#LOVEstaunton

#LOVEstaunton

An Insider’s Guide to the Queen City Potter Party

Staunton transforms into the village of Hogsmeade on Saturday, July 30 from midday to midnight as the Queen City celebrates Harry Potter’s birthday and the release of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – Parts I & II. Wizards and muggles from near and far are invited to attend for a bit of magic and mystery, lessons … Continue reading An Insider’s Guide to the Queen City Potter Party

Staunton transforms into the village of Hogsmeade on Saturday, July 30 from midday to midnight as the Queen City celebrates Harry Potter’s Queen City Potter Partybirthday and the release of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – Parts I & II. Wizards and muggles from near and far are invited to attend for a bit of magic and mystery, lessons in potions and spells, and more. 

Norberta the Dragon is the official greeter of Hogsmeade. Take a selfie with her!

Marauder’s Map

Your first goal: Obtain the Marauder’s Map to locate all of the sites in Hogsmeade, as most of the Queen City Potter Party locations are a secret. Here are three to tease and get you started.

1. Three Broomsticks (also known as Baja Bean) is where you’ll find delicious, non-alcoholic Butter Beer!

2. Dogweed & Deathcap (also known as The Sacred Circle) is hosting tarot and crystal ball readings, as well as fantastic special merchandise.

3. Gladrags Wizardwear (also known as Grandma’s Bait) is giving away prizes for the best children’s costumes.

Horcrux Hunting

Take on the task of Horcrux Hunting when you download Traipse, an app that will help you find them all. We must destroy He Who Shall Not Be Named! Two levels are available: Muggle and Potter Prefects.

The Book

Can’t wait to have Harry Potter and The Cursed Child in your sweaty little palms? Pre-order it through The Sacred Circle and do the broomstick happy dance at the stroke of midnight on July 31.  (PLEASE NOTE: Pufferbellies is sold out!)

The Schedule

There is plenty to see and do from noon until midnight, including Harry Potter themed shopping and dining! Plan to stay the night.

12-10 Butter Beer at Three Broomsticks

12-9 Glitter Lightning Bolt Tattoos at Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes

12-9 Triwizard Beanboozled Tourney at Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes

12-10 Sorting into Hogwarts Houses at Hogwarts Great Hall

1-2:30 Fantastic Squirrels & Where to Find Them Ghost Tour at Mary Baldwin College (MBC) Admissions Building. Tours start every 45 minutes

1-4 Wild Beast Taming at the Magickal Menagerie

1-6 Potter Party t-shirts at Platform 9 3/4

2-4 Spell Book Making at Flourish & Botts

2-6 The Heads of all four Hogwarts Houses will be on the streets of Hogsmeade

2-6 Transfiguration with Professor Un and Wand Making at Scrivenshaft’s Quill Shop

2-9 Wanted Wizards Photos at Dervish & Banges

2-9 Sword Making & Wizard Dueling at a yet to be announced location

3-5 Professor Trelawney Tarot & Crystal Ball Readings at Dogweed & Deathcap

3:15 Herbology: Weird Weeds & Fantastical Fungi at MBC Greenhouse with Professor Epps

4-5 Potion Making at Slugs & Jiggers

5:15 Magic & the Mind: Harry Potter & Psychology series with trivia and prizes at MBC Francis Auditorium  

     – Why Beasts are Fantastic: Harry Potter & the Magic of Nature

     – How JK Rowling Banished Her Dementors

     – Auror with PTSD: What We Can Learn from MadEye Moody

6-8 Divine Divinations at Magickal Menagerie

6:30 Costume Contest for Young Wizards at Gladrags Wizardwear (newborn-12yo)

7 Festive Dinner with Special Guests at the Three Broomsticks

7:30 Heifetz Hootenanny featuring music from Harry Potter (TICKETS REQUIRED FOR SEATING) at MBC Terrace

8-10 Advanced Transfiguration at Hog’s Head

9:30 and 10:30 Queen City Fire Circus behind Gringotts

11 Harry Potter Birthday Party at Three Broomsticks

12:01 a.m. The Cursed Child book is yours IF you pre-order at Pufferbellies!

