#LOVEstaunton

#LOVEstaunton

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

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

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

The Decorated Lobby of the Stonewall Jackson Hotel and Conference Center

Tea at The Anne Hathaway Cottage Tea Room

The Beautiful and Welcoming Stores downtown

The Staunton Christmas Parade

Winter at the Blackburn Inn

The Festival of Lights in Gypsy Hill Park

A Christmas Carol at The American Shakespeare Center

Holiday Lantern Tours at the Frontier Culture Museum

Seasonal Treats From Paris Cake Company

Hand-Blown Ornaments at Sunspots Studios

Plus, a Christmas video of Trinity episcopal Church

 

Staunton’s Seasonal Treats: Holiday Music and Entertainment

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

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

Holiday Music

Advent Lessons and Carols

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

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

Heifetz Holiday Homecoming

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

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

PLAYING OF THE MERRY ORGAN WITH FRIENDS

Trinity Episcopal Church, Sunday, January 6, 2019

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

Holiday Entertainment and Events

Downtown Shopping: Art for Gifts

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

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

Celebration of Holiday Lights at Gypsy Hill Park

November 19 – January 1, 5-11 pm

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

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

Small Business Saturday

Saturday, November 24, 9 am – 7 pm

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

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

Staunton Christmas Parade

November 26, 7-9 p.m.

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

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

Historic Staunton Foundation’s 46th Annual Holiday House Tour

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

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

American Shakespeare Center’s Blackfriars Playhouse

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

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

Gingerbread Workshop

Sunday, December 9, 1-4 pm

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

Lantern Tours at Frontier Culture Museum

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

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

Holiday Tea at the Anne Hathaway Cottage Tea Room

Ongoing

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

Blow Your Own Ornament at Sunspots

Ongoing

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

Explore Downtown Staunton with Traipse

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

Finding Your Next Best Read: Staunton’s Bookstore Scene

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

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

Barrister Books / 1 Lawyers Row

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

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

Black Swan Books / 1 East Beverly Street

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

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

Bookworks / 101 West Beverley Street

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

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

Pufferbellies Toys and Books / 15 West Johnson Street

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

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

Staunton Books Popup / 13 W Beverley St

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

  • Open Friday-Sunday in “fair weather” 

The Avocado Pit Bookstore / 2621 West Beverley St.

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

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

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

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

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

Gypsy Hill Park

Beyond Staunton

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

HumpBack Rocks

Staunton’s Fall Foliage Report: Weekend of November 2-4

The colors are here! Staunton is bursting with vivid yellows and oranges this week. To top it off, the weather is on the warmer side, so get out and enjoy nature’s finest display. Visit Gypsy Hill Park, Montgomery Hall Park, Woodrow Park, Betsy Bell and Mary Gray Wilderness Area, and Thornrose Cemetery for some of the … Continue reading Staunton’s Fall Foliage Report: Weekend of November 2-4

The colors are here! Staunton is bursting with vivid yellows and oranges this week. To top it off, the weather is on the warmer side, so get out and enjoy nature’s finest display. Visit Gypsy Hill Park, Montgomery Hall Park, Woodrow ParkBetsy Bell and Mary Gray Wilderness Area, and Thornrose Cemetery for some of the loveliest views in town. Check here every week for our updated fall foliage report.

Gypsy Hill Park

Beyond Staunton

The colors continue to march on outside city limits. Leaf peepers can expect to see yellows and reds from maples. Look also for red displays from sumac and, surprisingly, poison ivy vines, which add festive garlands to tree trunks. The Virginia Department of Forestry estimates that 50-75 percent of the trees have changed. Check out the views along the Skyline Drive, the Blue Ridge Parkway, and from the top of Shenandoah Mountain to the west.

HumpBack Rocks

You Made That? Staunton’s Impressive Arts and Crafts Scene

Many artisans live and work in Staunton, and many allow you into their creative spaces where you can actually see them honing their skills and creating beautiful things with their hands. After watching them create, you might feel inspired or feel a deep connection to their work. Fortunately, you can purchase their handmade wares to … Continue reading You Made That? Staunton’s Impressive Arts and Crafts Scene

Many artisans live and work in Staunton, and many allow you into their creative spaces where you can actually see them honing their skills and creating beautiful things with their hands. After watching them create, you might feel inspired or feel a deep connection to their work. Fortunately, you can purchase their handmade wares to wear, for the home, or as gifts for the special people in your life.  Read below for the best of Staunton’s arts and crafts scene.

