#LOVEstaunton

Category: Breweries & Wineries

Must-See and Do in the Beverley Historic District

Downtown Staunton contains many examples of Virginia’s finest Victorian architecture. Most of the buildings in the Beverley Historic District date from the 1870s to the 1920s. In fact, this small, walkable district was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1981. Besides history, this bustling section of Staunton boasts much in the way of shopping, dining, and culture. Here’s how to spend an afternoon or a weekend exploring the Beverley Historic District. 

Where to Stay

  • Hotel 24 South (formerly the Stonewall Jackson Hotel) was built in 1924 and remains the city’s tallest building. The renovated rooms and suites are luxurious and modernized, but the hotel retains its historic charm. On-site amenities include a business center, fitness center, and heated indoor pool. 
  • The Frederick House combines the extravagance of a fancy hotel in a more personal setting. They offer a menu of signature breakfasts as well as plenty of privacy and personality. The 20 guest rooms are spread between five historic homes.
  • The Storefront once served as a tea shop and is now a two-level accommodation. The ground floor boasts a unique bar/lounge area with a television, bathroom, and full-size futon. Upstairs, you’ll find a bedroom, bathroom, and full kitchen. 

Where to Have a Drink

  • Grab some flights or pints at Shenandoah Valley Brewing Company, a small craft brewery right on Beverley Street. They don’t serve food, but you can have carryout delivered or walk a few steps to a delicious nearby restaurant. 
  • The Green Room is a hip gathering spot in Staunton run by Blackfriars Playhouse actors. Sip wine, craft beer, cider, specialty non-alcoholic cocktails, and savor light fare like charcuterie boards and sandwiches. 
  • Yelping Dog Wine stocks hundreds of types of wine, from bottles produced locally to those made around the world. Stop in for a glass and a cheese plate or gourmet grilled cheese sandwich.

Where to Eat 

  • Start your day with coffee and a healthy and delicious breakfast at The By & By. Nearby Vic’s Eats is a veteran-owned cafe serving mouth-watering breakfast items as well as salads, sandwiches, and French press coffee. Réunion Bakery & Espresso brews delicious coffee drinks as well as mouthwatering French-inspired pastries. Cranberry’s Grocery & Eatery focuses on vegetables, fruits, and organic grains and is a convenient way to grab a quick, fresh bite for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. The Pampered Palate feeds hungry diners fresh quiche, sandwiches, and wraps.
  • Are you craving the freshest sustainable seafood available? BLU Point Seafood Co. is where “the Chesapeake Bay meets the New England shore.” The bar delivers a big menu of cocktails, beer, wine, and cider, including many local options. Zynodoa will inspire your tastebuds with southern cuisine in a stylish, metropolitan setting. Aioli shines for its Mediterranean cuisine and tapas. Don’t skip dessert: The Split Banana will refresh you with 18 fresh flavors of gelato.

Where to Shop

  • Adults and children can find their next great read on the shelves at The Book Dragon. Fans of rare books should check out Barrister Books. Words Matter’s collection of word art and poetry is perfect for home decor or memorable occasions. Blair Made designs beautiful custom handmade wooden signs.
  • Peek in at Ware House Miniatures to pick out a dollhouse and all the furnishings. Next door, find a variety of model kits at J C General Merchandise. The Heifetz Music Shop delights with music-themed gifts. 
  • Tap into the positive energy we need so badly at Little Shoppe of Crystals. Browse the selection of crystals, jewelry, aromatherapy, and more.
  • The Foundry Pop-Ups promotes the work of local artists and craftspeople who make clothing, jewelry, bath products, candles, and decor. Known best for handmade swords, armor, and Welsh items, Medieval Fantasies Company also sells jewelry, candles, and bath and body products that smell like magic. 
  • Design at Nine is your source for distinctive women’s clothing, shoes, and boots as well as the accessories you need to tie your look together. Latitudes Fair Trade Store has unique and trendy clothing, bags, scarves, and jewelry. Men will look sharp after shopping at CFO Trading Company for clothing, outerwear, scarves, hats, and seasonal accessories. 
  • Taste and purchase ultra-premium extra virgin olive oils, infused and fused olive oils, and balsamic vinegar at Staunton Olive Oil Company. Sweeten your day with a selection of chocolates from Cocoa Mill. Beverley Cigar Store sells cigars, pipes, pipe tobacco, smoking accessories, lighters, and clothing.

What to Do

  • Built to resemble Shakespeare’s Blackfriars Theatre, the American Shakespeare Center stages high-quality productions of Shakespeare’s plays as well as contemporary works. Visulite Cinemas brings the latest popular and artistic movies to the big screen and you can sip a glass of wine or beer while you watch. Enjoy live entertainment like DJs, music, and karaoke at the Tempest Bar and Lounge

Take a self-guided or seasonal guided walking tour with the Historic Staunton Foundation and download our Architectural Walking Tour of Historic Staunton map before you go. Access even more of downtown Staunton by taking a Traipse Tour unique to the Queen City.

