#LOVEstaunton

#LOVEstaunton

Your Agri-COOL-tural Staunton-Area Farm Itinerary in 5 Steps

The Shenandoah Valley has a wealth of farms and natural beauty. Since spring is practically here, and summer’s on the way, why not plan a vacation around getting the most out of the area’s agricultural bounty? Here’s our suggested itinerary in 5 steps. Step 1: Take a Farm Tour Polyface Farms is a national leader … Continue reading Your Agri-COOL-tural Staunton-Area Farm Itinerary in 5 Steps

The Shenandoah Valley has a wealth of farms and natural beauty. Since spring is practically here, and summer’s on the way, why not plan a vacation around getting the most out of the area’s agricultural bounty? Here’s our suggested itinerary in 5 steps.

Step 1: Take a Farm Tour

Polyface Farms is a national leader in best-practices farming. You can buy pasture-raised, hormone/antibiotic-free chicken, beef, pork, and eggs at the farm store. Stop by any time to take a self-guided tour. Polyface also offers scheduled lectures and private tours as well as “lunatic” tours where visitors ride in a hay wagon. Want to get the kids interested? Sign them up for summer camp to keep them learning with projects and activities centered around sustainable farming.

Wade’s Mill has been in business since 1750, grinding 100% natural, whole grain products with no additives, preservatives or bleaches. You’re welcome to explore the mill grounds or “mill around” looking at historic equipment and displays inside the three-story structure during business hours. More in-depth tours are available for a fee. Plan to purchase bags on freshly ground products to take home with you.

Next, take a self-guided tour of the 5-acre visitor’s area of the Cyrus McCormick Farm. Explore the scenic grounds, gaze at the mill wheel, and learn the history of the mechanical reaper, responsible for revolutionizing grain harvesting in the 1830s.

Step 2: Visit Some Animals

The Mt.Crawford Creamery sells the freshest milk, butter, and other dairy products. Visitors are welcome to say hi to the cows housed next to the dairy or register for a longer tour to learn about the farm’s history, farming practices, and the process of raising and milking the cows. Tours last an hour to an hour and a half, and you’ll definitely want to conclude with a scoop or two of ice cream from the on-site Smiley’s Ice Cream.

Another good place to visit for music, fun, agri-pub food, and delicious craft beer is Stable Craft Brewing. This brewery and event space is on a beautiful working horse farm. Visitors can hang out with the horses as well as sign up for a tour of the facilities. The tours educate participants on the brewery’s sustainable practices, introduce them to the brewers, and offer a peek behind the scenes. 

Middlebrook’s Creambrook Farm raises 100% grass-fed Jersey cows and sells raw milk herd shares. Follow them on Instagram to learn about tours and events. 

Step 3: Plan Your Own Garden

We know you’re itching to get outside and start working on your garden. Here are some places to go to get some inspiration and buy some plants to bring things to life!

You’ll find everything you need for your garden at JMD Farm Market & Garden Center. The center grows vegetable and garden plants, sells pottery, and has a small market which sells seasonal produce, meats, eggs, and local honey. Explore the greenhouses, then sit and enjoy a glass of wine while the kids have a blast on the small natural playground.

You might know the Andre Viette Farm & Nursery only for its daylilies, but the extensive display gardens are open to the public and will inspire your own landscaping. After oohing and aahing over the garden “rooms,” visit the garden center to purchase additions to your own sun and shade gardens.

Pebble Hall Wildflowers is not only a wonderful place for inspiration, you can also pick anything you see to take home with you! Follow the ½-mile loop through the fields of wildflowers and herbs, have a picnic, and admire the long views of the distant mountains. There’s even a small nature museum. Here’s a calendar of what’s blooming each month.

You won’t want to go back home after a visit to White Oak Lavender Farm because it smells so good! The farm encourages visitors to take self-guided audio tours to learn about growing and distilling the herb. Lavender plants may be purchased and you can harvest sprigs when it’s in season. You’ll also want to let the kids play in the interactive discovery area, which includes animals to pet. Stop in at the Lavender Shop for lavender products and savor a glass of wine, sangria, or a frozen wine slushie at the onsite Purple WOLF Vineyard.

JMU’s 125-acre Edith J. Carrier Arboretum is a wonderful place for both a springtime nature walk and 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.

Step 4: Visit a Farmers’ Market or Farm Store

Located in Staunton’s historic Wharf neighborhood, the Staunton Farmers’ Market brings you fresh goodness every Saturday morning from April through Thanksgiving. Not only will you enjoy chatting with the farmers, the community feel of the market will have you returning each week. Everything sold here has been grown or produced from within 75 miles. The market is a great place for seasonal produce, herbs, plants, and cut flowers. You can also find meat, 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.

Farmers’ market fans should also check out the Waynesboro Farmer’s Market, Stuarts Draft Farm Market, and Harrisonburg Farmers Market.

Nu-Beginnings Farm’s store in downtown Staunton specializes in locally grown and produced foods and vegetables. From baked goods, to dairy and eggs, you’ll find something that celebrates the tastes of the Valley. The store also features an eat-in or carry-out menu of sandwiches, soups, salads, snacks, and desserts.

Check the schedule at Valley Pike Farm Market for upcoming live music and floral workshops. The Farm Market emphasizes local and Virginia products and includes a coffee shop, deli, ice cream shop, bakery, food trucks. You can also buy many varieties of Virginia wine and beer. 

Mount Sidney’s Cool Breeze Farm believes in the humane treatment of animals as it raises and sells pasture/forest-grazed pork, free-range eggs, chemical free produce, and grass fed beef. 

Meadowcroft Farms produces more than 60 different kinds of pickles, relishes, jams, salsas, and spreads at its farm store. You might find the setting so beautiful that you want to take a mini vacation at the historic (but modernized) on site Inn at Meadowcroft.

Step 5: Pick Your Own

Your family will love bonding over a pick-your-own adventure at one of our area farms and orchards. Check out this crop availability calendar and spend a summer or fall afternoon selecting the best from a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. We promise they’ll make your dinner or baked goods taste amazing! And the pictures you snap will last a lifetime.

Get your early summer strawberry fix at Troyer Nursery. Come back later in the season for sweetcorn, tomatoes, green beans, red beets, squash, zucchini, onions and other vegetables. They also sell milk and ice cream mix from Mount Crawford creamery.

The Critzer Family Farm boasts environmentally-friendly methods and a commitment to bettering the land and community and educating children. The Afton Mountain farm offers you-pick strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, cherries, peaches, plums, pumpkins, and fresh veggies. Oh, and there’s home-churned ice cream to enjoy after you pick.

Plan to celebrate sweater weather picking apples and enjoying the scenery at Carter Mountain Orchard or Sunrise Orchards. You’ll like the grapes and photo opportunities at Wenger Grapes. And plan to pick a wagonload of over 30 varieties of pumpkins and gourds at Middle River Farms!

Step 6: Eat Something Farm Fresh

Zynodoa is known for its upscale Southern cuisine sourced primarily from the Shenandoah Valley.  Start your evening with a specialty cocktail at the bar. Then select an entre like local Polyface Farm sweet tea brined chicken is a full-on  feast. It’s served with fresh cauliflower, swiss chard, a.m. fog mushrooms, rutabaga puree, and white miso chicken jus. 

Nu-Beginnings Farm’s store in downtown Staunton specializes in locally grown and produced foods and vegetables. The store features an eat-in or carry-out menu of sandwiches, soups, salads, snacks, and desserts. From baked goods, to dairy and eggs, you’ll find something that celebrates the tastes of the Valley. 

Firkin Pie Company specializes in both sweet and savory pies using seasonal ingredients. Grab a slice of peanut pie packed with salted peanuts, maple syrup, and peanut butter before it’s gone! Or catch a spring-time citrus pie to awaken your senses.

