#LOVEstaunton

#LOVEstaunton

Rolling Down the Byways: Staunton-Area Motorcycle Rides

Photo by @rosieladyblue Spring is a beautiful time to experience the landscapes and vistas of the Shenandoah Valley. What better way to avoid garage rot than to take your bike on one of our Staunton-area motorcycle rides? With both major highways and scenic back roads, Staunton is convenient for motorcyclists who want to get somewhere … Continue reading Rolling Down the Byways: Staunton-Area Motorcycle Rides

Shenandoah National Park

Photo by @rosieladyblue

Spring is a beautiful time to experience the landscapes and vistas of the Shenandoah Valley. What better way to avoid garage rot than to take your bike on one of our Staunton-area motorcycle rides? With both major highways and scenic back roads, Staunton is convenient for motorcyclists who want to get somewhere in a hurry and those who want to take their time.

Plan to visit Shenandoah Harley Davidson to shop for some new gear or to attend an upcoming events.

  • Mother’s Day Event, May 9-13
  • Memorial Day Weekend, May 25-28
  • Ride to Fight Suicide, June 9
  • Father’s Day Event, June 16

Begin or end your tour in Staunton to take advantage of our many fine restaurants, lodgings, and things to do. Staunton is the perfect starting point for these area rides. See the Harley Davidson area rides page for detailed ride notes on these and more.


Crabtree Falls Loop

The ride to Crabtree Falls will stun. You’ll cruise down scenic Rt. 11, which was once one of our country’s important early roads, heavily traveled since Colonial times, but now a quiet alternative to the interstate. VA-56, the road to Crabtree Falls, switchbacks steeply up and over the top of the Blue Ridge, crossing the Blue Ridge Parkway and descending into Nelson County. Crabtree Falls is a great place for a picnic and to stretch your legs. It is one of the tallest cascading waterfalls east of the Mississippi. The falls are easy viewed and photographed from the trail. After the waterfall, continue on scenic VA-151 and VA-6. Consider stopping at one of the wineries in Nelson County to enjoy a glass and take in the view. You’ll travel back over Afton Mountain and pass Waynesboro, where you could shop or eat. If you’re looking for a beer, Basic City Beer Co. or Stable Craft Brewing won’t disappoint and should tide you over until you get back to Staunton. 

Monterey Loop

The ride west to Monterey is best for experienced riders as there are many steep switchbacks as you work your way into the Allegheny Mountains. Your ride begins in the gentle farmland surrounding Staunton and then winds through the George Washington and Jefferson National Forest. Plan a quick stop on top of Shenandoah Mountain to explore the .5-mile Confederate Breastworks Interpretive Site. After your history lesson, you’ll wind down into Highland County, Virginia’s own maple syrup country. This quiet area bustles for two weeks every March during the Highland Maple Festival. Otherwise, Monterey is a sleepy town and is considered welcoming to bikers. Catch a bite to eat and get gas, as there aren’t many options until much later in the loop. Beyond Monterey, you’ll go by the Green Bank Observatory, national radio observatory and science center that offers free tours and a cafe. Heading back to Staunton, you’ll ride through Goshen Pass where you might want to take a break to explore the rocks or cool your feet in the water. Consider stopping for a snack or to shop in historic Lexington, and tour the nearby Cyrus McCormick Wayside

Skyline Drive and Shenandoah National Park

Just minutes away, Staunton’s location makes it the ideal starting point for a rides along the Blue Ridge Parkway and the Skyline Drive. Follow I-64 to the top of Afton Mountain and decide whether you want to go north or south.

If you go north to experience the Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park, be prepared to pay an entrance fee. The Skyline Drive stretches for 105 miles and is the only public road through the park. The 35-m.p.h. speed limit provides a chance to enjoy the views and the almost 70 scenic overlooks.  Lots of trail heads and some of the best hikes in the area beckon if you’re looking for some exercise after a day of riding. The park contains over 500 miles of trails for hikers of varying abilities  You might also tour Rapidan Camp, the historic presidential retreat established by Herbert Hoover. And if you’re out after dark, park at an overlook and turn off your lights for incredible views of the night sky untainted by light pollution. Plan accordingly: there are only four entrances to the Skyline Drive, but each one has easy access to gas and food. Watch for wildlife like bear, deer, raccoons, fox, and birds!

Blue Ridge Parkway

If you head south along a portion of the 469-mile Blue Ridge Parkway, plan to stop at the Humpback Rocks Visitor Center. The nearby interpretive farm offers a view into the lives of early settlers who lived and farmed the area. You can also grab a map or download a map that works even in areas without cell service.

The sweeping curves and beautiful vistas make this road popular with motorcyclists. Take advantage of the many scenic overlooks, photographic opportunities, and picnic stops along the Parkway. You’ll score views in all directions. There is no gas or food along the Parkway, but many roads access it, and most exits will be within a few miles of both. Stop at 215-foot Natural Bridge, one of Virginia’s newest state parks for some Americana like a Native American village, a wax museum, and a gift shop.  The speed limit along the Parkway is 45 m.p.h. and motorcyclists must wear helmets. Keep your eyes out for pedestrians and wildlife.

