#LOVEstaunton

#LOVEstaunton

Sappily Ever After: Highland Maple Festival Itinerary 

62nd Annual Highland County Maple Festival: March 14 – 15 & 21 – 22, 2020 For 62 years, people have been following the sap to beautiful Highland County for the mid-March Highland Maple Festival. Festival goers can visit working sugar camps to see the “opening” of the trees and learn the history behind maple syrup … Continue reading Sappily Ever After: Highland Maple Festival Itinerary 

62nd Annual Highland County Maple Festival: March 14 – 15 & 21 – 22, 2020

For 62 years, people have been following the sap to beautiful Highland County for the mid-March Highland Maple Festival. Festival goers can visit working sugar camps to see the “opening” of the trees and learn the history behind maple syrup production. They’ll enjoy delicious treats like pancakes and maple donuts, hear lively music, and shop the wares of over a hundred juried vendors. The festival also includes scenic drives and mapped tours of the maple camps and points of interest.

Staunton is just an hour away from Monterey, the seat of the festival, so set up a home base in Staunton before heading out for a day in Highland County. Read on for our suggested itinerary.

Friday

5:00 PM: CHECK INTO YOUR ACCOMMODATIONS

One of the great things about Staunton is that you can find a mix of fine accommodations in downtown, so dining, shopping, and entertainment options are literally steps away. Check out our historic hotels, unique lodging, and charming B&B’s.

5:30 p.m.: UNWIND WITH A DRINK

Plan tomorrow’s excursion over a glass of wine or pint of craft beer at one of Staunton’s wine bars or breweries. The Green Room and Yelping Dog have quiet atmospheres perfect for sitting and sipping with friends. Both offer snacks like cheese plates and gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches. If craft beer is your drink, earn the first stamp in your Shenandoah Beerwerks Trail Passport at a Staunton brewery. Participating breweries include Redbeard Brewing Co., Shenandoah Valley Brewing Company, and Queen City Brewing. Just outside of the city is Skipping Rock Beer Company

6:30 PM: GRAB SOME DINNER

You’ll need to fuel up for a weekend of touring sugar camps, so come hungry! Staunton’s culinary offerings are varied and delicious. Many of our chefs get creative with farm-to-table seasonal menus. We also have global cuisine eateries with bold flavors and worldly influences. Even the pizza scene is pretty special. The best part is that everything’s within walking distance of our historic main street. 

Saturday

8:00 AM: WAKE UP AT A LOCAL COFFEE SHOP 

Start your day with a cup of freshly brewed coffee at one of our coffee shops.

8:30 AM: PACK SOME SNACKS AND YOUR CAMERA AND HEAD WEST ON RT. 250

Before You Go

  • Highland County Maple Festival hours: Saturdays 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Sundays 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
  • Pancake meals may start earlier and end in the mid afternoon. See brochure.
  • Dress in layers and boots – you know what they say about March weather!
  • Monterey is a rural mountain community served by only two main roads (Rt. 220 and Rt. 250), so expect some traffic during the festival.
  • Cell phone service might be limited in some places.
  • Coming soon: Highland County’s Maple Syrup Trail will encourage visitors to visit 10 sugar camps throughout the year to earn a prize.

Points of Interest

Highland County Museum | 161 Mansion House Rd: The Highland County Museum is a 1851 home that served as a hospital during the Civil War. The exhibits focus on the Battle of McDowell and the rural history of the area.

Sugar Tree Country Store | 185 Mansion House Road, McDowell: The Sugar Tree Country Store is right along the main route to Monterey, and it contrasts the old and new with both a display of antique maple production tools and tours of the “modern reverse osmosis concentrator and oil-fired evaporator” that’s in use today. Plus, the country store offers all kinds of maple products and handicrafts. 

Duff’s Sugar House | 3118 Mill Gap Road, Monterey: For a chance to participate in the sap-gathering process and to see how syrup was traditionally made, stop at Duff’s Sugar House.

Mill Gap Farms | 2760 Mill Gap Road, Monterey: Mill Gap Farms is located right down the road, but they use cutting-edge technology to create their organic syrup. Kids will enjoy meeting the sheep, chickens, and alpacas that live on the farm.

Downtown Monterey: The heart of the festival is located in downtown Monterey. Here you’ll find arts and crafts vendors, food, musical entertainment, and activities for the entire family at The Highland Center.

Other Sugar Camps: There are nine sugar camps on the tour. See the map for more information. Witness different methods of tapping maple trees and reducing sap to syrup. Learn how to grade syrup based on color and flavor, and see production and packaging methods. You’ll also get a chance to purchase the freshest syrup there is!

Pancake Dinners: Several towns will be holding pancake breakfasts for the festival. See the brochure for times at Monterey, McDowell, Bolar, Blue Grass, and Williamsville.

Late Afternoon: Make your way back to Staunton. 

Pull over to photograph the incredible view from the top of Shenandoah Mountain and the ½-mile Confederate Breastworks interpretive trail. You’ll see why this was used as a lookout point during the Civil War. 

6:00 PM: HOW ABOUT DINNER & A SHOW?

