#LOVEstaunton

Category: Breweries & Wineries

“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.

Raise a Glass to Virginia Wine Month

According to VAWine.org, Virginia is “A community of farmers perfecting their own agricultural art. They don’t bend to trends. They listen to their land, drawing out the story in every vine and every vintage. Crafting wines that embody the grace, grit and experimental spirit of Virginia.” October is Virginia Wine Month, and it’s time to celebrate wines made right here in the Shenandoah Valley. Read on for our favorite local places to drink it, buy it, and other ways to enjoy it.

Nearby Wineries

The Ox-Eye Vineyards tasting room is located downtown steps away from shopping, dining, and the Staunton Farmers’ Market. The locally-grown wines can be enjoyed as a tasting or by the glass, and you can leave with a bottle or two for home. There’s outside seating and even an art gallery upstairs. To enjoy wine in the country, pack a picnic and head out to Barren Ridge Vineyards for the incredible wine and views. Try a tasting of Barren Ridge’s best, then follow it up with a glass or bottle. Located on the grounds of a what was once an apple orchard, this vineyard is child and dog-friendly. Check the schedule for live music.

If you’d like to tour some vineyards that are a little further afield, try Rockbridge Vineyard and Brewery, Bluestone Vineyard, Cross Keys Vineyards, and Afton Mountain Vineyards. Veritas Vineyard & Winery, Marceline Vineyards, Above Ground Winery, Ridge Run Vineyard, 12 Ridges Vineyard, and Jump Mountain Vineyard are also close.

Places to Sip a Glass

Shopping on Beverley Street? Drop in at Yelping Dog and spoil yourself with an afternoon glass of wine. Or choose a bottle from the 1,500+ selections hailing from both nearby and around the world. Hungry? Share a gourmet cheese platter or savor one of Yelping Dog’s incredible grilled cheese creations. Another good place to relax and connect over wine and light fare is The Green Room. You’ll enjoy drinks from the curated wine, craft beer, and cider lists paired with sandwiches or a cheese board. Both restaurants are part of Staunton’s Shop and Dine Out Downtown, so you can drink your wine alfresco when Beverley Street is closed to weekend traffic.

You can also find Virginia wine at a number of Staunton’s restaurants like Emilio’s and the The Pompei Lounge, Table 44, Zynodoa, Mill Street Grill, and Aioli. Ask your server for a wine and food serving suggestion!

Places to Buy Virginia Wine

Cranberry’s sells a selection of local beer and wine, including wines from Crosskeys and Barren Ridge Vineyards. Try Cranberries for lunch, to grab some treats from their grocery section, and to buy your favorite natural and bulk products. You can also buy Virginia wine, craft beer, and cider at Nu-Beginning Farm The Store. Stop in to dine or shop at this micro-restaurant and grocery specializing in local products. The Staunton Grocery offers select Virginia Wines and has a wine club. If you’re gifting a bottle of wine, check LTD7 for a selection of cheeky, stemless wine glasses. And don’t forget the wine chocolates from Cocoa Mill!

Wine Packages

Plan a getaway by booking the Sip and Explore package at the Blackburn Inn. This 3-day package is available through November 7 and celebrates the great outdoors and Virginia wine. You’ll enjoy a vineyard walk and talk before dinner and wine at Barren Ridge Vineyard. Breakfast for two, a hiking guide and a picnic, a dinner voucher and sparkling wine and chocolate-covered strawberries round out this wonderful weekend. 

While they don’t serve Virginia wine, the historic Berkeley House Bed and Breakfast offers a Champagne Package. Commemorate your special occasion with a bottle of Pol Roger Brut Reserve of Brut Rose on ice along with seasonal flowers and chocolates.

Waynesboro’s Iris Inn features proximity to Shenandoah National Park, great views, and a number of wine and spa packages guaranteed to relax you.

Events

  • October 2: Rockbridge Vineyard and Brewery is holding a Harvest Festival. Enjoy music, beer, wine, hayrides, and the Island Wheels food truck.
  • October 10: Sign up for a Designed with Wine painting class at Above Ground Winery.
  • October 16: Marceline Vineyards rings in the fall with an October Fling.
  • October 31: Make sure you add running shoes to your costume when you join the Vine to Wine 5K at Barren Ridge Vineyards. Watch Corkscrewracing.com for more chances to run for wine. 
  • Check the calendar at 12 Ridges Vineyard for delicious food and musical events.
  • The Historic Staunton Foundation normally hosts an annual Winter Wine Festival in February. Though the 2021 event was cancelled, the event will happen again as soon as it’s safe to hold it. 

