#LOVEstaunton

#LOVEstaunton

Staunton’s Best Burger Bets

                      Want to tickle your taste buds with a good, old-fashioned burger? How about an exotic twist on the classic? Staunton restaurants have elevated hamburgers from the filler section of the menu. From reliable diner burgers with unusual toppings, to scrumptious pub fare, to fine … Continue reading Staunton’s Best Burger Bets

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Want to tickle your taste buds with a good, old-fashioned burger? How about an exotic twist on the classic? Staunton restaurants have elevated hamburgers from the filler section of the menu. From reliable diner burgers with unusual toppings, to scrumptious pub fare, to fine dining, to meat alternatives, Staunton burger joints offer something for just about any taste.

Wright’s Dairy Rite

Wright’s Dairy Rite has been a Staunton institution since opening as a drive-in in 1952.  You can still pull your car under the canopy, order through a speaker, and waitstaff will deliver your meal to your car. Inside, you order from a telephone at your booth. Kids’ meals arrive in boxes designed to look like classic cars. You can get just about any combination of toppings you please, including chili, coleslaw, and onion rings. Other specialties include a half-pound “Monster Burger” a ham cheeseburger a classic “Super Burger.”

The Depot Grille

Located in the old train station in the historic Wharf District, The Depot Grille has two yummy burger choices on its menu: the bacon cheddar burger and the mushroom swiss burger. Both can be made to order and you can even substitute bison if you want a change of pace. If you’re lucky, the Polyface Farms burger will be on special. This burger showcases grass-fed beef, pepper-jack pimento cheese served on brioche. Belly up to the 40-foot antique bar if you want a bit of history with your meal.

The Shack

Both tourists and locals continue to flock to The Shack for its award-winning food, and even a burger from the ever-evolving menu is something special. A current offering features cheddar, marrow roasted onions, dill pickles, black garlic mayo, and bacon. This small restaurant cannot accommodate parties of more than five. Reservations are strongly suggested.

Bedlam Brewing

You might visit Bedlam Brewing, a small-scale microbrewery, for the beer, but don’t leave without exploring the food menu as well. This hidden gem focuses on incorporating local produce and locally-raised livestock in its meals. Let Bedlam tempt you with its sliders, a delicious pair of beef and pork burgers topped with cheddar, bacon, and spicy mayo, and accompanied by pub fries. All this and a killer beer list as well? You won’t regret it!

Table 44

Food at Table 44 tastes amazing and the presentation is wonderful, too. If you’re looking for a burger, you can’t go wrong. The “Southern 44” burger enhances a standard burger with barbecue pork, pimento cheese, barbecue mayo, and jalapeno peppers. Another tasty pick is the “Bacon & Blue” burger topped with bacon onion marmalade, barbecue mayo, and blue cheese. For those who don’t fancy meat, the black eyed pea burger with jicama slaw and garlic aioli on a gluten free bun is a delicious choice. Follow your meal with a sweet treat from the Paris Cake Company.

Mill Street Grill

Try a delicious burger at Mill Street Grill. Enjoy a generous ⅓ pound mix of ground sirloin and filet mignon cooked to order with a large selection of optional toppings including avocado, mushrooms, and havarti cheese. If you’re not feeling the beef, Mill Street also offers a turkey burger option and a spicy black bean burger served with grilled onion, guacamole, lettuce and tomato, and cilantro-citrus mayo on the side. Complete your meal with an extensive appetizer menu and a full selection of wine, beer, or drinks from the bar.

Byers Street Bistro

Is your stomach rumbling for a tasty burger for lunch? Byers Street Bistro has three interesting options on the menu, all made with Angus chuck. The “Bistro Burger” is topped with grilled mushrooms, bleu cheese, garlic mayo, and red wine butter. The “Bacon Royale Burger” incorporates candied bacon, bacon aioli, and smoked cheddar. The “Wharf Burger” uses soy-glazed mushrooms, swiss, white truffle mayo, and fried onions. Hungry yet?

Baja Bean

If you’re looking to complement your Mexican meal, look no further than the Baja Bean’s “Baja Burger.” This burger, made with cheddar, bacon, mushrooms, and jalapenos, comes with a side of beans, rice, or fries. Make your meal a celebration by ordering one of Baja’s 12 carefully curated craft beers on tap. Don’t forget to order fried ice cream for dessert!

