Bedford, Virginia: Virginia's Holy Land USAWhy slog halfway around the world for biblical sights when you can visit them on a Virginia farm? The ark and lots of animals are on hand, too.
- Off Dickerson Mills Road.
- Nov. 2009 - reported closed. Auction in Dec.
Visitor Tips and News About Virginia's Holy Land USA
Bad news from the Roanoke Times: "Holy Land USA, a Bedford County theme park that offers tours of replicated biblical sites to tell the story of Jesus, is up for auction -- the victim of high upkeep costs and low attendance.
According to TRF Auctions of Lynchburg, the property will be auctioned as five separate tracts, though bidders will have the opportunity to bid on the property as a whole. The company's Web site touts the property as ideal for use as a camp, church facility, corporate retreat, recreational land or timber investment."
Dodson said Holy Land USA Inc. can refuse to sell the park if the winning bid is deemed too low, in which case, they will try to reopen next year.[Rick Wood, 11/19/2010]
I use to go to The Holy Land USA in Bedford VA all the time when I was a kid. We use to take my children also when I got married. I called the Holy Land USA and they opened April 1st according to the voice mail. It's a really neat experience. I plan on taking my Awana Children.[Janet, 04/12/2008]
I can verify that the Holy Land is still closed. All you can see from the road are a couple of giant crosses and what's apparently a historical Biblical-era transport that blocks the entrance.
As I bought my Holy Land postcards at the Bedford Area Welcome Center, the woman at the register said, "It's a shame that place had to close, and I don't think it's ever going to re-open. The people that own it have just gotten too old to keep up with it."[Dean Jeffrey, 10/21/2007]
April 2008: Holy Land USA is back in business; its closing was only temporary.
I was reading the story on Holy Land USA in Waterbury, CT. I have an eerie, yet almost identical, roadside adventure. I have been visiting this Holy Land USA since I was a child.
My gandfather was a local minister in Bedford, VA, and we would have the big family "gettogether." here. We would always stay in "the Ark" -- an enormous 3-story cabin that was made to look like Noah's Ark. I can remember sitting down to Thanksgiving dinner one year and there were tours that would come through -- peering through the windows -- as if we were part of the exhibit.
It comes complete with dilapidated old buildings, and something called "the nothing" -- by far the most artistically created piece in the park. There's also the little town of Bethlehem, complete with creepy old figures, half lit displays, and lots and lots of animals running free throughout the park.[J. Carton, 09/23/2002]
An old favorite of ours, chronicled in the first Roadside America book. It's a 250-acre Bible-themed nature sanctuary that relies on donations and the occasional gift shop buying binge. Wonder if they still sell the souvenir Crown of Thorns and nails "like those used to crucify our Lord"? December 2007: Added this photo from Elizabeth Massie's visit in 1994, here in front of "King Herod's Idol" folk art contraption.