#LOVEstaunton

#LOVEstaunton

Summertime on the Frontier

Staunton’s Frontier Culture Museum is one of the most underrated destinations in Virginia. There are 11 living history sites on about 150 acres that are representative of more than 200 years of immigration and settlement. It’s high time the world knows about this significant opportunity in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, and one sure way to draw a crowd is … Continue reading Summertime on the Frontier

May Day at the Frontier Culture Museum
May Day at the Frontier Culture Museum

Staunton’s Frontier Culture Museum is one of the most underrated destinations in Virginia. There are 11 living history sites on about 150 acres that are representative of more than 200 years of immigration and settlement. It’s high time the world knows about this significant opportunity in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, and one sure way to draw a crowd is to throw a party. So let’s go!

Summertime is the best time to be at the Frontier Culture Museum. Concerts and special events are added bonuses to exploring the outdoor museum itself. Spend an afternoon learning something new and then settle in with a good bite to eat from a food vendor while enjoying great entertainment.

Put these on your calendar and we’ll see you on the Frontier.

August 5 :: Lammas First Fruits Fair
Bring the entire family to the annual Lammas “First Fruits” Fair, a traditional celebration of the first fruits & grains ready for harvest. This day is “pay what you will” and is an excellent opportunity for first-time guests to explore the Museum, as well as witness craftsmen demonstrating woodworking and ironworking techniques and food preparation like grain threshing and flax processing. And don’t miss the square dancing and food and craft vendors!

 

American Roots Music Concert Series

The American Roots Music Concert Series brings traditional Appalachian, old time, and bluegrass music to the Frontier Culture Museum. Every Sunday evening in August, celebrate the influence of music on our frontier culture with four entertaining concerts. Concerts are held in the Lee S. Cochran Pavilion from 5 to 7 pm and includes food and beverage vendors.

August 6: Whitetop Mountain Band
Steeped in the musical heritage and tradition of Whitetop, Virginia, this family-based band carries on the tradition of old fiddling and banjo picking.

August 13: Bud’s Collective
A driving group of West Virginia pickers, Bud’s Collective delights audiences with original bluegrass and old country songs too—you’ll likely hear something you know and love.

August 20: Commonwealth Bluegrass Band
If you love a “high lonesome sound,” you won’t want to miss Commonwealth Bluegrass Band, a harmonizing quintet pickin’ traditional and new ‘grass.

August 27: Amber Collins & Branch House Pavilion
Hailing for Floyd, Virginia, this versatile and entertaining band performs a wide range of music from original pieces and bluegrass, to gospel, Americana, and even rock.

September 3 :: Virginia Food Truck Battle
Whose food (and beer) will reign supreme? Food trucks—and craft breweries—go head-to-head in the 4th annual food truck battle hosted by the Frontier Culture Museum. Fans taste, sip, and vote for their favorites during this festive event. Eighteen Food Trucks and 6 Virginia breweries from all over the state will battle it out for “Fan Favorite!” Pick your VIP ticket zone (blue, red, or green) and enjoy tastings from 11:30 -12:30 PM from six food trucks in your zone.  Or purchase a general admission ticket and join us at 12:30 PM for a fun-filled afternoon with great food and drinks, live music, and free children’s activities.  Bring your chairs and blankets and spend the afternoon enjoying the best food and beer from across the state. For foodie and craft beer lovers this event is a MUST, so get your ticket early! 

See you soon in Staunton!

Five Favorite Ways to Experience Staunton

The architecture is beautiful, the history is bountiful, and the dining is the best around. Staunton is one incredible city. Even Cosmopolitan has noticed, calling us one of “30 Small Towns You Should Visit this Summer.” So what are the best ways to experience all that Staunton has to offer? We have five suggestions.   Take … Continue reading Five Favorite Ways to Experience Staunton

The architecture is beautiful, the history is bountiful, and the dining is the best around. Staunton is one incredible city. Even Cosmopolitan has noticed, calling us one of “30 Small Towns You Should Visit this Summer.” So what are the best ways to experience all that Staunton has to offer? We have five suggestions.

 

Take the Trolley

The Staunton Trolley costs a mere 25 cents per ride. Take the Green Route to sight-see through the Wharf District, downtown, and to Gypsy Hill Park, one of our fine community parks.

