#LOVEstaunton

#LOVEstaunton

SHOW YOUR LOCAL LOVE: REMEMBER LOCAL.

As one of the oldest cities west of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Staunton’s history spans three centuries. Stretching west of the Mississippi River and north to the Great Lakes, Augusta County was America’s first frontier while Staunton served as the county seat, cultural center, and business hub. This large land area saw clashes between Native Americans and … Continue reading SHOW YOUR LOCAL LOVE: REMEMBER LOCAL.

As one of the oldest cities west of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Staunton’s history spans three centuries. Stretching west of the Mississippi River and north to the Great Lakes, Augusta County was America’s first frontier while Staunton served as the county seat, cultural center, and business hub. This large land area saw clashes between Native Americans and the area’s earliest settlers, the state’s general assembly took shelter in Staunton during the Revolutionary War, America’s agricultural revolution began here, Civil War armies vied for control of the state here, and a U.S. President was born here.

Historic Sites and Museums 

Our storied past is celebrated with a variety of historic attractions, archival collections, historical buildings, museums, and Civil War sites that help tell our unique story. These hands-on experiences enable locals and visitors to step back in time and see snapshots of life starting with our frontier days at the state’s living history museum, the Frontier Culture Museum to the 20th century where you can explore the birthplace of our 28th President, Woodrow Wilson and learn about his life and legacy. While organizations like the Historic Staunton Foundation help ensure the continued preservation of our “award-winning,” main street an accolade that attracts people and press to our small city. This is in addition to the outreach and education programs the foundation runs year round. 

While these treasures are closed and events cancelled for the time being, some organizations like the Woodrow Wilson Library are finding interactive ways to educate and reach audiences using technology. The Woodrow Wilson Library is offering daily, live tours to the public along with interactive workshops. Find out how you can be a part of these FREE virtual tours and programs made possible by the Charles Fund. Or if you’re need a distraction from COVID-19, visit the Frontier Culture Museum’s Facebook page to see their newest additions (think farm animals.) Visit our website to learn more about our historic sites, museums and organizations like the Augusta Military Academy Museum, the Camera Heritage Museum, the Stonewall Brigade Band and the Augusta County Historical Society among many others. 

Whatever you do, remember these important resources that educate our community, tell our unique story, and shape our future. During this unique time of COVID-19, help us write our own history, one that shows our community as paying it forward to the businesses that need our support, the organizations that need our donations and the attractions that need us to remember who we are and where we came from. Find out how you can support them now, during this time of need, and in the future. Remember Local.

Travel Advisory

Last Updated March 25 at 9:53 a.m. COVID-19 (Coronovirus) Pandemic The City of Staunton takes the health and safety of our citizens and visitors seriously, and the coronavirus has our full attention. With the situation evolving rapidly, we encourage the traveling public to seek and heed the latest expert guidance, and to make fact-based travel … Continue reading Travel Advisory

Last Updated March 25 at 9:53 a.m.

COVID-19 (Coronovirus) Pandemic

The City of Staunton takes the health and safety of our citizens and visitors seriously, and the coronavirus has our full attention. With the situation evolving rapidly, we encourage the traveling public to seek and heed the latest expert guidance, and to make fact-based travel decisions.

Governor Northam is urging Virginians to limit all non-essential travel outside the home, if and when possible. If you choose to go to the park, for a walk, or exercise outside, please practice strict social distancing and keep six feet apart from others.  All public and private gatherings of more than 10 people are banned.

Please see the city’s COVID-19 landing page for more information.

Attractions

The following Attractions have been closed:

American Shakespeare Center will be closed from March 19-May 31, 2020.

Frontier Culture Museum will be closed from March 14-March 29, 2020. All events are suspended for the next 30 days. 

Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library and Museum will be closed from March 16-March 31, 2020. 

Sunspots Studios is closed until further notice.

Trinity Episcopal Church closed until March 27, 2020

We encourage locals and visitors to show your support by shopping local when appropriate. Find out more about the businesses, restaurants and shops that are offering curbside service, delivery, shipping and other services. Visit Staunton Downtown Development Association page to find out what businesses are doing and how you can support them during this unprecedented time. 

Events

The following events have been canceled.

Staunton PRIDE Festival rescheduled for July 24-26, 2020

Heifetz Spring Hootenanny and Bach Around the Clock

Queen City Plein Air Festival

Earth Day Staunton to be rescheduled

Shakespeare’s Birthday Celebration

All events are subject to change or cancellation. We encourage you to contact the event organizer directly to confirm that the event information has not been changed.

Visitor Centers

To protect the health of our community staff, and visitors, the Downtown Visitor Center will be closed Wednesday, March 18 through Wednesday, April 15, at which time the hours of operations will be re-evaluated. The administrative office will continue regular weekday operations. Please call 540-332-3865 with any questions.

The Tourist Information Center at Frontier Culture Museum of Virginia will be closed from Friday, March 14, 2020 through Sunday, March 29, 2020. In addition, all special events have been suspended for the next thirty days.

Illness Prevention

  • Avoid traveling if you are sick.
  • Avoid contact with sick people.
  • If you are 65 years or older, have compromised immunity, or have a pre-existing health condition, it is advised to avoid air travel and large crowds.
  • Maintain at least 3 feet distance from those that are coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Clean your hands often by washing them with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60%–95% alcohol. 
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue if you cough or sneeze. Throw away the tissue immediately after. If you do not have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your sleeve in the elbow. In either case, wash your hands thoroughly after.
  • If you are healthy, it is not necessary to wear a facemask. Facemasks are most effective when used by people who are already ill to prevent the spread of germs. Please protect our healthcare workers.

