#LOVEstaunton

#LOVEstaunton

Staunton’s Awe-inspiring Churches

Staunton’s awe-inspiring churches are especially splendid during the holiday season with beautiful candle-lit windows, greenery, and of course, special programming. Here are a few reasons why you should make the drive to Staunton to take it all in.  Tiffany Windows at Trinity Episcopal Church Staunton’s oldest church dates to 1746 and features 12 Louis Comfort … Continue reading Staunton’s Awe-inspiring Churches

Staunton’s awe-inspiring churches are especially splendid during the holiday season with beautiful candle-lit windows, greenery, and of course, special programming. Here are a few reasons why you should make the drive to Staunton to take it all in. 

Tiffany Windows at Trinity Episcopal Church

Staunton’s oldest church dates to 1746 and features 12 Louis Comfort Tiffany windows. Intricately crafted and dating to 1897, the windows include the Benedicite, The Archangel Michael, The Madonna and Child, The Praising Angel, The Good Samaritan, Easter Windows, Angel with a Script, and The Beloved Physician Saint Luke. The oldest, most prominent of the windows are The Ascension Triptych, a series of three windows centered behind the altar. The church is open to visitors Monday-Friday from 1 pm-4 pm.

Special Events:

– December 31: Playing of the Merry Organ with Ben Fairfield, trumpet

> The Trinity Episcopal Church Self-Guided Tour of Windows and Furnishings Guide

 

Gothic Revival Architecture at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church

St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church was the first major design by architect T. J. Collins, built in 1895. One of the most beautiful buildings in Staunton, St. Francis is a beacon for the faithful and those who love architecture. The parish website explains the architecture: “… the spiritual goal of Gothic revival architecture is to lead the beholder to mystically reach towards the heights of Heaven …” Collins called it “English Gothic.” Whatever anyone chooses to call it, we call it captivating. Before you come, take a virtual tour of the church to truly appreciate the distinctive  architecture, stained glass windows, various church furnishings, and the liturgical excellence of St. Francis Church. 

Special Events:

– December 12: Advent Penance Service, 7 p.m.
– December 24: Christmas Youth Choir performs prior to 5 p.m. Vigil Mass

> Tour of St. Francis of Assisi Church

 

Glorious Arches at First Presbyterian Church

When you look upon the facade of First Presbyterian Church on Frederick Street, the first things you’re likely to notice are the three large entry arches and complimentary stained glass arch soaring above them. It’s an impressive sight. Historical tidbit: The 28th President of the United States of America was baptized in this beautiful church led by his father, Reverend Joseph Ruggles Wilson. That’s Thomas Woodrow Wilson, if you need a refresher. The church manse where Wilson was born is now part of the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library and Museum campus. And here’s a fun fact: the basin used to baptize the would-be President of the United States is still in use today. 

> History of Staunton First Presbyterian Church

Staunton’s First African-American Church: Allen Chapel A.M.E. Church

Organized in 1865, Allen Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church was the first church in Staunton and west of the Blue Ridge Mountains established by people of color. The church body met at various locations for a number of years until 20 members of the congregation secured the original 1868 building site at 921 West Beverley Street. In 1997, Allen Chapel A.M.E. Church moved to a more accessible location at 936 Sudbury Street. You’re welcome to drive past the original 1868 site, but it is now a private residence.

> Our History, Allen Chapel A.M.E. Church

Dive a little further into our beautiful downtown by getting to know our five historic districts. They’re all stunning during the holiday season and beyond. Consult the Calendar of Events to plan your next trip to Staunton and see our list of other holiday happenings taking place

Staunton’s Five Most Photogenic Spots

  Staunton, Virginia is a beautiful place in any season, but if you’re looking for our favorite locations, we’ve chosen our five most photogenic. They’re perfect for family photos, selfies, and even architectural or scenic beauty. Sears Hill Bridge For a while, Sears Hill Bridge was gone. Literally, it was removed and placed in storage … Continue reading Staunton’s Five Most Photogenic Spots

 

Staunton, Virginia is a beautiful place in any season, but if you’re looking for our favorite locations, we’ve chosen our five most photogenic. They’re perfect for family photos, selfies, and even architectural or scenic beauty.