If you’d care to experience a narrated version, that’s available, too, at 11 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays from our Visitor Center on New Street.

 

 

Hunt Ghosts

If you’re into the paranormal or simply appreciate a good historic ghost story, Ghosts of Staunton is a Saturday night walking tour you must take. The tour starts at the corner of New and Johnston Streets at 8 p.m. and costs $12 per adult and $6 per child age 6 to 12. Rain or shine.

 

 

Traipse About

Do you traipse? If you’re a visitor casually roaming and experiencing without a set destination, you certainly do. However, there’s an app called Traipse that serves up puzzles and quizzes about our destination as you’re exploring. Unlock discounts along the way and increase your knowledge about your surroundings. It’s a fun way to get to know Staunton.

Get it on the App Store or Google Play.

 

Follow the Experts

For more than 25 years the Historic Staunton Foundation has offered free Saturday walking toursto show off four of the six historic districts. Two hours in length, the tour begins promptly at 10 a.m. at 24 N. Coalter Street adjacent to the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library and Museum. Wear comfortable shoes. No reservations required.

 

How do you love to experience a new place? Do you have a favorite destination in Staunton you’d love to shout about? Leave a comment to share your thoughts.

Staunton’s Green Spaces are Fun Places

‘Tweens and teens average six to nine hours of entertainment media consumption per day according to a recent study by CommonSenseMedia.org1. Break away from the screen time (yours and theirs) and enjoy the great outdoors. Staunton’s parks are a fantastic place to start! Go blow off steam and relax in a natural environment for a change. GYPSY HILL … Continue reading Staunton’s Green Spaces are Fun Places

‘Tweens and teens average six to nine hours of entertainment media consumption per day according to a recent study by CommonSenseMedia.org1. Break away from the screen time (yours and theirs) and enjoy the great outdoors. Staunton’s parks are a fantastic place to start! Go blow off steam and relax in a natural environment for a change.

GYPSY HILL PARK | MAP

Within the 214-acre Gypsy Hill Park are ball fields, a duck pond, a fishing pond, the Action Skate Park, a swimming pool, multiple playgrounds, horseshoes, volleyball, basketball, and tennis courts, bandstand, mini train, picnic tables, and an 18-hole golf course. It’s a beautiful backdrop for capturing video and Instagram shots of your kids at play, as long as you promise to be “in the moment” after you capture a few moments.

The Action Skate Park features a half-pipe and several other launches and rails to polish your skills. BMX bikes, skateboards, and inline skates are permitted.

The train lovers of your bunch will likely enjoy the Gypsy Express, the mini train knocking on 60 years of family fun. The train runs from 1 to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays from May through October. Tickets are only $1 and FREE on Independence Day and Labor Day. Do note that the train does not run in the rain.

Do you have a little explorer on your hands? Feed the sense of adventure and mystery when you geocache in our parks. Learn more about the process and fun of geocaching, then locate our area caches to get started.

If you’re visiting during the summer months, plan to enjoy Family Night Flix at the Bandstand on Friday nights at dusk. The outdoor movie series kicks off June 10 with Minions!

MONTGOMERY HALL PARK | MAP

Montgomery Hall Park is 148 acres and a go-to for hiking or mountain biking along the trails. Multiple ball fields make this park a bustling spring and summer destination for local youth. Come throw horseshoes or a round of disc golf before cooling off in the pool (which will open in mid-June following renovations ). Afterward, you’ll find the pavilions to be a nice shady place to picnic.

If you’re looking for a pickleball court, you can find a few at Montgomery Hall Park. “What’s pickleball?” you ask? It’s kind of like badminton or tennis but with a plastic ball (like a whiffle ball) volleyed over a lower net by players with wooden paddles (like ping pong). A larger version of ping pong, faster version of badminton, and slower pace of tennis, perhaps? You play and decide.

Before summer, development on the Natural Play Area will begin behind Lancaster softball field. This will be a special place for children to explore the environment without the typical playground equipment. Imaginations will run wild!

Learn more about these two parks as well as a few more at Staunton Parks & Recreation.

 

1 Tweens, Teens, and Screens: What Our New Research Uncovers. CommonSenseMedia.org.

Great Food & Craft Beer. Oh Yea, We’ve Got That

Some days just call for naughty splurge, don’t they? Sink your teeth into these filling options and ask for a frosty mug of something local.