Must-See & Do in Staunton’s Wharf

The Wharf Historic District shines as one of Staunton’s busiest and most vibrant neighborhoods. Once a quiet meadow, it was developed for business when the Virginia Central Railroad came to town in the 1850s. Along with warehouses and hotels, this district once featured saloons, distilleries, liveries, brothels, and a dispensary of a patent medicine that claimed to “cure all ills.” It’s now home to a wealth of independently owned businesses and restaurants.

Where to Stay

If you’re coming to Staunton for the weekend, plan to stay at Gibson’s Warehouse, a four-suite loft lodging in a historic TJ Collins-designed warehouse. Designed in 1905, the building was originally used to store hay, fertilizer, and farm equipment. Now, it’s the epitome of comfort and industrial cool, central to dining, shopping, and entertainment. Each suite offers a fully-equipped kitchen, living space, and a king-sized bed. There is also a common space in the lobby with seating areas so guests can socialize.

Where to Have a Drink

Redbeard Brewing Company serves excellent craft beer in a newly renovated tap room. Stop in for a pint of one of the dozen beers on tap and stick around for entertainment like live music, trivia, karaoke, and more. Try the award-winning 221B Baker Brown. 

 

The Ox-Eye Vineyards Tasting Room, located in the yellow historic Fultz Office building, serves estate-grown, food-friendly wines. Stop in to relax over a tasting or a glass — you can’t go wrong with the Reserve Scale House Chardonnay — and make sure you tour the upstairs art gallery. 

Ciders from Mars has only been open for a few months, but people love the hard cider and the cool, modern space. Hang out at the bar, at a table, or grab a spot on the large patio and watch the bustle of the wharf. Ciders from Mars presses locally grown apples for its cider, and you can drink it by the glass, bottle, or flight. Try the Mellow Gold, made from Virginia Goldrush apples.

Where to Eat

Byers Street Bistro serves drinks, tasty appetizers like crab dip, stellar sandwiches and burgers, and the atmosphere is welcoming. Enjoy your food on the shaded brick patio. 

Locals and tourists alike rave over the food and kid-friendly service at The Depot Grille. Look for favorites like the crab cakes, fried oysters, and steak. Pose for selfies by the historic bar or the caboose parked outside. 

Once one of the largest flour mills in the Shenandoah Valley, Mill Street Grill dishes up a wide selection of choices including steak, ribs, seafood, and pasta. 

Taste of India boasts generous portions and good prices. You’ll enjoy a big menu of authentic Indian food that’s always rich, delicious, with a spice level suited to your needs.

Crumbl Cakes & Bakes just opened, but Staunton residents are already lining up for their daily treat. Choose from a rotating variety of cakes, cookies, cookie dough, and brownies. Try a vegan or gluten-free treat and don’t forget a  pupcake for your dog.

Where to Shop

If you’re shopping for unique gifts, you can’t go wrong with the Wharf district. Find some incredible art glass at Sunspots Studio, housed in the historic 1929 Klotz building. As a bonus, you can slip into the studio and watch the artists manipulate the molten glass into globes, vases, and much more. 

Spoil someone you love with artisan bath and body products from Essentially Zen. Choose from great-smelling essential oil soaps, soy candles, body frosting, and more. Essentially Zen will put together gift boxes tailored just for you.

Gamers will find supplies for all kinds of tabletop fun at The Dragon’s Hoard, and Pufferbellies Toys & Books carries a large, and well curated selection of toys, games, and books for all ages. 

Wilderness Adventure stocks your favorite brands of outdoor gear, clothing, accessories, and a huge selection of shoes. Better yet, investing in footwear here guarantees you’ll get a perfect fit. 

Don’t forget to get Fido a treat or a pet massage from the Well-Balanced Paw.

And of course if you’re in the Wharf on a Saturday morning from April to Thanksgiving, you don’t want to miss the producer’s only Staunton Farmers’ Market. Expect to enjoy the freshest local fruit, produce, cut flowers, baked goods, and more.