Additional Info

Dress up! Special event merchandise and cool finds will be available at Hogsmeade merchants, such as handmade, unfinished, wooden wands at Dogweed & Deathcap!

The Queen City Potter Party promises to be an entertaining family-friendly event, but pets must be leashed and may not be permitted into stores or restaurants.

Heifetz at 20: A Daily Celebration of Music in Staunton

Summer in Staunton is exciting for many reasons, but one is the music of Heifetz Institute’s Summer Festival. Daily celebrations of noon performances and evening concerts make Staunton a vibrant cultural destination. Plan a date night around something beautiful or enjoy happy hour entertainment before a great dinner nearby. CALENDAR CHECK THIS OUT Heifetz Hootenanny is … Continue reading Heifetz at 20: A Daily Celebration of Music in Staunton

Heifetz International Music Institute
Heifetz International Music Institute

Summer in Staunton is exciting for many reasons, but one is the music of Heifetz Institute’s Summer Festival. Daily celebrations of noon performances and evening concerts make Staunton a vibrant cultural destination. Plan a date night around something beautiful or enjoy happy hour entertainment before a great dinner nearby. CALENDAR

CHECK THIS OUT

Heifetz Hootenanny is a Saturday night open air concert filled with lively, down-home sounds. Expect to hear roots, Celtic, jazz, folk, and probably a few other genres at this fun jam session. Local musicians join the Heifetz students in this event. General admission is only $10 or $15 for two!

New for this 20th anniversary is HeifetzPEG, a class of young, exceptionally gifted string musicians between the ages of 8 and 13. They will present their own “graduation recital” on Friday, August 6 at 3 p.m. It’s an exciting celebration all its own for these young musicians.

Salute all the fun with a taste of a special collaboration craft beer! Heifetz International Music, Shenandoah Hops, and Three Notch’d Brewery came together to produce Heifetz-Weizen. You can find it at Shenandoah Hops while you’re in town.

ABOUT The HEIFETZ INTERNATIONAL MUSIC INSTITUTE

The Heifetz Institute’s Summer Program is an intensive, honorable opportunity for outstanding string musicians between the ages of 13 and 25 to receive instruction from the world’s best music faculty and performers. Two hours of one-on-on instruction is provided to each student each week, as well as multiple performance opportunities and various training and coaching sessions.

Gypsy Hill Park: The Place for Summer Entertainment

Locals and visitors, rejoice! There is near-nightly summer entertainment at Gypsy Hill Park, one of the jewels in the Staunton Parks & Recreation crown. Pack yourself a local picnic and spread out on the lawn for a terrific evening of music and family fun. MONDAY NIGHTS 8 p.m. June through August: Find The Stonewall Bridgade Band … Continue reading Gypsy Hill Park: The Place for Summer Entertainment

Gypsy Hill Park 2

Locals and visitors, rejoice! There is near-nightly summer entertainment at Gypsy Hill Park, one of the jewels in the Staunton Parks & Recreation crown. Pack yourself a local picnic and spread out on the lawn for a terrific evening of music and family fun.

MONDAY NIGHTS

8 p.m. June through August: Find The Stonewall Bridgade Band on the bandstand. It is the oldest continuous community band in the country, dating to 1855. Initially a brass band, now it’s a full concert band of at least 70 performers from the 120-strong roster of musicians. Each concert is different and includes a variety of genres. Of special note is July 18, a concert created just for the kids and featuring their favorite music from Looney Tunes and Sesame Street to Disney and Spongebob Squarepants.

TUESDAY NIGHTS

7 p.m. in July and August: Praise in the Park is a series of concerts of gospel, contemporary, and hip hop Christian music along with family activities like free pony rides (July 5) and free pizza and soda (August 16). Concessions are available.

WEDNESDAY NIGHTS

7 p.m. in July and August: Bluegrass! If you love a little pickin’ and grinnin’, this is the night for you. The headliner for opening night (July 6) is SPBGMA Bluegrass Band of the Year and Entertainer of the Year Junior Sisk and Rambler’s Choice. You won’t want to miss this series.