Public Health and Travel Resources

General COVID-19 Information

 

SHOW YOUR LOCAL LOVE: GIVE LOCAL.

Staunton’s rich history of arts and culture goes back to its days as a 19th-century rail junction and a center for travelers to stop over and enjoy opera, vaudeville, and a rollicking nightlife. That tradition lives on today. Staunton city is buzzing with entertainment offerings by renowned organizations like  American Shakespeare Center and the Heifetz International Music … Continue reading SHOW YOUR LOCAL LOVE: GIVE LOCAL.

Staunton’s rich history of arts and culture goes back to its days as a 19th-century rail junction and a center for travelers to stop over and enjoy opera, vaudeville, and a rollicking nightlife. That tradition lives on today. Staunton city is buzzing with entertainment offerings by renowned organizations like  American Shakespeare Center and the Heifetz International Music Institute, the Staunton Music Festival, Sunspots Studios and many more that make Staunton their home.

American Shakespeare Center

With the curtain drawn on the American Shakespeare Center’s Actors’ Renaissance season and the theatre’s subsequent closing from March 19-May 31, the theater troupe is looking to reboot, in June, with their much anticipated marquee repertory that includes Shakespearean staples like Othello, The Merchant of  Venice and Twelfth Night 90 along with the masterpiece Volpone and Keene, a Shakespeare’s New Contemporary companion piece to Othello.

In the meantime, the ASC is seeking support to help them literally keep the lights on and the mortgage paid. The American Shakespeare Center’s struggle, like other nonprofit organizations dealing with the fallout of the coronavirus, was recently profiled in The Washington Post by columnist Peter Marks who writes how COVID-19 “…amounted to a potential theatrical extinction event.”

Want to help? Give locally and make a donation to the American Shakespeare Center to help them reach their goal of $350,000 or consider purchasing tickets for the summer season. As ASC’s Artistic Director, Ethan McSweeney stated: “We usually sign off with a cheery “we’ll see you at the Playhouse.”  This time that salutation is perhaps a little more hopeful, a little less certain, and a little more significant.”

Heifetz International Music Institute

Another organization reeling from the effects of COVID-19 is the Heifetz International Music Institute who had to cancel several performances both here in Staunton and in the Washington D.C area. The loss of ticket revenue and the temporary closing of the Heifetz Gift Shop has the music institute looking for creative ways to fundraise. With the future of their six-week summer program uncertain, the Heifetz Institute is asking locals to donate items for resale on the Heifetz eBay Store. Hot ticket items include women’s clothing and shoes, home and office goods, instruments, antique anything, jewelry and the list goes on. The Heifetz Institute is offering white-glove pickup for your donation. All you have to do is fill out the form and they’ll do the rest. Items donated go directly to the Institute and if you aren’t ready to part with your goods, consider making a cash donation. Here are a number of ways you can help “our community of music-makers and music-lovers weather the storm.”

For information on other arts organizations and non-profits like Staunton-Augusta Art Center, CoArt Gallery, Beverley Street School Studio and many others in the Staunton-Augusta area visit our website. Find out what they’re doing to keep the lights on and how you can GIVE LOCAL.

Free Stuff to Do for Kids: 2020

In this rapidly evolving situation with COVID-19, we urge you to call each venue ahead of time, to be sure they are open for business and what their hours might be. We’ve rounded up a list of free family-friendly activities in Staunton that will get you moving and keep the dreaded “I’m boreds” at bay. … Continue reading Free Stuff to Do for Kids: 2020

In this rapidly evolving situation with COVID-19, we urge you to call each venue ahead of time, to be sure they are open for business and what their hours might be.

We’ve rounded up a list of free family-friendly activities in Staunton that will get you moving and keep the dreaded “I’m boreds” at bay. Save this for future reference; we’re sure you’ll look to it as a resource for a while to come.

Artsy Things

Enjoy the art gallery experience and support local artists at the Co-Art Gallery and the Artisans Loft. Visit the R.R. Smith Center for history and rotating exhibits. Mary Baldwin University hosts several exhibits tin its Hunt Gallery each academic year. Check out the Blue Star Parent Tool Kit for great ideas to get your kids interacting with what they see during a visit to a museum or gallery.

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

Outdoorsy Things

Tour the Town

History buff families with eager-to-learn children will appreciate a good walking tour. Grab a printed tour map from the Staunton Visitor Center at 35 South New Street and enjoy this wonderful, walkable city at your own pace. Don’t forget to your Instagram photos with #loveStaunton.

Gypsy Hill Park

214-acre Gypsy Hill Park has a skate park (for BMX, inline, scooters, and skateboards), the Gypsy Express Mini Train (almost free; only $1 per person), the duck pond, Lake Tams for fishing, and of course, playgrounds. Don’t miss Family Nite Flix hosted by Staunton Parks and Recreation. Also, visit the bandstand Monday – Thursday nights for live music, including the Stonewall Brigade Band, Praise in the Park, bluegrass, and jazz.

