#LOVEstaunton

#LOVEstaunton

Staunton Fall Flavors: Alternatives to Pumpkin Spice

It’s the time of year when all things pumpkin spice begin to tempt you with their warm, spicy, homey goodness. But did you know there are other flavors that also compliment football, leaf raking, and your favorite sweater? It’s time to put down the pumpkin spice latte and try some alternative fall flavors.  Meals Firkin … Continue reading Staunton Fall Flavors: Alternatives to Pumpkin Spice

It’s the time of year when all things pumpkin spice begin to tempt you with their warm, spicy, homey goodness. But did you know there are other flavors that also compliment football, leaf raking, and your favorite sweater? It’s time to put down the pumpkin spice latte and try some alternative fall flavors. 

Meals

Firkin Pie Company

Firkin Pie Company creates amazing sweet and savory pies with fresh, seasonal ingredients. Pie is served by the slice and in 5” or 9” whole pies. How about a cardamom-scented carrot pudding hand pie or a slice of pecan cheesecake pie? Or both! 

The Shack

Make reservations to share a special night over Chef Boden’s multi-course seasonal tasting menu at The Shack. The options change each week, but autumn ingredients might include butter beans, chanterelles, apple, rutabaga, pumpkin, chestnut, sauerkraut, duck, eggplant, oysters, and more, all paired with suggested wines.

The Depot Grille

The menu at The Depot Grille offers lots of tasty options, but we like Chessie’s Veggie Pasta, a vegetarian entree that packs some serious seasonal flavors. You’ll taste portobello mushrooms, sweet corn, tomatoes, broccoli, capers, and garlic.

Réunion Bakery & Espresso

Hosting a brunch? A quiche from Réunion Bakery & Espresso will demand the spotlight. Choose from the meat quiche made with bacon, caramelized onion, fontina, and dill or the veggie quiche, which features butternut squash, goat cheese, sage, and French parsley.

Desserts

Table 44 & Paris Cake Company

After your meal at Table 44, order the decadent Paris Cake Company apple lattice pie with house made vanilla bean ice cream and caramel sauce. Rather have your fall flavor in a glass? Try the honey old-fashioned, made with Old Overholt rye whiskey, honey syrup, Pechauds Bitters, and an icy orange twist.

Newtown Baking

Newtown Baking is known for their flaky French pastry, fragrant coffee, artisanal breads, and wood-fired pizzas. However, we’d be remiss to ignore their desserts like apple tart and this smooth, creamy chocolate panna cotta. 

Split Banana

The award-winning Split Banana serves 24 fresh-made rotating flavors of gelato each day. This dense, creamy treat is made from local grass-fed milk and packed with intense flavors. Strolling downtown to shop and leaf peep? Why not stop and try cinnamon, cocoa ancho, pumpkin pie, or espresso biscotti? If you’re chilly, you can’t go wrong with a steaming mug of “Super Incredible Hot Chocolate.”

Magdalena Bake

Try a new treat with Magdalena Bake’s traditional Argentinian torta rogel: thin layers of pastry are held together with dulce de leche and topped with meringue. The bakery also makes cinnamon rolls, cannoli, empanadas, and more. The fresh treats are beautiful and taste great, and the new storefront is an easy walk from downtown.  

Klines Ice Cream

Kline’s Dairy Bar serves up a mean pumpkin-flavored cone, but if you’re looking for an alternative, order a big bowl of German chocolate cake ice cream. Ice cream flavors change weekly, so check the website before you go. Think you’ll be hungry again later? Take home a quart for later along with some of the sweet or Carolina BBQ Kline’s is famous for.

Drinks

Cranberry’s Grocery & Eatery

Cranberry’s Grocery & Eatery has a big selection of food and drinks made with natural ingredients. For a toasty pick-you-up on a fall day, try a turtle mocha flavored with caramel, hazelnut, and chocolate, or a mug of spiced apple cider. Alternatively, you could just drink the latte.

Redbeard Brewing Company

Redbeard Brewing Company creates “small batches of big beers” in its location in Staunton’s historic wharf district. One of their autumnal classics is their Sweet Potato Pie Porter, which is “brewed w/ the filling from close to 40 sweet potato pies per batch.” If this sweet and yammy dark brown porter reminds you too much of pumpkin pie, try the German-style amber lager, Augusta Amber.

And More

Farmers’ Market

A Saturday morning stroll through the Staunton Farmers’ Market is a perfect way to get inspired to create a fall flavor of your own. Listen to live music, breathe the fresh air and check out the seasonal produce. Grab an apple cider donut from Blue Ridge Cider Doughnuts, or take those apples home and bake something amazing!  The Staunton Farmers’ Market runs through the Saturday before Thanksgiving. 

Staunton Olive Oil Company

Staunton Olive Oil Company sells ultra-premium extra virgin olive oils, infused and fused olive oils, and balsamic vinegars. If you’re not sure what any of that means, you’re in luck because you can taste and sample your way around the store to find something that perfectly suits your palate. For fall, we’d start with wild mushroom and sage infused olive oil, but with so many to choose from, why take our word for it?

