#LOVEstaunton

#LOVEstaunton

Shakespeare Weekends

Develop a truer understanding of Shakespeare by attending one of the American Shakespeare Center’s Shakespeare Weekends. Brainchild of ASC’s new executive director, Ethan McSweeney, the weekends mark the opening and closing of the Winter Season and offer additional chances to learn about the Bard’s world. Plan to attend a weekend and take advantage of packed … Continue reading Shakespeare Weekends

Develop a truer understanding of Shakespeare by attending one of the American Shakespeare Center’s Shakespeare Weekends. Brainchild of ASC’s new executive director, Ethan McSweeney, the weekends mark the opening and closing of the Winter Season and offer additional chances to learn about the Bard’s world. Plan to attend a weekend and take advantage of packed schedules of performances, lectures, workshops, and a benefit concert.

The Winter Season: The Actors’ Renaissance has “become a hallmark of ASC’s unique blend of scholarship and practice.” In only 10 days or fewer, 12-15 ASC actors rehearse four plays without guidance by a director. The company takes full control of all creative decisions. This includes delivery, blocking, setting, music, props, and costumes. The actors then perform the four plays in rotation. The Actor’s Renaissance attempts to bring to life the conditions Shakespeare’s original players would have experienced. The intention is that scholars, players, and audience will make new discoveries about Shakespeare’s art and world.

The 2019 Winter Season lineup includes Shakespeare classics Henry IV, Part 1 and The Merry Wives of Windsor. Also showing is Arden of Faversham, written by an unknown author. This play is an Elizabethan true-crime drama about ordinary people that is sure to captivate you. Finally, Amy E. Witting’s Anne Page Hates Fun, is a new, modern companion piece to The Merry Wives of Windsor, part of the Shakespeare’s New Contemporaries program. The program intends produce 38 new plays, inspired by Shakespeare, by playwrights of all backgrounds and perspectives.

Opening Weekend | February 15-17

Experience opening night energy as the Actor’s Renaissance Season opens this weekend. Enjoy performances as well as special programming including a lecture by Dr. Ralph Cohen, and the announcement of the Summer Festival and Fall Season.

Renaissance Weekend | April 12-14

The Winter Season closes on Renaissance Weekend. You’ll be able to see the final performances of all four productions and a staged reading of The Belle’s Stratagem. Other weekend events will include workshops, lectures, and the Band Candy Benefit Concert to raise money for ASC music.

If you can’t attend a Shakespeare Weekend, don’t worry: ASC’s talented company performs all year with five seasons of plays in repertory, so you’ll still be able to get your Shakespeare fix. Click here for the calendar.

6 Steps to a Perfect Staunton Wedding

You’ve dreamed about your special someone and the day you’ll say “I do,” but now that the time has come to plan the big day you’re not so sure where to start. For overwhelmed brides and grooms (and parents of brides and grooms), we’ve come up with these six simple steps for staging your beautiful … Continue reading 6 Steps to a Perfect Staunton Wedding

You’ve dreamed about your special someone and the day you’ll say “I do,” but now that the time has come to plan the big day you’re not so sure where to start. For overwhelmed brides and grooms (and parents of brides and grooms), we’ve come up with these six simple steps for staging your beautiful Staunton wedding. So whether its  a grand affair or a backyard BBQ, we’ve got the inside info on everything from the food to the favors. Let us help you plan it right! See our six steps for planning the perfect destination wedding in Staunton. 

Time of Year

You simply can’t pick a bad time to have a Staunton wedding, but each season has its advantages. In winter, you have chilly, but generally mild weather, and uninhibited views of the Blue Ridge mountains in the distance. Spring brings Staunton to life with amazing floral displays, and our parks and private gems like the gardens at Anne Hathaway Cottage Tea Room will really dress up for your photos. You can’t beat the long, warm days of summer, especially if you’re reserving an outdoor venue, and autumn brings a special magic to town with its crisp colors and pastoral harvest scenery.

The Venue

Whether you want a formal wedding and reception, a casual affair, or a rustic adventure in a barn, Staunton has your perfect reception venue. The ballroom at the Stonewall Jackson Hotel and Conference Center is the epitome of formal elegance. Romantic Gaie Lea boasts an exquisite background for your vows and your photos. It also sleeps 15, so it’s perfect for the wedding party to share an extended weekend. Another option for an estate-style wedding is the Inn at WestShire Farms. For those looking for a rustic wedding, check out the Round Barn at the Frontier Culture Museum. For those who want to have their wedding at a winery or brewery with a view, consider Barren Ridge Vineyards or Stable Craft Brewing. They both offer indoor and outdoor event spaces, incredible views, and access to delicious libations. Coming this spring, Staunton Station, located at the train station, offers the perfect mix of historic charm and downtown amenities. For more ideas, see 12 Distinctive Staunton Wedding Venues.