Montgomery Hall Park

Montgomery Hall Park is 148 acres and includes miles of looping hiking and mountain biking trails. It’s also home to the award-winning natural playground, Nature Ridge. Designed for imaginative play, Nature Ridge has a mud kitchen, rock quarry, pirate ship, tunnel, chimes, and an elevated sand pit accessible to children of all abilities. This park’s amenities are rounded out with a traditional playground, disc golf course, tennis and basketball courts, and a pool.

National Parks and Forests

Staunton is only a short drive from Shenandoah National Park and the George Washington and Jefferson National Forest which are filled with hikes and other outdoor recreation. Click here for our post on good area hikes for beginners. Entrance fees may apply but the National Park Service does offer fee-free days see the schedule

Fun Things

Trains

Does your family love trains? Visit the historic train station and Sears Hill Bridge. There’s a small park to explore and you’ll see the tracks – and Staunton – from above. For an awesome display of model train layouts and railroad art, head to the Augusta County Railroad Museum in the Staunton Mall. The museum is open Fridays from 5 – 8 pm and Saturdays from 1 – 5 pm.

Firetrucks

And if your obsession leans toward fire trucks, you’ll be over the moon with the Staunton Fire Station, where you can see JUMBO, the oldest motorized fire engine in Virginia and the only remaining 1911 Robinson fire engine. You also just might get a tour of the rest of the station, including the modern firetrucks as well as the quarters where the firefighters live and work.

Treasure Hunting

Do you have a little explorer on your hands? Feed the sense of adventure and mystery when you geocache in our parks or downtown. Learn more about the process and fun of geocaching, then locate our area caches to get started. You can also explore by foot using the free app, Traipse! Traipse takes you on an adventure that is half historic tour and half scavenger hunt. You can Traipse anytime, with whomever you want, in places like downtown Staunton, Gypsy Hill Park, and the campus of Mary Baldwin University.

Free Stuff to Do for Adults: 2020

*In this rapidly evolving situation with COVID-19, we urge you to call each venue ahead of time, to be sure they are open for business and what their hours might be. What’s better than a trip to Staunton? Finding free things do do while you visit, of course! Here’s a list of fun (and frugal) … Continue reading Free Stuff to Do for Adults: 2020

*In this rapidly evolving situation with COVID-19, we urge you to call each venue ahead of time, to be sure they are open for business and what their hours might be.

What’s better than a trip to Staunton? Finding free things do do while you visit, of course! Here’s a list of fun (and frugal) activities for grownups.

Artsy Things

Beverley Street Studio School Gallery & Co-Art Gallery

The Beverley Street Studio School Gallery hosts seven annual exhibits, which are open to the public seven days a week. Enjoy the work of 40+ local artists in the Valley’s largest cooperative gallery, the Co-ART Gallery, which is housed in a connecting space.

Hunt Gallery

Mary Baldwin University hosts five professional exhibits in its Hunt Gallery each academic year. The art ranges from “abstract to classical, reflecting a wide variety of media and artistic intentions.”

Gallery at Ox-Eye Vineyards Tasting Room

If you stop in at Ox-Eye Vineyards tasting room, located in a T.J Collins-designed building in historic downtown, make sure you head upstairs for a look at the gallery, which is free to the public and offers several shows each year.

Artisans Loft

Located in a 2,000-sf. loft about the Staunton Antiques Center, the Artisans Loft celebrates the work of local artists with four juried shows each year.

Staunton Augusta Arts Center

The Staunton Augusta Arts Center is located in the historic R.R. Smith Center for History and Art. Peruse the galleries Monday through Saturday to check out the rotating exhibits, which change every six weeks.

Sunspots Studios

Have you ever seen glass blown at Sunspots Studios? It’s free to watch and demos are offered daily until 4 p.m.

 

Historic Things

Trinity Episcopal Church

The Louis Comfort Tiffany windows at Trinity Episcopal Church are always a draw, and you can visit the church for free to see them. Learn more about the windows and plan your visit.

For more about the surrounding area, visit Staunton Architecture: Newtown Historic District.

Thornrose Cemetery

Thornrose Cemetery is a good place for a walk to experience human and architectural history. It’s the final resting place of more than 1,700 Confederate soldiers from five area battlefields. The various statues and landscaping are worth your attention as well. Check out our walking tour of Thornrose Cemetery.

Staunton Walking TourS

Did you know that Staunton has five distinct historic districts? Grab a printed tour map from the Staunton Visitor Center at 35 South New Street, and enjoy this wonderful, walkable city at your own pace. You can also explore by foot using the free app, Traipse! Traipse takes you on an adventure that is half historic tour and half scavenger hunt. You can Traipse anytime, with whomever you want, in places like downtown Staunton, Gypsy Hill Park, and the campus of Mary Baldwin University. Make sure you stop and take plenty of photos for Instagram! Tag them with #loveStaunton.

Outdoorsy Things

Betsy Bell and Mary Gray Wilderness Parks

Betsy Bell and Mary Gray Wilderness Parks are open to the public from dawn until dusk. Hike the nature trails and appreciate the expansive views of Staunton and the surrounding area. Be sure to bring your camera to capture wildlife!

Gypsy Hill Park

Some people love the duck pond at Gypsy Hill Park. Others appreciate the fishing lake or dog park. Bring your inlines, your BMX, or your skateboard to thrill onlookers with your mad tricks at the skatepark. During the summer, the bandstand hosts free summer concerts. Concerts feature a different genre each night and include the Stonewall Brigade Band on Monday, Praise in the Park on Tuesday, Bluegrass in the Park on Wednesday, and Jazz in the Park on Thursday.