Sears Hill Bridge

For a while, Sears Hill Bridge was gone. Literally, it was removed and placed in storage until funds could be raised to restore it. In 2013, a restored Sears Hill Bridge was reinstalled, once more providing a vital passageway for residents of Sears Hill to reach downtown Staunton. 

Historic C&O Train Station

While the 1902 train station is not the original station in The Wharf District (it’s the third), it’s obviously a historic attraction and transportation hub. It would be easy to overlook this bit of nostalgia when considering photo ops, but you’d be remiss. A variety of portraits are staged here in every season, and if you time your photos to coincide with Amtrak arrivals and departures, you’d capture even more intriguing photos.

Johnson to Byers Sidewalk

As you walk the avenue of trees from Johnson Street to Byers Street, you’re likely to whisper, “wow.” Don’t worry, we do, too. There’s something so beautiful about a lane of trees shadowing a sidewalk. You’re likely to also appreciate how tucked away and quaint the shops ahead of you are, and how nice it would be to sit and enjoy a drink on the patio. Take it all and capture a few photos so you won’t forget.

Mary Baldwin University

Located in Stuart Addition Historic District, Mary Baldwin University is one of the most picturesque places in Staunton. Some of the more notable locations for photos are the Lyda B. Hunt Dining Hall with its soaring columns, the Rose Terrace in front of Flora McElwee Miller Chapel, and Spencer Residence Hall with its mature trees, archways, and semi-circular portico with iron railing.

Gypsy Hill

Somewhere on the 214 acres of Gypsy Hill Park you’re going to find a gorgeous location for a picnic and photos. Our favorites are the Bandstand and Lake Tams, a 2.5-acre storm water retention pond that beautifully reflects the surroundings. 

Show us your best photos taken at any of these locations or share with us your favorite spot. We would love to share them and help you show them off! Be sure to include the hashtag #ScenicStaunton to get our attention.

A Blue Ridge Christmas in Staunton

The holidays never felt so magical! Embark on a two-night/two-day holiday trip to Virginia’s Blue Ridge. Staunton’s historic and enchanting downtown is one of America’s most celebrated Main Streets and offers a truly authentic holiday experience. Here’s a list of some of our favorite holiday events and activities.   christmas activities AND EVENTS Downtown Shopping: Art … Continue reading A Blue Ridge Christmas in Staunton

Beverley Street decorated for the holidays.The holidays never felt so magical! Embark on a two-night/two-day holiday trip to Virginia’s Blue Ridge. Staunton’s historic and enchanting downtown is one of America’s most celebrated Main Streets and offers a truly authentic holiday experience. Here’s a list of some of our favorite holiday events and activities.  

christmas activities AND EVENTS

Downtown Shopping: Art for Gifts

Find something for everyone on your shopping list! Staunton’s downtown is lined with boutiques and artisan shops offering unique gifts for all ages and interests. One shop you can’t miss is the R.R. Smith Center for History and Art. This gallery and museum is transformed into a holiday market showcasing works by 70 Virginia artists and artisans and features quality, handmade fine art and crafts.

Holiday Tea at the Anne Hathaway Cottage Tea Room

Cozy up to the fire at the Anne Hathaway Cottage Tea Room for a beautiful tea luncheon complete with hand-made scones, tea sandwiches, and shortbread all served with imported jam, clotted crea, and tea. Spend the afternoon catching up with friends and enjoying this beautifully decorated tea room. Be sure and peruse their collection of fine china, jams, and tea along with other goods for purchase.

 
Lantern Tour at Frontier Culture Museum

Embark on an after-hours tour of the Frontier Culture Museum as you take a horse-drawn carriage through time. Experience 19th century England, Ireland, Germany, and America as you visit original farmsteads with costumed interpreters performing music and short works. The tour culminates with light refreshments. Tours run December 15-17 and 21-23.

Blow Your Own Ornament at SunspotsSunspots ornaments

Create a family tradition for years to come by blowing your own ornament at Sunspots Studios! Trained glassblowers will be by your side to assist you in making a one-of-a-kind ornament to adorn your tree at home. Visitors can also watch live glassblowing demonstrations daily from 11 am to 4 pm.