The Drinks

If you’re planning to mix up a signature cocktail for your big day, check out a site like Brides.com for ideas. Be sure to pair it with some of Virginia’s best local wine from Ox Eye Vineyards. Don’t forget to include local craft beer in your reception offerings. Check out Redbeard Brewing Company, Bedlam Brewery, and Shenandoah Valley Brewing for some delicious craft beer. Shenandoah Hops can offer a wide selection of premium beers. 

The Food

Staunton offers a wealth of options for wedding fare. Try trendy and casual from Peck’s BBQ or even hire a food truck or two. Venues like the American Hotel have highly rated onsite caterers.  Independent caterers like Mike Lund Food and Eric Stamer Catering will work with you to provide a gourmet and farm-fresh menu. Don’t forget the cake! Work with the Paris Cake Company to design the wedding cake of your dreams.

The Favors


Gone are the days when tacky mints wrapped in gauze served as wedding favors. You can take your pick of elegant reminders of your special day. Treat your guests to customized chocolates from the Cocoa Mill or cookies from Sweet Nana Cakes. Go local with Virginia peanuts or pancake mix from Virginia Made. Give your guests or wedding party candles from Redwood and Co. If they enjoy the “finer things in life,” give them cigars or flasks from Beverley Cigar Store.

The Stay


After the ceremony and the party are over, you and your partner will want to escape to your own private retreat. Staunton’s lodging choices range from luxury hotels like the Blackburn Inn to a stellar lineup of bed and breakfasts including Frederick House. The newest members of Staunton’s hotel scene are a Tru by Hilton and a Fairfield Inn and Suites by Marriott; both opened in the fall. Check out all the options

Now that you’re armed with some concrete ideas about your happily ever after, get out there and start planning.  Before long, you’ll be enjoying the wedding of your dreams! And don’t forget, we’re here to help

Explore Staunton on Foot: Beverley Historic District

Downtown Staunton contains many examples of Virginia’s finest Victorian architecture. Some of the most notable can be seen in the Beverley Historic District, which was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1981. Most of the buildings in this area date from the 1870s to the 1920s. This historic district is small, and … Continue reading Explore Staunton on Foot: Beverley Historic District

Downtown Staunton contains many examples of Virginia’s finest Victorian architecture. Some of the most notable can be seen in the Beverley Historic District, which was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1981. Most of the buildings in this area date from the 1870s to the 1920s. This historic district is small, and therefore perfect for exploring on foot.

Where to Park

Park in the New Street Parking Garage ($1/hour) or in the Hardy lot on Market Street ($.50/hour).

Market Street

The Stonewall Jackson Hotel, 24 S. Market St., was built in 1924 in the Colonial Revival style and is recognized by the National Trust Historic Hotels of America. Designed by H.L. Stevens & Co. of New York, it lends some of that city’s height to Staunton and rings in as Staunton’s tallest building. The red, neon sign and original details like marble floors, chandeliers, and only known working Wurlitzer organ on the mezzanine were retained when the hotel underwent at $21.5 million dollar renovation and expansion in 2005. Peek inside the lobby and imagine the society women who used to gather around the fireplace in what is now the cocktail lounge.

Though not an example of historic architecture, the American Shakespeare Center at 10 S Market St. is an important Staunton landmark. Built to resemble Shakespeare’s Blackfriars Theatre, a 14th-century monastery converted to Tudor theater, it produces Shakespeare’s plays as well as contemporary works.

Cross Beverley Street and continue past the parking lot to see The Temple House of Israel at 15 N Market St. The one-story stucco Moorish Revival building was built in 1925 to house a growing congregation.

East Beverley Street

Backtrack and head west on Beverley to see an example of a 1912 Renaissance Revival building at 125 E. Beverley St., originally the New Theatre, a lively venue for performances and silent films until a fire destroyed the interior in 1936. Note also on this block at 113 E. Beverley St. (1870), now Staunton’s General District Court, the site where the City Manager form of government originated in 1908.

For a chance to take home your own bit of history, check out the treasures at 17 E. Beverley Antiques, which carries furniture, decor, and vintage art and clothing, and Black Swan Books and Music, which buys and sells rare and used books and records.

East Beverley Street (Continued)

Continue your tour by crossing New Street.

This block contains examples of the Venetian Revival style at 19-21 E. Beverley (1911) and the Colonial Revival style at 7&9-15 E. Beverley St. (1899-1906). For an example of the Romanesque Revival style, look no further than the Marquis Building at 2-4 E. Beverly Street. Architect T.J. Collins not only designed the structure, notable for its corner entrance and stone columns, but housed his offices there as well. The Beverley Cigar Store can be found there now.

