"Seven Natural Wonders of the World?" Natural Bridge by etfromnc

Natural Bridge Travel Guide: 31 reviews and 165 photos

To my mind, advertising and marketing have gotten totally out of hand. Hype is an unfortunate part of the Western World. I went to Natural Bridge as a young child and was really "blown away" by its beauty and grandeur. (At that time, I had not seen the Grand Canyon, Iguasu Falls, nor Lassithi.) I have been back a few times since and still think that it is a great place to visit, alone, with your family, or with that "special someone."

Unfortunately, Natural Bridge has now become a cottage industry. The inn, caverns, gift shop, etc. have been there as long as I can remember, but I do not remember the hype. For example, I have searched Google (not exhaustively but quite a bit) and I cannot find any list of "wonders of the world" which includes Natural Bridge, VA. Yet, the brochures, postcards, etc. which are produced by that cottage industry proclaim it as "One of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World." While I feel that this hype is unfortunate, I would not recommend that you pass it up for that reason, just be aware that it is not Ayers Rock nor the Sahara.

What it is is a beautiful part of God's creation where you can get a workout, wade a creek that is always cool and fast (but not dangerously so), share a picnic with those you love (or complete strangers, if you like), and (again, if you like) spend more money than you ever thought that you would for a wooden plaque or a jar of jelly.

During the 18th Century Thomas Jefferson owned the Natural Bridge and I am told that George Washington carved his initials into the bridge, although I have never seen them.

Keep it on your list of places to go when you visit the Lynchburg /Lexington area but if you start having to narrow your list, this should not pre-empt VMI, Robert E. Lee's home, or at least one of the covered bridges in the area.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Beauty, nature, challenging hike
  • Cons:Hype and prices
  • In a nutshell:Great but not as great as "they" would have you believe.
  • Last visit to Natural Bridge: Jul 2000
  • Intro Updated Mar 24, 2004
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etfromnc

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