Category: Shopping

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.

Staunton’s Legen-Dairy Ice Cream Sweet Spots

Did you know that ice cream first came to the U.S. in the 1700s, but only members of high society could afford it? That vanilla is America’s favorite flavor? That the waffle cone was invented in 1904 at the St. Louis Fair? That it takes approximately 50 licks to finish a cone? July is National Ice Cream Month and Staunton has plenty of places to go to find your favorite flavor. Whether you like soft-serve, gelato, classic shakes and malts, or traditional scoops, we can help you find your Staunton-area sweet spot.

Wright’s Dairy Rite

Just look for the glowing neon sign! Generations of Stauntonians have been eating themselves happy at Wright’s Dairy Rite, which has been a Staunton mainstay since 1952. Not only can you sit in a retro booth and order your food with the built-in phone, you can also drive in and get classic curbside service. Originally a frozen custard store, Wright’s serves a full menu of burgers, subs, and sandwiches along with its frozen treats. The menu offers dipped cones, funnel cake fries, flurries, splits, milkshakes, malts, and drink freezes to cool off on a mighty hot day. To curb a raging sweet tooth, try a Wright’s Wheelie. This warm donut is mounded with ice cream, whipped cream, and your choice of topping. Keep an eye out for the next Wright’s Cruise-In antique car rally, returning September 5, 2021.

Kline’s Dairy Bar

The Staunton location of Kline’s Dairy Bar has made its ice cream fresh every morning since 1997. If you grew up in Staunton, you probably went to Kline’s after your big baseball win. Your best friend probably had a birthday party in the back room. This local chain has been in business since 1943, and that’s given it plenty of time to perfect its “continuous freeze” method of producing a soft, dense ice cream. Kline’s always makes vanilla and chocolate, but there are two different special flavors that change over on Wednesday. Check the sign, flavor card, or website each week for a rotation of can’t-miss flavors like banana and cake batter or local favorites like raspberry and lemon gingersnap in cones, cups, shakes, and sundaes. Kline’s in Staunton also offers Hog Wild BBQ, so you can get sweet or Carolina-style barbecue and burgers there, too. 

The Split Banana

Next time you’re in downtown Staunton, walk up to the window at The Split Banana and order the best part of your day. The Split Banana uses local grass-fed milk to create its award-winning gelato. At any given time, you can pick from 24 delectable and fresh-made flavors from a rotating lineup of more than 50. Choose traditional tastes or opt for something more adventurous like espresso biscotto, peanut butter and jelly, hazelnut, or cocoa ancho. Curious how gelato is different from ice cream? It uses more milk, making it lower in fat. But it’s also dense and creamy because it incorporates less air. Gelato tends to deliver intense flavors because it is served at a slightly higher temperature. A favorite of locals and tourists alike, The Split Banana stays open late, so night owls should stop in after dinner or a show. Can’t cram enough ice cream onto one cone? The Split Banana sells ice cream to go by the pint or quart.

Coming Soon: Crumbl

Crumbl is putting the finishing touches on its new downtown Staunton location. It’s set to open at the end of July. While Staunton’s newest bakery won’t necessarily specialize in ice cream, we couldn’t help but include Crumbl in this roundup because their rotating variety of cakes, cookies, cookie dough, brownies will include delicious and spectacular-looking ice cream cake!

Smiley’s Ice Cream at Mt. Crawford Creamery

Since a cow gives enough milk to produce two gallons of ice cream a day, the folks at Mt. Crawford Creamery have virtual ice cream machines on their hands! Onsite Smiley’s Ice Cream turns that milk into ice cream and that ice cream turns into smiles. Smiley’s is a bit of a drive from Staunton, but the slow-churned “front porch ice cream” and local ingredients like strawberries, peaches, and blueberries they serve is worth it. Smiley’s dips up 16 different flavors each day and shifts those flavors seasonally. Regular flavors include java chip, salted caramel chocolate chunk, black raspberry, and lime sorbet. Many options are gluten free. Order your ice cream at Smiley’s or plan ahead and buy online. Stay tuned: Smiley’s will soon be moving to a new, larger location in Bridgewater.