Gingerbread Workshop

The Paris Cake Company presents their 2nd Annual Gingerbread House Workshop. Come ready to decorate your very own pre-built house with all the trimmings complete with royal icing and a candy bar! Parents can enjoy this stress free event (no prep or clean-up to worry about) with hot chocolate and cookies. Reserve your house today. Date: Sunday, December 10

Historic Staunton Foundation’s Holiday House Tour

Known for its rich architecture, tour one of Staunton’s historic neighborhoods on this year’s Holiday House Tour. The tour highlights five beautifully restored homes and one business nestled along the streets of the historic Oakenwold neighborhood situated behind the Staunton Public Library. Walk this wonderful neighborhood and visit these sites beautifully decorated for the holiday season!

Downtown Walking Tour with Traipse

Take to the streets! Discover one of the “Best Main Streets in the USA,” (USA Today) with the free app, Traipse. Explore Staunton’s historic sites, architectural treasures, and awe-inspiring attractions on this tour/scavenger hunt in Downtown Staunton. Choose from several tour options and go at your own pace.

 

holiday PERFORMANCES

American Shakespeare Center’s Blackfriars Playhouse
The cast of A Christmas Carol. 2016. Photo by Lindsey Walters

This holiday season choose from two performances: the classic, A Christmas Carol or the zany compilation, Every Christmas Story Ever Told (And Then Some!) Enjoy ghostly season’s greetings filled with memorable music and cheer with this contemporary twist on the age-old tale of Marley, the three Christmas ghosts, the Cratchits and Tiny Tim. Or ring in the holidays with this fast-paced Christmas journey through all of your favorite holiday classics! Be prepared for a whirlwind of laughter, carols, and joy as you experience the Holiday Spirit like never before. Performances run November 29-December 27. 

Heifetz Holiday Homecoming

‘Tis The Season!  The Heifetz Institute’s brilliant alumni performers return to Staunton for a welcome dose of holiday cheer. This special program features an all-star cast of Heifetz alumni, Artists in Residence, and faculty, including violinists Ji-Won Song and Yiming Mao, violist Molly Wise, cellist Noémie Raymond-Friset, and pianist Anton Smirnoff, with a special appearance by soprano Angel Azzarra in a program of classical masterworks and music fit for the season. Performance: Monday, December 11 at 7:30 p.m, 

Four Mandatory Stops for Arts and Crafts in Staunton

Staunton is a hub of creative activity with a variety of media and arts unveiled daily. Our hardworking artisans are nose-to-the-grind as they amass beautiful handmade wares for the home, to be gifted, worn, and treasured. Nearly every downtown block hosts a passionate creator. Take the time to see their work, see them at work, … Continue reading Four Mandatory Stops for Arts and Crafts in Staunton


Staunton is a hub of creative activity with a variety of media and arts unveiled daily. Our hardworking artisans are nose-to-the-grind as they amass beautiful handmade wares for the home, to be gifted, worn, and treasured. Nearly every downtown block hosts a passionate creator. Take the time to see their work, see them at work, and possibly fall in love with something their hands have made with these four mandatory stops for arts and crafts in Staunton.

Artful Gifts | 6 Byers Street

Fiber artists Lisa Jacenich creates hand-felted wool and silk clothing, and re-purposes old wool sweaters to create scarves and mittens. Her clothing includes the usual suspects as well as some surprising pieces, like a little black dress!

Lisa’s husband Jim is her detail-oriented accessory partner. His specialty is kumihimo, or, Japanese braiding, which he applies to belt and jewelry making. The Jaceniches consider their work to be wearable art. From simply embellishing existing clothing to creating their own clothes, accessories, and jewelry, one can complete an entire outfit at Artful Gifts.

If you care to learn how to create the types of items the Jaceniches create, you’re in luck. Workshops are available!

Appalachian Piecework | 38 Middlebrook Avenue

Laurie Gundersen is a “utilitarian folk artist” and the driving force behind Appalachian Piecework. Her talents include basket weaving, fabric dying, quilting, and spinning. From her 18th century barn loom she crafts handwoven market bags. From locally-harvested trees she weaves a variety of baskets. Not even the bark is wasted.