Where to Walk

Despite a history fraught with fire, flooding, and war, much historic architecture remains. Look for the the Beaux Arts-style Augusta County Courthouse and the Bungalow-style C&O Train Station. Many of the Wharf’s buildings are protected by the Historic Staunton Foundation.

For a detailed description of the historic architecture in the district, take our walking tour. Make sure you snap some selfies near the train station. There are lots of insta worthy backgrounds, including the Sears Hill Bridge that crosses the tracks and delivers walkers to Wilson Park, a small park with big views of Staunton.

Eat, Drink, Love Staunton

There’s a lot to love about Staunton. Not only does it have proximity to the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains, a vibrant arts and cultural scene, and a rich history and agricultural heritage, it also serves up a wide range of culinary experiences. From coffee shops to farm tours, here’s how to eat, drink, and love Staunton.

Eat

Begin your day with love at one of Staunton’s bakeries or coffee shops. Réunion Bakery & Espresso pairs fresh coffee drinks with authentic French pastry like apple galettes with pecan cream. Check the menu for what they’re baking this week: their focaccia and quiches are to die for.

Crucible Coffee Roasters is a great place to meet with friends and share site-roasted coffee in an urban cool environment. Prefer your coffee at home? Consider a coffee subscription. Newtown Baking creates “artisanal everything” and is known for its pastries, fresh breads, and wood-fired pizzas.

If you’re more interested in diner food, you should know that Kathy’s Restaurant is the reigning breakfast champion. Not only is it wonderful and filling, it’s served all day long. And people in other states fantasize about classic-Virginia-style breakfast (and pie) menu at Mrs. Rowe’s Family Restaurant and Bakery

For a small city in Virginia, Staunton has an exciting global dining scene. Check out Chicano Boy Taco, a Mexican-American taquería boasting a simple (but amazing) menu and some of the best burritos you’ve ever eaten. Gloria’s Pupuseria stuffs its pupusas with chicken, blended pork, vegetables and cheese, and this Salvadoran dish packs major flavor. You can also get tamales steamed in plantain leaves, fried plantains, or Salvadoran enchiladas.

The enticing scents from Taste of India will distract you as you explore downtown, so you might as well go inside this gem and order a serving of chicken tikka masala or lamb vindaloo. Meat-free dishes like aloo gobi vegan and saag paneer will please vegetarians. You can get a good selection of Indian beers, wine, and yogurt lassi drinks. Staunton boasts authentic Thai cuisine at Ubon Thai, and you can dine on Vietnamese noodle soup at Snapdragon Pho. Aioli offers creative Mediterranean cuisine, and Gonzo’s Pollo sells irresistible charbroiled Peruvean chicken.

Staunton is a leader in farm-to-fork dining, and many of its restaurants emphasize using fresh local ingredients. You’ll find an upscale and modern exploration of Southern favorites at Zynodoa, which serves entrees like housemade spaghetti and Autumn Olive Farm Sausage or crispy skin speckled sea trout.

For a guided tour of seasonal excellence, try the four or five-course tasting menu at The Shack or pre-order takeout at Lundch, which serves family-style meals like asparagus and shiitake lasagna and grilled mahi-mahi. Table 44 has barbequed shrimp and grits or steak frites with grilled Angus as well as a selection of fancy sandwiches. And if it’s Virginia seafood you crave, BLU Point Seafood has some of the freshest you’ll find in the state as well as a raw bar where you can find delicious Virginia oysters.

Finally, you can’t go wrong with steak or pasta at the family-friendly Mill Street Grill and Depot Grille. Don’t forget to follow your meal with The Split Banana gelato or a classic cone or sundae from Wright’s Dairy Rite.

Drink

Virginia’s award-winning wine and craft brewing culture is giving out-of-towners a reason to visit. Hundreds of vineyards and breweries dot the landscape, making use of locally grown ingredients and the magnificent views from tasting and taprooms. Jump on the Shenandoah Wine Trail, which stretches from Rockbridge County to the south all the way up the Valley to Frederick County and Winchester. Nearby favorites include Barren Ridge Vineyards, Bluestone Vineyard, and Rockbridge Vineyard & Brewery

In Staunton, you’ll want to head down to Ox-Eye Vineyards tasting room to sip estate-grown wines. Choose your favorite from a selection of reds, whites, and seasonals. Another place to taste to your heart’s content is Yelping Dog Wine. This wine bar stocks an extensive collection of local, regional, and international wines to enjoy by the glass or the bottle over gourmet cheese plates and good conversation. The Green Room is a local meeting place that sells wine, beer, upscale snacks and more in an Instagram-worthy setting.