Sweet Creations at Valley Pike Farm Market

If you’re heading up to Harrisonburg, stop off at the Valley Pike Farm Market for a treat at Sweet Creations. You can order a cone, cup, or sundae made from fresh Homestead Creamery ice cream. It comes in chocolate, vanilla, strawberry and a rotating selection of specialty flavors.

Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Artmobile Is Coming to Staunton

Are you starving for some art and culture, but haven’t found time to travel to the city? Fear not: The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts is bringing the art to Staunton this weekend. The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Artmobile mobile museum and studio will be parked at the Sunspots Pavilion in Staunton’s Wharf historic district on May 29th (10 a.m. – 5 p.m.) and May 30th (10 a.m. – 2 p.m.) The event is free.

What Is the Artmobile?

Since 2018, the 53-foot artmobile has traveled around Virginia carrying selections from the VMFA collection to share with visitors in hundreds of locations. The artmobile brings real, physical art to people who, because of their distance from the museum, might not otherwise see it. The artmobile also includes interactive elements that will make the art-viewing experience more appealing to a 21st-century audience.

What Is the Exhibit? What Art Will You See?

The current exhibit is called A View from Home: Landscapes of Virginia, and it explores outdoor spaces through various stylistic lenses throughout the Commonwealth’s history. Visitors can see paintings, photographs, woodblock prints, and engravings from a variety of artists including:

  • American artist and suffragist, Adele Clark, who used her sketching abilities on street corners to draw crowds to rallies.
  • Hullihen Williams Moore, who connected history, the progression of time, and natural beauty through 20 years’ worth of black and white duotone photographs of Shenandoah National Park.
  • African-American self-taught artist George H. Benjamin Johnson, who is known for his landscapes, historical, and biblical paintings as well as his political cartoons speaking out against segregation.
  • Contemporary Japanese-American artist Miwako Nishizawa, who traces her style of woodblock printing to the Ukiyo-e woodblocks of the 1700s.

What kind of experience can you expect? How long will it take? 

As visitors view the art in 600 feet of gallery space, they’ll experience real examples of art from the museum’s permanent collection as well as interactive elements like touch screens, and audio-visual components. Visitors will even receive real-time lessons with museum educators delivered via Wi-Fi.

After you enjoy the exhibit in the Artmobile, explore the Wharf parking lot for a variety of free children’s art activities. Kids can create their own buttons and score art supplies to use at home. They’ll also receive information about illustrating their own landscapes in the hopes that they will display them later this summer at Art in the Park. Saturday, May 29 1 – 4 p.m.

How Can You See More from the Museum?

If you want to see more art from the museum, head to the Virginia Museum of Fine Art’s permanent location in Richmond. You’ll enjoy art from the Americas and around the world. There’s also a lot to see online, and lots of virtual tours and activities.

What Local Gallery Experiences Can We Enjoy?

If you’d like to continue your exploration of art locally, you’re in luck. Staunton’s galleries host the works of a number of talented local and regional artists. Visit in person or online at the Staunton Augusta Art Center, located in a historic building designed by T.J. Collins in 1893. The current Introspective Show by SAAC Board Members marks the occasion of the SAAC’s 60th birthday and includes paintings, sculpture, textile art, encaustic (wax) painting, and more. Just opened, Art: A Voice celebrates “the therapeutic value of art amidst mental health challenges.”

Another worthy place to view art is the CoArt and Beverley Street Studio School Gallery space at 22 W. Beverley Street. The current exhibit in the Beverley Street Studio School Gallery is called Shared Studios. It is a memorial to Dr. Mary T. Echols and Virginia “Dinny” S. Deane, two friends who shared studio space as well as a love of and enduring support for the area’s art community. The CoArt Gallery’s May exhibit Time in Flux showcases June Jordan’s oil paintings. Next month, stop in to see Julie Farrell’s After the COVID Spike: Those Who Helped Me Through It.

