#LOVEstaunton

#LOVEstaunton

Staunton’s Must Try Burger List

May is National Hamburger Month, and it’s time to devour Staunton’s versions of this American classic. Want to tickle your tastebuds with a good, old-fashioned hamburger? How about a burger with an exotic twist? From diner burgers to elevated pub fare, to beef alternatives, Staunton burger joints will please just about any taste.  Remedy Burger … Continue reading Staunton’s Must Try Burger List

May is National Hamburger Month, and it’s time to devour Staunton’s versions of this American classic. Want to tickle your tastebuds with a good, old-fashioned hamburger? How about a burger with an exotic twist? From diner burgers to elevated pub fare, to beef alternatives, Staunton burger joints will please just about any taste. 

Remedy Burger is the newest burger game in town. They serve juicy and customizable beef patties smashed and seared on the hot grill. The Remedy Burger is their signature sandwich with double smashed patties, American cheese, dill pickles, lettuce, and Remedy sauce. The Ballard Burger is loaded with bacon, pimento cheese, and slathered with roasted garlic mayo. Another tasty bet is the Burners Blue Burger which comes with blue cheese, mango chutney, and arugula. Want something different? Try the Broccoli Burger mounded with cheese, pickles, onion, lettuce, and Remedy sauce. Don’t skip the fries on the side. Kiddos will get excited for the happy tray meal that comes with sides and a toy.

Smash burgers might not be the first thing you think of when you dine at BLU Point Seafood Co., but you won’t be able to forget them after you leave. You select the perfect size smash burger: single, double, triple, or, if you’re starving, the quad. Consider also the NoBull Veggie Burger, made from a locally made grain and veggie burger and topped with cheese, lettuce, onion, tomato, and pickles. 

Don’t skip the cheeseburger at the new farm-to-table gourmet sandwich shop, Seed to Tail. This double burger comes on a focaccia roll with cheese, lettuce, tomato, and special sauce. If you’re not into meat tonight, order the veggie burger version. While your burger is on the grill, check out Seed to Tail’s extensive wine selection and pick up some eggs, vegetables, and baked goods for meals at home later in the week.

You’ll have a tough time choosing from the burger selections at the Clocktower Restaurant and Bar. You can certainly build your own from a wide range of add-ons, but we love the Surf and Turf Burger, which comes with hot crab dip, shrimp, and swiss. We also like the mac and cheese topped Mac Burger, as well as the Sunrise Burger which has a fried egg, bacon, and cheddar.

The Shack is widely known for its award-winning food, and even the burger is something special. Get it each week from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. on Smash Burger Wednesdays at The Staunton Grocery. Burgers are served with chips and a drink.

Try a delicious Mill Street Grill burger, a ⅓ pound mix of ground sirloin and filet mignon cooked to order with a large selection of options including avocado, mushrooms, and Havarti cheese. If you’re not feeling the beef, Mill Street also offers a spicy black bean burger served with grilled onion, guacamole, lettuce and tomato, and cilantro-citrus mayo on the side. Complete your meal with an extensive appetizer menu and a full selection of wine, beer, or drinks from the bar.

Wright’s Dairy Rite has been making Staunton smile since 1952. You can still pull your car under the canopy, order through a speaker, and waitstaff will deliver your meal to your car. Kids’ meals arrive in boxes that look like classic cars. You can get just about any combination of toppings you please, including chili, coleslaw, and onion rings. Other specialties include a half-pound “monster burger,” a ham cheeseburger, and a classic “super burger.” Wright’s is also famous for its ice cream delights, so save room for dessert!

Is your stomach rumbling for a tasty burger for lunch? Byers Street Bistro has two great options on the menu, both made with Angus chuck. The Steakhouse Burger is piled with sautéed mushrooms, provolone, onion straws, and steakhouse mayo. The Bacon Royale Burger incorporates smoked bacon, bacon aioli, and sharp cheddar. Enjoy it with chips, pasta salad, slaw, or fries. Hungry yet?

The food at Table 44 tastes amazing and the presentation is wonderful, too. If you’re looking for a burger, you can’t go wrong. The Bacon Bleu Burger comes with applewood bacon jam and blue cheese on a challah bun. Lee’s Burger boasts Monterey jack, sautéed creminis, and applewood bacon. You might also like the Loaded Baked Potato Burger, which tops a goat cheese and scallion potato cake with bacon, cheddar, and sour cream. For those who don’t fancy meat, the Roasted Portobello “Burger” will be a hit with a balsamic-rosemary braised portobello, sprouts, onion marmalade, and cheese on a gluten-free bun. 

Located in the old train station in the historic Wharf District, the Depot Grille has three yummy burger choices on its menu: the Classic Half Pound Burger on a Brioche bun, the Bacon Cheddar Burger, and the Portabello Swiss Burger. All can be made to order and you can order from an extensive menu of sides and starters. Save room for Kentucky Derby Pecan Pie with bourbon and chocolate chips or Death by Chocolate Cake. You can choose to sit at the 40-foot antique bar if you want a bit of history with your meal.

If you’re looking for a burger to compliment your Mexican meal, look no further than Baja Bean’s Baja Burger. Get it with cheese, jalapeño slaw, fried egg, bacon, and jalapeños with a side of fries! Make your meal a celebration by ordering from Baja’s curated tap list. Don’t forget to order fried ice cream for dessert!

Staunton’s Best Gifts for Moms

Remember all the times your mom wiped your tears, gave you pep talks, and told you she loved you? Well, Mother’s Day is Sunday, and it’s time to spoil her the way she deserves! We’ve rounded up enough Staunton gifts, experiences, brunches, and more to make any mom or mother figure in your life feel … Continue reading Staunton’s Best Gifts for Moms

Remember all the times your mom wiped your tears, gave you pep talks, and told you she loved you? Well, Mother’s Day is Sunday, and it’s time to spoil her the way she deserves! We’ve rounded up enough Staunton gifts, experiences, brunches, and more to make any mom or mother figure in your life feel special this year.