Essentially Zen

You won’t be able to eat any of the soaps or candles you buy at Essentially Zen, but you’ll be tempted because they smell so good. Heat up your home with seasonal candle scents like “sweater weather,” “warm + cozy,” or “farmhouse.” You might even get a jump start on your holiday shopping by putting together a gift basket or subscription service for someone special.

Crown Jewelers

Instead of pumpkin spice, how about some pumpkin ice?  Crown Jewelers has some beautiful, brilliant yellow/orange diamonds for the special someone in your life.  Wear the golden fall sunshine on your finger all year long. 

Staunton’s Fall Foliage Report 2021: Weekend of October 22-24

You won’t need to look hard to see Staunton’s autumnal colors as you enjoy being outside in the seasonal weather this weekend. Cooler days and chilly nights (have you turned the heat on yet?) are making it feel like fall. And we’re getting some peak colors both in the mountains and in town. Look for … Continue reading Staunton’s Fall Foliage Report 2021: Weekend of October 22-24

You won’t need to look hard to see Staunton’s autumnal colors as you enjoy being outside in the seasonal weather this weekend. Cooler days and chilly nights (have you turned the heat on yet?) are making it feel like fall. And we’re getting some peak colors both in the mountains and in town. Look for bright red and orange maples to serve as backdrops for your family photos. 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.

Walks through Staunton’s historic neighborhood, long drives through rural Augusta County, and hikes in Shenandoah National Park all make great ways to check out the colors. Hikers wanting color closer to home should explore the trails at Montgomery Hall Park or Betsy Bell Wilderness Area. Gypsy Hill Park also has a walking loop and beautiful views.

Check here every week for our updated fall foliage report.

“Shop and Dine Out Downtown” Winds Down For the Season

We’ve become accustomed to the bustling atmosphere and walkable streetscape of Beverley Street each weekend. Born of pandemic necessity, but adopted because of its popularity, the Shop and Dine Out Downtown program has allowed restaurants and businesses to take advantage of Beverley Street when it closes for vehicular traffic each Friday afternoon to Monday morning. … Continue reading “Shop and Dine Out Downtown” Winds Down For the Season

We’ve become accustomed to the bustling atmosphere and walkable streetscape of Beverley Street each weekend. Born of pandemic necessity, but adopted because of its popularity, the Shop and Dine Out Downtown program has allowed restaurants and businesses to take advantage of Beverley Street when it closes for vehicular traffic each Friday afternoon to Monday morning. Tables, chairs, and tents fill the street, and those outdoor dining spaces are filled, in turn, with groups chatting, laughing, and loving the al fresco dining experience. But the cooler weather approaching means that you only have a few more weeks to take advantage of this Staunton experience before the restaurants return to indoor operations for the winter. Make plans to head downtown this weekend or next!

Retailers on Beverley Street

Beverley Street retailers are open during their regular hours, but some additionally offer an outdoor display of their products. Shop Beverley Street for art, fashion and jewelry, antiques and vintage, gifts, books, cigars, hobby supplies, gourmet olive oils and vinegar, chocolate, hemp and CBD supplies, and more!

Quick Bites on Beverley Street 

Grab breakfast or lunch at The Pampered Palate before a big day of exploring Staunton. Try the quiche breakfast platter or the buttered, seasoned, and topped pampered potato.

Check out Shenandoah Valley Brewing Co. for 18 craft beers on tap, including pumpkin ale, butterscotch ale, and New England IPA. Yelping Dog Wine sells delicious wines by the glass as well as a huge selection of local and global wines. Feeling peckish? Order a cheese plate or a gourmet grilled cheese sandwich. The Green Room also serves craft beer, wine, and other pre-dinner libations. Don’t skip their fancy tater tots and one of their tasty sandwiches stuffed with ingredients like chorizo, manchego, olive oil, and Spanish pickled peppers.

Family-Friendly

Baja Bean Co. and Shenandoah Pizza & Taphouse both serve a wide selection of craft beers, and the entire family will love the delicious food. Baja specializes in Tex-Mex cuisine like the marinated chicken, spinach, corn salsa, and rice Popeye burrito or the chorizo hash served over potatoes, peppers, and onions and topped with fried eggs and cheese. Shenandoah Pizza serves up big specialty slices and pies named for local landmarks and businesses. The Sherwood Avenue is topped with meatballs, ricotta, and red onion, and the Staunton Steam has a spicy alfredo sauce, grilled chicken, pineapple, and basil.

Dinner Favorites

If you’re celebrating a special occasion, sip a “drunken pumpkin” cocktail as you peruse the menu at BLU Point Seafood Co. You’ll find fresh seafood as well as a raw bar. Entrees include blackened catfish with black-eyed peas and rice and a cajun cream. You might also enjoy shrimp n’ grits prepared with local grits and sausage. BLU Point’s sister restaurant, Zynodoa, specializes in “inspired Southern cuisine” and focuses on local ingredients. You can’t go wrong with the Autumn Olive Farm grilled pork chop served with braised cabbage, Wade’s Mill rye spaetzle, and a sweet and sour glaze.

