Say “I Do” to Staunton’s New Wedding Venues

You’ve dreamed of this day ever since you watched your first Disney movie. You want your wedding to be magical, fun, low-stress and coordinated, convenient, elegant, and unique. You want your guests to be pampered and your pictures to be drool worthy. Staunton has a number of locations ranging from classic to rustic, but for something truly out of a fairy tale, say “I do” at one of the Queen City’s newest wedding venues.

Stelle Rose at Staunton Station

Stelle Rose at Staunton Station, “the next stop in your love story,” is historic Staunton at its best. Located downtown in the freshly renovated train station, Stelle Rose offers a unique combination of old-fashioned elegance and modern cool. Don’t worry about weather on your special day: Stelle Rose has 6,000 square feet of indoor space as well as covered outdoor space, so you can set up any way you desire. The space can seat up to 160 guests and includes a private bridal suite, a separate caboose dressing room, and a full kitchen. Plus, the historic building, train tracks, footbridge, and access to the coolest parts of downtown Staunton guarantee stellar photos. Stelle Rose will work with the wedding professionals you choose or it can provide you with a list of recommended local planners, photographers, caterers, florists, and dessert professionals.

The Blackburn Inn

The Blackburn Inn, built in the 1820s, is rich in history, beauty, and romance. If you’re envisioning something classic, designed by an architect who rubbed elbows with Thomas Jefferson, schedule your tour. Choose from an array of locations on the 80 landscaped acres, which feature willow trees, red brick, white columns, and too many spectacular photo spots to count. The boutique hotel offers 49 rooms and suites, so there’s plenty of space for guests to stay on site. There are even pet-friendly accommodations if you have a fur baby in the wedding party. Currently, the Inn has intimate indoor seating for 35 guests, while tented and untented outdoor weddings (between April and November) can accommodate up to 200. A new space is set to open later this year. The Wellness and Conference Center will contain 10,000 square feet of event space including a 6,000-square-foot ballroom. The new space will include a guest-facing kitchen, bar, and full-service spa. The Inn provides several different wedding packages depending on your needs. It can also suggest preferred wedding professionals. Need help coordinating everything? An on-site venue manager can help with attention to detail on the big day. Check out their wedding brochure

Not Sure Where to Begin?

  • Try to envision the tone you want to set with your wedding: traditional and formal? Modern and funky? Intimate and romantic?
  • Decide on your budget and number of guests.
  • Tour several venues that suit your needs.
  • Wedding venues tend to book far ahead, so reserve your date early!
  • Consult with your venue for suggestions about caterers and photographers.

For more Staunton wedding venues, see Seven Distinctive Staunton Wedding Venues.

Stretch Those Legs: Hikes for Kids of All Ages

Whether you’re new to hiking or you’re hoping to get your kids to join you, the Staunton, Augusta and Waynesboro area (SAW) has a number of hikes that are appropriate for all ages and skill levels. We’ve rounded up a few of our favorites from easy leg stretchers for little ones to more moderate trails with changes in elevation, stream crossings and the occasional rock scramble to keep the tweens and teens active. For other hiking ideas see our post:  Train Those Legs: Six Staunton-Area Hiking Trails for Beginners.

Hikes for Little Ones

White Rock Falls – Blue Ridge Parkway

2 mile easy, out and back hike with scenic views along the stream ending with a 40-foot waterfall.

White Rock Falls Trail on the Blue Ridge Parkway is a 5.3 mile moderate trail loop, but for little legs there is a shorter down-to-the-falls-and-back-up option along a fresh mountain stream with the same payoff—a magnificent waterfall. If you’re starting at the northern entrance of the Blue Ridge Parkway, drive 18.5 miles past the parking lot for the White Rock Falls Trail, and continue for another 1.5 miles until you hit the Slacks Overlook parking area. Cross the Blue Ridge Parkway and head left about 100 feet until you hit White Rocks Fall Trail (look for yellow blaze). Head down the narrow trail through mountain laurel and rhododendron, crossing two wood bridges over the stream where little ones can explore and splash along the stream. The trail offers several views through the trees that are perfect photo ops. After the first major switchback, look for the spur trail (two yellow blazes) to the upper falls, just past the large rock overhang. Walk past the large rock and maneuver your way through the fallen trees (fun for climbing) to the base of the 40-foot falls which has plenty of rocks and pools for wading, but not deep enough for a full swim. For those looking for something a little longer, head back to the main trail and head down for another half mile until you reach the stream which is wider, but not as deep. There is significant elevation change which makes the hike back to the car more challenging for little ones.