Share Some Brunch

  • You can’t beat Staunton when it comes to a tasty brunch! Take Mom out for a Mother’s Day brunch (or dinner) of “inspired Southern cuisine” at Zynodoa (brunch served from 10-2). Indoor and outdoor seating available.
  • Reserve a table at The Shack for a pre-fixe Mother’s Day brunch that emphasizes the best local and regional seasonal ingredients.
  • Table 44 serves up inspired twists on your favorites as well as an unforgettable loaded bloody mary (brunch served from 11-2).

Enjoy an Experience

  • Do you and Mom bond over theater? Take her to a production of Romeo and Juliet or The Comedy of Errors at the Blackfriars. Afterward, share your reviews over wine and snacks at The Green Room.
  • Sign Mom up for an art class or workshop at Beverley Street Studio School. Classes are held either in-person or virtually, and you can choose from a variety of topics for artists at all ability levels.

Find a Special Gift

  • Reserve Mom a massage, skin treatment, or manicure at the Spa at the Blackburn. You can also help Mom relax by surprising her with a massage at Mill Street Body & Soul Day Spa and Salon. Make her feel really special by giving her the gift of a boudoir photo session, which includes a hair and makeup team and professional photography. Dad will appreciate this gift, too! 
  • Do you have an outdoorsy mom? Grab her a new pair of running shoes at Sole Focus Running or some new hiking poles and a daypack at Wilderness Adventure.

Shower Her with Tradition

  • It’s a no-brainer that jewelry, flowers, chocolate, and wine are perennial favorites on Mother’s Day. Continue the tradition by having your personal message engraved on something glitzy from H.L. Lang Jewelers. You’ll also find beautiful and unusual jewelry at The Sparrow’s Nest. Choose from botanical, gemstone, leather, and antique button collections. 
  • Browse online and spoil Mom with a colorful bouquet from Rask Florist or Honey Bee’s Florist. Brin’s Posy Floral creates vivid and artistic bouquets.
  • Treat Mom’s sweet tooth with incredible looking and tasting chocolates from Giancarlo Fine European Pastries. Consider signing Mom up for an upcoming pastry class. Your mom would also love an overflowing “platinum pail of chocolates” assortment from Cocoa Mill

Must-See and Do in the Beverley Historic District

Downtown Staunton contains many examples of Virginia’s finest Victorian architecture. Most of the buildings in the Beverley Historic District date from the 1870s to the 1920s. In fact, this small, walkable district was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1981. Besides history, this bustling section of Staunton boasts much in the way … Continue reading Must-See and Do in the Beverley Historic District

Downtown Staunton contains many examples of Virginia’s finest Victorian architecture. Most of the buildings in the Beverley Historic District date from the 1870s to the 1920s. In fact, this small, walkable district was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1981. Besides history, this bustling section of Staunton boasts much in the way of shopping, dining, and culture. Here’s how to spend an afternoon or a weekend exploring the Beverley Historic District. 

Where to Stay

  • Hotel 24 South (formerly the Stonewall Jackson Hotel) was built in 1924 and remains the city’s tallest building. The renovated rooms and suites are luxurious and modernized, but the hotel retains its historic charm. On-site amenities include a business center, fitness center, and heated indoor pool. 
  • The Frederick House combines the extravagance of a fancy hotel in a more personal setting. They offer a menu of signature breakfasts as well as plenty of privacy and personality. The 20 guest rooms are spread between five historic homes.
  • The Storefront once served as a tea shop and is now a two-level accommodation. The ground floor boasts a unique bar/lounge area with a television, bathroom, and full-size futon. Upstairs, you’ll find a bedroom, bathroom, and full kitchen. 

Where to Have a Drink

  • Grab some flights or pints at Shenandoah Valley Brewing Company, a small craft brewery right on Beverley Street. They don’t serve food, but you can have carryout delivered or walk a few steps to a delicious nearby restaurant. 
  • The Green Room is a hip gathering spot in Staunton run by Blackfriars Playhouse actors. Sip wine, craft beer, cider, specialty non-alcoholic cocktails, and savor light fare like charcuterie boards and sandwiches. 
  • Yelping Dog Wine stocks hundreds of types of wine, from bottles produced locally to those made around the world. Stop in for a glass and a cheese plate or gourmet grilled cheese sandwich.

Where to Eat 

  • Start your day with coffee and a healthy and delicious breakfast at The By & By. Nearby Vic’s Eats is a veteran-owned cafe serving mouth-watering breakfast items as well as salads, sandwiches, and French press coffee. Réunion Bakery & Espresso brews delicious coffee drinks as well as mouthwatering French-inspired pastries. Cranberry’s Grocery & Eatery focuses on vegetables, fruits, and organic grains and is a convenient way to grab a quick, fresh bite for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. The Pampered Palate feeds hungry diners fresh quiche, sandwiches, and wraps.
  • Are you craving the freshest sustainable seafood available? BLU Point Seafood Co. is where “the Chesapeake Bay meets the New England shore.” The bar delivers a big menu of cocktails, beer, wine, and cider, including many local options. Zynodoa will inspire your tastebuds with southern cuisine in a stylish, metropolitan setting. Aioli shines for its Mediterranean cuisine and tapas. Don’t skip dessert: The Split Banana will refresh you with 18 fresh flavors of gelato.