Speaking of beer, downtown Staunton is home to three craft breweries: Redbeard Brewing Co., Shenandoah Valley Brewing, and Queen City Brewing. Make yourself at home over delicious beer in their welcoming taprooms. Want to be entertained? Come on a night when there’s live music, trivia, karaoke, open mike, table-top gaming and more on the schedule. These three breweries (along with 16 others) are part of the Shenandoah Beerwerks Trail. Other local restaurants with deep beer lists (as well as tasty fare) are the Clocktower, Shenandoah Pizza and Taphouse and Baja Bean.

Staunton is now home to Ciders from Mars, which ferments Augusta County apples into the hard cider it serves in its new, downtown taproom.

Love

You’ll love spending a Saturday morning at the Staunton Farmers’ Market producer’s only market in the historic Wharf district downtown. Listen to live music, and say “hi” to your neighbors as you browse the stalls for your favorite flavors. You’ll find ripe, organic fruits and vegetables, fresh baked goods, cut flowers, and much, much more.

 

 

There’s nothing like having a delicious meal outside, and on weekends, Beverley Street in downtown Staunton transforms into a pedestrian mall, with access to dining and shopping. Visit Shop and Dine Out Downtown for more info.

Want to learn more about the food you eat? Why not take a self-guided, private, or “lunatic” farm tour of Polyface Farms, a leader in ethical, sustainable, and clean meat production?

Share the love with your family by taking a trip to a nearby pick-your-own farm for fruit, produce, or decorative gourds in the fall! Celebrate grape season at Wenger Grapes, stock up for apple pie baking at Sunrise Orchards, or up your autumn game with a wagonload of pumpkins from Middle River Farm.

Craft Beer Month: How to Celebrate in Staunton

It’s August and time to celebrate Craft Beer Month across the state. Did you know that Virginia’s award-winning craft beer scene has expanded 400% in the past decade? Chances are that anywhere you are in Virginia, there’s a brewery close by. Stop in to enjoy the taproom atmosphere, or take some cans or a growler of your favorites to enjoy later. Staunton’s breweries are all close to restaurants and shopping and should be an important part of your Staunton experience. If you want to check out even more nearby breweries, visit all 19 breweries along the Shenandoah Beerwerks Trail!

Staunton Breweries

Redbeard Brewing Company

Redbeard Brewing Company took advantage of the pandemic to update its taproom. You’ll enjoy the fresh space as you sample from 10-14 taps. All the beer is handcrafted using traditional techniques. Rather sit outside? There’s a beer garden, too. The brewery doesn’t serve food, but you can order in or bring snacks from home. 

Upcoming Events:

Newest Releases:

Top Untappd Rated Beers on Tap:

Shenandoah Valley Brewing Company

Shenandoah Valley Brewing Company first opened in 2012 as a home brew supply store. Since then, it’s opened and outgrown a taproom and moved to its present location on Beverley Street in 2017. You’ll appreciate the tasty beer, the cosy and pub-like atmosphere, and the location in the heart of Staunton’s downtown. Shenandoah Valley Brewing Company is part of the weekly Shop and Dine Out in Downtown initiative, which allows patrons to enjoy their beer outside.

Upcoming Events

  • Shenandoah Valley Brewing Co. regular live music. Check Facebook for what’s coming up!

Newest Releases:

Top Rated Beers on Untappd:

Queen City Brewing

Queen City Brewing is Staunton’s first brewery since Prohibition! Since 2003, it’s been serving an extensive selection of delicious craft beer to be enjoyed in the taproom or on the large outdoor patio. It’s convenient location next to Gypsy Hill Park makes is a great place to pop into after your evening walk or a round of golf. Hungry? Take advantage of regular food trucks or order delivery to the brewery. Oh, and you can get a bottomless order of popcorn for $2.

Upcoming Events:

  • Queen City Brewing hosts regular live music (see schedule)
  • Open mic nights every Wednesday. 

Newest Releases:

Top Rated Beers on Untappd:

Just a Short Drive Away

Skipping Rock Beer Company

Feeling stressed after a hard week? Head to Skipping Rock Beer Company for some delicious beer and a relaxing time. Kick back in the large beer garden around a fire pit, under a sun shade, or show off your wits during a round of pub trivia. Order dinner from the food truck and turn your ears to some live music.