For more ideas on how to get a farm-to-table meal, check out More than a Movement: Staunton’s Farm to Table Restaurants.

Staunton Spring Itinerary in 5 Steps

Many of us are probably planning to stick close to home this spring. Fortunately, there’s plenty to keep you and the family busy in the Staunton area. From hiking to biking to hot-air ballooning, here are our local picks for springtime fun! Step 1: Dust off Your Hiking Boots It’s been a long, cold winter, … Continue reading Staunton Spring Itinerary in 5 Steps

Many of us are probably planning to stick close to home this spring. Fortunately, there’s plenty to keep you and the family busy in the Staunton area. From hiking to biking to hot-air ballooning, here are our local picks for springtime fun!

Step 1: Dust off Your Hiking Boots

It’s been a long, cold winter, and you’ve probably spent too much of it inside. How about a nice, easy hike to stretch your legs and break in your boots? A family-appropriate 2.5-mile hike that you’ll love is Hidden Rocks Trail. The gently rolling terrain has several creek crossings, so wear your water shoes. You’ll see a pretty waterfall and climb up to the aptly named cliffs, where you might get to see rock climbers. Looking for something longer, without creek crossings? Check out the wooded loop trail at Trimble Mountain. Hike clockwise to leave the steepest part for the descent, and make sure to follow the short path to look at Todd Lake when you finish.

Want more? Visit Shenandoah National Park or read our recommendations for more Hikes for Beginners.

If you enjoy studying the migration patterns of our feathered friends, see Plan Your “Nest” Adventure: Birdwatching in Staunton.

Step 2: Level Up Your Biking Skills

This is the year you’re finally going to get into mountain biking, right? Test your trail readiness on the singletrack at Montgomery Hall Park. You’ll get to explore miles of trail that will prove an appropriate challenge to beginners, but will entertain more advanced riders as well. Once you have some experience under your belt, head out and pedal the trails in the George Washington and Jefferson National Forest

Families seeking easy, scenic, and mostly flat rides should pedal the 1.3-mile loop at Gypsy Hill Park. Wind down after your ride with some time on the playground or a stroll around the duck pond. While a bit further afield, Lexington’s Chessie Trail, Waynesboro’s South River Greenway, or the trail system that starts in Mountain View Park in Grottoes also offer gentle rides that are safe from traffic. 

Here are some additional Staunton area biking ideas

Step 3: Dine Alfresco

Nothing feels better when warm weather arrives than eating alfresco. Pack a picnic and climb to somewhere with a view. Check out the peaceful, open space on Mary Baldwin University’s Cannon Hill or lounge on a blanket in Woodrow Park to view the city from above. There’s also plenty of room to spread out with wine and a sunset at Barren Ridge Vineyard, just a short drive from town. For more picnic ideas, see Eat Your Heart out at Staunton’s Best Picnic Spots

Is actually packing the picnic too much trouble? Grab takeout from one of our downtown restaurants. Many let you order online! If you’re looking for something especially portable, check out Hot dogs: Staunton’s Top Dogs Are off the Leash or Wanna Get Cheesy: 9 Pizza Paradises.

Nobody will forgive you if you forget dessert, so make plans to scoop up some cold gelato at The Split Banana. Load a waffle cone with one of their signature flavors like matcha (green tea), Virginia peanut butter, or white chocolate grisbi. If you’d rather eat soft serve, Wright’s Dairy Rite has been serving up frozen treats since the 1950s. You can even cruise up in your car and have your treat delivered to your window, old-school style!

Step 4: Try Something New

We bet you’ve never ridden in a basket through the sky, or walked under a mountain, or watched people blow bubbles in molten glass. Start checking off that bucket list with a hot air balloon ride from Bridgewater’s Star Ballooning, which specializes in sunrise and sunset views.

You won’t be able to see anything without a headlamp as you explore the 2.25-mile Claudius Crozet Blue Ridge Tunnel trail, which has just opened for foot and bike traffic. The tunnel is spooky fun mixed with exercise and history. Finally, head to downtown Staunton to tour the gallery at Sunspots Studios. Make sure to attend a live glass blowing exhibition in the studio where you’ll see masters manipulate the glass like wax!

Click here for more Staunton-area bucket list ideas and area gems within a one-hour’s drive.

Step 5: Treat Yourself to Something Special

Whether you’re a history buff, or you love bonding over games, or you want to bring home the perfect piece of unique artwork, Staunton is the place to find your next favorite thing. History lovers should visit the Frontier Culture Museum or the Woodrow Wilson Birthplace and Presidential Library for unique views of the past and souvenirs from the gift shops!

Gamers will love the selection of table games and accessories at The Dragon’s Hoard. And if family games are what you seek, Pufferbellies Toys and Books has a curated selection of award-winning games for all ages.

Staunton has a number of galleries featuring original work by local and regional artists. Tour a gallery to find inspiration or a focal point for your wall. The Staunton Augusta Art Center regularly hosts exhibits, and art can be purchased in the gallery or online. The CoArt Gallery displays the work of over 40 local artists working in a variety of media. The space features different artists each month. 

For more on Staunton’s shopping scene, check out Where to Get Your Shopping Fix in Staunton.

Staunton’s Sweetest, Tangiest, Saltiest Margaritas

It’s time to brighten up the shortest days of the year with a frosty mix of tequila, triple sec, lime, and more. Since the 1940s, bartenders have been putting their secret twists into this classic. Whether you enjoy yours frozen or on the rocks, there’s a sweet, tangy, salty burst of flavor waiting for you … Continue reading Staunton’s Sweetest, Tangiest, Saltiest Margaritas

It’s time to brighten up the shortest days of the year with a frosty mix of tequila, triple sec, lime, and more. Since the 1940s, bartenders have been putting their secret twists into this classic. Whether you enjoy yours frozen or on the rocks, there’s a sweet, tangy, salty burst of flavor waiting for you in Staunton!

Baja Bean / 9 W. Beverley St.

Baja Bean is the place for delicious Tex-Mex food. They also have a well stocked bar that includes beers on tap and by the bottle, wines, and mixed drinks like margaritas. You’ll definitely want to try the pomegranate margarita, which includes Espolon Silver, pomegranate juice, lime juice, and pomegranate arils, all served in a Baja pint glass for $11. This pairs perfectly with chili lime tacos, fish tacos, or chopped salad.

Can’t get enough? Baja was kind enough to include the recipe:

Pomegranate Margarita

  • 1.5 oz Espolon Silver Tequila 
  • equal parts pomegranate juice and sweetened lime juice 
  • ice 
  • Shake and top with pomegranate arils, a lime wheel and your choice of salt or no salt!

Byers Street Bistro / 18 Byers St.

A round of margaritas at cozy and casual Byers Street Bistro is the perfect way to celebrate. Choose from the house margarita, the raspberry margarita, the pineapple-melon margarita, or the spicy grapefruit margarita. Plan to share some Nashville chicken bites or pub pretzels with your drinks and then stick around for handhelds or personal pizzas for dinner.

The Green Room / 130 W. Beverley St.

The Green Room is a comfortable, hip place run by Blackfriar’s Playhouse actors. The space offers room to relax and connect over drinks and snacks as well as shop the shelves for “funky, and fresh finds.” You’ll enjoy drinks from the curated wine, craft beer, and cider lists paired with sandwiches or a cheese board. You do not want to miss the clementine’s margarita, which is made with Mattei blanc quinquina, lime, clementine soda, with a smoked salt rim.

El Puerto / 830 Greenville Ave.