Galentine’s Day in Staunton

Valentine’s Day takes center stage every February, but there’s more to life than your love life. In fact, relationships with gal pals often last much longer. Your friends support you through your highs and lows, and you can count on their total honesty. And let’s face it, who else can you complain about your romantic partner to? Let’s devote some energy to making memories with your girlfriends this year. Galentine’s Day is February 13. Here are some of our Staunton picks.

Have Some Fun

Channel your inner Sherlocks and work together to problem solve at Crack the Code Escape Room. The escape experience will test your communication skills, make you feel confident, and you’ll be sucked into the story. Better yet,  they’re running a special on February 13 where participants get 10% off and some chocolate from Giancarlo Fine European Pastries! If you’d rather have an outside experience specific to Staunton, download the Traipse app, which is part walking tour and part scavenger hunt with puzzles at every stop. Explore Staunton’s watering holes with the Pub Crawl tour or meet the trees in Gypsy Hill Park. Another good way to bond with your besties is to hit the trails at Montgomery Hall Park for a round of disc golf or some mountain biking.

Sick of girl talk? Take a break with an energizing Drum for Fun class and learn to connect on a more rhythmic level. Classes are appropriate for both beginner and advanced drummers.

If you’re OK with going out with the girls on a night that’s not the 13th, you could attend a weekly Tuesday trivia event like Cheesy Team Trivia at the Clocktower or Trivia Tuesdays with King Trivia at Redbeard Brewing Company. Queen City Brewing hosts regular open mic nights, so you can support your sisters in their creative endeavors.

Check the schedule at the Tempest Bar and Lounge (formerly Downtown 27) for lots of live music and fun, including the return of the immensely popular Studs of Steel Live on February 18. This show promises “high energy, theatrical performances and crowd participation. Inspired by the movies “Magic Mike and Fifty Shades of Grey.” The Tempest Bar and Lounge has also scheduled a speed dating event if your gang is looking for romantic partners. 

Friends who enjoy shopping together will love Design at Nine for the latest in women’s fashion, shoes, and accessories. Try The Sparrow’s Nest for jewelry, pottery, art, and more. If you’re looking for cool gifts, check out Made; By the People, for the People, The Foundry Pop-Ups, and Latitudes.

For home scents and luxurious bath and body products, try Marian’s Candles Scents & Seasons, Redwood & Co., or Essentially Zen.

Book a Spa Day

Wind down after all that action with a spa day at the Spa at the Blackburn. Indulge yourself with skin treatments, massage, reflexology, and nail care. You can also relax at Breezy Hill Day Spa with massage, pedicures, body wraps, and more. Mill Street Body and Soul Day Spa and Salon offers a menu of body treatments as well as makeup application classes and boudoir photo sessions.

Get Crafty

Harmony Harvest Farm is hosting an event for Galentine’s Day called Blooms, Besties, and Brews at Stable Craft Brewing on February 12. You’ll be guided by a professional floral designer as you create a beautiful arrangement. This workshop includes materials and is appropriate for all levels.

Create a beautiful and unique addition to your wardrobe with a Silk Scarf Workshop on February 10. The workshop is led by Suz Hues of The Foundry Pop-Ups. You’ll learn a new technique and take home wonderful memories and a new scarf. All materials are included.

Share Some Nibbles

Toast the friendship and your feline friends at the Valentine’s Tea at the Frederick House. Proceeds benefit Wendy’s Place Cat Rescue.

Enjoy the area’s biggest selection of fine wine by the glass or bottle at Yelping Dog Wine. Share a cheese plate or munch on gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches. Yelping Dog runs regular wine tastings from 5-7 p.m. on Wednesdays.

Seed to Tail also hosts a weekly wine tasting event. This new farm-to-table gourmet sandwich shop sells a large selection of wine from Virginia and around the world. 

Celebrate your love for cider at Ciders From Mars! From February 9th – 13th they will be offering a flight/cocktail combo special. Choose four ciders and any of their Craft Cider Cocktails for just $15!

It’s igloo season at Stable Craft Brewing. Rent a private heated igloo for up to eight friends and enjoy fresh craft beer and a delicious pub menu. Are you hard cider fans? Ciders from Mars presses locally grown apples into their out-of-this-world varietals, which can be enjoyed by flight or glass in their downtown cidery. You can also savor cider, as well as wine, beer, cocktails, and light fare such as baguette sandwiches and loaded tater tots at The Green Room.

Dine at Table 44 for amazing Southern food with a twist. It’s open for lunch, dinner, and Sunday brunch. Make sure you try a few of the cookies and cupcakes at Paris Cake Company after your meal. Serendipity Java Bar & Eatery is a cozy new coffee and lunch spot located near the historic train station. It serves muffins, seasonal scones, cinnamon rolls, egg and cheese bagels, French toast plates, and more. There’s a wide selection of coffees, espressos, and specialty drinks like razzle chai. Stop in later in the day for grilled lunch sandwiches. Looking for something to share?