 

Staunton’s Plein Air Art Festival

  The Queen City is getting ready to play host to artists from Maryland, New Jersey, Virginia, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and New York for the Second Annual Plein Air Festival. You might be asking yourself “what is plein air?” The expression is actually French meaning “en plein air,” or “open air,” allowing the artist to … Continue reading Staunton’s Plein Air Art Festival

 

The Queen City is getting ready to play host to artists from Maryland, New Jersey, Virginia, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and New York for the Second Annual Plein Air Festival. You might be asking yourself “what is plein air?” The expression is actually French meaning “en plein air,” or “open air,” allowing the artist to go beyond the four walls of a studio and experience drawing or painting in the landscape. In its truest form, a plein air painting is completed from beginning to end on site with the subject matter right in front of the artist.

During the Queen City Plein Air Festival, invited artists will spend three days painting the unique architecture of downtown Staunton, the beautiful gardens on the Historic Garden Week Tour, and the rolling landscapes of Augusta County. Featured locations include internationally known Polyface Farm, the living history museum the Frontier Culture Museum, the newly renovated Blackburn Inn, and Gaie Lea Farm and Venue—just to name a few.  The public can view (and even purchase) the newly completed works of Staunton and Augusta County at the Fresh Paint Gallery Sale on Saturday, April 21 from 6:00-8:30 pm.

Both professional and inspiring artists can get in on the action with Paint Staunton Day, a family-friendly art competition and pop-up show. Artists of all ages and skill levels are invited to compete within three categories: Professional, Amateur, and 16 and Under for a total of $1000 in cash prizes and the opportunity to capture the timeless beauty of historic downtown Staunton. The event culminates with a judging and Pop-Up Show and Sale.

Other festival events include artist demonstrations, lectures, and a workshop by event juror and nationally acclaimed plein air painter, Nancy Tankersley. For more information on the Queen City Plein Air Festival (April 17-22) and a complete calendar of events visit: Visit Beverley Street Studio School.

Locavores Rejoice! It’s Staunton Farmers’ Market Season

The Staunton Farmers’ Market is Open! Is there a more idyllic way to spend a Saturday morning than strolling through a lively farmers’ market, enjoying live music, chatting with neighbors and locals, and selecting something delicious to enjoy later? For 25 years, Stauntonians and visitors have enjoyed the convenience, community spirit, and nutritional benefits of … Continue reading Locavores Rejoice! It’s Staunton Farmers’ Market Season

The Staunton Farmers’ Market is Open!

Is there a more idyllic way to spend a Saturday morning than strolling through a lively farmers’ market, enjoying live music, chatting with neighbors and locals, and selecting something delicious to enjoy later? For 25 years, Stauntonians and visitors have enjoyed the convenience, community spirit, and nutritional benefits of shopping at our open-air downtown Staunton Farmers’ Market 

Since it opened in 1993 with just six vendors, the Staunton Farmers’ Market has been a producer-only market. This means that vendors must produce and sell their own products rather than buying them somewhere else and selling them at the market for a profit. Additionally, everything must come from within a 75-mile radius of Staunton. Vendors pick fruits and veggies shortly before the market, and they arrive much fresher than many supermarket items.

What Can You Buy?

Tom Womack, market manager of the Staunton Farmers’ Market, is excited to announce that five new vendors, selling items “ranging from fermented vegetables to Peruvian chicken” have joined the lineup. Returning vendors will provide seasonal fruits, vegetables, and herbs as well as meat (beef, pork, chicken, lamb, sausage), and eggs. Vendors will also be selling baked goods, honey, jams, jellies, pickles, relish, and vegetable leathers. If you’re looking for plants, you’ll find perennials, bedding and garden plants, hanging baskets, and cut flowers.

Shopping at a farmers’ market should be an easy decision. You’ll have the chance to eat beautiful and seasonal produce, which is packed with nutrients and provides the best taste. You might get to taste something you’ve never seen before. You’ll be able to chat with the vendors to learn about the growing/production process. Best of all, you’ll be supporting the economic and agricultural sustainability of our community (and cutting down on fuel costs and wasteful packaging in the process).

Before You Go

When:  Saturday mornings from April until the Saturday before Thanksgiving. 7-12

Where:  At the Wharf Parking Lot on Johnson Street

  • The market is family friendly, and you can expect to hear live music at least twice a month along with some other non-musical acts.
  • Enjoy free parking all day!
  • If you’re in town on a Wednesday morning, you should also check out the smaller mid-week market from 7-12 in the same location.
  • The farmers’ market participates in the SMFNP (Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program), SNAP, and WIC  programs.
  • Wondering what to do with all that fresh produce? Ask the vendor, or try a website like Southern Living for ideas! 

great way to start your saturday 

Make a morning of it and head down early to enjoy breakfast and entertainment at the Farmers Market. Several vendors are selling breakfast items (and coffee) that range from pupusas by Gloria’s Pupuseria to baked goods by Roller’s Bakery. Find a seat or bring your own and listen to live music before you start perusing the market. After you’ve checked out all the vendors, take to the streets of downtown Staunton, and visit the many art galleries, antique stores, and boutiques. Refuel with lunch and a glass of wine or even a beer tasting. 

