#LOVEstaunton

#LOVEstaunton

TOP INSTAGRAM PHOTOS: Spring 2020

The weather is just starting to warm up and everything outside our window is looking bright green and lush. It’s one of the best times to head outside and enjoy walks through our historic downtown an on our nearby trails. Celebrate the end of the spring season and enjoy all that the Shenandoah Valley has … Continue reading TOP INSTAGRAM PHOTOS: Spring 2020

The weather is just starting to warm up and everything outside our window is looking bright green and lush. It’s one of the best times to head outside and enjoy walks through our historic downtown an on our nearby trails. Celebrate the end of the spring season and enjoy all that the Shenandoah Valley has to offer.

See how Instagram fans and followers loved scenic Staunton and our surrounding area in our favorite #LoveStaunton photos this spring, then follow us and share your own pics.

Staunton Cityscapes by Night

by @kevincusterphotography

Views for days at sears hill bridge

by@day_tripping_va

Nature’s Bounty

by @barrenridgevineyards

by @miss.dlt

spring babies

by @frontierculturemuseum

by @_mollieee_

by @chefb.md

spring foliage 

by @davidgifreda

by @bluemountaincoffees

by @victoriaannephoto

Sunsets worth the wait 

 

by @tailsofpineappleandcoconut

by @l.merredith

By @Carolinem222

Explore Staunton on Foot: Wharf Historic District

In the 1840s, Staunton grew from a sleepy town to a thriving center of commerce with the construction of  the Staunton-Parkersburg Turnpike. The town’s growth accelerated again when the Virginia Central Railroad arrived in 1854. The Wharf Historic District grew up around the train depot to handle merchandise and house passengers. Along with warehouses and … Continue reading Explore Staunton on Foot: Wharf Historic District

In the 1840s, Staunton grew from a sleepy town to a thriving center of commerce with the construction of  the Staunton-Parkersburg Turnpike. The town’s growth accelerated again when the Virginia Central Railroad arrived in 1854. The Wharf Historic District grew up around the train depot to handle merchandise and house passengers. Along with warehouses and hotels, this district also featured saloons, distilleries, liveries, and brothels. Despite a history fraught with the perils of fire, flood, war, and abandonment, significant historic architecture survives. The Historic Staunton Foundation has focused on the area’s restoration since 1989.

Where to Park

Park in the Wharf Parking Lot on Johnson Street or across the street form the lot is the Johnson Street parking garage. Parking is currently FREE in designated parking lots and garages in downtown or park along the street which has a two-hour limit.

Johnson Street

Head right (east) on Johnson Street. The Augusta County Courthouse  at 1 E Johnson St. (1901) is located on your left, at the corner of Johnson and Augusta Streets. T.J. Collins designed the Beaux Arts style structure. It is actually the fifth courthouse on this site, dating back to a 1755 log building.


Cross Augusta Street and walk a block to New Street. The buildings on your right are part of the Augusta County District Court System. The historic Stonewall Jackson Hotel (part of the Beverly Historic District Tour rises in front of you. 

New Street

Turn right onto New St.

After its first life as a clothing factory, the City renovated 112 S. New St.(1870) in in 1973 as its first mixed-use development project. Bruce A. Elder Antique and Classic Automobiles at 114 S. New St. (1911) was originally a Ford dealership. It now houses two floors of antique cars that are for sale or on display for Friday and Saturday tours. There is even a car elevator! Before you go, call and check their hours of operation. 

New Street crosses over Lewis Creek as it emerges from under the city and flows through an attractive greenspace and under a stone footbridge. Stop here to look at the water or snap a selfie. This area, if you can believe it, was once called “A.H.H. Stuart’s Meadow,” and was just that – a meadow with a creek running through it.

Look to your left for trapezoidally shaped 1 Mill St. (1892), once one of the largest flour mills in the Shenandoah Valley. It closed as a mill in 1966, but the basement has housed The Mill Street Grill, which has been dishing up delicious lunch and dinner since 1992.

Augusta Street

At the end of New St., turn right on Middlebrook Ave. The train tracks will be on your left and the American Hotel at 125 S. Augusta St. (1855) will be on your right. The railroad built this luxurious hotel to house railroad travelers, and it escaped burning during the Civil War. Later, during an 1868 stay, President Ulysses S. Grant raised his hat to the serenading Stonewall Brigade Band. Many considered this an early public act of reconciliation after the war. The updated hotel is now one of Staunton’s most popular wedding and reception venues.

