#LOVEstaunton

#LOVEstaunton

Staunton, Virginia is Your National Park Hub

As the National Park Service celebrates 100 years, Staunton celebrates as well. Centrally located between Shenandoah National Park and the Blue Ridge Parkway, Staunton is a National Park hub of food and culture. In just 20 minutes, travelers drive from Staunton to the Blue Ridge Parkway and Shenandoah National Park. Entry points for both are atop Afton … Continue reading Staunton, Virginia is Your National Park Hub


As the National Park Service celebrates 100 years, Staunton celebrates as well. Centrally located between Shenandoah National Park and the Blue Ridge Parkway, Staunton is a National Park hub of food and culture.

In just 20 minutes, travelers drive from Staunton to the Blue Ridge Parkway and Shenandoah National Park. Entry points for both are atop Afton Mountain. The Parkway is known as “America’s Favorite Drive” and President Herbert Hoover chose Shenandoah as his presidential retreat. The reasons for both are quite obvious: immense views, hikes with payoffs (waterfalls included!), and abundant wildlife. 

Speaking of presidents, Staunton’s very own Woodrow Wilson put his executive signature on the National Park Service. Born in Staunton, Wilson signed the act creating the National Park Service on August 25, 1916. His birthplace and presidential library are open daily for visitors to learn more about his life and legacy.

Visitors to Staunton enjoy a variety of accommodations, including the Stonewall Jackson Hotel, bed and breakfasts, and city stays. Likewise, dining opportunities are varied with farm fresh, casual, and ethnic flavors within reach. Staunton’s coffee shops and breweries are a hit with most everyone, and are perfect places to unwind.

If you have time between parks, catch a show at the American Shakespeare Center’s Blackfriars Playhouse. In addition, a self-blown glass ornament from Sunspots Studios is a perfect reminder of your trip. Shop our boutiques, and simply soak in the beautiful downtown architecture.

Staunton welcomes you, outdoor lover.

Remaining 2016 National Park Service Fee-Free Days:

August 25-18 – National Park Service Birthday

September 24 – National Public Lands Day

November 11 – Veterans Day

A 101: The Virginia Food Truck Battle & Beer Competition

The smells from food trucks on city streets are always so enticing, aren’t they? Think of a field full of food trucks. Now consider that they’re truly bringing their “A game” because such a gathering could only mean one thing: competition. Now in its second year, The Virginia Food Truck Battle & Beer Competition will … Continue reading A 101: The Virginia Food Truck Battle & Beer Competition

Farm Fresh Fixins won the battle in 2015
Farm Fresh Fixins won the battle in 2015

The smells from food trucks on city streets are always so enticing, aren’t they? Think of a field full of food trucks. Now consider that they’re truly bringing their “A game” because such a gathering could only mean one thing: competition.

Now in its second year, The Virginia Food Truck Battle & Beer Competition will be held Sunday, September 4th to benefit The Madee Project, a local non-profit foundation providing support to families facing their own battle: pediatric cancer. The event has grown with more food trucks than before vying for Grand Champion status. They cook well, you eat well, and The Madee Project benefits well. It’s a win-win-win.

HOW IT WORKS

  • Food trucks from across the Commonwealth are split into three zones.
  • VIP ticket holders act as the judges and receive a sample of each truck’s cuisine (eight total per zone) and a sample from each of the six breweries. VIPs cast their votes and a winner from each zone plus one brewery is proclaimed. The three zone winners then deliver their wares to a panel of judges who name a Grand Champion food truck.
  • VIPs enter at noon before the general admission ticket holders are permitted access at 2 p.m.
  • General admission tickets provide entry to the Frontier Culture Museum and access to entertainment and children’s activities. Trucks, breweries, and wineries are essentially vendors for a la carte purchases from 2 to 7 p.m.

BUY TICKETS
VIP: $35 advance; $40 day-of
General Admission: $10 advance; $15 day-of; free for children six and younger

THE FOOD TRUCKS

These are the known contenders as of this writing. What isn’t known is which trucks will be in which zones until the day of the event. Oh, the suspense!