Black Rock Summit – Shenandoah National Park

1 mile easy hike offering sweeping views of the mountains and valley beyond.

From Skyline Drive, try Blackrock Summit (milepost 84.4), a geological wonder that’s an easy 1-mile loop. Although not the highest peak in the South District, this is probably the easiest to get to with rewarding views. From the summit of boulder-strewn Blackrock, enjoy views that extend for miles in multiple directions. Look closely and you can also see the layers and quartzite patterns on the rocks. Another short and sweet hike is the Frazier Discovery Trail (milepost 79.5). This area used to be the Frazier’s farm, and you can still see evidence of their past in the apple trees that still dot the mountain.

Hikes for Tweens and Teens

Chimney Rock – Shenandoah National Park

3.4 mile moderate, out and back hike to a scenic view with geological features.

From the Riprap Trail parking area at mile marker 90 of Skyline Drive, take the Appalachian Trail north and then turn left onto Riprap Trail. The tree covered trail has beautiful wildflowers and foliage along the way. The trail has a slight incline but is manageable for all skill levels and ages. After a series of switchbacks, you’ll see a viewpoint on your right. Venture on and you’ll see Calvary Rocks on the left. Spend a few minutes exploring and climbing the rocks, and then, where the trail makes a sharp left, Chimney Rock stands alone on the right across a gorge where you’ll have great photo ops and chance to refuel before heading back to the parking lot. See the map.

Riprap Trail Shenandoah National Park

Approximately 7 mile strenuous, out and back hike through a small gorge with a rewarding swimming hole at your turn around point.

Access this deep, spring-fed beauty by hiking down from the Skyline Drive (Shenandoah National Park fees apply). Park at the Wild Cat Ridge parking lot at mile marker 92 and make your way down to the 50-foot-wide swimming hole. You’ll start on the Wild Cat Ridge trail (blue blaze) eventually connecting to the Riprap Trail.  At the intersection, turn right onto Riprap. Many consider this hike one of the best in the southern end of Shenandoah National Park with several stream crossings. Make a day of it and pack a lunch to enjoy while swimming and relaxing. Once you’ve had you’re fill, retrace your steps back to the Wild Cat Ridge parking lot. Please note this route goes in the opposite direction of Riprap Trail.  See the map.



Pick Your Own Fruit and Produce at 8 Staunton-Area Farms

There’s nothing more wholesome than a summer day spent picking fresh fruit or produce with your family. Here are eight local farms where you can pick to your heart’s content, get away from the crowds, soak in the view, and in some cases, even lay out a picnic. Afterward, enjoy your bounty in seasonal baked goods, canned or frozen for later, or by the handful on the car ride home. 

Before you go:

  • Want to know what’s usually in season? Check out this crop availability calendar.
  • Make sure to contact the farm ahead of time to see what’s actually available.
  • Wear comfortable clothes and shoes.
  • Bring sun protection and bug spray.
  • Don’t eat fruit in the field – pay for it and wash it first!

Fruit and Veggies

Troyer Nursery / 66 Conner Rd, Waynesboro / (540) 932-7363

Though Troyer Nursery specializes in strawberries, you should come back later in the season for sweetcorn, tomatoes, green beans, red beets, squash, zucchini, onions and other vegetables. They also sell milk and ice cream mix from Mount Crawford creamery.

  • Hours: Monday – Friday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. or till picked out; Saturday, 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. 

Critzer Family Farm / 9388 Critzer Shop Road Afton / (540) 241-3305

High on Afton Mountain, Critzer Family Farm prides itself on providing the “freshest, best-tasting and healthiest produce that you can find.”  The farm boasts environmentally-friendly methods and a commitment to educating kids and bettering the land and community. It offers you-pick strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, cherries, peaches, plums, pumpkins, and fresh veggies. Cool down after your time in the fields with some home-churned ice cream.