THURSDAY NIGHTS

7 p.m. July through September 1: Jazz in the Park takes control of the bandstand to bring you exciting Big Band, Prohibition era jazz, Blues, and even a little Zydeco this summer. Hot summer nights will only turn up a notch when these exciting entertainers come to Staunton.

FRIDAY NIGHTS

Dusk June through August 5: Family-friendly movies under the stars create memories! Bring your kiddos and a big blanket to Family Nite Flix, lay back and watch some classics like American Graffiti and some new flicks, too, like The Good Dinosaur and Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Concessions will be available.

Saturdays and Sundays in Staunton’s parks are great for swimming, golfing, picnicking, hiking, and biking. Make these green spaces your summer go-to for unwinding any day of the week. Happy Summer!

>> Summer 2016 Event Brochure

A Staunton Beer and Wine Tour

Did you know that Staunton is centrally located to eight Shenandoah Valley craft breweries and wineries? It’s true. Within a 16-mile radius, you can sip and taste wonderful fruits of the vines and bines. Come take a Staunton beer and wine tour with us! DAy One in downtown Plan out your day based on which craft … Continue reading A Staunton Beer and Wine Tour

queen-city-beer-flight
Queen City Brewing

Did you know that Staunton is centrally located to eight Shenandoah Valley craft breweries and wineries? It’s true. Within a 16-mile radius, you can sip and taste wonderful fruits of the vines and bines. Come take a Staunton beer and wine tour with us!

DAy One in downtown

Plan out your day based on which craft attraction opens first. Enjoy a great downtown breakfast and visit Sunspots Studios to watch glass-blowing or to blow your own ornament. Walk across the street to try a wine flight at Ox-Eye Vineyards Tasting Room (open 10 a.m. Saturdays; noon Sunday through Friday). Their patio is a great place to take in the views of the Wharf District while sipping Shy Ox, a summery citrus rosé with a strawberry nose.Beer & Wine

Within walking distance is Byers Street Bistro, a fantastic place for lunch with a great patio for enjoying the fresh air. If you have an eye for fine estate jewelry, firearms, and collectibles, a stop next door at L.Oppelman is a must.

Shenandoah Valley Brewing Company, also in the Wharf District, opens at noon Friday, Saturday, and Sunday; 2 p.m. Thursday and 4 p.m. Wednesday. SVBC is the place to learn about homebrewing and to fill any growler you may have with you. Create your own flight from their 10 taps to mix and match however you choose.

Redbeard Brewing (open 1 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 4 p.m. Wednesday through Thursday and Sunday) is a small batch craft brewery offering six to eight of their beers at a time on tap. Redbeard is not yet distributed, so your only chance to sip what they’re concocting is on the premises. That’s a very cool “drink local” opportunity.

Staunton’s first brewery since Prohibition is Queen City Brewing, which opens at 4 p.m. daily; noon on Saturdays. Their new patio is calling you to enjoy a pint and live music Wednesdays and Fridays. Also try your hand at crafting your very own beer with their Becoming the Brewmaster program.

Stable Craft Beer

Day Two in the country

Fill up on something hearty before hitting the road for more craft adventures. 

Barren Ridge Vineyards (Fishersville) opens at 11 a.m. daily; 1 p.m. Sunday. Their expansive patio boasts incredible pastoral and mountain views. Try a flight, then ask about their sausages, cheeses, crackers, and jams that pair beautifully with your favorite wine.

Seven Arrows Brewing Company (Waynesboro) opens at noon Friday through Sunday and 4 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Select Saturdays feature an event called Om Brew, a yoga class rewarded with a beer afterward. Every Saturday evening features a food truck and live music.

Stable Craft Brewing (Waynesboro) opens at noon Saturday and Sunday, 4 p.m. Friday, and 5 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday. Nestled into a working horse farm, Stable Craft is a cool place to experience a little of the outdoors while tipping back a beer and scarfing down a burger in the Draft Room.

Close out your day with a great downtown dinner, a show at American Shakespeare Center’s Blackfriars Playhouse or a classical concert by Heifitz International Music Institute.

>> PLACES TO STAY

 

ON THE HORIZON

Basic City Beer Co. hopes to open by late summer 2016. Located at 1010 E. Main Street in Waynesboro and a few miles east of Seven Arrows, it will be a fun addition to your “day two” tour from Staunton.