Some days just call for naughty splurge, don’t they? (Diet? What diet?) Fortunately, Staunton has several places dedicated to delivering just that. Sink your teeth into these filling options and ask for a frosty mug of something local.

BAJA BEAN CO. | 9 West Beverley

“Southern California-style Mexican” is the menu at Baja, but locals know, it is also the go-to place in Staunton for craft beer. Their 12 taps are carefully curated on a weekly basis. Want help pairing your Big Burrito with a beer? The staff at Baja Bean Co. dedicates quite a bit of time choosing the worthy, and will gladly assist you in making a wise choice.

SHENANDOAH PIZZA & TAP HOUSE | 19 East Beverley

Get comfortable and order The Statler (fennel sausage, smoked bacon, red onions, and fresh mozzarella) with a Devils Backbone “Eight Point IPA” or a Blue Mountain “Full Nelson.” There’s just not much that beats pizza and beer, am I right?

GEORGE BOWERS GROCERY | 219 W. Beverley

Choose from a wide range of “well cultivated” bottled and canned craft beer at this legit craft shop loaded with local, artisanal wares and made-to-order delights. Try the Classic Reuben, their signature sandwich featuring Farmstead Ferments sauerkraut from Charlottesville and handmade Russian dressing. It pairs well with Brothers Craft Brewing’s “Drift” session ale, according to Matthew Miller of Craft Beer Nation.

BYERS STREET BISTRO | 18 Byers Street

Southern comfort food rises to the top at Byers Street Bistro. Start with fried green tomatoes, then move on to shrimp and grits or meatloaf. Skip dessert in favor of something tasty like the latest release from Pale Fire or Starr Hill.

CLOCKTOWER RESTAURANT & BAR | 27 W. Beverley

When you know that quality is the cornerstone priority of a restaurant, you can trust great food and great service await. Clocktower embraces that responsibility, delivering scratch-made entrees to each guest. With that in mind, savor the wait with a choice of several Virginia craft beers like State Street, Champion, and Port City found among the 16 taps.

Which Staunton establishment boasts the best selection of Virginia craft beer AND serves your favorite dish? Tell us all about by leaving a comment!

Fair Trade, Handmade and US-Made Fashion in Staunton

One of the best parts of a stroll down a funky, historic main street — like our Beverley Street — is the thrill of ducking into a little boutique and scoring unique clothing not to be found in the larger, national stores. Love scoring cool, unusual fashions and looking to double down on that thrill … Continue reading Fair Trade, Handmade and US-Made Fashion in Staunton

One of the best parts of a stroll down a funky, historic main street — like our Beverley Street — is the thrill of ducking into a little boutique and scoring unique clothing not to be found in the larger, national stores.

Love scoring cool, unusual fashions and looking to double down on that thrill of the find? Then come check out Staunton’s ethical fashion scene.

Not familiar with ethical fashion? This is a loose term used to describe clothing options that are focused on fair trade, local sourcing and handcrafted design and production. From local artists to international buying trips, Staunton offers an amazing breadth and depth of ethical fashion options for all.

Made in the USA

Made; By the People, For the People offers reasonably priced American made new and vintage clothing. The boutique offers a wide array of styles from flirty dresses to locally printed T’s for both men and women.

We stopped by Made to talk with owner, Corrie Park “Our shop’s mission is not born of divisive politics or extreme nationalism, instead we aim to shed light on exactly why one can’t help but to feel great when making a purchase at our boutique: satisfaction in knowing your purchase directly helps to sustain the local economy; acknowledgement of the fellow citizens who have created a product that adds comfort and beauty to the day; an appreciation of the regulations that protect American workers from so many of the labor atrocities that occur abroad; and immense pleasure in realizing that the very nature of domestically produced goods results in a lower carbon footprint, and represents adherence to more stringent environmental laws than can be found in most exporting countries.”

Made
Made; seeks to fill the void by offering reasonably priced American made new and vintage clothing
Made in the US Vintage finds
Made in the US Vintage finds
Made
Locally made A-Line skirts from Queen City Sewing

In addition to American made clothing and locally handcrafted products, Made; is excited to be expanding their line up of monthly classes where locals can get in touch with their own creative sides. Check Facebook and Instagram for more information.

