By Roger Cox, Editor
Founded in 1901, this liberal arts and sciences college for women covers 3,250 acres of meadows, woodlands, and lakes in the eastern foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The campus has 14 hard courts (4 with lights), a large gym, two lakes for swimming, boating and fishing, an Olympic-size indoor pool, an 18-station Parcours trail, two athletic fields, nature sanctuaries, and trails for walking, hiking, and jogging. Campers stay in air-conditioned dorms (with the option of a bed-and-breakfast as an alternative) and dine on better than average cafeteria food, which includes homemade yogurt and ice cream from local dairy farms. Van der Meer Tennis offers several adult programs over the summer, including weekend clinics, boomer clinics (50+), and a special session of Tennis University, for those looking to learn how to teach. Accommodations are available in air-conditioned dormitories, both single and double rooms, though there are also several nearby inns, one campus.
Tennis Programs. Each summer, the Dennis Van der Meer organization supplements its Hilton Head clinics with very economical sessions at Sweet Briar College in the Blue Ridge Mountain foothills. Although mostly directed by senior staff, these 3-to-5-day programs on selected dates in summer.
Courts & Fees. There are 14 outdoor hard courts (4 with lights) and another 3 indoors at the Upchurch Field House.
Fitness Center. The campus has a fully equipped field house at athletic center containing a complete fitness center, running track, indoor competitive swimming pool, a floor lined for a variety of sports (field hockey, lacrosse, tennis, and soccer), and an indoor batting cage.
And ... Outdoors there are multi-use fields, horseback riding stables, and extensive biking trails.
Air-conditioned dormitories, set up as suites, doubles and singles. There is also an on-campus bed-and-breakfast, The Florence Elston Inn (804-381-6207).
Better than average cafeteria food, which includes homemade yogurt and ice cream from local dairy farms. There's also Daisy's Café, a coffee shop and gathering place.
For comparison's sake, also take a look at:
Adult programs run on selected weekends, primarily in June. Packages are available with instruction only or with dormitory accommodations and cafeteria meals (somewhat better than you'd expect in both cases).
Visit the website for current rates
Travel Instructions. By Air: The nearest airport is Lynchburg Regional Airport (LYH), 20 miles south of Sweet Briar. Taxis and car rental services are available there. By Train: The Amtrak Crescent and the Amtrak Carolinian run through Lynchburg daily. By Car: The campus is on U.S. 29, 12 miles north of Lynchburg, Virginia. The college is 100 miles west of Richmond, 30 miles east of Lexington, 45 miles south of Charlottesville, and 165 miles southwest of Washington, DC.
General Tourist Information. For general information about the area around Sweet Briar, check out the Amherst County Tourism website.