A long day of hiking to sugar camps will leave you famished. Plan to put away a big steak or some pasta at The Depot Grille or design your own bowl at 101 West Beverley. Get seats for a show at the American Shakespeare Center’s Blackfriars Playhouse, the world’s only re-creation of Shakespeare’s indoor theatre. Here’s what’s playing.

SUNDAY

10:00 AM: End a fun-filled weekend with brunch. 

Reliving your adventure over a delicious brunch before heading out of town should be a no-brainer. Zynodoa, The Shack, and Table 44 are known for their modern twists on traditional Southern cooking with an emphasis on locally-sourced ingredients. Check out who else is serving in Staunton’s Brunch Bunch.

The Queen City’s Nearby Gems

You’re visiting Staunton, but you want to get out to explore the surrounding areas, too? Never fear: there’s tons to do within an easy, beautiful hour’s drive. Have a blast at one of these nearby gems and get back to home base with plenty of time and energy to enjoy Staunton’s nightlife, accommodations, and fine … Continue reading The Queen City’s Nearby Gems

You’re visiting Staunton, but you want to get out to explore the surrounding areas, too? Never fear: there’s tons to do within an easy, beautiful hour’s drive. Have a blast at one of these nearby gems and get back to home base with plenty of time and energy to enjoy Staunton’s nightlife, accommodations, and fine dining.

The Top of the World

One underrated thing about Staunton is that you can look up at the Blue Ridge Mountains from everywhere – even the Walmart parking lot! For a different perspective, pick a hike in Shenandoah National Park or cruise a section of the Skyline Drive. This road undulates for 105 miles along the ridge of the mountains and offers nearly 70 overlooks with breathtaking views of the Shenandoah Valley and Virginia Piedmont far below. 

If you’d rather head south, follow the beautiful Blue Ridge Parkway to mile post 27. Nearby Crabtree Falls and Spy Rock are both short, spectacular hikes that offer views of the Tye River Valley and surroundings.

The Center of the Earth

The bedrock in the Shenandoah Valley consists of soft limestone and dolostone. Millions of years of rain and underground water have veined the area with caverns. Commercial caverns offer safe and exciting ways to explore the underground terrain.

  • Luray Caverns: Cathedral sized rooms and dramatic geological features made universally accessible by paved walkways.
  • Endless Caverns: This lesser-known cave offers tours and some really cool natural formations.
  • Grand Caverns: Discovered in 1804, this cave has operated commercially longer than any other in the country. Opt to take one of the rugged (dark and dirty) tours available.

The Past

Virginia is steeped in history, but you don’t have to travel all the way to Jamestown to access it! 

  • Start your journey to the past at Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, where you can spend the day imagining you live in the home designed by our country’s third president. You’ll explore the plantation’s neoclassical house (yup, the one on the back of the nickel), grounds, and the lives of those who lived and worked there.

  • Natural Bridge State Park was also once owned by Thomas Jefferson. It’s a 215-foot bridge that arches over Cedar Creek. Six miles of hiking trails and living history exhibits at a Monocan Indian Village will help the past come to life,

The Good Life

Did you know that Hull’s Drive In is one of the last remaining drive in theaters in Virginia? Built in 1950, Hull’s offers a great way to enjoy a good movie and a warm-weather night. 

Virginia Safari Park in Natural Bridge lets you feed and pet many of the animals. Drive your car through the 180-acre section of the park where the animals roam free. See more animals in the 10-acre walk-thru section. 

If you want to treat the kids to something a little different, check out Dinosaur Kingdom II,  where you’ll get a mix of history and fantasy while witnessing theme park and attraction designer Mark Cline’s work. Life-sized dinosaurs? Check. Civil War soldiers? Check. Fighting? You’ve got it.

Massanutten Indoor Water Park is one USA Today’s top-rated water parks in the country. The water is heated to a comfy 84 degrees and you can choose between slides, family areas, a lazy river, a surfing FlowRider, and more.

Silver Linings for Rainy Days

The Factory Antique Mall prides itself to being the largest antique mall in America, and at 135,000 square feet, it houses a lot of treasures. In operation since 1996, the mall houses furniture, clothing, jewelry, toys, books and more.

Got the kids in tow? Let them run wild at Charlottesville’s Virginia Discovery Museum or Harrisonburg’s Explore More Discovery Museum. Both museums have loads of cool stuff and kids get to build and play and create to their hearts’ content.

In the mood for live music, entertainment, sports, or classic movies on the big screen? Check out the schedules at JMU’s Forbes Center for the Performing Arts, Charlottesville’s Paramount Theater, or UVA’s John Paul Jones Arena.

A Stay for Every Style

Are you looking for an unforgettable stay in an unforgettable town? Whether you’re planning a romantic trip for two or an adventure for the entire family, you need a home base, and Staunton’s properties will suit your style. Add in a lively downtown, spectacular opportunities in nature, lots of history and culture, and great food, … Continue reading A Stay for Every Style

Are you looking for an unforgettable stay in an unforgettable town? Whether you’re planning a romantic trip for two or an adventure for the entire family, you need a home base, and Staunton’s properties will suit your style. Add in a lively downtown, spectacular opportunities in nature, lots of history and culture, and great food, and you’ve got the recipe for a getaway you’ll never forget.