Turn right onto Augusta Street. At the turn of the century, this route would have been lively with mule-drawn streetcars transporting passengers from the depot to other parts of town.

Stop to admire 120-124 S. Augusta St. (1876), a building that stands out in a town of brick buildings for its pressed metal upper facade. You’d never know it, but Lewis Creek flows underneath. 119-123 S. Augusta St. (1880) was originally a grocery warehouse but remains to show us how the Victorians sought aesthetic appeal in even their most mundane structures.

Backtrack to Middlebrook Ave.

Middlebrook Avenue

Commerce boomed after the railroad came to Staunton, and the row of brick Wharf Warehouses (1870 – 1910) grew to support it. The area takes its name from the way workers carried food – including the wild game Augusta County was known for – and wholesale goods to and from trains along gangplanks connecting them to the warehouses. Today the buildings support restaurants, retailers, and offices. Originally, the Wharf buildings were much more extensive and spread through the area that is now the Wharf parking lot. Structures here were damaged by a flood in 1896 and destroyed by fire in 1911 and again in 1940.

You won’t be able to miss the Bungalow-style C&O Train Station (1902) across from the warehouses. This station is actually the third on the site. The first was strategically destroyed during the Civil War and the second was demolished by a runaway train in 1890. Some say the site is still haunted by those who perished. Take time to climb up to the cast iron Sears Hill Footbridge and cross it to quiet Woodrow Park on Sears Hill for some of the best views of downtown. Both areas are popular photo sites.

For more train-themed activity, check out the historic train cars in and around the Depot Grille and Appalachian Piecework.

Lewis Street

The unusual yellow building you’ll pass on your left at 44 Middlebrook Ave. as you turn onto Lewis Street is the old Fultz Office building, now the tasting room for Ox-Eye Vineyards. Stop in for a tasting or to view the art gallery on the top floor. Next door, 50 Middlebrook Ave was originally the Fultz Warehouse. It is now Wilderness Adventure, where you can purchase gear for your active lifestyle or tour the Story of Virginia Museum, which houses over 200 Virginia artifacts that offer “insight into the personal survival and challenges of real people that developed the great Commonwealth of Virginia.”

Turn right onto Lewis St.

The Klotz building at 202 S. Lewis St. (1929) has been home to Sunspots Studios since 2001. Check out the shop and gallery as well as see live glassblowing in action. Call to verify hours of operation.

The oldest building on your tour can be seen at 118 W. Johnson St. (1854). It features scalloped trim and its original floor plan. You also don’t want to miss taking a look at 109-111 S. Lewis St. (1893) and considering the history of medicine and marketing. This site is where Dr. S.P. Hite brewed patent medicines like “Hite’s Pain Cure.” Hite (who was not actually a doctor) boasted that his magical elixir cured all complaints in man and beast, including paralysis and gangrene.

While many of these stops on the walking tour of the Wharf District do not require you to go inside businesses or other establishments we strongly encourage you to call ahead of time to plan your route to ensure what businesses are open and what protocols they might have in place due to COVID-19.

There are many more sites of historic significance noted on the Historic Staunton Foundation walking tour map. Pick up a walking tour map from the kiosk outside the Visitor Center located at 35 S. New Street and visit some of the other historic districts in downtown Staunton. You can also view and download the walking tour map here. 

Staunton, Virginia Chef Wins National Hazelnut Contest

  Hazelnut Marketing Board Announces Chef Recipe Contest Winner   Aurora, Ore. (April 24, 2020) – The Hazelnut Marketing Board (HMB) has selected a winning recipe as a result of a three-month long chef recipe contest. The nationwide contest, which ran January 1-March 9, encouraged foodservice professionals to submit unique recipes featuring Oregon hazelnuts.  Contest submissions … Continue reading Staunton, Virginia Chef Wins National Hazelnut Contest

 

Hazelnut Marketing Board Announces Chef Recipe Contest Winner

 

Aurora, Ore. (April 24, 2020) – The Hazelnut Marketing Board (HMB) has selected a winning recipe as a result of a three-month long chef recipe contest. The nationwide contest, which ran January 1-March 9, encouraged foodservice professionals to submit unique recipes featuring Oregon hazelnuts. 