Family-owned Emilio’s Italian Restaurant has created classic Sicilian meals since 1994. Try the delightful crema di Funghi, a tasty fall soup made with sliced mushrooms and onions in a smooth cream sauce. For more creamy vegetarian joy, follow with butternut squash ravioli, which is flavored with a light sage, lemon and cream butter sauce, and pecorino cheese. While Emilio’s doesn’t have Beverley Street seating, it has private outdoor spaces on the building’s 2nd and 3rd floors. 

Savor Dessert

Clocktower Eats & Sweets serves a big menu of American favorites for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. They’ll also tempt you with freshly prepared desserts and a selection of seasonal cocktails like pumpkin pie martinis and apple cider mimosas. Save room for house-made gelato for dessert from The Split Banana. Flavors suiting a fall day include toasted almond, chocolate hazelnut, cocoa ancho, sticky rice, pistachio, and more!

More Restaurants to Love

More restaurants that are steps away from Beverley Street include Aioli, Cranberry’s Grocery & Eatery, Firkin Pie Company, Reunion Espresso & Bakery, Crumbl and The Shack

Along Central Avenue, you’ll find Chicano Boy Taco, D & L Donuts, Gloria’s Pupuseria, Gonzo’s Pollo, Jade China House Restaurant, and Nu-Beginning Farm. 

The Wharf Historic District’s restaurants are Byers Street Bistro, Ox-Eye Vineyards, Ciders from Mars, Redbeard Brewing, The Depot Grille, Taste of India, Serendipity Cafe and Mill Street Grill.

Crucible Coffee Roasters, Newtown Baking & Kitchen, Paris Cake Company, Table 44, and Ubon Thai Victorian Restaurant Inn can all be found in the Newtown Historic District.

Staunton’s Fall Foliage Report 2021: Weekend of October 15-17

It’s still pretty warm in Staunton during the day, but with some nights dipping into the 40s, we should really start seeing some of fall’s fiery color this weekend! The following week looks like it will be much cooler, so the height of the season will be here soon. In fact, the Smoky Mountains Fall … Continue reading Staunton’s Fall Foliage Report 2021: Weekend of October 15-17

It’s still pretty warm in Staunton during the day, but with some nights dipping into the 40s, we should really start seeing some of fall’s fiery color this weekend! The following week looks like it will be much cooler, so the height of the season will be here soon. In fact, the Smoky Mountains Fall Foliage Prediction Map predicts that leaves will peak between October 11-25, so get out there and leaf peep. You’ll find some nice backgrounds around the train station for fall-themed photos, and a climb up to Woodrow Park on Sears Hill rewards with stellar views of Staunton from above. You’ll also see lots of trees in Gypsy Hill Park with the added bonus of the swimming pool enclosure that’s populated with friendly and spooky Halloween scarecrows.

If the rain holds off this weekend, it should be good weather for hiking, so make sure you get out with your camera. If you haven’t done it yet this year, Humpback Rocks offers wide open views of the Shenandoah and Rockfish Valleys as well as chances to see migrating hawks. If you’d rather head to the west, drive up Shenandoah Mountain and hike the trails around the Confederate Breastwork Interpretive Site. You’ll notice that the trees at higher elevations are starting to show off those autumnal colors. The Virginia Department of Forestry suggests that the green will continue to change to yellow as limited daylight shuts down chlorophyll production. Though all deciduous trees change color and drop their leaves, the intensity of the show varies each year.

Check here every week for our updated fall foliage report.

Something Sweet in Your Neighborhood: Staunton’s Dessert Round Up

Today is National Dessert Day. That means it’s the one day of the year besides your birthday when you can devour as much sweet, decadent goodness as you want and feel no guilt. And while we don’t recommend eating your weight in chocolate every day, it’s actually great for your wellbeing to enjoy a dessert … Continue reading Something Sweet in Your Neighborhood: Staunton’s Dessert Round Up

Today is National Dessert Day. That means it’s the one day of the year besides your birthday when you can devour as much sweet, decadent goodness as you want and feel no guilt. And while we don’t recommend eating your weight in chocolate every day, it’s actually great for your wellbeing to enjoy a dessert now and then. It won’t even wreck your diet! So without further ado, here are all the places in Staunton you’ll want to visit to get your dessert on!

Réunion

We dare you to meet with friends for a cup of coffee at Réunion Bakery & Espresso and not walk away raving about the pastries. Try a cruffin, a chocolate croissant or an apple galette with maple pecan cream, maple flake & pecan praline. The menu changes weekly to reflect what’s seasonal. Hurry — everyone in town has a favorite treat, and they go quickly! You won’t want to leave without a loaf of fresh bread or a quiche for dinner. Réunion has been featured in Southern Living, Vogue, The Washington Post, and Garden&Gun.

