#LOVEstaunton

#LOVEstaunton

Girlfriends’ Getaway

Staunton has plenty of trendy restaurants, local wine, luxurious lodgings, and unique shopping and entertainment opportunities. That’s why it’s the ideal environment for making new memories during a wonderful girlfriends’ getaway. You and your besties will want to make it an annual trip. Here’s a fun roundup of must-do activities. Explore Staunton When you arrive, … Continue reading Girlfriends’ Getaway

Staunton has plenty of trendy restaurants, local wine, luxurious lodgings, and unique shopping and entertainment opportunities. That’s why it’s the ideal environment for making new memories during a wonderful girlfriends’ getaway. You and your besties will want to make it an annual trip. Here’s a fun roundup of must-do activities.

Explore Staunton

When you arrive, head straight for Staunton’s extremely walkable downtown. The Staunton Farmer’s Market opens on the first Saturday in April, and often features live music. Nibble a baked treat and scout out seasonal produce, honey, jams and pickles to take home. Next, explore Staunton’s five historic districts, visit the Woodrow Wilson Birthplace, or take a tour of the American Shakespeare Center. Stop in at Paris Cake Company for something sweet. And if cupcakes are your particular passion, you can’t skip the giant cupcakes and egg-less raw cookie dough at Sweet Nana Cakes.

Shopping

Staunton has a lot to offer girlfriends who enjoy shopping together. Plan to spend some time exploring our boutiques, galleries, and antique stores. Design at Nine offers the latest in women’s fashion, shoes, and accessories. Try Latitudes for fair trade selections ranging from women’s apparel, to jewelry to recycled metal wall art. If you’re looking for more art to buy, check out Beverly Street Studio, where local artists exhibit and sell their work. You might also be captivated by the spectacular glass work at Sunspots.

Relax and Recharge

Recharge your mind and body with a class at Sanctuary Yoga and Wellness.The studio welcomes walk-ins and offers classes in a variety of styles, including vinyasa, hatha, and yin. See here for a schedule. If you’re serious about relaxing, why not share a spa day with your girlfriends? Indulge yourself at Breezy Hill Day Spa, housed in a historic mansion or Mill Street Body and Soul Day Spa and Salon,  which is right downtown. Both spas’ services include massage, facials, manicures, and pedicures. Breezy Hill offers an all-day session that includes lunch.

Outside Fun

Take a scenic drive to Fishersville and ramble around the Andre Viette Farm. Viette is world famous for his daylilies, and the farm and garden center is open year round. Get inspired by the beautiful gardens and take some plants home to your own. If fresh flowers are your thing, explore the Pebble Hall Wildflowers. Pick a bouquet of whatever’s in bloom, pet the horses, and plan a picnic to appreciate the view. If you’re outside for something more rigorous, remember that you’re in some of the best hiking country in the world. For some ideas, see An Alternate Spring Break: 5 Awesome Hikes. You might also rent a kayak or stand-up paddleboard from Rockfish Gap Outfitters in Waynesboro for a fun-filled day of paddling on the South River or Lake Sherando.

Drinks and Light Fare

Still wishing there were one more season of Downton Abbey? Drown your sorrows in tea at the Anne Hathaway Cottage Tea Room.  Enjoy traditional High Tea, light lunches and afternoon cream teas in a picturesque thatched cottage surrounded by gardens. You can even sample all the teas thrown into the harbor during the Boston Tea Party! If you’re still thirsty, head to Ox Eye Tasting Room to taste a variety of their wines. Follow your tasting with a full glass of your favorite. Or go to Yelping Dog Wine, where wine can be enjoyed by the glass or by the bottle, and you can munch on a cheese plate or gourmet grilled cheese sandwich. If you prefer a vineyard with a view, take a picnic to Barren Ridge Vineyards, only a short drive east of Staunton.

Dinner with Friends

Staunton boasts a rich restaurant scene with much to choose from, but if you’re looking for fare to share with your girlfriends, try a range of Spanish tapas and other Mediterranean food at Aioli Restaurant. If pizza and beer are more up your alley, split a gourmet pie at Shenandoah Pizza and Tap House. And if you still have room for more food, get some scoops of homemade gelato at The Split Banana. Here, a number of flavors, both traditional and exotic will tempt your taste buds. Guinness Extra Stout in a waffle cone, anyone?

Staunton After Dark

Many of Staunton’s watering holes host events on different nights of the week. Fun stuff includes trivia, live music, and karaoke. Check out the Staunton on Tap and the Shenandoah Beerwerks Trail events page for more info. Downtown 27 is Staunton’s own dance club. Downtown 27 offers live music, DJ dance parties, and other exciting entertainment. And if active puzzle games are your style, book a Staunton’s Crack the Code Escape Room. Groups of six or fewer use their wits to puzzle out clues and escape the room in under an hour.

Theater

A trip to Staunton isn’t complete without some Shakespeare at the American Shakespeare Center. You can catch a performance almost every night year-round, and you can even sit on stage to get very close to the actors. If you’re lucky, they might use you as a prop! Check out what’s on stage at Shenanarts, where you’ll see ambitious and energetic performances by local talent almost every weekend.

