Next Great Neighborhood: Lynchburg, Virginia

In the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains and on the banks of the James River, Lynchburg, Virginia’s once-dormant downtown now entertains with a quirky mix of old and new: 19th-century warehouses transformed into airy lofts, funky shops, artist studios, and buzzy restaurants. The monthly First Friday is the perfect time to tap into these happening spots.


Waterstone Pizza; Photo: Adam Ewing

1. Waterstone Pizza
Start with the fried green tomato and mozzarella stack ($8.95) drizzled with pesto and balsamic and order a sampler of beers ($8.95) from Jefferson Street Brewery, the microbrewery above this pizzeria in the historic Craddock Terry Hotel.

2. Oxide Pottery
This former blacksmith shop now serves as a studio and store known for its collection of wheel-thrown and hand-built ceramics. Buy a cheeky, decal-printed coffee mug (from $28), or go for a pair of upcycled earrings ($15) made from scraps garnered from the local leather company Moore & Giles.

Photo: Adam Ewing

Scene3; Photo: Adam Ewing

3. Scene3
Pro skater Jeff Gray builds bikes out of recycled parts at this colorful shop beloved by locals. Pick up a cutting board or bottle opener made from skateboards.

4. Dish
The Spanish-inspired wine lounge might be known for its paella ($11), but you can’t go wrong with the Virginia cheeses and wines, or tapas such as mussels with green curry and coconut milk ($9).

5. Estates Revisited
Heirlooms get a second life at this new location on Main Street, full of 19th-century antiques. Finds include original art (from $50) and a butcher-block table ($625).

Galaxie Modern; Photo: Adam Ewing

Galaxie Modern; Photo: Adam Ewing

6. Galaxie Modern
Find pieces by Knoll, Herman Miller, and Milo Baughman, as well as furniture by lesser-known designers at this mid-century modern shop. The owner sources many of his Scandinavian finds from ex-military stationed overseas during the fifties and sixties.

7. Speakertree
Scope out the extensive collection of indie vinyl, including a strong selection of Virginia artists such as the 1960s-style band Ar-Kaics from Richmond. On weekends, you can see local talent sharing the stage in the back of the shop with out-of-town acts.

8. Jimmy’s on the James
Owner Jimmy Dudley croons on his piano while the talented bar staffers stir up cocktails like the Gunpowder ($7), made with green tea-infused vodka at this hometown institution with the feel of a 1950s jazz club.


  1. Virginia travel stories in Southern Living | marissa hermanson

    […] this travel story published means very, very much to me. Be sure to grab a copy or read the story here. My story is only printed in the MVA travel zones, which are distributed in Delaware, Maryland and […]

    June 19, 2014 at 3:16 pm

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