Upcoming Events:

Newest Releases:

Top Rated Beers on Untappd:

Stable Craft Brewing

There are a number of reasons to visit Stable Craft Brewing. Not only will you find excellent craft beer made onsite using sustainable farming practices, you’ll also enjoy the brewery’s panoramic views of the mountains and location on a working horse and hops farm. The brewery is family-friendly with a  large exterior space, lawn games, fire pits for roasting smores, and horses to meet. Hungry? There’s on-site dining that specializes in farm-to-table fare like appetizers, dinners, and hand-helds. Follow Stable Craft Brewing on Facebook: there’s always something fun going on. Best of all, you can book onsite accommodations on the farm!

Upcoming Events

Newest Releases:

Top Rated Beers on Untappd:

Seven Arrows Brewing

Seven Arrows Brewing serves14 beers on tap as well as icy Slushies. Every Friday, Seven Arrows releases a new, seasonal infusion in the taproom. Hang out in the large taproom or on the deck. Keep the kids occupied with lots of board games and when you get hungry, order a bite from onsite Nobos Kitchen, which serves high-end pub fare that emphasizes local ingredients.

Upcoming Events:

Seven Arrows regularly hosts live music. See Facebook for what’s coming up.

Newest Releases:

Top Rated Beers on Untappd:

Staunton Restaurants Serving Craft Beer

While you are in Staunton, dine out at any of these restaurants that have a great selection of craft beers available – The Green Room, Table 44, Baja Bean Co., Byers Street Bistro, The Shack, Clocktower Restaurant & Bar, Depot Grill, Mill Street Grill, Shenandoah Pizza, Chicano Boy Taco, Yelping Dog, BLU Point Seafood Co., and Zynodoa.

How to Beat the Dog Days of August

We’ve all heard the term “the dog days of August”. It’s when dogs supposedly pass out from lying on the hot pavement and you can fry an egg on the hood of your car. The expression carries negative associations: drought, dangerous storms, rabid dogs, and just plain old bad luck. Though the term actually refers to the sun’s apparent location near the Canus Major “big dog” constellation, area kids are bummed that summer vacation is ending. It’s time to take a quick trip to Staunton and eke out a tiny bit more fun before the grind begins again. 

Dance to Roots Music

You don’t want to miss the dinner-concert Roots Music Events at the Frontier Culture Museum. You’ll hear bluegrass, blues, gospel, traditional Appalachian music and more during the five nights of concerts which “celebrate the influence of these musical roots genres on American frontier culture.” Grab dinner from onsite food vendor Island Wheels Caribbean Cuisine and listen to artists like Wound Tight Bluegrass and Southern Hospitality. Make a day of it by exploring the museum where you’ll learn all about the Valley’s earliest residents through living history farm exhibits, questions and answers with interpreters, and hand-on experiences. This museum is suitable for history buffs as well as kids, who can play historic games and check out cows, goats, pigs, and cats. 

Find Cheer with Craft Beer

August is Craft Beer Month, and fortunately most of our area breweries have areas that are family friendly. Redbeard Brewing Company is having a monthly outdoor concert series and on August 28, it will welcome the Findells. Come sing, dance, and enjoy some delicious craft beer. Skipping Rock Beer Company hosts live music most Friday and Saturday nights. Come get comfortable in their beer garden, grab a pint of your favorite brew, and get ready for a great night. Look for upcoming acts like VS., HoboJac, McHale & Justina, and more! Queen City Brewing sells “all kinds of beer in all kinds of ways.” Come check out their outdoor seating area and plan to come on a night where there’s something fun going on: trivia, live music, open mic nights, and more.

Splash Your Blues Away

Just because school is starting doesn’t mean it’s too late in the season to swim. Take the family to one of our area’s lakes or rivers for a day on the water. Good bets include spring-fed Sherando Lake and Todd Lake in George Washington and Jefferson National Forests. Both include sandy beaches, swimming areas, and restrooms. Paddlers will like the urban Waynesboro Water Trail and the more remote Goshen Pass, one of the top-rated kayaking spots in the area. For more on water fun, read Staunton’s Nearby Swimming Holes and Places to Cool Off.