All of the breweries mentioned in this article are members of the Shenandoah Beerwerks Trail.

 

 

Staunton & Shenandoah: 10 Ways to Celebrate 100 Years

2016 marks the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, a momentous occasion worth celebrating. Shenandoah National Park is a mere 20 minutes from downtown Staunton, making our place your home base for outdoor explorations. Gear up at Wilderness Adventure, then pack a picnic loaded with our favorite local goodies. Next, #FindYourPark! Staunton’s Top 10 for Shenandoah Drive the park via … Continue reading Staunton & Shenandoah: 10 Ways to Celebrate 100 Years

North Mt. Marshall Vista Credit: NPS/Neal Lewis
North Mt. Marshall Vista
Credit: NPS/Neal Lewis

2016 marks the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, a momentous occasion worth celebrating. Shenandoah National Park is a mere 20 minutes from downtown Staunton, making our place your home base for outdoor explorations.

Gear up at Wilderness Adventure, then pack a picnic loaded with our favorite local goodies. Next, #FindYourPark!

Staunton’s Top 10 for Shenandoah

Doyles River Falls Credit: NPS
Doyles River Falls
Credit: NPS
  1. Drive the park via Skyline Drive from one end to the other, stopping at overlooks along the way.
  2. Seek out one of 10 gorgeous waterfalls.
  3. Enjoy your picnic, but DO leave room for dessert! The blackberry pie at Skyland Resort is a real treat. 
  4. Climb the park’s highest peak – Hawksbill – for a selfie you won’t forget.
  5. Head to Big Meadows for birdwatching, a part of the park that is home to birds not found in other areas of the park. 
  6. Tag along with your kids on a Junior Ranger Program, an opportunity for ages 7 to 12 to get hands-on with nature.
  7. Go for an Ancient Volcano Hike to get the scoop on the lay of the land.
  8. Try your hand at nature photography. There’s no better place, and there happens to be an August 27th seminar to help you hone your skills.
  9. Settle in atop Little Stony Man Cliffs and await a breathtaking sunset.
  10. Need more blackberries in your life? Come on back to Staunton and toast your day with a Blackberry Wheat Ale at Redbeard Brewing.

Nine Places for Outdoor Dining in Staunton

‘Tis the season to be outside! Fortunately for you, fellow seeker of warmth and sunshine, Staunton has excellent places for outdoor dining. Places you’ll be able to take a deep breath, nosh a bit, and throw back an ice cold drink for lunch, dinner, or after dinner. PATIOS Byers Street Bistro* – Head to the Bistro after … Continue reading Nine Places for Outdoor Dining in Staunton

‘Tis the season to be outside! Fortunately for you, fellow seeker of warmth and sunshine, Staunton has excellent places for outdoor dining. Places you’ll be able to take a deep breath, nosh a bit, and throw back an ice cold drink for lunch, dinner, or after dinner.

PATIOS

Byers Street Bistro* – Head to the Bistro after work or meet friends for an afternoon chill-out beneath the umbrellas on the patio. Happy

Hour deals extend from the bar, so watch for those offerings while enjoying a “shareable” like the fried green tomatoes, fried dill pickles, smoked bacon and corn hushpuppies, or chorizo fondue. In fact, get a plate of each and pass it around.

Cranberry’s Grocery & Eatery* – Shopping downtown around lunch time? Waiting for a show at Blackfriars? Cranberry’s is centrally located!

Cranberry's Grocery & Eatery
Cranberry’s Grocery & Eatery

Try the New Street Burrito (also available as a salad) or a classic BLT paired with a freshly squeezed juice concoction, Mexican Coca-Cola, or Kombucha. There are many cool options at Cranberry’s, and the patio is an excellent place to hang out and take in the city vibe.

The Pampered Palate* – Choose a Staunton-themed sandwich like the Blue Ridge (a vegetarian hummus option) or the Turkey Statler, a two-turkey pita named after the famed Statler Brothers. Add an IBC Root Beer or perhaps a Virginia wine, then head to the patio for great people-watching on Beverley Street.

