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Category: Dining

Staunton’s Must Try Burger List

May is National Hamburger Month, and it’s time to devour Staunton’s versions of this American classic. Want to tickle your tastebuds with a good, old-fashioned hamburger? How about a burger with an exotic twist? From diner burgers to elevated pub fare, to beef alternatives, Staunton burger joints will please just about any taste. 

Remedy Burger is the newest burger game in town. They serve juicy and customizable beef patties smashed and seared on the hot grill. The Remedy Burger is their signature sandwich with double smashed patties, American cheese, dill pickles, lettuce, and Remedy sauce. The Ballard Burger is loaded with bacon, pimento cheese, and slathered with roasted garlic mayo. Another tasty bet is the Burners Blue Burger which comes with blue cheese, mango chutney, and arugula. Want something different? Try the Broccoli Burger mounded with cheese, pickles, onion, lettuce, and Remedy sauce. Don’t skip the fries on the side. Kiddos will get excited for the happy tray meal that comes with sides and a toy.

Smash burgers might not be the first thing you think of when you dine at BLU Point Seafood Co., but you won’t be able to forget them after you leave. You select the perfect size smash burger: single, double, triple, or, if you’re starving, the quad. Consider also the NoBull Veggie Burger, made from a locally made grain and veggie burger and topped with cheese, lettuce, onion, tomato, and pickles. 

Don’t skip the cheeseburger at the new farm-to-table gourmet sandwich shop, Seed to Tail. This double burger comes on a focaccia roll with cheese, lettuce, tomato, and special sauce. If you’re not into meat tonight, order the veggie burger version. While your burger is on the grill, check out Seed to Tail’s extensive wine selection and pick up some eggs, vegetables, and baked goods for meals at home later in the week.

You’ll have a tough time choosing from the burger selections at the Clocktower Restaurant and Bar. You can certainly build your own from a wide range of add-ons, but we love the Surf and Turf Burger, which comes with hot crab dip, shrimp, and swiss. We also like the mac and cheese topped Mac Burger, as well as the Sunrise Burger which has a fried egg, bacon, and cheddar.

The Shack is widely known for its award-winning food, and even the burger is something special. Get it each week from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. on Smash Burger Wednesdays at The Staunton Grocery. Burgers are served with chips and a drink.

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

Wright’s Dairy Rite has been making Staunton smile since 1952. You can still pull your car under the canopy, order through a speaker, and waitstaff will deliver your meal to your car. Kids’ meals arrive in boxes that look like classic cars. You can get just about any combination of toppings you please, including chili, coleslaw, and onion rings. Other specialties include a half-pound “monster burger,” a ham cheeseburger, and a classic “super burger.” Wright’s is also famous for its ice cream delights, so save room for dessert!

Is your stomach rumbling for a tasty burger for lunch? Byers Street Bistro has two great options on the menu, both made with Angus chuck. The Steakhouse Burger is piled with sautéed mushrooms, provolone, onion straws, and steakhouse mayo. The Bacon Royale Burger incorporates smoked bacon, bacon aioli, and sharp cheddar. Enjoy it with chips, pasta salad, slaw, or fries. Hungry yet?

The food at Table 44 tastes amazing and the presentation is wonderful, too. If you’re looking for a burger, you can’t go wrong. The Bacon Bleu Burger comes with applewood bacon jam and blue cheese on a challah bun. Lee’s Burger boasts Monterey jack, sautéed creminis, and applewood bacon. You might also like the Loaded Baked Potato Burger, which tops a goat cheese and scallion potato cake with bacon, cheddar, and sour cream. For those who don’t fancy meat, the Roasted Portobello “Burger” will be a hit with a balsamic-rosemary braised portobello, sprouts, onion marmalade, and cheese on a gluten-free bun. 

Located in the old train station in the historic Wharf District, the Depot Grille has three yummy burger choices on its menu: the Classic Half Pound Burger on a Brioche bun, the Bacon Cheddar Burger, and the Portabello Swiss Burger. All can be made to order and you can order from an extensive menu of sides and starters. Save room for Kentucky Derby Pecan Pie with bourbon and chocolate chips or Death by Chocolate Cake. You can choose to sit at the 40-foot antique bar if you want a bit of history with your meal.