  • Farm Fresh Fixins of Staunton
  • Gloria’s Pupuseria of Staunton
  • Mama’s Caboose of Dayton
  • Grilliza of Harrisonburg
  • Wing It of Harrisonburg
  • Rocktown Slops of Harrisonburg
  • Flavor Savor BBQ of Grottoes
  • Sooner BBQ of Stuarts Draft
  • Up-N-Smoke of Fishersville
  • Sourdough Pizza Co. of Lynchburg
  • The Grapevine of Henrico
  • Uprooted of Lynchburg
  • Buena’Dillas of Fairfax
  • Over the Counter of Crozet
  • Rock & Roll Diner of Roanoke
  • The Pie Guy of Charlottesville
  • The SpiceSea Gourmet of Charlottesville
  • MWO Food Truck of Charlottesville
  • Two Brothers Southwestern Grill of Charlottesville
  • The Return of the Mac of Richmond
  • Rocks Money BBQ Pit of Greenville
  • Jack Knuckle Gourmet of Winchester

THE CRAFT BEER

Six breweries will compete for #winning status:

  • Seven Arrows of Waynesboro
  • South Street of Charlottesville
  • Sunken City of Hardy
  • Port City of Alexandria
  • AleWerks of Williamsburg
  • Hardywood Park of Richmond

COOL THINGS TO KNOW

Need cash? There’s a Farmers & Merchants Bank mobile ATM on site.

Have creative kids? Let them PAINT A VAN, courtesy of Paul Obaugh Ford!

Is the phone going dead? There’s a charging station nearby, courtesy of Greenbrier Technologies.

It’s 7 o’clock and the show’s over but you sampled a few too many of those great Virginia craft beers. It’s okay. Just call 1-800-FOR-BAIL for #SoberRides to give you a lift.

Not much of a craft beer fan? There are two beer trucks of your favorite standards.

Not a beer fan at all? Ox-Eye and Rockbridge Vineyards will be pouring their wines by the glass as well as selling bottles.

Love selfies and capturing the moment? There’s a hashtag for that: #VAFoodTruckBattle.

Staunton is Virginia’s Classical Music City

Staunton’s summer music scene is electrifying, but not due to amps and guitars. The Queen City is where world renown musicians practice and perform, making Staunton Virginia’s undisputed classical music city. As Heifetz International Music Institute winds down their 20th anniversary with a sold out show on August 11, nearly 70 artists of Staunton Music Festival roll out … Continue reading Staunton is Virginia’s Classical Music City

1728-Baroque Inside-Out SMF 2015-7580
Staunton Music Festival

Staunton’s summer music scene is electrifying, but not due to amps and guitars. The Queen City is where world renown musicians practice and perform, making Staunton Virginia’s undisputed classical music city.

As Heifetz International Music Institute winds down their 20th anniversary with a sold out show on August 11, nearly 70 artists of Staunton Music Festival roll out a 10-day event of their own on August 12. Travel + Leisure has called it Virginia’s “world-class music festival,” while Washington Post tapped it a “Critic’s Pick.” Truly, it’s time to #rethinkclassical and Staunton is the place to do it.

What to Expect

Free concerts will be held at Trinity Episcopal Church each day at noon with the exception of Sundays. Enjoy pieces composed by Brahms, Debussy, Bach, Mendelssohn, and more.

Evening concerts are ticketed and begin at 7:30 p.m. Venues include Trinity Episcopal Church and American Shakespeare Center’s Blackfriars Playhouse. 

Additional events pique the interest of aspiring musicians and the performing arts faithful:

August 14 at 3:30 p.m. | Trinity Episcopal – A Concert for Young People will be the world premiere of The Toad by composer-in-residence, Zachary Wadsworth.
August 15 at 3 p.m. | Central United Methodist – German composer Stefan Huecke will share his inspirations and influences in writing. His String Quartet No. 3 will be performed for the audience.
August 17 at 3 p.m. | Central United Methodist – Don’t miss the rare opportunity to meet the Historic Winds, Staunton Music Festival’s nationally recognized historic performers. See their traditional instruments and learn about period wind music.

Can’t Miss Delights

Dancing with the Devil promises to be an incredible evening. Held at Blackfriars Playhouse on Sunday, August 14 at 7:30 p.m., expect “devilish music” in the world’s only re-creation of William Shakespeare’s indoor theater.