Other good stuff:

For a list of Staunton restaurants known for brunch, see our post: Staunton’s Brunch Bunch.

If you’re planning to stay in Staunton overnight, here are some quirky and fun places to stay or click here for our bed and breakfast picks.

 

Insider Tips for Visiting Staunton this Spring

Insider Tips For Visiting Staunton This Spring If you haven’t visited yet, now is the perfect time to make your first trip. Staunton frequently tops many “best” lists – and for good reason. The city’s architecture, performing arts, local charm, and buzz-worthy dining scene make it an ideal getaway, especially in the spring. Check out … Continue reading Insider Tips for Visiting Staunton this Spring

Insider Tips For Visiting Staunton This Spring

If you haven’t visited yet, now is the perfect time to make your first trip. Staunton frequently tops many “best” lists – and for good reason. The city’s architecture, performing arts, local charm, and buzz-worthy dining scene make it an ideal getaway, especially in the spring.

Check out Staunton’s spring art festivals

You may not be shopping for art, but it never hurts to look! And it’s always fun to see artists in action. Regional art festival standouts include the Queen City Plein Air Festival and the Hot Glass Festival in April, and Art in the Park extravaganza in May. Or go on an art walk downtown visiting the many galleries and working studios that include all mediums from fiber to textiles to glass and everything in between. 

See a show (or two!)

Staunton is home to the American Shakespeare Center and the Blackfriars Playhouse, the world’s only re-creation of Shakespeare’s indoor theatre. Hailed by The Boston Globe as “phenomenal…bursting with energy,” this is a theatrical experience you won’t want to miss.

While he often appears at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, tenor Gerhard Siegel will perform a single recital (works by Puccini, Mahler, Schumann) in Staunton on April 7. Tickets available through Staunton Music Festival.

Take a free guided walking tour

Historic Staunton Foundation offers FREE walking tours every Saturday at 10 am from May through October. Visitors wind their way through four of Staunton’s six historic districts as a local guide describes Staunton’s development and architecture.

Go shopping & antiquing

Take a stroll and window shop on Beverley Street, proclaimed by USA Today as one of the “most charming main streets” in America. Downtown merchants offer an eclectic mix of antiques, arts, and distinctive gifts in addition to delicious foodstuffs.

 Spend a day at a museum

Explore the Shenandoah Valley’s pioneering history at the Frontier Culture Museum, with living snapshots of what frontier from the 1600s through the mid-1800s in this area. Jumping ahead to the 20th century, take a closer look at our 28th president at the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Museum as you take a self-guided tour through seven galleries that explore Wilson’s life and legacy.

Sample your way through our farmer’s market

At this “producers-only” market, you can enjoy live music and meet local farmers and food artisans. Starting in April, this event runs every Saturday from 7 am to 12 pm in the Wharf District.

Taste new brews

Beer is in, and Staunton is at the center of a booming beer scene. What better place to try out a flight on the Shenandoah Beerwerks Trail than Redbeard Brewing, which was recently tapped in a story by the Washington Post for best barrel-aged beers.

Marvel at mountain views

Staunton is equally close to Skyline Drive and the Blue Ridge Parkway.  Both roads rank among the “best mountain drives” in America. You’ll have access to spectacular views, and hundreds of miles of hiking including the Appalachian Trail. Wildflowers dazzle with colorful blooms, starting in mid-March.

Staunton Bed and Breakfasts

Dreaming of visiting a historic property, eating gourmet food, and receiving personal attention – all at an affordable price?  The Staunton bed and breakfast scene excels in modern comfort, convenience, and plenty of delicious, locally-sourced food. Whether you’re in town for an event, business, or romance, we’ll help you find your perfect home away from … Continue reading Staunton Bed and Breakfasts

Dreaming of visiting a historic property, eating gourmet food, and receiving personal attention – all at an affordable price?  The Staunton bed and breakfast scene excels in modern comfort, convenience, and plenty of delicious, locally-sourced food. Whether you’re in town for an event, business, or romance, we’ll help you find your perfect home away from home.

Thornrose House at Gypsy Hill

Directly across the street from Gypsy Hill Park and less than a mile’s walk from downtown, Thornrose House was designed by esteemed Staunton architect T.J. Collins and built in 1912. You can’t beat the convenience if you’re in town for a festival like Art in the Park or Happy Birthday America, and there’s often live music at the bandstand on summer evenings. Also convenient are the park’s playgrounds, pool, tennis courts, golf course, and Staunton Braves baseball stadium. The house and grounds feature three comfortable guest rooms with en suite bathrooms, a wrap-around porch, pergolas, and a conservatory.  Start your day with a breakfast made using fresh, seasonal ingredients and sausage, and free-range eggs from local, sustainable farms.

Berkeley House Bed and Breakfast

The Berkeley House Bed and Breakfast, an 1897 Queen Anne Victorian mansion, sits across from the Woodrow Wilson Birthplace. The current owners modernized the property, transforming it into an elegant inn, but left many original details like fireplaces, stained glass, large windows and period decorations. Select Registry chose the Berkeley House for its elite group of inns across the country that undergo rigorous quality-assurance inspection. The Berkeley House offers an elaborate breakfast with many tasty dishes. Make sure you catch the wine and cheese served late Saturday afternoons! The bed and breakfast offers an American Shakespeare Center package, a champagne package, and a spa package with in-room massage.