Magdalena Bake

Have you been to Magdalena Bake’s new location on West Beverley yet? Why not stop in for Friday brunch? This store specializes in pastries, cookies, wedding, birthday, and custom cakes, as well as special-ordered items. The wide variety of cake flavors include lemon, mocha, coconut, and tres leches. Icings and creams offerings are extensive as well and you can select buttercream, fondant, mousse, ganache, and creams. Ask about vegan and gluten-free options. If you’re looking for something savory, Magdalena Bake makes the empanadas of your dreams.

Paris Cake Company

Paris Cake Companys dessert offerings are both delicious and almost too pretty to eat. Give in to your cravings, though, and celebrate sweater weather with something seasonal like pumpkin whoopie pies or cupcakes decorated like mums and other fall blooms. If you’re planning a big event like a birthday party or wedding, Paris Cake Company will be the star of the show with custom birthday, wedding, or special occasion cakes.

Newtown Baking

Newtown Baking creates “artisanal everything” and is known for its organic coffee, pastries, fresh breads, and wood-fired pizzas. You’ll find pecan brownies, buttery croissants, blueberry scones, blueberry Danish, cinnamon morning buns, bagels, and a variety of bread. Walk in and see what’s left in the display case, or order ahead for Wednesday-Saturday pickup.

Crumbl

Make your day a little sweeter at Crumbl Cakes & Bakes. This locally owned bakery and coffee shop opened just this summer, but it’s already a Staunton favorite for its rotating variety of muffins, scones, cupcakes, cookies, cookie dough, brownies, and vegan and gluten-free treats. Have a special event coming up? Crumbl make’s beautiful custom cakes on request, and they even sell pupcakes for your dog.

D&L Donuts

Take an early morning stroll to D & L Donuts for a hot cup of Trager Brothers organic coffee and to catch special seasonal donut flavors like Hawaiian Malasadas, pumpkin, and apple crisp before they’re all gone. D & L also has standard flavors like glazed, peanut butter, cream-filled, coconut, and chocolate-covered cake and yeast donuts, made fresh every morning. All of the fillings and glazes are made from scratch.

Firkin Pie Co.

Get your pie fix at Firkin Pie Company, which bakes beautiful, flavorful pies with crisp, buttery crusts in both sweet and savory varieties. The menu varies, but expect seasonal flavors like butterscotch, cranberry chess, and chocolate mocha. All pies are made from scratch and are served by the slice and in 5” or 9” whole pies. Thinking ahead to Thanksgiving? Make your pie order now!

Serendipity Java Bar & Eatery

Family-owned Serendipity Java Bar & Eatery is one of Staunton’s newest businesses, and you’ll love the ambiance. It’s decorated with tasteful antiques and flowers, and it features comfy seating and lots of natural light. Located near the historic train station in the Wharf district, it serves muffins, seasonal scones, cinnamon rolls along with breakfast delights like egg and cheese bagels and French toast plates. Don’t skip the impressive selection of coffees, including cold brew, iced, and chocolate coffee as well as a menu of espressos and specialty drinks like razzle chai. Come later in the day for grilled lunch sandwiches and a kids’ menu for little appetites. 

Giancarlo

Giancarlo Fine European Pastries is tucked in a former garage in a residential part of town, but even if you get lost, it’s totally worth it. The shop opens to the public on Fridays and Saturdays and the public can shop for bread, cake, tarts, Danish pastry, fine chocolates made with 65% cacao, and more. Try a Colombian chocolate espresso tart of a strawberry Bavarian chocolate ganache if there’s any left! Custom orders can be placed all week.

Clocktower Eats & Sweets

You might know the Clocktower Eats & Sweets as a perfect downtown Staunton spot for drinks and dinner. But now, under new ownership since 2018, the restaurant serves house-made desserts as well. Stop by the bakery case for a daily selection that includes donuts, eclairs, muffins, cookies, sticky buns, key lime pie, and more. If you’d rather drink your dessert, stop by the bar for pumpkin pie or dreamy chocolate espresso martini.

Staunton Olive Oil

The Staunton Olive Oil Company is under new ownership, and while it still offers the same delicious flavored olive oils and vinegars, you can also try some of their new baked goods. Try your oils and vinegars on freshly baked 100% gluten-free bread, which tastes just like a traditional French bread loaf. Follow this up with a selection of keto treats, like blondies, power bars, brownies, and cheesecake bars. 

Cocoa Mill Chocolate

You’ll swoon when you bite into a handmade, gourmet chocolate from Cocoa Mill Chocolates. Sample the artisan truffles, boozy bonbons, chocolate bark, dipped fruits, and more. Looking for a gift? Send a chocolate greeting and a gift tower or a chocolate survival kit.

Ice Cream

Split Banana

Exploring Beverly Street? We bet you can’t walk by the window at award-winning Split Banana and not come away with at least one flavor of fresh-made gelato. This dense, creamy treat is made from local grass-fed milk and packed with intense flavors. You’ll be hard-pressed to pick from the selection that includes pumpkin pie, banana, hazelnut, brownie bash, sweet cream, caramel peanut butter, and more. Have it in a dish or in an amazing waffle cone.