The Blackburn Inn Set to Open in April

The Blackburn Inn will officially open its doors this Spring. This 49-room luxury boutique hotel in downtown Staunton, has a storied past dating back to the 1800s. What was once Western State Hospital, The Blackburn Inn was envisioned and influenced by master builder and Thomas Jefferson protégé, Thomas R. Blackburn. This historic building was originally … Continue reading The Blackburn Inn Set to Open in April

The Blackburn Inn will officially open its doors this Spring. This 49-room luxury boutique hotel in downtown Staunton, has a storied past dating back to the 1800s. What was once Western State Hospital, The Blackburn Inn was envisioned and influenced by master builder and Thomas Jefferson protégé, Thomas R. Blackburn. This historic building was originally constructed in 1828 and was most likely built by several of Jefferson’s workmen from the then, recently completed University of Virginia.

Guests and visitors will find a home away from home at The Blackburn Inn — greeted with stately columns, wide corridors and hallway arches, vaulted ceilings, and an original wood staircase allowing guests to access the rooftop atrium offering breathtaking 360-degree views of downtown Staunton. The Inn will honor the age and elegance of the building with other notable design elements to include original heart pine floors that will flow throughout the hotel, an antique style drafting table that will serve as the reception desk, and artwork from local and regional artisans showcasing Staunton’s emerging arts scene.

Guests and locals will appreciate seasonal events on the lawn and throughout the hotel, enjoy bites and sips from locally-sourced vendors at The Inn’s bistro and bar, and experience the vibrant arts and culture scene firsthand.  

Staunton-based developer and owner, Robin Miller, was committed to honoring the extraordinary elements of the building and engaged key operational and design partners – Retro Hospitality, LLC; A Concept 2 Design; and Apex Design – to develop a property that captivated and inspired guests. Striking the perfect balance between modern design and historical roots, the hotel’s inspiring touches exemplifies artful design and a modern, upscale, state-of-the-art experience. The Blackburn Inn is now accepting reservations for stays starting April 27.

The Blackburn Inn and Visit Staunton are running a social media giveaway throughout the month of April – visit Facebook or Instagram for details on how to get a free overnight stay.

Girlfriends’ Getaway

Staunton has plenty of trendy restaurants, local wine, luxurious lodgings, and unique shopping and entertainment opportunities. That’s why it’s the ideal environment for making new memories during a wonderful girlfriends’ getaway. You and your besties will want to make it an annual trip. Here’s a fun roundup of must-do activities. Explore Staunton When you arrive, … Continue reading Girlfriends’ Getaway

Staunton has plenty of trendy restaurants, local wine, luxurious lodgings, and unique shopping and entertainment opportunities. That’s why it’s the ideal environment for making new memories during a wonderful girlfriends’ getaway. You and your besties will want to make it an annual trip. Here’s a fun roundup of must-do activities.

Explore Staunton

When you arrive, head straight for Staunton’s extremely walkable downtown. The Staunton Farmer’s Market opens on the first Saturday in April, and often features live music. Nibble a baked treat and scout out seasonal produce, honey, jams and pickles to take home. Next, explore Staunton’s five historic districts, visit the Woodrow Wilson Birthplace, or take a tour of the American Shakespeare Center. Stop in at Paris Cake Company for something sweet. And if cupcakes are your particular passion, you can’t skip the giant cupcakes and egg-less raw cookie dough at Sweet Nana Cakes.

Shopping

Staunton has a lot to offer girlfriends who enjoy shopping together. Plan to spend some time exploring our boutiques, galleries, and antique stores. Design at Nine offers the latest in women’s fashion, shoes, and accessories. Try Latitudes for fair trade selections ranging from women’s apparel, to jewelry to recycled metal wall art. If you’re looking for more art to buy, check out Beverly Street Studio, where local artists exhibit and sell their work. You might also be captivated by the spectacular glass work at Sunspots.

Relax and Recharge

Recharge your mind and body with a class at Sanctuary Yoga and Wellness.The studio welcomes walk-ins and offers classes in a variety of styles, including vinyasa, hatha, and yin. See here for a schedule. If you’re serious about relaxing, why not share a spa day with your girlfriends? Indulge yourself at Breezy Hill Day Spa, housed in a historic mansion or Mill Street Body and Soul Day Spa and Salon,  which is right downtown. Both spas’ services include massage, facials, manicures, and pedicures. Breezy Hill offers an all-day session that includes lunch.