Clocktower Restaurant and Bar

Try the Clocktower Food & Spirits “Downtown Burger,” made with fresh Angus and lettuce, tomato & red onion on a grilled pretzel roll and served with house-made potato chips. Order beer-battered onion rings or sweet potato fries to go with it. Originally this building housed the second YMCA built in Virginia. Much of the original clock in the tower remains, though some parts have been modernized. Listen to it ring on the hour during your meal!

 

Staunton Biking Adventures: Grab Your Vacation By the Handlebars 

Staunton Biking Adventures: Grab Your Vacation By the Handlebars    Nothing restores the body and mind like exercise, fresh air, and beautiful views from the back of your bike. Staunton offers long excursions through the surrounding Shenandoah Valley, thrilling single track, and places for short jaunts with the kids.  What are you waiting for? Join … Continue reading Staunton Biking Adventures: Grab Your Vacation By the Handlebars 

Staunton Biking Adventures: Grab Your Vacation By the Handlebars 

 

Nothing restores the body and mind like exercise, fresh air, and beautiful views from the back of your bike. Staunton offers long excursions through the surrounding Shenandoah Valley, thrilling single track, and places for short jaunts with the kids.  What are you waiting for? Join us for some Staunton biking adventures and upcoming events. Grab your vacation by the handlebars!

Special Events

Virginia Trail Festival/The Virginia Mountain Bike Festival 

May 25-28, 2018. Come hang out at the Stokesville campground for the 12th annual Virginia Trail Festival. The festival features family-friendly activities and rides for all abilities in the National Forest where the Shenandoah Valley Bicycle Coalition has developed biking trails. Click here for more information

4th Annual Lee Warren Queen City Century

June 16, 2018. Starting in downtown Staunton, this 25-, 50-, or 100-mile ride heads west into picturesque Augusta County.  Enjoy farm and country views from quiet, paved roads. This ride benefits Renewing Homes of Greater Augusta.  Click here to visit the website.

Tour de Valley 

September 1, 2018.  The Tour de Valley, which includes both a 100-mile option and at 62-mile option, starts at Waynesboro’s Ridgeview Park and loops through Augusta County south and west of Staunton. Stay for the after-party or head back to Staunton when your ride is over.

Valley Veterans Ride for Heroes

September 8, 2018. The Valley Veteran Ride for Heroes allows participants to choose from a 25-mile or 50-mile option. Both non-competitive rides leave Staunton’s Gypsy Hill Park and wind through the countryside. The event supports Boulder Crest Retreat, a therapeutic and wellness facility for veterans.

Shenandoah Fall Foliage Bike Festival

October 19, 2018. The 28th annual Shenandoah Fall Foliage Bike Festival will offer mapped and supported riding opportunities for all abilities. Enjoy riding, sightseeing, food, and entertainment at this popular Staunton biking festival.

 

Road Biking

For amazing road biking routes in the area, check out Bike the Valley, which maps and details lots of different routes at different distances, appropriate for varying skill levels. Here are some of our favorites:

Staunton Polyface Ride

Starting in the historic Wharf District near Black Dog Bikes, the 23-mile Staunton Polyface ride explores neighborhoods in Staunton as well as the surrounding rural countryside to the west. The ride has a few short hills, but is considered fairly easy. It becomes intermediate if you add the gravel section in Swoope leading to Polyface Farm, a leader in the development of “emotionally, economically, environmentally enhancing agricultural enterprises.” If you choose to continue to Polyface Farm, consider taking a self-guided tour and visiting the farm store.  

Staunton Frog Pond Smoky Row

The 22-mile intermediate Staunton Frog Pond Smoky Row route travels through the scenic area west and south of Staunton.  It offers sustained climbs, long, downhill glides and is entirely on paved roads. The ride begins and concludes in downtown Staunton near places to eat, drink and shop. For fuel, check out Redbeard Brewing Company and Byers Street Bistro.

Staunton Badger Road Loop

If you’re looking for a local ride that’s a little more challenging, try out the 45-mile Staunton Badger Road Loop. This figure-eight ride offers two big climbs, but views of the Blue Ridge and Allegheny Mountains make the effort worth it. Start in Gypsy Hill Park and ride northwest of Staunton through the villages of Spring Hill and Mount Solon. 

Mountain Biking

If you enjoy the heart-pounding thrills of off-road biking, these rides will spike your adrenaline!

Montgomery Hall Park

Want to stretch your mountain-biking legs in downtown Staunton? Put Montgomery Hall Park on your bucket list. Over 4 miles of well-maintained single track snake through the trees, and you can get quite a workout attacking the hills. The trails tend to be quiet, but you might occasionally encounter hikers. After your ride, head over to Newtown Baking for pastries, sandwiches or pizza.