The Camera Heritage Museum offers its own perspective on history and is worth a quick tour. Staunton Antiques Center deals in furniture, collectibles, and local, contemporary art, and Warehouse Collectibles and Antiques offers “two huge floors of anything old.” And if you’re feeling parched from all this history, The Split Banana will refresh you with 18 flavors gelato and sorbet with names like Almond Fig and Highland County Maple.

West Beverley Street

Cross Augusta Street and enter one of Staunton’s most architecturally notable blocks.

For a glimpse of the Beaux-Arts style, see the National Valley Bank at 12 – 14 W. Beverley St. (1903). Large oval stained glass skylight inside complement the ornate limestone exterior. The Gooch & Hoge Building at 15 – 23 W. Beverley St. (1880) is an example of the Italianate style and includes many fine details like lion’s heads.

Two of Staunton’s most recognizable buildings also grace this block. The Masonic Temple at 7 – 13 W. Beverley St. (1896) is a perfect example of one of Staunton’s oldest buildings retaining its history as well as living a new live through its businesses. One of Staunton’s tallest buildings, it features a gable roof and mixes classical and medieval elements and is home to Baja Bean Co., The Split Banana, and H. L. Lang & Co. Jewelers.

In 1916, T.J. Collins remodeled The Clocktower 27 – 29 W. Beverley St (1890). The first floor now houses the Clocktower Restaurant and Bar, Downtown 27 (a music and event space), and The Clock Tower Convenience Store, but it was originally the YMCA, notable for being only the second in Virginia. It contained a bowling alley, track, and gym. Many of the original components of the clock are still working today!

This block features even more antiquing at Queen City Marketplace and the taproom at Shenandoah Valley Brewing Company.

Cross Central Avenue to see another example of the Romanesque Revival style at 103 W. Beverley St. (1894), originally the showroom of the Putnam Organ Works.

Augusta and New Streets

Head back toward Central Ave. and turn south. Your child side will enjoy the elevated sidewalk, mural of the painting workman, and glimpse of Lewis Creek before it dips back underground. Turn left on Johnson St. and proceed one block to Augusta Street.

The Augusta County Courthouse at 1 E Johnson St. (1901) was built by T.J. Collins in the Beaux Arts style, and is actually the fifth courthouse on this site, dating back to a 1755 log structure. The smaller structures flanking the courthouse along Barristers Row (pre-1870) have always housed law offices, but used to have a more eclectic demographic, consisting of restaurants, bars, cobblers, and barbers.

A fun play on the location is the Crack the Code Escape Room, where visitors can choose from several themed rooms and work together to escape in one hour. Those enjoying old, used, and rare books should check out Barrister Books.

End your tour by turning back onto New Street, making sure to note 20 – 22 S. New St. (1894), home to the R. R. Smith Center for History & Art. The Staunton Augusta Art Center, the Augusta County Historical Society, and Historic Staunton Foundation all operate in the recently restored, French Second Empire-style, T.J. Collins-designed Eakleton Hotel. Notable features of the building are the mansard roof, iron balconies, and decorative brickwork.

One of Staunton’s oldest commercial buildings can be found at 3 – 7 S. New St. (1830). Cranberry’s Grocery & Eatery is housed in one of Staunton’s oldest commercial buildings. In the past, the structure has been a laundry facility, taxi garage, print shop, and tailor’s studio. The brick was a modern addition during the Victorian Era, but you can still see the original stone on the side walls. Wrap up your tour with something delicious to eat!

 

Here’s Why You Need That Winter Getaway to Staunton

Looking for a way to shake the post-holiday blahs? Let Staunton serve up a sure cure for you. Start planning a winter getaway for your family, your couple, or your friends today! Frozen Wonderland With Staunton as your starting point, you’ll find a plethora of spectacular winter views. Go east for drives or hikes along … Continue reading Here’s Why You Need That Winter Getaway to Staunton

Looking for a way to shake the post-holiday blahs? Let Staunton serve up a sure cure for you. Start planning a winter getaway for your family, your couple, or your friends today!

Frozen Wonderland

With Staunton as your starting point, you’ll find a plethora of spectacular winter views. Go east for drives or hikes along the Blue Ridge on the Skyline Drive or the Blue Ridge Parkway. Venture west to explore the Alleghenies and Bath County. Stick close to Staunton for some of the best winter pastoral views.

