I spent Easter this year in Lynchburg (Virginia, not Tennessee) and loved every minute of it. Although Lynchburg isn’t popular for tourists, there are great restaurants and pedestrian areas. H and I spent our two days there checking out the new improvements downtown, visiting old favorite spots, and spending time with family.
The Drive Down
The drive from DC to Lynchburg is a familiar one: the highway winds past miles of farmland, through Charlottesville, and between the mountains to Lynchburg. I always take a side road to make sure we get my favorite view of the hills of downtown Lynchburg across the James River. Although Lynchburg is a small city now, it was a financial powerhouse in the 1800s and a manufacturing center in the early 1900s. Downtown is mostly renovated factories with beautiful lofts that house Lynchburg’s hipster population. The city has added a new Riverwalk, a brewery, and lots of restaurants to the original downtown attractions—the Farmer’s Market, Percival’s Island, and the White Hart.
H and I arrived in Lynchburg Saturday morning and headed downtown to explore. We parked near the Riverwalk and walked down to the James River, then over the bridge to Percival’s Island. The Percival’s Island trail is an old railroad track that’s now a paved path across the river to the island and eventually into Amherst County. The island is wooded with a few tiny beaches, so it’s a nice nature walk and great for bike riding, especially if you’re less likely to run into people than I am.
Sweaty from the walk, we headed back to the White Hart on Main Street, my favorite (read: used to be the only) indie coffee shop downtown. The atmosphere is rustic but intellectual, with old wood floors, comfy leather chairs, and shelves of books and board games. After quizzing each other with Trivial Pursuit cards, H and I went back to the house to help with Easter dinner preparations.
What I Wore Downtown
I chose an outfit with a cute downtown vibe that would be comfortable for the car ride and the walk. I went with a navy floral blouse, cuffed jeans, and flat suede boots, plus a topknot and crossbody bag. I thought the blouse might be too monochromatic with blue jeans, but with the different textures the effect reminds me of denim-on-denim.
Dinner in Boonsboro
I got us a reservation that night at Isabella’s, an amazing Italian restaurant in Boonsboro. Isabella’s is a Lynchburg favorite, and my dad and I are particularly obsessed with their creamy lemon dijon salad dressing. We sat on the corner of the bar, so we could still talk to each other and the bartender did a professional olive oil and balsamic pour for our bread plates. As always, everything from my glass of prosecco to the flourless chocolate cupcake for dessert was fabulous.
I always see someone I know at Isabella’s, so I changed into this white blouse with enormous sleeves with my jeans and boots from that day. This top is my new go-to for dinners or dates when I want to look fashionable but casual. Since I managed not to drag the sleeves through a plate of spaghetti sauce, I’m calling the outfit a success.
Easter morning is always a total hustle to get ready for church, and this Easter was no exception. With a few extra alarms and my mom’s hair dryer I managed to get out the door by 9:30 for the Easter breakfast and church service. Luckily, I had to choose what I would wear beforehand and remembered not to bring anything too light, since I’ve shivered through a few cold, rainy Easters in eyelet or seersucker. I wore this ruffled chambray dress with pink pumps as a nod to Easter pastels. I initially thought the design of this dress would be overwhelming, but the flattering waist tie balances out the huge shoulder ruffle.
H and I booked it to the church breakfast, where we enjoyed catching up with old friends. The rest of the family joined us for the service, and then we had a relaxed, delicious lunch at the house afterwards. We drove home extremely full and glad to have seen everyone.
Have you ever visited Lynchburg? What are your favorite places there? Do you think it will ever get a Whole Foods or a Trader Joes? Let me know in the comments!