Outside Fun

Take a scenic drive to Fishersville and ramble around the Andre Viette Farm. Viette is world famous for his daylilies, and the farm and garden center is open year round. Get inspired by the beautiful gardens and take some plants home to your own. If fresh flowers are your thing, explore the Pebble Hall Wildflowers. Pick a bouquet of whatever’s in bloom, pet the horses, and plan a picnic to appreciate the view. If you’re outside for something more rigorous, remember that you’re in some of the best hiking country in the world. For some ideas, see An Alternate Spring Break: 5 Awesome Hikes. You might also rent a kayak or stand-up paddleboard from Rockfish Gap Outfitters in Waynesboro for a fun-filled day of paddling on the South River or Lake Sherando.

Drinks and Light Fare

Still wishing there were one more season of Downton Abbey? Drown your sorrows in tea at the Anne Hathaway Cottage Tea Room.  Enjoy traditional High Tea, light lunches and afternoon cream teas in a picturesque thatched cottage surrounded by gardens. You can even sample all the teas thrown into the harbor during the Boston Tea Party! If you’re still thirsty, head to Ox Eye Tasting Room to taste a variety of their wines. Follow your tasting with a full glass of your favorite. Or go to Yelping Dog Wine, where wine can be enjoyed by the glass or by the bottle, and you can munch on a cheese plate or gourmet grilled cheese sandwich. If you prefer a vineyard with a view, take a picnic to Barren Ridge Vineyards, only a short drive east of Staunton.

Dinner with Friends

Staunton boasts a rich restaurant scene with much to choose from, but if you’re looking for fare to share with your girlfriends, try a range of Spanish tapas and other Mediterranean food at Aioli Restaurant. If pizza and beer are more up your alley, split a gourmet pie at Shenandoah Pizza and Tap House. And if you still have room for more food, get some scoops of homemade gelato at The Split Banana. Here, a number of flavors, both traditional and exotic will tempt your taste buds. Guinness Extra Stout in a waffle cone, anyone?

Staunton After Dark

Many of Staunton’s watering holes host events on different nights of the week. Fun stuff includes trivia, live music, and karaoke. Check out the Staunton on Tap and the Shenandoah Beerwerks Trail events page for more info. Downtown 27 is Staunton’s own dance club. Downtown 27 offers live music, DJ dance parties, and other exciting entertainment. And if active puzzle games are your style, book a Staunton’s Crack the Code Escape Room. Groups of six or fewer use their wits to puzzle out clues and escape the room in under an hour.

Theater

A trip to Staunton isn’t complete without some Shakespeare at the American Shakespeare Center. You can catch a performance almost every night year-round, and you can even sit on stage to get very close to the actors. If you’re lucky, they might use you as a prop! Check out what’s on stage at Shenanarts, where you’ll see ambitious and energetic performances by local talent almost every weekend.

Other good stuff:

For a list of Staunton restaurants known for brunch, see our post: Staunton’s Brunch Bunch.

If you’re planning to stay in Staunton overnight, here are some quirky and fun places to stay or click here for our bed and breakfast picks.

 

Insider Tips for Visiting Staunton this Spring

Insider Tips For Visiting Staunton This Spring If you haven’t visited yet, now is the perfect time to make your first trip. Staunton frequently tops many “best” lists – and for good reason. The city’s architecture, performing arts, local charm, and buzz-worthy dining scene make it an ideal getaway, especially in the spring. Check out … Continue reading Insider Tips for Visiting Staunton this Spring

Insider Tips For Visiting Staunton This Spring

If you haven’t visited yet, now is the perfect time to make your first trip. Staunton frequently tops many “best” lists – and for good reason. The city’s architecture, performing arts, local charm, and buzz-worthy dining scene make it an ideal getaway, especially in the spring.

Check out Staunton’s spring art festivals

You may not be shopping for art, but it never hurts to look! And it’s always fun to see artists in action. Regional art festival standouts include the Queen City Plein Air Festival and the Hot Glass Festival in April, and Art in the Park extravaganza in May. Or go on an art walk downtown visiting the many galleries and working studios that include all mediums from fiber to textiles to glass and everything in between. 

See a show (or two!)

Staunton is home to the American Shakespeare Center and the Blackfriars Playhouse, the world’s only re-creation of Shakespeare’s indoor theatre. Hailed by The Boston Globe as “phenomenal…bursting with energy,” this is a theatrical experience you won’t want to miss.

While he often appears at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, tenor Gerhard Siegel will perform a single recital (works by Puccini, Mahler, Schumann) in Staunton on April 7. Tickets available through Staunton Music Festival.

Take a free guided walking tour

Historic Staunton Foundation offers FREE walking tours every Saturday at 10 am from May through October. Visitors wind their way through four of Staunton’s six historic districts as a local guide describes Staunton’s development and architecture.

Go shopping & antiquing

Take a stroll and window shop on Beverley Street, proclaimed by USA Today as one of the “most charming main streets” in America. Downtown merchants offer an eclectic mix of antiques, arts, and distinctive gifts in addition to delicious foodstuffs.

 Spend a day at a museum

Explore the Shenandoah Valley’s pioneering history at the Frontier Culture Museum, with living snapshots of what frontier from the 1600s through the mid-1800s in this area. Jumping ahead to the 20th century, take a closer look at our 28th president at the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Museum as you take a self-guided tour through seven galleries that explore Wilson’s life and legacy.