Reddish Knob

Mountain bikers rate 19-mile  Reddish Knob: Timber Ridge to Wolf Ridge as an advanced-level ride. Multiple trails climb the 2,900 feet to the ridge and they’re all challenging, including the paved road, which is your best bet. The view from the top of the Shenandoah Valley to the east and West Virginia to the west is worth the long, steep climb. And the single track descents are out of this world. Steep and technical, they require sharp eyes and strong brakes, but they have amazing places to go all out. Take Timber Ridge to where it intersects with Wolf Ridge Trail for the best downhill ride.

The Southern Traverse

The Southern Traverse is 36-mile ride through the George Washington National Forest that combines punishing ascents of over 3,000 feet, spectacular ridge riding on Shenandoah Mountain with views for miles, some technical rocky areas, and a long stretch to hurtle down the mountain. The final leg back to your car cruises along quiet country roads.

Biking with Kids

If you’re looking for a place to ride with your kids, try one of these easy, family-friendly rides.

Gypsy Hill Park

Gypsy Hill Park offers a 1.3-mile paved loop that is open to pedestrians, bikes, and cars. Traffic can be heavy at times, but drivers move slowly and know to be cautious. The duck pond and playgrounds are good post-cycling destinations.  If your youngsters are just learning to ride, the park also offers a large, flat parking lot near the Gypsy Hill Gym. Used as event parking, this lot is often empty. If your family enjoys a post-ride pizza, pick up a pie at Fresco.

Augusta Springs Wetlands

Augusta Springs Wetlands, once the site of a turn-of-the-century resort, is now where Staunton nature lovers flock to walk and watch birds. The ¾-mile main loop trail is also a nice place to take beginning cyclists. The flat path meanders over wooden boardwalks and pea gravel, and it offers interpretive nature stops along the way.

Mother’s Day: Staunton Treats for Mom

  Mother’s Day: Staunton Treats for Mom Still looking for the best way to tell Mom “I love you” this Mother’s Day? Make the day special with this sampling of all the great finds and fun things to do in downtown Staunton. Whether you’re looking for a one-of-a-kind bonding experience, Mother’s Day gift, or brunch, … Continue reading Mother’s Day: Staunton Treats for Mom

_baby_rhino_ Instagram 1770-ig-1767480943725810638_3088738389

 

Mother’s Day: Staunton Treats for Mom

Still looking for the best way to tell Mom “I love you” this Mother’s Day? Make the day special with this sampling of all the great finds and fun things to do in downtown Staunton. Whether you’re looking for a one-of-a-kind bonding experience, Mother’s Day gift, or brunch, we’ve got you covered.

If You’d Like to Share an Experience with Mom

A guided walking tour of historic Staunton (Saturday mornings only) will appeal to history buffs as it winds through several historic districts and covers history from Staunton’s earliest days to the present. Follow your tour with a traditional Victorian tea or a light lunch at the Anne Hathaway Cottage.

Do you and Mom bond over the silver screen? How about taking her to a movie at the Visulite Cinema? Sip beer or wine while you watch, and then head over to Yelping Dog Wine to discuss the film over wine and cheese.

And if you’re really into cheese, you have to try a mozzarella-making workshop at Creambrook Farm. Even absolute beginners will leave this three-hour, hands-on class with the ability to turn a gallon of milk into a delicious ball of mozzarella!

If you and Mom share a passion for finding treasures, consider taking her to Staunton Antique Center and Artisan Loft. This unique store has three levels of goodies, including original art from local artists. Compare your finds over coffee and French pastries at Réunion Bakery & Espresso.

Take Mom shopping in downtown Staunton on World Fair Trade Day (Saturday, May 12) to help “empower artisans and farmers in marginalized communities around the world.” Latitudes, Harmony Moon, and Cranberry’s will each have a special activity to celebrate the day.

If You’d Like to Buy Mom a Gift

Have your personal message engraved on any piece of jewelry from H.L. Lang Jewelers. Or buy Mom a Staunton charm of a Queen City landmark. Crown Jewelers carries a selection of both new and estate jewelry.

Spoil Mom with luxurious soaps, lotions and all things that smell good from Redwood & Co.

Give her the gift of experience with a felting class or pick out a hand-felted scarf, hat or jewelry from Artful Gifts. Also check out Ltd 7, and Cherish Every Moment for unique gifts.