Appalachian Piecework also offers handcrafted products by like-minded artisans. Stop by to shop Thursday through Saturday from 11 to 6. Restoration requests and custom orders are welcome.

Sunspots Studios & Glassblowing | 202 S. Lewis Street

A hub of hot air and gorgeous glass gifts, Sunspots Studios & Glassblowing is owned by Doug and Caroline Sheridan. Doug was a metal artist who picked up glass artistry rather accidentally, but who has created one of Staunton’s most interesting tourist attractions.

Open every day of the week, would-be artisans can blow their own glass ornaments or just sit back and watch the Sunspots staff create beautiful pieces. Sunspots hosts the Virginia Hot Glass Festival each May, an occasion that includes additional artisans demonstrating their talents as well. In fact, a fire-breathing dragon is a regular attendee to the festival. During the Queen City Mischief & Magic event in September, Sunspots’ staff created glass wizard wands. Truly, there may not be anything they can’t make.

Stop in to Sunspots Monday through Saturday from 10 to 6 or Sunday from 11:30 to 5 to shop the gallery of 15+ artisans’ goods, catch a demonstration, or blow your own glass ornament.

Rachel’s Quilt Patch | 40 Middlebrook Avenue

Rachel’s Quilt Patch is a fabric shop named for owner Rachel Brown. Both she and her daughter Kay Shirey are avid quilters and work the shop together. At Rachel’s Quilt Patch beginning quilters are introduced to fabric options, stitching, and more.

Classes, workshops, clubs, and even “sew-in’s” are all options at Rachel’s Quilt Patch. Store hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 10 to 5, or by appointment Thursday evenings.

 

Eight Places to Antique In Staunton

   Antiquing is almost like treasure hunting, except there’s no map with an “x” because the “x” is different for everyone. Fortunately, there are eight places to antique in and around Staunton, and we feel confident you’ll find a special something in one of them. From funky finds to recycled riches and everything in between, … Continue reading Eight Places to Antique In Staunton

 

 Antiquing is almost like treasure hunting, except there’s no map with an “x” because the “x” is different for everyone. Fortunately, there are eight places to antique in and around Staunton, and we feel confident you’ll find a special something in one of them. From funky finds to recycled riches and everything in between, spend the day (or weekend) seeking out treasures of your own.   

L. Oppelman | 27 Middlebrook Avenue

There are no dusty items at L. Oppelman, rather, you’ll find only the finest pieces in this shop specializing in period and modern firearms, jewelry, silver, coins, and collectibles. Estate and vintage finds are beautifully displayed; sellers are as welcome here as buyers.

Once Upon a Time Clock Shop | 25 W. Beverley Street

If you have a thing for the ol’ tick-tock, Once Upon a Time Clock Shop is your place! Mantel clocks, wall clocks, grandfather clocks, European clocks, and Made in the USA clocks are all available here. If you have one that is in need of cleaning or repair, Dean Sarnelle is your man. His talents and abilities are renowned, thus clocks from around the country flood into his shop year ’round.

17 E. Beverley Antiques | 17 E. Beverley Street

Seven shops in one, 17 E. Beverley Antiques offers most of what you’d expect to find in an antiques store, but you may also find some interesting rarities, like sheet music and mid-century pin-ups. Vintage Christmas ornaments, silver, toys, and an array of vintage costumes are quite the draw. If you go, try on all the cool shades and take selfies. We want to see ’em!

17 East
Antique sewing
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Antique Statues
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Cherish Every Moment | 13 E. Beverley Street

Discover upcycled treasures at Cherish Every Moment. Vintage and antique pieces are made new again with a fresh coat of paint, hardware and personal touches to create an unexpectedly wonderful general store-meets-boutique destination. From rustic to somewhat Victorian, you’ll find a wide range of decor here.

Staunton Antiques Center | 19 W. Beverley Street

Vintage clothing, handbags, and jewelry share 10,000 square feet of space with antique furnishings, decor, table settings, art, lamps, and so much more. You’ll want to allow yourself plenty of time to notice every nook and cranny at Staunton Antiques Center, lest you miss a treasure you may not have known you needed. DO check out the incredible book selection.