Ultimate Romantic Getaways

Whether you’re looking for an elegant upscale experience or a cozy nest with special touches, you should definitely venture out of your room and enjoy our downtown. Share some wine at The Green Room and then head across the street for seafood at BLU Point, both new on the culinary scene. Follow your meal with some Shakespeare at the Blackfriars Playhouse.

Blackburn Inn

Built in 1828, but recently renovated, the Blackburn Inn retains historic fixtures of antebellum architecture like enormous windows, high ceilings and a rooftop atrium offering breathtaking views of downtown Staunton. It also embraces state-of-the-art modern convenience to help you relax. The luxury boutique hotel is beautifully situated on acres of explorable landscaped lawn and garden. Coming later this year is a full-service spa and wellness exercise facility and two luxury apartments. Enjoy a snack at the Inn’s bistro and bar before exploring downtown Staunton on foot. Choose from a selection of packages such as the Romance Package, which includes champagne and chocolate covered strawberries.

Frederick House

Frederick House is situated in five historic buildings located in the heart of downtown Staunton. Full of personality – its 23 rooms were not originally built to be hotel rooms – the property boasts the extravagance of a fancy hotel in a more personal setting. After eating from a menu of signature breakfasts, plan to explore Staunton on foot. Perhaps you and your loved one would prefer a little extra pampering? Let the Frederick House provide you with special treats in your room or at a nearby spa.

Stonewall Jackson Hotel and Conference Center

Stonewall Jackson Hotel and Conference Center opened in 1924 and was the place to stay for Shenandoah Valley society. Over time, the building fell into disrepair, but was recently brought back to life in glorious style. The renovation combines modern luxury with painstakingly restored historic details. After leaving your well appointed room, take a dip in the indoor pool, have a drink in front of the fireplace in the lobby, or enjoy an easy stroll through the heart of Staunton for fine dining and entertainment.

 

Inn At Westshire Farms

This Civil War era property offers a peaceful getaway just minutes from Staunton and with easy access to Interstate 81. This hideaway is the perfect balance of historic grace and modern day amenities ideal for your romantic getaway. The Inn at Westshire Farms offers 9 beautifully appointed rooms to fit everyone’s needs. Take in the view of the charming, rolling hillsides as you enjoy complimentary breakfast in their bright and cheery conservatory. 

Berkeley House Bed and Breakfast

If you and your sweetie crave a special stay in a historic property, look no further than the Berkeley House Bed and Breakfast. This 1897 Queen Anne Victorian mansion is a jewel of the Gospel Hill historic district. Thoughtfully modernized, it still contains original details like stained glass and period decorations. Catch a glimpse of the mountains from the wide front porch, enjoy an elaborate breakfast and a Saturday wine and cheese snack. Slip across the street to tour the Woodrow Wilson Birthplace or take advantage of one of the special packages:  American Shakespeare Center package, a champagne package, and a spa package with in-room massage.

Family Fun

Staunton has a bazillion things to do with kids, but a good start is the Frontier Culture Museum for some living history. Everyone will be hungry, so take the crew to The Depot for a casual family dinner followed by gelato at The Split Banana.

Fairfield Inn and Suites by Marriott

The Fairfield Inn and Suites is a family-friendly hotel. Just over a year old, this hotel is convenient to both downtown Staunton as well as the interstates and the Walmart Supercenter in case you need any last-minute supplies. The hotel offers free hot breakfast and free wi-fi. There’s also a modern fitness area and an indoor saltwater swimming pool that will keep the kids busy.

Tru By Hilton

Right next door to the Marriott Fairfield Inn and Suites is Tru. This Hilton brand focuses on building community which you’ll experience throughout your stay from the colorful mural in the lobby featuring Staunton’s most beloved landmarks to staff recommendations for taking advantage of the local culture and dining scene. The vibrant and inviting lobby encourages guests to mix and mingle while playing games, flipping through magazines, or watching TV. Your brood will rejoice once they lay eyes on the ultimate breakfast bar which includes 35 + toppings. 

Shenandoah Valley Campground

If you don’t mind roughing it a little, set up your tent at Shenandoah Valley Campground. Just a few minutes north of Staunton, Shenandoah Valley Campground offers rental cabins and sites for tents and RVs along a calm sections of the Middle River. There’s a waterfall, a fishing lake, playgrounds, weekend DJs, a game room, mini golf, a cafe, and a giant pack of tame rabbits to feed.

Outward Bound

You might be setting off on a skiing adventure or hiking to find that elusive perfect swimming hole. Golf? History hunting? Biking? Make sure you fuel up by grabbing some coffee at Crucible Coffee Roasters or Cranberries and maybe swing by the Staunton Farmers’ Market (seasonal from April-November) before you head out on the trail.

Staunton Stays

Staunton Stays is a four-suite boutique hotel in a beautifully renovated Victorian house. Each plush suite has a different theme. All four suites offer full kitchens, modern bathrooms, living quarters, and access to a laundry room. Begin with a complimentary bottle of wine and basket of snacks before you cook a meal in your private kitchen or walk to a restaurant. All four suites offer queen-sized beds and a sofa bed. No pets or smoking.