If you’re looking for a burger to compliment your Mexican meal, look no further than Baja Bean’s Baja Burger. Get it with cheese, jalapeño slaw, fried egg, bacon, and jalapeños with a side of fries! Make your meal a celebration by ordering from Baja’s curated tap list. Don’t forget to order fried ice cream for dessert!

Staunton’s Best Gifts for Moms

Remember all the times your mom wiped your tears, gave you pep talks, and told you she loved you? Well, Mother’s Day is Sunday, and it’s time to spoil her the way she deserves! We’ve rounded up enough Staunton gifts, experiences, brunches, and more to make any mom or mother figure in your life feel special this year.

Share Some Brunch

  • You can’t beat Staunton when it comes to a tasty brunch! Take Mom out for a Mother’s Day brunch (or dinner) of “inspired Southern cuisine” at Zynodoa (brunch served from 10-2). Indoor and outdoor seating available.
  • Reserve a table at The Shack for a pre-fixe Mother’s Day brunch that emphasizes the best local and regional seasonal ingredients.
  • Table 44 serves up inspired twists on your favorites as well as an unforgettable loaded bloody mary (brunch served from 11-2).

Enjoy an Experience

  • Do you and Mom bond over theater? Take her to a production of Romeo and Juliet or The Comedy of Errors at the Blackfriars. Afterward, share your reviews over wine and snacks at The Green Room.
  • 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 artists at all ability levels.

Find a Special Gift

  • Reserve Mom a massage, skin treatment, or manicure at the Spa at the Blackburn. 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! 
  • Do you have an outdoorsy mom? Grab her a new pair of running shoes at Sole Focus Running or some new hiking poles and a daypack at Wilderness Adventure.

Shower Her with Tradition

  • It’s a no-brainer that jewelry, flowers, chocolate, and wine are perennial favorites on Mother’s Day. Continue the tradition by having your personal message engraved on something glitzy from H.L. Lang Jewelers. You’ll also find beautiful and unusual jewelry at The Sparrow’s Nest. Choose from botanical, gemstone, leather, and antique button collections. 
  • Browse online and spoil Mom with a colorful bouquet from Rask Florist or Honey Bee’s Florist. Brin’s Posy Floral creates vivid and artistic bouquets.
  • Treat Mom’s sweet tooth with incredible looking and tasting chocolates from Giancarlo Fine European Pastries. Consider signing Mom up for an upcoming pastry class. Your mom would also love an overflowing “platinum pail of chocolates” assortment from Cocoa Mill

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.

Staunton is a Southern Living Best Mountain Town

Did you know that Southern Living Magazine recently showcased Staunton as a top mountain town in its The South’s Best 2022? The list of the best southern destinations celebrates “the people, places, and communities that make [the South] more vibrant than ever.” Mountain towns were chosen for their local shops and restaurants, cozy lodging, and welcoming downtowns as well as their beauty and access to the mountains. Southern Living praises Staunton’s charming downtown, varied dining scene, notable lodging selection, and proximity to Shenandoah National Park. Read on for more reasons why Staunton is such a hot travel destination.

Ogle Staunton’s Beauty

Find a high spot in Staunton and kick back to admire the views. Try Cannon Hill at Mary Baldwin University or cross the historic footbridge to Woodrow Park on Sears Hill. You’ll even find something postcard-worthy when you pause on the Wal-Mart parking lot! From walks through historic downtown, country bike rides, or drives along the Blue Ridge Parkway, you’ll never be far from a million-dollar view.

Eat Like a King

For a small city, Staunton has a wealth of independent restaurants. You’ll find everything from sophisticated Southern gourmet meals at Zynodoa and Table 44 to French pastry at Réunion. Get your fill of steak and seafood at Mill Street Grill and Blu Point Seafood, or opt for global fare at Gloria’s Pupuseria and Gonzo’s Pollo.

Find a Festival

Staunton is a wonderful home base for festivals throughout the year. 