Montgomery Hall Park

Those who want a real workout will enjoy the mountain biking and hiking trails at hilly Montgomery Hall Park. If disc golf is more your style, tee up on the 18-hole course.

Tasty Things

The Wine Cellar

The Wine Cellar hosts regular tastings. Sip some samples and then select a bottle of wine or beer from the newly expanded beer selection. The tastings are  on Fridays or on Saturdays. Check Facebook for more info.

Staunton Olive Oil Company

If you enjoy cooking or are looking for a special gift, stop by Staunton Olive Oil Company’s tasting room for a cooking demonstration and to try their many varieties of infused and fused olive oils and balsamic vinegars.

Fun Stuff at Breweries

While you’re not going to get free beer or food while you visit, you can certainly take advantage of the many free activities hosted by our local breweries. Join the weekly trivia and karaoke at Redbeard Brewing. Skipping Rock Beer Co. hosts lots of live music and trivia games.  Queen City Brewing lets you listen to live music or take the stage yourself with open mic nights. Shenandoah Valley Brewing Company also hosts live music and events. If you’re planning to brewery hop, earn yourself a free t-shirt with Shenandoah Beerwerks Trail’s passport program!

If you are traveling with your family, click here for our post on free family adventures.

Sappily Ever After: Highland Maple Festival Itinerary 

62nd Annual Highland County Maple Festival: March 14 – 15 & 21 – 22, 2020 For 62 years, people have been following the sap to beautiful Highland County for the mid-March Highland Maple Festival. Festival goers can visit working sugar camps to see the “opening” of the trees and learn the history behind maple syrup … Continue reading Sappily Ever After: Highland Maple Festival Itinerary 

62nd Annual Highland County Maple Festival: March 14 – 15 & 21 – 22, 2020

For 62 years, people have been following the sap to beautiful Highland County for the mid-March Highland Maple Festival. Festival goers can visit working sugar camps to see the “opening” of the trees and learn the history behind maple syrup production. They’ll enjoy delicious treats like pancakes and maple donuts, hear lively music, and shop the wares of over a hundred juried vendors. The festival also includes scenic drives and mapped tours of the maple camps and points of interest.

Staunton is just an hour away from Monterey, the seat of the festival, so set up a home base in Staunton before heading out for a day in Highland County. Read on for our suggested itinerary.

Friday

5:00 PM: CHECK INTO YOUR ACCOMMODATIONS

One of the great things about Staunton is that you can find a mix of fine accommodations in downtown, so dining, shopping, and entertainment options are literally steps away. Check out our historic hotels, unique lodging, and charming B&B’s.

5:30 p.m.: UNWIND WITH A DRINK

Plan tomorrow’s excursion over a glass of wine or pint of craft beer at one of Staunton’s wine bars or breweries. The Green Room and Yelping Dog have quiet atmospheres perfect for sitting and sipping with friends. Both offer snacks like cheese plates and gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches. If craft beer is your drink, earn the first stamp in your Shenandoah Beerwerks Trail Passport at a Staunton brewery. Participating breweries include Redbeard Brewing Co., Shenandoah Valley Brewing Company, and Queen City Brewing. Just outside of the city is Skipping Rock Beer Company

6:30 PM: GRAB SOME DINNER

You’ll need to fuel up for a weekend of touring sugar camps, so come hungry! Staunton’s culinary offerings are varied and delicious. Many of our chefs get creative with farm-to-table seasonal menus. We also have global cuisine eateries with bold flavors and worldly influences. Even the pizza scene is pretty special. The best part is that everything’s within walking distance of our historic main street. 

Saturday

8:00 AM: WAKE UP AT A LOCAL COFFEE SHOP 

Start your day with a cup of freshly brewed coffee at one of our coffee shops.

8:30 AM: PACK SOME SNACKS AND YOUR CAMERA AND HEAD WEST ON RT. 250

Before You Go

  • Highland County Maple Festival hours: Saturdays 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Sundays 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
  • Pancake meals may start earlier and end in the mid afternoon. See brochure.
  • Dress in layers and boots – you know what they say about March weather!
  • Monterey is a rural mountain community served by only two main roads (Rt. 220 and Rt. 250), so expect some traffic during the festival.
  • Cell phone service might be limited in some places.
  • Coming soon: Highland County’s Maple Syrup Trail will encourage visitors to visit 10 sugar camps throughout the year to earn a prize.

Points of Interest

Highland County Museum | 161 Mansion House Rd: The Highland County Museum is a 1851 home that served as a hospital during the Civil War. The exhibits focus on the Battle of McDowell and the rural history of the area.

Sugar Tree Country Store | 185 Mansion House Road, McDowell: The Sugar Tree Country Store is right along the main route to Monterey, and it contrasts the old and new with both a display of antique maple production tools and tours of the “modern reverse osmosis concentrator and oil-fired evaporator” that’s in use today. Plus, the country store offers all kinds of maple products and handicrafts. 

Duff’s Sugar House | 3118 Mill Gap Road, Monterey: For a chance to participate in the sap-gathering process and to see how syrup was traditionally made, stop at Duff’s Sugar House.