Foodie Paradise

Close your eyes when you enter one of Staunton’s fine dining establishments and you’ll think you’re in a much larger city. Indulge your taste buds with fine dining at The Shack or Table 44, global fare at Chicano Boy Taco or Taste of India, traditional and delicious meals at The Depot Grille or the Mill Street Grill, or the retro dining experience at Wright’s Dairy Rite.

Antiquer’s Delight

If hunting for treasures is your game, you’ve got to check out Staunton’s vintage offerings. From funky finds to recycled riches, spend the day perusing Staunton’s eight antique shops and markets.  A short drive to Verona will get you to the Factory Antique Mall, one of the largest in the country. Read all about our antique offerings

Instagramer’s Dream Scene

There are many reasons that Staunton keeps popping up on the best small towns lists and one of them is its beauty. From its rolling hills and quaint Victorian architecture, to parks, gardens like the one at the Anne Hathaway Cottage Tea Room, to industrial elements like the red neon Stonewall Jackson Hotel sign, the train station, and  Sears Hill Footbridge over the tracks, you’ll find no end to cool backgrounds for your selfies. While you’re here seek out Staunton’s five photogenic hot spots. 

Hub for History Buffs

Staunton provides a healthy dose of history. As one of the oldest cities west of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Staunton’s history spans three centuries. A wide selection of historic attractions, archival collections, old buildings, museums, and Civil Warsites are located in and around Staunton. Highlights include the Frontier Culture Museum, an outdoor living history museum providing snapshots of life on the frontier from the 1600s through the mid-1800s in this area. Jumping ahead to the 20th century, take a closer look at our 28th president at the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Museum as you take a self-guided tour through seven galleries that explore Wilson’s life and legacy. Highlights include the President’s restored 1919 Pierce-Arrow limousine as well as a new, state-of–the-art World War I trench exhibit complete with lights and sound to experience what life was like for soldiers as they engaged in battle. 

 You can also tour historic districts downtown and learn about Staunton’s place in Civil War history as you explore Thornrose Cemetery.

attractions galore

Shakespeare is serious fun at the American Shakespeare Center’s Blackfriars Playhouse, the world’s only re-creation of
Shakespeare’s indoor theater. Take a backstage tour where you’ll get a behind-the-scenes look as you go on, behind and
under the stage. Photography— including selfies–are encouraged!  Tours are (usually) available Monday-Friday at 2 pm and Saturday at 11 am.

The Actors’ Renaissance Season kicks off on January 11. With no director, little costume assistance, and very little rehearsal time—similar to the way historians believe Shakespeare’s company operated—ASC actors take the stage in four different productions: The Merry Wives of Windsor, Henry IV, Part I, Anne Page Hates Fun, and Arden of Faversham. 

Other “winter friendly” attractions include: the Camera Heritage Museum, R.R. Smith Center for History and Art, and Sunspots Studios.

Wildlife Hot spots


Situated between Shenandoah National Park and the Washington and Jefferson National Forests, Staunton is a great place to view winter wildlife. See our list of wildlife hot spots for when the chilly weather keeps you close to your hotel. If you feel like venturing beyond Staunton, check out Winter Wildlife Hot Spots Part 2: Farther Afield.

Staunton’s Hip, New Hotels

Two new, affordable hotels have opened for business this fall. They are the first developments in Staunton Crossing, an area that will soon include restaurants and retail space. The hotels are ideally located for enjoying all the area has to offer. Guest and visitors to both properties will enjoy proximity to restaurants and shopping, easy … Continue reading Staunton’s Hip, New Hotels

Two new, affordable hotels have opened for business this fall. They are the first developments in Staunton Crossing, an area that will soon include restaurants and retail space. The hotels are ideally located for enjoying all the area has to offer.

Guest and visitors to both properties will enjoy proximity to restaurants and shopping, easy access to interstates 81 and 64 and with only a short drive, access to downtown Staunton.

Book your stay today!

Tru By Hilton Staunton / 120 Crossing Way, Staunton, Virginia

If you’re tired of the anonymous hotel experience, try Tru, Hilton’s newest hotel chain, which opened in Staunton in November. Tru focuses on building community. You’ll experience that when the friendly staff makes recommendations for taking advantage of the local culture and dining scene. A mural in the lobby features Staunton landmarks, and the 24/7 convenience kiosk stocks local products.

Tru’s 90 efficiently designed rooms feature great mattresses, lots of towels, and large TVs. Tru’s community spaces really stand out, however,  and guests should make sure they go down to the open-plan lobby to mix and mingle. Guests are encouraged to use the flexible spaces, decorated with invigorating colors and hip phrases, for working, playing, eating, and socializing. Guests can work at a counter or a semi-private, sound-insulated nooks, play board and table games, shift furniture into useful groupings, and interact with the real-time social media wall.