Gibson’s Warehouse

Each of the four private suites at Gibson’s Warehouse offers a full-sized and fully-equipped kitchen, modern bath, living space, and a king-sized bed. The luxurious but industrial cool units also boast hints of their former lives as warehouse space with tall ceilings, large windows, wood floors and areas of exposed brick. Enjoy complimentary wi-fi and a treat basket. There is also a common space in the lobby with seating areas so guests can mingle and socialize before exploring Staunton on foot or the rest of the Valley by car.

New Bites on the Block: Staunton’s Newest Eateries

Locals and visitors alike love the Staunton dining scene. Full of interesting farm-to-table goodness, Staunton shows off its food chops in a variety of ways, from coffee and craft beer to comfort food to gourmet cuisine. Embrace the young decade by finding your next favorites at one of Staunton’s newest spots. BLU Point Seafood Co. … Continue reading New Bites on the Block: Staunton’s Newest Eateries

Locals and visitors alike love the Staunton dining scene. Full of interesting farm-to-table goodness, Staunton shows off its food chops in a variety of ways, from coffee and craft beer to comfort food to gourmet cuisine. Embrace the young decade by finding your next favorites at one of Staunton’s newest spots.

BLU Point Seafood Co. | 123 West Beverley Street

Are you craving the freshest sustainable seafood available? BLU Point Seafood Co. is a splurge-worthy dining experience where “the Chesapeake Bay meets the New England shore.” The bar at BLU point offers cocktails and a selection of beer, wine, and cider, including many local offerings. Next, take a seat at the raw bar for clams, oysters, shrimp, or an incredible combination “seafood tower.” Entrees range from grilled tuna steak with mixed vegetables, Carolina gold rice and teriyaki sauce to informal favorites like lobster rolls and fried clam baskets. BLU Point focuses on fresh seafood, but it also serves pasta, pasture-raised meats and produce sourced here in the Valley. 

The Greenroom | 130 West Beverley Street

The Greenroom is a hip new spot in Staunton run by Blackfriars Playhouse actors. The comfortable cafe space offers a curated wine, craft beer, and cider list. Pair your drink with an appetizer like wild mushroom tarts with herbs and creme fraiche, white bean and artichoke toast, or a toastie, which is a fancy grilled cheese sandwich. Stop in for a quick drink before a show at the Blackfriars or the Visulite, settle in and hang out with friends, or grab something to take home, or back to your room, with you from the shelves stocked with “funky and fresh finds.” Best of all, when you buy something, The Greenroom will donate part of the proceeds “to help underprivileged kids experience the performing arts.”

Crucible Coffee Roasters | 300 Church Street

Schedule your next coffee date at Crucible Coffee Roasters. This bright, cool space has lots of room to spread out and some of the best coffee in the area, which it roasts fresh on site. Choose from a menu of latte, espresso, mocha, pour over, tea, and hot chocolate as well as a small selection of pastries. Crucible sits away from the bustle of downtown. It offers plenty of free pull-in parking, and is steps from the Wharf historic district, Woodrow Park and Landes Park. Stop here before browsing the local deliciousness of the Farmers’ Market or watching glass art being created at Sunspots. 

101 West Bev “The 101” | 101 West Beverley Street

101 West Bev is a poke-bowl restaurant where diners can customize all parts of their meal from the grain to the protein to the sauce. From the Hawaiian phrase “to slice,” poke-bowls traditionally contained raw fish, but this casual eatery also offers versions of chicken or vegan-friendly tofu options. Choose from a selection of pre-designed bowls like the garlic herb seared beef tenderloin. Or try the truffle orange basil wild-caught salmon with candied walnuts over spaghetti squash. You can also design your own bowl by mixing and matching all sorts of healthy and delicious ingredients. Located on a bustling corner in downtown Staunton, 101 West Bev is a perfect destination for breakfast on the weekends. Sit in the window and watch people passing by as you enjoy a breakfast bowl or crepe.

Augusta Kitchen | 12 Old Oaks Drive, Fishersville, VA 22939

Augusta Kitchen is a build-your-own bowl or plate restaurant that focuses on “Southern Fresh” cuisine. To build a bowl, you choose a protein  like chicken, smoked pork, pot roast. Next, add a base (beans, rice, salad). Top with spreads and toppings from an extensive list.  Sop it all up with a cheddar drop biscuit or cornbread. For dessert, munch a double chocolate brownie or a raspberry bar. Augusta Kitchen has a variety of seating, including ample bar space with views of the TVs. The bar serves wine, cocktails, craft beers, cider, and a selection of snacks like dips and biscuits.

 

Valentine’s Day Specials and Packages

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and now is the perfect time to start planning for that special someone. Enjoy an evening out on the town or make it a weekend getaway. From restaurants to hotels, Staunton has something to offer to make Valentine’s Day one they won’t soon forget. Cupid’s Cupola Package The … Continue reading Valentine’s Day Specials and Packages

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and now is the perfect time to start planning for that special someone. Enjoy an evening out on the town or make it a weekend getaway. From restaurants to hotels, Staunton has something to offer to make Valentine’s Day one they won’t soon forget.

Cupid’s Cupola Package

The Blackburn Inn

Let the Blackburn Inn help you charm your sweet with a romantic getaway at Staunton’s newest luxury, boutique hotel.