Contest submissions were judged on the following criteria: Creative use of Oregon hazelnuts (50%), and overall culinary creativity (which includes (3) factors: originality, appetite appeal and presentation) (50%). After careful consideration of all submissions, the Oregon Hazelnut ‘Cacio de Pepe’ with Crispy Sage from Executive Chef Matt Hull of Zynodoa, Staunton, VA, was chosen as the winning recipe. 

“I really wanted to think of a different way to use the hazelnuts – not just toasting or making a candied hazelnut,” explains Chef Hull. “Ultimately I went the pasta dough route and milled them into flour.”

Furthermore, he notes that “hazelnuts are one of my favorite nuts because of the crunchy but somewhat waxy texture. As a chef, I love the versatility of hazelnuts. They can be savory or sweet like a hazelnut butter paired with chocolate or you can have one dish that has three different uses of the nut.”


About Chef Matt Hull

Matt is a lifelong resident of Virginia who comes from a family of cooks – he was raised to be a chef. Right out of high school, Matt studied at the Culinary Institute of Virginia to grow his skills and gain experience in the kitchen. Shortly after graduating, he joined the team at Zynodoa and quickly influenced the menu with his personal touch. Matt believes the best meals come from fresh and organic ingredients.

About the Hazelnut Marketing Board 

The Hazelnut Marketing Board was established in 1949 by the growers and handlers of hazelnuts. The purpose of the board is to set quality standards for the industry, ensure all imported product meet U.S. standards and provide funding for promotion of hazelnuts through research, education and promotion programs. For more information, visit oregonhazelnuts.org

Read the article here. 

Thirsty Thursday

If you’re looking to add some excitement to your life in quarantine,  try your hand at creating these signature cocktails from some of your favorite Staunton establishments. These tasty drinks will certainly up your happy hour game and your mixology skills. You’ll certainly be ready to impress at your next social gathering. Italian Moped From … Continue reading Thirsty Thursday

If you’re looking to add some excitement to your life in quarantine,  try your hand at creating these signature cocktails from some of your favorite Staunton establishments. These tasty drinks will certainly up your happy hour game and your mixology skills. You’ll certainly be ready to impress at your next social gathering.

Italian Moped From The Green Room

If you’re looking for something a little more exotic, with a bit of bubbly—carbonation that is—try the Italian Moped from Staunton’s newest wine bar. The mixologists at the Green Room have mastered the craft of mixing wine-based aperitifs with other ingredients and the results are delicious. 

2oz Cardamaro 
3oz Grapefruit San Pellegrino
Two droppers of Smoked Orange Bitters

Add all ingredients into a glass with ice, stir gently, garnish with Italian cherry.

While we can’t lounge at the Green Room’s hip and cozy spot on Beverley Street, you can enjoy your favorite beer, wine and snacks at home. Delivered to your door, Tuesday through Saturday, check out their modified menu and place your order via email. Kick it up a notch with their “night out at home,” which includes an activity, cheese and charcuterie kit along with your choice of beer and/or select wine. Past activities have included puzzles, games, and crafts you can do solo or with your family. 

LET IT SHINE from ZYNODOA

Feeling adventurous? Try infusing your own liquor. Zynodoa’s Let It Shine takes Belle Isle Moonshine and adds fresh ginger and thyme. While it takes time to infuse the liquor, it’s definitely worth the wait especially since you can’t visit their sleek and modern bar. Combine 1 ½ cups chopped, peeled ginger, handful of fresh thyme (20 sprigs), and 750 ml Belle Isle Moonshine. Let stand for 48 hours. Strain.

1 ½ oz Ginger and Thyme Infused Belle Isle Moonshine (see above)
1 ½ oz Pear Nectar
1 oz Cognac
1 oz Domaine de Canton
¼ oz Lemon Juice

Combine all ingredients into a shaker, add ice, shake and strain into coupe glass. Garnish with thyme sprig.

Table 44

Get your cocktails to go! Every week Table 44 is offering a variety of cocktails for purchase. With one easy step, just pour your beverage of choice right into your fanciest glass and enjoy. Some of their recent concoctions include:

44 Mule – Skyy Vodka, house-made ginger juice, sugar, and lime juice
Mr. October – our ‘old-fashioned’ with Old Overholt Bonded Rye, Vino Amaro, and salted honey syrup
Pictures of You – an agave riff on a ‘penicillin’ with El Charro Tequila, Del Maguey Mezcal, ginger juice, sugar, lemon juice, and honey
Fata Morgana – Old Forester Bourbon, Campari, Dolin Rouge Vermouth, coconut oil
Bee’s Knees – Beefeater Gin, honey syrup, lemon juice, orange bitters pour over ice or straight up in your favorite glass
Respect Your Elders – Ketel One Vodka, St-Germain Elderflower Liqueur, Dolin Dry Vermouth serve with a twist of lemon

Check their facebook page for details and to order your to-go cocktails. 