Mill Gap Farms | 2760 Mill Gap Road, Monterey: Mill Gap Farms is located right down the road, but they use cutting-edge technology to create their organic syrup. Kids will enjoy meeting the sheep, chickens, and alpacas that live on the farm.

Downtown Monterey: The heart of the festival is located in downtown Monterey. Here you’ll find arts and crafts vendors, food, musical entertainment, and activities for the entire family at The Highland Center.

Other Sugar Camps: There are nine sugar camps on the tour. See the map for more information. Witness different methods of tapping maple trees and reducing sap to syrup. Learn how to grade syrup based on color and flavor, and see production and packaging methods. You’ll also get a chance to purchase the freshest syrup there is!

Pancake Dinners: Several towns will be holding pancake breakfasts for the festival. See the brochure for times at Monterey, McDowell, Bolar, Blue Grass, and Williamsville.

Late Afternoon: Make your way back to Staunton. 

Pull over to photograph the incredible view from the top of Shenandoah Mountain and the ½-mile Confederate Breastworks interpretive trail. You’ll see why this was used as a lookout point during the Civil War. 

6:00 PM: HOW ABOUT DINNER & A SHOW?

A long day of hiking to sugar camps will leave you famished. Plan to put away a big steak or some pasta at The Depot Grille or design your own bowl at 101 West Beverley. Get seats for a show at the American Shakespeare Center’s Blackfriars Playhouse, the world’s only re-creation of Shakespeare’s indoor theatre. Here’s what’s playing.

SUNDAY

10:00 AM: End a fun-filled weekend with brunch. 

Reliving your adventure over a delicious brunch before heading out of town should be a no-brainer. Zynodoa, The Shack, and Table 44 are known for their modern twists on traditional Southern cooking with an emphasis on locally-sourced ingredients. Check out who else is serving in Staunton’s Brunch Bunch.

The Queen City’s Nearby Gems

You’re visiting Staunton, but you want to get out to explore the surrounding areas, too? Never fear: there’s tons to do within an easy, beautiful hour’s drive. Have a blast at one of these nearby gems and get back to home base with plenty of time and energy to enjoy Staunton’s nightlife, accommodations, and fine … Continue reading The Queen City’s Nearby Gems

You’re visiting Staunton, but you want to get out to explore the surrounding areas, too? Never fear: there’s tons to do within an easy, beautiful hour’s drive. Have a blast at one of these nearby gems and get back to home base with plenty of time and energy to enjoy Staunton’s nightlife, accommodations, and fine dining.

The Top of the World

One underrated thing about Staunton is that you can look up at the Blue Ridge Mountains from everywhere – even the Walmart parking lot! For a different perspective, pick a hike in Shenandoah National Park or cruise a section of the Skyline Drive. This road undulates for 105 miles along the ridge of the mountains and offers nearly 70 overlooks with breathtaking views of the Shenandoah Valley and Virginia Piedmont far below. 

If you’d rather head south, follow the beautiful Blue Ridge Parkway to mile post 27. Nearby Crabtree Falls and Spy Rock are both short, spectacular hikes that offer views of the Tye River Valley and surroundings.

The Center of the Earth

The bedrock in the Shenandoah Valley consists of soft limestone and dolostone. Millions of years of rain and underground water have veined the area with caverns. Commercial caverns offer safe and exciting ways to explore the underground terrain.

  • Luray Caverns: Cathedral sized rooms and dramatic geological features made universally accessible by paved walkways.
  • Endless Caverns: This lesser-known cave offers tours and some really cool natural formations.
  • Grand Caverns: Discovered in 1804, this cave has operated commercially longer than any other in the country. Opt to take one of the rugged (dark and dirty) tours available.

The Past

Virginia is steeped in history, but you don’t have to travel all the way to Jamestown to access it! 

  • Start your journey to the past at Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, where you can spend the day imagining you live in the home designed by our country’s third president. You’ll explore the plantation’s neoclassical house (yup, the one on the back of the nickel), grounds, and the lives of those who lived and worked there.

  • Natural Bridge State Park was also once owned by Thomas Jefferson. It’s a 215-foot bridge that arches over Cedar Creek. Six miles of hiking trails and living history exhibits at a Monocan Indian Village will help the past come to life,

The Good Life

Did you know that Hull’s Drive In is one of the last remaining drive in theaters in Virginia? Built in 1950, Hull’s offers a great way to enjoy a good movie and a warm-weather night. 

Virginia Safari Park in Natural Bridge lets you feed and pet many of the animals. Drive your car through the 180-acre section of the park where the animals roam free. See more animals in the 10-acre walk-thru section. 

If you want to treat the kids to something a little different, check out Dinosaur Kingdom II,  where you’ll get a mix of history and fantasy while witnessing theme park and attraction designer Mark Cline’s work. Life-sized dinosaurs? Check. Civil War soldiers? Check. Fighting? You’ve got it.

Massanutten Indoor Water Park is one USA Today’s top-rated water parks in the country. The water is heated to a comfy 84 degrees and you can choose between slides, family areas, a lazy river, a surfing FlowRider, and more.

Silver Linings for Rainy Days

The Factory Antique Mall prides itself to being the largest antique mall in America, and at 135,000 square feet, it houses a lot of treasures. In operation since 1996, the mall houses furniture, clothing, jewelry, toys, books and more.