This special package includes:

  • Rose Petal Turn down Service
  • Bottle of Prosecco
  • Two tickets to our cozy wine tasting and h’ordeuvres event in our Penthouse

BOOK NOW

“Steele” in Love Package 

Steeles Tavern Manor

Sweep your sweetheart off their feet at Steeles Tavern Manor with this romance package.

This package includes:

  • A dozen red roses
  • A bottle of sparkling wine
  • A box of Godiva Truffles

BOOK NOW

Valentine’s Day Get Away

The Inn At Meadowcroft

Dazzle your sweetheart with a romantic Valentine’s Day get away at this 1975 restored log home, The Inn at Meadowcroft.

This get away includes:

  • Two-night stay
  • Romantic dinner and music
  • In-room champagne and cheese plate

Call 540.712.0791 for reservations.

Staunton Stays

Staunton Stays offers four different themed suites to suit your unique tastes. All are packed with luxurious amenities and the downtown location provides premium access to the many romantic activities Staunton and the Shenandoah Valley have to offer. Eat, drink, and play this Valentine’s Day, then come home to Staunton Stays. Book direct for your special stay. 

BOOK NOW

Sweetheart Swing Dance

Skipping Rock Beer Co.

Friday, February 14, 7 pm-10 pm

Slip on your dancing shoes and grab your sweetheart for an evening of swing dance at Skipping Rock Beer Co. The area’s newest brewery transforms into a dance hall complete with classic tunes by local DJ, Steve “The Painter” Brotzman. 

RSVP before it’s too late!

Carriage Rides

Stable Craft Brewing

Friday, February 14, 6 pm-9 pm

Take in the beautiful views of this working farm in a romantic carriage ride. Round out the evening with dinner along with Stable Craft’s handcrafted beer and cider. The carriages seat up to 6, lasting approximately 15 minutes and include a single rose. Tickets are $15 per person. 

BOOK NOW

Valentine’s Day High Tea

Frederick House

Saturday, February 8, 12 pm-5 pm and Friday, February 14, 11 am-2 pm (Reservation Only)

Tea Includes:

  • Unlimited tea, coffee or hot chocolate
  • 4 light courses of sweet and savory eats
  • $10 per person/$2 if only interested in beverages

All proceeds benefit Wendy’s Place Cat Rescue. Special guests include feline friends to meet and mingle with. Click here for more information or click here to reserve your seat. 

Zynodoa

This southern inspired restaurant, supporting Virginia’s independent farmers and producers, has much to offer this Valentine’s Day weekend.

Valentine’s Chocolate & Cocktail Pairing

Thursday, February 13, 5 pm-10:30 pm

Enjoy three handmade Santiago chocolates paired with three cocktails crafted by Zynodoa’s beverage director Macon Gurley. Bar seating is only available by walk-ins.  

Valentine’s Dinner

Friday, February 14, 5 pm-10:30 pm

Special menu only available for Valentine’s Day, selected items will be featured throughout the weekend. A Prix-fixe, four course dinner will be served at $60 per person.

RESERVE NOW

Valentine’s Sunday Brunch

Sunday, February 16, 10 am-2 pm

Menu Includes:

  • Strawberry Waffles
  • Chocolate French Toast
  • Other brunch items
  • Limited spaces available

RESERVE NOW

Weekend Specials at BLU Point

Friday, February 14 at 11 am through Sunday, February 16 at 11 pm

Specials Include:

  • Warm Brie
  • Surf & Turf: Filet Mignon & Butter Poached Shrimp
  • Crab Stuffed Maine Lobster
  • Strawberry Chocolate Cheesecake
  • White Chocolate Mousse Cake

Weekend Features at Byers Street Bistro

Friday, February 14 through Sunday, February 16 from 5 pm until supplies last

Cozy up to your Valentine at Byers Street Bistro. Enjoy dinner specials all weekend long. 

Specials Include:

  • Oysters Al Forno
  • Pork Tenderloin
  • Sweet and Spicy Tuna
  • Duck Confit 

Valentine’s Day Dinner

Stonewall Jackson Hotel 

Friday, February 14, 6 pm-9 pm and Saturday, February 15, 5 pm-8 pm

Enjoy a romantic five course, Prix-fixe dinner at Magnolia South in the Stonewall Jackson Hotel. 

Don’t feel like going home? Stay overnight in one of the newly renovated guest rooms. This Valentine’s package includes breakfast for two and overnight parking. Make sure to include a preferred reservation time, for dinner, when booking. 

For reservations call 540.885.4848 or visit the website.

The Beethoven Experience: Artistry and Education

2020 marks a big year for Beethoven. It is the 250th anniversary of his birth and Staunton is celebrating him in style. Heifetz International Music Institute, along with Mary Baldwin University’s College of Visual & Performing Arts and the American Shakespeare Center are collaborating to bring the Borromeo Quartet to Staunton for the Beethoven Experience. Over … Continue reading The Beethoven Experience: Artistry and Education

2020 marks a big year for Beethoven. It is the 250th anniversary of his birth and Staunton is celebrating him in style. Heifetz International Music Institute, along with Mary Baldwin University’s College of Visual & Performing Arts and the American Shakespeare Center are collaborating to bring the Borromeo Quartet to Staunton for the Beethoven Experience. Over a series of six concerts, the Quartet will perform all 16 of Beethoven’s string quartets.