Inspire your favorite cook with an infused olive oil and balsamic vinegar from Staunton Olive Oil Company

Buy Mom something as beautiful as she is from Sunspots Studio. Browse the gallery for hand-blown art glass or Alex and Ani jewelry.

Give Mom the gift of relaxation by surprising her with a massage at Mill Street Body & Soul Day Spa and Salon or an OPI Powder Perfection manicure at Le Papillon Nails.

Check out Little Made; Market (Saturday, May 12), a curated indie arts & craft festival featuring 20 specially selected artists showcasing their handmade works.

If You’d Like to Take Mom out for Brunch

Try one of these Mother’s Day Brunch and specials on Sunday, May 13.

The Mother’s Day buffet at Stonewall Jackson Hotel includes something for everyone. Choose from over five stations with everything from salad to smoked salmon, spinach and goat cheese lasagna to garlic and rosemary sirloin. There’s dessert, too! See the full menu. Brunch will be served from 11 – 2.

Kathy’s Restaurant‘s special Mother’s Day menu includes surf & turf and fresh fried oysters. See the menu. Meal served from 11 – 8.

Other Sunday Brunch Spots:

Zynodoa: Brunch served from 10 – 2.

The Shack: Brunch served from  10:30  – 2.

The Depot Grille: Brunch served from 11 – 2.

Byers Street Bistro: Brunch served from 11 – 2.

Mill Street Grill: Brunch served from 11 – 3.

See our post on Staunton brunch spots for more details.

Share the Love; Share Your Staunton Story. 

Love is in the air and on display in downtown Staunton. Virginia’s LOVEWorks, or LOVE Letters, are on display, May 6 through 12, in celebration of National Tour & Travel Week. The display is in downtown Staunton on the corner of Greenville Avenue and New Street.  In celebration of tourism and all things Staunton we … Continue reading Share the Love; Share Your Staunton Story. 

Love is in the air and on display in downtown Staunton. Virginia’s LOVEWorks, or LOVE Letters, are on display, May 6 through 12, in celebration of National Tour & Travel Week. The display is in downtown Staunton on the corner of Greenville Avenue and New Street. 


In celebration of tourism and all things Staunton we ask you, locals and visitors, to share your love of Staunton through pictures and words. Residents, business owners, and visitors are encouraged to visit the display, snap a photo with it and share the reasons you love Staunton on social media, using the hashtags #LoveStaunton and #LoveVA. The visitors center on New Street has 50 selfie sticks to loan to those who want to snap a photo with the display or at any of Staunton’s other popular “selfie spots.”

Stay tuned to Visit Staunton’s Facebook and Instagram pages to follow and participate and to share your own Staunton love stories.

Your Guide to Staunton’s Summer Music Festivals: 2018

Music rings through Staunton during the summer. The festival season kicks off with the Shenandoah Valley Blues & Virginia Brews Festival on June 16 and culminates with the Staunton Music Festival on August 19. Add the First Annual Valley Beach Music Festival and the Red Wing Roots Music Festival at Natural Chimneys and we have … Continue reading Your Guide to Staunton’s Summer Music Festivals: 2018

Music rings through Staunton during the summer. The festival season kicks off with the Shenandoah Valley Blues & Virginia Brews Festival on June 16 and culminates with the Staunton Music Festival on August 19. Add the First Annual Valley Beach Music Festival and the Red Wing Roots Music Festival at Natural Chimneys and we have over 8 weeks of live music to choose from—and it’s happening just about everywhere in Staunton. Planning your festival experience will involve some coordination, so check out our festival guide for insider tips and must-see performances.

Shenandoah Valley Blues & Virginia Brews Festival

June 16, 2018

Come enjoy the Blues, tasty brews, and The Club at Ironwood’s panaramic views of the Blue Ridge at the 10th Annual Shenandoah Valley Blues & Virginia Brews Festival. Spend the afternoon listening to Samantha Fish, Sun-Dried Opossum, Kiz Carter and Juke Jackson, and many more while enjoying the scenery and a wide variety of local BBQ, craft vendors, and beer from Virginia microbreweries. The event benefits Staunton Augusta Art Center.

Fan Favorite: Sun-Dried Opposum’s guitar-driven rock-n-roll and high-energy live performances will keep you dancing! 

Must See: Don’t miss singer-guitarist-songwriter, Samantha Fish, whom The New York Times called “an impressive blues guitarist who sings with sweet power” and “one of the genre’s most promising young talents.”

Have a Listen: Check out this video of Samantha Fish

When & Where:

June 16, 2018 2 – 9 p.m.