Frederick House

Consisting of 23 rooms in seven historic buildings in downtown Staunton, Frederick House boasts the extravagance of a fancy hotel in a more personal setting. Since the buildings were not originally built to be hotel rooms, the B&B also offers plenty of personality: you might stay in what was once a silent movie theater, a stable, or a store. Visitors select from a menu of signature breakfasts including apple raisin quiche, ham and cheese pie, and strata with sausage. Ask about discounted tickets and backstage passes at the American Shakespeare Center. The Frederick House is downtown, so you can tour Staunton on foot, but if you choose to venture away to explore the Valley, Frederick House can arrange a picnic basket for you. They can also help with bike rentals, golf packages, fishing advice, and winery routes.

Olde Staunton Inn

Located only a short stroll from the shops, restaurants, and sites of downtown Staunton, the Olde Staunton Inn is also on the 25-cent trolley route. This means visitors can access all the town has to offer without ever getting behind the wheel. The bed and breakfast, decorated in an eclectic style,  is in the Newtown Historic District and dates to 1910. Highlights of your stay will include the relaxed and casual atmosphere and a delicious breakfast that will probably showcase homemade muffins. There are a variety of rooms to choose from; some include fireplaces and luxurious king-sized beds.

Montclair Bed and Breakfast

If you seek a cozy bed and breakfast bursting with Southern hospitality the Montclair Bed and Breakfast represents a perfect choice. The B&B’s prime location allows easy access to the restaurants, shops, and culture of downtown Staunton,  Included in the National Register of Historic Places, the 1880 Italianate townhouse has been carefully restored and decorated with fox hunt decor. Guests may relax in the house’s public area, private sitting rooms, or outside on the patio. Along with clean and comfortable accommodations, guests receive personal attention, private access, a stocked library, and afternoon refreshments.  In the morning, the hosts deliver coffee to the guest rooms. Guests may eat a gourmet breakfast in the formal dining room or in their rooms.

Inn at Old Virginia

Looking for something historic, private, and surrounded by the soothing beauty of the Shenandoah Valley? Antiques decorate the 10 stately rooms and suites at the Civil-War era Inn at Old Virginia, but the design focus is on modern comfort. During your stay, you’ll enjoy a delicious breakfast in the glass conservatory. Afterwards, explore the grounds or lounge on one of the landscaped outdoor patios. Drive just a few minutes from the privately situated inn to reach the bustle of downtown Staunton. The inn offers specials for two-night stays. A special package for day trippers includes a hiking guidebook and snacks. Those who want to double down on relaxation should opt for the in-room massage package.

Other Great Places to Stay

Other great places to stay include The Bella Inn and The Old Printery Guesthouse. Both are downtown within walking distance of local breakfast establishments and offer vouchers.

Spring Break (and Summer) Survival

With spring break ahead, summer travels, and impromptu days off here and there often leave parents looking for things to do. We’ve rounded up a list—worthy of a day trip or overnight stay—that won’t break the bank; making parents happy and keeping kids entertained. Pin, Facebook, bookmark, or print this for future reference; we’re sure … Continue reading Spring Break (and Summer) Survival

With spring break ahead, summer travels, and impromptu days off here and there often leave parents looking for things to do. We’ve rounded up a list—worthy of a day trip or overnight stay—that won’t break the bank; making parents happy and keeping kids entertained. Pin, Facebook, bookmark, or print this for future reference; we’re sure you’ll look to it as a resource over the next few months.

Teenagers and Tweens:

One of the coolest demonstrations you’ll ever see is glassblowing, and you can see it every day in Staunton at Sunspots Studios! Watch the masters seemingly turn glass into wax as they form big bubbles bound for a life of beauty. If you get inspired, try “Blowing Your Own Ornament” where you work alongside a trained artist to create a unique ornament which will provide a lifetime of memories.

Escape to Crack the Code where you must solve puzzles in order to escape the room. You have 60 minutes to find the clues, solve the puzzles and make your way to freedom. Choose from two different themed rooms: DaVinci’s Office and The Asylum. This group activity is perfect for large families or a group of friends (6 people max).

For parents of Pokémon Go fans, we’ve got the fix. Explore by foot using the free app, Traipse! Traipse takes you on an adventure that is half historic tour and half scavenger hunt. You can Traipse anytime, with whomever you want, in places like downtown Staunton or Gypsy Hill Park. And with the newest version of the app you can now build your own tour based on your interests, time and even level of difficulty. 

Montgomery Hall Park is one of Staunton’s best kept secrets with its rolling hills and quiet woodlands. Its a perfect escape for those looking to get outdoors with 148 acres of nature hiking and mountain biking trails. The park is also equipped with a disc golf course, basketball courts, tennis courts and much more! 