Lewis Creek Market* – The covered patio is a signature space at Lewis Creek Market, and a table is waiting for you! Try the spicy tuna salad cold plate and fresh fruit salad. It’s a refreshing option on a warm day or evening, especially when you add a local cider, beer, or wine.

George Bowers Grocery – The patio in front of the old schoolhouse on West Beverley Street is a nifty place to be. A self-proclaimed “sandwich, burger, and beer joint,” George Bowers Grocery focuses on serving fresh, local meats. Choose hot dogs, burgers, brats, and pork from nearby Polyface Farm. Go for the pork tacos, a light option for a hot day, then throw on a chocolate milkshake for good measure.

DECKS

The Shack – Chef Ian Boden brings a fresh new menu every day of the week based on whatever is fresh from local producers. The Shack is a busy place and reservations are recommended if you can’t get there early. Having the deck enables more people to enjoy the incredible dishes Chef Boden is slingin’. Popular snacks for your five o’clock wind-down have included pimento cheese with benne biscuit crackers, and Sewansecott oysters on the half shell.

Thai Staunton* – Take your friends straight to the deck at Thai Staunton and order up the Asian sample platter to share while sipping cocktails. The deck overlooks bustling Greenville Avenue, but laughter among friends creates an entirely different atmosphere. 

ROOFTOPS

The Pompei Lounge – The open-air rooftop terrace at The Pompei Lounge is the place to be on a hot summer night. When the sun goes down, the atmosphere becomes electric with live music, plenty of drink offerings, and bar bites that won’t disappoint.

The Pompei Lounge View
The Pompei Lounge View

BREWERIES

Queen City Brewing – Staunton’s first brewery hosts food trucks and musicians each Friday night for an event they call Picks n Pints, and their

Queen City Brewing
Queen City Brewing

brand new deck is an awesome place to hang out and sip one of their 22 tapped options of craft beer. Open Mic Night is Wednesdays, if you need a mid-week evening break.

In conclusion, there are plenty of great options for outdoor dining in Staunton. Get out and enjoy!

*These restaurants welcome well-behaved, leashed dogs on their patios.

A Perfect Picnic Made in Staunton

As the warm weather draws you out to enjoy the beauty of and around Staunton, plan a full day of explorations complete with a perfectly packed picnic. THE BASICS If you need a picnic basket, you’re in luck. Antique stores are known for them (and we have some of those), or you might find your next … Continue reading A Perfect Picnic Made in Staunton

As the warm weather draws you out to enjoy the beauty of and around Staunton, plan a full day of explorations complete with a perfectly packed picnic.

THE BASICS

If you need a picnic basket, you’re in luck. Antique stores are known for them (and we have some of those), or you might find your next handmade heirloom to pass down when you visit Appalachian Pieceworks on Middlebrook Avenue.

 

FOOD & BEVERAGE

Good luck with this one, as you’ll probably wantmore than a picnic basket full of what Staunton has to offer. With a broad stroke of the pen, these are some goodies we think you’ll love to take along.

  • Cranberry’s Club at Cranberry Grocery features house-made cranberry mayo on Newtown sourdough bread.
  • Caromont Plank Road Round cheese pairs well with crusty bread and fruity red or white wine. Pick it up at Yelping Dog.
  • Order a small bowl (or large, if you want) of Gourmet Olives or Waldorf Salad at Lewis Creek Market.
  • Ask for the Hummus Plate to go at George Bowers Grocery. It includes fresh veggies, feta, and crackers. You have our permission to get a cucumber and banana milkshake to go.
  • Swing by The Store for fresh tomatoes or cucumbers (because you need them outside of a milkshake, too).

AND AWAY WE GO …

So where will you enjoy your picnic? Will it be one our parks? How about an overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway? Take a scenic drive and look for a great place to pull over and enjoy the sunshine.

Cheers to eating, loving, and exploring locally!