  • Hours: Monday – Saturday, 8 a.m. – 7 p.m. 
  • Open to the public from April to October

Carter Mountain Orchard and Chile’s Peach Orchard

Carter Mountain Orchard and Chile’s Peach Orchard are both on the other side of Afton Mountain and a bit of a drive from Staunton, but they offer the pick-your-own fruit experience on a large scale. You can pick or buy pre-picked peaches, apples, and other seasonal fruits as well as enjoy the bounty of the farm market, including peach ice cream and apple cider donuts, which are apparently always in season.

Wenger Grapes / 4094 Stuarts Draft Highway, Waynesboro / (540) 943-4956

Wenger Grapes is a small family farm that has grown Concord and Niagara grapes for 80 years. Grapes are in season from the end of August to late September. Pack a lunch and spend the afternoon picking grapes, snapping photos, and enjoying the view of the mountains. Picked grapes may also be purchased.

  • Hours: Monday – Saturday, 8 a.m. – dark

Sunrise Orchards / 218 Mt. Tabor Rd, Staunton / (540) 886-5186

Sunrise Orchards is a small pick-your-own apple orchard that has been in operation for over 18 years. They offer Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, and Jonathan by the bag, peck, half bushel or bushel from September 2, 2020 until the apples are gone, usually in early October. Picnickers are welcome to enjoy the shade of the trees and the beautiful views of the Blue Ridge.

  • Hours: Monday – Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. 

Middle River Farms /1744 Weyers Cave Road, Grottoes / (540) 249-5430

Middle River Farms is the perfect stop for your autumn decorating needs. Open from mid September through mid October, the farm grows over 30 varieties of pumpkins and gourds for the picking. Pumpkins come in all sizes, and their wagonload deal is the best around. They also sell straw, mums, and corn shocks. There’s also a refreshment stand and picnic area on site

  • Hours: Open every day from sun up to sun down.


Pebble Hall Wildflowers / 11 Pebble Hall Lane, Weyers Cave / (540) 421- 7698

If you’d like to brighten someone’s day, pick them a big bouquet of flowers, herbs, and spices at Pebble Hall Wildflowers. This beautiful farm offers views along with its blooms, and you can wander the ½-mile perimeter loop, picnic, and explore the nature museum after you pick. Check out the calendar of what’s blooming when.

  • Hours: Any daylight hours, May 1 to October 31

White Oak Lavender Farm / 2644 Cross Keys Road / (540) 421-6345

White Oak Lavender Farm smells terrific. If you can’t get enough of this soothing herb, visit the farm for a self-guided tour and the chance to harvest your own. You can even buy entire plants to grow in your own garden. Want to relax a little more? Have a glass of wine, sangria, or a frozen wine slushie at the onsite Purple WOLF Vineyard.

  • Hours: Thursday – Monday, 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.



Dine Out in Downtown and Beyond!

Dine Out in Downtown

The City of Staunton has opened Beverley Street to allow outdoor dining on the weekends. The outdoor dining initiative allows restaurants on Beverley Street—that don’t have outdoor space—to spill out onto the sidewalk and even the street! Restaurants, tasting rooms, and retailers are maximizing the extra square footage to safely reopen their businesses and accommodate customers eager to get out and shop, dine, and explore in Staunton. Locals and visitors are encouraged to follow the city’s guidelines for visiting Staunton businesses.

Participating restaurants include:

Baja Bean Co.
BLU Point Seafood Co.
Clocktower Eats & Sweets
Emilio’s Italian Restaurant
The Green Room
Laughing Bird Pho
Shenandoah Pizza & Taphouse
Shenandoah Valley Brewing Co.
The Split Banana
Yelping Dog Wine
101 West Beverley

Other establishments in the Beverley Street Historic District and surrounding areas:

By & By Cafe
Firkin Pie Company
Newtown Baking & Kitchen
The Pampered Palate
Reunion Espresso & Bakery
The Shack

Beyond Beverley Street

Our foodie footprint extends way beyond our charming main street. Staunton is a melting pot of flavor with a wide-range of cafes, bakeries, coffee shops, ice cream parlors and more! Check out Staunton’s other historic and business districts that are taking dining to a whole new level. These businesses are open for takeout, delivery, and inside and/or outside dining. Please call ahead before visiting to verify hours of operation. 