Sunspots Studios & Glassblowing | 202 S. Lewis Street

One of Staunton’s most interesting tourist attractions is Sunspots Studios & Glassblowing, owned by Doug and Caroline Sheridan. You can wander the gallery and select unique and beautiful art glass in the forms of ornaments, vases, jewelry, and even wizard wands to purchase. Visitors are welcome to visit the studio and watch Sunspots staff demonstrating fascinating techniques and creating unique pieces. Would-be artisans can even attempt to blow their own ornaments with guidance from Sunspots staff, of course.  Admire the work of additional artists in May when Sunspots hosts the Virginia Hot Glass FestivalSunspots is open Monday through Saturday from 10 to 6 and Sunday from 11:30 to 5.

Rachel’s Quilt Patch | 40 Middlebrook Avenue

Three generations of quilters are ready to help you with your project at Rachel’s Quilt Patch. Rachel Brown and her daughter, Kay, are avid quilters and work the fabric shop together, along with granddaughter, Emma Rose, who helps out after school. Rachel’s Quilt Patch sells quilting supplies and notions and gift items like soaps. The store offers regular classes for both beginners and experienced quilters. You can also join clubs and “sew-ins.” Quilters can get assistance with fabric options, stitching, quilt preservation, and even service for sewing machines. Store hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 10 am to 5 pm, or by appointment Thursday evenings.

Artful Gifts | 6 Byers Street

For wearable art that is organic and sustainable, make sure you visit Artful Gifts, where fiber artist Lisa Jacenich creates hand-felted clothing out of wool, silk, and other natural materials. You can buy unique and intriguing coats, hats, dresses, blouses, and shawls. You will also find scarves and mittens coaxed out of re-purposed wool sweaters. If you’re looking for an accessory, check out Lisa’s husband Jim’s kumihimo (Japanese braiding), which he uses to create jewelry and belts. The Jaceniches also offer a variety of individual and group workshops, so you can learn some of their techniques to try on your own.

Concepts Created | 515 Middlebrook Avenue

Bryan Black, designer and owner of Concepts Created, has been constructing custom furniture out of reclaimed wood and other materials since 2007. Each piece is created after a detailed consultation with the customer. Skilled handcrafting and attention to detail produce unique pieces that have both beauty and history. Stop by the workshop on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9-2 to meet Bryan, check out inventory furniture on sale, and view artwork by other local artists.

Appalachian Piecework | 38 Middlebrook Avenue

Laurie Gundersen is a “utilitarian folk artist” and the driving force behind Appalachian Piecework. Her talents include basket weaving, fabric dying, quilting, and spinning. From her 18th century barn loom she crafts handwoven market bags. From locally-harvested trees she weaves a variety of baskets. Not even the bark is wasted. Appalachian Piecework also offers handcrafted products by like-minded artisans. Stop by to shop Thursday through Saturday from 11 to 6. Restoration requests and custom orders are welcome.

The Potter’s Daughter Studio | 13 W Beverley Street

Jessie Taylor’s The Potter’s Daughter Studio is home to both a pottery studio and a massage therapy practice. Jessie’s pottery is designed to reflect the natural world and her unique artistic expression and is fired in wood or gas kilns.

Cherish Every Moment | 13 East Beverley Street

There’s a little bit of everything and Cherish Every Moment, and most of it is handmade or upcycled. Shop for gifts like one-of-a-kind jewelry as well as lighting and home decor. Cherish Every Moment also assists with interior design and can create made-to-order upcycled furniture and wall decorations. Open Tuesday – Sunday, 11-5.

Bonfire Begonia

Staunton’s Susan Weeks has been designing unique jewelry for 25 years. You can find it in her new storefront, Bonfire Begonia, along with all kinds of other beautiful and eclectic items like paintings, paper mâché, furniture, and work by other artists. You can even sign up for crafting classes. Another great way to appreciate Susan’s jewelry is to subscribe to her take on the gift box trend. Instead of getting mass-produced impersonal products, subscribers will get a one-of-a-kind necklace made from vintage and found materials each month. Each piece is shipped with a handmade greeting card so it can be easily gifted. 

Gift Shops Offering Handmade and Fair Trade Crafts

If you’re looking for handmade and fair trade crafts, clothing, art, and jewelry by both domestic and foreign artists, make sure to visit Harmony Moon, Latitudes, and Made; By the People, For the People.

Galleries and Fine Art

For fine art like paintings, drawings, sculpture, and juried handcrafts, visit our Art Gallery page. The galleries in downtown are a treat for the eyes and feature work by a number of talented local artists.