The Club at Ironwood, Staunton, Virginia

$12 & Children under 12 are free

Before You Go:

  • Bring your lawn chairs
  • No coolers or pets allowed

 

First Annual Valley Beach Music Festival

July 7, 2018

Come enjoy this new Staunton music festival in its first year. It will be set against the beautiful backdrop of the Club at Ironwood with easy access to the interstate. Keep checking Shenandoah Concerts for more info as it becomes available.

When & Where:

July 7, 2018 2-9 p.m.

The Club at Ironwood, Staunton, Virginia

$17 & Children under 12 are free

Before You Go:

  • The event will occur rain or shine
  • Bring your lawn chairs
  • No coolers or pets allowed
  • Bring your printed ticket and ID if you plan to buy alcohol

 

Heifetz Institute’s Festival of Concerts

June 30 – August 10

The Heifetz Institute’s Festival of Concerts kicks off a summer of music making with their Opening Concert and Convocation on June 30, and the music doesn’t stop until August 10. The six-week festival consists of over 40 events including daily concerts, outdoor events, “Heifetz Happy Hours” featuring local wine and artisan food, and special performances featuring their world-renowned faculty and guest artists. 

Fan Favorite: The ever-popular Heifetz Hootenannies happen every Saturday night under the big tent; you never know who might just show up and play! Enjoy great food and brews during the show.

When & Where:

Saturdays: 7/7, 7/14, 7/21, 7/28, 8/4 

Page Terrace, Mary Baldwin University

$10 and kids under 13 are free

Must See:  Heifetz Celebrity Series: Anything Goes is a  fun Friday night tradition! Experience Heifetz Institute faculty members performing entertaining 75-minute programs. The concerts begin at 6, preceded by a 5 p.m. “Happy Hour” under the Page Terrace tent featuring wine from local vineyards and artisan foods from local eateries.

When & Where:

Fridays: 7/6, 7/13, 7/20, 7/27, 8/3

Happy Hour Receptions: 5 p.m., Page Terrace

Concerts: 6 p.m., Francis Auditorium

Mary Baldwin University

$30

Have a Listen:

Check out this video of Heifetz students playing Tchaikovsky during the 2017 Grand Finale performance:

Before You Go:

  • Several free performances; All other concerts range from $8 to $50
  • 2018 Season passes are SOLD OUT, but tickets to individual events are available
  • For lodging and to plan your trip to Staunton, click here

 

Red Wing Roots music Festival 

July 13-15

Set against the towering limestone formations known as The Natural Chimneys, the Red Wing Roots Music Festival music festival, now in its sixth year, features the best of both worlds: great music in the great outdoors. Spend the weekend listening to the music of The Steel Wheels, Trampled by Turtles, Josh Ritter, and many more while immersed in outdoor activities including daily hikes, morning yoga, fun runs and activities for kids. A new event this year is a pick-along jam session at the Kinfolk Stage, led by Red Wing Academy staff and teachers from The Front Porch in Charlottesville. Bring the entire family and set up camp for the weekend or come for the day. Either way you’re guaranteed to have fun!

Must See: Folk/rock band Trampled by Turtles, female folk trio I’m With Her, singing and songwriting duo The Secret Sisters, and blues singer Charley Crockett are all great bets.

Have a Listen: Check out The Secret Sisters and the track “He’s Fine” from their upcoming new album, You Don’t Own Me Anymore (Available 6/9).

Fan Favorites: The Steel Wheels‘ sets, particularly the Tribute Set on Sunday where they are joined by many other artists performing Red Wing are fan favorites.  Also popular is the Judy Chops‘ high-energy blend of blues, swing, rock-a-billy, and country. 

Before You Go:

All the Details:

Complete Line-up

Tickets

 

Staunton Music Festival

August 10-19

The Staunton Music Festival celebrates 21 years of music with a 10-day festival. One of the most popular music events of the summer, the festival includes multiple daily performances with music ranging from the Middle Ages to commissioned world premieres. It takes place throughout historic downtown Staunton in a variety of locations.

Fan Favorite: The Baroque Inside/Out concert is a program of music by Bach and Vivaldi, all performed on period instruments. The experience will also include roaming madrigal singers in the courtyard during intermission.

When & Where:

Friday, August 17, 7:30 p.m.

Trinity Episcopal Church

Must See: Hercules, a masterpiece of Baroque opera by Handel, has rarely been performed since it premiered in the mid-1700s. This performance will be staged by prominent and cutting-edge opera director from NYC, Ethan Heard.  