Included in your stay is a complementary breakfast, which features bagels, plain donuts, yogurt, eggs, or oatmeal. Adorn each of these bases with your choice of over 30 toppings from the toppings bar. If you eat too much whipped cream, head to the fitness room to work off those calories! BOOK NOW. 

Fairfield Inn and Suites, by Marriot / 114 Crossing Way, Staunton, VA

Visitors to Marriott’s 98-room Fairfield Inn and Suites will enjoy an “easy, positive and productive travel experience.” Travellers will know they’ve come to a good place when they enter the spacious lobby, which is bright with natural light. The hotel chain’s newly updated modern design aesthetic features plenty of flexible space for guests to lounge, work, and gather. Choose an individual space or pull up to the large farmhouse table to socialize while enjoying your complimentary hot breakfast. The breakfast features omelets, bacon, mini waffles, fruit yogurt, and pastries.

If you want to work in the privacy of your room, you’ll enjoy the free Wi-Fi, plenty of outlets, an ergonomic chair, and a moveable desk, which affords endless options for creating your own workspace. Guests can choose rooms with king-sized beds, queens, or suites designed to provide separate working and sleeping zones.

Tech-savvy guest should check out the app, which will let you make plans with your hotel and determine the readiness of your room.

Are you hankering for a midnight snack that doesn’t come from a vending machine? The lobby’s Corner Market stocks goodies 24 hours a day. There is also a fitness center and an indoor swimming pool. BOOK NOW.

 

Staunton’s Coziest Corners

Brrrrr. Winter is making its presence known! If you can’t resist the urge to curl up after a long day in the snow, come to one of these cozy spots for drinks, dinner, or to hang with your friends. Enjoy toasty drinks, comfortable furniture and most importantly, some crackling fireplaces. Make the most out of … Continue reading Staunton’s Coziest Corners

Brrrrr. Winter is making its presence known! If you can’t resist the urge to curl up after a long day in the snow, come to one of these cozy spots for drinks, dinner, or to hang with your friends. Enjoy toasty drinks, comfortable furniture and most importantly, some crackling fireplaces. Make the most out of the winter weather!

Fireplaces

Stonewall Jackson Hotel / 24 South Market Street

One of our favorite winter pleasures is basking in a fire’s warm glow while enjoying a seasonal beverage and comfort food. Sorrel’s Lounge offers casual drinks, dining and a flickering fireplace just off the lobby of the beautifully decorated Stonewall Jackson Hotel. Weeknight happy hours from 5-7.

Table 44 / 300 Church Street, B

There’s a woodstove in the lobby of Table 44, which makes it especially welcoming during the colder months. You can huddle close as you’re waiting for lunch and selecting treats for later from the display cases of Paris Cake Company deliciousness.

The Store / 221 North Lewis Street

Toast your toes by the fireplace in The Store as you sip your coffee and wait for your farm-to-table breakfast. This store and restaurant connects local farms to the community, so you know your food will be fresh! Enjoy breakfast, lunch, dinner, and local beer, wine, and cider. Pick up some baked or canned goods to savor at home.

Stable Craft Brewing / 375 MADRID ROAD, Waynesboro

At Stable Craft Brewing, you have a choice of basking in the glow of the taproom fireplace or renting an igloo and partying like they do up north with your nearest and dearest. This brewery hosts regular seasonal activities, offers an excellent taplist, and serves a full menu.

Seven Arrows Brewing / 2508 Jefferson HWY 1, Waynesboro

It’s cold outside, so lounge in front of the fireplace and enjoy a varied menu of craft beer at Seven Arrows Brewing. Hungry? Order something delicious from onsite Nobos Kitchen, specializing in appetizers, burgers, and favorites like the meatloaf mac and cheese and the Cuban sandwich.

Barren Ridge Vineyard / 984 Barren Ridge Rd, Fishersville

People head to Barren Ridge Vineyards for the terrific wine and incredible views from the patio, but in winter, the huge stone fireplace warms up the tasting room and provides a lovely backdrop. Bring snacks and enjoy wines by the tasting, glass, or bottle.

Other Cozy Spots

Beverley St. Cigar / 2 E Beverley St.

If you enjoy a fine cigar and good company, grab a big chair in the Beverly St. Cigar smoking lounge. Enjoy free wi-fi, watch the game or the bustle of downtown through the huge windows, and pick up some last-minute gifts like flasks, pipes, hats, and cigars.

Pompei Lounge / 23 E Beverley St.

The Pompei Lounge has a variety of comfortable places to sit. Plant yourself at the bar or in a couch in the intimate seating areas around the multi-level cocktail den. Enjoy your favorite beverage as well as Italian food from the Emilio’s menu. Check the schedule for live music or game nights.