Art lovers can also stroll through Staunton to see Christy Baker’s 2019 large-scale “You Belong Here” mural and the various Ferguson Metal fabrication carbon steel sculptures that pop up in unexpected places around town.

What Else Can You Do in Staunton?

All this art will tire you out, so make time to refresh in downtown Staunton. Stop in at Redbeard Brewing Company for fresh craft beer or at Ox-Eye Vineyards tasting room for some local wine. Chow down on some wholesome and kid-friendly American fare at the Depot Grille or snag some handhelds from Byers Street Bistro. Save room for gelato from The Split Banana. Shop and Dine Out Downtown all weekend long!

If you miss your chance to see the artmobile in Staunton, you can catch it at Waynesboro’s Fall Foliage Art Show on October 9-10.

Staunton’s Holiday Happenings 2020

Covid-19 might have changed a lot of things, but that doesn’t mean it needs to put a damper on your holiday celebrations. Here’s a roundup of things to keep you busy throughout the holiday season!

Downtown Shopping, Dining, and Sights: 

Staunton’s enchanting downtown is one of America’s most celebrated Main Streets and offers a truly authentic holiday experience. Find something for everyone on your shopping list in one of our boutiques and artisan shops offering unique gifts for all ages and interests. Check out Where to Get Your Shopping Fix in Staunton.

During the Covid crisis, many downtown restaurants expanded outdoor seating through the Dine Out in Downtown initiative, which closes a portion of Beverley Street on the weekends. This will extend through the end of December.

Art for Gifts

One shop you can’t miss is the R.R. Smith Center for History and Art. This gallery and museum is transformed into a holiday market showcasing works by 70 Virginia artists and artisans and features quality, handmade fine art and crafts. Shop in person, online, or reserve a 30-minute private time slot.

Santa’s Workshop

Santa’s workshop comes to life at 110 West Beverley Street with “living window” displays. The Staunton Downtown Development Association recreates Santa’s North Pole operations complete with live actors portraying Jolly Old Saint Nicholas and his hard working elves in scenes from Santa’s workshop. Don’t forget to bring your letters to Santa, which can be placed in a special mailbox, located in front of the storefront during the hours of the event. The living windows will be on display Dec. 5, 12 and 19 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.

Strolling Christmas Characters & Carolers

You can also find Santa and the elves, along with other Christmas characters, strolling around downtown Staunton during SDDA’s “Saturdays in December” from 10am – 2pm, weather permitting.

Winter Market

Thanksgiving marks the end of Staunton’s traditional Farmers Market but this December we are in for a treat with the first, ever Winter Market! The market’s vendors—old and new—come together to offer homegrown and hand-crafted products ranging from food to clothing and accessories, home decor and gifts. The Winter Market will be held on December 5, 12 and 19 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Learn more on their website. Many vendors have included contact information so that you can browse online and place orders ahead of time.


Celebration of Holiday Lights

Now through the end of December, Gypsy Hill Park is transformed into a winter wonderland. Come see the park aglow with holiday lights and festive decorations. If you’re lucky, you might catch a live performance! Entrance into the park is FREE and lights can be seen every evening from 5:00 pm – 11:00 pm. For more information, please visit their website. Walk and look at the setups during the day, or drive after dark. While there are many wonderful displays, pay special attention to the lighted “Field of Deer” exhibit. Each deer honors a special person.

Old World Holiday Tours at Frontier Culture Museum

Embark on an after-hours tour of the Frontier Culture Museum as you travel to England, Ireland and Germany visiting original farmsteads with costumed interpreters performing festive music and holiday skits. New this year, a cheeky and fast-paced performance of, The Reduced History of Christmas featuring two street performers weaving their way through the shortest history of Christmas in one madcap ride. The tour culminates with light refreshments. Tours run the weekends of December 4-6, 11-13, 18-20.

COVID safety measures are in place. 