15 East Beverley Street  | Facebook

Local Artisan-Made Fashion

When we stopped by Artful Gifts, tucked in one end of the wharf, we found Lisa and Jim Jacenich working on a custom felting commission (a camouflage vest)  in their divine studio and showroom. The couple have been active in textile arts for 20 years, having started in Highland County before moving to their current location in Staunton.

Artful gifts specializes in using natural fibers, like wool and silk, to create the amazing felted fabrics they are known for. In addition to creating unique felts (available for purchase by the yard,) the couple creates unique embellished fashions using their custom fabrics as well as upcycled garments.

While Lisa focuses on the felt and design, Jim works in kumihimo, or Japanese braiding, to create belts and necklaces integrated with beads and hand-blown glass and jewelry.

Be sure to stop by Artful Gifts whenever you are looking for completely unique, one of a kind handcrafted fashion made right here in Staunton.

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6 Byers Street | Facebook

Fair Trade, Boutique Style

Latitudes Fair Trade takes the search for ethical fashion across our borders. Latitudes is a fair trade store that specializes in hand-made, artisanal goods from around the world. Owner, Anna Schoenduby, worked in international travel and education before trading in her corporate gig to focus on her passion – working to create positive economic relationships between American consumers and marginalized artisans from developing nations.

The fashions on display at Latitudes bring a modern flair to the fair trade scene, with vintage style fit’n’flare dresses in classic, feminine prints and classic geometric wrap dresses. We stopped by Latitudes to visit with Anna, where we learned about her upcoming trip to India where she’ll meet with the artisans who create some of the amazing clothing and accessories you’ll find at Latitudes.

Stop by and find the perfect party dress for you or as a gift!

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16 East Beverley Street | Facebook

 

 

Breweries, Beer Gardens & Tap Rooms of Staunton

Staunton’s breweries aren’t the only places to immerse yourself in this small craft culture.

It’s no secret that craft beer has been on the rise in Virginia, and Staunton is fortunate to have three breweries concocting flavor-filled suds. A trip to any of their tasting rooms yields not only a flight of whatever is on tap, but an education about the process of creating great beer. The breweries aren’t the only places to immerse yourself in this small craft culture, however. Read on.

THE BREWERIES

When Queen City Brewing opened in 2003, it became Staunton’s first post-Prohibition brewery. A visit to Queen will offer more than you expect with 22 beers on tap and the opportunity to craft your own beer or soda. There’s plenty of room to spread out and enjoy the indoors or the out at Redbeard Brewing Company, and you’ll love their small batch/high demand brews. In warm weather, a food truck or two is known to pop up for belly fill-ups. Shenandoah Valley Brewing Company shares their home-brewing knowledge, making them an undeniable destination for aspiring brew masters. Stop by to curate your own flight, fill a growler, or scoop up the stuff needed to pull off DIY craft beer. *Recipes*  

BEER GARDENS & TAP ROOMS

The By & By has grown from a coffee shop on the corner to a Staunton beverage mecca. The menu includes a rotating stock of craft beer and wine, gourmet espressos, loose leaf teas, and Italian sodas to enjoy with paninis, pastries, and pies. To sweeten the stop, the beer garden is a cool place to chill from May to October. Newtown Baking probably wouldn’t be on your radar when seeking craft beer, would it? Oh, but it should be. Order a wood-fired pizza (Thursday-Sunday, 5-9 p.m.) and enjoy it out back in the garden with a frosty brew; there’s a picnic table waiting. 

TO TAKE HOME

Shenandoah Hops is your go-to for mix-and-match six packs of bottled craft beer as well growler refills. Stop by Fridays from 6 to 8 p.m. for beer tastings, often poured by the brew masters themselves. The Wine Cellar is a misnomer for our purposes, as they do indeed stock a healthy selection of craft beer from around the world. You can also mix up your own six pack of singles here, and doing so will earn you 10% off. It pays to try something new! You can’t visit the Cellar without taking home a box of their handmade chocolate truffles.

Scenic Drives to Staunton

Spring days are perfect for a scenic drive to Staunton, the home of great food and vibrant culture.