Central Avenue:
Chicano Boy Taco
D & L Donuts
Gloria’s Pupuseria
Gonzo’s Pollo
Jade China House Restaurant
Nu-Beginning Farm

Greenville Avenue/Statler Boulevard:
El Puerto
Great Wall
Kathy’s Restaurant
Kline’s Dairy Bar
Maria’s Pizza & Italian Restaurant
Thai Staunton Restaurant
The Patio at Blackburn Inn
Wright’s Dairy-Rite

Wharf Area Historic District:
Blue Mountain Coffee
Crucible Coffee Roasters
The Depot Grille
Taste of India
Mill Street Grill
Table 44

The West End:
Gincarlo Fine European Pastries
Mi Rancho
Stelle Mia Pizzeria
Valley Smokehouse

Other Favorites:
Mike Lund Food & Lundch
Masaki Japanese Restaurant
The Queen Bean
New York Flying Pizza

Call ahead to make sure the restaurant your visiting is open and what guest requirements they have in place. Please refer to our map for all restaurants along with contact information. 

*Please note this blog post will be updated periodically to reflect the ongoing changes due to the state’s Forward Virginia plan.  If you notice that we have made an error or left someone off this list please email us at

Explore Staunton on Foot: The Gospel Hill Historic District


The corner of Beverley and Coalter Streets was called Gospel Hill in the late 1790s when religious meetings were held here at Sampson Eagon’s blacksmith shop. Today, the intersection marks the heart of this gracious neighborhood of shady streets and elegant homes that represent a century of domestic architectural styles. The district was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1985.

Where to Park

Park in the New Street Parking Garage. Parking is currently FREE in this garage or park along the street which has a two-hour limit.

Market Street

Exit the New Street parking garage along the ramp between the Stonewall Jackson Hotel & Conference Center and the American Shakespeare Center’s Blackfriars Playhouse.  Turn right onto Market Street.

19 S. Market St.  was built in 1810. Named Kalorama—Greek for a beautiful view—this house stands on the site of William Beverley’s manor house. Since the 1830s it has been used as a girls’ school, a hotel, and the public library.

Turn left onto Kalorama Street.

Kalorama Street

215 Kalorama St. was built in 1891. The stone front was designed by T.J. Collins for City Treasurer Arista Hoge.  Note the date and initials A.H. carved into the facade. It is Staunton’s only Richardsonian Romanesque residence.

The 200 block of Kalorama St. was built between 1870-1910. This late 19th-century neighborhood of large homes boasts styles ranging from Italianate to Colonial Revival. T.J. Collins designed 227 Kalorama St. in 1898 using Jacobean details.

Turn left onto Coalter Street.

Coalter Street

10-22 S. Coalter St. was built in the late 19th-century. This block illustrates adaptations of Colonial Revival, Queen Anne, and Shingle styles. Limestone walls and steps are prominent features of Staunton streetscapes.

Corner of Coalter and Beverley Streets

238 E. Beverley St. was built in1840. Legend has it, in the early 1800s, Sampson Eagon, a founder of Staunton’s Methodist Church, held revival services on this site—hence the name Gospel Hill. T.J. Collins remodeled this building in 1915.

18 N. Coalter St. was built in 1870. T.J. Collins’s 1898 remodeling of the original house included a wrap-around porch, now removed. Chateauesque-style features include classical detailing, decorated chimneys, and irregular roofline.

The Woodrow Wilson Birthplace was built in 1846. This twelve-room, Greek-Revival-style house was built by the First Presbyterian Church as their manse or minister’s home.  Woodrow Wilson was born here on December 28, 1856.

Turn onto E. Beverley street to see one of the most beautiful residential areas in Staunton.