Try a range of Spanish tapas and other Mediterranean food at Aioli Restaurant. Start with the bacon-wrapped quail, follow with parmesan truffle risotto or seafood paella, and save room for the Callebaut dark chocolate mousse.

For more events, check out Staunton on Tap!

Romantic Getaways in Staunton

Want to do something really special for your main squeeze this Valentine’s Day? How about a romantic getaway in Staunton? You’ll feel the love as you unwind and reconnect while sharing luxurious accommodations, decadent meals, and relaxing strolls through our historic downtown. We’ve even found some fun Valentine’s Day activities to try. Here’s our guide to where to stay, what to eat, and what to do on your romantic getaway in Staunton. 

Where to Stay

First things first: If you’re planning a romantic getaway, you’ll need a cozy nest away from home. Dreamy lodgings abound in Staunton, but we especially like those that are luxurious but also offer historic charm. The Hotel 24 South and The Blackburn Inn both feature elegant rooms in restored buildings, beds with pillowtop mattresses, and spa-like showers. You can impress your Valentine with the Blackburn Inn’s Love Is in the Air: Valentine’s Day Package, which includes prosecco and a pair of champagne flutes, a rose-petal turndown, a late checkout time, and dining credit at the onsite Second Draft Bistro. Perhaps a trip to the spa to relax and rejuvenate sounds like dream, so be sure to book in advance.

The Berkeley House Bed and Breakfast offers upgraded elegance in a large Queen Anne Victorian residence decorated in period style. Your stay includes an elaborate breakfast as well as an option to reserve a champagne and chocolates special. Frederick House offers the charm and individuality of a B&B as well as the comfort and amenities of a larger hotel. The beautiful and traditionally decorated 20-room hotel encompasses space in five historic downtown buildings. Ask about the Shakespeare Theatre Ticket special. Romeo and Juliet begins February 25th!

Cocktail Spots and Romantic Restaurants

Stop to flirt over some wine at Yelping Dog Wine or The Green Room, or grab a private tasting of Virginia estate wine at Ox-Eye Tasting Room. If the weather cooperates, you might also take a picnic to Barren Ridge Vineyards for delicious wine and one of the best views in Augusta County. If you’d rather refresh yourself with fresh craft beer, Shenandoah Valley Brewing Co. and Redbeard Brewing Company are located downtown. Nearby, Byers Street Bistro serves up some seasonal winter cocktails.

The Clocktower Valentine’s Day Soirée is happening on February 12 and 13. Start the night with happy hour at Tempest Bar & Lounge before dining on a decadent three-course dinner. Choices include shrimp, prime rib or lasagna, and tiramisu or creme brulee. After dinner, you’ll enjoy the comic show BoxCar Speakeasy & Reese Middleton’s Vintage Valentine Revue. Tickets include champagne and chocolate-covered strawberries.

The Baja Bean is a fun place to take your date for dinner. Enjoy all your Tex-Mex favorites and a wide selection of craft beer on tap. They’re running Valentine’s Day special that includes fajitas for two, a special drink or dessert to share, and a lovely local bouquet from Harmony Harvest Farm. Would you rather spend Valentine’s Day cuddled up in your room? Stave off your hunger pangs by ordering a heart-shaped pizza from Shenandoah Pizza & Tap House.

Make reservations to share a special night over Chef Boden’s four or five-course seasonal tasting menu at The Shack. The options change each week, but winter ingredients might include cranberries, hazelnuts, lamb, rockfish, and more, all paired with suggested wines. 

If you’re seeking a spot that has the feel of the big city, look no further than Zynodoa. Choose a unique cocktail that incorporates locally sourced ingredients like herbs or honey or select beer or wine from the extensive list. Next, order a dinner featuring “inspired Southern cuisine.” On the menu: Virginia blue crab fritters, Polyface Farm sweet tea brined chicken, Wade’s Mill apple & cheddar grits, and Saunders Brothers Honeycrisp apple cobbler. Zynodoa also serves an amazing brunch.

Sweet Somethings

Feed your romance with a cone from The Split Banana, which serves a big selection of freshly made gelato flavors like coffee toffee, cherry cheesecake, or Guinness extra stout. You can hold hands and share cones as you stroll around downtown window shopping and checking out the Victorian architecture. If you prefer soft serve with a side of nostalgia, pull up to the old-fashioned drive-in and fill your dessert cravings at Wright’s Dairy Rite, a Staunton institution since the 50s.

Don’t wait until Valentine’s Day night to steal your sweetie’s heart. Meet for coffee and pastries at Réunion, a Staunton sweet spot where you can order espresso, buttery croissants, and other baked goods that taste like they’re fresh from Paris.