Sample your way through our farmer’s market

At this “producers-only” market, you can enjoy live music and meet local farmers and food artisans. Starting in April, this event runs every Saturday from 7 am to 12 pm in the Wharf District.

Taste new brews

Beer is in, and Staunton is at the center of a booming beer scene. What better place to try out a flight on the Shenandoah Beerwerks Trail than Redbeard Brewing, which was recently tapped in a story by the Washington Post for best barrel-aged beers.

Marvel at mountain views

Staunton is equally close to Skyline Drive and the Blue Ridge Parkway.  Both roads rank among the “best mountain drives” in America. You’ll have access to spectacular views, and hundreds of miles of hiking including the Appalachian Trail. Wildflowers dazzle with colorful blooms, starting in mid-March.

Staunton Bed and Breakfasts

Dreaming of visiting a historic property, eating gourmet food, and receiving personal attention – all at an affordable price?  The Staunton bed and breakfast scene excels in modern comfort, convenience, and plenty of delicious, locally-sourced food. Whether you’re in town for an event, business, or romance, we’ll help you find your perfect home away from … Continue reading Staunton Bed and Breakfasts

Dreaming of visiting a historic property, eating gourmet food, and receiving personal attention – all at an affordable price?  The Staunton bed and breakfast scene excels in modern comfort, convenience, and plenty of delicious, locally-sourced food. Whether you’re in town for an event, business, or romance, we’ll help you find your perfect home away from home.

Thornrose House at Gypsy Hill

Directly across the street from Gypsy Hill Park and less than a mile’s walk from downtown, Thornrose House was designed by esteemed Staunton architect T.J. Collins and built in 1912. You can’t beat the convenience if you’re in town for a festival like Art in the Park or Happy Birthday America, and there’s often live music at the bandstand on summer evenings. Also convenient are the park’s playgrounds, pool, tennis courts, golf course, and Staunton Braves baseball stadium. The house and grounds feature three comfortable guest rooms with en suite bathrooms, a wrap-around porch, pergolas, and a conservatory.  Start your day with a breakfast made using fresh, seasonal ingredients and sausage, and free-range eggs from local, sustainable farms.

Berkeley House Bed and Breakfast

The Berkeley House Bed and Breakfast, an 1897 Queen Anne Victorian mansion, sits across from the Woodrow Wilson Birthplace. The current owners modernized the property, transforming it into an elegant inn, but left many original details like fireplaces, stained glass, large windows and period decorations. Select Registry chose the Berkeley House for its elite group of inns across the country that undergo rigorous quality-assurance inspection. The Berkeley House offers an elaborate breakfast with many tasty dishes. Make sure you catch the wine and cheese served late Saturday afternoons! The bed and breakfast offers an American Shakespeare Center package, a champagne package, and a spa package with in-room massage.

Frederick House

Consisting of 23 rooms in seven historic buildings in downtown Staunton, Frederick House boasts the extravagance of a fancy hotel in a more personal setting. Since the buildings were not originally built to be hotel rooms, the B&B also offers plenty of personality: you might stay in what was once a silent movie theater, a stable, or a store. Visitors select from a menu of signature breakfasts including apple raisin quiche, ham and cheese pie, and strata with sausage. Ask about discounted tickets and backstage passes at the American Shakespeare Center. The Frederick House is downtown, so you can tour Staunton on foot, but if you choose to venture away to explore the Valley, Frederick House can arrange a picnic basket for you. They can also help with bike rentals, golf packages, fishing advice, and winery routes.

Olde Staunton Inn

Located only a short stroll from the shops, restaurants, and sites of downtown Staunton, the Olde Staunton Inn is also on the 25-cent trolley route. This means visitors can access all the town has to offer without ever getting behind the wheel. The bed and breakfast, decorated in an eclectic style,  is in the Newtown Historic District and dates to 1910. Highlights of your stay will include the relaxed and casual atmosphere and a delicious breakfast that will probably showcase homemade muffins. There are a variety of rooms to choose from; some include fireplaces and luxurious king-sized beds.

Montclair Bed and Breakfast

If you seek a cozy bed and breakfast bursting with Southern hospitality the Montclair Bed and Breakfast represents a perfect choice. The B&B’s prime location allows easy access to the restaurants, shops, and culture of downtown Staunton,  Included in the National Register of Historic Places, the 1880 Italianate townhouse has been carefully restored and decorated with fox hunt decor. Guests may relax in the house’s public area, private sitting rooms, or outside on the patio. Along with clean and comfortable accommodations, guests receive personal attention, private access, a stocked library, and afternoon refreshments.  In the morning, the hosts deliver coffee to the guest rooms. Guests may eat a gourmet breakfast in the formal dining room or in their rooms.