  • Join us for the initial BaroqueFest, a three-day immersion in the very best music from the 17th and early 18th centuries. This festival takes place April 8-10.
  • Friday nights from Memorial Day to Labor Day come enjoy an outdoor concert series on the grounds of the Blackburn Inn and Conference Center. SummerStage kicks off May 27 with Hootenanny.
  • Jam out to The Steel Wheels, The Jayhawks, Langhorne Slim, and other notable names in roots music at the Red Wing Roots Festival at nearby Natural Chimneys State Park. June 24-26.
  • Enjoy selections from hundreds of years of classical music at the 10-day Staunton Music Festival. This festival welcomes over 70 acclaimed professionals from around the world to perform in 30 events and opens on August 12.
  • Browse the juried work of local and regional artists at the Staunton Augusta Art Center’s annual Art in the Park. The 54th annual event will occur in Gypsy Hill Park on September 4-5. 
  • The Queen City Mischief and Magic Festival will return in person this year on the weekend of September 24-25. Head downtown for lots of magical fun as businesses and citizens 

Learn Something New

Learn the history of the presidency and early 20th-century life at the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library and Museum. Get a hands-on education at the Frontier Culture Museum, where costumed interpreters work historically accurate farms. Make time to view the exhibits at the Beverley Street Studio School Gallery and the Staunton Augusta Art Center.

Access the Outdoors

We dare you to visit the Shenandoah Valley and not take one of the best hikes of your life. Staunton is close to the Appalachian Trail and dozens of beautiful hikes in Shenandoah National Park and along the Blue Ridge Parkway. Venture west into George Washington and Jefferson National Forest for more exciting hiking opportunities. Hikers can also stretch their legs on miles of trails in Montgomery Hall Park and Betsy Bell & Mary Gray Wilderness.

Visit Southern Living to see more parks, businesses, and towns that made this years list. Look forward to casting your vote for the South’s Best 2023.

Springtime in Staunton

Are you team spring or team fall? Do you like flowers or leaves? We could argue all day about which season is Staunton’s prettiest, but we’re sure you want to get outside and enjoy this magnificent fresh air and balmy weather. From garden tours to festivals, to downtown dining, here are our picks to make the most of Staunton’s rebirth this spring.

Farmers’ Market

Dust off the cookbooks and fire up the grill. The Staunton Farmers’ Market will open on April 2nd this year. Make sure you visit from 7 a.m. – noon for the freshest local homegrown and homemade goods and produce. This family-friendly market has been a Staunton staple since 1993. Stroll the stalls to meet the producers, listen to live music, and enjoy the Staunton community.

Get Some Garden Inspiration

Historic Garden Tour takes place in Staunton’s north end this year. Secure your spot now for the April 23 walking tour, which visits two landscaped gardens in Williamsburg-inspired Baldwin Place as well as the grounds of Waverley Hill, a Staunton gem built in the Georgian Revival style in 1929. Visitors can watch gardening talks and floral demonstrations, and listen to Staunton Music Festival musicians along the tour.

If you can’t make it to the garden tour, make sure to take a stroll through Gypsy Hill Park to see the dogwoods and tulips in bloom.

Take a Hike

Celebrate April 16, the first day of National Park Week with a fee-free day in Shenandoah National Park. Hike your favorite trail and see the trees and wildflowers coming to life, or drive along the Skyline Drive and scope out the view.

If you’d rather hike or bike or shoot a round of disc golf closer to home, explore the miles of trails winding through Montgomery Hall Park. Got littles? They’ll love exploring the natural play elements at Nature Ridge Natural Playground.

Themed Adventure

“Take your brain for a walk with Traipse,” a free app that leads you on scavenger hunt-like tours of Staunton. Not only will you learn interesting history and trivia, you’ll also be able to crack riddles and earn discounts and samples from featured businesses. You can even compete with friends for high scores. Traipse offers several tours in Staunton, including ones that explore Gypsy Hill Park, Beverley Street, and the local pub scene.

You won’t be solving riddles, but if you like exploring new places and earning prizes, sign up for Shenandoah Beerwerks Trail’s Passport Program. The Beerwerks Trail maps 19 breweries within a 45-minute drive of Staunton. Many of them boast tasty food and outdoor spaces with views for miles. Visit them, sample the craft beer, get your passport stamped at eight, and earn an awesome t-shirt.

Make Earth Day Plans

It’s not too soon to start thinking about how you can positively impact the earth this year. Along with reducing your carbon footprint, you can visit Earth Day Staunton 2022 on April 23. The new location on Bells Lane combines the fun of the information-rich, family-friendly event with incredible views of Augusta County’s farmland. You’ll meet animals, including educational ambassadors from the Wildlife Center of Virginia, learn to fly a kite, learn to preserve our waterways, and much more.