East Beverley Street

402 E. Beverley St. was built in 1908.  The symmetrical design and exaggerated proportions of this house typify early 20th-century Colonial Revival—a free interpretation of the style with details inspired by Colonial precedents.

437 E. Beverley St. was built in 1888.  Jed Hotchkiss, aide and mapmaker to Generals Lee and Jackson built this addition onto the front of a circa-1840 house, and named it The Oaks.  Hotchkiss’s campaign maps are in the Library of Congress.

605 E. Beverley St. was built in 1893.  A fine example of Queen Anne architecture, Oakdene was built by Edward Echols, Virginia’s Lt. Governor (1898-1902). It employs every imaginable building material. Note the owl atop the turret.

654 E. Beverley St. was built in 1869.  Edmund Cabell, who was described prior to the Civil War as a “freeman of colour”, built this two-room log home. The original roof was wood shake but has been replaced with tin. Interestingly, this the only remaining exposed log structure in Staunton.

Virginia School for the Deaf and the Blind (VSDB) was built between 1839-1846.  Baltimore architect Robert Cary Long designed the VSDB. The magnificent Greek Revival main building, with its massive columned portico, was completed in 1846.

There are many more sites of historic significance noted on the Historic Staunton Foundation walking tour map. Pick up a walking tour map from the kiosk outside the Visitor Center located at 35 S. New Street and visit some of the other historic districts in downtown Staunton. You can also view and download the walking tour map here. 

Explore Staunton on Foot: The Villages Historic District


The five antebellum structures at Western State are recognized as one of the best-preserved and original assemblages of early institutional architecture in the United States. First known as Western Lunatic Asylum, this institution was founded in 1825 to serve Virginia’s western region.

Architect Thomas Blackburn, master builder William B. Phillips, masons, and carpenters executed finely detailed work on this campus. They also worked on the early construction (1817-1826) of the University of Virginia, designed by Thomas Jefferson in nearby Charlottesville. The original architectural fabric of the campus remains remarkably unaltered. Architectural elements such as rooftop railings, masonry techniques, door and window surrounds, interior archways, stairs, and specific molding details clearly indicate the involvement of fine craftsmen deeply influenced by their work with Jefferson. The buildings are a testament to Virginia’s early effort to provide enlightened care to the mentally ill. Surrounding the building is a landscape of healing, where patients enjoyed the therapeutic pleasure of fresh air in a lush, verdant setting. Of note is the decorative wrought iron enclosure with pineapple finials. The hospital relocated in the 1970s. The complex was then converted into a state prison, which closed in the 1990s. Today, the 80-acre campus is undergoing re-development into a mix of uses.

Where to Park

Park at the Blackburn Inn located at 301 Greenville Ave. 

The Blackburn Inn was built in 1828. The central portion of the main building was originally designed by Baltimore architect William F. Small, Jr. The structure was significantly expanded in 1833 by architect/builder Thomas Blackburn (the namesake of the inn) with the addition of new end wings and again in 1847 with Greek Revival porticos. After a comprehensive rehabilitation, the building opened for guests in 2018 as a boutique-luxury hotel.

170 Village Drive – this structure was built in 1838. Known as The Bindery, this neoclassical building is one of the largest in the complex. The imposing façade includes four-story Doric pilasters, Doric pediment, and an octagonal cupola. The building now houses private condominiums. The building’s name refers to a period in the building’s history when inmates in the state prison here learned the trade of binding books.

Take a Traipse Tour

Partnering with the Blackburn Inn, Traipse has three unique tours that you can embark on while visiting the grounds or as a hotel guest. The first Traipse, called The Blackburn Inn: Thomas Jefferson’s Protege, will have you exploring the grounds of this historic hotel that was once Old Western State Hospital. Discover the life and work of Thomas Blackburn, a rural builder, architect and Thomas Jefferson’s protege from Albermarle County, Virginia. The tour will reveal architectural details and notable features on the grounds of this beautiful hotel. The other two Traipse tours are lodging packages created by Blackburn Inn and are available for purchase. These Traipse tours serve as great itineraries for visitors looking to experience downtown Staunton and the city’s many offerings. Complete all three tours and receive an exclusive prize from the Blackburn Inn. Download these Traipse Tours.