Inn at Old Virginia

Looking for something historic, private, and surrounded by the soothing beauty of the Shenandoah Valley? Antiques decorate the 10 stately rooms and suites at the Civil-War era Inn at Old Virginia, but the design focus is on modern comfort. During your stay, you’ll enjoy a delicious breakfast in the glass conservatory. Afterwards, explore the grounds or lounge on one of the landscaped outdoor patios. Drive just a few minutes from the privately situated inn to reach the bustle of downtown Staunton. The inn offers specials for two-night stays. A special package for day trippers includes a hiking guidebook and snacks. Those who want to double down on relaxation should opt for the in-room massage package.

Other Great Places to Stay

Other great places to stay include The Bella Inn and The Old Printery Guesthouse. Both are downtown within walking distance of local breakfast establishments and offer vouchers.

Spring Break (and Summer) Survival

With spring break ahead, summer travels, and impromptu days off here and there often leave parents looking for things to do. We’ve rounded up a list—worthy of a day trip or overnight stay—that won’t break the bank; making parents happy and keeping kids entertained. Pin, Facebook, bookmark, or print this for future reference; we’re sure … Continue reading Spring Break (and Summer) Survival

With spring break ahead, summer travels, and impromptu days off here and there often leave parents looking for things to do. We’ve rounded up a list—worthy of a day trip or overnight stay—that won’t break the bank; making parents happy and keeping kids entertained. Pin, Facebook, bookmark, or print this for future reference; we’re sure you’ll look to it as a resource over the next few months.

Teenagers and Tweens:

One of the coolest demonstrations you’ll ever see is glassblowing, and you can see it every day in Staunton at Sunspots Studios! Watch the masters seemingly turn glass into wax as they form big bubbles bound for a life of beauty. If you get inspired, try “Blowing Your Own Ornament” where you work alongside a trained artist to create a unique ornament which will provide a lifetime of memories.

Escape to Crack the Code where you must solve puzzles in order to escape the room. You have 60 minutes to find the clues, solve the puzzles and make your way to freedom. Choose from two different themed rooms: DaVinci’s Office and The Asylum. This group activity is perfect for large families or a group of friends (6 people max).

For parents of Pokémon Go fans, we’ve got the fix. Explore by foot using the free app, Traipse! Traipse takes you on an adventure that is half historic tour and half scavenger hunt. You can Traipse anytime, with whomever you want, in places like downtown Staunton or Gypsy Hill Park. And with the newest version of the app you can now build your own tour based on your interests, time and even level of difficulty. 

Montgomery Hall Park is one of Staunton’s best kept secrets with its rolling hills and quiet woodlands. Its a perfect escape for those looking to get outdoors with 148 acres of nature hiking and mountain biking trails. The park is also equipped with a disc golf course, basketball courts, tennis courts and much more! 

For history buffs visit the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Museum where you can discover the life and legacy of our 28th President or learn about the Valley’s earliest settlers at the Frontier Culture Museum. Theater enthusiasts will fall in love with the American Shakespeare Center’s Blackfriars Playhouse where selfies and Snapchat are encouraged as you can go behind, under, and even on stage!

The Younger Set:

Discover Staunton by Trolley! Take a ride on the green trolley for just 25 cents per rider.  Hop on and off as you visit area attractions like the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library & Museum and Gypsy Hill Park. Parents and Grand Parents can sit back and enjoy the architecture and scenery of several of Staunton’s historic districts. MUST SEE stops include Gypsy Hill Park to feed the ducks and stretch your legs; Split Banana for handmade gelato; and Pufferbellies to play with the latest toys. The Green route runs every 30 minutes from the Visitors Center located at 35 S. New Street.

Speaking of toys, did you know Staunton has a toy store that lets your kids play while you shop? “Don’t touch” is not a phrase you’ll hear at Pufferbellies. Pop in to play at the largest independently owned toy store in the Shenandoah Valley, and you can help your kids build their Christmas wish list while you’re at it!

Montgomery Hall Park is 148 acres and is home to the natural playground, Nature Ridge. Designed for imaginative play, Nature Ridge has a mud kitchen, rock quarry, pirate ship, ball drop, chimes, and an elevated sand pit accessible to children of all ages and abilities. 

For train obsessed kiddos we have the historic train station. Take a walk across Sears Hill Bridge for great City views and to explore the tracks from overhead. On the weekends, don’t miss the Gypsy Express Mini-Train running Saturdays and Sundays from May to October. Another kid hot spot is the Staunton Fire Station where you can see JUMBO, the oldest motorized fire engine in Virginia and the only remaining 1911 Robinson fire engine.

Pack a picnic and bring a stroller or rent a wagon for a day of exploration at the Frontier Culture Museum. Walking shoes recommended as you make your way from the Old World to the New, visiting farmsteads with costumed interpreters complete with farm animals. 

Staunton has no shortage of music and art festivals during the warmer months and for other special events 
and weekly happenings check out Staunton On Tap, our schedule of events with all the latest happenings.