In addition to the music, the Beethoven Experience concert series, billed a musical and educational experience, will treat its audience to a wider understanding of “the intellectual, political, and artistic currents” that affected Beethoven’s time. After the concerts, the audience will have both enjoyed the music and developed a deeper sense of its influences.

The six concerts will be performed by the Borromeo Quartet over the course of the year at the Blackfriars Playhouse. The Blackfriars is a perfect venue for chamber music, which is designed to be performed in intimate spaces. Each concert will include music from the three distinct periods of Beethoven’s career.

Beethoven

Known for his compositional skill and tremendous range of work, Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) helped transition music from the classical era to the romantic era. Many consider his string quartets – masterpieces limited to a mere four voices – to be his best compositions. This is due to their intimate nature, their emotional connections to his life and times, and their complexity in style, tempo, and emotion.

Borromeo Quartet

The renowned Borromeo Quartet has inspired audiences for 25 years. It encourages “audiences of all ages to explore and listen to both traditional and contemporary repertoire in new ways” by often incorporating multimedia elements such as video projections into its performances. These tools help “to share the often surprising creative process behind some works, or to show graphically the elaborate architecture behind others.”

Symposia

In addition to the music, ticket holders will be treated to a symposium before each concert. Heifetz Institute Artistic Director Nicholas Kitchen, ASC Artistic Director Ethan McSweeney, MBU College of Visual and Performing Arts Dean Paul Menzer, as well as special guest commentators from the MBU, ASC, and Heifetz community of faculty and experts will investigate the intersection between Beethoven and the intellectual, political, and artistic currents of his time – and ours. The symposia will be moderated by Heifetz Institute President & CEO Benjamin K. Roe.

Where: 

Blackfriars Playhouse, 10 S. Market Street, Staunton, VA

Symposia at 6:30 pm; Concerts at 7:30 pm

Concert Dates,Themes, and Tickets:

  • Feb. 24 – Bor-Romeo (TICKETS): Beethoven and Shakespeare Beyond the Tomb
  • April 6 – Speaking to God: The Beethoven Hotline (TICKETS): Beethoven’s spirituality, explored and expressed
  • May 4 – B.A.C.H.D.N.A. (TICKETS): Beethoven’s worship of Bach, examined and exposed in his quartets
  • Oct. 5 – Beethoven’s “Punny Money” (TICKETS): The humor, profundity, and pfennings of Beethoven’s life and music
  • Nov. 10 – The Flexing Muscle (TICKETS): The contrary composer’s rigidity – and surprising elasticity – revealed in one formidable fugue
  • Dec. 7 – Questions from the Journey (TICKETS): At the end of this epic cycle, a lively Q & A between panelists and audience

 

Winter Wine Festival: February 22, 2020

Have you been dreaming of swirling your glass and exercising your wine tasting skills, right in downtown Staunton? Warm up and develop your palate by sampling and comparing some of Virginia’s best wine and cider at the 10th annual Winter Wine Festival. This event, hosted by the Stonewall Jackson Hotel in partnership with the Historic … Continue reading Winter Wine Festival: February 22, 2020

Have you been dreaming of swirling your glass and exercising your wine tasting skills, right in downtown Staunton? Warm up and develop your palate by sampling and comparing some of Virginia’s best wine and cider at the 10th annual Winter Wine Festival. This event, hosted by the Stonewall Jackson Hotel in partnership with the Historic Staunton Foundation, promises to gather wines from more than a dozen vineyards hailing from both sides of the Blue Ridge. You’ll also enjoy live music and a concession area with food from local vendors.

Details

  • Saturday, February 22, 2020
  • Noon – 5 p.m.
  • Stonewall Jackson Hotel and Conference Center, 24 South Market Street,  Staunton, Virginia 24401

One of the perks of wine festivals is that they gather offerings from many different vineyards. Your tasting includes more than just different varietals. You’ll be able to taste wines from distinct areas of the state and note the differences caused by changes in soil, growing methods, and preparation. Look for tastes from 

Before You Attend

  • Tickets are $25 advance, $30 at the door.
  • Tickets include tastings, a souvenir glass, and a snack bag.
  • No outside food is permitted, but your snack bag and the delicious food for purchase in the concession area will keep your belly happy. Vendors include My Buddy’s Nuts, Staunton Olive Oil Company, and more.
  • Non-drinkers and designated drivers aren’t required to buy a ticket.

Winter Wine Festival Package

The Stonewall Jackson Hotel makes a fine backdrop for this popular event. Built in 1924 and restored extensively in recent years, the hotel offers modern conveniences and classic elegance. Look for original features like the one-of-a-kind 1924 Wurlitzer Organ and beautiful chandeliers and lighting fixtures. You can’t beat staying overnight at the Stonewall Jackson. Check out the  Winter Wine Festival Package, which includes:

  • Overnight accommodations
  • Two tickets to the wine festival
  • Breakfast for two and overnight self-parking

Why Not Extend Your Visit?