El Puerto’s extensive menu runs ten pages long and includes all your Mexican favorites, plus more to try if you’re feeling adventurous. While you’re deciding, order up a frosty margarita, which comes in two sizes: regular and jumbo. Anything on the menu will complement this treat, but you might try a camarones a la diabla, which is pan-seared jumbo shrimp cooked with sweet and spicy chipotle sauce and served over rice and avocado salad.

Mi Rancho / 2116 W Beverley St

If you’re in the mood for authentic Mexican food off an extensive menu head to Mi Rancho. Order your meal and then dream of next summer over a variety of refreshing mixed drinks, like pina coladas and tequila sunrises. Mi Rancho’s showcase drink, however, is the great big and delicious margarita, which comes in strawberry, lime, mango, or peach flavors, and is good enough you’ll want to order the jumbo size. The Staunton location has happy hours Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5-9 p.m.

The Book Dragon / 102 W. Beverley St.

How about a ready-made party for your home? Grab your copy of Drinking with Chickens at The Book Dragon. This hilarious book is full of recipes for margaritas as well as many other cocktail recipes. Pair it with an InBooze Cocktail Kit, which is designed to help you create 6-8 cocktails at home. You’ll love the classic margarita kit.

The Well Balanced Paw / 29 Byers St.

Who says people should get to have all the fun? Visit The Well Balanced Paw and buy your fur baby a plush, squeaky Muttgarita chew toy. Enjoy happy hour with your dog !

Medieval Fantasies Gyfte Shoppe / 10 S. New St.

The margarita love doesn’t need to end with drinks. Medieval Fantasies Gyfte Shoppe offers a margarita salt scrub skin exfoliant. Check out the catalogue for more medieval and fantasy-themed gifts.

More Places to Score a Margarita

The Depot Grille / 42 Middlebrook Ave.

The Depot Grille features a gracefully mirrored and carved 40-foot bar that was repurposed from Albany, New York’s luxurious Ten Eyck Hotel. The Depot specializes in steak and seafood. Relax and have a drink and an appetizer like wings or fried oysters before your meal.

Zynodoa / 115 E. Beverley St.

Zynodoa specializes in “inspired Southern cuisine,” and the ever-changing menu is always full of delicious and seasonal meals that feature locally sourced ingredients. You’ll want to start your evening with a cocktail (or two!) at the bar, which has the feel and tastes of the big city.

Thai Staunton Restaurant / 1000 Greenville Ave.

Thai Staunton Restaurant serves up any cocktail you can think of, including margaritas, which are guaranteed to compliment your spicy curry!

The 1924 / 24 S. Market St.

The 1924 a casual dining area and lounge just off the lobby of the historic Hotel 24 South. Enjoy a glass of wine or a cocktail with a light meal on a Friday or Saturday night. Sit by the fire with your margarita and a plate of wings or a delicious angus burger.

Mill Street Grill / 1 Mill St.

Belly up to the bar at Mill Street Grill for a drink before your meal. A margarita would sure pair nicely with your gourmet burger or steak!

The Clocktower / 27 W. Beverley St.

Clocktower Food and Spirits serves a great menu with modern versions of classic pastas and desserts as well as a large sandwich and panini selection. Stop in for a cocktail and an appetizer or a full meal

Hannah’s Favorite Gluten-Free Meals in Staunton

Whether you are allergic to wheat and its by-products, or simply just trying to avoid it, eating gluten-free at a restaurant can be tricky. Here is a guide to gluten-free eating in downtown Staunton and beyond from Staunton Downtown Development Association’s own, Hannah Adams. Want a nice sandwich for lunch? Pampered Palate has you covered! … Continue reading Hannah’s Favorite Gluten-Free Meals in Staunton

Whether you are allergic to wheat and its by-products, or simply just trying to avoid it, eating gluten-free at a restaurant can be tricky. Here is a guide to gluten-free eating in downtown Staunton and beyond from Staunton Downtown Development Association’s own, Hannah Adams.

Want a nice sandwich for lunch?

Pampered Palate has you covered! They have tons of gluten-free options using gluten-free bread. Their chips, fruit, and potatoes are all great gluten-free side options. Byers Street Bistro is another great option for sandwiches. My go-to is the club sandwich on gluten-free bread and it is delicious!

Looking for something more customizable?

The 101 has tons of create-your-own bowls and almost all of their ingredients are gluten-free. I recommend the curry chicken with lots of veggies and wasabi cream sauce on the side – yum! Laughing Bird Pho also has different ways to customize your pho. Their bowls come with rice noodles and broth that is naturally gluten-free so their food is a safe bet even if you have an allergy to wheat or gluten!

Craving a taco, burrito, or another type of Latin food?

Staunton has some great options. While this type of food is generally gluten-free, there are some things to watch out for. Chicano Boy Taco has yummy options including their salads and burrito bowls (but make sure to not get their tacos – their corn tortillas have a bit of wheat flour in them). Try their loaded potatoes and street corn; they are out of this world. Gloria’s Pupuseria also has great selections. Their pupusas are made with cornmeal, veggies, cheese, and meat (if you want it), and totally gluten-free! I personally love their “Loca” and their jalapeno and cheese. Not to be outdone, Baja Bean Co. also has tasty menu items. Just ask your server to swap their flour taco shells for corn shells, and they have many naturally gluten-free choices too! One of my favorites is the Chorizo Hash – crispy potatoes layered with chorizo, cheese, peppers, onions and topped with a runny fried egg. Can’t beat it!

Hungry for some comfort food?

Shenandoah Pizza offers most of their original creations on a gluten-free crust. As someone who is a pizza crust snob, I can safely say that Shenandoah’s crust is great! For meat lovers, I would recommend the Lee High or the Statler. For those that love veggies on their pizza, I would recommend the Swoope or the Shenanarts – both are super tasty! Wanting something more ethnic? Thai Staunton off Greenville Ave. has great gluten-free options. I personally get their gluten-free Drunken Noodles, but they can make many other dishes! I have heard that the Kra Pow Gai Sub is also delicious.

Looking for a date night spot?

If you are gluten-free, you know that steakhouses like Mill Street Grill and Depot Grille are an easy, safe and delicious bet. Most steak dishes are naturally gluten-free, and these restaurants also have great salad selections. Blu Point Seafood, one of Staunton’s newest restaurants, is also a great choice for couples looking for a fun night out. I get the Blackened Catfish and it is one of my favorite dishes in Staunton and be sure to try one of their handcrafted cocktails. Speaking of great food and drinks, Zynodoa has some tasty steak and chicken options that can be modified to be gluten-free. If you want a lighter fare with drinks, or want to head somewhere to enjoy an app or two before your main course, The Green Room has a divine charcuterie board and a great selection of wine and beer options to pair with it.

There are so many great restaurants in Staunton that it is impossible to list every gluten-free option at each one, so we won’t try. However, we urge visitors and Staunton-ites alike to call ahead and make sure the restaurant you are going to can accommodate you. In my experience, everyone is willing and able to work hard to make sure you can enjoy their delicious food! 


Meet Hannah

Hannah Adams is a Shenandoah Valley transplant after graduating from JMU in 2017. She grew up on the shores of the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland, but fell in love with the small-town charm of the mountains and decided to stay! Before her current role as the Marketing Manager for the Staunton Downtown Development Association, Hannah worked at other Staunton non-profits, such as Blue Ridge CASA for Children and the Valley Mission. When she isn’t at work, she is most likely chasing her dog around her yard or taking pictures for her wedding photography clients.