If you’ve heard of no other classical composer, you must recognize the name Ludwig Van Beethoven. No classical music festival would be complete without a little Beethoven. Wednesday, August 17 at 7:30 p.m. is LUDWIG VAN, a concert at Trinity Episcopal that includes both famous and lesser known pieces. The ever popular Symphony No. 6 “Pastoral” will close out the concert.

Baroque Inside/Out is a special event that entertains inside as well as outside through intermission. Friday, August 19 at 7:30 p.m. at Trinity Episcopal, the Historic Winds will perform Baroque pieces – Bach and four of the Brandenburg Concertos – on period instruments.

The incredible conclusion to Staunton Music Festival is Bach’s Mass in B Minor, performed Sunday, August 21 at 3:30 p.m. at Trinity Episcopal. You won’t want to miss this epic finale performed by world-class vocalists and a chamber orchestra on period instruments.

Make a Plan

Complete Calendar of Events

Buy Tickets (Price range is FREE to $28 per person, based on age)

Book a Room

Staunton Festival Celebrates Blues and Virginia Craft Beer

Bring a chair and get comfortable in downtown Staunton’s Wharf District on August 6 for the eighth annual Shenandoah Valley Blues & Brews Festival. It’s a rain or shine shindig featuring fantastic Blues artists and tremendous Virginia craft beer. The Artists Mud Morganfield, son of Muddy Waters, has followed in his father’s footsteps. “When I’m … Continue reading Staunton Festival Celebrates Blues and Virginia Craft Beer

Mud Morganfield and Kate Moss
Mud Morganfield and Kate Moss

Bring a chair and get comfortable in downtown Staunton’s Wharf District on August 6 for the eighth annual Shenandoah Valley Blues & Brews Festival. It’s a rain or shine shindig featuring fantastic Blues artists and tremendous Virginia craft beer.

The Artists

Mud Morganfield, son of Muddy Waters, has followed in his father’s footsteps. “When I’m up on stage I always feel pops is there with me and it means so much that I can get on stage and keep his music alive around the world.”

Taking the stage with Mud is Kate Moss. Like the model, this Kate Moss turns heads too, with her looks and mad guitar skills. Joining them is Kevin Chisnell of Fatty Lumpkin and the Love Hogs, as well as Brian Mesko, an accomplished Roanoke jazz guitarist. 

Moonshine Society is led by Blues Hall of Fame member Black Betty, a striking woman whose voice brings a reckoning to every show. The band is joined by renown saxophonist Ron Holloway, who has played with The Allman Brothers, Tedeschi Trucks Band, and Dizzy Gillespie Quintet.

The Blues Music Awards 2011 Acoustic Album of the Year went to The Nighthawks for their album Last Train to Bluesville. Of it, Blues Blast Magazine wrote, “Ten tracks of incredible acoustic blues, all the more impressive given that it was recorded as a live session in the studio rather than pieced together of tracks and parts. The crystal clear recording would showcase any flaws – instead what comes through is a tight, professional acoustic set that truly showcases The Nighthawks’ musicianship.”

Parker & Gray are fresh and local. Their mission is to continue the tradition of preserving blues and roots music while also leaving their own mark. Give them a warm welcome and then look for them at a brewery, bar, or restaurant near you.

Little Lester, “a little white boy singin’ the blues,” is far more, as his performances show. He is a local legend playing shows at a variety of establishments.

The Beer

It is a blues and BREWS festival. Visit these craft beer vendors for a sudsy taste of Virginia:

  • Blue Mountain Brewery
  • Bold Rock Hard Cider
  • South Street Brewery

While you’re in town, check out Staunton’s own craft breweries, too: Red Beard, Queen City, and Shenandoah Valley Brewing Company. For a robust selection of additional Virginia craft beer, Shenandoah Hops is at your beck and call.

The Fine Print

  • Do not bring pets or coolers.
  • Gates will open at 2:00 p.m.
  • General Admission is $25. VIP is $80 and includes seating, snacks, and drinks.
  • Children 12 and younger are free.

BUY TICKETS

>> Eventbrite

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

ALL PRE-ORDERS FOR Harry Potter and The Cursed Child THROUGH The Sacred Circle AND Pufferbellies ARE NOW 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.