Where to Shop

  • Adults and children can find their next great read on the shelves at The Book Dragon. Fans of rare books should check out Barrister Books. Words Matter’s collection of word art and poetry is perfect for home decor or memorable occasions. Blair Made designs beautiful custom handmade wooden signs.
  • Peek in at Ware House Miniatures to pick out a dollhouse and all the furnishings. Next door, find a variety of model kits at J C General Merchandise. The Heifetz Music Shop delights with music-themed gifts. 
  • Tap into the positive energy we need so badly at Little Shoppe of Crystals. Browse the selection of crystals, jewelry, aromatherapy, and more.
  • The Foundry Pop-Ups promotes the work of local artists and craftspeople who make clothing, jewelry, bath products, candles, and decor. Known best for handmade swords, armor, and Welsh items, Medieval Fantasies Company also sells jewelry, candles, and bath and body products that smell like magic. 
  • Design at Nine is your source for distinctive women’s clothing, shoes, and boots as well as the accessories you need to tie your look together. Latitudes Fair Trade Store has unique and trendy clothing, bags, scarves, and jewelry. Men will look sharp after shopping at CFO Trading Company for clothing, outerwear, scarves, hats, and seasonal accessories. 
  • Taste and purchase ultra-premium extra virgin olive oils, infused and fused olive oils, and balsamic vinegar at Staunton Olive Oil Company. Sweeten your day with a selection of chocolates from Cocoa Mill. Beverley Cigar Store sells cigars, pipes, pipe tobacco, smoking accessories, lighters, and clothing.

What to Do

  • Built to resemble Shakespeare’s Blackfriars Theatre, the American Shakespeare Center stages high-quality productions of Shakespeare’s plays as well as contemporary works. Visulite Cinemas brings the latest popular and artistic movies to the big screen and you can sip a glass of wine or beer while you watch. Enjoy live entertainment like DJs, music, and karaoke at the Tempest Bar and Lounge

Take a self-guided or seasonal guided walking tour with the Historic Staunton Foundation and download our Architectural Walking Tour of Historic Staunton map before you go. Access even more of downtown Staunton by taking a Traipse Tour unique to the Queen City.

Wool Week 2022 at the Frontier Culture Museum

Have you ever wondered what people from the past did when they wanted to update their wardrobes? Today, we go to the store or even order our outfits online, but the process was much more involved for our ancestors and the early settlers of the Shenandoah Valley. Not only did they have to obtain the … Continue reading Wool Week 2022 at the Frontier Culture Museum

Have you ever wondered what people from the past did when they wanted to update their wardrobes? Today, we go to the store or even order our outfits online, but the process was much more involved for our ancestors and the early settlers of the Shenandoah Valley. Not only did they have to obtain the raw materials, but they also had to clean them, and transform them into cloth. Finally, they had to turn the fabric into wearable clothing or other textiles. Each year during Wool Week, the Frontier Culture Museum invites visitors to celebrate spring as well as the process of creating useful products from raw materials.

How can I visit?

Wool Week 2022 is April 25 – May 1

There is no extra cost beyond regular admission to the museum.

Museum visitors will see:

  • Demonstrations focusing on wool and flax processing
  • Sheep shearing
  • New baby lambs
  • Regular museum exhibits

How long will the lambs be little?

Lambs are born in the spring when there’s plenty of grass to eat and the weather has lost its winter chill. Ewes give birth to one to three lambs at a time, but twins are most common. Lambs usually weigh about the same as human babies. They can walk within a few hours of being born!

What is wool, anyway? How did people on the frontier harvest it?

Wool is the heavy winter coat of the sheep that’s harvested each year in the spring. While we typically use mechanical clippers now, people from the frontier would use sharpened blades like scissors with the pivot point at the end. Skilled shearers can remove the wool quickly and keep it in one piece.

Do sheep like getting shorn?

Sheep shearing is very much like getting a haircut, but nervous sheep may struggle during the shearing process. It takes a lot of strength to hold them still and clip the wool at the same time. Sheep shearers should take their time to prevent injuries. Shorn sheep feel cooler for the upcoming hot weather and are probably relieved to be rid of their heavy, dirty coats. 

How do they clean the wool?

Contrary to what we see in picture books, sheep are pretty dirty. Museum interpreters use their hands to pull and tease the wool fibers apart to get rid of dirt and parasites. Next, they wash and card the wool. Carding untangles the fibers and stretches them out so that they can be spun. The museum staff will teach you how to perform each of these steps.

How did settlers color the wool?

We didn’t have the synthetic dyes we use now until the middle of the 19th century. Before that, people colored their fabrics with plants, lichens, and even insects. They used fixatives like salt and vinegar to help the dyes stay in place. Professional dyers were very protective about their recipes since some worked better than others. Many colors weren’t readily available, especially in the materials for the dyes that came from far away. Wool can be dyed before or after spinning.

How did they turn that pile of wool into my favorite sweater?

Spinners wind stretched-out wool fibers into yarn. Next, the yarn is formed into a fabric by knitting or by weaving on a loom. Both the German and the Irish farms have looms and visitors can watch the intricate, time-consuming process of working one.

What else can I see at the museum?

The Frontier Culture Museum is a living history museum that will connect present-day people with the lives and histories of those who lived in the past. The walkable museum offers a chance to explore the homesteads of the various people who settled in the region from other places. They include farms from West AfricaEnglandIreland, and Germany. The museum also offers a Native American village and American farms from various time periods.

Have more questions? Head to Wool Week to get answers!

Check out more events on Staunton on Tap.