Avenue of Evergreens at the Blackburn Inn

The Blackburn Inn and The MaDee Project have created the second annual Avenue of Evergreens to support the fight against pediatric cancer. This event is free and open to the public. Visitors will tour the inn and donate monetarily to vote for their favorite trees and wreaths. Wreaths were decorated by businesses, nonprofits, and families, and the one earning the most money will win the People’s Choice award. Votes will be accepted until January 3.

Christmas Wonderland at Creative Works Farm

Looking for another chance to visit Santa and check out the seasonal lights? Reserve a ticket and head out to Creative Works Farm on December 4 from 5-8 p.m.  Activities (planned with Covid guidelines in place) include a walk-through light and music show, musical performances, crafts, refreshments, wagon rides, visits with farm animals and more. All proceeds benefit Camp LIGHT, a summer camp for children with special needs.

Christmas Haunts and Legends from the Queen City

If you’ve enjoyed A Christmas Carol and want to learn about your hometown ghosts, sign up for a 90-minute Ghosts of Staunton tour through downtown. You’ll learn about Staunton’s history, hauntings, and holiday legends.

Holiday Performances

American Shakespeare Center’s A Christmas Carol 

Savor the holiday classic, A Christmas Carol, from the comfort of your own couch! Enjoy ghostly season’s greetings filled with memorable music and cheer with this contemporary twist on the age-old tale of Marley, the three Christmas ghosts, the Cratchits and Tiny Tim.  Catch the live stream on December 4th or 8th or watch at your leisure with the buy on-demand option. Or watch it on the silver screen at Visulite Cinemas in downtown Staunton. The cinema-quality filmed performance will be playing December 18-24. 

Heifetz Institute’s The Beethoven Experience

Though the Heifetz Institute is not having physical programming this season, it will continue to showcase valuable virtual experiences. Tune in on December 14 for the final concert in The Beethoven Experience with the Borromeo Quartet series, which gives ticket holders a chance to “participate in online interactive pre-concert conversations investigating the intersection between Beethoven and the intellectual, political, and artistic currents of his time….and ours.” The December 14 concert explores both endings of Beethoven’s Op. 130 string quartet. Purchase tickets here.

ShenanArts Yes Virginia, There Is a Santa Claus

Your family will love the old-timey joy of gathering together to listen to the ShenanArts streamed staged radio play production of Yes Virginia, There Is a Santa Claus. Not only will actors perform their lines, they’ll also create all the music and original sound effects. This play is based on a true story from 1897 in which a young girl connects with a New York Sun reporter over a very important question. Yes Virginia, There Is a Santa Claus “celebrates the magic of Christmas and believing in the unseen.” Streaming December 18-20.


Blow Your Own Ornament at Sunspots

Create a family tradition for years to come by blowing your own ornament at Sunspots Studios! Trained glassblowers will be by your side to assist you in making a one-of-a-kind ornament to adorn your tree at home. Visitors can also watch live glass blowing demonstrations daily from 11 am to 4 pm.

Wreath Workshops

Decorations make the holidays brighter and there are several local wreath and centerpiece workshop opportunities. Valley Mills Farm and Valley Pike Farm Market still have slots open, but they’re filling up quickly.

Our Winter Village

Here’s a fun alternative to installing even more inflatables on your lawn this year. Staunton Parks and Rec’s Our Winter Village is an opportunity to join with others to create a village of winter-themed characters for display in Gypsy Hill Park. Register online for this free December 5th event and your creation will stand with the rest of the village through New Year’s.

Staunton’s Seasonal Treats: Holiday Music and Entertainment

Staunton’s holiday calendar is bursting with all kinds of treats this year, including music, shopping, historical tours, and even a chance or two to see old St. Nick himself. Here’s the lineup for Staunton’s holiday music, events and entertainment this holiday season.  

Holiday Music

Advent Lessons and Carols

Trinity Episcopal Church, Sunday, December 2, 5-6 p.m.

Trinity’s traditional candlelight Lessons and Carols service, sung by the Trinity Choirs, interweaves scripture, carols, and choral music. Music for organ, choir, and congregation. A reception will follow in McCracken Hall.

