Held sacred by the local Monacan people and bought from King George in 1774 by Thomas Jefferson, the 215-foot-high notch of Natural Bridge (540/291-1326, daily, $8 adults) is a remarkable piece of geologic acrobatics. Spanning some 90 feet, the thick stone arch bridges Cedar Creek at the bottom of a steeply walled canyon. To see the Natural Bridge, which is heralded as one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World (others on the list include Niagara Falls, Yellowstone, and Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland), you have to buy a ticket from the visitors center at the park.
The Natural Bridge Park Hotel and Conference Center ($79 and up), located across the street from the state park, has 88 rooms and two suites and a 30-room Veranda Room annex building across the road. The colonial dining room serves breakfast and dinner, with outdoor dining on the veranda and popular weekend buffets