The Best Way to Drive-Into Fall

If you’re sad because Staunton’s Movies in the Park 2021 season is over, you can still get your fill of the alfresco cinematic experience with a trip to Hull’s Drive In. Though it’s a bit of a drive, it’s worth it for the classic big-screen experience, the snack shop fare, and the community experience. Plus, it only costs $20 per carload of people for a double feature!

Dine out Downtown

There’s still plenty of time to dine out and shop in downtown Staunton. Each Friday night at 4 p.m., Beverley Street closes and stays closed until Monday morning. This lets restaurants in the busiest section of town use the sidewalk and street as dining, tasting room, and retail space. Shenandoah Valley Brewing Co., 101 West Beverley, Baja Bean Co., Shenandoah Pizza & Taphouse, Zynodoa, and more are all participating in the initiative. Stop by the Staunton Olive Oil Company, which is under new ownership, to taste some olive oils and vinegars on freshly baked 100% gluten-free bread, which we’ve heard tastes just like a normal French bread loaf. Follow this up with a selection of keto treats, which include blondies, power bars, brownies, and cheesecake bars. A map of the area with parking, pedestrian walkways, and restaurant take-out/pick-up spots clearly delineated is available here.

Pick Your Spirits Up

If your family hasn’t gotten enough fresh fruit pie from all the peaches you’ve been picking or buying, there’s still plenty of time to make more with bounty from the Staunton Farmers’ Market. Spend a Saturday morning perusing the stands, chatting with growers, and selecting the best fresh produce in the area. If you’d rather have a more hands-on experience, head to one of our nearby pick-your-own farms. Grapes and apples are coming into season at  Wenger GrapesSunrise Orchards, and Carter Mountain Orchard. School lunches always taste better with fresh fruit!

Just Let the Dogs out!

Nothing lifts our spirits like our pets, and since it’s the dog days of summer, we’d be remiss if we didn’t give a nod to Staunton’s dog-friendly destinations. Let your pet work off excess energy at Staunton’s Bark Park in Gypsy Hill Park. Divided into separate spacious runs for small and large dogs, it lets dogs play and socialize while their owners do the same. Other city parks are stocked with doggy-bag stations and open to well-behaved dogs on leashes. Serious hikers might enjoy the Betsy Bell Wilderness Area and the trails at Montgomery Hall Park. Finally, reward a good dog with a treat at the Well-Balanced Paw. This shop carries treats and supplements and provides nutritional guidance and therapeutic massage.

Staunton Father’s Day Gift Guide

We get it. You love your dad, but he can be awfully hard to shop for! Before you add to his collection of #1 Dad mugs and sports-themed t-shirts, check out this list of cool Father’s Day gifts to let the father figure in your life know how much you care.

Breweries

Your dad likes to drink beer, right? What about taking him out for a day at the nearby breweries? You can connect over a flight or a pint. Redbeard Brewing Company and Shenandoah Valley Brewing Co. are just a short walk from each other. Queen City Brewing is about a mile away. All three offer the best local craft beer as well as regular entertainment (see their events listings). Pamper dad with beer merchandise like a t-shirt or a growler with his favorite brewery’s name on it. Or make a weekend of it: Stable Craft Brewing rents cozy and comfortable cabins. Not only does the brewery make excellent beer, there’s also first-rate food to be had as well as chances to listen to live music and play yard games like disc golf and corn hole.

Beverley Cigar Store

Help Dad celebrate the world’s reopening. Beverley Cigar Store sells cigars, pipes, pipe tobacco, and more, including smoking accessories, lighters and clothing like summer guayaberas. If you know what Dad likes to smoke, get him his favorite. Otherwise, pick out a selection of different flavors. If you smoke as well, take him to the store where you can kick back, socialize, and relax. On weekends, Beverley Street shuts down to vehicular traffic for Shop and Dine Out in Downtown, so you can chill outside in the fresh air.

CFO Trading Co.

CFO Trading Co. sells fine, casual men’s clothing from brands like Properly Tied Apparel, Duck Head, and Dearborn as well as accessories, grooming items, and gifts such as leather-bound traveler’s notebooks. They have an excellent selection of barware, as well as drink mixes and infusion cubes. CFO Trading Co. also carries pit barrel cookers, an excellent choice for someone getting into smoking food for the first time. Accessorize the cooker with a variety of tasty sauces.