If you love classical music, extend your visit to attend the first concert in Heifetz Institute’s Beethoven Experience on February 24. This musical and educational experience marks the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth and explores his 16 string quartets. A symposium “investigating the intersections between Beethoven and the intellectual, political, and artistic currents of his time” will introduce each concert in the series.

It’s All Downhill from Staunton! Nearby Winter Adventures

Situated perfectly in the Valley, Staunton’s an easy drive to several resorts that specialize in winter downhill activities. What better way to spend a winter weekend than getting a workout on the slopes and then following it up with a night out in Staunton’s vibrant downtown? See below for places to stay and things to … Continue reading It’s All Downhill from Staunton! Nearby Winter Adventures

Situated perfectly in the Valley, Staunton’s an easy drive to several resorts that specialize in winter downhill activities. What better way to spend a winter weekend than getting a workout on the slopes and then following it up with a night out in Staunton’s vibrant downtown? See below for places to stay and things to do once you warm up from the slopes.

Massanutten Resort

40 minutes from Staunton

Ski day and night on Massanutten Resort’s 12 ski trails, which are suitable for a variety of ability levels. Lessons are available at Massanutten’s terrain-based learning area. There’s also a freestyle area on the slopes, 16 lanes of snow tubing, and ice skating on a 5,000-square foot rink. If you want to warm up away from the slopes, check out Massanutten’s indoor waterpark.

Wintergreen Ski Resort

40 minutes from Staunton

Wintergreen Ski Resort is a four-season resort located in the Blue Ridge Mountains that features skiing, snowboarding, and snow tubing in the winter. It offers 24 slopes and trails to appeal to all ability levels. Want to improve? Sign up for group or individual lessons. To reduce time waiting, Wintergreen boasts two high-speed 6-pack chairlifts and Radio Frequency Identification Devices that operate like EZ-Passes for the ski slopes.

Bryce Mountain Resort

1 hour and 10 minutes from Staunton

Bryce Mountain Resort is a four-season resort in the Allegheny foothills that offers skiing, snowboarding, and lessons in the winter. There are 8 slopes that can be accessed by ski lifts as well as a dedicated area for beginners with carpet lifts. Beginners ages 8 and up can book lessons with the Horst Locher Snowsports School. Three 800-foot snow tubing lanes and an ice skating rink round out the fun.

The Omni Homestead Resort

1 hour and 20 minutes from Staunton

The Omni Homestead Resort is located southwest of Staunton. It has nine downhill ski runs that are perfect for various abilities. The resort also boasts an Olympic-size ice rink. The resort has been recognized as “one of the top Beginner Friendly and Family Friendly ski resorts in the Southeast in the 2017-18 Best in Snow Awards.” Lessons are available for ages four and older.

stay in staunton 

Once your day on the slopes is complete, head back to your home base of Staunton. Choose from our elegant properties steeped in history, cozy B&Bs or one of our hip hotels. 

 

historic hotels

charming b&Bs

hip new hotels


Why not have a drink at one of our
wine bars or craft breweries? We can also recommend some great fireplaces for toasting your toes. Dine in style at one of our downtown restaurants that run the gamut from fine farm-to-table dining, comfort food, and everything in between. After dinner, make sure to catch a Shakespeare show at the Blackfriars Playhouse or a movie at the Visulite.

Comfort Food

Swimsuit season is still ages from now, so why not drown your winter blues in meat, or pasta, or cheese, or pizza, or a combination of all of the above? Or if you’re someone who takes comfort in more abstract terms, like “good for me,” or “tastes like home,” you’ll find that, too. While tastes … Continue reading Comfort Food

Swimsuit season is still ages from now, so why not drown your winter blues in meat, or pasta, or cheese, or pizza, or a combination of all of the above? Or if you’re someone who takes comfort in more abstract terms, like “good for me,” or “tastes like home,” you’ll find that, too. While tastes in comfort food may differ, Staunton has something to comfort every taste.

You’re Craving Soup

When soup is what calls to warm your belly and soul, stop by Snapdragon Pho and enjoy a nutritious bowl of broth and noodles seasoned and adorned with your favorite add ons. It’s also soup season at Stable Craft Brewery, so if you’re in the mood for a beautiful drive through the countryside, plan to enjoy soup, a sandwich, and a pint.

You’re Jonesing for Meat

Located in Staunton’s old train depot, The Depot Grille serves all kinds of comfort food (including seafood, steak, sandwiches, and pasta). A steak sizzler on potatoes is a stand-out menu item. Another good bet from their specials menu is a grilled-to-order, hand-cut, prime New York strip served with peppercorn brandy cream sauce. If you’re more of a chicken aficionado, make room for the chicken tender Parmesan, made with penne pasta topped with crispy chicken tenders doused in marinara, mozzarella, and Parmesan.

You Want Something Southern (and Kinda Fancy)

The Shack offers an ever-changing menu, but it is always locally sourced and inspired by the best kind of Southern cuisine. Recent offerings included grilled pork loin with fermented sweet potato grits, fried apples & minuna, and porcini and lardo gravy. They also serve one of the best burgers in the state!