 

Staunton’s Upcoming Events: Spring and Summer

Had enough of the winter gloom? Summer will be here before we know it, and Staunton is ready to celebrate the warmer weather with some spectacular upcoming events and festivals. Save the dates for spring and summer fun! Heifetz Institute Queen City Plein Air Festival April 17-22, 2018 Historic Garden Week April 21 The Garden … Continue reading Staunton’s Upcoming Events: Spring and Summer

Had enough of the winter gloom? Summer will be here before we know it, and Staunton is ready to celebrate the warmer weather with some spectacular upcoming events and festivals. Save the dates for spring and summer fun!

Heifetz Institute

At the Heifetz International Music Institute, talented young musicians train with faculty from top universities, conservatories and performance groups from around the globe. Give your ears a treat with some of the great programming offered to the public over the next few months. Upcoming events include:

  • The Spring Hootenanny on March 16 at the American Hotel.
  • Performance at the historic Sugarloaf estate in Middlebrook as part of the spring Garden Tour / Plein Air Festival.
  • Festival of Concerts: six-weeks of daily concerts, a speaker series, and performances by world-renowned faculty and guest artists. Stay tuned as Heifetz announces its programming on its website.

Queen City Plein Air Festival

April 17-22, 2018

During this annual event, professional artists will leave their studios and travel to Staunton to paint “en plein air.” They will produce onsite paintings of Staunton’s noteworthy architecture, gardens, and landscapes. Interested members of the public can take in artist demonstrations, compete in the Paint Staunton Quick Draw Art Competition, attend preview parties and workshops, and purchase art at the Fresh Paint Show & Sale and the Wet Paint Gallery Sale.

For information, check out Beverly Street Studio School.

Historic Garden Week

April 21

The Garden Club of Virginia will celebrate Augusta County’s contributions to Historic Garden Week in the magnificent gardens of Middlebrook, just 10 miles south of Staunton. Plein Air artists will be painting on site at the farms and estates featured by the tour.

Dogwoods & Daffodils at the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library

April 20th 

Reserve a spot for the 4th Annual Dogwoods & Daffodils garden party in the lovely gardens of the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library and Museum. Enjoy both live and silent auctions and a delicious meal catered by local chef Mike Lund.

Art in the Park

May 26 – May 27

Join us for the 51st year of Art in the Park. Artists working in various media gather in Gypsy Hill Park to display and sell their wares in this juried show. Past artists have included painters, photographers, sculptors, textile artists, woodworkers, jewelers and more. Concessions, live music, and fun activities for kids are available.

The American Shakespeare Center

The American Shakespeare Center turns 30 in September and has a packed lineup for 2018. Highlights include:

  • A full year of stellar programming including Macbeth, Hamlet, The Taming of the Shrew,  Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility and more.
  • The world premiere adaptation of Jane Austen’s Emma in June.
  • The first two winners in the Shakespeare’s New Contemporaries competition will be announced in June.
  • The Wars of the Roses tetralogy concludes with Richard III opening in September.

Wine & Jazz Festival

June 30

Looking for something to do in that quiet time before the 4th of July? Save the date for the 10th annual Wine and Jazz Festival at the Frontier Culture Museum. Relax for an afternoon of music and wines from the Shenandoah Valley. Food and other vendors with also be on site. Here’s a link to last year’s schedule.

Fourth of July – Happy Birthday America

July 1-4

Staunton has been celebrating the Fourth of July in grand style since 1970. Join us for this year’s Happy Birthday America celebration in Gypsy Hill Park. The loaded schedule will feature music, a vesper service, fireworks, a parade, a 5K race, a children’s pageant, and concessions. The celebration will also feature a concert by Wilson Fairchild. Wilson Fairchild is a country group comprised of Wil and Landon Reid, sons of the Statler Brothers’ Harold and Don Reid, who originally performed the celebration’s yearly free concert.

Independence Day Celebration at the Frontier Culture Museum

July 4, 2018

Want to learn about American history on the Fourth of July? Plan on attending the Independence Day Celebration at the Frontier Culture Museum and discover what independence meant to Augusta County’s early settlers. This event is pay-what-you-will. Experience educational activities for the entire family, including period games, dances and demonstrations. Food vendors will be on site.

Red Wing Roots Festival

July 13-15

The Red Wing Roots Festival is a family-friendly music festival at Natural Chimneys Park. Come for the day or plan to camp all weekend. Unwind as you listen to the music and enjoy scenery framed by the 120-foot limestone towers. There will be plenty of activities to keep the entire family entertained. Adults can enjoy morning yoga and runs, hiking, and a beer garden. Kids will keep busy painting murals and playing outdoor games. They can also explore a rock-climbing wall, a slackline, an instrument petting zoo and more. Click here for the 2018 line-up.

Staunton Music Festival

August 10-19

Every year the Staunton Music Festival brings us ten days of world-class classical music ranging from the Middle Ages to commissioned world premieres. Thirty concerts will take place in variety of downtown Staunton settings. Highlights include:

  • a semi-staged performance of Hercules, one of the most powerful and rarely-heard of Handel’s operas. Click here for more information.
  • SMF will host one of America’s most intriguing and award-winning composers, Gabriela Lena Frank. Frank will be featured in several events, including a free discussion and performance of her choral and piano music. Follow the link for more info: Meet the Composer Event.