For history buffs visit the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Museum where you can discover the life and legacy of our 28th President or learn about the Valley’s earliest settlers at the Frontier Culture Museum. Theater enthusiasts will fall in love with the American Shakespeare Center’s Blackfriars Playhouse where selfies and Snapchat are encouraged as you can go behind, under, and even on stage!

The Younger Set:

Discover Staunton by Trolley! Take a ride on the green trolley for just 25 cents per rider.  Hop on and off as you visit area attractions like the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library & Museum and Gypsy Hill Park. Parents and Grand Parents can sit back and enjoy the architecture and scenery of several of Staunton’s historic districts. MUST SEE stops include Gypsy Hill Park to feed the ducks and stretch your legs; Split Banana for handmade gelato; and Pufferbellies to play with the latest toys. The Green route runs every 30 minutes from the Visitors Center located at 35 S. New Street.

Speaking of toys, did you know Staunton has a toy store that lets your kids play while you shop? “Don’t touch” is not a phrase you’ll hear at Pufferbellies. Pop in to play at the largest independently owned toy store in the Shenandoah Valley, and you can help your kids build their Christmas wish list while you’re at it!

Montgomery Hall Park is 148 acres and is home to the natural playground, Nature Ridge. Designed for imaginative play, Nature Ridge has a mud kitchen, rock quarry, pirate ship, ball drop, chimes, and an elevated sand pit accessible to children of all ages and abilities. 

For train obsessed kiddos we have the historic train station. Take a walk across Sears Hill Bridge for great City views and to explore the tracks from overhead. On the weekends, don’t miss the Gypsy Express Mini-Train running Saturdays and Sundays from May to October. Another kid hot spot is the Staunton Fire Station where you can see JUMBO, the oldest motorized fire engine in Virginia and the only remaining 1911 Robinson fire engine.

Pack a picnic and bring a stroller or rent a wagon for a day of exploration at the Frontier Culture Museum. Walking shoes recommended as you make your way from the Old World to the New, visiting farmsteads with costumed interpreters complete with farm animals. 

Staunton has no shortage of music and art festivals during the warmer months and for other special events 
and weekly happenings check out Staunton On Tap, our schedule of events with all the latest happenings.

 

Staunton’s Upcoming Events: Spring and Summer

Had enough of the winter gloom? Summer will be here before we know it, and Staunton is ready to celebrate the warmer weather with some spectacular upcoming events and festivals. Save the dates for spring and summer fun! Heifetz Institute Queen City Plein Air Festival April 17-22, 2018 Historic Garden Week April 21 The Garden … Continue reading Staunton’s Upcoming Events: Spring and Summer

Had enough of the winter gloom? Summer will be here before we know it, and Staunton is ready to celebrate the warmer weather with some spectacular upcoming events and festivals. Save the dates for spring and summer fun!

Heifetz Institute

At the Heifetz International Music Institute, talented young musicians train with faculty from top universities, conservatories and performance groups from around the globe. Give your ears a treat with some of the great programming offered to the public over the next few months. Upcoming events include:

  • The Spring Hootenanny on March 16 at the American Hotel.
  • Performance at the historic Sugarloaf estate in Middlebrook as part of the spring Garden Tour / Plein Air Festival.
  • Festival of Concerts: six-weeks of daily concerts, a speaker series, and performances by world-renowned faculty and guest artists. Stay tuned as Heifetz announces its programming on its website.

Queen City Plein Air Festival

April 17-22, 2018

During this annual event, professional artists will leave their studios and travel to Staunton to paint “en plein air.” They will produce onsite paintings of Staunton’s noteworthy architecture, gardens, and landscapes. Interested members of the public can take in artist demonstrations, compete in the Paint Staunton Quick Draw Art Competition, attend preview parties and workshops, and purchase art at the Fresh Paint Show & Sale and the Wet Paint Gallery Sale.

For information, check out Beverly Street Studio School.

Historic Garden Week

April 21

The Garden Club of Virginia will celebrate Augusta County’s contributions to Historic Garden Week in the magnificent gardens of Middlebrook, just 10 miles south of Staunton. Plein Air artists will be painting on site at the farms and estates featured by the tour.

Dogwoods & Daffodils at the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library

April 20th 

Reserve a spot for the 4th Annual Dogwoods & Daffodils garden party in the lovely gardens of the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library and Museum. Enjoy both live and silent auctions and a delicious meal catered by local chef Mike Lund.

Art in the Park

May 26 – May 27

Join us for the 51st year of Art in the Park. Artists working in various media gather in Gypsy Hill Park to display and sell their wares in this juried show. Past artists have included painters, photographers, sculptors, textile artists, woodworkers, jewelers and more. Concessions, live music, and fun activities for kids are available.

The American Shakespeare Center

The American Shakespeare Center turns 30 in September and has a packed lineup for 2018. Highlights include:

  • A full year of stellar programming including Macbeth, Hamlet, The Taming of the Shrew,  Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility and more.
  • The world premiere adaptation of Jane Austen’s Emma in June.
  • The first two winners in the Shakespeare’s New Contemporaries competition will be announced in June.
  • The Wars of the Roses tetralogy concludes with Richard III opening in September.