Something Fried has Your Name on It

BLU Point Seafood has you covered with fresh fish and seafood battered and fried into golden deliciousness. Looking for something traditional? Their Fish n’ Chips features New England Haddock (served with fries and coleslaw), it’s fresh and tastes like something that should have a fancier name. Or if you’re looking to do some sampling, get a seafood basket served with your choice of fried shrimp, oysters, whole belly clams, bay scallops or haddock.

Mmmm. How About “Old Fashioned”?


Do you find comfort in tradition? In Americana? If so, Wright’s Dairy Rite is right up your alley and it’s a crowd pleaser. This burger joint dates back to the 1950s and you can either eat inside or have your food delivered to your car. Follow your classic burger and fries combo with something delicious from their ice cream menu. People come from all over to taste the banana shake! 

You’re carb loading 


In the mood for fresh pasta? Newtown Baking is known for their bread by day but in the evenings this popular breakfast spot turns into a pizzeria cranking out wood-fired pizzas and carb-craving pasta with specials every week. 

Want a deep plate of cheesy, chickeny deliciousness with a little bit of a kick to make it interesting? Try the Cajun Chicken Fettuccine at Mill Street Grill. Everything about this restaurant is comforting, from the cozy basement location, to the generous portions, to the three types of bread baked into a terracotta pot they give you at the beginning of your meal.

Take the family to Shenandoah Pizza for gourmet pizzas with local names like Sherwood Avenue and ShenanArts. Try the Virginia Vineyard sprinkled with red grapes, rosemary and gorgonzola. The interesting blend of toppings was featured in Forbes and is delicious we might add!

11 Kid-Friendly Winter Ideas

To some adults winter might signal a time to snuggle up with a book or a favorite streaming service; however, most kids don’t know the meaning of “slow down.” Here’s how to thrill the gang if you’re in Staunton during snow season. Learn about the Past The Frontier Culture Museum is open all year long … Continue reading 11 Kid-Friendly Winter Ideas

To some adults winter might signal a time to snuggle up with a book or a favorite streaming service; however, most kids don’t know the meaning of “slow down.” Here’s how to thrill the gang if you’re in Staunton during snow season.

Learn about the Past

The Frontier Culture Museum is open all year long because life doesn’t stop on the farm. Families will love checking out living farm history and seeing what cold-weather activities kept our ancestors busy. The museum includes both indoor and outdoor spaces, and you can catch a ride on a golf cart whenever little feet get too tired to take another step.

Ice Skating

If you’re sick of practicing your quadruple axles on that frozen puddle, you need to get to an ice rink, pronto. Generations Park in Bridgewater is only 30 minutes away and offers daily ice skating and “limited” skate rental through the first weekend in March.

Ride Your Sled

Staunton has no shortage of hills, and if there’s snow on the ground during your visit, try out some of our slopes. Our picks? Try Montgomery Hall Park or Gypsy Hill Park. Need a sled? 

Appreciate the Views

One thing we love about winter is how far you can see with the leaves off the trees. For some great winter views (and a chance to stretch your muscles and get your heart pumping), hike from the Wharf parking lot, across Sears Hill Bridge to Woodrow Park. Betsy Bell and Mary Gray Wilderness also has some great winter views from a pair of overlooks that can be reached by hiking or by car.

Spot Wildlife

Just 20 minutes out of town, Augusta Springs Wetlands offers a great way to get some exercise and spot some wildlife at the same time. Best of all, much of the ¾-mile main loop trail is boardwalk, so your shoes won’t get crazy muddy!

Tube at Massanutten

You’ll have to drive a little to get to Massanutten Resort, but believe us, if your family likes to ski, it’s worth it. You’re into tubing, you say? Well, this resort offers snow tubing with more than a dozen lanes, a 120-foot vertical drop, and a lift to get back to the top. If snow just isn’t your thing, you can take your tube skills indoors to the Massanutten Water Park where you’ll splash, slide, and float your way to a terrific time.

Solve a Mystery

Do you have junior detectives in your clan? Park your Mystery Machine and exercise your minds at Crack the Code Escape Room. You’ll work with a group to decipher clues and (hopefully) escape your locked room in under an hour. Pick from four themes with varying difficulty including The Dark Mage’s Rise and Steampunk City.

Bowl Your Heart Out

When the weather gets cold, people who are looking for indoor excitement go bowling. It’s the most fun you’ll have in rental shoes. Staunton Lanes offers lanes with bumpers and special ball aimers for the game’s youngest fans. There’s also a snack bar stocked with all your favorites.

Catch a Movie

Staunton has two movie theaters. The Visulite is located downtown and shows the latest films. Bonus: Mom and dad can enjoy a glass of beer or wine while they watch.  Legacy Theaters is located in the Staunton Mall and shows second-run movies. All shows cost $3!

Find a New Game

Top off a terrific day by treating your family to a trip to Pufferbellies Toys and Books. You’ll find delights for all ages, including books, games, art supplies, and building toys. The carefully curated collection is designed for inventive and imaginative play and should be enough to keep you occupied until spring weather returns.

Sip Hot Cocoa

After that full day, you’re probably tired and hungry. Give your tummy some love with lunch and some delicious hot cocoa at Cranberry’s Eatery & Grocery.