The first day of spring is March 20, which means early buds and blooms will be sprouting everywhere. Spring days are perfect for a scenic drive to Staunton, the home of great food and vibrant culture. Check out the map below to choose your route.

 

Skyline Drive to Staunton

104 miles • 3 hours

Travelers day-trippin’ from Northern Virginia and Washington, D.C. will undoubtedly enjoy a leisurely ride along Skyline Drive through Shenandoah National Park. A fee of $20 will grant you access, but savvy travelers know that select dates are “fee free” at National Parks. Stroll along on one of those days to avoid the fee. Better yet, purchase an annual pass for $40 to enjoy it again and again.

Access Skyline Drive from Front Royal, Thornton Gap, Swift Run Gap, and Rockfish Gap. Rockfish is where you’ll exit Skyline Drive 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:

  • Try the blackberry pie at Skyland Resort Dining Room in Shenandoah National Park.
  • Sample Virginia craft beer at Seven Arrows Brewing Company in Waynesboro.
  • Sip the fruit of the vine at Barren Ridge Vineyards in Fishersville.
Barrenridge
The view from Barrenridge Vineyards

 

Elkins, WV to Staunton

106 miles • 2 hours 20 minutes

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:

  • Monterey is the home of the Highland Maple Festival. Grab a bottle of syrup!
  • Stretch your legs at the Confederate Breastworks Interpretive Trail in McDowell.

 

Farmville to Staunton

98 miles •  2 hours 20 minutes

If you’re traveling from the furniture and décor hot spot of Farmville to the farm-to-table cultural center of Staunton, Route 56 is the way to go. You’ll cross the scenic James River as you approach the Blue Ridge Mountains, which are a destination unto themselves. Bring the camera for all the beauty this drive affords.

Points of Interest Along the Way:

  • Crabtree Falls is a just off Route 56 in Tyro. A paved trail takes you to the lower falls if you don’t have time to hike farther up.

 

Covington to Staunton

76 miles • 1 hour 45 minutes

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.

waterfall flickr
vamedia on Flickr

Points of Interest Along the Way:

  • Falling Springs waterfall is an 80′ cascade that can be seen from the road.
  • Southern gem, The Homestead Resort, is a beautiful photo op you can’t pass up.
  • Jefferson Pools in Warm Springs is a natural hot spring frequented by Thomas Jefferson.

 

Once You’re in Staunton

First, WELCOME! Second, let’s eat!

What else is there to do and see?

Tell us all about your Staunton experiences by leaving a comment.

Love is in the air in Staunton

Looking for a place to spend Valentines Day with your sweetie, spouse or BFF? Whether it’s a romantic evening or just hanging out for the afternoon, there are tons of options right in Staunton. Special Tasting with Mike Lund Foods Get the weekend started right with one of Mike Lund Food’s exclusive tasting menu dinners … Continue reading Love is in the air in Staunton

Looking for a place to spend Valentines Day with your sweetie, spouse or BFF? Whether it’s a romantic evening or just hanging out for the afternoon, there are tons of options right in Staunton.

Special Tasting with Mike Lund Foods

Get the weekend started right with one of Mike Lund Food’s exclusive tasting menu dinners on Friday and Saturday night. Start out by mingling over Rappahannock River oysters and sparkling wine and settle in for a full table of offerings including truffled mac’n’ham’n’cheese, curried lobster soup and a dessert bar. Check out the menu here and don’t forget that reservations are required for this incredible event!mike lund food

835 Springhill Road | Facebook | For reservations info@mikelundfood.com

Southern Style Farm to Table in Four Courses

Looking for a romantic evening on historic Beverley Street? Zynodoa is planning three full nights of a four-course chef-tasting valentine’s-themed menu on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings. Share some heated looks and old-school (with a new twist) cocktails over crab cakes, pork belly and beef tenderloin. Be sure to make reservations and come early for a romantic stroll down Beverley.

zynodoa

115 East Beverley | Facebook | Event Information

A Bevy of Choices on Beverley!