Other restaurants, wine tasting rooms, and breweries—in and around Staunton—are selling beer, wine and cocktails for curbside pick-up and even delivery. Check out the Staunton Downtown Development Association’s webpage to find out who is open and what they’re offering. 

Stauntonians Making History

It’s common knowledge that Staunton boasts the Woodrow Wilson birthplace, but did you know that other important public figures – from movie stars to a leader of the National Institute of Health – spent formative years here?  Read on to learn how these impressive Staunton natives walked our streets and touched our lives. William Haines … Continue reading Stauntonians Making History

It’s common knowledge that Staunton boasts the Woodrow Wilson birthplace, but did you know that other important public figures – from movie stars to a leader of the National Institute of Health – spent formative years here?  Read on to learn how these impressive Staunton natives walked our streets and touched our lives.

William Haines (1900-1973)

William “Billy” Haines was born in Staunton, but ran away at age 14, ultimately reaching for the bright lights of NYC. He became a movie star during the silent era and ultimately earned recognition for being a top male box office draw. He appeared in dozens of films and starred in The Midnight Express and Brown of Harvard. His acting career ended prematurely when his motion picture studio fired him for refusing to deny his homosexuality and give up his partner, a relationship that would last 50 years. After his acting career ended, he became a notable interior designer. Several books and films chronicle his contributions to design and film and praise his bravery for being one of Hollywood’s first openly gay performers.

Ethel Moses (1904-1982)

Nicknamed “The Black Jean Harlow,” Ethel Moses was a hugely popular Harlem performer in the 20s and 30s. She drew crowds to the stage and to her films because of her beauty, her dancing and acting ability, and her engaging personality. Moses toured with the Cab Calloway band, and began acting in films in the mid 1930. She worked with filmmaker Oscar Micheaux on projects such as Temptation, Underworld, God’s Stepchildren, and Birthright. According to Blackpast.org, “Moses remains an important figure as she was one of the few black underground actresses who represented African American characters in roles that accurately reflected black life during a time when most major Hollywood filmmakers refused to do so.”

Francis Collings (1950-)

Francis Collings is a physician-geneticist who was born and raised in Staunton. After graduating from R.E. Lee High School, he earned degrees from U.V.A, Yale, and U.N.C. He led the Human Genome Project, where his research led to the discovery of genes associated with diseases such as “type 2 diabetes, cystic fibrosis, neurofibromatosis, Huntington’s disease and Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome” (genome.gov). In 2009, Collins took over as Director of the National Institutes of Health. In 2007, President Bush honored Collins for extensive contributions to genetic research with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civil award a president can give.

 

The Statler Brothers

The Statler Brothers started out singing gospel and country in 1955. They rose to fame in the 60’s when they sang backup for Johnny Cash. The quartet was comprised of the late Harold Reid, his brother Don Reid, Phil Balsley, the late Lew DeWitt, and later on Jimmy Fortune. They were famous for their energetic music that often incorporated humor. The Statler Brothers earned the Country Music Association’s Vocal Group of the Year an incredible nine times. They also won three Grammys and earned spots in both the Country Music and the Gospel Halls of Fame. The Statlers gave back to their native Staunton by performing a Happy Birthday USA 4th of July concert for 25 years. The Statler Brothers retired from performing as a group in 2002. Recently, Wil and Langdon Reid, sons of Statlers Harold and Don Reid have revived the holiday celebration.

Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924)

Born in Staunton, the highly educated Wilson was the only U.S. president to earn a PhD. He worked as a college professor and university president before being going into politics and ultimately being elected as the 28th president. Wilson served for two terms (1913-1921) and led the country through WWI. He fought for democracy, world peace, and progressive reform. He is often lauded by historians for being one of our nation’s strongest presidents. Visitors to Staunton can tour the house and grounds at the Woodrow Wilson Birthplace and Presidential Library. Wilson’s lookalike (riding in his Pierce-Arrow) makes an appearance during the Happy Birthday America parade on Independence Day.