Mill Street Grill /1 Mill Street

There’s no fireplace here, but the Mill Street Grill has been serving up coziness and delicious food since it opened in 1992. Grab a booth or a seat at the bar and warm your belly with some comfort food.

By & By / 140 E. Beverley St

If you’re looking to warm up while shopping and exploring downtown Staunton, stop into centrally-located By & By. Cuddle on the couch and watch the city life outside the window while enjoying coffee, desserts, grilled sandwiches, and craft beer and wine.

Réunion Bakery & Espresso / 26 S. New St.

Settle into a comfy chair and celebrate the shorter days of winter with a hot cup of coffee or espresso and a French pastry from Réunion Bakery & Espresso. You won’t be able to resist buying some croissants or bread to take home with you!

10 Photos that Will Make You Want to Visit Staunton this Holiday Season

Staunton is a wonderful town any season of the year, but it really shines for the winter holidays. This year, plan to experience our fine dining and shopping opportunities, our holiday decor and festivities, and our natural beauty. Here are ten of our best holiday photos. Pay us a visit and share your favorite holiday … Continue reading 10 Photos that Will Make You Want to Visit Staunton this Holiday Season

Staunton is a wonderful town any season of the year, but it really shines for the winter holidays. This year, plan to experience our fine dining and shopping opportunities, our holiday decor and festivities, and our natural beauty. Here are ten of our best holiday photos. Pay us a visit and share your favorite holiday photo by tagging #LOVEstaunton.

The Decorated Lobby of the Stonewall Jackson Hotel and Conference Center

Tea at The Anne Hathaway Cottage Tea Room

The Beautiful and Welcoming Stores downtown

The Staunton Christmas Parade

Winter at the Blackburn Inn

The Festival of Lights in Gypsy Hill Park

A Christmas Carol at The American Shakespeare Center

Holiday Lantern Tours at the Frontier Culture Museum

Seasonal Treats From Paris Cake Company

Hand-Blown Ornaments at Sunspots Studios

Plus, a Christmas video of Trinity episcopal Church

 

Staunton’s Seasonal Treats: Holiday Music and Entertainment

Staunton’s holiday calendar is bursting with all kinds of treats this year, including music, shopping, historical tours, and even a chance or two to see old St. Nick himself. Here’s the lineup for Staunton’s holiday music, events and entertainment this holiday season.   Holiday Music Advent Lessons and Carols Trinity Episcopal Church, Sunday, December 2, … Continue reading Staunton’s Seasonal Treats: Holiday Music and Entertainment

Staunton’s holiday calendar is bursting with all kinds of treats this year, including music, shopping, historical tours, and even a chance or two to see old St. Nick himself. Here’s the lineup for Staunton’s holiday music, events and entertainment this holiday season.  

Holiday Music

Advent Lessons and Carols

Trinity Episcopal Church, Sunday, December 2, 5-6 p.m.

Trinity’s traditional candlelight Lessons and Carols service, sung by the Trinity Choirs, interweaves scripture, carols, and choral music. Music for organ, choir, and congregation. A reception will follow in McCracken Hall.

Heifetz Holiday Homecoming

December 10, 7:30-10 p.m. at the Blackfriars Playhouse

The Heifetz Institute’s brilliant alumni performers return to Staunton to perform Baroque masterworks, timeless classics and favorites of the season. The special program will feature star Heifetz alums.

PLAYING OF THE MERRY ORGAN WITH FRIENDS

Trinity Episcopal Church, Sunday, January 6, 2019

Harpist Rachel Lee Hall returns to Trinity to accompany John Rutter’s Dancing Day in Trinity’s annual Christmas Concert. Favorite carols for harp, organ, choir, and audience.

Holiday Entertainment and Events

Downtown Shopping: Art for Gifts

November 10 – December 30, Extended gallery hours: 10 am-6 pm Monday – Saturday and  1pm-4 pm Sunday

You can find a special and unique gift for every one of your family and friends in Staunton this holiday season. Don’t miss any of our downtown boutiques and artisan shops. A seasonal must-see is Art for Gifts in the R.R. Smith Center for History and Art. This holiday market highlights the handmade fine art and crafts of more than 70 Virginia artists and artisans.

Celebration of Holiday Lights at Gypsy Hill Park

November 19 – January 1, 5-11 pm

Every holiday season Gypsy Hill Park lights up the night with its Celebration of Holiday Lights, running from November 19 – January 1. The displays are designed and realized by community organizations, churches, and individuals who claim a space to decorate. The celebration “focuses on strong community values that all can enjoy regardless of age, background or religion.” The display is free to the public and best viewed from a car.