Wow your honey with a beautifully decorated and delicious dessert from Paris Cake Company, Gorgeous cupcakes decorated like flowers? Check. Cut out cookies decorated like rainbows? Raspberry swirl cheesecake? Check and check. Bonus: You can indulge in these treats after an equally delicious dinner at Table 44. Firkin Pie Company’s February lineup includes chocolate cream, raspberries, and cream, and bananas foster all baked fresh. Even Cupid couldn’t keep his hands off this fine, fine pie!

It will be love at first bite when you present your special someone with a box of handmade, gourmet chocolate from Cocoa Mill Chocolates. The Valentine’s Day assortment even comes in an edible box and was voted best overall in a Wall Street Journal taste test. Giancarlo Fine European Pastries creates incredible chocolates made from Cordillera Colombian 65 % cacao and 36% dark milk, single bean chocolate.

Valentine Fun

A meeting of the minds is always a good idea, so Crack the Code Escape Room makes for a genius Valentine’s Day date. What’s even better is that if you book a spot for February 13, they’re running a special where participants get 10% off and some chocolate from Giancarlo Fine European Pastries! Another good date is to book a Couple’s Getaway Package at the Blackburn Inn spa. This day of pampering will ease away all your cares. It includes champagne and strawberries and massages for both of you.

The Valentine Flower Workshop at Redbeard Brewing with Brin’s Posy (February 9) is marketed for everybody, especially men! Unleash your creative side as you make a Valentine’s Day bud vase for your favorite person. Not only will you get to sip tasty craft beer, but you’ll also save money on flowers this year. Keep busy on Valentine’s Day weekend with a Silk Scarf Workshop by Suz Hues of The Foundry Pop-Ups. You’ll learn a new technique and take home wonderful memories and a new scarf. February 10.

Stoke the romantic fires on February 11th with the Blackburn Inn’s WinterStage production Isn’t It Romantic. This evening of classic love songs features broadway star Nancy Anderson and jazz pianist Wells Hanley. Romeo and Juliet is on stage at the Blackfriar’s Playhouse. Book your tickets to see Shakespeare’s star-crossed lovers navigate the dangers of hate and love. We dare you not to cry.

If you’re still looking for a Valentine’s Day gift, make sure to check out our wealth of independent shops, galleries, and antique stores downtown. You’ll find a range of wares including candles and bath supplies, gourmet food and olive oil, art-glass decor, jewelry, clothing, games and gaming supplies, art, and vintage treasure of all kinds.

For more events, visit Staunton on Tap.

Plan Your Next Vacation in Staunton

Did you know that January 25th is National Plan a Vacation Day? And just like us, we bet you REALLY need one! From romantic weekends to family getaways, to weekends with the girls or guys, let us help with some quick recommendations on what to do on a vacation in Staunton!

Romantic Weekend

Share romantic meals, be pampered in luxurious lodgings, sightsee on one of America’s best main streets, and even discover the great outdoors. Here are some of Staunton’s best bets for couples.

Where to Stay

  • The Hotel 24 South and The Blackburn Inn both feature elegant rooms in tastefully updated historic buildings. Check the specials for romantic add-ons like champagne, chocolate, and spa packages.
  • The Berkeley House Bed and Breakfast offers an elaborate breakfast as well as packages for champagne and a trip to the Blackfriar’s Theatre.
  • The Frederick House is a 20 room inn, comprised of 5 historic houses, located in downtown Staunton, Virginia. They offer the privacy of a hotel, with the personal experience of a Bed and Breakfast.

Where to Eat

What to Do

  • The Staunton Farmer’s Market is open from the first Saturday in April until Thanksgiving, and it features fresh produce, baked goods, and live music. 
  • Take a self-guided or seasonal guided walking tour with the Historic Staunton Foundation.
  • Visit the Woodrow Wilson Birthplace to learn about Wilson’s connection to Staunton and much more.
  • Stop to flirt at Ox-Eye Tasting Room or take a scenic drive to Barren Ridge Vineyards to reconnect with your sweetie over some local wine.
  • Shop downtown Staunton’s independent stores and galleries for a range of wares including gourmet chocolate and olive oil, art-glass ornaments, unique gifts and art, and vintage treasure of all kinds.
  • Take in a show at the American Shakespeare Center. The 2022 season includes Romeo and Juliet, The Comedy of Errors, The Tempest, and more.

Family Fun

Looking for a wonderful family trip where fun, history, and the great outdoors are all in big supply? Here’s how to enjoy Staunton’s best with your family.

Where to Stay

  • The Fairfield Inn and Suites is a family-friendly hotel convenient to both downtown Staunton as well as the interstates. The hotel offers a free hot breakfast, free Wi-fi, and an indoor saltwater swimming pool.
  • The Storefront is a two-level downtown lodging with a full kitchen, two queen-sized beds, and a unique bar/lounge area with a television.