Pick up a walking tour map from the kiosk outside the Visitor Center located at 35 S. New Street and visit some of the other historic districts in downtown Staunton. You can also view and download the walking tour map here. 


The weather is just starting to warm up and everything outside our window is looking bright green and lush. It’s one of the best times to head outside and enjoy walks through our historic downtown an on our nearby trails. Celebrate the end of the spring season and enjoy all that the Shenandoah Valley has to offer.

See how Instagram fans and followers loved scenic Staunton and our surrounding area in our favorite #LoveStaunton photos this spring, then follow us and share your own pics.

Staunton Cityscapes by Night

by @kevincusterphotography

Views for days at sears hill bridge


Nature’s Bounty

by @barrenridgevineyards

by @miss.dlt

spring babies

by @frontierculturemuseum

by @_mollieee_


spring foliage 

by @davidgifreda

by @bluemountaincoffees

by @victoriaannephoto

Sunsets worth the wait 


by @tailsofpineappleandcoconut

by @l.merredith

By @Carolinem222

Explore Staunton on Foot: Wharf Historic District

In the 1840s, Staunton grew from a sleepy town to a thriving center of commerce with the construction of  the Staunton-Parkersburg Turnpike. The town’s growth accelerated again when the Virginia Central Railroad arrived in 1854. The Wharf Historic District grew up around the train depot to handle merchandise and house passengers. Along with warehouses and hotels, this district also featured saloons, distilleries, liveries, and brothels. Despite a history fraught with the perils of fire, flood, war, and abandonment, significant historic architecture survives. The Historic Staunton Foundation has focused on the area’s restoration since 1989.

Where to Park

Park in the Wharf Parking Lot on Johnson Street or across the street form the lot is the Johnson Street parking garage. Parking is currently FREE in designated parking lots and garages in downtown or park along the street which has a two-hour limit.

Johnson Street

Head right (east) on Johnson Street. The Augusta County Courthouse  at 1 E Johnson St. (1901) is located on your left, at the corner of Johnson and Augusta Streets. T.J. Collins designed the Beaux Arts style structure. It is actually the fifth courthouse on this site, dating back to a 1755 log building.

Cross Augusta Street and walk a block to New Street. The buildings on your right are part of the Augusta County District Court System. The historic Stonewall Jackson Hotel (part of the Beverly Historic District Tour rises in front of you. 

New Street

Turn right onto New St.

After its first life as a clothing factory, the City renovated 112 S. New St.(1870) in in 1973 as its first mixed-use development project. Bruce A. Elder Antique and Classic Automobiles at 114 S. New St. (1911) was originally a Ford dealership. It now houses two floors of antique cars that are for sale or on display for Friday and Saturday tours. There is even a car elevator! Before you go, call and check their hours of operation. 

New Street crosses over Lewis Creek as it emerges from under the city and flows through an attractive greenspace and under a stone footbridge. Stop here to look at the water or snap a selfie. This area, if you can believe it, was once called “A.H.H. Stuart’s Meadow,” and was just that – a meadow with a creek running through it.

Look to your left for trapezoidally shaped 1 Mill St. (1892), once one of the largest flour mills in the Shenandoah Valley. It closed as a mill in 1966, but the basement has housed The Mill Street Grill, which has been dishing up delicious lunch and dinner since 1992.

Augusta Street

At the end of New St., turn right on Middlebrook Ave. The train tracks will be on your left and the American Hotel at 125 S. Augusta St. (1855) will be on your right. The railroad built this luxurious hotel to house railroad travelers, and it escaped burning during the Civil War. Later, during an 1868 stay, President Ulysses S. Grant raised his hat to the serenading Stonewall Brigade Band. Many considered this an early public act of reconciliation after the war. The updated hotel is now one of Staunton’s most popular wedding and reception venues.

Turn right onto Augusta Street. At the turn of the century, this route would have been lively with mule-drawn streetcars transporting passengers from the depot to other parts of town.