Shannon Lucas (1983-)

Born and raised in Staunton, Shannon Lucas is a heavy metal drummer. Best known for performing with groups The Black Dahlia Murder and All That Remains, both very popular extreme metal bands. He currently plays drums for Serpentine Dominion, and has also played for Battlecross and Damnation A.D.

 

Takeout Tuesday – May 5th

  Although we can’t gather in person right now, we can continue to support our local restaurants, breweries, wineries, and retailers through take-out and delivery! We want to celebrate this essential sector of our local tourism economy during National Travel and Tourism Week. Please help spread the word that they’re still open for business through … Continue reading Takeout Tuesday – May 5th

 

Although we can’t gather in person right now, we can continue to support our local restaurants, breweries, wineries, and retailers through take-out and delivery! We want to celebrate this essential sector of our local tourism economy during National Travel and Tourism Week. Please help spread the word that they’re still open for business through takeout and online orders and posting photos on social media tagging #LOVEstaunton and #TakeOutTuesday.

Business Openings and Information

Whether you’re grabbing breakfast pastries for the weekend, popcorn for movie night, or shipping a toy to the special kid (or kid at heart) in your life, Staunton Downtown Development Association has an updated list on what services and specials our local businesses are offering. Stay informed and visit the SDDA website often as our resilient business community continues to adapt to the changing circumstances. Click here for more information.

Insider’s Tip >> until we can all enjoy our restaurants’ dining rooms again, try your hand at baking Zynodoa’s bruleed cast iron cornbread at home.

ZYNODOA’S BRULEED CAST IRON CORNBREAD

About 1 hour, including 30 minutes of baking time. Serves 8 to 12.

2 heaping cups (9 ounces) all-purpose flour

2 1/4 cups (11 ounces) cornmeal

1 cup sugar, plus extra for brûléeing

2 ¼ teaspoons baking powder

¾ teaspoon salt

2 eggs

3 cups whole milk (approximately), divided

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, melted, divided

1. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, 1 cup sugar, baking powder and salt.

2. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs with 1 cup of the milk. Slowly whisk the liquids in with the dry ingredients.

3. Continue adding more milk, slowly whisking it in, until the batter is thick but pourable. You may not use all of the milk.

4. Whisk in ½ cup melted butter. This makes about 5 cups batter. Set the batter aside to rest for up to an hour. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 400 degrees.

5. Lightly oil a 10-inch cast-iron skillet and heat it in the oven for 10 minutes.

6. Pour the batter into the heated skillet and bake until golden around the edges and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 30 minutes.

7. Brush the reserved melted butter across the top of the cornbread and sprinkle over a light coating of sugar. Place the bread under the broiler or use a torch to brûlée the sugar until it caramelizes. Serve warm.

Best Mountain Towns 2020

The South’s Best Mountain Towns of 2020 – Southern Living From Southern Living: Blame it on the Hallmark Channel, but most of us have, at one time or another, fantasized about a romantic escape to a mountain cabin. (Unless, of course, we just inherited Great-Aunt Harriet’s 200-year-old home in the Smokies, in which case we’ll … Continue reading Best Mountain Towns 2020

The South’s Best Mountain Towns of 2020 – Southern Living

From Southern Living:
Blame it on the Hallmark Channel, but most of us have, at one time or another, fantasized about a romantic escape to a mountain cabin. (Unless, of course, we just inherited Great-Aunt Harriet’s 200-year-old home in the Smokies, in which case we’ll be busy turning it into a B&B.) Nothing gives you that sense of “away” like a pretty little town tucked into gorgeous mountains. And when we asked readers to name their favorites, you can bet there were some beauties on the list.

Staunton ranked #8

Located in the Shenandoah Valley, picturesque Staunton is just large enough to be interesting but still small enough to be accessible and relaxing. It’s known for beautiful architecture, including five historic districts on the National Register of Historic Places; a this-is-how-its-done, walkable downtown peppered with local shops, galleries, and eateries; and a thriving arts community. Come here to visit the American Shakespeare Center and to enjoy a 10-day music festival in August. Check out the other Best Mountain Towns of 2020 here.

To learn more about what makes Staunton one of the Best Mountain Towns of 2020 read on and start dreaming of your next mountain getaway when the time is right.  

Come for the Shakespeare, stay for the mountaintop vistas.