Eight Events for One Amazing Weekend

◊  ◊  ◊ Your and your guests are cordially invited to~  Staunton Spring Arts Festival Weekend  ~April 21-24, 2016 ◊  ◊  ◊ Eight events promise to keep you entertained and engaged like never before while our hospitality industry rolls out the red carpet. You won’t want to miss a minute! The Events Thursday, April 21 ◊ … Continue reading Eight Events for One Amazing Weekend

◊  ◊  ◊

Your and your guests are cordially invited to
~  Staunton Spring Arts Festival Weekend  ~
April 21-24, 2016

◊  ◊  ◊

Eight events promise to keep you entertained and engaged like never before while our hospitality industry rolls out the red carpet. You won’t want to miss a minute!


The Events

Thursday, April 21

◊ The Queen City Plein Air Festival kicks off with an array of artists set up throughout Staunton, creating beautiful paintings. You will find them here, there, and everywhere … even at the gardens on tour for Historic Garden Tour Day. Look for them Thursday through Sunday.

Friday, April 22

◊ Break out your best frock and hat for an evening Garden Party at Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library & Museum! From 5 to 7:30 p.m. some of Staunton and the Shenandoah Valley’s best food, wine, and craft beer will be served while musician Kathy Lafon creates a jubilant atmosphere. It’s all in support of the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library Garden Fund.
Purchase Tickets

◊ Classical music lovers are in luck this weekend! Staunton Music Festival will be performing two concerts. The first, Beethoven’s Cello Sonatas, will be performed at Trinity Episcopal Church at 7 p.m. Stay until Sunday for the second.
Purchase Tickets

◊ You’ll be blown away when you see the exceptional talent of two Heifetz Institute alumni. Featuring 13-year old violinist Masha Lakisova and 14-year old cellist Isaiah Kim, Heifetz on Tour “Spring in the Valley” Concert will be held at Mary Baldwin College’s Francis Auditorium at 7:30 p.m. All proceeds benefit the Heifetz Institutes’s 20th Anniversary Shenandoah Scholarship Campaign. Enjoy the sneak peek of Masha and Isaiah below.
Purchase Tickets

 

Saturday, April 23

◊ Spanning Saturday and Sunday is the Virginia Hot Glass Festival at Sunspots Studio. It’s

a hot, happenin’ good time of constant glass blowing demonstrations and guest artists showing off their talents. Kids love the fire-breathing dragon and the flaming ray gun. Have a glass of Barren Ridge wine while you peruse the second floor gallery or check out the stone carving across the street. It’s free, fun, and all day long, so see you there!

◊ Dogwood Road is the main path for this year’s Historic Garden Tour Day in Staunton. Set up to be a walkable affair between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m., the tour features those plein air artists mentioned above as well as classical musicians, floral designers, and of course, stunning gardens. See the seven properties at your leisure.
Purchase Tickets

◊ If you want evidence of how dedicated the Staunton community is to each other and preserving history, look no further than the celebration that is Bridge Day at Sears Hill Bridge. Reclaiming the condemned pedestrian bridge connecting the Sears Hill neighborhood to downtown Staunton was a labor of love, dedication, and perseverance that took a little more than two years to accomplish. Enjoy the live music, crafts, great food, and family fun between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m.

◊ It’s the 400th Anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death, but rather than donning black garb and mourning, the American Shakespeare Center is throwing a bash on Market Street! Join in the family-friendly #Shakespeare400 Block Party for free from noon until 6 p.m. If you care to see a show at Blackfriars Playhouse, there will be two available for you. At 2 p.m., Shakespeare’s Julius Casear will be performed. Later, at 7 p.m., the cast of Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest will take the stage.
Purchase Tickets for Julius Caesar
Purchase Tickets for The Importance of Being Earnest

Sunday, April 24

The weekend finale is Staunton Music Festival’s presentation of Schubert’s Final Piano Sonatas at Trinity Episcopal Church at 4 p.m. This concert will be a real treat as Carsten Schmidt performs Franz Schubert’s last two sonatas, D.959 A major and D.960 B-flat major, on an 1830’s fortepiano.
Purchase Tickets

The Accommodations

Shakespeare packages are almost as famous in Staunton as The Bard himself. Choose from these to have a fantastic stay and tickets to one of the Saturday shows:

 