Stay Safe in Staunton: How Our Accommodations are Keeping You Healthy

Now that there’s a vaccine, the end is (almost) in sight. We’ve been busy planning how to welcome you back to Staunton. Our lodging providers have also been planning and putting measures in place to keep you safe. Cleanliness initiatives include new and enhanced cleaning methods, reduced contact and social distancing, sanitizer stations, and cleanliness … Continue reading Stay Safe in Staunton: How Our Accommodations are Keeping You Healthy

Now that there’s a vaccine, the end is (almost) in sight. We’ve been busy planning how to welcome you back to Staunton. Our lodging providers have also been planning and putting measures in place to keep you safe. Cleanliness initiatives include new and enhanced cleaning methods, reduced contact and social distancing, sanitizer stations, and cleanliness amenity kits. Things might look a little different when you return to Staunton, but it’s still the same great town with lodging just steps away from shopping, restaurants, and entertainment.

Hotel 24 South / 24 S. Market St.

Guest rooms at Hotel 24 South boast immaculate rooms with plush pillowtop mattresses and extensive in-house services. The hotel received extensive renovates in 2005 and 2018, and the rooms and suites are luxurious and modernized. However, the hotel’s historic charm remains. On-site amenities include a business center, a fitness center, and a heated indoor pool. Located in Staunton’s walkable downtown, Hotel 24 South is close to a number of fine dining and entertainment opportunities. 

To keep you safe, Hotel 24 South has increased cleaning frequency and is using EPA and CDC-approved cleaning products. They’re also washing linens and towels according to CDC guidelines. Guests and staff are practicing social distancing, and public areas are arranged to encourage it. High-touch surfaces in both rooms and public spaces get extra cleaning. These include door handles, elevator buttons, remotes, and light switches. Hotel 24 South has set up hand sanitizer stations.  “We will continue to seek out new technologies, innovations and training for our staff for how we can continue to make our hotel a cleaner and safer environment for all of our guests and associates.”

Blackburn Inn & Conference Center /  301 Greenville Ave.

The Blackburn Inn sits on 80 landscaped acres on the edge of downtown Staunton. This upscale boutique hotel is in a historic building and combines character and charming details like original wood floors and tall windows with crisp, modern amenities. Updated touches include marble bathrooms with rain showers, soaker tubs, and luxury linens. You can also book a manicure or massage at the new onsite spa.

The Blackburn Inn takes additional precautions for its guests’ safety and comfort. The inn has joined AHLA’s SafeStay initiative, which works to enhance “hotel cleaning practices and workplace protocols to help guests and employees feel confident during post-pandemic travel.” Among the steps being taken to ensure guest safety is commercial laundering of linen. Room surfaces including bathrooms, coffee makers, refrigerators, remotes, and floors are thoroughly cleaned with disinfectant cleaner between guests. Guests can also take advantage of contactless check-in and check-out using the OpenKey phone app.

Staunton Stays / 208 Kalorama St

Staunton Stays is putting your health and safety first when you stay in one of their four beautiful suites. Rooms in this boutique Victorian hotel offer queen-sized beds and a sofa bed. You’ll also find full kitchens, modern bathrooms, living quarters, and laundry room access. Each plush suite is decorated according to a different theme, including the Shenandoah Valley, France, dreams, and the artist’s imagination.

Staunton Stays is monitoring and following the Covid guidelines carefully. The hotel is certified to be in compliance with the Virginia Department of Health’s Sanitary Regulations for Hotels. Staunton Stays performs deep cleanings between all bookings and provides hand sanitizer for all guests. They have placed two commercial-grade air purifiers in the lobby, which are also used in the rooms between bookings.  Finally, Staunton Stays maintains a flexible cancellation policy to accommodate you and meet your needs.

The Berkeley House Bed and Breakfast / 303 Berkeley Place

The 1897 Berkeley House Bed and Breakfast sits across the street from the Woodrow Wilson Birthplace. Keep walking to access all the restaurants and shops downtown Staunton offers. The innkeepers recently modernized the 8,000 square-foot Queen Anne Victorian mansion and retained many original details. You’ll love the many tasty dishes served at breakfast. These include praline pecan French toast, spinach quiche, stuffed Dutch baby pancakes, and more. Make your stay even better by taking advantage of the American Shakespeare Center package, the craft beer package, or the champagne package.

To keep visitors safe and to continue to serve breakfast and social distance in the dining room, the Berkeley House is limiting occupancy to two guest rooms per night. The bed and breakfast has also increased cleaning and disinfecting procedures between guests and will not enter the guest rooms during guests’ stays. The innkeepers will remain masked and gloved while in guest presence.

Holiday Inn Express and Suites / 47 Rolling Thunder Ln

The new Holiday Inn Express & Suites offers easy access to both downtown Staunton and the highway. Relax in the comfort of your home away from home. Rooms have comfortable beds, safes, mini fridges, blackout shades, and more. Bathrooms feature both tubs and separate walk-in showers. Amenities at the hotel include a business center, a complimentary hot breakfast from the breakfast bar, and access to a fitness center and an indoor pool. 

For your safety, Holiday Inn Express & Suites adheres to the IHG Way of Clean and promises “that when you’re ready to travel again, your stay will meet our high standards of cleanliness.” These standards include new and enhanced cleanliness initiatives and technologies. They also include frequent deep cleaning and disinfecting, especially of high-touch areas. Along with reduced contact at the front desk, guests may use the IHG Studio app, which allows content streaming as well as service requests and review of room charges. Guests and staff are expected to social distance. Spaces in common areas have been cleared and opened up and sanitizer stations have been placed for guests to use. 

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

Visitors to Marriott’s 98-room Fairfield Inn and Suites will know you’ve come to a good place when you enter the spacious lobby, which is bright with natural light. Guests can choose rooms with king-sized beds, queens, or suites designed to provide separate working and sleeping zones. If you want to catch up on work, you’ll enjoy setting up your workspace with the free Wi-Fi, ergonomic chair, and moveable desk. The lobby’s Corner Market stocks goodies 24 hours a day. There is also a fitness center and an indoor swimming pool. 

Marriott hotels subscribe to a “multi-pronged approach to meet the health and safety requirements of [their] “Commitment to Clean” standards.” You can expect guests and hotel workers to wear masks, social distance, and respect posted occupancy limits, including in pool and fitness areas. Partitions have been installed at the desk, or you can use the Marriott Bonvoy™ app for contactless check-in, keyed entry, and service requests. Breakfast and coffee are served in to-go bags. Rooms and public spaces will be cleaned with enhanced cleaning practices, including electrostatic sprayers and hospital-grade disinfectants.

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

Tru, Hilton’s newest hotel chain opened in Staunton in late 2019. Tru focuses on building community. Ask the friendly staff for recommendations for taking advantage of the local culture and dining scene. Also check out the mural in the lobby featuring Staunton landmarks,  the real-time social media wall, and the 24/7 convenience kiosk stocking local products. Tru’s  rooms feature great mattresses, lots of towels, and large TVs. Included in your stay is a complementary breakfast and access to the fitness room.

Tru is keeping you safe with the Hilton CleanStay program. They have amped up their already rigorous cleaning standards by using hospital-grade cleaners from trusted companies like Lysol. After the room is thoroughly cleaned,  inspects and verifies the room meets the CleanStay standards and places the Hilton CleanStay Room Seal with Lysol protection over the door. They are adding additional disinfecting steps to high-touch surfaces. During their stays, guests can adapt their housekeeping preferences to their comfort level. Additional requested items will be delivered to the rooms in protective wrappings. Face coverings are required at Tru. Dining and lobby areas have been changed to provide proper social distance between tables and chairs. Ask about biodegradable dishware and pre-plated meals for breakfast. Tru has also set up contactless food delivery spots for guest ordering from outside restaurants.