Got the kids in tow? Let them run wild at Charlottesville’s Virginia Discovery Museum or Harrisonburg’s Explore More Discovery Museum. Both museums have loads of cool stuff and kids get to build and play and create to their hearts’ content.

In the mood for live music, entertainment, sports, or classic movies on the big screen? Check out the schedules at JMU’s Forbes Center for the Performing Arts, Charlottesville’s Paramount Theater, or UVA’s John Paul Jones Arena.

A Stay for Every Style

Are you looking for an unforgettable stay in an unforgettable town? Whether you’re planning a romantic trip for two or an adventure for the entire family, you need a home base, and Staunton’s properties will suit your style. Add in a lively downtown, spectacular opportunities in nature, lots of history and culture, and great food, … Continue reading A Stay for Every Style

Are you looking for an unforgettable stay in an unforgettable town? Whether you’re planning a romantic trip for two or an adventure for the entire family, you need a home base, and Staunton’s properties will suit your style. Add in a lively downtown, spectacular opportunities in nature, lots of history and culture, and great food, and you’ve got the recipe for a getaway you’ll never forget.

Ultimate Romantic Getaways

Whether you’re looking for an elegant upscale experience or a cozy nest with special touches, you should definitely venture out of your room and enjoy our downtown. Share some wine at The Green Room and then head across the street for seafood at BLU Point, both new on the culinary scene. Follow your meal with some Shakespeare at the Blackfriars Playhouse.

Blackburn Inn

Built in 1828, but recently renovated, the Blackburn Inn retains historic fixtures of antebellum architecture like enormous windows, high ceilings and a rooftop atrium offering breathtaking views of downtown Staunton. It also embraces state-of-the-art modern convenience to help you relax. The luxury boutique hotel is beautifully situated on acres of explorable landscaped lawn and garden. Coming later this year is a full-service spa and wellness exercise facility and two luxury apartments. Enjoy a snack at the Inn’s bistro and bar before exploring downtown Staunton on foot. Choose from a selection of packages such as the Romance Package, which includes champagne and chocolate covered strawberries.

Frederick House

Frederick House is situated in five historic buildings located in the heart of downtown Staunton. Full of personality – its 23 rooms were not originally built to be hotel rooms – the property boasts the extravagance of a fancy hotel in a more personal setting. After eating from a menu of signature breakfasts, plan to explore Staunton on foot. Perhaps you and your loved one would prefer a little extra pampering? Let the Frederick House provide you with special treats in your room or at a nearby spa.

Stonewall Jackson Hotel and Conference Center

Stonewall Jackson Hotel and Conference Center opened in 1924 and was the place to stay for Shenandoah Valley society. Over time, the building fell into disrepair, but was recently brought back to life in glorious style. The renovation combines modern luxury with painstakingly restored historic details. After leaving your well appointed room, take a dip in the indoor pool, have a drink in front of the fireplace in the lobby, or enjoy an easy stroll through the heart of Staunton for fine dining and entertainment.

 

Inn At Westshire Farms

This Civil War era property offers a peaceful getaway just minutes from Staunton and with easy access to Interstate 81. This hideaway is the perfect balance of historic grace and modern day amenities ideal for your romantic getaway. The Inn at Westshire Farms offers 9 beautifully appointed rooms to fit everyone’s needs. Take in the view of the charming, rolling hillsides as you enjoy complimentary breakfast in their bright and cheery conservatory. 

Berkeley House Bed and Breakfast

If you and your sweetie crave a special stay in a historic property, look no further than the Berkeley House Bed and Breakfast. This 1897 Queen Anne Victorian mansion is a jewel of the Gospel Hill historic district. Thoughtfully modernized, it still contains original details like stained glass and period decorations. Catch a glimpse of the mountains from the wide front porch, enjoy an elaborate breakfast and a Saturday wine and cheese snack. Slip across the street to tour the Woodrow Wilson Birthplace or take advantage of one of the special packages:  American Shakespeare Center package, a champagne package, and a spa package with in-room massage.

Family Fun

Staunton has a bazillion things to do with kids, but a good start is the Frontier Culture Museum for some living history. Everyone will be hungry, so take the crew to The Depot for a casual family dinner followed by gelato at The Split Banana.

Fairfield Inn and Suites by Marriott

The Fairfield Inn and Suites is a family-friendly hotel. Just over a year old, this hotel is convenient to both downtown Staunton as well as the interstates and the Walmart Supercenter in case you need any last-minute supplies. The hotel offers free hot breakfast and free wi-fi. There’s also a modern fitness area and an indoor saltwater swimming pool that will keep the kids busy.

Tru By Hilton

Right next door to the Marriott Fairfield Inn and Suites is Tru. This Hilton brand focuses on building community which you’ll experience throughout your stay from the colorful mural in the lobby featuring Staunton’s most beloved landmarks to staff recommendations for taking advantage of the local culture and dining scene. The vibrant and inviting lobby encourages guests to mix and mingle while playing games, flipping through magazines, or watching TV. Your brood will rejoice once they lay eyes on the ultimate breakfast bar which includes 35 + toppings. 

Shenandoah Valley Campground

If you don’t mind roughing it a little, set up your tent at Shenandoah Valley Campground. Just a few minutes north of Staunton, Shenandoah Valley Campground offers rental cabins and sites for tents and RVs along a calm sections of the Middle River. There’s a waterfall, a fishing lake, playgrounds, weekend DJs, a game room, mini golf, a cafe, and a giant pack of tame rabbits to feed.