Queen City Marketplace | 110 W. Beverley Street

Three floors of vendor space are waiting for you at Queen City Marketplace. Browse to find an abundance of fine antique furnishings, heirloom quality linens, art, decor, toys, dinnerware, retro kitchenware, and folk art. Collectibles are tucked in for the sharp eye to find, so look closely for Longaberger, Department 56, comics, and more.

Warehouse Antiques & Collectibles | 26 W. Beverley Street

The odds are in your favor of finding something special at Warehouse Antiques & Collectibles. They’re loaded with many household items, decor, tools, glassware, woodcrafts, and needful things. Crocks, canes, enameled steel campfire necessities, baskets … the list goes on and on!

Ragalia | 713 N. augusta Street

 Just off the beaten path—but a short car ride away—is Ragalia. This fiber studio specializes in handwoven scarves and blankets and has a collection of estate jewelry, vintage clothing, and other retro finds.

 

 

Your Leaf Peeping Paradise

If you’re in search of those perfect fall colors, look no further than the Shenandoah Valley and its Queen City, Staunton. Nestled between the George Washington & Jefferson National Forest and Shenandoah National Park, the mountain town is the just 20 miles from the entrance of both the Blue Ridge Parkway and Skyline Drive. These … Continue reading Your Leaf Peeping Paradise

Fall in Staunton Photo by Warren Fraught

If you’re in search of those perfect fall colors, look no further than the Shenandoah Valley and its Queen City, Staunton. Nestled between the George Washington & Jefferson National Forest and Shenandoah National Park, the mountain town is the just 20 miles from the entrance of both the Blue Ridge Parkway and Skyline Drive. These scenic routes make for a great driving tour offering scenic overlooks with breathtaking mountain views ideal for photo ops and picnics. They also provide access to a number of the area’s most popular hiking destinations for all ages and abilities. Here are two that will offer those stunning fall colors you’re clamoring for:

From Skyline Drive try Blackrock Summit, a geological wonder that’s an easy 1-mile loop. From the summit of boulder-strewn Blackrock enjoy views that extend for miles in multiple directions. 

From the Blue Ridge Parkway, try Humpback Rocks; a challenging two-mile hike offering amazing views from the top of this popular rock outcropping. For those looking for an easy leg-stretcher start at the Humpback Visitor Center and take the Mountain Farm Trail (.25 mile) leading to the Outdoor Farm Museum where you can tour a 19th century log cabin and outbuildings complete with costumed interpreters providing demonstrations of subsistence farmers. Another nearby hike, Catoctin Trail, starts at the Humpback Rocks picnic area and is an easy walk (.3 mile) leading you to an overlook of the Shenandoah Valley. Spend the afternoon discovering the region’s flora and fauna culminating in a picnic lunch. 

Route 11
Or take the road(s) less traveled through the Shenandoah Valley. Traveling to Staunton–headed south–hop on Route 11 which parallels Interstate 81 and is a pleasant drive through charming small towns. Along the way, and not too far off Route 11 you’ll find: Route 11 Potato Chips, Luray Caverns and Dayton Farmers Market. From your home-base of Staunton you can continue south on Route 11 to Lexington with a stop at another natural wonder: Natural Bridge.

Route 250
From Staunton take Route 250 west to Monterey. Driving through the town of Churchville consider a stop at T-bone Tooters for lunch and then a jaunt at the top of Shenandoah Mountain. From the top of the mountain, is a popular viewing area and features an easy half-mile, winding-trail that offers an access point to the gently rolling Shenandoah Mountain Trail, and Ramsey’s Draft Wilderness.

Route 252
Another scenic route from Staunton is Route 252 toward Lexington. Start your morning at the Staunton Farmers’ Market for breakfast and some shopping. Take Middlebrook Road from Downtown Staunton (passing Sunspots Studios) and make your way through the small towns of Middlebrook and Newport before hitting the historic Wade’s Mill. Conclude your scenic drive at Rockbridge Vineyard before you heading back to Staunton for a farm to table dinner and a show at the American Shakespeare Center’s Blackfriars Playhouse.