Looking for more options? Ava Restaurant & Wine Bar is offering not one, not two, but three prix fixe options this Thursday through Sunday. Choose from a light three course dinner for two, or opt for a full night with five courses. With wine pairings for each level (but sparkling wine for all!) Ava is the place for lovers (and lovers of wine.) Looking for just a a bite and some people-watching? Stop by and choose from the appetizers and drinks menu for a tête-à-tête. Reservations required.

ava

103 West Beverley Street | Facebook | Event Information

Tiffany and Trivia

Not looking for a Valentine’s Day theme, but still want a fun day in Staunton with your sweetheart (or buddies?) then check out one of the best date ‘afternoons’ downtown! Start out at Trinity Episcopal Church, founded in 1746, and check out the collection of twelve Trinity windows and locally-made Taylor & Boody organ. Take a stroll around the lovely grounds and head across the street to George Bowers Grocery for a hot game of 80’s trivia, cold beer and local Polyface grass-fed burgers.

george bowers
from top right | Light streaming through the windows at George Bowers Grocery; trivia, 80’s style; cozy up for burger, beers and trivia; historic Trinity Church

George Bowers Grocery | 219 West Beverley Street | Facebook
Trinity Church | 214 West Beverley Street | Website

A Valentine’s Weekend at The Bistro

Don’t miss out on the Valentine’s Day (and weekend) fun at the Wharf. Chef Joey Sprouse has pulled together an amazing menu of oysters, prime rib and salmon for all you Wharf-loving lovers out there! Dinner service starts at 5 p.m. come for dinner and stick around for an evening of live music.

Friday, February 12 | William Walter & Company | 9:00pm – Midnight
Saturday, February 13 | Firecracker Jam Band | 9:00pm – Midnight

the bistro

 

Fun Things To Do In Staunton When It’s Chilly Outside

Looking for for something fun to do in Staunton when it’s not so fun being outside? We’ve got plenty of options to keep the whole family engaged when the weather’s not cooperating! Live Glassblowing Classes and Demonstration Sunspots Studios, a favorite destination for many of Staunton’s repeat visitors, offers an amazing opportunity to learn about the … Continue reading Fun Things To Do In Staunton When It’s Chilly Outside

Looking for for something fun to do in Staunton when it’s not so fun being outside? We’ve got plenty of options to keep the whole family engaged when the weather’s not cooperating!

Live Glassblowing Classes and Demonstration

Sunspots Studios, a favorite destination for many of Staunton’s repeat visitors, offers an amazing opportunity to learn about the art of glassblowing. With daily live demonstrations until 4 p.m., come with the whole family and take advantage of the up-close and personal viewing area and watch one of the in-house artists create beautiful works of art.

sunspots studios

The gift shop and gallery is full of one-of-a kind home and garden glass treasures, artisan jewelry and handbags.

If you’re ready to jump in for hands-on fun, Sunspots offers a unique glassblowing class. Suitable for ages 7 and up, come and spend some time in the studio and create your own hand-blown glass ornament.

Call ahead for glassblowing demonstration and class times.

202 South Lewis Street | Facebook

Special Valentines Day Event At Sunspots Studios

Join Sunspots Studios for an exclusive Valentines Day event Wednesday, February 10, 2016 through Sunday, February 14, 2016.  Sunspots has new, special equipment to allow you and your Valentine to blow an ornament at the same time, locking your breath together forever! Get more information here.

A Picturesque Walk Through History

Tucked away in the heart of historic Staunton, the Camera Heritage Museum is packed full of over 4,500 cameras and accessories, covering the history of man’s fascination with recording the moments of our lives.

Leave behind selfie sticks and Snapchat and stop by the the museum to get a glimpse of 150 years of history seen through the lens of this amazing collection. Some of the featured items rare historical photographs, such as that taken by a camera on board a Japanese planes during the attack on Pearl Harbor, the personal photograph collection of the John Wilkes Booth family and a signed photograph of the Beatles performing on the Ed Sullivan show.

The collection includes vintage and modern examples of camera technology, as well as the work of regional photographers dating back to 1847 when Charles F. Hamilton was working with daguerreotypes right here in Staunton.

camera heritage museum

The Camera Heritage Museum is open to the public Monday – Friday 9 to 5, Saturdays 9-2. Tours are $5.

1 West Beverley Street | Facebook

Five Staunton Destinations to Enjoy with Kids

Traveling with children? Bless your heart and let us help. These five fab things are tops per traveler reviews.

