Thomas Jefferson, who once owned it, called Natural Bridge “the most sublime of nature’s works.” Even in Jefferson’s time, the bridge was visited by guests from many countries and over the years, and various entrepreneurs launched resort lodging operations there.
The current lodging—the Natural Bridge Historic Hotel and Conference Center— provides accommodations for both the business and vacation traveler. With ready access to both the Caverns at Natural Bridge (open March through November) and Natural Bridge State Park, the hotel offers 118 rooms and two suites, with splendid views of the surrounding mountains. It’s easily reached from I-81 (exits 180 and 175), and is near I-64, the Blue Ridge Parkway, and the Roanoke Airport.
Anita Aaron, Director of Sales at the hotel, told us, “The historic hotel– referred to as the ‘Grand Ole Lady’ in year’s past –is charming, unique, historic and comfortable. With grand views of the Blue Ridge Mountains, lots of the great outdoors to explore from hiking to kayaking to the Natural Bridge State Park, there is something for everyone.”
Aaron also commented on the dining options at the hotel. “Great culinary experiences await you in our Colonial Dining Room with signature buffets such as our Seafood Buffet featured every Friday night, and our holiday favorites – Thanksgiving Buffet and our Easter Buffet. The dining room features Breakfast Buffet’s daily during the Spring – Fall.”
Other dining options at the hotel include the Cedar Creek Café (seasonal), the Archway Deli (November 1 through March 1), and The Red Fox Tavern.
The hotel is also part of the Virginia Green Lodging program, which seeks to minimize the tourism industry’s impact on the environment. Sheets, towels and linens are not washed unnecessarily, water and energy conservation measure are in place, and materials like glass, cardboard, aluminum and even kitchen grease are recycled.
Discount package are available for AAA, AARP and the military.
See a video about the hotel here.
Natural Bridge, Virginia’s newest state park, is a 215-foot tall limestone formation carved out by Cedar Creek. Nearby views of the Blue Ridge Mountains and the James River valley are accessible from six miles of hiking trails, including the Cedar Creek Trail, which leads from the bridge to the Monacan Indian Village and the 30-foot Lace Falls. Living history programs connect you to the past and cover how people once used the area’s resources for survival. Start at the visitor center where you will find exhibits and a gift shop. Admission per person is $6 for ages 6-12 and $8 for those 13 and older.
Whether you go for the bridge itself, the caverns or to do business, Aaron stressed the diversity of pleasures that can be found in this area. She concluded, “There is so much to see, experience, and explore in our great region from local breweries, wineries, small town charm and unique shopping, to great local eateries, family fun attractions, museums, unique music venues, local festivals and events. You surely don’t want to miss out on the fun.”