Wine & Jazz Festival

June 30

Looking for something to do in that quiet time before the 4th of July? Save the date for the 10th annual Wine and Jazz Festival at the Frontier Culture Museum. Relax for an afternoon of music and wines from the Shenandoah Valley. Food and other vendors with also be on site. Here’s a link to last year’s schedule.

Fourth of July – Happy Birthday America

July 1-4

Staunton has been celebrating the Fourth of July in grand style since 1970. Join us for this year’s Happy Birthday America celebration in Gypsy Hill Park. The loaded schedule will feature music, a vesper service, fireworks, a parade, a 5K race, a children’s pageant, and concessions. The celebration will also feature a concert by Wilson Fairchild. Wilson Fairchild is a country group comprised of Wil and Landon Reid, sons of the Statler Brothers’ Harold and Don Reid, who originally performed the celebration’s yearly free concert.

Independence Day Celebration at the Frontier Culture Museum

July 4, 2018

Want to learn about American history on the Fourth of July? Plan on attending the Independence Day Celebration at the Frontier Culture Museum and discover what independence meant to Augusta County’s early settlers. This event is pay-what-you-will. Experience educational activities for the entire family, including period games, dances and demonstrations. Food vendors will be on site.

Red Wing Roots Festival

July 13-15

The Red Wing Roots Festival is a family-friendly music festival at Natural Chimneys Park. Come for the day or plan to camp all weekend. Unwind as you listen to the music and enjoy scenery framed by the 120-foot limestone towers. There will be plenty of activities to keep the entire family entertained. Adults can enjoy morning yoga and runs, hiking, and a beer garden. Kids will keep busy painting murals and playing outdoor games. They can also explore a rock-climbing wall, a slackline, an instrument petting zoo and more. Click here for the 2018 line-up.

Staunton Music Festival

August 10-19

Every year the Staunton Music Festival brings us ten days of world-class classical music ranging from the Middle Ages to commissioned world premieres. Thirty concerts will take place in variety of downtown Staunton settings. Highlights include:

  • a semi-staged performance of Hercules, one of the most powerful and rarely-heard of Handel’s operas. Click here for more information.
  • SMF will host one of America’s most intriguing and award-winning composers, Gabriela Lena Frank. Frank will be featured in several events, including a free discussion and performance of her choral and piano music. Follow the link for more info: Meet the Composer Event.

4th Annual Food Truck Battle

September 2

Food trucks and breweries from across Virginia will showcase their best dishes and compete for grand champion status during the Food Truck Battle at Augusta Expo. VIP ticket holders take part in the judging while everyone else can purchase the food, beer, and wine of their choosing. The food truck battle benefits the Madee Project, a local non-profit foundation supporting families battling pediatric cancer.

 

Staunton’s Brunch Bunch

Virginia.org recently named Staunton one of Fifteen Virginia Foodie Towns to Try, putting it on the same page as larger metropolitan areas like Alexandria, Charlottesville, and Richmond. Some of our local establishments were profiled for dinner, drinks, and dessert, but we do a great Staunton brunch, too! Here are seven delicious places to get your … Continue reading Staunton’s Brunch Bunch

Virginia.org recently named Staunton one of Fifteen Virginia Foodie Towns to Try, putting it on the same page as larger metropolitan areas like Alexandria, Charlottesville, and Richmond. Some of our local establishments were profiled for dinner, drinks, and dessert, but we do a great Staunton brunch, too! Here are seven delicious places to get your late morning/early afternoon bite on.

Gone are the days when brunchers made due with biscuits drowned in plain white gravy. Many of Staunton’s restaurants put a modern twist on traditional Southern cooking. Others focus on using locally-sourced ingredients, and on the process of creating the food.

Table 44

Table 44 brunch
Table 44 brunch
Table 44 brunch
Table 44 loaded Bloody Mary
Open since December, Table 44 offers comfort food kicked up a notch. The wide variety of brunch offerings are all made from scratch and include English muffins, cinnamon rolls, and eggs Benedict. Table 44 even makes its own bacon for its 44 breakfast, which also features sweet potato/short rib hash. Don’t forget to order a fantastic loaded Bloody Mary to complement your meal. And make sure to carry out some tasty and beautiful baked treats from Paris Cake Company as you leave. Sunday brunch: 11-3.

 The Shack

The Shack was called “an incredible restaurant in the middle of nowhere” by Esquire when it opened in 2013, and it has been on the foodie radar ever since for its creativity and delicious food. The brunch menu varies weekly. Mushroom and chervil soft scrambled eggs with potato latke or smoked catfish salad on toast were recent offerings. Pair your meal with a mimosa, a Swamp Pop, or a cold-brewed Vietnamese iced coffee. This restaurant is small, so make reservations! Sunday brunch: 10:30 – 2.  

 

Byer’s Street Bistro

Byer’s Street Bistro, a favorite of both locals and tourists, provides Southern-style American food in a casual, upbeat setting. This family-friendly find offers outdoor seating for warmer days and often features live music. Brunch choices include shrimp and grits, harvest vegetable frittata, and new dishes every Sunday. Sunday brunch: 11 – 2.  