Outward Bound

You might be setting off on a skiing adventure or hiking to find that elusive perfect swimming hole. Golf? History hunting? Biking? Make sure you fuel up by grabbing some coffee at Crucible Coffee Roasters or Cranberries and maybe swing by the Staunton Farmers’ Market (seasonal from April-November) before you head out on the trail.

Staunton Stays

Staunton Stays is a four-suite boutique hotel in a beautifully renovated Victorian house. Each plush suite has a different theme. All four suites offer full kitchens, modern bathrooms, living quarters, and access to a laundry room. Begin with a complimentary bottle of wine and basket of snacks before you cook a meal in your private kitchen or walk to a restaurant. All four suites offer queen-sized beds and a sofa bed. No pets or smoking.

Gibson’s Warehouse

Each of the four private suites at Gibson’s Warehouse offers a full-sized and fully-equipped kitchen, modern bath, living space, and a king-sized bed. The luxurious but industrial cool units also boast hints of their former lives as warehouse space with tall ceilings, large windows, wood floors and areas of exposed brick. Enjoy complimentary wi-fi and a treat basket. There is also a common space in the lobby with seating areas so guests can mingle and socialize before exploring Staunton on foot or the rest of the Valley by car.

New Bites on the Block: Staunton’s Newest Eateries

Locals and visitors alike love the Staunton dining scene. Full of interesting farm-to-table goodness, Staunton shows off its food chops in a variety of ways, from coffee and craft beer to comfort food to gourmet cuisine. Embrace the young decade by finding your next favorites at one of Staunton’s newest spots. BLU Point Seafood Co. … Continue reading New Bites on the Block: Staunton’s Newest Eateries

Locals and visitors alike love the Staunton dining scene. Full of interesting farm-to-table goodness, Staunton shows off its food chops in a variety of ways, from coffee and craft beer to comfort food to gourmet cuisine. Embrace the young decade by finding your next favorites at one of Staunton’s newest spots.

BLU Point Seafood Co. | 123 West Beverley Street

Are you craving the freshest sustainable seafood available? BLU Point Seafood Co. is a splurge-worthy dining experience where “the Chesapeake Bay meets the New England shore.” The bar at BLU point offers cocktails and a selection of beer, wine, and cider, including many local offerings. Next, take a seat at the raw bar for clams, oysters, shrimp, or an incredible combination “seafood tower.” Entrees range from grilled tuna steak with mixed vegetables, Carolina gold rice and teriyaki sauce to informal favorites like lobster rolls and fried clam baskets. BLU Point focuses on fresh seafood, but it also serves pasta, pasture-raised meats and produce sourced here in the Valley. 

The Greenroom | 130 West Beverley Street

The Greenroom is a hip new spot in Staunton run by Blackfriars Playhouse actors. The comfortable cafe space offers a curated wine, craft beer, and cider list. Pair your drink with an appetizer like wild mushroom tarts with herbs and creme fraiche, white bean and artichoke toast, or a toastie, which is a fancy grilled cheese sandwich. Stop in for a quick drink before a show at the Blackfriars or the Visulite, settle in and hang out with friends, or grab something to take home, or back to your room, with you from the shelves stocked with “funky and fresh finds.” Best of all, when you buy something, The Greenroom will donate part of the proceeds “to help underprivileged kids experience the performing arts.”

Crucible Coffee Roasters | 300 Church Street

Schedule your next coffee date at Crucible Coffee Roasters. This bright, cool space has lots of room to spread out and some of the best coffee in the area, which it roasts fresh on site. Choose from a menu of latte, espresso, mocha, pour over, tea, and hot chocolate as well as a small selection of pastries. Crucible sits away from the bustle of downtown. It offers plenty of free pull-in parking, and is steps from the Wharf historic district, Woodrow Park and Landes Park. Stop here before browsing the local deliciousness of the Farmers’ Market or watching glass art being created at Sunspots. 

101 West Bev “The 101” | 101 West Beverley Street

101 West Bev is a poke-bowl restaurant where diners can customize all parts of their meal from the grain to the protein to the sauce. From the Hawaiian phrase “to slice,” poke-bowls traditionally contained raw fish, but this casual eatery also offers versions of chicken or vegan-friendly tofu options. Choose from a selection of pre-designed bowls like the garlic herb seared beef tenderloin. Or try the truffle orange basil wild-caught salmon with candied walnuts over spaghetti squash. You can also design your own bowl by mixing and matching all sorts of healthy and delicious ingredients. Located on a bustling corner in downtown Staunton, 101 West Bev is a perfect destination for breakfast on the weekends. Sit in the window and watch people passing by as you enjoy a breakfast bowl or crepe.

Augusta Kitchen | 12 Old Oaks Drive, Fishersville, VA 22939

Augusta Kitchen is a build-your-own bowl or plate restaurant that focuses on “Southern Fresh” cuisine. To build a bowl, you choose a protein  like chicken, smoked pork, pot roast. Next, add a base (beans, rice, salad). Top with spreads and toppings from an extensive list.  Sop it all up with a cheddar drop biscuit or cornbread. For dessert, munch a double chocolate brownie or a raspberry bar. Augusta Kitchen has a variety of seating, including ample bar space with views of the TVs. The bar serves wine, cocktails, craft beers, cider, and a selection of snacks like dips and biscuits.