By Southern Living Editors

Updated February 26, 2020
 

From Charlottesville to Fredericksburg, Virginia is full of hidden-gem small towns, and Staunton may be one of the most underrated destinations in the Shenandoah Valley. Set between the scenic Blue Ridge and Allegheny Mountains, the mountain town is one of the prettiest in the South. With a downtown energized by locally-owned shops and restaurants, Staunton also boasts a few unique attractions—who would’ve guessed this little town is a national destination for Shakespeare plays?

To start off, it’s pronounced “Stan-ton,” not “Staun-ton.” The town’s namesake? Lady Rebecca Staunton—wife of William Gooch, the colonial governor of Virginia in the 1730s. Lady Staunton’s family stressed the “u” in their name, but it was dropped over time and is now pronounced “Stan-ton.”

Arts and History

See the Bard’s plays at American Shakespeare Center in the Blackfriars Playhouse, the world’s only replica of the playwright’s Blackfriars Theatre. For a taste of Shenandoah history, explore the Frontier Culture Museum, which gives visitors a glimpse into the lives of the region’s earliest settlers. The town also happens to the birthplace of President Woodrow Wilson, a Staunton native since 1856; the 28th President’s birthplace is now the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library & Museum, where students and scholars can tour Wilson’s galleries and gardens.

Stroll Around Downtown

Take in all the small-town charm in Staunton’s historic downtown, where the Victorian buildings house specialty shops, antique stores, and dining destinations. Hop on the Downtown Trolley, which cruises from the Wharf Historic District to the Gypsy Hill Park. East Beverley Street (home to the Marquis Building) is known as Staunton’s main drag; shoppers can browse through shoes at Design at Nine, and enjoy artisan chocolates at Cocoa Mill. Take home a stunning hand-blown ornament or souvenir from Sunspots Studios, a live glassblowing studio that offers free daily demonstrations. In the warmer months, don’t miss the farmer’s market.

Stay in the restored 1924 Stonewall Jackson Hotel & Conference Center, its iconic New York-esque neon sign a landmark of Staunton’s short city skyline. The hotel is within walking distance from many of Staunton’s main attractions.

Drinking and Dining

Start the morning off right with a cup of artisanal joe from Crucible Coffee Roasters or By & By Café and Beer Garden. Housed in the old Woolworth building, Clocktower Restaurant & Bar is a local destination for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You can’t go wrong with a Reuben sandwich and a tower of onion rings for the table. You’ll also find locals passing time at Mill Street Grill, where barbecue ribs and peppermint ice cream are table mainstays.

Zynodoa’s executive chef James Harris serves farm-to-fork specialties like Autumn Olive Farm Pan-Seared Pork Loin or Virginia Stuffed Flounder, all named after the local farms where the ingredients have been sourced. Sample some of the state’s best craft beers on the outdoor patio at Byers Street Bistro.

And the craft brews are plentiful in Staunton—since the Virginia General Assembly made it legal for breweries to serve beer on-site in 2012, Staunton led the pack as ground zero for numerous craft breweries. Check out the flagship beers at Shenandoah Valley Brewing Company in Old-Town Staunton, the live music at Queen City Brewing, and the rotating tap at Redbeard Brewing.

In terms of sweet treats, Staunton is the field of a bit of a hometown rivalry. The Split Banana Co. makes its gelato daily, while family-owned Kline’s Dairy Bar—a Staunton institution since 1943—cools off with homemade custard. Which sweet confection reigns supreme? You’ll just have to get a taste of both.

Explore the Area

Nestled between Shenandoah National Park and the Blue Ridge Parkway, Staunton regards itself as a hub for national parks and stunning mountain vistas. Check out the Ramsey’s Draft Wilderness trails, or if you’re looking to remain sedentary, cruise down the Blue Ridge Parkway, which offers panoramic hillside views and bursts into full fall color in the autumn months.

See the article on SouthernLiving.com here.

Staunton’s Insta-worthy Spots

We scoured Instagram to find the best photo spots in Staunton, and we hope you visit them while you explore our city. Make sure to tag your shot with #LoveStaunton! 1. You Belong Here Mural Celebrate your trip to Staunton with a photo in front of the new Staunton mural. Completed this fall, the mural … Continue reading Staunton’s Insta-worthy Spots

We scoured Instagram to find the best photo spots in Staunton, and we hope you visit them while you explore our city. Make sure to tag your shot with #LoveStaunton!

1. You Belong Here Mural

Celebrate your trip to Staunton with a photo in front of the new Staunton mural. Completed this fall, the mural functions as a giant welcome sign, urging visitors to make themselves at home.