Cranberry’s 

Cranberry’s serves brunch in the cafe at the back of its natural grocery. The menu focuses on vegetables, fruits, and organic grains and includes numerous options for vegetarians, vegans, and those on gluten-free diets.  Menu items showcase many local and organic ingredients, including eggs and sausages from Polyface Farm. A favorite brunch item is the unique malt yeast waffle, which can be served with fruit and whipped cream. Cranberry’s also has an extensive smoothie and juice selection, ranging from the signature Celtic Elixir to the Fountain of Youth (which includes a shot of wheatgrass). Brunch is served on Saturday and Sunday. Available all day.

 

The Depot Grille

You get to walk past a pair of cabooses to enter the The Depot Grille, which is housed in the old freight depot of Staunton Station. The Depot is casual, kid-friendly, and it serves great food like prime rib, quiche, crab cakes, grilled shrimp Benedict, and weekly specials for Sunday brunch. Cocktail specials are available all day. After brunch, take a walk over the Sears Hill pedestrian bridge to Wilson Park for spectacular views of downtown Staunton. Sunday brunch: 11 – 2.  

Mill Street Grill

 

Originally built around the turn of the century as a mill to supply southern kitchens with flour, Mill Street Grill opened in its present form as a restaurant in 1992. Mill Street Grill is cozy, consistent, casual, kid-friendly, and serves Southern-style American food. For brunch you might try filet mignon eggs Benedict or huevos rancheros. Sunday brunch: 11 – 3.

Nu-Beginning Farm: The Store

 

Nu-Beginning Farm: The Store recently moved to a bigger venue, but serves the same great farm-to-table food. The Saturday morning menu includes Belgian waffles, pancakes, scones, and “eggs Cumberbatch,” which would taste great paired with a mimosa or bellini. Make sure to pick up some locally-sourced grocery items or local beer and wine before you leave. Saturdays until 11.

Other places to get yummy morning fare include: Farmhouse Kitchen and WaresKathy’s Restaurant, and Mrs. Rowe’s Restaurant. Try Réunion, Blue Mountain Coffee, The By & ByNewtown Bakery (Saturday only) for pastries and coffee. Get your donuts at Paradise Donuts.

 

Unique Gifts for Your Staunton Valentine

  Want to make an impression on Valentine’s Day? Why not snag your sweetie a one-of-a-kind Staunton find? From gourmet chocolates to fair-trade birdhouses, Staunton vendors offer unique gifts to complement any romance. Chocolate gifts Declare your feelings with Cocoa Mill’s Edible Chocolate Valentine Truffle Heart Box, which the Wall Street Journal declared “Best Overall” when comparing … Continue reading Unique Gifts for Your Staunton Valentine

 

Want to make an impression on Valentine’s Day? Why not snag your sweetie a one-of-a-kind Staunton find? From gourmet chocolates to fair-trade birdhouses, Staunton vendors offer unique gifts to complement any romance.

Chocolate gifts

Cocoa Mill Staunton
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valentine1
Declare your feelings with Cocoa Mill’s Edible Chocolate Valentine Truffle Heart Box, which the Wall Street Journal declared “Best Overall” when comparing it to other celebrated chocolates. Or try a Valentine’s Expression Box that includes an “I love you” solid chocolate bar surrounded by an assortment of artisan milk and dark chocolates.

 

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Stop by Cranberries Grocery for Staunton-made Santiago Chocolates and other natural and organic goodies. Also stock up on locally-made soaps, lotions and other body care products from Wynott, La Sunflower, and Made by Mieka.

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Wine gifts

Your wine-loving valentine will adore sampling a new local vintage from one of Staunton’s wine stores. Head to Yelping Dog Wines to peruse the 1,500-bottle selection. After you shop, you can grab a seat for an intimate wine and cheese treat. You might also visit The Wine Cellar, Staunton’s “Libation Destination,” for help choosing a special bottle and local, gourmet chocolates to pair with it. And if the total wine experience is more to your valentine’s taste, score some tickets to the Winter Wine Festival on February 24.

 

Staunton gifts

Valentines will remember your love (and Staunton) whenever they hear the tinkling of a Staunton charm from H.L. Lang and Company Jewelers. These lovely keepsakes depict the Stonewall Brigade Bandstand, the Marquis Building, the watering can and other Staunton landmarks. Another place to look for unique gifts is Crown Jewelers, where you can select from both new and estate jewelry to suit your love’s style.
Watering can
Staunton watering can charm
mugs - Shakespeare Insults
mugs - TARDIS
mugs - Banned Books
mugs - Twain quotes

Does your darling enjoy the Staunton Shakespeare experience? Why not buy a copy of a favorite play at Bookworks? This shop, in the Queen City Marketplace, stocks books by the Bard and other literary products.  Saucier finds include mugs covered with Shakespearean insults and the titles of banned books.

Make sure to visit the gift shop at the American Shakespeare Center for more Shakespeare-themed goodies.

