A Walking Tour

As the days get longer and the temps nicer, visit Bedford and discover why it’s the best little town in Virginia!

(as layed out it is 1.4 miles)

Starting on East Main Street, heading West:

1. Bedford Museum and Genealogical Library 
201 E. Main Street
Bedford, VA 24523
Email: bmgl@bedfordvamuseum.org

Collections that tell Bedford’s story from its earliest Native American residents through the 20th century, including extensive research on local genealogy.  

2. Bedford County Courthouse
123 E. Main Street
Bedford, VA 24523    

Built in 1930, this Classical Revival building features an Ionic-order porch, Corinthian columns and Flemish-bond brickwork. The massive triangular pediment has a unique design incorporating symbols of the local crops of corn and tobacco and the official crest of the fourth Duke of Bedford, John Russell. Encircling the grounds like silent sentinels stand monuments to veterans of the American Revolution, Civil War and World War II. Main Street, Bedford. Noteworthy is the D-Day monument commemorating Bedford’s considerable losses on June 6, 1946.

3. Centertown Plaza
Intersection of E./W. Main Street and N./S. Bridge Street
Bedford, VA 24523

centertown 1Home of the iconic Bedford Clock, Centertown Plaza pays host to 2nd Fridays events, live music, and other community gatherings. It was the original site of People’s  Bank and when it moved, the old building was torn down and the property was vacant for many years with trees and shrubs becoming overgrown and thick. When it was cleared for restoration, there was even an abandoned car that had served as shelter for a period of time.

>>> Side trip: Visit Clam Diggers Pub and The Social Club on S. Bridge Street; and Bedford Presbyterian Church, one of the oldest churches in Bedford. Also visit the Farmer’s Market Pavilion. Click here for hours.

4. Bedford Meeting House
149 W. Main Street

Bedford, VA 24523
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This interesting Greek Revival structure was built in 1838 as the first meeting house for Methodist in Liberty. In 1886, it was reconsecrated as St. Phillip’s Episcopal Church and became a place of worship for former slaves and a day school for their children. It was restored by the Bedford Historical Society in 1970 and is listed on the National Register of Historic places as well as the Virginia Landmarks Register. www.bedfordhistory.org

5. Piedmont Label Factory

311 West Depot Street (but you over look it on E. Main Street)
Bedford, VA 24523

Photo from Virginia Living

You’ll recognize their labels anywhere and this is where they started. 

Originally established to help local businesses with their commercial printing needs, the company eventually turned its focus to the production of labels for consumer product goods packaging.  Article: The Roanoke Star     Article: Virginia Living

>>> Side trip: Visit the Blue Lady for refreshments and the Labyrinth Spa for a quick tour in their garden maze.

Turn Right on to 4th Street.

6. Fisher’s Restaurant

504 4th Street
Bedford, VA 24523
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A blast from the past, this restaurant is back in the family and serves up a menu very similar to the original, all home-cooked and southern-style. Centrally located to the Piedmont Label factory and the old train station, it was a favorite of locals coming off their shift at Piedmont Label and those traveling by train, including our Bedford Boys. 

Continue on to Bedford Avenue bearing right.

7. Liberty Station  

515 Bedford Avenue
Bedford, VA 24523
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Another landmark, Liberty Station is now a restaurant located within the original stone walls of the passenger train station. The revered Bedford Boys, the men of the 116th Infantry, left for service from this very station. When passenger service ended, it was established in 2001 as a full-service, locally owned and operated eatery. It is on the National Register of Historic Districts.


Continue on to Bedford Avenue to Avenel Avenue and turn left. 

8. Avenel
413 Avenel Avenue
Bedford, VA 24523

Historic Avenel, circa 1838, was the focal point of a 200-acre plantation that has served as the centerpiece in the social, cultural and political life of Bedford for over 150 years. It has played host to many distinguished visitors including General Robert E. Lee and Edgar Allan Poe. The unique and original architectural features of the house make it one of the region’s treasures. Avenel is listed in the National Register of Historic Places and the Virginia Landmarks Register. Tours or functions scheduled by appointment.

>>> Side trip: Visit the bed and breakfast, Inn at Avenel. Walk Peaks Street for some of the oldest homes and gardens in Bedford.

Continue on Avenel and turn right on Peaks Street, then turn right on N. Bridge Street. 

9. St. John’s Episcopal Church and Tiffany Windows

314 N. Bridge Street
Bedford, VA 24523
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Founded in the 1840’s , St. John’s has been at its current location since 1923.  St. John’s beautiful Tiffany window was a gift from Lettie Pate in 1924 and are well-worth seeing!

10. The Charles and Louise Wharton House

315 N. Bridge Street
Bedford, VA 24523
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Built circa 1833, this brick house is the home to the Bedford Historical Society. 

>>> Side trip: Make sure to stop in back and see the Louise Wharton Memorial Gardens that connect the home to the library and Town Kitchen & Provisions. 

11. Town Kitchen & Provisions and The Wharton Cottage

309 N. Bridge Street
Bedford, VA 24523
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Built circa 1841, the Wharton House is now the artisan restaurant, Town Kitchen Provisions. It is known as Bedford’s Culinary Gathering Place. Market, Bistro, Cellar.


12. The Bower Center for the Arts
309 N. Bridge Street
Bedford, VA 24523
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The building itself has a rich and varied history. It is actually comprised of two buildings, with the original structure having been built in 1880. It was originally the home to the Bedford Christian Church, and in fact the performance hall is housed in the old sanctuary and the natural acoustics create a wonderful setting for the performing arts. Today, the Bower Center is  a a non-profit art center that promotes the cultural arts in the Bedford area. It is currently undergoing a multi-million dollar renovation.

13. The Shops on N. Bridge and Depot Streets

N. Bridge Street and Depot Street
Bedford, VA 24523

20140610_154211This 2 street corridor features antique and specialty shops, art galleries, cafes and restaurants in historic buildings. To learn more about these, click here.


14. The Corner  Building at Bridge and Maincentertown 1

N. Bridge Street and Depot Street
Bedford, VA 24523

Today, this building is home to Dr. Fogsmith’s Vaporium and Happy Coffee, but during WWII, this building was Green’s Pharmacy and was the location where the war telegrams arrived, bringing news of D-Day.

Turn right on E. Main Street to return to Museum.