The Food

Sit down for a special one-time seating of a five-course, wine-paired French dinner at Stonewall Jackson Hotel on April 22 at 6:30 p.m. RESERVE

Say you’ll join us?
RSVP

12 Distinctive Staunton Wedding Venues

The flowers are blooming and the trees are filling in nicely in the Staunton area, which means it’s wedding season! Day-dreaming girlfriends and Pinterest-frenzied fiancées, we have a dozen uniquely distinct Staunton wedding venues for your consideration (and pinning!). HISTORIC :: WOODROW WILSON PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARYIf you’ve never seen the historic gardens at Woodrow Wilson’s birthplace, you’re … Continue reading 12 Distinctive Staunton Wedding Venues

The flowers are blooming and the trees are filling in nicely in the Staunton area, which means it’s wedding season! Day-dreaming girlfriends and Pinterest-frenzied fiancées, we have a dozen uniquely distinct Staunton wedding venues for your consideration (and pinning!).

HISTORIC :: WOODROW WILSON PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY
If you’ve never seen the historic gardens at Woodrow Wilson’s birthplace, you’re missing a ready-made, gorgeous, historic ceremony setting. The gardens are one of 13 maintained by the Garden Club of Virginia, and feature the only boxwood bowknot bed ever created by landscape architect Charles Gillette.

Accommodating up to 150 people, the historic gardens are available for four hours and $1,200. Many brides choose to host the reception between the gardens and terrace, an expansion that can be realized for only $400 more.

The caveat with any use of the Woodrow Wilson historic site is membership. The League of Friends is the donor backbone to support the privately funded site, and membership in The League allows for facility rental. Fortunately, “a complimentary Family membership is included in the rental fee for non-members,” according to the Facility Rental guidelines, which is valued at $100 and provides free unlimited admission, discounts, and more.

> Wedding Brochure

 

ROMANTIC :: GAIE LEA
Multiple ceremony and reception options make Gaie Lea (Old English for “Happy Meadows”) quite the contender when it comes to all-in-one wedding venues. Two hundred acres ensures privacy at any of the sites, which include a pavilion overlooking a pond, a hilltop pool for cocktail hour or reception, a formal English boxwood garden, a stone patio and fire pit near the pond for cigars and bourbon or a s’mores snack, the estate home itself, and whatever else your imagination leads you to on the expansive property.

Treat your wedding party or immediate family to an overnight at the estate. Fifteen guests can be accommodated in the six large guest rooms.

Real Gaie Lea Weddings:

 

COLLEGIATE :: MARY BALDWIN COLLEGE
Whether you’re an alumnae or simply appreciate the beauty of a meticulously manicured college lawn, you’re in luck. The views from Mary Baldwin may be some of the best Staunton has to offer.

Real Mary Baldwin College Weddings:

 

DRAMATIC :: AMERICAN SHAKESPEARE CENTER
You’ve never seen a venue like the Blackfriars Playhouse, and you likely never will. The world’s only re-creation of Shakespeare’s indoor theatre, this is the place for any romantic, Shakespeare aficionado, or one who is into old English architecture. The details at Blackfriars are impressive. Floral arrangements (unless very large) would be a waste in this space.

Real Blackfriars Wedding and The American Hotel Reception: Janice + Brian

 

CLASSIC :: STONEWALL JACKSON HOTEL

For those seeking an all-inclusive approach to their wedding day, the Stonewall Jackson Hotel may be the perfect Staunton fit. You facility rental will include tables, linens, place settings, dance floor, candle centerpiece … the works. Toss in a few rooms for your bridal party and out of town guests (yours is free, by the way!), plus the Hotel catering and that doesn’t leave you with a great deal to worry about. Classically beautiful and worry free!

Real Stonewall Jackson Hotel Weddings:

> Wedding Brochure

 

UNFORGETTABLE :: FRONTIER CULTURE MUSEUM
Indoors or out, with a barn or under the sun … you have many choices at the Frontier Culture Musuem, and your guests (up to 400) are in for a real treat, should you spring for a group rate admission for them to explore the grounds.

The Lee S. Cochran Pavilion is open air for warm months and tented for cooler months. A catering kitchen makes prep and delivery super easy while museum staff takes care of setting up and taking down the tables and chairs. The Lawn is a great place for the ceremony itself.