Staunton’s 10 Best Fall Flavors

  The official first day of fall was September 22, but we’ve been salivating—for weeks—at the thought of apples, pumpkins, and anything with a hint of spice and cinnamon. If your palate enjoys these flavors, too, come to Staunton this fall for a full-fledged dine-and-drink-around of epic proportions. Our 10 best fall flavors are waiting … Continue reading Staunton’s 10 Best Fall Flavors

 

Pumpkin Spice Muffins from Paradise Donuts

The official first day of fall was September 22, but we’ve been salivating—for weeks—at the thought of apples, pumpkins, and anything with a hint of spice and cinnamon. If your palate enjoys these flavors, too, come to Staunton this fall for a full-fledged dine-and-drink-around of epic proportions. Our 10 best fall flavors are waiting …

  1. Chef Said Rhafiri’s pan-seared maple leaf duck breast at Aioli is served with butternut squash parmesan risotto, vegetable tempura, and blackberry reduction. It’s one of the finer meals you can enjoy in downtown Staunton this fall.
  2. We’ve come to know that many travelers make their way to Staunton just to eat. Yes, our meals are THAT good. One of their destinations is The Shack, where Chef Ian Boden is inspired to create daily menus based on what the growers are delivering. Watch for delightful treats like Rappahannock oysters, pumpkin pierogi, and apple fry pie!
  3. A name like “Harvest Rigatoni” says it all. At Byers Street Bistro, you can order up this savory dish that includes sweet Italian sausage, roasted Brussels sprouts, butternut squash, fried sage, parmesan cheese, and a garlic white wine sauce. 
  4. Cast iron cornbread is a southern staple and Zynodoa pairs it with house-made Gala apple butter. That’s just one of the special entries you’ll find on their ever-changing menu. You may also want to try the mixed green salad topped with Malcolm’s Market radishes, cucumbers, butternut squash, toasted almonds, Wayside Farm ginger, and herb vinaigrette.
  5. We’re always amazed at the ingenuity and think-outside-the-boxedness of Chef Mike Lund of Mike Lund Food & LunDch. You never know what incredible dish he will whip up, like maybe giant fennel-spiced garbanzo balls with spaghetti squash covered in herb marinara and shaved parmesan? It’s a veggie, gluten-free option that capitalizes on the season. And it’s delicious!
  6. If you love donuts, Paradise Donuts has to be on your list. Apple spice and caramel apple flavors are already rolling out, and maple is one of the all-time best sellers. New for this year are pumpkin spice muffins. You’ll want to arrive early to ensure you score one of these tasty seasonal treats!
  7. Moriarty Day is one for your calendar. It’s the day Redbeard Brewing Company releases their latest edition of Moriarty, a barrel-aged Imperial Stout. This year’s Moriarty Day is October 18, and this year’s pour has been settling in Bourbon barrels from John J. Bowman, Eagle Rare, and Buffalo Trace. 
  8. It’s no surprise that Staunton pulls off a flawless transformation to become the quaint wizarding hamlet of Hogsmeade in September. What may be a surprise is that Shenandoah Valley Brewing Company is tapping their Mischief Butterscotch Ale to coincide with the Queen City Mischief and Magic weekend (previously known as Queen City Potter Party … as in Harry Potter).
  9. Queen City Brewing has two delicious beverages that are perfect for the fall season. Try the hard-pressed Apple Ale or Cranberry Ale, both 7% ABV, and both quite refreshing.
  10. Fall flavored coffee and pastries are likely found in several of our favorite morning hot spots, but we like The By & By for their surprises like pumpkin rolls, peanut butter pie, and of course, their Oktoberfest celebration of craft beer and brats. Prost!

Eat well and enjoy the autumn season in Staunton and the Shenandoah Valley!

Spend Your Football Weekends in Staunton

If you’re headed to the Shenandoah Valley for a JMU, VMI, or perhaps even a UVA football game this fall, consider staying in Staunton. We’re a short and scenic drive to nearby gridirons, and a hip, historic overnight, too! Avoid the crowds and stay at one of our accommodations, which are more likely to have availability … Continue reading Spend Your Football Weekends in Staunton

Spend Your Football Weekend in Staunton

If you’re headed to the Shenandoah Valley for a JMU, VMI, or perhaps even a UVA football game this fall, consider staying in Staunton. We’re a short and scenic drive to nearby gridirons, and a hip, historic overnight, too!