Valentine’s Day Fun in Staunton

What a year! If you found love during quarantine or stayed in love during lockdown, you must be doing something right. You and your special someone have exercised patience and kindness toward each other, and you deserve a special Valentine’s Day to celebrate your love. Here are some ideas that are unique to Staunton that … Continue reading Valentine’s Day Fun in Staunton

What a year! If you found love during quarantine or stayed in love during lockdown, you must be doing something right. You and your special someone have exercised patience and kindness toward each other, and you deserve a special Valentine’s Day to celebrate your love. Here are some ideas that are unique to Staunton that will help make your day memorable and romantic.

Zynodoa Valentine’s Day Menu

Zynodoa offers a delicious modern twist on classic Southern cuisine. You’ll always be able to find something delightful that emphasizes local and seasonal ingredients, but you won’t want to miss the special Valentine’s Day 4-course chefs tasting menu!  And if you want to make it a really special night, roses will be available to order ahead of time for your table. And for the couples that prefer to stay at home, Zynodoa is offering a takeout/pickup option that includes a bottle of bubbly,  Dibon Cava from Spain and a 12-piece box of Santiago Chocolates (local Staunton chocolatier) for $45.

Clocktower Eats & Sweets Valentine’s Day

The Clocktower restaurant serves a great menu with modern versions of classic pastas and desserts as well as a large sandwich and panini selection. You can get amazing crab cakes and even seven different kinds of mac and cheese any day of the year, but they’re really going all out for Valentine’s Day with their special Eats & Sweets menu. Treat your sweetie to great food and a special night out in this historic building in downtown Staunton.

Guests spending the Valentine’s weekend at the Holiday Inn Express will receive 20% off all orders at the Clocktower, along with a complimentary dessert. Pick up your voucher at the front desk!

Emilio’s Valentine Specials

Emilio’s will be open on Sunday, Feb 14th. Specials for Valentine’s weekend (February 12-14) include a lobster bisque soup selection. The entrée special will be grilled blackened salmon over wilted spinach in a white wine lemon butter sauce served with side lobster ravioli in our homemade Alfredo sauce. Plan to enjoy items from the regular menu as well as half-off bottles of  2013 Barbaresco.

Heart-Shaped Pizza at Shenandoah Pizza & Tap House

So, you’ve decided that you’d rather stay in with your sweetheart this year? No worries, we’ve got you covered! Order a heart-shaped pizza from Shenandoah Pizza & Tap House and it will surely make your beloved’s heart flutter.

Blu Point Seafood Company – Love Is In Air, And In The Sea

We’re in the mood for love! Blu Point has put together a great Valentine’s Day Take Out Package that includes one dozen unshucked oysters and 6 chocolate covered strawberries for $42. The deadline for placing orders is Wednesday February 10th, and they can be picked up between 10:00 am to 3:00 pm on Saturday February 13th. Don’t miss out! Call (540) 712-0291 to order. 

Or dine in…

 

Byers Street Bistro

Valentine’s Day weekend has the Bistro serving up three different cocktails that are filled with “love”. Mardi Gras specials will be going on during this time as well, so make sure to stop in and celebrate!

Baja Bean Meal for Two

Baja Bean wants you to enjoy a $44 meal for two (vegetarian available), valid February 11th -14th, dine in or take out. Add a special cocktail for two that comes with two pint sized Baja keepsake glasses for $11. Limited availability, so order early! 

 

 

The Green Room

The Green Room has sparkling wines and charcuterie board specials for your Galentine OR your Valentine!

Stable Craft Brewing

Stable Craft Brewing has a few surprises for you! Introducing a Valentine’s Chocolate Covered Strawberry Stout and a Steak & Crab Cake for Two for Valentine’s weekend. They also are offering their Igloos for enjoying the great outdoors, while keeping you warm and toasty. Strawberry Cider will also be on tap while you enjoy listening to Kevin Chisnell and Crystal Armentrout.

 

Stelle Rose at Staunton Station

Stelle Rose has set the stage for a romantic dining experience for just you and your love. Enjoy the historic elegance of the station and order in your favorite Depot Grille meal for two! Reserve today by contacting Stelle Rose, then pre-order your food from the Depot Grille, as they feature their Valentines Dinner for two again this year. You can also order anything on their menu. They’ll even go pick it up for you! One hour table rental is $100. Meal total will depend on your food order from the Depot.

The Blackburn Inn – Valentine Sweetheart Package

Make reservations for a night of luxury at The Blackburn Inn with the Valentine Sweetheart Package. Imagine opening the door to your room and being greeted with chocolate-covered strawberries, a bottle of prosecco, and a bed sprinkled with rose petals. After a night of romance, a hearty breakfast for two will be delivered to your room.

Hotel 24 South – Date Night Getaway

Schedule a Friday or Saturday night getaway at Hotel 24 South. Not only will you get to relax in your stylish room, but you’ll also get chocolate-covered strawberries, drinks credit in The 1924 Lounge, and a delicious breakfast for two. Even your parking is included in this special.

Frederick House Valentine’s Tea

Frederick House is having a Valentine’s Tea from 12:00 pm-4:00 pm on Saturday, February 13th . Reservations recommended due to limited capacity seating/social distancing. 

Holiday Inn Express & Suites

Rest and relax at Staunton’s newest hotel property, the Holiday Inn Express & Suites. With an extended check out time of 12 pm, sleep in late and enjoy your complimentary champagne and chocolates. You don’t even have to leave your modern and sleek room as breakfast will be delivered right to your door. This special offer is available February 12-14 and can be booked by calling 540-609-5700.

The Book Dragon

The Book Dragon has books for all ages, new and used, and if you’re looking for a special book for your little love, look no further!

Artist Paula Hurley’s Exhibit, Love Staunton

Just in time for V-Day, stop by Co-Art Gallery to take a look at everything Staunton, in mixed media. Paula says ““Love Staunton” expresses the delight I feel in sketching, or painting parts of the city. Whether I use watercolor, acrylic, oil paint or ink I respond with the joy I feel while in the midst of a beautiful area to spend time and create art.”

Meditation in Motion

Meditation In Motion is offering a Valentine’s Gift Certificate for massage for that special someone in your world.  Align your chakras with Reiki, ground your energy with hot stones from the James River, synchronize your sweetness with Swedish massage strokes, and be treated to the passionate pampering of aromatic essential oils. 

Mill Street Body & Soul Day

Mill Street Body & Soul Day Spa and Salon tends to all your spa needs, including massage, hair, nails, and waxing. This Valentine’s Day, indulge in a sole-relaxing treatment for couples and your partner (and your feet) will love you for it! Want even more relaxation? Stick around for a 30, 60, or 90-minute massage.

Ali&Co.

Ali&Co. has heart shaped bath bombs and soaps, as well as “Make Your Own Signature Scent” perfume. Couples love making this together.

Chocolates from Cocoa Mill

Chocolates are another old Valentine’s standby that we shouldn’t mess with because they’re just so perfect. Cocoa Mill has heart-shaped boxes filled with artisan truffles. You can also get kind of crazy with boozy truffles and order a side of spice-it-up bark! 

Pufferbellies Valentine Care Packages

Pufferbellies Toys and Books is offering themed Valentine care packages of love for the little ones, or the not-so-little ones in your life.  Think baby sloths, toads, fairies and dragons!

Made; By the People, For the People

Pick up a pre-ordered beautiful bouquet or floral arrangement by Leslie Greer Designs at Made.  Place your order by February 8th! While you’re at it, shop for Virginia’s finest and American made gifts, some handmade, some quirky, some DIY, but all fabulous!

Barren Ridge Vineyards

Barren Ridge Vineyards welcomes you to experience their Four Chocolates and Wine Flight packages, made with love!  There will be special music on Saturday, February 13th from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm from Boxcar Speakeasy, and a virtual wine tasting, live at 5:00 pm on Saturday, February 14th. 