Wilderness Adventure

We bet your dad would love a weekend camping trip with you (and the kids if you’ve got them). Reserve a weekend at one of our area campgrounds. Sherando Lake Recreation Area and Todd Lake Recreation Area let visitors camp, swim, hike, and fish. Shenandoah Valley Campground and Walnut Hills Campground are family oriented and offer amenities like pools and camp stores. Before you go, pick out an outdoor-themed gift at Wilderness Adventure. Experienced sales staff will guide you in picking the most appropriate clothing and gear for dad’s favorite outdoor activity, from hiking to paddling, and more. If Dad has troublesome feet, he might like a pair of OS1st socks. They’re designed to help with problems like bunions, plantar fasciitis, blister protection, and more.

Golf at Gypsy Hill Golf Club

Is Dad a golfer? Gift him a round at Gypsy Hill Golf Club. Not only is this a beautiful, challenging course, it also boasts some of the cheapest rates in the area. 18 holes with a cart costs just $25. That leaves plenty in your pocket to celebrate the 19th hole at nearby Queen City Brewing. And if you (or dad) need some golf school before hitting the links, Gypsy Hill Golf Club also offers one-hour private lessons.

Fishing

Teach a man to fish and you’ll feed him for a lifetime! South River Fly Shop (Waynesboro) provides fishing supplies, guided trips, and instruction. Pick from a half or full-day (lunch included) guided float on the South, James, Shenandoah, or Jackson Rivers. No matter what your skill level, Mossy Creek Fly Fishing (Harrisonburg) can tailor fly fishing instruction to your specific needs. The classes are small with only four students per teacher. Mossy Creek also offers half and full day wade or float guided fishing trips.

Flowers, Candy, Etc.

Dads like flowers, too! Let him know you’re thinking of him with an arrangement from Honey Bees Florist. Does your father already have everything? Sweeten his day with a box of chocolate business cards from Cocoa Mill. Another good gift is the coffee break coffee and chocolate assortment, which includes over a pound of assorted chocolate-covered coffee beans, mocha bark, and more. H.L Lang’s fine jewelry selection includes engravable cufflinks. Crown Jewelers sells Citizen watches that wind themselves with the movement of your wrist.

Martial Arts

Has Dad been binging Cobra Kai and fantasizing about taking up martial arts? There’s no time like now to help him tone up his dad bod and add new belts to his wardrobe. Grandmaster Dong’s Martial Arts offers hapkido, karate, tae kwon do, kumdo and weapons classes for kids, families, and adults. Another good place to learn self-defense is Total Defense Martial Arts, where people of all ages can study western-style boxing, Filipino martial arts, and Brazilian jiu-jitsu.

New Staunton Flavor: Ciders From Mars

If you’re into exploring Staunton’s best flavors, make sure you stop in at the newly opened Ciders From Mars on Lewis Street in the historic Wharf District. Located in the former Black Dog Bikes space across the street from both Redbeard Brewing Company and the Ox-Eye Vineyards tasting room, the new cidery offers visitors a third tasting option.

Inside, the space is cool and modern, decorated with slick surfaces and a neutral color scheme. There are a lot of choices for seating with plenty of room to spread out: at the bar, at tables, in a more relaxed lounge area, or on the large outdoor patio that overlooks the Wharf. Visitors inside the taproom can look through a glass wall and actually see the cider being fermented. Visitors who choose to sit outside can enjoy the sun, the fresh air, and the bustle of downtown.

Valley natives and JMU grads Nikki West and Jeremy Wimpey own and run Ciders From Mars. West, a geochemist, learned cider distillation techniques from the Cider Institute of North America. The couple have planted their own orchard in Mount Solon, but the trees are not mature yet. Meanwhile, they use local apple varieties like gold rush, winesap, and other vintage and modern varieties from area orchards. The Ciders From Mars ciders tend to have low sugar content. Some get more flavors by co-fermenting with other fruits like peaches, pears, and cherries.

The cidery serves cider by 9 oz. drafts, bottles, or flights of four flavors in 100 ml pours, which they present in beaker-shaped glassware. 

Did You Know:

  • Hard cider is an old drink. People in England 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 and it contains 4.5 to 10 percent alcohol by volume.
  • The length of time a cider ferments usually determines how sweet it will be. Ciders tend to lose sweetness and get drier as they age. They also gain more alcohol by volume.