Avoid the crowds and stay at one of our accommodations, which are more likely to have availability than the host cities. In downtown, choose from the Stonewall Jackson Hotel, The Bard’s Nest, and The Storefront, all within walking distance of tasty food and beverages. For those early tailgaters the Comfort Inn is a great option with easy access to Interstates 64 & 81. 

Pregame with a filling breakfast at The By & By, Blue Mountain Coffees, or Kathy’s, then head over to Gypsy Hill Park for a warm-up and stretch. Walk the trails, feed the ducks, and let the kids run off a little bit of energy before it’s time to tailgate. Gypsy Hill is also an excellent place to land after the game. Perhaps a post-game picnic?

Speaking of tailgating, you’ll need to stock up before you head off to the game. Pick up a tasty variety of salads, pastas, and sandwiches from Farmhouse Kitchen & Wares, Pampered Palate or Cranberry’s. All of which offer fresh, homemade eats that can easily be taken on the road. To quench your thirst, pick-up a six-pack of local craft beer at Shenandoah Hops or maybe some Virginia wine at The Wine Cellar

Celebrate your victory at one of our craft breweries or lively restaurants, like Baja Bean Co., Shenandoah Pizza, or Byers Street Bistro. If your team wins, you’ll want to be close to your accommodation before you start celebrating. Should your team lose (gasp!), blow off some steam with your own hot air by blowing glass at Sunspots Studios.

Go Dukes, Hoos, and Keydets! We wish you a successful, winning season!

Exclusive Guide to Queen City Mischief and Magic

Calling all muggles and wizards! The second annual Queen City Potter Party (now Queen City Mischief and Magic) is September 22-24, and unless you attended the 2016 party, you’ve never seen Staunton like this. Three days of mischief and magic await! As Staunton is transformed to Hogsmeade (the only wizards-only village in Britain, per the … Continue reading Exclusive Guide to Queen City Mischief and Magic

Calling all muggles and wizards! The second annual Queen City Potter Party (now Queen City Mischief and Magic) is September 22-24, and unless you attended the 2016 party, you’ve never seen Staunton like this. Three days of mischief and magic await!

As Staunton is transformed to Hogsmeade (the only wizards-only village in Britain, per the Harry Potter series), business names change, the culture changes, and food and drinks change. It’s as if our city is charmed for the weekend! To find your way around, you’ll use a Marauder’s Map, much like Harry did during his first visit to Hogsmeade. Fortunately, you won’t need your invisibility cloak.

Queen City Potter Party

14 Hogsmeade MUST-DOs:

  1. Get the weekend started with the Hogwarts Homecoming Quidditch Games on Friday. The first match will be between Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw at 6 p.m. Late arrival? You’ll have Gryffindor vs. Slytherin at 7 p.m. The championship game begins at 8 p.m.
  2. See Harry and Hagrid arrive via the Hogwarts Express at Platform 9 3/4 at 9 a.m. Saturday! Visit the conductor and get a hat just like his while supplies last.
  3. Choose your wand. Rather, let a wand choose you! Purchase wooden wands at Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes (Pufferbellies Toys & Books) or glass wands at Ollivanders Wands & Orbs (Sunspots Studios). Want to eat your wand? Head over to ye Olde Curiosity Shoppe (Staunton Antique Center & The Artisans Loft).
  4. Craft a potion at Borgin & Burkes (Redwood & Co.), but sign up fast as we are certain the classes will fill quickly. Is Amortentia on the list of potions to be made? That would be lovely, wouldn’t it?
  5. While no one wants to be a “prisoner of Azkaban,” you should head over there anytime between noon and 6 p.m. Saturday (Cocoa Mill Chocolate Co.). Beware Dementors. Just sayin’.
  6. The Ministry of Magic Tours are limited, but must-see! Secure your time slot to take a special family-friendly tour through Crack the Code Escape Room before they’re gone.
  7. Madam Puddifoot’s (The Pampered Palate Cafe) is not only a Hogsmeade destination for delicious eats and drinks, there are classes to create your own Magic Twirling Tea Cup upstairs! Text 434-826-0832 to reserve your time slot.
  8. Professor Gilderoy Lockhart will be available for a meet-and-greet at Flourish & Blotts (Black Swan Books and Music). Do purchase a Queen City Mischief and Magic tote to carry all of those potions and tea cups!
  9. Visit the Restricted Room at Hogwarts Library (Barrister Books), but head’s up! There are flying books! Be sure to add a quill or bookmark to your QCMM tote.
  10. Try your hand at taming beasts (some of them are indeed fantastical!) at Magickal Menagerie (Harmony Moon).
  11. Wizards beyond a certain age will want to seek out the butterbeer at The Three Broomsticks (Baja Bean). Cheers!
  12. Find your way to The Flaming Arena behind Gringotts (Suntrust Bank) Friday and Saturday night. The Queen City Fire Circus will be performing a free show.
  13. Tarot card readings with a deck created of iconic Staunton images, Rune readings, and dragon visitations at Hagrid’s Hut (Artful Gifts LLC.)
  14. Channel your inner Hermione with a visit to Beauxbatons Academy (Mary Baldwin University) for a magical lesson on a variety of Potter-related topics, from owls to Nicholas Flamel. Taught by Mary Baldwin professors and other community experts.