Handmade gifts

  Select a Staunton local landmark mug from Rachel’s Quilt Patch for your favorite coffee drinker.  Write a love letter on one of Rachel’s or Emma Rose’s original cards then watch the recipient pull a tissue from a handmade, decorative tissue box to dab those joyful tears.  
Decorative tissue box
Harmony Moon’s hand-felted birdhouse

If your honey loves watching birds, try one of Harmony Moon’s fair trade, hand-felted birdhouses. They are made from naturally water-resistant sheep’s wool and sustainable and recyclable materials. They are both decorative and functional. “Birds love ’em, and so will you!”

Artful Gifts offers one-of-a-kind scarves, hats, and clothing handmade from fabrics crafted from wool, silk, and other natural materials. Inspired by the heritage of Highland County, this unique “art wear” pampers the wearer and can be custom made.

Art wear from Artful Gifts

 

All-natural gifts

While Medieval Fantasies Company is better known for its handmade swords, armor, and Welsh items, it also offers Medieval Bath and Body products. The Lavender and Amethyst collection includes bath soaps, foaming bath gems, soaking salts, lavender oil perfume, and hand-poured, ginger and amber-scented soy candles.

Redwood and Co. is another great source for homemade soy candles, which come in Drifter,  Wanderlust, and other intriguing scents.  

The Lavender and Amethyst collection
 

Outdoor gifts

Break free of the winter blues by planning a romantic hike or spring camping trip with your sweetie. Check out Wilderness Adventure for deals on sleeping bags, camp hammocks, and other gear to keep your campsite cozy. And if your beloved would enjoy a new bike to explore all the scenic roads in Augusta County, you should visit Black Dog Bikes. Their range of bikes appeals to casual and serious cyclists.

 

10 Great Places to Stage Your Staunton Proposal

Are you planning to propose to your sweetheart sometime soon? Why not plan a Staunton proposal? We have the right combo of beautiful views, romantic restaurants, and cozy lodgings to make it a proposal to remember. Here are ten stunning backdrops to set the stage for your special moment. You might want to return to … Continue reading 10 Great Places to Stage Your Staunton Proposal

Are you planning to propose to your sweetheart sometime soon? Why not plan a Staunton proposal? We have the right combo of beautiful views, romantic restaurants, and cozy lodgings to make it a proposal to remember. Here are ten stunning backdrops to set the stage for your special moment. You might want to return to the scene for your wedding!

Gardens at Woodrow Wilson Birthplace

The Garden Club of Virginia built the brick-terraced, Victorian-inspired gardens at the Woodrow Wilson Birthplace in the 1930s. The gazebo is a quiet, private spot easily accessed during a stroll through Staunton’s busy downtown. Free and open to the public during regular business hours.

Barren Ridge Vineyards

Why not pop the question as you pop the cork on a bottle of wine at Barren Ridge Vineyards? The picture-perfect views will provide a spectacular proposal setting, and you can enjoy a picnic on the terrace as you watch the sunset. Live music on Friday and Saturday nights will set the mood. 

Swannanoa Castle

Swannanoa Castle’s marble towers rise on the crest of Afton Mountain. Built in 1912 as a summer residence for a railroad tycoon, it has since lived a variety of lives. Crumbling, but still magnificent, it’s now a hauntingly beautiful setting for your special moment. Tours are offered on some spring and summer Saturdays.

Gaie Lea

If you’re interested in involving your friends and family in your special day, you might rent an entire estate like Gaie Lea.  The beautiful historic home features a lake and grounds that command views of the surrounding mountains. The house sleeps 15, enough space for your entire crew!

Andre Viette Nurseries

Andre Viette Nurseries would be a great proposal destination for a couple who enjoys the outdoors and gardening. Explore the extensive display gardens to see rare and uncommon plants and trees. Visitors are invited to wander the grounds even if the garden center is closed. Visit again in the summer to see (and purchase) Viette’s world-famous day lilies.

Thornrose Cemetery

If you and your significant other enjoy quiet strolls and history, you might consider beautiful Thornrose Cemetery as an unusual spot to propose. Built in 1849 on the garden model with careful attention to landscape and architectural design, it was historically a place for people to picnic and enjoy the outdoors. Today, the cemetery retains its parklike atmosphere.

Humpback Rocks

You won’t find much privacy at Humpback Rocks, but the exhilarating two-mile hike and spectacular west and north-facing views over the Shenandoah Valley are worth sharing. Plus, you might be able to get a helpful stranger to snap your engagement picture!

GYPSY HILL PARK

Want to casually propose while you’re doing some other fun activity? Gypsy Hill Park has 214 acres of possibility. Fish in Lake Tams, ride the miniature Gypsy Express train, play a round of golf, attend a summer baseball game or concert, or just sit on a bench and watch the ducks. And if you’re looking for a secluded nook with a view, Gypsy Hill Park offers those, too!

 

Grand Caverns

National Natural Landmark, Grand Caverns, is the second-oldest show cave in the country. A destination for lovers of nature and history (the cave was visited by both Union and Confederate soldiers during the Civil War), the caverns would be part of an unusual and memorable proposal experience.

 

Sears Hill Bridge

One of Staunton’s most beloved landmarks, the recently restored Sears Hill Bridge leads from the wharf district to scenic and secluded Woodrow Park. Both bridge and park command outstanding views of the railroad tracks and downtown Staunton. Afterwards, it’s only a short walk to flash that ring at a nearby restaurant like The Depot, Byers Street Bistro, or Table 44.