Stop to admire 120-124 S. Augusta St. (1876), a building that stands out in a town of brick buildings for its pressed metal upper facade. You’d never know it, but Lewis Creek flows underneath. 119-123 S. Augusta St. (1880) was originally a grocery warehouse but remains to show us how the Victorians sought aesthetic appeal in even their most mundane structures.

Backtrack to Middlebrook Ave.

Middlebrook Avenue

Commerce boomed after the railroad came to Staunton, and the row of brick Wharf Warehouses (1870 – 1910) grew to support it. The area takes its name from the way workers carried food – including the wild game Augusta County was known for – and wholesale goods to and from trains along gangplanks connecting them to the warehouses. Today the buildings support restaurants, retailers, and offices. Originally, the Wharf buildings were much more extensive and spread through the area that is now the Wharf parking lot. Structures here were damaged by a flood in 1896 and destroyed by fire in 1911 and again in 1940.

You won’t be able to miss the Bungalow-style C&O Train Station (1902) across from the warehouses. This station is actually the third on the site. The first was strategically destroyed during the Civil War and the second was demolished by a runaway train in 1890. Some say the site is still haunted by those who perished. Take time to climb up to the cast iron Sears Hill Footbridge and cross it to quiet Woodrow Park on Sears Hill for some of the best views of downtown. Both areas are popular photo sites.

For more train-themed activity, check out the historic train cars in and around the Depot Grille and Appalachian Piecework.

Lewis Street

The unusual yellow building you’ll pass on your left at 44 Middlebrook Ave. as you turn onto Lewis Street is the old Fultz Office building, now the tasting room for Ox-Eye Vineyards. Stop in for a tasting or to view the art gallery on the top floor. Next door, 50 Middlebrook Ave was originally the Fultz Warehouse. It is now Wilderness Adventure, where you can purchase gear for your active lifestyle or tour the Story of Virginia Museum, which houses over 200 Virginia artifacts that offer “insight into the personal survival and challenges of real people that developed the great Commonwealth of Virginia.”

Turn right onto Lewis St.

The Klotz building at 202 S. Lewis St. (1929) has been home to Sunspots Studios since 2001. Check out the shop and gallery as well as see live glassblowing in action. Call to verify hours of operation.

The oldest building on your tour can be seen at 118 W. Johnson St. (1854). It features scalloped trim and its original floor plan. You also don’t want to miss taking a look at 109-111 S. Lewis St. (1893) and considering the history of medicine and marketing. This site is where Dr. S.P. Hite brewed patent medicines like “Hite’s Pain Cure.” Hite (who was not actually a doctor) boasted that his magical elixir cured all complaints in man and beast, including paralysis and gangrene.

While many of these stops on the walking tour of the Wharf District do not require you to go inside businesses or other establishments we strongly encourage you to call ahead of time to plan your route to ensure what businesses are open and what protocols they might have in place due to COVID-19.

There are many more sites of historic significance noted on the Historic Staunton Foundation walking tour map. Pick up a walking tour map from the kiosk outside the Visitor Center located at 35 S. New Street and visit some of the other historic districts in downtown Staunton. You can also view and download the walking tour map here. 

Staunton, Virginia Chef Wins National Hazelnut Contest


Hazelnut Marketing Board Announces Chef Recipe Contest Winner


Aurora, Ore. (April 24, 2020) – The Hazelnut Marketing Board (HMB) has selected a winning recipe as a result of a three-month long chef recipe contest. The nationwide contest, which ran January 1-March 9, encouraged foodservice professionals to submit unique recipes featuring Oregon hazelnuts. 

Contest submissions were judged on the following criteria: Creative use of Oregon hazelnuts (50%), and overall culinary creativity (which includes (3) factors: originality, appetite appeal and presentation) (50%). After careful consideration of all submissions, the Oregon Hazelnut ‘Cacio de Pepe’ with Crispy Sage from Executive Chef Matt Hull of Zynodoa, Staunton, VA, was chosen as the winning recipe. 

“I really wanted to think of a different way to use the hazelnuts – not just toasting or making a candied hazelnut,” explains Chef Hull. “Ultimately I went the pasta dough route and milled them into flour.”