Art for Gifts | 20 S. New Street

Stop by the Staunton Augusta Art Center’s annual Art for Gifts sale and exhibition from November 9 – December 30. You’ll discover original, juried fine art and crafts by 60 artists in this holiday shopping boutique. Open Monday-Saturday 10-6, and Sunday 1-4. Closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Staunton’s Fall Foliage Report: Weekend of October 26-28

You won’t need to look hard to see autumnal colors this weekend as you move around Staunton. Though our fall foliage display isn’t yet as vibrant as in years past, it’s starting to really feel like fall, and you’ll still find some beautiful backgrounds for your seasonal photos. Check here every week for our updated … Continue reading Staunton’s Fall Foliage Report: Weekend of October 26-28

You won’t need to look hard to see autumnal colors this weekend as you move around Staunton. Though our fall foliage display isn’t yet as vibrant as in years past, it’s starting to really feel like fall, and you’ll still find some beautiful backgrounds for your seasonal photos. Check here every week for our updated fall foliage report.

Gypsy Hill Park

Beyond Staunton

Interestingly, according to the Virginia Department of Forestry, “individual trees planted in urban and suburban landscapes often color earlier than those in the forest.” So, while elevation impacts temperature, which can affect color, you’re likely to see pops of color in town before widespread changes in the mountains.  The fall foliage changes are coming, though, so get out on the trail and be the first to spot them!

HumpBack Rocks

Scenic Drives to Staunton

Situated at the intersection of interstates 81 and 64, Staunton always offers easy access. However, autumn days are perfect for more scenic drives, full of fall colors and vibrant culture. If you’re looking to take in all the Valley has to offer, check out one of these more leisurely alternatives. If You’re Coming from the … Continue reading Scenic Drives to Staunton

Situated at the intersection of interstates 81 and 64, Staunton always offers easy access. However, autumn days are perfect for more scenic drives, full of fall colors and vibrant culture. If you’re looking to take in all the Valley has to offer, check out one of these more leisurely alternatives.

If You’re Coming from the North, Try These Alternatives to I-81

Skyline Drive (Fees apply)

Travelers visiting  from Northern Virginia and all points north can travel through the Valley looking up at the Blue Ridge Mountains or along the ridge itself. Enjoy a leisurely ride (the maximum speed limit is 35 m.p.h.) along the Skyline Drive through Shenandoah National Park for some of the most stunning views on the East Coast. Feeling hungry? The Skyline Drive offers wayside food stops every 25 miles. Access Skyline Drive from Front Royal, Thornton Gap,  or Swift Run Gap. Exit at Rockfish Gap. to descend into Staunton. Pick up Route 250 to wind your way through Waynesboro and Fishersville before reaching the Queen City.

Points of Interest Along the Way:

Route 11

If you want a route that allows you to admire the mountains from below and explore the unique history and culture of the Shenandoah Valley, try  Route 11, originally part of a colonial trail that parallels 1-81. This road stretches from New York to Louisiana! In the section north of Staunton, you’ll explore Strasburg, Mt. Jackson, New Market, and Harrisonburg.

Points of Interest Include:

If You’re Coming from the West

Rt. 250/Staunton-Parkersburg Turnpike

From the wild and wonderful state of West Virginia, head east to Staunton, taking in the beautiful views of the Monongahela National Forest as you ride along the Staunton-Parkersburg Turnpike. When you enter Virginia, you’re treated to sweet switchbacks and turns. Perhaps a motorcycle is the most thrilling mode of transportation for this fun scenic drive.

Points of Interest Along the Way:

Route 220

Driving through the beautiful mountains of western Virginia via Route 220 satisfies the soul on many levels, but when such a drive includes beautiful points of interest, well, you may want to take it again and again and again.

Points of Interest Along the Way:

  • Falling Springs waterfall is an 80′ cascade that can be seen from the road.
  • Southern gem, The Omni Homestead Resort, is a beautiful photo op you can’t pass up.

If You’re Coming from the East, Try This Alternative to I-64

Route 250/Richmond Road

While I-64 is the straightest route to Staunton from Richmond and points beyond, it travels through mainly forested land that borders the highway and limits the sight lines. Route 250 is a more leisurely route that will take you through the town centers of Charlottesville, Ivy, Crozet, and Waynesboro, but will also give you access to more unique scenery. 

Points of Interest Along the Way:

  • Hike or ride your bike along the Saunders-Monticello Trail, which winds through Kemper Park and connects Monticello with the local community south of Charlottesville. The arboretum of native trees and shrubs is a prime spot for leaf peeping.
  • Tour family-owned King Family Vineyards in Crozet for some show-stopping wine and views of the mountains.
  • Chiles Peach Orchard has apples and pumpkins to buy or pick in the autumn. You can also visit the tasting room to sample Bold Rock Cider or Prince Michel wines, both made with fruit grown on the orchard.
  • Visitors are welcome at the Rockfish Gap Hawk Watch on Afton Mountain, where, in the fall, several hundred migrating raptors can be seen every day.