Another great way to view the lights is to attend Caroling in the Park on December 15. This Parks and Rec event includes caroling by local choirs , hot chocolate and cookies, bonfires, photographs with Santa, and hayrides that circle the park. All parts of the event are free, but the event supports the Valley Mission, so all donations are appreciated!

Small Business Saturday

Saturday, November 24, 9 am – 7 pm

Walk off your Thanksgiving calories, make a dent in your holiday shopping, and support local businesses while you’re doing it? It’s a win win win at Staunton’s annual Small Business Saturday. Our downtown shops are filled with great deals and holiday cheer and many merchants will be offering discounts and refreshments.

Watch the magical shopping scene as it unfolds, and get yourself ready to shop, on the Small Business Saturday Cam

Staunton Christmas Parade

November 26, 7-9 p.m.

Let the 2018 theme of “I’ll Be Home for Christmas”warm your heart this year’s annual Staunton Christmas parade. Holiday-themed floats, marching bands, and local organizations march the route that winds Staunton’s festive downtown. Make sure you stay until the end to catch a glimpse Santa and Mrs. Claus!  

A live stream camera will be on site making the parade accessible for those who cannot be physically present.

Historic Staunton Foundation’s 46th Annual Holiday House Tour

December 1, 5-8 p.m. and December 2, 1-5 pm

Hundreds of visitors flock to Staunton’s popular Historic Staunton Foundation’s Holiday House Tour each year to celebrate Staunton’s architecture and holiday decor. Five beautifully restored private homes in Staunton’s Stuart Addition Historic District will be showcased and discussed.

American Shakespeare Center’s Blackfriars Playhouse

December 4-29: For information on showtimes and tickets, visit the American Shakespeare Center.

  • A Christmas Carol – Join Marley, the three Christmas ghosts, the Cratchits, and Tiny Tim – they’re all back to take Scrooge on the ride of his money-grubbing life.
  • Every Christmas Story Ever Told (And Then Some!)Ring in the holidays with this fast-paced Christmas journey through all of your favorite holiday classics! Be prepared for a whirlwind of laughter, carols, and joy as you experience the Holiday Spirit like never before.

Gingerbread Workshop

Sunday, December 9, 1-4 pm

All ages are welcome at The Paris Cake Company’s 3rd Annual Gingerbread House Workshop. Create a family tradition as up to four participants use royal icing and candy to decorate each elaborate, pre-built gingerbread house. You’ll also enjoy hot chocolate and cookies. The event will be held at the Stonewall Jackson Hotel and Conference Center and houses must be reserved in advance.

Lantern Tours at Frontier Culture Museum

December 14-16 and 21-23 at 6:00, 6:30, 7:00, 7:30, & 8:00 pm

The 2018 Lantern Tours at the Frontier Culture Museum bring historic holiday traditions to life and explore the changes that have happened over time. Visitors attending this popular event will tour the museum on foot and by horse-drawn wagon. They’ll see living history vignettes at the English, Irish, German, and American farms as well as a Mummer’s play. The tour will conclude with light refreshments and live music. Reservations required.

Holiday Tea at the Anne Hathaway Cottage Tea Room

Ongoing

Celebrate the holiday season with friends and a special tea luncheon at  Anne Hathaway Cottage Tea Room. You’ll enjoy hand-made scones, tea sandwiches, and shortbread all served with imported jam, clotted cream, and tea. Make your reservations today!

Blow Your Own Ornament at Sunspots

Ongoing

Aspiring glassblowers ages 7+ can huff and puff and create a piece or original art for their tree or window by blowing an ornament at Sunspots Studios! Trained glassblowers will assist you in making a one-of-a-kind ornament for a gift or decoration. Ornaments ready for pick up or shipping the following day. Visitors can also purchase pre-made ornaments in the gallery or watch live glassblowing demonstrations daily until 4.

Explore Downtown Staunton with Traipse

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

Finding Your Next Best Read: Staunton’s Bookstore Scene

If your favorite way to spend a winter day involves curling up with a new book or sharing that experience by buying a book for a loved one, stock up at one of Staunton’s bookstores. You’ll find Shakespeare, Harry Potter, historical and legal texts, works by Staunton’s amazing local authors and everything in between. Though … Continue reading Finding Your Next Best Read: Staunton’s Bookstore Scene

If your favorite way to spend a winter day involves curling up with a new book or sharing that experience by buying a book for a loved one, stock up at one of Staunton’s bookstores. You’ll find Shakespeare, Harry Potter, historical and legal texts, works by Staunton’s amazing local authors and everything in between. Though the ease of ordering books from home has hurt many brick and mortar bookstores, Staunton’s book culture is thriving. Make time  to explore Staunton’s bookstores and get to know the bibliophiles who run them!