“Soil: Mother Earth From the Ground Up” – Staunton’s Earth Day 2022 Celebration

Have you enjoyed being outside this month? From balmy spring days and floral displays to heavy wind and freaky snowstorms, Mother Nature has been pulling out all the stops, and we are noticing! Spring is a wonderful time to channel some of that appreciation into learning about how to take good care of the Earth. … Continue reading “Soil: Mother Earth From the Ground Up” – Staunton’s Earth Day 2022 Celebration

Have you enjoyed being outside this month? From balmy spring days and floral displays to heavy wind and freaky snowstorms, Mother Nature has been pulling out all the stops, and we are noticing! Spring is a wonderful time to channel some of that appreciation into learning about how to take good care of the Earth. Below, read about Staunton’s annual Earth Day as well as several local businesses making it their business to preserve and beautify our planet.

Earth Day: Saturday, April 23, 2022

Each year, Staunton holds a large, family-friendly educational fair for Earth Day. This year’s theme is “Soil: Mother Earth from the Ground Up,” and visitors will learn all about what lives in and makes up the soil as well as other environmental topics.

Head over to Bells Lane on Saturday for Staunton’s Earth Day Celebration

Enjoy live music from Heifetz and Cotton Hill Band (Bluegrass). You also won’t want to miss the Wildlife Center’s demonstration with the center’s educational animals. These creatures are native species like owls and opossums that received treatment at the center, but can’t return to life in the wild. See the full schedule.

Earth Day events are designed to help us learn to appreciate and preserve our planet by promoting clean air, land, and water, supporting native species, and more. The day’s ongoing activities include kite flying (bring your own or get one at the event), an “underground” classroom, fish kissing, and chances to befriend bats and worms.

Most exhibits will have demonstrations, games, crafts, or other hands-on activities designed for kids to learn actively. Check out booths by more than 20 local environmental organizations including Project Grows, Staunton Parks and Rec, the JMU Art Department, the Augusta Bird Club, Virginia Department of Wildlife, Friends of Middle River, and the Potomac Trail Club.

Staunton Businesses that Promote Good Stewardship of the Earth

Staunton has a number of businesses committed to reducing our impact on the earth.

  • Farmers’ markets shine as ways to obtain the freshest possible produce and connect with your community. They also support local agriculture and sustainable farming practices. Visit the Staunton Farmers’ Market April – November. If you’re lucky, you’ll catch some live music!
  • Staunton Plant Co. specializes in locally grown and native plants. Native plants are important because they have adapted to their native conditions and generally don’t require as much fertilizer or pesticides as other species. They also shelter and feed local species of birds, mammals, and insects like butterflies. Staunton Plant Co., a full-service garden center, also provides annuals, perennials, mulch, trees, and hanging baskets to beautify your property.
  • Not only does JMD Farm Market & Garden Center offer locally grown annual, perennial, and vegetable plants, they also carry garden gifts and fresh, local meats, fruits, and vegetables. Shop, enjoy a glass of wine and let the kids explore the natural playground.
  • Bryan Black, designer and owner of Concepts Created, consults with individual customers before constructing custom furniture out of reclaimed wood and other materials. Skilled handcrafting and attention to detail produce durable and unique pieces that have both beauty and history.

Buy your favorite cleaning and personal products at Refill Renew, a low-waste refill shop where you bring your own refillable containers, and pay for the bulk product you add. Choose from hair and body products, sunscreen, various cleaners, and detergents, as well as local apple cider vinegar. You’ll also find reusable lifestyle goods like stainless steel utensils and straws, mesh product bags, beeswax wrap, biodegradable trash bags, and more.

Natural Areas in Staunton’s Parks

If you’d like to connect with nature while in the city of Staunton, explore some of the natural areas in our parks. Betsy Bell Wilderness and Montgomery Hall Park both offer miles of trails for hikers and mountain bikers. Birders, too, will revel in the high number of species that can be identified in these areas. Montgomery Hall’s Nature Ridge natural playground doesn’t have swings or slides, only natural elements that will absorb kids for hours of imaginative and exploratory play.

A Spring Guide to Staunton’s Gardens, Farms, and Markets

Want to take a springtime walk and see some flowers? Want to learn about sustainable farming practices and how to fill your own garden with native Virginia plants? How about getting your hands on the first fresh produce of the season? Here’s our spring roundup of Staunton’s gardens, farms, and markets. Historic Garden Week Staunton … Continue reading A Spring Guide to Staunton’s Gardens, Farms, and Markets

Want to take a springtime walk and see some flowers? Want to learn about sustainable farming practices and how to fill your own garden with native Virginia plants? How about getting your hands on the first fresh produce of the season? Here’s our spring roundup of Staunton’s gardens, farms, and markets.

Historic Garden Week Staunton Tour: April 23

Historic Garden Week returns to Staunton at the peak of spring. Tour attendees can stroll through Colonial Williamsburg-inspired Baldwin Place to see two beautifully landscaped homes and a floral design demonstration and gardening talk. A short walk away, the extensive gardens at Waverley Hill will also be on display. Originally designed in 1929, the house and gardens have been recently restored. Musicians from the Staunton Music Festival will play in the gardens.

Historic Garden Week has been held since 1927 when it was used to raise funds to restore Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello estate. Each year, more than 250 historic homes across the state open their doors and grounds to visitors. Proceeds go toward preserving and restoring public gardens in Virginia.

In honor of Garden Week, bring the kids to Staunton Augusta Art Center’s Spring Fling. Experience a day long celebration of Spring, Gardens and Poetry. Come make a flower and pollinator “zine” out of watercolor, see artists drawing and painting, and hear poetry being read!

Staunton Gardens

Even if you can’t make Garden Week, you’ll see plenty of blooms as you explore Staunton’s residential neighborhoods. Gardens in many of our public spaces also shine. 

  • The Augusta Garden Club’s Project Dogwood has planted over 150 of these springtime beauties in Gypsy Hill and Montgomery Hall Park. They’ve also erected signage to identify and provide information about the different types of trees.