Where to Eat

  • Voted one of the best breakfasts in the Valley, Kathy’s Restaurant heaps on the goodness with traditional breakfast fare served all day.
  • Your kids will love the caboose parked outside of The Depot Grille. They’ll also love the American fare served inside for lunch and dinner. The menu includes a section for kids. 
  • Shenandoah Pizza’s gourmet pies celebrate local ingredients and lore. Parents will be pleased with the extensive tap list.
  • The menu at Baja Bean has loads of Tex Mex options including choices for the younger set and an impressive tap list. 
  • Finish your meal with one (or more) of the 18 fresh-made gelato flavors from The Split Banana.

What to Do

  • Pool your wits to solve one of the active puzzles and escape a themed room at Crack the Code Escape Room
  • Step back in time at the Frontier Culture Museum, which invites visitors to explore the lives of the Shenandoah Valleys pioneers from the 1600s through the mid-1800s.
  • Watch as artisans use extreme heat, to blow and shape molten glass into globes and art pieces at Sunspots Studios
  • Family favorites for shopping include treasure hunting at Staunton Antiques Center and hobby shopping at Staunton Trains and Hobbies. Pufferbellies is the largest independently owned toy store in the Valley, which has a hands-on policy and something to fascinate kids and grownups alike.
  • Hit up one of Staunton’s great city parks like Gypsy Hill Park to feed the ducks, hit the skatepark, and play on the playgrounds. Montgomery Hall Park has more playgrounds as well as miles of hiking and biking trails.
  • There’s always something happening at Augusta Expo. Events include the Augusta County Fair, monster truck rallies, Bigfoot conventions, and more. 

Getaway with the Girls

Share the best of Staunton’s trendy restaurants, local wine, and unique shopping with your besties. You’ll make so many new memories that you’ll want to make Staunton an annual destination.

Where to Stay

  • Not only does 4-suite Gibson’s Warehouse have an interesting history as a working railroad warehouse, but it’s also just steps from downtown Staunton dining and entertainment. Renovated efficiency apartments are appointed with full kitchens and living spaces. There’s also a common space in the lobby with seating so guests can mingle and socialize.
  • Staunton Stays is a four-suite boutique hotel in a beautifully renovated Victorian house. Each suite is decorated according to a different theme. All offer full kitchens, modern bathrooms, living quarters, and access to a laundry room.

Where to Eat

  • Try a range of Spanish tapas and other Mediterranean food at Aioli Restaurant.
  • Enjoy wine by the glass or bottle at Yelping Dog Wine. Share a cheese plate or munch on gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches.  
  • Savor wine, beer, and light fare such as apps and sandwiches at The Green Room.
  • Dine at Table 44 for amazing Southern food with a twist.

What to Do

Guys’ Weekend

Staunton has golf, cigars, the great outdoors, and food and beer.  What else do you need for an awesome guys’ weekend? 

Where to Stay

  • Tru by Hilton has modern amenities, access to both the interstate and downtown, and generous public gathering spaces.
  • Avid Hotel focuses on getting the essentials right at a value price.

Where to Eat

What to Do

5 Ways to Enjoy Your Staunton Staycation

Not ready for far-away travel just yet? You might want to skip that mid-winter trip out of the country. Why not take a Staunton staycation instead? We’ve rounded up five ways to have a blast and make new discoveries right here in Staunton. Here are our tips for seeing our beautiful city through fresh, new eyes.

Fill Your Days With Local Fun

How well do you really know Staunton? Why not find out with one of the unique tours you can take when you download the Traipse app on your phone. Combining trivia with touring, Traipse brings Staunton to life in over 12 themed tours. Level up your history game with a tour of the Frontier Culture Museum or the Woodrow Wilson Birthplace and Presidential Library, and the Camera Heritage Museum. Little ones will love the Antique Fire Engine Museum at the fire station, starring the oldest motorized fire engine in Virginia.

Try a New Outdoor Adventure

Venture a little way out of Staunton for some of the best outdoor adventures in the country. Glide downhill at one of the area’s four awesome ski resorts: Wintergreen Resort, Bryce Mountain Resort, Omni Homestead Resort, and Massanutten Resort all offer skiing, snowboarding, and snow tubing. Bridgewater’s Generations Park has a stellar skating rink. Shenandoah National Park and George Washington and Jefferson National Forest are packed with interesting trails in a range of difficulties, though you should check online before visiting for an area’s opening status. Head underground at Grand Caverns, the country’s oldest show cave. Another way to get underground is by exploring the Blue Ridge Tunnel Trail that follows an old railroad bed under Afton Mountain!

Skip the Souvenir and Invest in Something Unique and Meaningful

Do you sometimes waste money buying silly trinkets when you’re on vacation? Why not take all that money you’ll be saving and put it toward something you’ll really love, something that will bring your room together? Consider heirloom-quality furniture from Concepts Created, which uses reclaimed wood to create custom dining tables, hutches, benches, mantles, and more. Buy some exquisite art glass from Sunspots Studio, or make your walls pop with work from a local artist from the CoArt Gallery. If you like to personalize your space with words, check out the gorgeous custom signs from Blair Made. And if your kids are pining because they didn’t get Mickey Mouse ears, take them to Pufferbellies Toys & Books and let them pick out something they’ll love even more!