Barrister Books / 1 Lawyers Row

For 10 years, Barrister Books has been Staunton’s source for old, used, and rare books. Located in a scenic part of downtown near the historic Augusta County Courthouse and the R.R. Smith Center for History and Art, stop in and browse the incredibly organized shelves for your next great read. If you’re lucky, the shop will be featuring an exhibit of work by book or paper artists.

  • Open Wednesday – Saturday: 10:30 – 5:30, Sunday: 12-5, and by appointment

Black Swan Books / 1 East Beverly Street

Black Swan Books, which calls itself “just the kind of place…to get lost in – equal parts mystery, relaxation, and treasure hunt,” is conveniently located downtown on Beverly Street. Pop in the next time you’re window shopping and find a collection of carefully curated rare and used books as well as records by local and popular artists. The books are arranged by category, and, yes, there is a children’s section, full of both standard and collectible books. There are places to relax and examine your finds. You might also discover art exhibits, live music, and book or poetry readings/signings.

  • Open Wednesday – Saturday: 11-6, Sunday: 12-5

Bookworks / 101 West Beverley Street

Virginia Living Magazine voted Bookworks as one of its “Best of Virginia” indie bookstores. The store, located inside Queen City Marketplace, has an impressive selection including many categories of fiction and nonfiction for both children and adults. You’ll also be able to find newspapers, magazines and books by local authors. If you’re looking for a gift that’s not a book, peruse their selection of greeting cards, puzzles, coffee mugs, and music from local musicians. Bookworks will gladly help you special order anything you can’t find on the shelves.

  • Open Monday – Saturday: 9-6
  • Newsstand is also open Sunday mornings from 8-9

Pufferbellies Toys and Books / 15 West Johnson Street

Kids and adults alike will find things to fascinate them in Pufferbellies Toys and Books. Don’t get distracted playing in this magical space before you make you way to the book section, though. Mother/daughter team Susan and Erin Blanton use their experience as a children’s librarian and editor to stock a spectacular assortment of  books for children of all ages. You’ll find board books and chapter books, classics, current popular favorites, and delightful new discoveries.

  • Open Monday – Friday: 10-6, Saturday: 9-5, Sunday: 12-4

Staunton Books Popup / 13 W Beverley St

Housed in a historic building built in 1895 (that you can explore), Staunton Books Popup sells “nearly new” used books, crafts, cards, and gifts (including lavender eye pillows, book weights, and handmade bookmarks). Browse fiction, non-fiction, philosophy, history, and books for children. “Our shop and interests are eclectic, with an academic bent and an optimistic view of the human experience.” The books are neatly arranged by category and are all available at the same low price: $5 each or 3 books for $10.

  • Open Friday-Sunday in “fair weather” 

The Avocado Pit Bookstore / 2621 West Beverley St.

If your tastes lean towards genealogy, military, art, collectibles, technical, or business and stock market, you’ll find plenty of reading material at  The Avocado Pit Bookstore. The store also carries general stock, children’s books, and cookbooks. If somehow you don’t find what you’re looking for, you can make a request or visit TAP’s booth in the Factory Antique Mall in Verona. The Verona site specializes in comics, graphic novels, ghost hunting, and paranormal.

  • Open Monday – Saturday: 2-5, or by chance or appointment

Staunton’s Fall Foliage: Weekend of November 9-11

The autumn colors peaked in Staunton last week, and boy were they spectacular. While many of the trees have dropped their leaves in the past few days, there’s still time to see touches of color. Plan to visit the Staunton Farmer’s Market on one of its final weeks this Saturday and check for some color … Continue reading Staunton’s Fall Foliage: Weekend of November 9-11

The autumn colors peaked in Staunton last week, and boy were they spectacular. While many of the trees have dropped their leaves in the past few days, there’s still time to see touches of color. Plan to visit the Staunton Farmer’s Market on one of its final weeks this Saturday and check for some color in the historic Wharf area and nearby on the grounds of Trinity Church.

Gypsy Hill Park

Beyond Staunton

The Virginia Department of Forestry  reports peak fall foliage this week, especially at areas below 3000 feet. The weather should be sunny and in the 40s this weekend, so get out there and enjoy the mountains and the Shenandoah Valley in all their glory. Take advantage of Fee-Free Entry Day at Shenandoah National Park on Sunday, November 11.  Here’s a link to the park’s list of suggested hikes or plan to leaf peep from your car while cruising along the Skyline Drive.

HumpBack Rocks