Nearby Gardens and Farms

  • The Andre Viette Farm & Nursery is known best for its daylilies, but the extensive display gardens are open to the public and contain much more. The sun and shade gardens will inspire your own landscaping, and you’ll be able to purchase favorites at the garden center.
  • Lovely sites and smells will greet you at Pebble Hall Wildflowers (Weyers Cave), where you can pick blooms from over an acre of wildflowers and herbs. Check out the schedule to see what’s in season. 

  • White Oak Lavender Farm (Harrisonburg) provides beautiful views, a chance to tour the lavender fields and pick some lavender when in season, a lavender shop, a discovery area for kids, and a tasting room for the Purple WOLF Vineyard.

  • Stroll along the peaceful trails at JMU’s 125-acre Edith J. Carrier Arboretum (Harrisonburg) for inspiration on how to use native Virginia flowers, trees, and shrubs in your own landscaping. You’ll find water features, artwork, play areas for kids, and more, nestled in the wooded environment.
  • You probably visit Stable Craft Brewing (Waynesboro) for the craft beer, agri-pub food, and music, but you can also sign up for a tour of the facilities. This brewery and event space is on a beautiful working horse farm, and tours teach about the brewery’s sustainable practices and offer a peek behind the scenes. 
  • Polyface Farms (Swoope) leads the nation in best-practices farming. Polyface also offers self-guided tours, scheduled lectures, and private tours. You can buy pasture-raised, hormone/antibiotic-free chicken, beef, pork, and eggs at the farm store. 

Markets

  • Tap into the heart of the community at Staunton Farmers’ Market every Saturday morning from April through Thanksgiving. Everything sold here has been grown or produced from within 75 miles. You’ll find the freshest seasonal produce, herbs, plants, and cut flowers. Producers also sell meat, cheese, baked goods, honey, and pickled items. 

  • Verona’s North Augusta Farmer’s Market operates each Wednesday afternoon (May-October) at the Augusta County Government Center. You’ll enjoy perusing the big selection of fruits, vegetables, eggs, meat, bakery items, honey, and artisan crafts.
  • Nu Beginnings The Store emphasizes local and organic goods and celebrates the tastes of the Valley. You’ll find prepared food, milk, honey, meat, cheeses, eggs, jams and jellies, baked goods, and much more. You can even order online and pick up your food curbside.
  • JMD Farm Market & Garden Center sells vegetable and garden plants, pottery, seasonal produce, meats, eggs, and local honey. Do your shopping, and then enjoy a glass of wine while the kids play on the small natural playground.
  • The Valley Pike Farm Market (Weyers Cave) emphasizes local and Virginia products and includes a coffee shop, deli, ice cream shop, bakery, and food trucks. You can also buy many varieties of Virginia wine and beer.
  • Plan an upcoming summer excursion to pick your own fruit at Critzer Family Farm, which grows strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, cherries, peaches, plums, pumpkins, and fresh veggies. 

Plan Your Family’s Staunton Summer Adventure

Are you looking for a new place to take the family this summer? School lets out in just a few weeks, so it’s time to start planning now. Staunton has tons of fun activities to delight the whole family. You can’t go wrong planning a trip around an event or festival, but Staunton is lovely … Continue reading Plan Your Family’s Staunton Summer Adventure

Are you looking for a new place to take the family this summer? School lets out in just a few weeks, so it’s time to start planning now. Staunton has tons of fun activities to delight the whole family. You can’t go wrong planning a trip around an event or festival, but Staunton is lovely any day of the year.

Events and Festivals

  • June 24-26: Everyone in the family will get up and dance as the biggest names in folk music appear at Red Wing Roots Music Festival in Natural Chimney’s Park. Besides the music, festival attendees can expect a beer garden, food and craft vendors, bike rides, yoga, and lawn games for adults and kids alike.
  • Bring the family to Gypsy Hill Park this Independence Day for the free, family-friendly Happy Birthday America celebration. Have a blast with a 5K race, a lively parade, concessions, live music from local acts and country group Wilson Fairchild, and fireworks. (Free)
  • August 12-21: Musicians will love The Staunton Music Festival’s classical concerts spanning over 600 years. Dozens of musicians will perform in both large and small ensembles in a variety of Staunton venues like Trinity Episcopal Church and Blackfriars Playhouse. (Some concerts are free, some are ticketed)
  • September 4-5: Join the fun at the Staunton Augusta Art Center’s 55th annual Art in the Park festival in Gypsy Hill Park. You’ll find amazing art, community spirit, live music, food, and creative activities for the kids. The park boasts lots of parking, shade, and playgrounds to keep everyone happy. (Free)
  • September 24-25: Join thousands of seriously excited fans in downtown Staunton for themed shopping, dining, performances, and hands-on activities for all ages at the Queen City Mischief and Magic Festival. This home-grown fan festival celebrates J.K. Rowlings’ Harry Potter series as well as all things magical and mystical. (Many activities are free, some are ticketed)
  • July 26-30: Visit Augusta Expo for the rides, shows, food, and fun at the Augusta County Fair. Check the schedule for more upcoming fun like train shows, dog shows, and tractor pulls.