Are you one of those people who hangs out behind the camera and only goes on vacation for the photos? Score lots of likes by setting up shots at Staunton’s Best Insta-Worthy Spots, including near the large metal sculptures of flowerpots, books, and eyeglasses created by Ferguson Metal Fabrication. 

Make Take-Out a Fine Dining Experience

If you’re still hoping to wait a bit before hanging out in a crowded restaurant, why not take carry-out to the next level? Iron the fancy tablecloth and use those fancy forks you got for your wedding. Shake things up by ordering something new from your favorite restaurant. Most Staunton restaurants offer takeout, so you could even order different courses from different spots. Start with a bottle of wine from Yelping Dog Wine and a loaf of fresh bread from Newtown Baking. Enjoy entrees from Table 44, Chicano Boy Taco, or the Depot Grille. Still hungry? A decadent pie from Firkin Pie or a sundae from Wright’s will taste just right at the end of your night. 

Did you get some fancy new cookware for Christmas? The Staunton Grocery will help you break it in by supplying all the local and specialty food items you can’t find in the supermarket. Peruse the catalog online for meats, condiments, spices, specialty oils, and more, and whip up a gourmet feast.

Another good way to fill up and stay warm is to gather around the firepits and sip craft beer at Skipping Rock Beer Co. or Stable Craft Brewing.

Your Home Away From Home

Clutter and day-to-day tasks overwhelming you? Leave your baggage (physical and emotional) behind and check into a Staunton lodging property. Not only will you enjoy some focused time with just the essentials, but you’ll also see your city with new eyes. Best of all, someone else will make the bed! Book a room in a luxury historic hotel, a convenient brand hotel, a well-appointed bed and breakfast, or a unique vacation rental. Stop by the front desk or the Visitor Center for some brochures and ideas about where to spend your day. 

Staunton has much to offer both visitors and long-time residents. Get out there and have fun like a tourist!

What To Do In Staunton on a Snowy Day

Has winter weather stuck a wrench in your plans? Kids home from school and already bored? Fortunately, Staunton has plenty of ways to keep busy on snowy days and in freezing temperatures. From skiing to creating a comfortable den to snuggling with a new book, here’s how to make the most of a snow day in Staunton.

Ride Your Sled

You may have noticed that there’s not a lot of flat ground in Staunton. This may be exhausting for walking and biking, but it’s terrific after a good snow. Bundle up and try out some of our slopes. Montgomery Hall Park and Gypsy Hill Park offer lots of hills, places to park, and even winter bathrooms. Residents also gather to sled on the sweeping hill on the Mary Baldwin campus.

Walk the Winter Wonderland

Staunton is beautiful all year long, but nothing rivals the long winter views of distant mountains when the leaves are off the trees. For some incredible winter views and a chance to reach your daily step goals, try some in-town hikes. The city plows the 1.3-mile loop road at Gypsy Hill Park, making it a prime spot to walk or jog when the sidewalks might still be snowy. Quiet Bell’s Lane is a local birding hotspot that winds through farmland just north of Staunton. If you’re willing to get your boots snowy, Betsy Bell Wilderness offers winter solitude and views of Staunton from above from two from overlooks. Finally, the miles of hiking/biking trails through Montgomery Hall Park and the climb from the Wharf to Woodrow Park boast chances to see nature’s best winter show.

Ski, Snowboard,Tube, or Skate

Hoping to secure a spot at the Winter Olympics? Staunton is located just a short drive away from four awesome ski resorts where you can master the moguls and enjoy apres-ski amenities in style! Wintergreen Resort, Bryce Mountain Resort, Omni Homestead Resort, and Massanutten Resort all offer snow tubing. Along with 12 tubing lanes and a 120-foot drop, there’s a 5,000 square-foot skating rink at Massanutten. See Downhill Fun for more information. You can also lace up your skates at the outdoor rink in Bridgewater’s Generations Park. The rink is open through the beginning of March. Reserve time slots online.

Outfit Yourself for Winter

Shop for outdoor gear suited for wintry weather at Stan’s Ski and Snowboard. You’ll also find a wide selection of seasonal gear at Wilderness Adventure. Runners can bundle up for the winter at Sole Focus Running Shop, and Black Dog Bikes can help you ready your wheels and gears for your next big adventure.

Sip Something Tasty

You’ll be FREEZING after all that time in the snow, so warm your body with some hot cocoa and lunch from Cranberry’s Eatery & Grocery. You won’t be able to resist the Italian dark chocolate cocoa at Split Banana, which is topped with decadent whipped cream and shaved chocolate. Caffeine lovers will want to taste the fresh-roasted flavor of the coffee at Crucible Coffee Roasters, and if you like to warm up with craft beer, Redbeard Brewing Company has your new favorite brew on tap. If you want something really special, try this tasty number from Zynodoa. It incorporates Callebaut chocolate, peanut miso caramel, house-made marshmallows, Elijah Craig bourbon, and Amontillado sherry!