Kline’s

Kline’s Dairy Bar makes its ice cream fresh every morning. This local chain uses a “continuous freeze” method of producing a soft, dense ice cream. Kline’s always makes vanilla and chocolate, but each week there are two different special flavors that change over on Wednesday. Check the sign, flavor card, or website each week for a rotation of can’t-miss flavors like pumpkin and cake batter or local favorites like razberry and lemon gingersnap in cones, cups, shakes, and sundaes.

Wright’s Dairy Rite

Wright’s Dairy Rite has been flashing its neon sign since the 1950s and serving up Americana in the form of burgers, onion rings, and soft-serve delights. You can even stay in your car and cruise up to the old-fashioned drive-through terminal and have staff bring your food to your window. The dessert menu offers dipped cones, funnel cake fries, flurries, splits, milkshakes, malts, and drink freezes to cool off on a mighty hot day. To curb a raging sweet tooth, try a Wright’s Wheelie. This warm donut is mounded with ice cream, whipped cream, and your choice of topping. 

That’s the roundup. Now head to Staunton to eat and treat your way around the city!

Staunton Ghost Tours

Staunton grew from a sleepy town to a bustling center of commerce when the railroad came to town in the 1850s. It’s now known for its beautiful Victorian architecture spread across a number of historic districts. Visitors love to take historical and garden walking tours, but buildings that old come steeped in history…and possibly ghosts. … Continue reading Staunton Ghost Tours

Staunton grew from a sleepy town to a bustling center of commerce when the railroad came to town in the 1850s. It’s now known for its beautiful Victorian architecture spread across a number of historic districts. Visitors love to take historical and garden walking tours, but buildings that old come steeped in history…and possibly ghosts. Are you hoping for a helping of goosebumps this October? Read on to get your haunt on this Halloween.

The American Hotel

Ghosts of Staunton Tours

If you’d like to learn about Staunton’s spooks and apparitions, the logical place to start is with a professional ghost tour by Black Raven Paranormal. Ghosts of Staunton Tours has been educating the community for 14 years.  Not only will you learn the best places for sightings in this “hub for paranormal activity,” you’ll get a healthy dose of history as well. This should please even skeptical audience members! If you’d like to see Black Raven Paranormal in action, check out their Amazon Prime series: The Black Raven Chronicles. Episodes include investigations of the Clocktower and Montgomery Hall.

Tour Dates

Tours run through the end of October and include several different options:

  • Fridays at 7:30: Staunton’s Haunted History Ghost Tour
    • 90-minute tour by lantern light. Learn about notable Staunton natives and why they might spend their afterlives in the Queen City. This tour “strive[s] to educate, enlighten, and entertain you with our own unique blend of the paranormal, science, history, and local legend.”
  • Fridays at 8: Dark Tales and Haunts Ghost Tour
    • 90-minute exploration of the darker side of Staunton: “legends, lore, history, mystery, ghosts, and murder are all rolled into one.”
  • Saturdays at 7 and 8: Haunted American Hotel Tour
    • Used as a home base for travelers and a hospital during the Civil War, the American Hotel has had plenty of opportunities to acquire spectral presences. Learn the history and the results of Black Raven Paranormal’s investigations. You’ll even get to participate in a live audio session as investigators attempt to contact the departed. Make sure to stop in at the onsite Serendipity Java Bar and Eatery for a special, spooky menu.
  • Sundays at 6 and 7:30: Civil War Hospital Tour
  • Friday/Saturday, October 22, 23, 29, 30 at 7:30, Sunday October 31 at 7: Haunted Depot Spirit Box Tour
  • You can also schedule a private ghost tour for a party of five or more.

Historic Cemeteries

There are probably a few spirits on the loose in Thornrose Cemetery. This large, park-like resting ground has been Staunton’s biggest burial ground since the 1840s. One of the highest points is marked by a 22-foot marble Confederate infantryman. This is the mass grave of 1,700 fallen Civil War soldiers killed on area battlefields. Wander the winding drives and rest on one of the many benches to admire the cemetery architecture, which includes an arching footbridge and a tower. For more background and highlights, check out our walking tour.

Where Else Might I See a Staunton Ghost or Two?

Check out the train station in the Wharf. In 1890, brakes failed on a runaway train, which flew off the tracks destroying part of the train station, killing a promising young singer, and injuring many more. The rebuilt version of the station was destroyed by fire (as was a large portion of the historic district). Have any ghosts survived this gruesome history?

The Blackburn Inn, now a boutique hotel, was once the main administration building for Western State Hospital. Built in the 1820s, it specialized in the “moral treatment” and emotional wellbeing of psychiatric patients. Later, the structure was a medium-security prison before being renovated into luxury accommodations. Plan a weekend stay or enjoy drinks or dinner at the Second Draft Bistro and imagine history coming to life.

Cemetery enthusiasts will also enjoy the quiet burial ground surrounding downtown’s Trinity Episcopal Church. This was Staunton’s original graveyard, used until Thornrose Cemetery opened to provide more space. The lovely church contains a number of Tiffany windows, and the historic graves and monuments provide interesting viewing. 