Ciders From Mars is on Untappd. Check there to see what’s on tap and what your friends are drinking.

How Much Do You Love Her? Staunton Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

You might not have gotten to visit much with your mom this past year, but hopefully, you’re getting to spend some time with her this Mother’s Day. How will you show her how much you love her?  If you’re still looking for a last-minute gift, we have some Staunton-centered ideas for you.

Share an Experience with Mom

  • Sign Mom up for an art class or workshop at Beverley Street Studio School. Classes are held either in-person or virtually, and you can choose from a variety of topics for various levels of artist.
  • 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 The Green Room to discuss the film over wine and snacks.
  • If you and Mom share a passion for finding treasures, consider taking her to Staunton Antique Center. 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.

  • Is Mom a little horse crazy? Get her back in the saddle with a guided trail ride through the Valley at Star B Stables. Take her for a day of fun and visit the horses at Stable Craft Brewing.

  • Looking for something a little different? Something a little freeing and meditative? How about a FREE Drumming workshop? DrumForFun Staunton is offering an introductory class for adult beginners on Saturday, May 8th at 1:00 pm.  

 

Flowers, Wine, Chocolate, and Jewelry

  • There’s a reason flowers, wine, chocolate, and jewelry are perennial favorites on Mother’s Day. Continue the tradition with a Mother’s Day bouquet from Rask Florist. You can order online from Honey Bee’s Florist and arrange to have flowers delivered. Brin’s Posy Floral creates vivid and artistic bouquets.
  • Treat Mom’s sweet tooth with an overflowing “platinum pail of chocolates” assortment from Cocoa Mill. Giancarlo Fine European Pastries also creates incredible chocolates (and much more) right here in Staunton. Consider signing Mom up for an upcoming pastry class. 

  • 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 like the clock tower or the watering can. Crown Jewelers carries a beautiful selection of both new and estate jewelry.

Take Mom out for Brunch

Staunton restaurants shine in the brunch department. Take Mom out for “inspired Southern cuisine” at Zynodoa (brunch served from 10-2). You’ll bond over American classics at The Depot Grille (brunch served from 11-2). Table 44 serves up inspired twists on your favorites as well as an unforgettable loaded bloody mary (brunch served from 11-2).

Buy Her Something Special

  • Spoil Mom with luxurious soaps, lotions, and all things that smell good from Redwood & Co. or Essentially Zen Artisan Body & Bath Co. Essentially Zen offers curated gift boxes and “zen boxes,” which are a curated collection of specialty soaps, house soaps, and bath bombs designed to fit an individual fragrance profile.

  • Give mom the star treatment at the new Spa at the Blackburn by treating her to a massage, skin treatment, manicure, or all three. You can also help Mom relax by surprising her with a massage at Mill Street Body & Soul Day Spa and Salon. Make her feel really special by giving her the gift of a boudoir photo session, which includes a hair and makeup team and professional photography. Dad will appreciate this gift, too! 

Valentine’s Day Specials and Packages

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

Cupid’s Cupola Package

The Blackburn Inn

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

This special package includes:

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

BOOK NOW

“Steele” in Love Package 

Steeles Tavern Manor

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

This package includes:

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

BOOK NOW

Valentine’s Day Get Away

The Inn At Meadowcroft

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

This get away includes:

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

Call 540.712.0791 for reservations.

Staunton Stays

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

BOOK NOW

Sweetheart Swing Dance

Skipping Rock Beer Co.

Friday, February 14, 7 pm-10 pm

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

RSVP before it’s too late!

Carriage Rides

Stable Craft Brewing

Friday, February 14, 6 pm-9 pm

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

BOOK NOW

Valentine’s Day High Tea

Frederick House

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

Tea Includes:

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

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

Zynodoa

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

Valentine’s Chocolate & Cocktail Pairing

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

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

Valentine’s Dinner

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

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

RESERVE NOW

Valentine’s Sunday Brunch

Sunday, February 16, 10 am-2 pm

Menu Includes:

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

RESERVE NOW

Weekend Specials at BLU Point

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

Specials Include:

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

Weekend Features at Byers Street Bistro

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

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

Specials Include:

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

Valentine’s Day Dinner

Stonewall Jackson Hotel 

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

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

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

For reservations call 540.885.4848 or visit the website.