Adventure Us: Liberty Station, Bedford

The quiet town of Bedford is home to a number of attractions well worth visiting, many of them centered on its rich and sometimes tragic history. Its scenic location along the Blue Ridge, its outdoor opportunities like Falling Creek Park, its World War II heritage (memorialized in the Bedford Boys Museum and the D-Day Memorial) all warrant a day trip from Roanoke. When you make the trip, Liberty Station is a great lunch choice with a unique historic ambience.

Liberty Station is a restaurant located in Bedford’s old train depot, and it makes the most of its historic setting. The original building (destroyed by fire) dated back to the beginning of the 1900s when the railroad industry – centered on the Norfolk & Western railroad – became the heart of Roanoke and the surrounding region. At that time, the Bedford station was a hub of activity for the local community, with round-the-clock service for passengers, freight, and mail. The era of rail flourished for decades; it was from this station that the Bedford Boys set out to offer their heroic and tragic service to our country in World War II.

Today, it’s a different era, and though freight trains still rumble by on the adjacent Norfolk Southern tracks, the glory days of passenger rail are gone. But the building continues to remain a destination. Beautifully restored and part of Bedford’s Historic District, its interior is decorated with timetables, a ticket booth, vintage wooden benches, and many other artifacts from its days as a busy Norfolk & Western passenger depot. Inside, the Liberty Station restaurant daily serves up delicious and diverse fare. Known for its unique variety of seafood, American homestyle dishes, and acclaimed cheesecake desserts, Liberty Station is a perfect place to enjoy old comfort foods – or find new ones. On our visit we experienced friendly and courteous service to complement the excellent meal. As you savor your food, you can enjoy perusing the historical artifacts and paintings, or meditating on the austere faces of the old N&W presidents glaring down at you from their portraits on the wall. 

Liberty Station restaurant celebrates its 20th anniversary this year; however, as has been the case with many local establishments, the recent pandemic has taken its toll on the restaurant. Recently the owners announced reduced business hours; they are now open Tuesday through Saturday. We would encourage anyone travelling in this direction to stop and enjoy the food and atmosphere here. The story of the Bedford community is worth exploring, and Liberty Station is one of many local businesses worth supporting! 

Name: Liberty Station, 515 Bedford Avenue, Bedford, VA

Time from Roanoke: 45 minutes

Activity Options: Good food and local Bedford history

Nearby Attractions: National D-Day Memorial, Bedford Boys Tribute Center, Falling Creek Park 

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Cristy Carr

Cristy and her family keep busy writing, tutoring, homeschooling, homesteading, and adventuring in the beautiful Appalachian mountains.
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