Tourism magnets on Virginia’s Main Streets

It’s no newsflash for Main Street communities that cultural heritage and history-based tourism can bring meaningful revenue downtown. Here are a few examples of strategic investments and attractions affecting Main Street communities. They’re gathered by our friends at the Virginia Department of Historic Resources (DHR). To sign up for DHR’s news clips, contact: Randy Jones.

Tourism and Rail in Lynchburg: When city and state officials worked toward getting a second Amtrak train from Lynchburg to Washington, D.C. the idea was to get travelers to Washington. But there are also things to see and do in Lynchburg. And the city’s tourism officials are working on making the Hill City a destination for those getting on the train in Washington. In April, the region will participate in a Virginia Tourism Corporation advertising blitz in D.C. metro stations. To learn more, read the article in the News and Advance.

Natural History in Martinsville: Visitors to the Virginia Museum of Natural History can examine and compare different specimens of dinosaurs, as several large skeleton casts of dinosaurs will be on display in the new exhibit: Messages from the Mesozoic, including a 40-foot-long Acrocanthosaurus and a 12-foot-long feathered Deinonychus, both of which date back more than 100 million years. The dinosaurs on display are believed to have roamed in Virginia and other places. The only pieces of evidence of dinosaurs in Virginia found so far are footprints, or other trace fossils. For more information, read the Martinsville Bulletin article.

Frontier Heritage in Smyth County: The Appalachian Regional Commission awarded a $17,500 for the Settlers Museum in Smyth County. The museum plans to undertake development of a master strategic plan, including a physical assessment of its historic farm structures to prioritize critical structural repairs, development of concepts for additional programming, and an agricultural tourism feasibility study. The museum’s 67 acres feature a restored 19th-century living history farm complete with farmhouse and eight original outbuildings, plus the restored 1894 one-room Lindamood school. For more information read the article in Southwest Virginia Today.