Home to many cultural events, educational institutions and historic landmarks, Lynchburg has managed to grow significantly since its establishment in the late 1780s to offer much to each of its visitors. Health care is represented here in two hospitals, both of them renovated into the state-of-the-art facility of late, while education is carried out in a public community college and four private colleges. Lynchburg tourism showed first signs of growth in the 1970s, as many of the city's current attractions were designed and developed to meet the travelers' needs.
Due to its central location in the state of Virginia, Lynchburg is now recognized as a popular destination for travelers, while its proximity to the James River resulted in the city's position as a major trading center.
The creation of such renowned places of interest as the Academy of Fine Arts, the Rightmire Children's Museum, Amazement Square, Anne Spencer House and Garden, Daura Gallery Museum, Ghosts of Historic Lynchburg and Legacy Museum of African American History among others has contributed much to the development of Lynchburg tourism, seen today as a significant source of income to the state's economy. One of the city's most famous guests was Thomas Jefferson, who has established here his personal retreat, known as Poplar Forest in the early 19th century.
Today the attraction is open to the public for excursions and tours attracting huge crowds of enthusiastic travelers. During one of his visits to the city, Thomas Jefferson stopped at Miller-Claytor House, which was moved to its present location, Riverside Park in the 1930s. Nearby Cabell Street is home to the magnificent Point of Honor, constructed by Dr. George Cabell as a renowned example of Federal architecture. Today it is maintained and operated by Lynchburg museum system and features appropriate period furnishings. Those interested in the city's past are welcome to the Old Court House Museum, the Greek Revival-style building that features exhibits tracing Lynchburg's history from its early days till present.
Lynchburg tourism owes much of its successful development to numerous sites and attractions of the city's central downtown area, home to world-famous black poet Anne Spencer, who did much of her writing in the garden house. Located nearby is the Old City Cemetery - a Virginia Historic Landmark, included into the National Register of Historic Places. Established in the 1800s, it is a final resting place for more than 25,000 citizens, seven mayors of Lynchburg, five Revolutionary War soldiers and a number of renowned African-American citizens among them.
As a city with a rich cultural heritage, Lynchburg boasts the Virginia School of Arts, Fine Arts Center and a symphony orchestra, all of them seen as significant contributors to the development of Lynchburg tourism. Frequently referred to as the City of Churches, Lynchburg is home to over 121 churches, from the large complex of Thomas Road Baptist Church to the small Quaker Meeting House.
Special attention should be paid to Lynchburg Community Market, recognized as one of the oldest markets of the kind within Virginia.