Champagne from Yelping Dog

You can choose from Staunton’s widest selection of local and international wines at Yelping Dog Wine. From over 1,500 bottles, you’ll be sure to find a delicious red, white, or sparkling wine to stoke the romantic fires. You might even select an insulated wine and cheese carrier, packed with deliciousness, and take advantage of the next temperate day for a romantic picnic. Check out Staunton’s best picnic spots.

Bath Treats from Essentially Zen

Treat your loved one to a relaxing and therapeutic bath with wonderful smelling supplies from Essentially Zen. You’ll find soy candles, artisan soaps, body frostings, and more. If you can’t make up your mind, try a gift of monthly Find-Your-Zen subscription boxes that include seasonal candles, bath bombs, scrubs, and lotions. 

Pupcakes from the Well Balanced Paw

The Well Balanced Paw is celebrating Valentine’s Day with special cookies and “pup”cakes. We also have Valentine’s day themed treats and toys. Also, on Valentine’s weekend, we will have special Valentine ice cream for you to treat your special furry Valentine! 

Flowers from Brin’s Posy

There’s a reason flowers are a traditional Valentine’s Day gift. They lift us up during the gloomiest days of the year and make us anticipate the spring that is coming. Brin’s Posy in downtown Staunton seeks to create unique designs inspired by the Shenandoah Valley to celebrate your special occasions. Order a Valentine’s Day arrangement, or better yet, treat your love to a subscription service for a weekly or monthly delivery of seasonal flowers.  Bonus!! Molly Rose Murphy with Queen City Music Studios will be doing singing telegrams, and Clocktower Eats & Sweets will be providing heart shaped cookies

Medieval Fantasies Gyfte Shoppe

From February 1-14, Medieval Fantasies Gyfte Shoppe will post Valentine’s specialty items on social media. Be on the lookout for all kinds of fun gifts including handmade Victorian Valentine’s day cards, chocolate strawberry loose tea, tea infusers with heart-shaped key charms, cherry chocolate welsh cakes, and more. Medieval Fantasies also sells bath items, candles, and even bows and arrows (if you want to play cupid or take your Valentine out for a bit of target shooting).

Meeting of the Minds at Crack The Code

You might not immediately think of an escape room when you’re planning a romantic Valentine’s Day activity, but there’s something thrilling about pooling your brainpower against a ticking clock at Crack the Code Escape Room. From cat ladies to weather gods, to missing FBI agents, five games are available right now, including two specially designed around Staunton. There’s no better way to spend Valentine’s Day than being locked in a room with the one you love. On February 14th, get 10% off your game and a free sweet from Giancarlo Fine European Pastries.

 

Downhill Fun: Skiing Adventures Near Staunton

Staunton is plenty hilly, but not quite hilly enough for skiing. Fortunately, it’s easy to drive to several ski resorts in Virginia that specialize in winter fun. What better way to spend a winter weekend than getting a workout on the slopes and then following it up by eating a big dinner, exploring Staunton’s vibrant … Continue reading Downhill Fun: Skiing Adventures Near Staunton

Staunton is plenty hilly, but not quite hilly enough for skiing. Fortunately, it’s easy to drive to several ski resorts in Virginia that specialize in winter fun. What better way to spend a winter weekend than getting a workout on the slopes and then following it up by eating a big dinner, exploring Staunton’s vibrant downtown, and staying in one of our luxurious lodgings? See below for places to stay and things to do once you warm up from the slopes.

Massanutten Resort

40 minutes from Staunton

Ski day and night on Massanutten Resort’s 14 ski trails, which are serviced by seven lifts and suitable for a variety of ability levels. Private lessons are available to kids as young as 6 at Massanutten’s terrain-based learning area. There’s also a freestyle area on the slopes, 16 lanes of snow tubing, and ice skating on a 5,000-square foot rink. Here’s a link to see current conditions at the resort. If you want to warm up away from the elements, check out Massanutten’s indoor waterpark, which is kept at a toasty 84 degrees. Take a thrilling ride down a waterslide, learn to surf on the pipeline, or just float the lazy river. Facilities are instituting precautions against Covid-19.  Changes such as reduced capacity, required masks, and pre-visit online ticket purchases will keep you safe.

Wintergreen Ski Resort

40 minutes from Staunton

Wintergreen Ski Resort is a beautiful, four-season resort located in the Blue Ridge Mountains that features skiing, snowboarding, and snow tubing in the winter. It offers 26 slopes and trails to appeal to all ability levels. Want to improve those skills? Sign up for individual, semi-private, or family ski or snowboard lessons at the snowsports school. To reduce time waiting, Wintergreen boasts two high-speed 6-pack chairlifts and Radio Frequency Identification Devices that operate like EZ-Passes for the ski slopes. You can also order your rental equipment online. When you need to fuel up, you’ll find several different onsite dining options that serve both casual and formal meals.

Bryce Mountain Resort

1 hour and 10 minutes from Staunton

Bryce Mountain Resort is a four-season resort in the Allegheny foothills that offers skiing, snowboarding, and lessons in the winter. It was recently named one of North America’s top family-friendly ski resorts by Travel & Leisure. There are 8 slopes that can be accessed by ski lifts as well as a dedicated area for beginners with carpet lifts. Beginners ages 4 ½ and up can book lessons with the Horst Locher Snowsports School for private lessons or semi-private lessons for groups that traveled to the resort together. Three 800-foot snow tubing lanes, an ice skating rink, and three restaurants round out the fun. Those looking for a different kind of adventure can book a 1.5-mile snowshoeing endurance tour with Rev3Endurance

The Omni Homestead Resort

1 hour and 20 minutes from Staunton

The Omni Homestead Resort is located southwest of Staunton. It has nine downhill ski runs that are perfect for various abilities. The resort also boasts an Olympic-size ice rink. The resort has been recognized as “one of the top Beginner Friendly and Family Friendly ski resorts in the Southeast in the 2017-18 Best in Snow Awards.” Lessons are available for ages four and older. Plan to relax at the onsite spa at the end of your day. Wouldn’t a deep-tissue massage feel great after a hard day of skiing or snow tubing?

If You’d Rather Ice Skate Instead, Try Generations Park

30 minutes from Staunton

Lace up for fun on the ice at Bridgewater’s Generations Park. Besides a slippery good time, skating is good for your heart, your endurance, and your core. You can schedule hour-long sessions ahead of time by signing up online. If you need skates, the park offers limited rentals. 

Stay in Staunton

Once your day on the slopes is complete, head back to your home base of Staunton. Choose from our elegant properties steeped in history, cozy B&Bs or one of our brand hotels

Why not have a drink at one of our wine bars or craft breweries? We can also recommend some great fireplaces for toasting your toes. Dine in style at one of our downtown restaurants that run the gamut from fine farm-to-table dining, comfort food, and everything in between. After dinner, make sure to stream a Shakespeare show on the Blackfriars Playhouse’s Blackfriar’s TV. Current offerings include A Midsummer’s Night Dream, Othello, Twelfth Night, and A Christmas Carol. You could also watch a movie at the Visulite, or stream a film at home through Visulite Virtual Cinema.

Where to rent skis and snowboards?

If you’re staying nearby and want to skip the hassle of renting skis at the resort, we’ve got you covered.  Stan’s Ski and Snowboard, in Staunton, has options for daily rentals or,  if you’re looking to commit, the entire ski season. They have a variety of brands and can get you outfitted with apparel, equipment and any supplies you may need. 