If You’re Coming from the South, Try These Alternatives to I-81

Route 11

The stretch of Route 11 that meanders through the Valley south of Staunton is full of natural beauty and opportunities to explore several picturesque small towns. You’ll drive through Roanoke, Natural Bridge, and Lexington. The Blue Ridge will parallel you on the right and the Allegheny Mountains can be viewed on the left.

Points of Interest Along the Way:

  • Hike Bottom Creek Gorge in Shawsville. This 3.7-mile hike features a number of small waterfalls as well as an old cemetery and the remnants of historic buildings.
  • For some leg stretching and a fantastic view of downtown Roanoke, climb to the Mill Mountain Star, which is “the largest free-standing, man-made, illuminated star in the world”!
  • Natural Bridge was formed by a collapsing cavern and owned by Thomas Jefferson. It’s now a state park with trails, caverns and a wax museum nearby.
  • Admire the views and the Virginia brew at Great Valley Farm Brewery.
  • Tour the campuses and museums at Washington and Lee University and Virginia Military Institute, both historic landmarks located in Lexington.

Blue Ridge Parkway

The Blue Ridge Parkways winds through North Carolina and Virginia. Download the Blue Ridge Pkwy Travel Planner app for lots of offline information about overlooks and trailheads. At the Parkway’s northern terminus, pick up Route 250 to head west toward Staunton.

Points of Interest Along the Way:

  • Roanoke County’s Explore Park offers camping, hiking, river frontage, disc golf, and horseback riding. You’ll also find a Blue Ridge Parkway Visitor’s Center
  • Visit the tasting room at family-friendly Peaks of Otter Winery for some wine and gifts. The kids will enjoy exploring the farm and meeting the animals.
  • Crabtree Falls is on Route 56 in Tyro, just below the parkway. You can climb along the falls all they way to the top, or simply follow the paved trail to the lower falls if you don’t have time to hike farther up.
  • Humpback Rocks is a short, steep hike to a rock outcropping that offers amazing views of the Blue Ridge Valley. An interpretive farm at the trailhead offers area history.

Staunton’s Fall Foliage Report: Weekend of October 19-21

Staunton’s Fall Foliage Report: weekend of October 19-21 Virginia’s trees are still pretty green, but here’s hoping this week’s cooler weather will bring on some eagerly anticipated colors. According to Smoky Mountain National Park’s Fall Foliage Prediction Map, we should look for the leaves to peak over the next two weekends. Check here every week for … Continue reading Staunton’s Fall Foliage Report: Weekend of October 19-21

Staunton’s Fall Foliage Report:

weekend of October 19-21

Virginia’s trees are still pretty green, but here’s hoping this week’s cooler weather will bring on some eagerly anticipated colors. According to Smoky Mountain National Park’s Fall Foliage Prediction Map, we should look for the leaves to peak over the next two weekends. Check here every week for our updated fall foliage report.

Gypsy Hill Park

Beyond Staunton

Bundle up when you set out on the trail this weekend. Those exposed higher elevations can be downright blustery. The cold, the shorter days, and the breakdown of chlorophyll should allow some yellow and orange to shine through – if the leaves don’t fall off the trees first. According to the Virginia Department of Forestry, the warm weather until now has limited the production of red pigments. “25-30% of the trees have changed color, but red colors are still lacking in most spots.” See the full report here. 

HumpBack Rocks

Staunton’s Fall Foliage Report

Staunton’s Fall Foliage Report: weekend of October 12-14 We’re a week into October – normally prime leaf peeping season – and Staunton’s trees are still mainly wearing their summer colors. Some leaves have fallen, giving kids opportunities to play, but you’ll need to wait a bit longer for those iconic autumnal photos. Check here every … Continue reading Staunton’s Fall Foliage Report

Staunton’s Fall Foliage Report:

weekend of October 12-14

We’re a week into October – normally prime leaf peeping season – and Staunton’s trees are still mainly wearing their summer colors. Some leaves have fallen, giving kids opportunities to play, but you’ll need to wait a bit longer for those iconic autumnal photos. Check here every week for our updated fall foliage report.

Gypsy Hill Park

Beyond Staunton

It’s been great weather for getting outside and hiking, but even at higher elevations along the Blue Ridge Parkway, the views are deeply green. The Virginia Department of Forestry attributes the slower-than-normal changes to the “abundant rain of late summer and fall.” They suggest looking for “early changers like black gum, poison ivy, dogwood, Virginia creeper, and sumacs flashing shades of red along forest edges.” See the full report here. 

Humpack Rocks