This is part of a series of three articles which will highlight the best of downtown Staunton, per traveler reviews.

Family travel is not for the faint of heart. I know. I’m a mom of three and a bargain hunter to boot. Research shows that moms typically make the travel plans, so with you kindred weary spirits in mind, here are the top five things to do with your children in Staunton (and on the cheap).

Blackfriars Playhouse The Taming of the Shrew AMERICAN SHAKESPEARE CENTER – 5 stars – Thursday-Sunday Show

The Bard’s original English Blackfriars Playhouse is recreated in Staunton (the only one in the world), delivering the most authentic William Shakespeare experience in America. What you see is what would have been – no sets, no lighting effects, no microphones. It’s a rare opportunity for aspiring actors and actresses ages 7 and older to see passion and dedication up close (some guests sit on stage!).

Can’t make it to a show? Playhouse Tours are available for $7 per person. Each tour is guided and delivered as a mix of entertainment and education. Photography is allowed on the tour but not during performances.

>> PRO TIP: The first few performances of each production offer a unique opportunity for those without reserved seats to “pay what you will.” Check the calendar for specific dates. Otherwise, ticket prices vary by performance and seat preference (generally $18-$59).

“Go on with an open mind and get ready to smile. It is simply a great way to spend an evening (or afternoon). My two teenagers laughed like it was a teen movie and my wife and I loved it. Quirky and fun!” -BaldAndHappy, Washington, DC


 

Sunspots ornaments SUNSPOTS STUDIO – 4.5 stars – Open Daily – Free Demonstrations

This glass studio will leave your kids in awe. Warn them of the “look but don’t touch” rule while in the gift shop, and then check out the glassblowing in action. If you’re visiting between Wednesday and Sunday, blow your own family ornament (ages 7 to adult; $40-45 each). Should you choose not to, at least find a bauble to take home as a souvenir.

“It was very interesting and even my 7 yo enjoyed it. There are seats, so that it’s a comfortable place … Definitely worth checking out!” -NCtraveler73, Raleigh, NC (TripAdvisor)


 

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 FRONTIER CULTURE MUSEUM – 4.5 stars – Open Daily

Perhaps one of the most underrated experiences in Virginia, the Frontier Culture Museum tells the story of westward migration by those who forged the way. The great pioneers were English, Irish, German, and West African. See working homestead farms representative of the 1600 and 1700s, as well as early American dwellings and a Native American dwelling that would have been customary for the Blue Ridge around 1730.

>> PRO TIP: Sunday is “pay what you will” from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and the tour is self-guided. Otherwise, rates are free to $10 depending on age.

“Kids had a great time trying the different frontier activities. Definitely worth going.” -Kevin L. (TripAdvisor)


WOODROW WILSON BIRTHPLACE, PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY, AND MUSEUM – 4.5 stars – Seasonal Hours
Did you know Woodrow Wilson is the only President of the United States to hold an earned doctoral degree? Or that he went by “Tommy” through childhood and into his years at College of New Jersey (now Princeton University)? How about that his face is on the $100,000 bill? It’s not surprising if you missed that question. Those were never publicly circulated, only 42,000 were created, and it’s illegal to own one. Learn what else you don’t know about President Wilson when you visit. Rates are free to $14 depending on age.

>> PRO TIP: Traditionally Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library is free to active duty military, National Guard, Reservists, and their families Memorial Day through Labor Day thanks to the Blue Star Museum Program.

“Good displays portraying Wilson’s life. Informative, interesting, well done. Even a craft/activity room for kids. Especially enjoyed learning about his car!” – Lydspot, Staunton, VA


STAUNTON FIRE & RESCUE – 4 stars* – Open Daily – Free
It’s doubtful that this would be on your “must do when we’re in Staunton” list, but it should be if you’re traveling with kids. Actually, grandpas, dads, and uncles will probably enjoy this visit, too, as it’s the oldest volunteer fire station in Virginia (1790; paid as of 1893) and home to one of maybe two remaining 1911 Robinson Fire Engines.
*Rating via Trekaroo

Where do you love to roam around Staunton with kids in tow? My personal favorite is Pufferbellies, a fun toy store that’s actually a great deal more. Not only will you find specialty toys for STEM learning, but they also have a great selection of books, arts and crafts, and even an adult coloring section.

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