… and that’s just the beginning!

A Few Finer Details:

The Marauder’s Map is LOADED with fun in Hogsmeade. Check often for its availability and updates. You won’t want to miss a thing!

There is limited parking available downtown: side streets, public lots, two parking garages (on Johnson Street and New Street).  Please view this map that shows all public parking: Map of downtown Staunton.

There will also be a FREE shuttle running a constant circuit from the Federated Auto Parts Warehouse lot (on Statler Blvd) to the Mill Street Grill parking lot. For a map click link.

Download Traipse, an app, to participate in Horcrux Hunting.

Keep an eye on the schedule for late additions.

You are encouraged to dress as your favorite Harry Potter series character. See the photos from 2016 for inspiration.

Queen City Mischief and Magic is a FREE event with a few pay-as-you-go opportunities (like crafting your own Thinking Putty at Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes!).

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 third year, The Virginia Food Truck Battle & Beer Competition will … Continue reading 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 third year, The Virginia Food Truck Battle & Beer Competition will be held Sunday, September 3rd 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 (six total per zone) and a sample from each of the six breweries in the beer garden. 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 11:30 am before the general admission ticket holders are permitted access at 12:30 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 starting at 12:30 pm.

BUY TICKETS
VIP: $40 advance; $45 day-of
General Admission: $10 advance; $15 day-of; free for children five 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!

  • Delicias Marina – Waynesboro
  • Eats on the Streets – Staunton  
  • Grillizza (16 meals tax due) – Broadway
  • Farm Fresh Fixins – Staunton
  • Rock’s Money Pit BBQ- Augusta Co.
  • El Chilango Mexican Grill – Nelson Co.
  • Bella Luna Food Truck – Harrisonburg
  • Cuz Em  Southern Cooking & Seafood – Harrisonburg
  • Dirty Bean – Staunton  
  • Grapevine – Richmond  
  • The Saucy Bird -Staunton  
  • El Budare Grill – Roanoke  
  • Hardman’s Smoke Stack – Lynchburg  
  • Truck 121 -Harrisonburg  
  • Mama’s Caboose-  Harrisonburg
  •  Paella Perfecta – Harrisonburg  
  • Mouth Wide Open – C’ville  
  • Sooners – Stuarts Draft

THE CRAFT BEER

Six breweries will compete for #winning status:

  • AleWerks of Williamsburg (last year’s winner)
  • Seven Arrows of Waynesboro
  • Basic City of Waynesboro
  • Shenandoah Valley Brewing of Staunton
  • Pale Fire of Harrinsonburg 
  • Great Valley Farm of Lexington

COOL THINGS TO KNOW

Most important…BRING YOUR ID!

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

Have creative kids? Let them PAINT A CAR, courtesy of Valley Cars! Magic Shows and Freckles & Friends will be performing. Along with several games to take part in!

Is the phone going dead? There’s a charging station, courtesy of Cricket Wireless.

Not much of a craft beer fan? Coors Lite will be available for purchase.

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.