4th Annual Food Truck Battle

September 2

Food trucks and breweries from across Virginia will showcase their best dishes and compete for grand champion status during the Food Truck Battle at Augusta Expo. VIP ticket holders take part in the judging while everyone else can purchase the food, beer, and wine of their choosing. The food truck battle benefits the Madee Project, a local non-profit foundation supporting families battling pediatric cancer.

 

Staunton’s Brunch Bunch

Virginia.org recently named Staunton one of Fifteen Virginia Foodie Towns to Try, putting it on the same page as larger metropolitan areas like Alexandria, Charlottesville, and Richmond. Some of our local establishments were profiled for dinner, drinks, and dessert, but we do a great Staunton brunch, too! Here are seven delicious places to get your … Continue reading Staunton’s Brunch Bunch

Virginia.org recently named Staunton one of Fifteen Virginia Foodie Towns to Try, putting it on the same page as larger metropolitan areas like Alexandria, Charlottesville, and Richmond. Some of our local establishments were profiled for dinner, drinks, and dessert, but we do a great Staunton brunch, too! Here are seven delicious places to get your late morning/early afternoon bite on.

Gone are the days when brunchers made due with biscuits drowned in plain white gravy. Many of Staunton’s restaurants put a modern twist on traditional Southern cooking. Others focus on using locally-sourced ingredients, and on the process of creating the food.

Table 44

Table 44 brunch
Table 44 brunch
Table 44 brunch
Table 44 loaded Bloody Mary
Open since December, Table 44 offers comfort food kicked up a notch. The wide variety of brunch offerings are all made from scratch and include English muffins, cinnamon rolls, and eggs Benedict. Table 44 even makes its own bacon for its 44 breakfast, which also features sweet potato/short rib hash. Don’t forget to order a fantastic loaded Bloody Mary to complement your meal. And make sure to carry out some tasty and beautiful baked treats from Paris Cake Company as you leave. Sunday brunch: 11-3.

 The Shack

The Shack was called “an incredible restaurant in the middle of nowhere” by Esquire when it opened in 2013, and it has been on the foodie radar ever since for its creativity and delicious food. The brunch menu varies weekly. Mushroom and chervil soft scrambled eggs with potato latke or smoked catfish salad on toast were recent offerings. Pair your meal with a mimosa, a Swamp Pop, or a cold-brewed Vietnamese iced coffee. This restaurant is small, so make reservations! Sunday brunch: 10:30 – 2.  

 

Byer’s Street Bistro

Byer’s Street Bistro, a favorite of both locals and tourists, provides Southern-style American food in a casual, upbeat setting. This family-friendly find offers outdoor seating for warmer days and often features live music. Brunch choices include shrimp and grits, harvest vegetable frittata, and new dishes every Sunday. Sunday brunch: 11 – 2.  

Cranberry’s 

Cranberry’s serves brunch in the cafe at the back of its natural grocery. The menu focuses on vegetables, fruits, and organic grains and includes numerous options for vegetarians, vegans, and those on gluten-free diets.  Menu items showcase many local and organic ingredients, including eggs and sausages from Polyface Farm. A favorite brunch item is the unique malt yeast waffle, which can be served with fruit and whipped cream. Cranberry’s also has an extensive smoothie and juice selection, ranging from the signature Celtic Elixir to the Fountain of Youth (which includes a shot of wheatgrass). Brunch is served on Saturday and Sunday. Available all day.

 

The Depot Grille

You get to walk past a pair of cabooses to enter the The Depot Grille, which is housed in the old freight depot of Staunton Station. The Depot is casual, kid-friendly, and it serves great food like prime rib, quiche, crab cakes, grilled shrimp Benedict, and weekly specials for Sunday brunch. Cocktail specials are available all day. After brunch, take a walk over the Sears Hill pedestrian bridge to Wilson Park for spectacular views of downtown Staunton. Sunday brunch: 11 – 2.  

Mill Street Grill

 

Originally built around the turn of the century as a mill to supply southern kitchens with flour, Mill Street Grill opened in its present form as a restaurant in 1992. Mill Street Grill is cozy, consistent, casual, kid-friendly, and serves Southern-style American food. For brunch you might try filet mignon eggs Benedict or huevos rancheros. Sunday brunch: 11 – 3.

Nu-Beginning Farm: The Store

 

Nu-Beginning Farm: The Store recently moved to a bigger venue, but serves the same great farm-to-table food. The Saturday morning menu includes Belgian waffles, pancakes, scones, and “eggs Cumberbatch,” which would taste great paired with a mimosa or bellini. Make sure to pick up some locally-sourced grocery items or local beer and wine before you leave. Saturdays until 11.

Other places to get yummy morning fare include: Farmhouse Kitchen and WaresKathy’s Restaurant, and Mrs. Rowe’s Restaurant. Try Réunion, Blue Mountain Coffee, The By & ByNewtown Bakery (Saturday only) for pastries and coffee. Get your donuts at Paradise Donuts.