Natural Bridge, Lexington and Appomattox

Natural Bridge and Appomattox

Where did you stay:  Natural Bridge Hotel and Best Western Hotel, Lexington
Date visited: 16 – 18 Jan 16
Top attraction or tip for this location: Appomattox CourtHouse – FascinatingHaving the long weekend for Martin Luther King Day, we decided to go

West for a couple of nights to the other side of the Blue Ridge
Mountains. We had heard of Natural Bridge previously and, after some
internet research, we decided to see it for ourselves. We booked 2
nights in the Natural Bridge Hotel, which was fine. We were in the
main part of the hotel and the room was perfectly adequate for us. We
did experience a couple of issues, however: firstly, the hotel had
accepted our booking for two nights, but it was only when we got there
that the hotel let us know that it is only open on Friday and
Saturdays in the winter, until March. The second issue was one of
unfortunate coincidence as there was a University Ball going on in the
hotel on the Saturday night, so there was quite a lot of noise.
On the Sunday, there was a forecast of snow and there was an inch came
down as we ate breakfast. This was perfect for some lovely wintery
photographs of the Natural Bridge, one of the 7 natural wonders of the
modern world and a phenomenal sight. We were given a military discount
to get in. As well as the Natural Bridge, there was an accurate mock
up of an indian village and a very nice shortish walk up to a
cascading waterfall.
After the visit to Natural Bridge, we then went up to Eagle Rock in
the George Washington National Forest, where we found another lovely
walk at the Roaring Run Furnace, up to a spectacular waterfall. It has
non-licence fishing along the river, where it has purpose stocked
trout.
As we could not stay at the Natural Bridge Hotel, we booked into the
Best Western Plus at Lexington, through Hotels.Com. It was a very nice
hotel and fully recommended.
On the Monday, we went to Appomattox. Firstly, we went to the Museum
of the Confederates. They offered free entry for military and it had
over 400 exhibits, including General Lee’s Uniform Overcoat and Sword
worn at the time of his surrender to General Grant during the American
Civil War. It was a very well kept and fascinating museum and well
worth a visit if you are interested in the Civil War or militaria in
general.
After this visit, we went to Appomattox CourtHouse, which was the site
of the surrender. It is run by the National Park Service and normally
entry fees apply, but there was free entry that day (I think it is a
winter thing). Hourly tours, given by one of the park rangers are
conducted and they are extremely knowledgeable as they talk you
through the final week of the war, leading up to the surrender. We saw
the room that the surrender took place in (the house has been
re-built, but there are several pieces of the original furniture.
All in all, it was a terrific weekend and I can thoroughly recommend
spending some time on the western side of the Blue Ridge.

Dave and Monica Jones