Staunton’s 5 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.

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 nine 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.

Nanny June Vintage Clothing | 19 W. Beverley Street

Nanny June Vintage Clothing has a great selection of timeless vintage wearables and accessories. Whether you’re looking for a wedding dress or some mod club attire, you’ll find clothing with a story at this friendly boutique. Best of all, make sure your new-to-you clothes have the perfect fit by taking them to the on-site Alteration Station.

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!

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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.

Worthington Hardware & Antiques | 26 W. Beverley Street

The odds are in your favor of finding something special at Worthington Hardware & Antiques. 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!

Factory Antique Mall | 50 Lodge Lane, Verona

Chosen as both a Best of the Valley in the Daily News-Record Reader’s Choice Awards and a Best of Virginia Living the Wild Life award winner, the Factory Antique Mall is a sure bet for treasure seekers. It’s the largest antique mall in America and you can find housewares, furniture, books, jewelry, toys and many other items. There’s even a snack bar!

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!

Free Things for Kids to Do in Staunton

Summer travels, spring break, and impromptu days off here and there often leave parents looking for things to do that won’t break the bank. Ta da! We’ve rounded up a list of free things for kids to do in Staunton and it’s all for you. Pin, Facebook, bookmark, or print this for future reference; we’re sure you’ll look to it as a resource for a while to come.

Artsy Things

Glow, cad sel, copper ruby.

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One of the coolest demonstrations you’ll ever see is glassblowing, and you can see it everyday in Staunton at Sunspots Studios! Watch the masters seemingly turn glass into wax as they form big bubbles bound for a life of beauty. 

Outdoorsy Things

Most parks are fun, but have you seen our parks? Here’s what’s waiting …

Gypsy Hill Park is 214 acres and has a skate park (BMX, inline, scooters, and skateboards are welcome), the Gypsy Express Mini Trail (almost free; $1 per person), garden center, numerous ball fields, and of course, playgrounds. Don’t miss Family Nite Flix hosted by Staunton Parks and Recreation – free family-friendly movies at the Gypsy Hill Park Bandstand.

Lake Tams is a 2.5-acre lake that’s stocked for fishing. Bring your pole and valid Virginia fishing license to see what’s biting!

If your kiddos just like to ride their bikes or work to gain their balance on a new pair of skates, you’re in the right place. Constitution Drive meanders through the park is a designated play street, meaning kids have the right to play in the street.

Finally visited the Natural Playground at Montgomery Hill Park. Stayed for hours! 😍

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

Do you have a little explorer on your hands? Feed the sense of adventure and mystery when you geocache in our parks or downtown.
Learn more about the process and fun of geocaching, then locate our area caches to get started.

Fun Things

Arguably, everything we’ve mentioned thus far is fun, but what about fun with toys? Did you know Staunton has a toy store that lets your kids play while you shop? “Don’t touch” is not a phrase you’ll hear at Pufferbellies. Pop in to play at the largest independently owned toy store in the Shenandoah Valley, and you can help your kids build their Christmas wish list while you’re at it!

Have you ever heard of Kids Bowl Free? Our very own Staunton Lanes is a member of the program that allows your children to bowl two free games every day all summer long. The catch is that once your child is registered, he or she may only bowl at the bowling alley initially chosen at the time of registration. If you never bowl but want to, go ahead and choose ours! 

Discover Staunton by Trolley! Although its not free—the cost is 25-cents per rider—hop on and off as you visit area attractions like the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library & Museum, Gypsy Hill Park and several of Staunton’s historic districts. The Green route runs every 30 minutes from the Visitors Center located at 35 S. New Street. Or explore by foot using the free app, Traipse! Traipse takes you on an adventure that is half historic tour and half scavenger hunt. You can Traipse anytime, with whomever you want, in places like downtown Staunton, Gypsy Hill Park, and the campus of Mary Baldwin University. The app even provides discounts at select local businesses when you complete the challenges at those spots.

Historic Things

If you’re an active duty military family, we have great news! The Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library and Museum is free for you between Memorial Day and Labor Day! Check out the Blue Star Parent Tool Kit for great ideas to get your kids interacting with what they see during the visit.

History buff families with eager-to-learn children tend to appreciate a good walking tour with a knowledgeable guide. Fortunately, the Historic Staunton Foundation offers such tours every Saturday. Join in for free!


Our Visitor Center is located at 35 S. New Street. Come in for a map, directions, or help with reservations.

Free Things for Adults to Do in Staunton

Families aren’t the only ones looking for freebies these days. All of us want to save a buck where we can, right? Yes, of course! The good news is there are free things for adults to do in Staunton, which helps you splurge where you want to and be a frugalista when you want to, too.

Artsy Things

If you appreciate the finer things – the arts in many shapes and forms – this is your jackpot to free things to do in Staunton.

1. The Beverley Street Studio School Gallery hosts rotating exhibits, which are open to the public seven days a week. See what’s currently on exhibit.
2. When you find yourself in Staunton during lunch time on a Monday in the summer, DO find the Heifetz Institute musicians for a free concert. The summer series is called Mondays on the Market and the location varies.
3. The Staunton Augusta Arts Center is located in the historic R.R. Smith Center for History and Art. Peruse the galleries Monday through Saturday to check out the rotating exhibits, which change every six weeks. See what’s currently on exhibit.
4. Have you ever seen glass blown? Do so for free at Sunspots Studios. It’s free to watch and demos are offered daily until 4 p.m.

Historic Things

1. The Louis Comfort Tiffany windows at Trinity Episcopal Church are always a draw, and we’re always happy to inform you that you can visit the church for free to see them. Learn more about the windows and plan your visit.
>> Also See: Staunton Architecture: Newtown Historic District 
2. Thornrose Cemetery should probably be one of the places on your list if you didn’t receive a nudge from us or someone else with some knowledge of the property. Thornrose is the final resting place of more than 1,700 Confederate soldiers from five area battlefields. The various statues are worth attention as well.
3. A guided tour of Staunton is offered every Saturday – May through October – for free! Connect with the Historic Staunton Foundation to join in.

Outdoorsy Things

1. Betsy Bell and Mary Gray Wilderness Parks are open to the public from dawn until dusk. Walk the nature trails and appreciate the expansive views of Staunton and the surrounding area. Be sure to bring your camera to capture wildlife!
2. In downtown Staunton is the 214-acre Gypsy Hill Park. Some people love the duck pond, others appreciate the swimming pool. We’re sure our skilled readers will go for the skate park. Bring your inlines, your BMX, or your skateboard to thrill onlookers with your mad tricks. During the summer, we’d expect to see you at the bandstand for free summer concerts as well. Featuring a different genre almost every night of the week, with band concerts by the Stonewall Brigade on Monday; Praise in the Park on Tuesday; Bluegrass in the Park on Wednesday; and Jazz in the Park on Thursday. 
3. Those with a need for some adrenaline will enjoy the mountain biking trails at Montgomery Hall Park. Check out the map to see what the fuss is all about.

Tasty Things

1. Shenandoah Hops offers complimentary tastings every Friday from 6 to 8 p.m. Those tastings could include craft beer, wine, or cider.
2. Another evening tasting option occurs at The Wine Cellar. Sometimes the tastings are on Fridays and sometimes they’re Saturdays. Check the calendar to see what’s being poured.
3. If you enjoy cooking stop by Staunton Olive Oil Company’s tasting room for a cooking demonstration and to try their many varieties of infused and fused olive oils and balsamic vinegars. 


Enjoy your time in downtown Staunton and let us know how we can be of assistance. Our Visitor Center is located at 35 S. New Street. Come in for a map, directions, or help with reservations.