When & Where:

Friday, August 10, 7:30 p.m.

Trinity Episcopal Church

Another big event is the all-Mozart finale, Sublime Mozart, on Aug 19th. This concert will feature Mozart’s “Jupiter” Symphony and Requiem, two of his final works.  

When & Where:

Sunday, August 19, 4 p.m.

Trinity Episcopal Church

Have a Listen: Jean Philippe Rameau’s “Suite” from Les Indes Galantes is performed at the 2017 Staunton Music Festival.

Before You Go:

  • Free daily concert; All other concerts range from $10-22 (not including college and youth ticket prices)
  • For lodging and to plan your trip to Staunton, click here; the festival will announce new dining and lodging deals as the season gets closer Check the Staunton Music Festival website or social media pages for the latest info

All the Details:

Calendar of Events

Tickets

2018 SUMMER PASSES include general admission at a 10% discount to all performances in the regular August series

Rolling Down the Byways: Staunton-Area Motorcycle Rides

Photo by @rosieladyblue Spring is a beautiful time to experience the landscapes and vistas of the Shenandoah Valley. What better way to avoid garage rot than to take your bike on one of our Staunton-area motorcycle rides? With both major highways and scenic back roads, Staunton is convenient for motorcyclists who want to get somewhere … Continue reading Rolling Down the Byways: Staunton-Area Motorcycle Rides

Shenandoah National Park

Photo by @rosieladyblue

Spring is a beautiful time to experience the landscapes and vistas of the Shenandoah Valley. What better way to avoid garage rot than to take your bike on one of our Staunton-area motorcycle rides? With both major highways and scenic back roads, Staunton is convenient for motorcyclists who want to get somewhere in a hurry and those who want to take their time.

Plan to visit Shenandoah Harley Davidson to shop for some new gear or to attend an upcoming events.

  • Mother’s Day Event, May 9-13
  • Memorial Day Weekend, May 25-28
  • Ride to Fight Suicide, June 9
  • Father’s Day Event, June 16

Begin or end your tour in Staunton to take advantage of our many fine restaurants, lodgings, and things to do. Staunton is the perfect starting point for these area rides. See the Harley Davidson area rides page for detailed ride notes on these and more.


Crabtree Falls Loop

The ride to Crabtree Falls will stun. You’ll cruise down scenic Rt. 11, which was once one of our country’s important early roads, heavily traveled since Colonial times, but now a quiet alternative to the interstate. VA-56, the road to Crabtree Falls, switchbacks steeply up and over the top of the Blue Ridge, crossing the Blue Ridge Parkway and descending into Nelson County. Crabtree Falls is a great place for a picnic and to stretch your legs. It is one of the tallest cascading waterfalls east of the Mississippi. The falls are easy viewed and photographed from the trail. After the waterfall, continue on scenic VA-151 and VA-6. Consider stopping at one of the wineries in Nelson County to enjoy a glass and take in the view. You’ll travel back over Afton Mountain and pass Waynesboro, where you could shop or eat. If you’re looking for a beer, Basic City Beer Co. or Stable Craft Brewing won’t disappoint and should tide you over until you get back to Staunton. 

Monterey Loop

The ride west to Monterey is best for experienced riders as there are many steep switchbacks as you work your way into the Allegheny Mountains. Your ride begins in the gentle farmland surrounding Staunton and then winds through the George Washington and Jefferson National Forest. Plan a quick stop on top of Shenandoah Mountain to explore the .5-mile Confederate Breastworks Interpretive Site. After your history lesson, you’ll wind down into Highland County, Virginia’s own maple syrup country. This quiet area bustles for two weeks every March during the Highland Maple Festival. Otherwise, Monterey is a sleepy town and is considered welcoming to bikers. Catch a bite to eat and get gas, as there aren’t many options until much later in the loop. Beyond Monterey, you’ll go by the Green Bank Observatory, national radio observatory and science center that offers free tours and a cafe. Heading back to Staunton, you’ll ride through Goshen Pass where you might want to take a break to explore the rocks or cool your feet in the water. Consider stopping for a snack or to shop in historic Lexington, and tour the nearby Cyrus McCormick Wayside

Skyline Drive and Shenandoah National Park

Just minutes away, Staunton’s location makes it the ideal starting point for a rides along the Blue Ridge Parkway and the Skyline Drive. Follow I-64 to the top of Afton Mountain and decide whether you want to go north or south.