5 Ways to Be a Tourist in Your Hometown

Many of us haven’t been traveling recently, and it’s easy to go stir-crazy in our houses. Fortunately, it’s also easy to have fun while pretending to be a tourist in your own town. Here are some ideas for seeing your old Staunton favorites in a new light and making new discoveries! Try out Some Fresh … Continue reading 5 Ways to Be a Tourist in Your Hometown

Many of us haven’t been traveling recently, and it’s easy to go stir-crazy in our houses. Fortunately, it’s also easy to have fun while pretending to be a tourist in your own town. Here are some ideas for seeing your old Staunton favorites in a new light and making new discoveries!

Try out Some Fresh Digs

It might seem excessive to check into a hotel in your own town, but it’s possibly just the escape you need, without all the stress of making extensive travel plans and packing for a long trip. There’s something refreshing about leaving all your stuff (physical and emotional behind) and spending some time with just the essentials. Staunton has a stay for everybody. Grab a room in a luxury historic hotel, a convenient brand hotel, a bed and breakfast, or even a campground. Not only will you get to enjoy a staycation and having somebody else make the bed, you’ll give local businesses a boost. When you’re ready to leave the room, stop by the front desk or the Visitor Center and grab some brochures for ideas about where to spend your day.

Make Your Own Food, Wine, or Beer “Tour”

It might not be the best time to hang out for hours in a crowded restaurant, but it’s fun to walk around and stop in at multiple places for something quick. Call ahead and ask for something “portable” to munch while you’re window shopping. Why not grab a slice of pizza from Shenandoah Pizza and Tap House? Or a handheld pie from Firkin Pie Company? Or a pastry from Réunion Bakery and Espresso? Get takeout from somewhere new and eat in candlelight on your special china, or if the weather permits, enjoy it at one of our favorite picnicking spots. If you haven’t signed up for a Shenandoah Beerwerks Trail Passport yet, now is the time. Not only will it direct you to the 18 breweries along the trail, you’ll earn a special t-shirt once you’ve visited eight or more.

Take Time to Enjoy the Golden Hour

Photographers love the “golden hour” when the sun is in just the right spot to soften shadows and flood the photo with warm light. That time of day is magical whether you’re in front of a camera or not. When was the last time you enjoyed the sunrise or sunset from any place other than your breakfast nook or deck? A wonderful way to see Staunton from a new perspective is to take the time to appreciate it looking its best. Take a walk along lovely Bells Lane or the loop at Gypsy Hill Park. Here are some more good spots to enjoy sunset in Staunton. Oh, and here’s a golden hour calculator.

Do Something only Staunton Can Offer and Take all the Touristy Photos!

Tourists come to Staunton to do the things that are unique to the area, but chances are you’ve been moving through your daily life ignoring many of these gems. Increase your historical knowledge with a tour of the Frontier Culture Museum or the Woodrow Wilson Birthplace and Presidential Library. Niche museums like the Bruce A. Elder Antique and Classic Automobile Museum and the Camera Heritage Museum will appeal to enthusiasts or those looking to learn something new. You’ve surely noticed Staunton’s giant watering can as you pass into downtown, but can you find more giant sculptures created by Ferguson Metal Fabrication’s Willy Ferguson and Jim Chestnut? Hunt down all the carbon steel flower pots, nuts, books, eyeglasses, and more. You can’t behave like a tourist without documenting your trip in photos. Check out Staunton’s Best Insta-Worthy Spots.

Make Your Own Walking Tour & Buy a Souvenir

Chances are that you’re familiar with Staunton’s historic downtown, its commercial areas, its parks, and your own neighborhood, maybe even your walking or running route. But how familiar are you with the rest of the city, really? Make 2021 the year you use the map app on your phone to explore the entire city on foot. Check out the architecture and landscaping. Learn all the neighborhoods and the street names. You’ll develop a stronger appreciation for your town, you’ll meet new people, and you’ll work toward burning off last year’s extra “baggage”. Another fun option is to download the Traipse app on your phone. Combining trivia with touring, Traipse brings Staunton to life in over 12 themed tours. While you’re downtown, make sure to pick up a gift that’s uniquely Staunton, like art from a local artist at the CoArt Gallery, or a handcrafted item from The Sparrow’s Nest. For more chances to shop local, see Where to Get Your Shopping Fix in Staunton.

Staunton has much to offer both visitors and long-time residents. Get out there and have fun like a tourist!

Staunton Guys’ Weekend

There are all kinds of reasons you need to plan a guys’ trip this year. Maybe you want to golf and catch up with your college buddies. Or maybe you want to bond on a father and son getaway. Or how about taking the bachelor party on the road? Staunton is a prime location for … Continue reading Staunton Guys’ Weekend

There are all kinds of reasons you need to plan a guys’ trip this year. Maybe you want to golf and catch up with your college buddies. Or maybe you want to bond on a father and son getaway. Or how about taking the bachelor party on the road? Staunton is a prime location for each of these. Centrally located in the Shenandoah Valley, it boasts great food, lots of craft beer, and access to outdoor fun. Read on for some ideas!

Day 1: Explore Staunton

Check into your lodgings. We’d suggest Tru for its modern amenities, access to both the interstate and downtown and for its generous public gathering spaces. Best of all, check out Tru’s Beerwerks package, that kicks off your guys’ weekend with a few perks. Receive a gift basket, upon arrival, that includes two vouchers for Devils’ Backbone Vienna Lager, bottled water, snacks, and Tylenolfor preventative measures.  Limit four guests per package. When booking your room pick your travel dates, room type and then select your rate by choosing “Beerwerks Passport.” 

You’ve been in the car for a while, so we suggest getting out and doing something active like playing a round of disc golf or a hike on the trails at Montgomery Hall Park or taking a stroll downtown. Staunton is home to many independent shops, galleries, and restaurants. You’ll want to peruse the shelves Barrister Books for hard-to-find used books. The Vinyl Asylum stocks vinyl, cassettes, CDs, and vintage stereo equipment. CFO Trading Company offers fine clothing and accessories, and Fretwell Bass is an upright bass specialty shop that sells basses, strings, and makes repairs. If one of your hobbies is table gaming, visit The Dragon’s Hoard for supplies like war and fantasy miniatures. Outdoors enthusiasts will like all the hiking, camping and paddling gear and advice they get at Wilderness Adventure

While you’re downtown grab some flights or pints at Shenandoah Valley Brewing Co. or Redbeard Brewing. Neither serves food, but you can have carryout delivered. It’s hard to choose from all the great restaurants in Staunton, but if you have Mexican on your mind, you can’t go wrong at Baja Bean or Chicano Boy Taco. Steak lovers can fill up at the Depot Grille or the Mill Street Grill. And if pizza (and more beer) calls your name, Shenandoah Pizza and Tap House is where you’ll want to grab a table. Want to end the evening with a fine cigar? Beverley Cigar Store helps you shop, smoke, and socialize in style.

Day 2: 

Fuel up with caffeine at the new, industrial cool Crucible Coffee Roasters.

You’ll want a big meal before your day, so head over to Kathy’s Restaurant, which serves breakfast all day and regularly turns up on Best of the Valley lists. You’ll probably want to hit up the breweries in the late afternoon, so prepare for that by spending the rest of the day outside being active. 

  • Skiers are within easy access of several resorts, including Massanutten Resort and Wintergreen Resort
  • If it’s off season at the slopes, you can still have a blast on your mountain bike at Massanutten Bike Park. Mountain bikers catch a ride up the mountain on the ski lift before rocketing down on their bikes. Riders who want to work for those descents can take advantage of all the trails in the George Washington and Jefferson National Forest. Black Dog Bikes offers advice on bikes, repairs, accessories, and more.
  • Adventurers who want to sightsee underground will enjoy hiking the newly opened trail through the Blue Ridge Tunnel. The former railroad tunnel is so long that you can barely see daylight at the other end. Make sure you take a strong flashlight.
  • Another subterranean option is to visit one of the area’s caves that tunnel through the area’s limestone like swiss cheese. Grand Caverns offers several types of caving adventures.

