Lynchburg, Virginia, is nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains and all 75,000 inhabitants will tell you what makes this place special is that the War of Northern Aggression isn’t over. Lynchburg retains the dubious designation as the only city in the south that never fell to the Union during the Civil War, but these days it’s mostly talk and people are generally of the friendly, southern, front-porch sitting variety. Lynchburg has a lot to offer besides 19th century American history, however: from inexpensive row homes to elegant mansions to renovated warehouses, Lynchburg rental options are its real southern treasure. So, slow down and wait a minute, or as they say, "hold your ‘tater," (yes, they really say that) because this guide has the local Lynchburg lover’s best advice on renting around the City of Seven Hills.
In a city like Lynchburg with little in the way of metropolitan pleasures, it's the little things that count, so make sure your new home is in a neighborhood that tickles your fancy. There are great areas with scenic drives through woodsy hills, along mountain ridges, and through historic neighborhoods. There are places where you can feel a strong sense of community in the local restaurants, bars, markets, bookstores, and in the streets. There are typical suburban areas, typical urban areas, college-kid neighborhoods and neighborhoods for the hermit-minded where you will see more trees than people. So, stick around and I'll tell you a tale of the neighborhoods in Lynchburg, Virginia.
The first neighborhoods sprung up on the hills around John Lynch's ferry landing. These historic neighborhoods are full of old brick row houses, restored-mansion duplexes and apartments, as well as remodeled warehouse lofts. These first seven hills and their neighborhoods are College, Daniel’s Diamond, Federal, Franklin, Garland, and White Rock. The neighborhoods surrounding this area are also steeped in history, but have also gone through a cultural renaissance and created a more "downtown" atmosphere:
Rivermont A neighborhood on the river, full of old 19th Century homes, community kindness reminiscent of better times, and an awesome little spot called The Ellington, where you can catch great live blues, rock, and jazz.
City Center The place to see live music, art, theater, and historic buildings on the James River. Be sure to get your fresh food from the Community Market, housed in the Old City Armory.
Winston Ridge Farther south, this area has low cost, old rentals, convenient access to the city center, and two neighborhood parks.
Tyreeanna A hermit's haven close to the city center, with few residences, lots of woodsy areas, but some air traffic noise from Falwell Airport.
Peakland A neighborhood of families, retirees, and college students with exercise addictions. You will see lots of runners here, from sunrise to sunset. Culture seekers can find many artsy and educational events at the Randolph College campus, as well as some unique performances at the college's weekly No Shame Theatre.
Boonsboro Pricey, beautiful, and quiet, this area is perfect for people who just want to simmer down and enjoy the simple life. Horseback-riding students can get their fix at the Randolph Riding Center nearby. Also, be sure to check out The Farm Basket on Langhorne Road for gifts, food, and gardening goods.
Forest Hill An affordable neighborhood spotted with shopping centers, big, beautiful parks, and suburban homes.
Blue Ride Farms Another affordable neighborhood, with small rental homes and newer apartments.
West Lynchburg A great spot for college students, with Lynchburg College, College Lake, and the large Blackwater Park nearby. Sports fans can catch games at Lynchburg Stadium.
Fort Hill An older suburban area, with walkable streets and lots of college students and families. Lynchburg College is nearby. Miller Park Pool is also close, with a big pool, waterslide, and a mushroom waterfall.
Montview Hardly ever a vacancy here, with lots of nice smaller houses and townhomes in an affordable, and walkable neighborhood. With mostly college students renting here, your best bet at finding a vacant apartment will be during the summer breaks.
Timberlake Located along Timberlake Road, this neighborhood has some great, down-home, neighborly bars and restaurants. The Neighbors Place has fine music, fine brews, and finer dining. The Restoration Family Cafe provides live music and worship services.
Beechwood Hills The most pleasantly boring suburban neighborhood around.
Like many cities in the U.S., getting around Lynchburg is much easier with a car. However, in more central neighborhoods, the bus service (GLTC) can be convenient for commuting. Students at the myriad local universities can also benefit from the GLTC, with a shuttle bus service on the Liberty University campus. Intercity commuters are in luck, with convenient passenger rail and bus services at the Kemper Street Station. Skip the traffic and take the Amtrak Crescent to New York City or New Orleans. For you Boston commuters, you can always take the Amtrak Virginia, which also provides daily round-trips. Those with cars will have few issues with traffic within the city. Your biggest challenge will be driving those hills in the snow and rain, which is every bit as fun as it sounds. Also, try to keep your eyes on the road and not those breathtaking mountain views.
Virginia's cold winters and hot summers can run up an electric bill above $300, easily. Especially in those beautifully restored mansion-apartments and warehouses, the bills can skyrocket. So, when getting excited about an inexpensive apartment in a beautiful historic building, be sure to budget in the extra money you will be paying for heat and air conditioning.
If a quiet and peaceful, community-minded hometown isn't sounding appealing yet, well then, I guess it's just a Lynchburg thing. It’s not an urban paradise, but it’s no slouch in the entertainment department either. You’re sure to find what you’re after in Lynchburg, whether it’s a noisy diner, mountain hike, or just an affordable spot to call home after a long day of Civil War reenactments. Lynchburg has got something for everyone (except Yankees) so come on down and start pounding that pavement in search of your new home sweet home!