 

 

Is the most haunted space in Staunton across the street from Lowes? Look to your right as you drive down the driveway to the  Frontier Culture Museum. Looming high above brush and overgrown grounds, the decaying former DeJarnette Sanitarium certainly looks like it could be haunted. Built in 1932, the building has a troubling past and is currently unsafe for visitors. Snap some photos from the road and continue on to the museum where you can take a tour and learn about the Halloween traditions of early Valley settlers.

Former DeJarnette Sanitarium

Staunton’s Fall Foliage Report: Weekend October 8-10, 2021

Things are moving right along on the leaf front this week. There’s still lots of faded green in town, but the foliage is definitely punctuated with the yellows, oranges, and reds of fall. There are enough leaves on the ground to give your walks a pleasing background crackle. The Virginia Department of Forestry suggests looking … Continue reading Staunton’s Fall Foliage Report: Weekend October 8-10, 2021

Things are moving right along on the leaf front this week. There’s still lots of faded green in town, but the foliage is definitely punctuated with the yellows, oranges, and reds of fall. There are enough leaves on the ground to give your walks a pleasing background crackle. The Virginia Department of Forestry suggests looking to sourwood, sumac, Virginia creeper, black gum, dogwood, and some maples for the most color this week. More changes are coming as the weather turns cooler and the daylight hours shorten. Potential rain this weekend will put a damper on major hikes, but if you find a clear window, take a stroll around the loop at  Gypsy Hill Park or along Bell’s Lane.

Another good way to see the fall foliage and stay dry is to take a drive and watch the fall colors pop against the cloudy, grey background. Map a leisurely loop along Augusta County’s backroads or travel north or south on the Skyline Drive or the Blue Ridge Parkway for some great views. Virginia’s autumn colors begin at higher elevations before moving down the slopes, and the Virginia Department of Forestry reports that significant changes have already occurred high along the Blue Ridge and Allegheny ridges. The Smoky Mountains Fall Foliage Prediction Map predicts that leaves will peak during the week of October 11-25, which means things will continue to happen very quickly!

Check here every week for our updated fall foliage report.

Staunton’s Fall Foliage 2021: Weekend of October 1-3

Fall started last week, but it’s still pretty warm. In fact, it’s pretty much perfect weather. The warm days and cooler nights are ideal for hiking, camping, and hitting the playground with your kids. The trees are still mostly green, but here and there you can see yellowing and flashes of orange. You’ll have to … Continue reading Staunton’s Fall Foliage 2021: Weekend of October 1-3

Fall started last week, but it’s still pretty warm. In fact, it’s pretty much perfect weather. The warm days and cooler nights are ideal for hiking, camping, and hitting the playground with your kids. The trees are still mostly green, but here and there you can see yellowing and flashes of orange. You’ll have to wait for a while until you can roll around in piles of raked leaves or get your fall portraits, but the cooler weather is sending the trees its signal.

 

Beyond Staunton

Colors come to the trees first in the mountains and in the western part of the state. After that, the colors spread east and down the mountain slopes. The Smoky Mountains Fall Foliage Prediction Map predicts that leaves will peak during the week of October 11-25, which means things will need to happen very quickly! Make sure you don’t miss it: get outside over the next few weeks for hikes both in the mountains and in the Valley.

The Virginia Department of Forestry suggests looking to black gum (red), dogwood (scarlet to purple), sumacs (red orange), and even poison ivy (red) for hints of color this week. A lot of wildflowers are still in bloom now, so make sure you’re looking along the sides of roads and trails while you’re out exploring this weekend.

If you’re looking for a nice drive, explore the Blue Ridge Parkway for wonderful views of leaves and migrating hawks.

Check back here for our updated fall foliage report each week if you’re planning to leaf peep this autumn.

Raise a Glass to Virginia Wine Month

According to VAWine.org, Virginia is “A community of farmers perfecting their own agricultural art. They don’t bend to trends. They listen to their land, drawing out the story in every vine and every vintage. Crafting wines that embody the grace, grit and experimental spirit of Virginia.” October is Virginia Wine Month, and it’s time to … Continue reading Raise a Glass to Virginia Wine Month

According to VAWine.org, Virginia is “A community of farmers perfecting their own agricultural art. They don’t bend to trends. They listen to their land, drawing out the story in every vine and every vintage. Crafting wines that embody the grace, grit and experimental spirit of Virginia.” October is Virginia Wine Month, and it’s time to celebrate wines made right here in the Shenandoah Valley. Read on for our favorite local places to drink it, buy it, and other ways to enjoy it.

Nearby Wineries

The Ox-Eye Vineyards tasting room is located downtown steps away from shopping, dining, and the Staunton Farmers’ Market. The locally-grown wines can be enjoyed as a tasting or by the glass, and you can leave with a bottle or two for home. There’s outside seating and even an art gallery upstairs. To enjoy wine in the country, pack a picnic and head out to Barren Ridge Vineyards for the incredible wine and views. Try a tasting of Barren Ridge’s best, then follow it up with a glass or bottle. Located on the grounds of a what was once an apple orchard, this vineyard is child and dog-friendly. Check the schedule for live music.

