Unique Staycations: Natural Bridge more than a bridge - WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va

Unique Staycations: Natural Bridge more than a bridge

Posted: Updated:

As the summer vacation season gets underway, you don't have to go to an exotic location to make lasting memories with your friends and family.  All this week WSLS 10 is highlighting some of the unique places you can visit right in your backyard -- including Natural Bridge.

The Ferrell family is on a mission to visit all 50 states before their kids graduate from high school.  And on their road trip through Virginia, they decided to stop at Natural Bridge.

"It's really a lot bigger than I expected," said Brandy Ferrell.  "It's wonderful."

And she's not just talking about unique rock formations.

"We did not realize how much we had to do here," said Ferrell.  "The wax museum and all the other things that are here, there's a lot to do."

"We were expecting you stop beside the road and look at it," said Gary Ferrell.

Natural Bridge General Manager Don Henk says that's a common misconception people have when they come to the park for the first time.  But they quickly learn this is no roadside attraction -- it's a destination.

"We're just looking to become more and more family friendly," said Henk.  "Families are our number one market."

In addition to the bridge, visitors can enjoy a butterfly garden with butterflies from around the world, picturesque trails and waterfalls, a wax museum that tells the history of Natural Bridge, a replica Monocan Indian village, the deepest caverns on the East Coast, a full service hotel, and as of this week, a brand new kids area called Jefferson's Playground.  It features dozens of arcade games, a gemstone panning river, and a playground modeled after the cabin Thomas Jefferson built when he owned Natural Bridge.

"Nature is not for everybody," said Henk.  "Sometimes the parents really enjoy the nature part, but the kids, not so much.  So we just wanted something extra."

Henk says the extra amenities help to enhance the magic and allure of Natural Bridge and gives guests an experience they can't get anywhere else.

"There are a lot places where you can go to a park -- but how many parks can you go to that were once owned by Thomas Jefferson?" said Henk.  "Where can you go and see George Washington's initials carved in stone?  The combination of the history of the property along with the feel of nature we have here, I think, does a lot for our guests."

The Ferrells say they agree.

"The kids will really remember some of the other things that are here," said Ferrell.

Natural Bridge is located just off I-81 (Exit 175) in Rockbridge County and is open daily from 9:00am - 6:00pm. 

Tickets include access to the Natural Bridge, the butterfly garden, Cedar Creek nature trail, Monocan Indian Village, Wax Museum, and Jefferson's Playground (arcade games and panning river are extra).  For an additional fee, you can also take a guided tour of the Natural Bridge Caverns.

Tickets are $20.99 for adults and $11.99 for kids 12 and under.  For more information about Natural Bridge, visit www.naturalbridgeva.com.

  • Most Popular VideosMost Popular VideosMore>>

  • Love Week Starts

    Love Week Starts

    One church in Roanoke is helping others get a head start on back to school supplies. About 25 volunteers packed 250 back packs full of pencils, notebooks and tissues for Straight Street.
    One church in Roanoke is helping others get a head start on back to school supplies. About 25 volunteers packed 250 back packs full of pencils, notebooks and tissues for Straight Street.
  • Confederate Flag Protest in Lexington

    Confederate Flag Protest in Lexington

    Organizers from the Sons of the Confederate Veterans held a rally in Lexington. This comes after the administration at Washington and Lee University recently decided to remove Confederate battle flags from Lee Chapel.
    Organizers from the Sons of the Confederate Veterans held a rally in Lexington. This comes after the administration at Washington and Lee University recently decided to remove Confederate battle flags from Lee Chapel.
  • Crash on Interstate 81 in Montgomery Co.

    Crash on Interstate 81 in Montgomery Co.

    We're told one person was transported by Lifeguard 10 to the hospital. The accident involved a tractor trailer and an ambulance. All lanes are now back open.
    We're told one person was transported by Lifeguard 10 to the hospital. The accident involved a tractor trailer and an ambulance. All lanes are now back open.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • DUI accident in Roanoke closes part of I-81 North

    DUI accident in Roanoke closes part of I-81 North

    DUI accident in Roanoke closes part of I-81 North

    Monday, July 28 2014 4:16 AM EDT2014-07-28 08:16:28 GMT
    ROANOKE (WSLS) - Part of Interstate 581 in Roanoke was shut down early this morning following what police say was a DUI crash.The accident happened around 3:10 a.m. Police say a man was driving a truck when he lost control and flipped.He was arrested for driving under the influence.All northbound lanes will be reopened to traffic momentarily.
    ROANOKE (WSLS) - Part of Interstate 581 in Roanoke was shut down early this morning following what police say was a DUI crash.The accident happened around 3:10 a.m. Police say a man was driving a truck when he lost control and flipped.He was arrested for driving under the influence.All northbound lanes will be reopened to traffic momentarily.
  • Prostitution sting nets 31 arrests

    Prostitution sting nets 31 arrests

    Tuesday, April 20 2010 11:21 PM EDT2010-04-21 03:21:00 GMT
    31 people are in trouble with the law after a three day prostitution sting in Richmond. Police told NBC12 they targeted specific areas where residents and business owners complained about the illegal activity.
  • Fugitive Friday: Central Virginia's Most Wanted

    Fugitive Friday: Central Virginia's Most Wanted

    Friday, July 25 2014 8:49 AM EDT2014-07-25 12:49:07 GMT
    Fugitive Fridays tracks down Central Virginia's most wanted. Take a look at the photos and see if you can help police track down these suspects.
    Fugitive Friday helps track down Central Virginia's Most Wanted.
Powered by WorldNow

WSLS 10, P.O. Box 10
Roanoke, VA 24022-0010

Telephone: 540.981.9110
Fax: 540.343.3157
Email: news@wsls.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.