Don’t forget to enlist a friend or a local photographer to document your Staunton proposal!

Staunton Named One of Virginia’s Foodie Towns To Try – Virginia.org

We’ve known all along that Staunton is a “foodie” paradise filled with lots of options for all palates and price points. Thanks to  Virginia.org we’ve been named one of Fifteen Virginia Foodie Towns to try in the new year. Check out Part Two of their blog series.  See who made the Staunton’s shortlist and add them to … Continue reading Staunton Named One of Virginia’s Foodie Towns To Try – Virginia.org

We’ve known all along that Staunton is a “foodie” paradise filled with lots of options for all palates and price points. Thanks to 
Virginia.org we’ve been named one of Fifteen Virginia Foodie Towns to try in the new year. Check out Part Two of their blog series. 

See who made the Staunton’s shortlist and add them to your Must Eat/Drink list in 2018: 

For Dinner

The Shack

Zynodoa

For Drinks

 Ox-eye Vineyards

yelping dog

For Dessert

Cocoa Mill Chocolates

For the full list of Fifteen Virginia Foodie Towns see the blog

Source: Click here to read the original blog by Patrick Evans-Hylton

Don’t Hibernate! Plan Your Winter Escape to Staunton

With four distinct seasons, each offering an unparalleled experience, plan an unforgettable  trip— any time of year—to the heart of Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley. Day 1: Attractions Galore Start your day at the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library where you’ll discover the life and legacy of the country’s 28th president in the city where he was born. Visitors will … Continue reading Don’t Hibernate! Plan Your Winter Escape to Staunton

With four distinct seasons, each offering an unparalleled experience, plan an unforgettable  trip— any time of year—to the heart of Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley.

Day 1: Attractions Galore

Start your day at the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library where you’ll discover the life and legacy of the country’s 28th president in the city where he was born. Visitors will receive a guided tour of Wilson’s birthplace, as well as a self-guided tour of the museum featuring seven galleries which explore Wilson’s early years, his eventful presidency, suffrage, prohibition and World War I. Highlights include the President’s restored 1919 Pierce-Arrow limousine as well as a new, state-of–the-art World War I trench exhibit complete with lights and sound to experience what life was like for soldiers as they engaged in battle.
Winter Hours: Monday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday: 9 am – 5 pm and Sunday: 12 pm – 5 pm.
“Pay What You Wish” for Sunday admission during the months of January and February.

Shakespeare is serious fun at the American Shakespeare Center’s Blackfriars Playhouse, the world’s only re-creation of Shakespeare’s indoor theater. Take a backstage tour where you’ll get a behind-the-scenes look as you go on, behind and under the stage. Photography— including selfies–are encouraged!
Winter Tours (through March 31): Monday-Friday at 2 pm and Saturdays and 11 am.

Other “winter friendly” attractions include: the Camera Heritage Museum, R.R. Smith Center for History and Art and Sunspots Studios.

Head back to your hotel and freshen up for a night out. Enjoy dinner at one of our local restaurants in downtown Staunton. Visit Emilio’s for its authentic Italian taste; Aioli’s for its Mediterranean fare; Mill Street Grill for their barbecue ribs; or The Depot for American inspired dishes.

Then it’s off to the Blackfriars Playhouse for an award-winning performance. The Actors’ Renaissance Season (running January 19-April 8) embraces the spirit of early modern rehearsal conditions where the actors lead the charge in directing the shows, choosing the costumes, and producing all with limited rehearsals. Filled with murder, love, laughs, revenge, and rediscovery choose from five different plays, including: Hamlet, Richard II, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, The Way of the World, and Antonio’s Revenge.

Day 2: Shop ‘til you Drop

No trip to Staunton is complete without shopping! Explore our nationally recognized Main Street featuring over 100 unique boutiques, artisan studios, antique shops, galleries, and restaurants. Lovers of antiques can peruse from eight different shops in and around Staunton. And if you haven’t found what you’re looking for, head to the Valley’s premier antiquing destination: The Factory Antique Mall. With 200,000 square feet of antiques and over 200 vendors, making it the largest antique mall in America.

Hobbyists will enjoy a number of eclectic shops that range in interests from clocks to model trains, planes, and automobiles and even miniature houses.


Day 3: wildlife viewing

Situated between Shenandoah National Park and the Washington and Jefferson National Forests, Staunton is a great place to view winter wildlife. Check out these local hot spots for when the chilly weather keeps you close to your hotel. If you’re looking for a trip that takes you farther afield, see Winter Wildlife Hot Spots Part 2. 

Special Events:

Winter Wine Festival: February 24 from 12-5 pm at the Stonewall Jackson Hotel
Enjoy samples from the states most accomplished vineyards and wineries along with live music and light bites.

Annual Swedish Fire Festival:  January 27 at Barren Ridge Vineyard
This annual event features Nordic cuisine paired with Barren Ridge wines, live music and sometimes dancing! A Swiss alphorn performance, melted Raclette cheese, warm and spicy mulled red wine, and the lighting of Swedish fire torches complete this festive evening.