If you go north to experience the Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park, be prepared to pay an entrance fee. The Skyline Drive stretches for 105 miles and is the only public road through the park. The 35-m.p.h. speed limit provides a chance to enjoy the views and the almost 70 scenic overlooks.  Lots of trail heads and some of the best hikes in the area beckon if you’re looking for some exercise after a day of riding. The park contains over 500 miles of trails for hikers of varying abilities  You might also tour Rapidan Camp, the historic presidential retreat established by Herbert Hoover. And if you’re out after dark, park at an overlook and turn off your lights for incredible views of the night sky untainted by light pollution. Plan accordingly: there are only four entrances to the Skyline Drive, but each one has easy access to gas and food. Watch for wildlife like bear, deer, raccoons, fox, and birds!

Blue Ridge Parkway

If you head south along a portion of the 469-mile Blue Ridge Parkway, plan to stop at the Humpback Rocks Visitor Center. The nearby interpretive farm offers a view into the lives of early settlers who lived and farmed the area. You can also grab a map or download a map that works even in areas without cell service.

The sweeping curves and beautiful vistas make this road popular with motorcyclists. Take advantage of the many scenic overlooks, photographic opportunities, and picnic stops along the Parkway. You’ll score views in all directions. There is no gas or food along the Parkway, but many roads access it, and most exits will be within a few miles of both. Stop at 215-foot Natural Bridge, one of Virginia’s newest state parks for some Americana like a Native American village, a wax museum, and a gift shop.  The speed limit along the Parkway is 45 m.p.h. and motorcyclists must wear helmets. Keep your eyes out for pedestrians and wildlife.

 

Staunton’s Plein Air Art Festival

  The Queen City is getting ready to play host to artists from Maryland, New Jersey, Virginia, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and New York for the Second Annual Plein Air Festival. You might be asking yourself “what is plein air?” The expression is actually French meaning “en plein air,” or “open air,” allowing the artist to … Continue reading Staunton’s Plein Air Art Festival

 

The Queen City is getting ready to play host to artists from Maryland, New Jersey, Virginia, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and New York for the Second Annual Plein Air Festival. You might be asking yourself “what is plein air?” The expression is actually French meaning “en plein air,” or “open air,” allowing the artist to go beyond the four walls of a studio and experience drawing or painting in the landscape. In its truest form, a plein air painting is completed from beginning to end on site with the subject matter right in front of the artist.

During the Queen City Plein Air Festival, invited artists will spend three days painting the unique architecture of downtown Staunton, the beautiful gardens on the Historic Garden Week Tour, and the rolling landscapes of Augusta County. Featured locations include internationally known Polyface Farm, the living history museum the Frontier Culture Museum, the newly renovated Blackburn Inn, and Gaie Lea Farm and Venue—just to name a few.  The public can view (and even purchase) the newly completed works of Staunton and Augusta County at the Fresh Paint Gallery Sale on Saturday, April 21 from 6:00-8:30 pm.

Both professional and inspiring artists can get in on the action with Paint Staunton Day, a family-friendly art competition and pop-up show. Artists of all ages and skill levels are invited to compete within three categories: Professional, Amateur, and 16 and Under for a total of $1000 in cash prizes and the opportunity to capture the timeless beauty of historic downtown Staunton. The event culminates with a judging and Pop-Up Show and Sale.

Other festival events include artist demonstrations, lectures, and a workshop by event juror and nationally acclaimed plein air painter, Nancy Tankersley. For more information on the Queen City Plein Air Festival (April 17-22) and a complete calendar of events visit: Visit Beverley Street Studio School.

Locavores Rejoice! It’s Staunton Farmers’ Market Season

The Staunton Farmers’ Market is Open! Is there a more idyllic way to spend a Saturday morning than strolling through a lively farmers’ market, enjoying live music, chatting with neighbors and locals, and selecting something delicious to enjoy later? For 25 years, Stauntonians and visitors have enjoyed the convenience, community spirit, and nutritional benefits of … Continue reading Locavores Rejoice! It’s Staunton Farmers’ Market Season

The Staunton Farmers’ Market is Open!

Is there a more idyllic way to spend a Saturday morning than strolling through a lively farmers’ market, enjoying live music, chatting with neighbors and locals, and selecting something delicious to enjoy later? For 25 years, Stauntonians and visitors have enjoyed the convenience, community spirit, and nutritional benefits of shopping at our open-air downtown Staunton Farmers’ Market 

Since it opened in 1993 with just six vendors, the Staunton Farmers’ Market has been a producer-only market. This means that vendors must produce and sell their own products rather than buying them somewhere else and selling them at the market for a profit. Additionally, everything must come from within a 75-mile radius of Staunton. Vendors pick fruits and veggies shortly before the market, and they arrive much fresher than many supermarket items.