Family-Friendly Lodging

Kid-Friendly Restaurants

  • Start your day with a hearty meal at Kathy’s Restaurant, where they heap on goodness and serve traditional breakfast fare served all day. Have you ever tried a Captain Crunch biscuit? Vic’s Eats serves an eclectic menu with delights like honeybuns and fried bologna.
  • For a pre-dinner beverage, check out the kid-friendly beer gardens and phenomenal craft beer at Skipping Rock Beer Co. or Redbeard Brewing Company.  
  • Kid-friendly Shenandoah Pizza offers plain and loaded gourmet pies that celebrate local ingredients and lore. Oh, and parents can order more beer from their extensive tap list.
  • The Depot Grille is another tasty, family-friendly way to catch a bite. The restaurant serves delicious American fare and includes a menu for kids. 
  • If your family enjoys Mexican, order dinner at the Baja Bean. The menu has loads of options including choices for the younger set and an impressive tap list for the grownups. 
  • Wright’s Dairy Rite serves its kids’ meals in boxes shaped like antique cars. You sit in a booth and order your food over the phone. The food is traditional diner fare, just the way picky kids like it.
  • However, if you have more of an adventurous eater on your hands, Taste of India offers a range of fresh Indian dishes. Diners choose how mild or spicy they want their dishes to be.
  • Complete the day with one (or more) of the 18 fresh-made flavors of frozen gelato at The Split Banana or indulge yourself with a giant soft-serve cone from Kline’s Dairy Bar, which has been perfecting their creamy flavors for decades.

Play Outside

  • Spend a fun Saturday morning exploring the Staunton Farmer’s Market. Listen to live music, talk to local farmers and taste seasonal fresh fruit and a variety of baked goods. This is a great way to catch a snack, introduce the kids to new tastes, and connect with Staunton’s bustling community.
  • Take a hike in one of Staunton’s parks or hit the playground or tot lot at Gypsy Hill Park. Montgomery Hall Park has a regular playground and Nature Ridge, a playground made of natural elements to aid in exploring nature and having fun. Montgomery Hall also has miles of hiking/biking trails and an 18-hole disc golf course. 
  • Get out of town to Shenandoah National Park or George Washington and Jefferson National Forests for a dose of Next, summon your inner billy goat gruff and climb up to the historic Sears Hill footbridge to Woodrow Park
  • Step back in time at the Frontier Culture Museum, which invites visitors to explore the lives of people living in the Valley from the 1600s through the mid-1800s. Walk between working farms where costumed interpreters answer your questions and demonstrate daily activities. Little folk will love the animals, and you can rent a wagon if your kids can’t handle lots of walking.

Indoor Activities Everyone Will Enjoy

  • Staunton is home to the American Shakespeare Center and the Blackfriars Playhouse, the world’s only re-creation of Shakespeare’s indoor theater. If you come in May, you can get tickets for one of the final shows of Romeo & Juliet or The Comedy of Errors. Summer programming includes Every Brilliant Thing (in conversations with Romeo & Juliet), Twelfth Night, and Thrive, or What You Will (an exploration of themes from Twelfth Night. If your kids are a little young for the Bard, you might find an age-appropriate movie at the Visulite.
  • Work together to solve one of the active puzzles at Crack the Code Escape Room. Pick from several challenges like Subway, NYC, or Staunton-themed Lang’s Legacy. You’ll have an hour to decipher the clues and break out of the mysterious room.
  • Get an intro to the fascinating art of glass-blowing at Sunspots Studios. Artisans answer questions and demonstrate how they blow and shape molten glass into globes and art pieces. You’ll want to study this process or reserve a spot in a  “Blow Your Own Ornament” session, led by a trained artist. 
  • USA Today calls Beverley Street one of the “most charming main streets” in America and several stores cater to families. Look for dollhouse gear at Warehouse Miniatures and modeling supplies at Hobby Surplus Outlet. The Dragon’s Hoard will meet your gaming needs, and Pufferbellies, the largest independently owned toy store in the Valley, has something to fascinate the kid in all of us.
  • Teach the kids to knock down some pins at Staunton Lanes!

Hopefully, this list has given you some ideas on how to take your family on a Staunton Adventure this summer. Start planning today!

Experience BaroqueFest in Staunton, VA

The Staunton Music Festival’s 10-day summer concert series brings over 80 world-class chamber musicians to town every August to showcase 600 years of music. But did you know that SMF brings almost 40 concerts to town each year, including “intimate” concerts in the spring and fall that are “often focusing on specific repertoire, from Baroque … Continue reading Experience BaroqueFest in Staunton, VA

The Staunton Music Festival’s 10-day summer concert series brings over 80 world-class chamber musicians to town every August to showcase 600 years of music. But did you know that SMF brings almost 40 concerts to town each year, including “intimate” concerts in the spring and fall that are “often focusing on specific repertoire, from Baroque to Modern.” 

This spring’s offering is BaroqueFest a “three-day immersion in the very best music from the 17th and 18th centuries.” Baroque is known for the birth of the orchestra and common-practice tonality, in which a piece of music is composed in a specific key. BaroqueFest will include programs for voices, orchestra, and chamber ensembles. Performers will play period-appropriate instruments like historic keyboards, winds and brass, and strings. 

Photo by Leslie Kipp

How Do I Purchase Tickets?

Purchase individual tickets for individual concerts or buy a BaroqueFest or annual pass.

Photo by Leslie Kipp

BaroqueFest Itinerary

Here’s how to enjoy all the BaroqueFest programming as well as find food, lodging, and fun in Staunton in your downtime. 

Friday, April 8

12 p.m. Concert: Organ Recital with David Schrader

Master organist David Schrader performs a solo recital on the historic Taylor & Boody instrument at Christ Lutheran Church. Christ Lutheran Church | Free admission

Find Your Lodging 

Check into a tastefully updated room with historic details at the Blackburn Inn, a venue for some of the music. Other elegant and historic lodgings like Hotel 24 South or Frederick House provide access to Staunton’s shopping, dining, and walkable downtown. Browse all of our lodging options here.

Dine on Staunton’s Finest

Sit down to a fresh seafood dinner at Blu Point Seafood or casual drinks and light fare at The Green Room. If the weather is warm, try dining al fresco at one of several restaurants participating in Staunton’s Shop and Dine Out Downtown program. You’ll find fare ranging from gourmet pizza and burgers, Mexican, elevated Southern comfort food, gelato, and much more.