Cuddle up with a Book

Find your next great read on the shelves at The Book Dragon. You’ll find new books for adults and children as well as a selection of used titles. Pufferbellies also sells popular books for kids and they can help you find what’s right for your young reader. Set the mood for relaxation with a candle in your favorite scent from Essentially Zen Artisan Body & Bath Co.

Roll the Dice

Is the entire family home together on this snowy day? Stave off cabin fever with a new board game. Try Pufferbellies Toys and Books for a curated selection of games and puzzles. You’ll find something for all ages and plenty of enthusiastic advice from staff. If you’re into strategy games, war games, and more, The Dragon’s Hoard has a big selection of games, gaming and hobby supplies, dice, and miniatures. 


Exercise your brain and your Scooby skills at Crack the Code Escape Room. Visitors can tackle both live and take-home escape challenges, some of which are Staunton-themed. Dust off your bowling bag: you’ll score big on indoor family fun with a few rounds of bowling (and trips to the snack bar) at Staunton Lanes.

Culture Yourself

Check to make sure it’s open, but a museum can be the perfect way to spend a snowy or wet afternoon. The Woodrow Wilson Birthplace and Presidential Library is a good destination to learn about history and tour the 19th-century manse. Plus, you can even visit virtually! Explore the rotating art and history exhibits at Staunton Augusta Arts Center in the historic R.R. Smith Center for History and Art. The Beverley Street Studio School Gallery and Co-ART Gallery host multiple exhibits of fine local art each year. 

Virginia Cider Week

Virginia is one of the top six apple-producing states in the country. And while we enjoy those apples in school lunches and pies, sipping cider is another way to keep the doctor away. Since 2012, Virginia has celebrated Cider Week each November during the week before Thanksgiving. This year, that’s November 12-21. Stay in downtown Staunton or take a drive to a nearby cidery for a tasting. Meet the cider makers to learn about the trends and styles, the types of apples used, how cider is made, and what makes a Virginia cider so special.

Did You Know?

  • People have been drinking cider for hundreds of years. The English drank it in the 1600s (as well as beer and wine) because water wasn’t always clean enough to keep them from getting sick.
  • Cider is loaded with vitamin C and antioxidants from the apples.
  • It’s a great gluten-free alcoholic option for those who are intolerant. 
  • Hard cider is NOT the same thing as apple juice. It contains 4.5 to 10 percent alcohol by volume.
  • The length of time a cider ferments usually determines its sweetness. Ciders tend to get drier as they age. They also gain more alcohol by volume. Ciders can be sparkling or still and complex or simple.

Ciders from Mars

Ciders from Mars launched in Staunton last summer. This slick, modern space looks cool and offers delicious ciders. The taproom features a glass wall through which you can see the cider-making process. On nice days, take a seat on the patio overlooking the Wharf. The cidery serves cider by 9 oz. drafts, bottles, or flights of four flavors in 100 ml pours, which are presented in beaker-shaped glassware. To celebrate Virginia Cider Week, they will be introducing a full craft cider cocktail menu focusing on fresh, seasonal ingredients. 

Ciders from Mars uses local apple varieties like Winesap and Gold Rush from local orchards. There’s an orchard in the works, but the trees are still too young to bear fruit. Ciders from Mars ciders tend to have low sugar content and taste dry, like their flagship flavor, Hellas Dry. Pathfinder offers a sweeter taste. Some are flavored by co-fermenting with other fruits. Try a hot, mulled cider or a cider cocktail after a chilly day of downton holiday shopping. 

Where Else Can I Taste Cider?

Several Staunton establishments offer cider (and other drinks). Stop in to see what’s available at The Green Room, Shenandoah Valley Brewing Company, and Baja Bean. Stop in at the Staunton Farmers’ Market in its final weeks for an order of apple cider donuts. If you’re enjoying a day of tasting beer at Stable Craft Brewing, check out the cider menu as well.

Nearby Cideries

Tasting cider goes great with drives through the beautiful countryside. Here are a few other cideries within an easy drive from Staunton.

10 Things We Are Thankful For In Staunton This Year

Thanksgiving is almost here. Take some time between raking leaves, planning side dishes, and agonizing over table settings to reflect on the many things we’re thankful for in Staunton.

Our Great Outdoors

Staunton’s location in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley provides incredible views of mountains on both sides. Were just a few minutes from Shenandoah National Park with its many trails and Skyline Drive. We’re also right in the middle of George Washington and Jefferson National Forest, a wonderful place to hike, bike, paddle, and explore. Even downtown Staunton offers a robust park system featuring trails, views, pools, wilderness areas, playgrounds, ballfields, and a dog park.