Furthermore, he notes that “hazelnuts are one of my favorite nuts because of the crunchy but somewhat waxy texture. As a chef, I love the versatility of hazelnuts. They can be savory or sweet like a hazelnut butter paired with chocolate or you can have one dish that has three different uses of the nut.”

About Chef Matt Hull

Matt is a lifelong resident of Virginia who comes from a family of cooks – he was raised to be a chef. Right out of high school, Matt studied at the Culinary Institute of Virginia to grow his skills and gain experience in the kitchen. Shortly after graduating, he joined the team at Zynodoa and quickly influenced the menu with his personal touch. Matt believes the best meals come from fresh and organic ingredients.

About the Hazelnut Marketing Board 

The Hazelnut Marketing Board was established in 1949 by the growers and handlers of hazelnuts. The purpose of the board is to set quality standards for the industry, ensure all imported product meet U.S. standards and provide funding for promotion of hazelnuts through research, education and promotion programs. For more information, visit

Read the article here. 

Thirsty Thursday

If you’re looking to add some excitement to your life in quarantine,  try your hand at creating these signature cocktails from some of your favorite Staunton establishments. These tasty drinks will certainly up your happy hour game and your mixology skills. You’ll certainly be ready to impress at your next social gathering.

Italian Moped From The Green Room

If you’re looking for something a little more exotic, with a bit of bubbly—carbonation that is—try the Italian Moped from Staunton’s newest wine bar. The mixologists at the Green Room have mastered the craft of mixing wine-based aperitifs with other ingredients and the results are delicious. 

2oz Cardamaro 
3oz Grapefruit San Pellegrino
Two droppers of Smoked Orange Bitters

Add all ingredients into a glass with ice, stir gently, garnish with Italian cherry.

While we can’t lounge at the Green Room’s hip and cozy spot on Beverley Street, you can enjoy your favorite beer, wine and snacks at home. Delivered to your door, Tuesday through Saturday, check out their modified menu and place your order via email. Kick it up a notch with their “night out at home,” which includes an activity, cheese and charcuterie kit along with your choice of beer and/or select wine. Past activities have included puzzles, games, and crafts you can do solo or with your family. 


Feeling adventurous? Try infusing your own liquor. Zynodoa’s Let It Shine takes Belle Isle Moonshine and adds fresh ginger and thyme. While it takes time to infuse the liquor, it’s definitely worth the wait especially since you can’t visit their sleek and modern bar. Combine 1 ½ cups chopped, peeled ginger, handful of fresh thyme (20 sprigs), and 750 ml Belle Isle Moonshine. Let stand for 48 hours. Strain.

1 ½ oz Ginger and Thyme Infused Belle Isle Moonshine (see above)
1 ½ oz Pear Nectar
1 oz Cognac
1 oz Domaine de Canton
¼ oz Lemon Juice

Combine all ingredients into a shaker, add ice, shake and strain into coupe glass. Garnish with thyme sprig.

Table 44

Get your cocktails to go! Every week Table 44 is offering a variety of cocktails for purchase. With one easy step, just pour your beverage of choice right into your fanciest glass and enjoy. Some of their recent concoctions include:

44 Mule – Skyy Vodka, house-made ginger juice, sugar, and lime juice
Mr. October – our ‘old-fashioned’ with Old Overholt Bonded Rye, Vino Amaro, and salted honey syrup
Pictures of You – an agave riff on a ‘penicillin’ with El Charro Tequila, Del Maguey Mezcal, ginger juice, sugar, lemon juice, and honey
Fata Morgana – Old Forester Bourbon, Campari, Dolin Rouge Vermouth, coconut oil
Bee’s Knees – Beefeater Gin, honey syrup, lemon juice, orange bitters pour over ice or straight up in your favorite glass
Respect Your Elders – Ketel One Vodka, St-Germain Elderflower Liqueur, Dolin Dry Vermouth serve with a twist of lemon

Check their facebook page for details and to order your to-go cocktails. 

Other restaurants, wine tasting rooms, and breweries—in and around Staunton—are selling beer, wine and cocktails for curbside pick-up and even delivery. Check out the Staunton Downtown Development Association’s webpage to find out who is open and what they’re offering.