7 p.m. Concert: Concerto Italiano

Mark the start of spring–and the SMF BaroqueFest–with a ravishing program of Italian music, from Renaissance madrigals to concertos by Vivaldi, Marcello, and others. Central United Methodist Church | $26

Saturday, April 9

Fuel Up and Explore Staunton

Prepare for a big day with coffee and a pastry or breakfast sandwich at Serendipity Java Bar and Eatery. This new cafe is located in the Wharf District near the historic train station. Make sure you check out the nearby Sears Hill Bridge. The view you get of downtown is worth climbing the steep steps to the top. Nearby, the Staunton Farmers’ Market is open for the 2022 season. Look for fresh treats, live music, and a chance to shop and chat with producers. If you have time, catch a ride on Staunton’s historic trolley, a fun way to get around downtown. Stops on the line also include Gypsy Hill Park and the park-like Thornrose Cemetery.

12 p.m. Concert: Kaffeehaus Zimmermann

Leipzig’s cafes were prime music venues in the Baroque era. Enjoy orchestral, chamber and vocal music by Handel, Zelenka, Pisendel, Telemann, and Pachelbel. First Presbyterian Church | free admission

Fill Your Afternoon with Art and Craft Beverages

Satisfy your curiosity at Sunspots Studio, where you’ll watch artisans making creations out of molten glass. You’ll get a chance to ask questions and observe every step of the process. After that, browse the gallery for unique art glass home and garden decor, barware, and jewelry. Next, visit Redbeard Brewing or nearby Ciders from Mars for a taste of what’s new on the craft beer and cider scene. Take advantage of the warmer weather by sitting outside. Enjoy dinner at Table 44 or Byers Street Bistro, both of which serve Southern food with a twist and boast tasty cocktail menus.

7 p.m. Concert: The Old-Bachian Archive 

Orchestral, chamber, vocal, and choral works by lesser-known members of the Bachian clan, closing with Johann Sebastian’s Cantata 207. First Presbyterian Church | $26

Sunday, April 10

Enjoy Another Staunton Meal

Celebrate your weekend with a big breakfast at veteran-owned Vic’s Eats, which opens bright and early at 8 a.m. Enjoy hearty sandwiches like fried eggs, cheese, and your choice of meat served on pancake buns or fresh-made biscuits. Next, burn off those calories with a self-guided walking tour of downtown Staunton, named by Architectural Digest as one of the 30 Most Beautiful Main Streets Across America. Stroll through six historic districts and admire Staunton’s notable Victorian architecture. Look, especially, for the work of TJ Collins, who designed or remodeled over 200 buildings at the turn of the century. 

11 a.m. Concert: Purcell & Co. at the Blackburn

Enjoy music by Purcell and English contemporaries in the historic and newly-renovated Great Hall at Blackburn Inn. The Blackburn Inn | $20

12:30 p.m.: Lunch & Lecture: The French Baroque

Guest speaker Dr. Jon Gibson introduces the afternoon concert over catered lunch at the Blackburn Inn. The Blackburn Inn | $40

4 p.m. Concert: April in Paris: Versailles

The glittering French capital provides a sonic backdrop for works by Charpentier, Lully, Couperin, and many others. First Presbyterian Church | $26

Fill Up Before Heading Home

If you’re heading back home and not spending another night in Staunton, grab a quick bite to eat before you hit the road. Wright’s Dairy Rite is a retro 1950s diner that serves burgers, shakes, sundaes, and more with classic curbside service. It’s time to start planning your next trip to Staunton!

Staunton is a Southern Living Best Mountain Town

Did you know that Southern Living Magazine recently showcased Staunton as a top mountain town in its The South’s Best 2022? The list of the best southern destinations celebrates “the people, places, and communities that make [the South] more vibrant than ever.” Mountain towns were chosen for their local shops and restaurants, cozy lodging, and … Continue reading Staunton is a Southern Living Best Mountain Town

Did you know that Southern Living Magazine recently showcased Staunton as a top mountain town in its The South’s Best 2022? The list of the best southern destinations celebrates “the people, places, and communities that make [the South] more vibrant than ever.” Mountain towns were chosen for their local shops and restaurants, cozy lodging, and welcoming downtowns as well as their beauty and access to the mountains. Southern Living praises Staunton’s charming downtown, varied dining scene, notable lodging selection, and proximity to Shenandoah National Park. Read on for more reasons why Staunton is such a hot travel destination.

Ogle Staunton’s Beauty

Find a high spot in Staunton and kick back to admire the views. Try Cannon Hill at Mary Baldwin University or cross the historic footbridge to Woodrow Park on Sears Hill. You’ll even find something postcard-worthy when you pause on the Wal-Mart parking lot! From walks through historic downtown, country bike rides, or drives along the Blue Ridge Parkway, you’ll never be far from a million-dollar view.

Eat Like a King

For a small city, Staunton has a wealth of independent restaurants. You’ll find everything from sophisticated Southern gourmet meals at Zynodoa and Table 44 to French pastry at Réunion. Get your fill of steak and seafood at Mill Street Grill and Blu Point Seafood, or opt for global fare at Gloria’s Pupuseria and Gonzo’s Pollo.

Find a Festival

Staunton is a wonderful home base for festivals throughout the year. 