Get Ready to Shop and Eat Al Fresco

Staunton’s popular Shop and Dine Out Downtown initiative is getting ready to open up for the 2022 season (April 1 – October 30.) Each weekend, the city closes several blocks of Beverley Street so that businesses and restaurants can set up outdoor spaces on the sidewalk and street. Tables, chairs, tents, and enthusiastic shoppers and diners fill the street. Those outdoor dining spaces are filled, in turn, with groups chatting, laughing, and loving the al fresco dining experience. 

Wool Week at the Frontier Culture Museum

One of the most interesting events at the Frontier Culture Museum is the annual Wool Week (April 25 – May 1), when interpreters sheer the winter fleeces from the sheep and process them into usable products. Visitors can watch every step of this fascinating and arduous process as well as learn about the lives of the Valley’s early settlers.

Art in the Park

Memorial Day weekend seems a long way away, but it will be here in no time. Plan to improve your decor by purchasing a unique work of art created by a regional artist at the Staunton Augusta Art Center’s 55th annual Art in the Park festival in Gypsy Hill Park. Join the fun at this Staunton tradition where you’ll find amazing art, community spirit, live music, food, and creative activities for the kids.

Experience Mardi Gras (Staunton-Style)

You might not find yourself in the Big Easy this Mardi Gras, but that doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate right here in Staunton. Decorate your covid mask, grab your beads and a cocktail, and have fun. Here’s our guide to feasting, frolicking, and Fat Tuesday fun.

The Clocktower Eats and Sweets

The Clocktower is celebrating Mardi Gras with a Fat Tuesday live music performance by Boxcar Speakeasy, a 5-piece New Orleans-style jazz group. The band will play from 7 – 10 p.m. on March 1. You’re also going to want to take advantage of the drink specials, a lineup of Bourbon Street-inspired goodness like the king cake martini (vanilla vodka, Bailey’s, fireball whiskey, and creme) and the Bourbon Street smash (bourbon, banana liqueur, bitters, vanilla syrup, and lemon). Order dinner, too. They’re serving cajun shrimp and grits, jambalaya, red beans and rice, and more.

Mill Street Grill

Celebrate Mardi Gras at Mill Street Grill from now through March 1 with lots of delicious Cajun and Creole specials. Nosh on oysters Rockefeller, steak and crawfish creole, paella, blackened catfish, crawfish etouffee, pan-fried frog legs, and more. On March 1, the music of Staunton’s own Rhythm Road will start at 6:30. No reservations are necessary and the music is free. Come early and start your evening with a cocktail or a selection from the extensive beer and wine list.  You’ll also be able to order from the rest of Mill Street’s menu, which offers steaks, seafood, chicken, salads, sandwiches, and pasta, including a vegetarian Cajun vegetable pasta.

Barren Ridge Vineyard

Don’t miss the Mardi Gras celebration at Barren Ridge Vineyard on Saturday, February 26. You’ll have the best time ever eating traditional Mardi Gras food, drinking Barren Ridge wine, and two-stepping to live music from The Virginia Central Blues Society and Boxcar Speakeasy. There’s also a silent auction, and attendees should wear their masks, beads, and best Carnival-season costumes! Proceeds from the event will support Blues in the School, a nonprofit dedicated to inspiring students to learn the blues. Bringing the blues into the classroom helps students learn “while breaking down racial barriers and opening dialogue about cultural diversity.”

Byers Street Bistro 

You might have missed National Margarita Day, but there’s still time to head down to the Byers Street Bistro for a round of cocktails featuring one of their specialty drinks. Pucker up with the Pretty in Peach margarita, a mix of tequila, peach schnapps, pomegranate liqueur, lime juice, sour mix, and a salt or sugar rim. Another tasty bet is the Buttah-Scotchaha-Rita, a tangy concoction of tequila, Buttershots, orange juice, sour mix, and ginger ale with a salty rim. Compliment your cocktails with a menu full of shareable appetizers, salads, gourmet pizzas, handheld burgers, sandwiches, and treats like shrimp tacos.

Vic’s Eats

Head over to Vic’s Eats and grab your favorite Mardi Gras dishes from gumbo to jambalaya to even little tiny king cakes.

The Well Balanced Paw

Your pups can even celebrate this year at The Well Balanced Paw. Stop in with your four-legged friend to grab tiny king cakes all weekend long. While shopping listen to the sounds of Mardi Gras and if you allow your doggie to be adventurous; try dog jambalaya!

Want to watch Mardi Gras live in New Orleans? Here’s how.

