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About Bedford Area

Located in the shadow of the legendary Peaks of Otter, Bedford offers warm hospitality. The historic downtown features a fascinating local history museum, antique and specialty shops, galleries, restaurants, and cafes. The National D-Day Memorial is located here, an inspiring tribute to the valor and sacrifice of the American and Allied forces who made the ultimate sacrifice at D-Day. This popular memorial is located on a hilltop overlooking the community that suffered the greatest losses per capita at D-Day. Bedford is also home of Thomas Jefferson’s remarkable architectural gem, Poplar Forest, which he designed and built over 200 years ago as his private retreat. Smith Mountain Lake also offers an array of recreational opportunities from fishing and boating to swimming and camping at the Smith Mountain Lake State Park.

During Colonial times, the Peaks of Otter were thought to be the highest mountains in America. Far from the highest peaks in the nation, they still are extremely majestic and beautiful and remain one of the favorite stops along the Blue Ridge Parkway. The historic City of Bedford is located just minutes from the Peaks with both Routes 43 South and 460 East coming right into the center of Bedford. A monument to area soldiers who fought in the War for American Independence in front of the Bedford Courthouse includes a giant boulder that was once located at the Peak of Sharp Top, one of the mountains that comprise the Peaks of Otter.

Stories from Bedford Area

August 26, 2020
The Blue Ridge Mountains are dotted with farms producing everything from Christmas trees to trout. Fruit, flowers, herbs, jams, jellies, pies, wreaths and other crafts are all produced right here in the mountains.
October 5, 2019
October marks the official start of Fall Color Season along the Blue Ridge Parkway. This month is one of the most popular for visits to the region. A chance to see the Appalachian views awash in reds, golds and lingering shades of green is an experience on many people's bucket lists. Learn what's in store for you in Fall of 2019.
August 12, 2019
The Blue Ridge Parkway, the beautiful drive that over 14 million people visited in 2018, requires a lot of people to keep running, as you could imagine. A key piece to this is volunteers - unpaid and serving out of love for the Parkway.
July 15, 2019
If you're wondering where to go swimming during your Blue Ridge Parkway trip, we've rounded up all the best spots. It's important to note that while there are some beautiful waters located right on the Parkway itself, swimming is not allowed in Parkway waters. But there are no shortage of great swimming holes nearby, as well as guided rafting tours, kayak rentals, tubing, and some beautiful lakeside rentals.
November 18, 2018
Spending the holidays in the Blue Ridge Mountains brings to mind cozy fireside nights under homespun quilts, a brisk family hike to find the perfect Christmas tree on the farm, and the very the best slopes for skiing and sledding. We’ve rounded up all this and more in our guide to festive winter fun in the communities along the Blue Ridge Parkway.
October 16, 2018
The Blue Ridge Parkway and surrounding mountain communities in both Virginia and North Carolina have a long and storied history as an arts and culture destination. Traditional artisans practice their crafts to this day, while up and coming artists forge ahead in new techniques and cutting edge creativity.
May 7, 2018
Blue Ridge Parkway Association members and stakeholders enjoyed a warm welcome for our Annual Meeting in May by Bedford Tourism. Our gracious host for meals, accommodations and the meeting was a Parkway favorite destination in Virginia, Peaks of Otter Lodge.

Recommended Itineraries

Region: Virginia
Duration:2 - 3 days
Sweeping ridge-top curves and sunset-lit country roads converge in one divinely placed mountain town. Waynesboro, Virginia located at the base of Skyline Drive and Milepost 0 of the Blue Ridge Parkway offers the perfect base camp for motorcycle touring, with multiple days of beautiful riding and evening entertainment.