If you’d like to tour some vineyards that are a little further afield, try Rockbridge Vineyard and Brewery, Bluestone Vineyard, Cross Keys Vineyards, and Afton Mountain Vineyards. Veritas Vineyard & Winery, Marceline Vineyards, Above Ground Winery, Ridge Run Vineyard, 12 Ridges Vineyard, and Jump Mountain Vineyard are also close.

Places to Sip a Glass

Shopping on Beverley Street? Drop in at Yelping Dog and spoil yourself with an afternoon glass of wine. Or choose a bottle from the 1,500+ selections hailing from both nearby and around the world. Hungry? Share a gourmet cheese platter or savor one of Yelping Dog’s incredible grilled cheese creations. Another good place to relax and connect over wine and light fare is The Green Room. You’ll enjoy drinks from the curated wine, craft beer, and cider lists paired with sandwiches or a cheese board. Both restaurants are part of Staunton’s Shop and Dine Out Downtown, so you can drink your wine alfresco when Beverley Street is closed to weekend traffic.

You can also find Virginia wine at a number of Staunton’s restaurants like Emilio’s and the The Pompei Lounge, Table 44, Zynodoa, Mill Street Grill, and Aioli. Ask your server for a wine and food serving suggestion!

Places to Buy Virginia Wine

Cranberry’s sells a selection of local beer and wine, including wines from Crosskeys and Barren Ridge Vineyards. Try Cranberries for lunch, to grab some treats from their grocery section, and to buy your favorite natural and bulk products. You can also buy Virginia wine, craft beer, and cider at Nu-Beginning Farm The Store. Stop in to dine or shop at this micro-restaurant and grocery specializing in local products. The Staunton Grocery offers select Virginia Wines and has a wine club. If you’re gifting a bottle of wine, check LTD7 for a selection of cheeky, stemless wine glasses. And don’t forget the wine chocolates from Cocoa Mill!

Wine Packages

Plan a getaway by booking the Sip and Explore package at the Blackburn Inn. This 3-day package is available through November 7 and celebrates the great outdoors and Virginia wine. You’ll enjoy a vineyard walk and talk before dinner and wine at Barren Ridge Vineyard. Breakfast for two, a hiking guide and a picnic, a dinner voucher and sparkling wine and chocolate-covered strawberries round out this wonderful weekend. 

While they don’t serve Virginia wine, the historic Berkeley House Bed and Breakfast offers a Champagne Package. Commemorate your special occasion with a bottle of Pol Roger Brut Reserve of Brut Rose on ice along with seasonal flowers and chocolates.

Waynesboro’s Iris Inn features proximity to Shenandoah National Park, great views, and a number of wine and spa packages guaranteed to relax you.

Events

  • October 2: Rockbridge Vineyard and Brewery is holding a Harvest Festival. Enjoy music, beer, wine, hayrides, and the Island Wheels food truck.
  • October 10: Sign up for a Designed with Wine painting class at Above Ground Winery.
  • October 16: Marceline Vineyards rings in the fall with an October Fling.
  • October 31: Make sure you add running shoes to your costume when you join the Vine to Wine 5K at Barren Ridge Vineyards. Watch Corkscrewracing.com for more chances to run for wine. 
  • Check the calendar at 12 Ridges Vineyard for delicious food and musical events.
  • The Historic Staunton Foundation normally hosts an annual Winter Wine Festival in February. Though the 2021 event was cancelled, the event will happen again as soon as it’s safe to hold it. 

Staunton’s Fall Roundup

The weather’s cooling, the birds are migrating, and the kids are safely away in school. Football is back on TV, and the leaves are starting to adorn the lawn. But there’s more to fall than raking, cheering, and pumpkin spice latte. Here’s how to make the most of autumn in Staunton. Fall Color The leaves … Continue reading Staunton’s Fall Roundup

The weather’s cooling, the birds are migrating, and the kids are safely away in school. Football is back on TV, and the leaves are starting to adorn the lawn. But there’s more to fall than raking, cheering, and pumpkin spice latte. Here’s how to make the most of autumn in Staunton.

Fall Color

The leaves haven’t really changed yet, but you can’t beat the Shenandoah Valley for the upcoming fall color. To see the leaves at their brightest, plan to leaf peep at the peak of the season, which should be around October 11 through 25 this year. Check back each week for an update on the season’s progression.

Fall Fashion and Where to Find It 

The seasons are changing and it’s time to warm up your wardrobe, especially if you have a family portrait session in the near future. Here’s where to update your look in Staunton this fall. 

  • Shop Design at Nine for distinctive women’s clothing, including a large selection of seasonal shoes and boots as well as the accessories you need to tie your look together. 
  • LTD 7 and Latitudes Fair Trade Store have unique and trendy clothing, bags, scarves, and jewelry. 