 

Valentine’s Day Specials and Packages

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and now is the perfect time to start planning for that special someone. Enjoy an evening out on the town or make it a weekend getaway. From restaurants to hotels, Staunton has something to offer to make Valentine’s Day one they won’t soon forget. Cupid’s Cupola Package The … Continue reading Valentine’s Day Specials and Packages

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and now is the perfect time to start planning for that special someone. Enjoy an evening out on the town or make it a weekend getaway. From restaurants to hotels, Staunton has something to offer to make Valentine’s Day one they won’t soon forget.

Cupid’s Cupola Package

The Blackburn Inn

Let the Blackburn Inn help you charm your sweet with a romantic getaway at Staunton’s newest luxury, boutique hotel.

This special package includes:

  • Rose Petal Turn down Service
  • Bottle of Prosecco
  • Two tickets to our cozy wine tasting and h’ordeuvres event in our Penthouse

BOOK NOW

“Steele” in Love Package 

Steeles Tavern Manor

Sweep your sweetheart off their feet at Steeles Tavern Manor with this romance package.

This package includes:

  • A dozen red roses
  • A bottle of sparkling wine
  • A box of Godiva Truffles

BOOK NOW

Valentine’s Day Get Away

The Inn At Meadowcroft

Dazzle your sweetheart with a romantic Valentine’s Day get away at this 1975 restored log home, The Inn at Meadowcroft.

This get away includes:

  • Two-night stay
  • Romantic dinner and music
  • In-room champagne and cheese plate

Call 540.712.0791 for reservations.

Staunton Stays

Staunton Stays offers four different themed suites to suit your unique tastes. All are packed with luxurious amenities and the downtown location provides premium access to the many romantic activities Staunton and the Shenandoah Valley have to offer. Eat, drink, and play this Valentine’s Day, then come home to Staunton Stays. Book direct for your special stay. 

BOOK NOW

Sweetheart Swing Dance

Skipping Rock Beer Co.

Friday, February 14, 7 pm-10 pm

Slip on your dancing shoes and grab your sweetheart for an evening of swing dance at Skipping Rock Beer Co. The area’s newest brewery transforms into a dance hall complete with classic tunes by local DJ, Steve “The Painter” Brotzman. 

RSVP before it’s too late!

Carriage Rides

Stable Craft Brewing

Friday, February 14, 6 pm-9 pm

Take in the beautiful views of this working farm in a romantic carriage ride. Round out the evening with dinner along with Stable Craft’s handcrafted beer and cider. The carriages seat up to 6, lasting approximately 15 minutes and include a single rose. Tickets are $15 per person. 

BOOK NOW

Valentine’s Day High Tea

Frederick House

Saturday, February 8, 12 pm-5 pm and Friday, February 14, 11 am-2 pm (Reservation Only)

Tea Includes:

  • Unlimited tea, coffee or hot chocolate
  • 4 light courses of sweet and savory eats
  • $10 per person/$2 if only interested in beverages

All proceeds benefit Wendy’s Place Cat Rescue. Special guests include feline friends to meet and mingle with. Click here for more information or click here to reserve your seat. 

Zynodoa

This southern inspired restaurant, supporting Virginia’s independent farmers and producers, has much to offer this Valentine’s Day weekend.

Valentine’s Chocolate & Cocktail Pairing

Thursday, February 13, 5 pm-10:30 pm

Enjoy three handmade Santiago chocolates paired with three cocktails crafted by Zynodoa’s beverage director Macon Gurley. Bar seating is only available by walk-ins.  

Valentine’s Dinner

Friday, February 14, 5 pm-10:30 pm

Special menu only available for Valentine’s Day, selected items will be featured throughout the weekend. A Prix-fixe, four course dinner will be served at $60 per person.

RESERVE NOW

Valentine’s Sunday Brunch

Sunday, February 16, 10 am-2 pm

Menu Includes:

  • Strawberry Waffles
  • Chocolate French Toast
  • Other brunch items
  • Limited spaces available

RESERVE NOW

Weekend Specials at BLU Point

Friday, February 14 at 11 am through Sunday, February 16 at 11 pm

Specials Include:

  • Warm Brie
  • Surf & Turf: Filet Mignon & Butter Poached Shrimp
  • Crab Stuffed Maine Lobster
  • Strawberry Chocolate Cheesecake
  • White Chocolate Mousse Cake

Weekend Features at Byers Street Bistro

Friday, February 14 through Sunday, February 16 from 5 pm until supplies last

Cozy up to your Valentine at Byers Street Bistro. Enjoy dinner specials all weekend long. 

Specials Include:

  • Oysters Al Forno
  • Pork Tenderloin
  • Sweet and Spicy Tuna
  • Duck Confit 

Valentine’s Day Dinner

Stonewall Jackson Hotel 

Friday, February 14, 6 pm-9 pm and Saturday, February 15, 5 pm-8 pm

Enjoy a romantic five course, Prix-fixe dinner at Magnolia South in the Stonewall Jackson Hotel. 

Don’t feel like going home? Stay overnight in one of the newly renovated guest rooms. This Valentine’s package includes breakfast for two and overnight parking. Make sure to include a preferred reservation time, for dinner, when booking. 

For reservations call 540.885.4848 or visit the website.