) 485­-7290 or visit on the web at www.lynchburgvirginia.org.