I am not an outdoorsy person.
I came to terms with that fact ages ago.
And, being the forward thinking individual that I am, I purposefully selected a spouse that felt similarly. You know, to ensure maximum life enjoyment in the long term. All was well until we had children. And, all three of those children, being the stereotypical boys I only read about in my youth, enjoy being outdoors. They like basking in it. They like experiencing it. And they like rubbing it all over every inch of themselves.
So we’ve, slowly but surely, begun to indulge this desire.
When the opportunity to explore Natural Bridge, Virginia arose, we jumped at the possibility to experience a hybrid vacation of sorts: indoor sleeping and dining, with just a hint of outdoorsy-ness to allow for maximum enjoyment for all family members.
If you too are looking for a way to indulge in the natural beauty of America’s landscape without having to sleep on the ground, pee in the woods, or be eaten to death by mosquito, this should help!
5 Reasons to Visit Natural Bridge, Virginia
1. It’s Amazing!
At one point, the Natural Bridge itself was even considered a wonder of the world, because when you find yourself standing at the base of the 34 story high bridge you seriously start to wonder. About the meaning of life. About the history of the world. About how the heck a river could make something so insanely big! Fortunately, the Natural Bridge people knew you’d have questions, and their friendly guides, stationed at the bottom of the bridge periodically throughout the day, are able to answer most of them. They leave the meaning of life question up to you!
2. It’s good exercise.
By the time we were ready to go home, we’d walked miles. Not so many we wanted to cry, but enough that at the end of the night, the kids were more than ready for bed; and so were we. The hike from the bridge up to the falls is a little over a mile. The Natural Bridge Caverns have hundreds of steps to traverse. There are walking trails to explore, and a gift shop we hustled around numerous times. It’s not a lounging vacation by any stretch of the imagination, but even those of us who aren’t super fit or very enthusiastic about the prospect of sweating can handle it with little more than an occasional grimace.
3. It’s educational fun.
We learned so much on this trip. Historical things (George Washington himself has ties to the bridge), ecological things (the butterfly garden is a perfect study of how the beautiful, winged insect interacts with the environment), geological things (the formation of that rock just blows my mind), even biological things (the snake we saw eating the heck out of a bullfrog was the highlight of our trip). Everyone knows science in action is fun. This trip? Totally that.
4. It’s action packed.
From the caverns to the bridge, to the rainy part of the afternoon we spent exploring the butterfly garden and the toy museum, the activities offered at the bridge are numerous. The Dudes enjoyed the caverns most, followed closely by hiking up to the falls, and visiting the Monacan Indian Village on the way.
5. It’s family friendly and affordable.
The hotel rooms at the Natural Bridge Hotel were spacious; with a roll away bed we had ample space for our family of five. And, most importantly, the food in the dining room was delicious! We enjoyed a wonderful all-you-can-eat seafood buffet Friday night and an even more wonderful all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet Saturday morning. Add to the tastiness the fact that the service was amazing and the staff was beyond friendly and entertaining and you can see why my boys had such a blast even when we weren’t hiking the trails or playing spelunkers in the caverns.