The Octagonal Barn is two levels (you may access both or one) and boasts a small amphitheater for your use as well. This space also includes a catering kitchen.

The Lecture Hall is a sleek, converted dairy barn with soaring ceilings and dinner seating for up to 100. Or, clear it out and dance the night away! Caterer’s staging area with sink is available.

Real Frontier Culture Museum Weddings:

 

MORE STAUNTON WEDDING VENUE OPTIONS:

Swirling and Sipping Wine in Staunton

Let’s be honest. Wine is intimidating. Sniffing, swirling, tannins, red versus white, where are Norton grapes grown again, and what do you mean I’m not holding the glass correctly? Fortunately, there are wine experts right under your novice nose all over Virginia, but quite possibly, Staunton has more opportunities for a quick wine 101 than any other city in the … Continue reading Swirling and Sipping Wine in Staunton

Let’s be honest. Wine is intimidating. Sniffing, swirling, tannins, red versus white, where are Norton grapes grown again, and what do you mean I’m not holding the glass correctly? Fortunately, there are wine experts right under your novice nose all over Virginia, but quite possibly, Staunton has more opportunities for a quick wine 101 than any other city in the Shenandoah Valley.

LEWIS CREEK MARKET | 300 CHURCH STREET

This old-is-new-again establishment is sweetly situated in an old livery stable with a gated patio for your enjoyment. More than 20 wines from around the world are available by the glass each day and hundreds more are in stock. The day you want to find yourself at Lewis Creek is Monday, for it is then between 4:30 and 6:30 (most Mondays) that a FREE educational tasting is offered. Monday doesn’t suit? No problem. For just $5 you can sample four wines another day.
Hours: Monday 10:30-6:30; Wednesday 11:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday 10:30-5:30

OX-EYE VINEYARDS TASTING ROOM | 44 MIDDLEBROOK AVENUE

The renovated 1904 coal office in the Wharf District is where you’ll find Ox-Eye’s tasting room. Fresh and airy, it’s a great place to learn the ins and outs of wine, and how to taste it. The selection at Ox-Eye features their very own estate-grown wine. Tastings are offered in two tiers at $5 or $7 per person.
Hours: Monday through Thursday 12-6; Friday 12-7; Saturday 10-7

YELPING DOG | 9 EAST BEVERLY STREET

More than 1500 bottles of wine are available at Yelping Dog and a weekly wine-by-the-glass menu introduces you to something new often. Wine tastings are available from time to time. There is no fee, but a donation to the local SPCA is suggested and hoped for. Monitor theirFacebook page for tasting announcements.
Hours: Tuesday through Thursday 11-9; Friday through Saturday 11-10; Sunday 12-6

THE WINE CELLAR | 8 BYERS STREET

Fridays are Wine Cellar days with a different sommelier each week to roll out something new and tasty from 5 to 8 p.m. The Cellar is full of countless bottles of wine from all over the world: Virginia, West Coast, European, Argentinian … you ask and chances are, you can receive.
Hours: Monday through Saturday 10-6

THE STAUNTON ABBEY TAPHOUSE | 2217 NORTH AUGUSTA STREET

The Abbey is a restaurant, but don’t be fooled. More than 200 bottles of wine are in the house and tastings are offered every Friday and Saturday, alternating with the extensive craft beer selection, of course. Need help pairing a wine with a menu item? The staff knows just what to offer.
Hours: Monday through Saturday 11-9

Up for a quick drive from downtown? Barren Ridge Vineyards is the closest winery to Staunton, less than 10 miles away in Fishersville. Situated at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains, you’ll thoroughly enjoy the view from their patio. Tastings rotate weekly. Reserve tasting (eight wines) are $8 per person. If you know you like red or white, try a flight of four red or white for $5 per person. Traveling in a group of 8 or more? You win the group tasting with special seating at a rate of $10 per person (please call ahead).
Address: 984 Barren Ridge Road, Fishersville, VA 22939
Hours: Monday through Wednesday 11-6; Thursday through Saturday 11-9; Sunday 1-6