Want to host a party and bake a prize into your own purple, green, and gold cake? This king cake recipe has 4.5 stars.

For more events, check out Staunton on Tap!

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.

Check Out The New Kids On The Block

Spring still seems a long way off, but now’s the time to start making your spring itinerary. Plan your next date night, find a special gift, or just score a really good cup of coffee to get your morning going. Get to know Staunton’s newest businesses.

New Restaurants:

Seed to Tail is a new farm-to-table gourmet sandwich shop that also sells, vegetables, eggs, baked goods, take-away-family meals, and a large selection of wine from Virginia and around the world. They “hope to connect the local community and visitors to the rich foods grown in our own backyards.” Check out the menu or the event schedule for wine tastings and special meals.

Vic’s Eats is a new veteran-owned cafe serving mouth-watering breakfast items. Choose from red-eye mushroom or shrimp grits bowls, pimento avocado toast, stacks of red-velvet pancakes, coffee-coconut milk-braised pork biscuits, and more. You’ll also find salads, sandwiches, French press coffee, fancy teas, and everything else you need to make your breakfast a roaring success.

Locally owned Crumbl Cakes & Bakes opened last summer and serves up a rotating menu of muffins, scones, cupcakes, cookies, cookie dough, brownies, and vegan and gluten-free treats. There’s an espresso bar with plant-based milk options and a place for your kiddos to hang out while you enjoy your treat. Work with Crumbl to design a beautiful custom cake for your next event. 

Magdalena Bake’s new brick and mortar location on West Beverley specializes in delicious and beautiful-looking pastries, cookies, and cakes in an extensive array of flavors, including gluten-free options. If your tastebuds are hoping for something savory, you won’t be disappointed by the empanadas, which come flavored with beef, pork, criolla, and Caprese. 

Family-owned Serendipity Java Bar & Eatery is full of comfortable seating and natural light. 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. 

Ciders from Mars presses locally grown apples to create the hard cider you’ll enjoy by the glass, bottle, or flight. Choose from single-varietal ciders, blends, and ciders fermented with other local fruits. There are lots of seating options in the modern tasting room and outside on the large patio that overlooks the wharf. 

Restaurants Opening Soon

Owners of Staunton’s Green Room are opening a new restaurant down the street. Opening this spring, Remedy Burger will serve large smash burgers made from local beef and fries. They’ll also serve beer, wine, and cocktails, and customers will be able to use their phones to order from the menu.

This spring, Brisket Taco Co. will be “bringing the heart of Texas to the Shenandoah Valley” with dishes made from Texas-style smoked brisket. They’ll also use local toppings and cheeses on menu offerings, which will include tacos, breakfast tacos, nachos, and sides like smoked potato salad and smoked mac and cheese.

New owners plan to open 100-year old Marino’s Lunch again soon in Staunton. The space on North Augusta will be expanded and will feature outdoor seating, music, and art. The old Marino’s specialized in beer, Tuesday night bluegrass jams, and cheeseburgers.

New Downtown Retail

The Foundry Pop-Ups promotes the work of local artists and craftspeople and those who have produced unique products. You’ll find clothing, jewelry, bath products, candles, and more at the store’s downtown location.

Redwood & Co.’s new retail store in the Wharf sells home and personal fragrance collections of candles, diffusers, room sprays, soaps, and lotions. The new space also features a candle-design studio for customers to create their own uniquely scented candles.

Tap into the positive energy we need so badly at Little Shoppe of Crystals, which is opening in February. Plan to check out the selection of crystals, jewelry, aromatherapy, and more.

Entertainment and Event Spaces

Sea-to-table Blu Point Seafood Co. continues to bring you freshly sourced ocean bounty served the way you like it. Blu Point has expanded its space and now offers the Blu Room for events and private dining.

The Staunton Innovation Hub unites a community of creative people with a wide range of skills. Their space has several gathering areas and classrooms perfect for hosting your next event. The new Rooftop Deck accommodates 49 people and boasts incredible views of Staunton’s churches, hotels, and other historic buildings.

The Blackburn Inn’s WinterStage is bringing you two nights of great music and entertainment. Stoke the romantic fires with February 11th’s evening of classic love songs with broadway star Nancy Anderson and jazz pianist Wells Hanley. On March 18th, bluesman Mojo Parker joins local musicians for a “mid-winter blues odyssey.” 

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