2. Thornrose Cemetery

You don’t have to pose with headstones and mausoleums: Thornrose offers many old trees and ornamental structures, including a stone footbridge and tower. You can be Victorian-era cemetery cool and still be respectful.

3. Wright’s Dairy

Like posing with food and neon? Wright’s Dairy Rite offers retro charm that looks great in photos and feels awesome in real life.

4. Gypsy Hill Park’s Duck Pond

Gypsy Hill Park has multiple insta-worthy locations, including a dog park, a skate park, two playgrounds, and a bandstand, but perhaps the best place to pose is tossing feed at the duck pond.

5. Tunnels at landes park

Landes Park is one of Staunton’s lesser-known parks, but it’s a terrific place to stop and snap a few photos of arched walkways passing under the railroad tracks. Many a Staunton engagement photographer has taken advantage of this secluded and odd-cool vibe.

6. Bells Lane

Bells Lane is a quiet country road just outside of town that is lovely to walk at any time of year. If you’re looking for some gorgeous shots of farmland, Bells Lane offers endless pastoral views in all seasons.

7. Downtown Streetsense

If you’re looking for captivating city energy against a background of historic, Victorian architecture, look no further than the bustle of downtown. Farmer’s Market? Check. Glass-blowing studio? Check. Historic train station? Check.

8. sears hill bridge & woodrow Park

Cross the Sears Hill Bridge for the best view of downtown short of standing on somebody’s roof. Your shots will be epic if they include the cool iron bridge.

9. cannon hill at mary baldwin

Incredible views extend in all directions from the highest point of Mary Baldwin’s campus. You’ll see historic buildings, cannons, a giant, flower-shaped solar panel, and the Blue Ridge in the distance.

10. The statler Brothers Tribute

 

 

11. Frontier Culture Museum

This place is a treasure trove of still-live opportunities. From wooden shoes to looms to bowls of eggs all set up in natural light. Plus, in the spring there are lots of cute baby animals looking to star in your pics.

Explore Staunton on Foot: Stuart Addition Historic District

This diverse, older neighborhood adjoins the campus of Mary Baldwin University and the former Staunton Military Academy. Rich in historical associations, it boasts numerous buildings listed in the National Register and some of the steepest hills in town. Deeded to the City in 1803 by Judge Archibald Stuart, Stuart Addition Historic District was listed in … Continue reading Explore Staunton on Foot: Stuart Addition Historic District

This diverse, older neighborhood adjoins the campus of Mary Baldwin University and the former Staunton Military Academy. Rich in historical associations, it boasts numerous buildings listed in the National Register and some of the steepest hills in town. Deeded to the City in 1803 by Judge Archibald Stuart, Stuart Addition Historic District was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1984.

Where to Park

Park in the New Street Parking Garage. Parking is currently FREE in this garage or park along the street which has a two-hour limit.

New Street

Start your walk by heading north on New Street. 32 N. New St. was built in the 1830s. Early tax and deed research indicates that this lot contained a dwelling as early as 1809; however, the Greek Revival house dates to the 1830s. The rambling house was enlarged in 1909 and again in the 1920s. It currently serves as one of the seven historic houses that make up the 23-room Frederick House boutique hotel.

As you pass Frederick St., look to your right and you’ll find Mary Baldwin University.  Reverend Rufus Bailey founded Augusta Female Seminary in 1842. Two years later, this Greek Revival structure was built to house the growing school. The Seminary was renamed in 1895 to honor principal Mary Julia Baldwin.

Augusta Street

Turn left onto Frederick Street and walk to the corner of Frederick and Augusta St. to 41 N. Augusta St., built in 1914. Cyrus McCormick’s estate donated $50,000 to help build this fine Renaissance Revival structure. It originally served as the Staunton YMCA, and now houses private condominiums.

Turn right onto north Augusta Street to see some of Staunton’s most beautiful and historically significant churches.

121-123 N. Augusta St. was built pre-1870. This structure has long been important to the local Catholic community. It was built as the St. Francis Academy, then converted to a convent in 1880, and it continues to serve the church today.

St. Francis of Assisi was built in 1895.  This imposing Gothic Revival church, designed in 1895 by T.J. Collins, replaced the original 1851 Catholic Church. Its walls are composed of stone from Pennsylvania, Indiana, and Virginia.

215 N. Augusta St. was built around 1800. In the days when Augusta Street was the busy Valley Turnpike, this house served as a stagecoach stop. Now covered with hand-hewn clapboards, it is one of Staunton’s few remaining 18th-century log houses. This building currently houses the award-winning Frazier Associates Architects.

