Lynchburg is a small Virginia city with an Old South feel and views of the Blue Ridge and Appalachian mountains. Downtown is a mix of old and new, and the city is known for the historic districts of refined homes on the surrounding hilltops. Five of these districts are included in the National Register of Historic Districts. Additionally, five small colleges give a minor college-town feel. The area has a few good museums and modest entertainment assets. Mountains to the west and Smith Mountain Lake to the south offer above average outdoor recreation.
Cost of Living and housing are moderate among Virginia’s metropolitan areas. The economy is supported by steel pipe and furniture manufacturing, healthcare and an assortment of smaller businesses. The city has had problems with urban sprawl, particularly to the southeast and in the downtown area, to the extent that it became a court battleground for the sprawl-producing practice of annexation. Downtown is on the mend, but there are still areas of neglect.
Lynchburg is situated in the James River Valley at the eastern edge of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Nearby terrain is hilly with deciduous forest and sheltered valleys. The marine-influenced continental climate is usually pleasant. Summers are warm and fairly humid with cool evening breezes and cooler conditions in nearby hills. Rainfall is evenly distributed throughout the year with frequent summer thunderstorms. Fall brings periods of cloudy, cool weather with high humidity and light rain or drizzle. Winter cold fronts bring dry, invigorating air with clear skies. There are snow showers, but the mountains to the west block many storms, high winds, and blasts of bitter cold. First freeze is late October, last is mid-April.