Independent Small Businesses

Staunton boasts a diverse mix of indie shops. Our small business owners are following their passions, and creating one of the best independent shopping districts in the state. Hurrah for Staunton Olive Oil Company, Essentially Zen Artisan Bath and Body Shop, Latitudes, Made; By the People, For the People, Medieval Fantasies Company, Refill Renew, Pufferbellies Toys and Books, and more

Foodie Scene

For a small town, Staunton has a lot of good food and this list only scratches the surface. Enjoy fresh coffee and out-of-this-world pastries at Reunion Bakery & Espresso, Crucible Coffee Roasters, or Newtown Baking. Sit down to a tasty lunch emphasizing local ingredients at Serendipity Java Bar and Eatery, Table 44, the Pampered Palate, or Cranberry’s Grocery & Eatery. Savor a dinner at Chicano Boy Taco, Zynodoa, the Mill Street Grill, or Aioli. Make sure to leave room for something sweet from The Split Banana, the Clocktower Eats and Sweets, or Wright’s Dairy Rite

Craft Beer, Wine, and Cider

Virginia is making quite a name for itself in the craft beer and wine scene, and our local area is no exception. In fact, Staunton was just named one of the “20 Best Beer Towns in the United States.” Hop on the Shenandoah Beerwerks Trail to sip at 19 breweries, all within an hour’s drive. Queen City Brewing, Redbeard Brewing Company, and Shenandoah Valley Brewing Co. are all within city limits. Baja Bean Co. sells a wide selection of craft beers by the bottle or on tap. Wine lovers can taste the local varietals and more at Ox-Eye Vineyards Tasting Room, Yelping Dog Wine, the Green Room, or the new Seed to Tail Kitchen & Market. Barren Ridge Vineyards is just a short drive away. If you prefer cider, grab a seat and a flight at Staunton’s new cidery, Ciders from Mars.

Artists, Artisans, and the Performing Arts

There are many ways to explore Staunton’s flourishing arts community. Walk around and visit Staunton’s collection of murals and public art. Drop in at a gallery. Take a class at Beverley Street Studio School. Visit Sunspots Studios, where you can watch glass art being created in front of your eyes. Catch a virtual performance by The American Shakespeare Center or a live show at ShenanArts where local performers put on high-energy performances. Got dramatic kids? Sign them up for a theater class with Silver Line Theatre Exchange.

Live Music 

From the world-renowned performers who perform at the Heifetz International Music Institute, to the wonderful local musicians enlivening the scene at our favorite breweries and restaurants, Staunton is home to the very best in music–making. We’ve got live, free music almost every night of the week at Gypsy Hill Park during the summer. We have music festivals that entertain all year long. These include Red Wing Roots Music Festival, the classical Staunton Music Festival, as well as rock, blues, jazz, and folk festivals.

Local Farmers and Producers

We are fortunate to be able to enjoy some of the freshest, most delicious locally grown food available anywhere in the USA.  We have a seasonal farmer’s market (and new winter market,) farm-fresh roadside stands, and pick-your-own farms.  We’re the envy of many communities in the “buy fresh, buy local” movement. Plus, many of our restaurants prioritize using this seasonal and healthy food in their recipes.

Museums and Historic Sites

Staunton’s in touch with its history. Take a walking tour and admire downtown’s amazing Victorian architecture. See the past come to life at the Frontier Culture Museum and Woodrow Wilson’s Birthplace Museum. Check out the Camera Heritage Museum, explore Thornrose Cemetery, or even book a private ghost tour

Our Fun Community

Though Covid has put a damper on a some of the live community events, we hope to soon be able to take advantage of all our favorites. We’re thankful for the Staunton Christmas Parade, Caroling in the Park, Happy Birthday America Celebration, Celebration of Holiday Lights in the Park, Queen City Mischief and Magic, Art in the Park, Concerts at Trinity Church and many more.

The People

We are thankful for YOU!  You, as a visitor or local, all come together to make Staunton exactly what it is!  It wouldn’t be the same without you. We’re also thankful for our teachers, our police officers, and our Public Works department. We’re thankful for the servers and bartenders in the cafes who know our faces and orders by heart, the doctors who keep us healthy, and many more. We are grateful for all of the incredible people who live and work in Staunton that contribute every day to help make our small city so amazing. 

We hope you’ll enjoy and share this list.  But most of all – we hope you’ll add to this list with all the things you are grateful for in Staunton. Happy Thanksgiving!

Staunton Fall Flavors: Alternatives to Pumpkin Spice

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

Meals

Firkin Pie Company

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

The Shack

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

The Depot Grille

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

Réunion Bakery & Espresso

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

Desserts

Table 44 & Paris Cake Company

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

Newtown Baking

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

Split Banana

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

Magdalena Bake

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

Klines Ice Cream

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

Drinks

Cranberry’s Grocery & Eatery

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

Redbeard Brewing Company

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

And More

Farmers’ Market

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

Staunton Olive Oil Company

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

Essentially Zen

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

Crown Jewelers

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

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

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

Retailers on Beverley Street

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

Quick Bites on Beverley Street 

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

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

Family-Friendly

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

Dinner Favorites

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

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

Savor Dessert

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

More Restaurants to Love

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

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

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

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