  • If you’re looking for something with a story, check out Nanny June Vintage Clothing for ways to add a retro flair to your modern wardrobe. 
  • Don’t forget The Sparrow’s Nest for artistic jewelry and knitwear. 
  • Men will look sharp after shopping at CFO Trading Company for clothing, outerwear, scarves, hats, and seasonal accessories. 
  • And make sure to outfit yourself for that fall hiking or camping trip at Wilderness Adventure.

Pumpkin, Apple, and Grape Picking

If you’re looking for a family-friendly fall adventure to keep you busy when you’re not at soccer or football games, visit one of our area’s pick-your-own farms and orchards.

  • You’ll find views and crops of Concords and Niagaras at Wenger Grapes
  • Pick some Red Delicious at Sunrise Orchards. They also sell apple butter, pumpkins, and honey. 
  • Decorative gourd lovers can rejoice: the pumpkin patch at Middle River Farms (Grottoes) is open. You’ll find over 30 varieties of pumpkins and gourds. Their wagonload deal is one of the best around! 
  • Another stellar spot for pumpkins is Troyer’s Farm in Stuarts Draft. Explore the fields for mixed varieties of large and small pumpkins and gourds. Finish up with a trip through the 10-acre corn maze. 
  • Finally, enjoy a hayride and pick-your-own pumpkins and gourds at Mount Crawford’s Mulberry Hills Farms

Fall Flavors 

We know you’ve been salivating for weeks for a taste of apples, pumpkins, and anything with a hint of spice and cinnamon. Here’s a sampling of some of Staunton’s best fall flavors.

  • Firkin Pie has the best sweet and savory flavors of the season. Try the pork sausage roll, seasoned with caramelized onions, sage, and thyme that’s served with honey mustard or the beet Reuben hand pie. Save room for the Marlborough apple pie for dessert.
  • The Shack offers an ever-changing and seasonal tasting menu highlighting local ingredients.
  • Try Zynodoa’s Autumn Olive Farm grilled pork chop that comes with braised cabbage, Wade’s Mill rye spaetzle, and a sweet and sour glaze. Get a side of Wade’s Mill apple and cheddar grits and follow it all with a harvest thyme pumpkin pot de crème.

  • Order the pan-seared maple leaf duck breast at Aioli. It’s served with butternut squash parmesan risotto, vegetable tempura, and blackberry reduction.
  • Pick your favorite fall-flavored gelato like pumpkin pie or maple walnut at The Split Banana

  • How about an apple streusel or pumpkin pie from Paris Cake Company? They not only taste wonderful, they’re beautiful, too.
  • D&L Donuts bakes seasonal flavors of your favorite morning treat like pumpkin and apple crisp. You’ll want to arrive early to ensure you score one of these tasty seasonal treats.
  • Have you had a flight from Ciders From Mars yet? You can’t beat hard cider for a taste of autumn.
  • Queen City Brewing serves two delicious hard-pressed ales: Apple Ale and Cranberry Ale. Both are perfect for the fall season.
  • Redbeard Brewing Company releases their latest edition of Moriarty, a barrel-aged Imperial Stout on October 9.

Fall Events 

We’ve scoured the calendars so you don’t have to. Here’s what’s coming up near Staunton.

  • Catch the right wind and see your kite soar at Coyner Springs Kite Fly on September 25. See kite demonstrations, paint pumpkins, and sling apples at this fun event. If you don’t already own a kite, browse the selection at Pufferbellies Toys and Books.
  • Get ready for Halloween by learning about Staunton’s spooky history with a Ghosts of Staunton walking ghost tour on September 24 and 25.
  • Find a use for your old clothes at Staunton Parks and Rec’s Scarecrows in the Park event. Use your skills to create a silly or scary scarecrow to stand near the swimming pools and spook all the early morning joggers. September 25.
  • There’s no live Queen City Mischief & Magic festival this year, but keep an eye on Facebook for lots of fun, virtual events.
  • Celebrate German Heritage Day at the Frontier Culture Museum on October 2 and see how early residents of the Valley lived and made merry.
  • The Fall Foliage Art Festival (October 9-10) brings talented artists to downtown Waynesboro each year. You’ll find paintings, prints, sculpture, jewelry, pottery, and more as well as music, food, and craft beer against the backdrop of the Blue Ridge in full color.
  • The Fall Foliage Bike Festival (October 15-17) attracts hundreds of cyclists from around the mid-Atlantic states for a weekend of riding in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley. Escape the cities for a quiet weekend and choose from a number of SAG-supported routes over two days.
  • Wade’s Mill will host its 26th annual Apple Butter Festival on October 16. See apple butter being made the traditional way, enjoy tasty food and drink, and shop for local crafts.
  • October 16 is Fall Farm Day at Creambrook Farm. You’ll see baby calves and other farm animals, pretty views, and have lots of family fun.
  • Plan to take the kids to trick or treat at Swannanoa this Halloween. Expect goodies, photo opportunities, face painting, a food truck, and possible real ghosts!