What Can You Buy?

Tom Womack, market manager of the Staunton Farmers’ Market, is excited to announce that five new vendors, selling items “ranging from fermented vegetables to Peruvian chicken” have joined the lineup. Returning vendors will provide seasonal fruits, vegetables, and herbs as well as meat (beef, pork, chicken, lamb, sausage), and eggs. Vendors will also be selling baked goods, honey, jams, jellies, pickles, relish, and vegetable leathers. If you’re looking for plants, you’ll find perennials, bedding and garden plants, hanging baskets, and cut flowers.

Shopping at a farmers’ market should be an easy decision. You’ll have the chance to eat beautiful and seasonal produce, which is packed with nutrients and provides the best taste. You might get to taste something you’ve never seen before. You’ll be able to chat with the vendors to learn about the growing/production process. Best of all, you’ll be supporting the economic and agricultural sustainability of our community (and cutting down on fuel costs and wasteful packaging in the process).

Before You Go

When:  Saturday mornings from April until the Saturday before Thanksgiving. 7-12

Where:  At the Wharf Parking Lot on Johnson Street

  • The market is family friendly, and you can expect to hear live music at least twice a month along with some other non-musical acts.
  • Enjoy free parking all day!
  • If you’re in town on a Wednesday morning, you should also check out the smaller mid-week market from 7-12 in the same location.
  • The farmers’ market participates in the SMFNP (Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program), SNAP, and WIC  programs.
  • Wondering what to do with all that fresh produce? Ask the vendor, or try a website like Southern Living for ideas! 

great way to start your saturday 

Make a morning of it and head down early to enjoy breakfast and entertainment at the Farmers Market. Several vendors are selling breakfast items (and coffee) that range from pupusas by Gloria’s Pupuseria to baked goods by Roller’s Bakery. Find a seat or bring your own and listen to live music before you start perusing the market. After you’ve checked out all the vendors, take to the streets of downtown Staunton, and visit the many art galleries, antique stores, and boutiques. Refuel with lunch and a glass of wine or even a beer tasting. 

The Blackburn Inn Set to Open in April

The Blackburn Inn will officially open its doors this Spring. This 49-room luxury boutique hotel in downtown Staunton, has a storied past dating back to the 1800s. What was once Western State Hospital, The Blackburn Inn was envisioned and influenced by master builder and Thomas Jefferson protégé, Thomas R. Blackburn. This historic building was originally … Continue reading The Blackburn Inn Set to Open in April

The Blackburn Inn will officially open its doors this Spring. This 49-room luxury boutique hotel in downtown Staunton, has a storied past dating back to the 1800s. What was once Western State Hospital, The Blackburn Inn was envisioned and influenced by master builder and Thomas Jefferson protégé, Thomas R. Blackburn. This historic building was originally constructed in 1828 and was most likely built by several of Jefferson’s workmen from the then, recently completed University of Virginia.

Guests and visitors will find a home away from home at The Blackburn Inn — greeted with stately columns, wide corridors and hallway arches, vaulted ceilings, and an original wood staircase allowing guests to access the rooftop atrium offering breathtaking 360-degree views of downtown Staunton. The Inn will honor the age and elegance of the building with other notable design elements to include original heart pine floors that will flow throughout the hotel, an antique style drafting table that will serve as the reception desk, and artwork from local and regional artisans showcasing Staunton’s emerging arts scene.

Guests and locals will appreciate seasonal events on the lawn and throughout the hotel, enjoy bites and sips from locally-sourced vendors at The Inn’s bistro and bar, and experience the vibrant arts and culture scene firsthand.  

Staunton-based developer and owner, Robin Miller, was committed to honoring the extraordinary elements of the building and engaged key operational and design partners – Retro Hospitality, LLC; A Concept 2 Design; and Apex Design – to develop a property that captivated and inspired guests. Striking the perfect balance between modern design and historical roots, the hotel’s inspiring touches exemplifies artful design and a modern, upscale, state-of-the-art experience. The Blackburn Inn is now accepting reservations for stays starting April 27.

The Blackburn Inn and Visit Staunton are running a social media giveaway throughout the month of April – visit Facebook or Instagram for details on how to get a free overnight stay.

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.