Augusta St. Methodist Church was built in 1876.  This congregation was formed in 1866, making it one of Staunton’s earliest African-American churches. In 1911, the building was remodeled and the Gothic Revival facade added by T.J. Collins.

400-600 N. Augusta Street’s buildings were built between 1790-1910. Important to Staunton’s African-American community, these buildings include Ebenezer Baptist Church (1910); 503 N. Augusta (ca.1800), a hotel, and Elks Lodge; and T.J. Collins’ 1904 Mt. Zion Baptist Church.

There are many more sites of historic significance noted on the Historic Staunton Foundation walking tour map. Pick up a walking tour map from the kiosk outside the Visitor Center located at 35 S. New Street and visit some of the other historic districts in downtown Staunton. You can also view and download the walking tour map here. 

Stretch Your Legs (and Brain) with these Scavenger Hunts

  Feed your sense of adventure and mystery on a scavenger hunt through Staunton. Whether you’re geocaching, traipsing, or going on a ‘hunt,” these interactive puzzles are perfect for keeping boredom and isolation at bay. For little explorers, try geocaching through Staunton City Parks. Learn more about the process and fun of geocaching, then locate our … Continue reading Stretch Your Legs (and Brain) with these Scavenger Hunts

 

Feed your sense of adventure and mystery on a scavenger hunt through Staunton. Whether you’re geocaching, traipsing, or going on a ‘hunt,” these interactive puzzles are perfect for keeping boredom and isolation at bay. For little explorers, try geocaching through Staunton City Parks. Learn more about the process and fun of geocaching, then locate our area caches to get started. For tweens, teens, and adults check out Traipse Tours and Crack the Code Escape Room’s Scavenger Hunts.

Traipse Tours

Take your brain for a walk using the FREE app, Traipse. The app, available for android and iPhone, takes users on an adventure that is half historic tour and half scavenger hunt. You can Traipse anytime, with whomever you want, in places like downtown Staunton, Gypsy Hill Park, and the campus of Mary Baldwin University. You can even build your own tour based on your interests, time and even level of difficulty. Traipse has also introduced themed tours that cover a variety of topics and interests. Check them out:

The Statler Brothers

Visit the haunts of the “The Most Awarded Act in the History of Country Music,” the Statler Brothers. The country group grew up in (and eventually retired to) Staunton, Virginia where you can now visit some of their favorite spots. The Statler Brothers were long-time members of Johnny Cash’s troupe of performers, hosts of their own hit TV show, and creators of over 40 records and many popular songs. Download this Traipse.

African American Heritage Tour

Explore a new, family-friendly interactive trail of sites important to African-American history in Staunton and surrounding Augusta County, Virginia. This remarkable trail takes explorers to sites that are relevant to African-Americans’ entry to the area as slaves in the 1600’s, onward to the Civil Rights Era of the 1950’s and 60’s, and more. The Traipse was made possible by the American Evolution™ 2019 Commemoration.  Download this Traipse.

The Blackburn Inn

Partnering with the Blackburn Inn, Traipse has three unique tours. The Blackburn Inn: Thomas Jefferson’s Protege will have you exploring the grounds of this historic hotel that was once Old Western State Hospital. Discover the life and work of Thomas Blackburn, a rural builder, architect and Thomas Jefferson’s protege from Albermarle County, Virginia. The tour will reveal architectural details and notable features on the grounds of this beautiful hotel. The other two Traipse tours are lodging packages created by Blackburn Inn and are available for purchase. These Traipse tours serve as great itineraries for visitors looking to experience downtown Staunton and the city’s many offerings. Complete all three tours and receive an exclusive prize from the Blackburn Inn. Download these Traipse Tours.

Scavenger Hunts


With Staunton’s Crack the Code Escape Room closed due to COVID-19, the owner has created two scavenger hunts: For the Love of Staunton and Key to the City. Both hunts follow social distancing guidelines while having fun with your quarantine buddies. These digitally interactive 
scavenger hunts lead participants to different points of interest around Staunton. Designed for a team of up to four people, unlock clues, by foot or car, and at your own pace. Please note that you do not need to enter any businesses to complete the scavenger hunt. 

Be sure to follow social distancing protocols when out in public and make sure you stop and take plenty of photos for Instagram! Tag them with #LoveStaunton.