  • Join us for the initial BaroqueFest, a three-day immersion in the very best music from the 17th and early 18th centuries. This festival takes place April 8-10.
  • Friday nights from Memorial Day to Labor Day come enjoy an outdoor concert series on the grounds of the Blackburn Inn and Conference Center. SummerStage kicks off May 27 with Hootenanny.
  • Jam out to The Steel Wheels, The Jayhawks, Langhorne Slim, and other notable names in roots music at the Red Wing Roots Festival at nearby Natural Chimneys State Park. June 24-26.
  • Enjoy selections from hundreds of years of classical music at the 10-day Staunton Music Festival. This festival welcomes over 70 acclaimed professionals from around the world to perform in 30 events and opens on August 12.
  • Browse the juried work of local and regional artists at the Staunton Augusta Art Center’s annual Art in the Park. The 54th annual event will occur in Gypsy Hill Park on September 4-5. 
  • The Queen City Mischief and Magic Festival will return in person this year on the weekend of September 24-25. Head downtown for lots of magical fun as businesses and citizens 

Learn Something New

Learn the history of the presidency and early 20th-century life at the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library and Museum. Get a hands-on education at the Frontier Culture Museum, where costumed interpreters work historically accurate farms. Make time to view the exhibits at the Beverley Street Studio School Gallery and the Staunton Augusta Art Center.

Access the Outdoors

We dare you to visit the Shenandoah Valley and not take one of the best hikes of your life. Staunton is close to the Appalachian Trail and dozens of beautiful hikes in Shenandoah National Park and along the Blue Ridge Parkway. Venture west into George Washington and Jefferson National Forest for more exciting hiking opportunities. Hikers can also stretch their legs on miles of trails in Montgomery Hall Park and Betsy Bell & Mary Gray Wilderness.

Visit Southern Living to see more parks, businesses, and towns that made this years list. Look forward to casting your vote for the South’s Best 2023.

Women’s History in Staunton

March is Women’s History Month, and it’s time to celebrate the contributions women have made toward history and society, especially close to home. From leaders in education and government to the namesakes of our town and landmarks, here’s what you should know about the notable women with connections to Staunton.  Rita Wilson Rita Wilson was … Continue reading Women’s History in Staunton

March is Women’s History Month, and it’s time to celebrate the contributions women have made toward history and society, especially close to home. From leaders in education and government to the namesakes of our town and landmarks, here’s what you should know about the notable women with connections to Staunton. 

Rita Wilson

Rita Wilson was Staunton’s first Black councilwoman and vice mayor. She served the community for 16 years before retiring in 2008 and passing away in 2016. Citizens remember her fondly for her work toward solving community problems.  Wilson strove to be a community leader and “represent people that she felt were underrepresented.” Staunton City Council named its chambers after her to honor her legacy. The Community Foundation’s Rita Wilson Scholarship benefits high school graduates and adult learners who hope to continue their educations and grow as individuals.

Lady Rebecca Staunton

Staunton was originally called “Augusta Courthouse.” Its current name came from Lady Rebecca Staunton, wife of William Gooch, the first colonial governor of Virginia (1727-1749). Gooch encouraged colonists to settle in the Shenandoah Valley. Interestingly, Staunton’s name was actually pronounced “STAWN-ton,” and there’s no clear consensus as to why the sounds shifted. 

Mary Baldwin

Mary Baldwin graduated as valedictorian from Augusta Female Seminary in 1846. She took over leadership of the school in 1863. Not only did she save it from financial difficulties, she revamped the curriculum to elevate it to the level of a university. Baldwin was an excellent businesswoman and administrator, and the school thrived during her 34-year tenure. Many considered it “one of the most distinguished for young women in the southern states.” Baldwin died in 1897; she rests in Staunton’s Thornrose Cemetery. The university now carries her name.

Stuart Hall

Stuart Hall, which dates to the 1840s, is Virginia’s oldest college prep school for girls, though it went co-ed in 1999. Maria Sheffey was a wealthy widow who started a school for girls at her home, Kalorama, in the 1830s. Though Staunton had many schools, this was the first to offer education to girls past elementary school. Later, Ms. Sheffey’s school merged with an Episcopal seminary to form The Virginia Female Institute. Ms. Sheffey served as a joint principal alongside Reverend James McElroy. The school eventually became Stuart Hall, which still exists today. Stuart Hall helps students develop “character and personal honor.” It prepares boarding and day students for college curriculums.

Edith Bolling Wilson

In 1915, Edith Bolin Wilson married for the second time, becoming Woodrow Wilson’s second wife. When Wilson became bedridden after a stroke, she managed his office and determined what matters of state were important enough to bring to his attention. People also remember her for saving manpower during WWI by letting sheep graze on the White House lawn. After Wilson died, the former first lady worked to preserve her husband’s birthplace, which is now the Woodrow Wilson Birthplace and Presidential Library. 

YuLee Larner

The YuLee Trail through Staunton’s Montgomery Hall Park is a wonderful place to walk, mountain bike, and look for wildlife. The trail honors YuLee Larner, who, for 32 years, wrote weekly “Random Ramblings” and “Larner Lines,” columns for the Newsleader about birds and nature. Larner also wrote Birds of Augusta County, Virginia and Virginia’s Birdlife: An Annotated Checklist. A founding member of the Augusta Bird Club and a president of the Virginia Society of Ornithology, Larner was widely considered one of “the most respected self-taught ornithologist[s] in Virginia.” 

Betsy Bell and Mary Gray

There’s some mystery shrouding the origins of the namesakes of Staunton’s Betsy Bell and Mary Gray Wilderness Park. Some stories claim that the mountains were named after two local young women who were kidnapped and never seen again. The likeliest story, however, is that the name came from similarly named twin peaks in Scotland. Those names came from the story of two beautiful young women – best friends – who died from the plague in 1645. They fell ill after they were visited by a young man who was in love with both of them and couldn’t make up his mind which to pursue. Afterward, a popular ballad preserved the tale, and their names and sad story came to the Valley with the early settlers.