Hop on the Beerwerks Trail and spend your afternoon exploring the Valley and tasting some of the best craft beer in the state. The Shenandoah Beerwerks Trail consists of 19 breweries, all within an hour’s drive of each other, and ranging from pub-like downtown spaces, to sleek modern taprooms, to breweries with panoramic views of the mountains. Some breweries even offer tours. Grab a Beerwerks Passport at any of the breweries and get it stamped as you follow the trail. After eight stamps, you can redeem it for a cool shirt.

 

Try a different Staunton restaurant for some dinner and then head back out for more fun. Many Beerwerks Trail breweries host live music on the weekends. If you and your buddies like solving puzzles together, Crack the Code Escape Room is a fun way to bond for an hour. Your group might also enjoy the sounds and smell of exhaust from the drag races at Eastside Speedway

Day 3

If you play golf or fish, you’ll want to get an early start. Grab a coffee and quick bite from The By and By or Cranberries Grocery and Eatery.

  • Golfers will enjoy one of Staunton’s two golf courses. The city’s public course, Gypsy Hill Golf Club offers steep terrain and excellent views of the city. Ingleside Golf Course also challenges players and rewards them with sweeping views of the Valley.

  • Fishermen have access to several incredible stocked waterways. Waynesboro’s South River Fly Shop can outfit you and point you in the right direction. You can take advantage of their guided excursions.
  • If you’re more comfortable with a gun than a fishing rod Flying Rabbit Sporting Clays can set you up for a day of shooting. All levels of expertise are welcome. The 15-station course gives you a chance to test yourself in “all the classic sporting presentations.”

Finish your trip with one last brewery stop before you head home. Get another Passport stamp and plan your next visit.

 

2021 Staunton-Area Bucket List

2020 was a rough year for all of us. It’s time to start making your bucket list for 2021. We’ve rounded up Staunton-area bucket list ideas to brighten up your new year. Read on to live your best life. Walk Under a Mountain The 2.25-mile Claudius Crozet Blue Ridge Tunnel trail has just opened for … Continue reading 2021 Staunton-Area Bucket List

2020 was a rough year for all of us. It’s time to start making your bucket list for 2021. We’ve rounded up Staunton-area bucket list ideas to brighten up your new year. Read on to live your best life.

Walk Under a Mountain

The 2.25-mile Claudius Crozet Blue Ridge Tunnel trail has just opened for foot and bike traffic. At just under a mile, the tunnel was the longest railroad tunnel in North America when it was completed in 1858. Part spooky, part history lesson, part invigorating and just plain dark, the tunnel stays a temperate 50 degrees, so it’s a good way to get outside even on the hottest and coldest days. Make sure you bring your strongest flashlight and look for subterranean creatures like crawfish and salamanders.

Complete Your Beerwerks Passport

Need some motivation to get more beer in your life? Grab a Shenandoah Valley Beerwerks passport and taste your way through the best craft beer the Shenandoah Valley has to offer. The 18 breweries are located in Rockingham, Augusta, and Rockbridge Counties, making Staunton an enviable jumping off point. You’ll enjoy taproom vibes that range from homey, to cool industrial, to alfresco with bucolic views. Get your passport stamped at 8 breweries and earn yourself a free t-shirt!

Enjoy a Spa Day

Feeling stressed and ready for some major relaxation? This is the time to book a spa day at the new spa at the Blackburn Inn. Choose from massage, skincare treatments, nail treatments, or go crazy and indulge in all of the above! Want to pamper yourself even more? Buy yourself a cute new outfit at Design@9 or the Fashion Gallery, where you can browse 25,000 square feet of high quality clothes, shoes, and accessories.

Better Yourself by Learning Something New

Beverley Street Studio School offers “year-round, non-degree, college-level art classes to the serious art student.” The public can register for classes, lectures, and workshops that are being delivered via Zoom as well as in person. Spring offerings include watercolor, art as exploration, and more. If you’re not ready to take a class just yet, get inspired by their gallery, which shares space with Co-Art Gallery at 22 W. Beverley Street. If you’d rather learn a skill that keeps you outside and active, 2021 might be the year you finally perfect your golf swing. Sign up for some private golf lessons or instructional clinics with the golf pro at Gypsy Hill Golf Club.

Kayak Through a Whitewater Gorge

Does racing whitewater make your heart thrill? Rack your kayak and head to Goshen Pass for six miles of powerful class II, class III, and class IV rapids. The gorge was created as the Maury River cut through Little North Mountain and the water that courses through is considered some of the best whitewater for intermediate paddlers in Virginia.

Take that Hot Air Balloon Ride You’ve Always Promised Her

Picture gliding smoothly through the air, gazing down as the Valley spreads out like a map below you. Enjoy the sunrise or sunset with up to three of your favorite people. Bridgewater’s Star Ballooning takes photos, provides champagne toasts, and can even arrange a special proposal flight, should the mood strike you.

2020 Was a Rough Year. Smash Some *&$% Up!

You’ll have to drive over to Waynesboro to get to Havoc House, but we couldn’t leave this off the bucket list. Has 2020 been rough for you? Suit up in protective gear and get your sweet revenge by taking out your aggressions on glassware, furniture, and small electronics at the newly opened “smash therapy” center. You choose your weapon of choice, like a bat or golf club, and swing away. Best of all, when you’re finished, someone else will come in behind you and clean it all up. Feel better now?

Spend the Night in Lodgings with a History

Much of Staunton’s downtown dates from the Victorian Era, and there are several places to rest your head that date back 100 years or more. Travelers can choose between Hotel 24 South, which was where society ladies went to drink their tea in the early 1900s, or historic homes that have been re-envisioned as B&Bs. Travelers will also enjoy the luxurious Blackburn Inn, which has an institutional past, but is now an updated inn and spa, or Gibson’s Warehouse, which started its life as a warehouse that stored goods as they came off the train, but is now modern suites.

Go on a Wildlife Safari

You don’t have to travel to Africa to take your kids on safari. Virginia’s only drive-thru safari, Virginia Safari Park, is just a short drive down the highway in Natural Bridge. The 180-acre property includes three miles of gravel road through animal habitat. You can drive with your windows down and the animals will stick their heads into your car for feed. There’s also a walk-through section where you can see giraffes, tigers, penguins, birds, and farm animals. If you’re looking for an even rarer experience, sign up to spend a Saturday with a pair of cheetahs, penguins, or sloths and their handlers. You’ll learn how the animal-care specialists feed and interact with them.

Eat an Entire Cake…or Quiche…or Pie all by Yourself

You know you’ve always wanted to do it. Take that first delicious bite and keep on eating until it’s gone. Well, maybe you are capable of restraint, but you won’t want to after you taste a cake from Giancarlo Fine European Pastry. This tiny shop is tucked away, but once you discover it, you’ll return again and again for cakes, chocolates and tarts. Check Facebook for a taste of what’s available. Réunion Bakery & Espresso serves pastries, breads, and if you’re lucky, quiche. You can check out what they’re baking on Facebook and order at the window. And if pie is your weakness, Firkin Pie Company has something in the oven right now that will make you swoon.

Pretend to Be in a Movie

Parts of several major motion pictures were shot in Staunton! Step one is to watch the movie and try to spot Staunton. Watch the Civil War come to life in Gods and Generals or Wicked Spring. Get spooked on Sears Hill after watching Hearts in Atlantis or giggle along with Evan Almighty. Step two is to head to the location and snap your selfie there.  Explore the area while you’re there!