Heifetz Holiday Homecoming

December 10, 7:30-10 p.m. at the Blackfriars Playhouse

The Heifetz Institute’s brilliant alumni performers return to Staunton to perform Baroque masterworks, timeless classics and favorites of the season. The special program will feature star Heifetz alums.


Trinity Episcopal Church, Sunday, January 6, 2019

Harpist Rachel Lee Hall returns to Trinity to accompany John Rutter’s Dancing Day in Trinity’s annual Christmas Concert. Favorite carols for harp, organ, choir, and audience.

Holiday Entertainment and Events

Downtown Shopping: Art for Gifts

November 10 – December 30, Extended gallery hours: 10 am-6 pm Monday – Saturday and  1pm-4 pm Sunday

You can find a special and unique gift for every one of your family and friends in Staunton this holiday season. Don’t miss any of our downtown boutiques and artisan shops. A seasonal must-see is Art for Gifts in the R.R. Smith Center for History and Art. This holiday market highlights the handmade fine art and crafts of more than 70 Virginia artists and artisans.

Celebration of Holiday Lights at Gypsy Hill Park

November 19 – January 1, 5-11 pm

Every holiday season Gypsy Hill Park lights up the night with its Celebration of Holiday Lights, running from November 19 – January 1. The displays are designed and realized by community organizations, churches, and individuals who claim a space to decorate. The celebration “focuses on strong community values that all can enjoy regardless of age, background or religion.” The display is free to the public and best viewed from a car.

Another great way to view the lights is to attend Caroling in the Park on December 15. This Parks and Rec event includes caroling by local choirs , hot chocolate and cookies, bonfires, photographs with Santa, and hayrides that circle the park. All parts of the event are free, but the event supports the Valley Mission, so all donations are appreciated!

Small Business Saturday

Saturday, November 24, 9 am – 7 pm

Walk off your Thanksgiving calories, make a dent in your holiday shopping, and support local businesses while you’re doing it? It’s a win win win at Staunton’s annual Small Business Saturday. Our downtown shops are filled with great deals and holiday cheer and many merchants will be offering discounts and refreshments.

Watch the magical shopping scene as it unfolds, and get yourself ready to shop, on the Small Business Saturday Cam

Staunton Christmas Parade

November 26, 7-9 p.m.

Let the 2018 theme of “I’ll Be Home for Christmas”warm your heart this year’s annual Staunton Christmas parade. Holiday-themed floats, marching bands, and local organizations march the route that winds Staunton’s festive downtown. Make sure you stay until the end to catch a glimpse Santa and Mrs. Claus!  

A live stream camera will be on site making the parade accessible for those who cannot be physically present.

Historic Staunton Foundation’s 46th Annual Holiday House Tour

December 1, 5-8 p.m. and December 2, 1-5 pm

Hundreds of visitors flock to Staunton’s popular Historic Staunton Foundation’s Holiday House Tour each year to celebrate Staunton’s architecture and holiday decor. Five beautifully restored private homes in Staunton’s Stuart Addition Historic District will be showcased and discussed.

American Shakespeare Center’s Blackfriars Playhouse

December 4-29: For information on showtimes and tickets, visit the American Shakespeare Center.

  • A Christmas Carol – Join Marley, the three Christmas ghosts, the Cratchits, and Tiny Tim – they’re all back to take Scrooge on the ride of his money-grubbing life.
  • Every Christmas Story Ever Told (And Then Some!)Ring in the holidays with this fast-paced Christmas journey through all of your favorite holiday classics! Be prepared for a whirlwind of laughter, carols, and joy as you experience the Holiday Spirit like never before.

Gingerbread Workshop

Sunday, December 9, 1-4 pm

All ages are welcome at The Paris Cake Company’s 3rd Annual Gingerbread House Workshop. Create a family tradition as up to four participants use royal icing and candy to decorate each elaborate, pre-built gingerbread house. You’ll also enjoy hot chocolate and cookies. The event will be held at the Stonewall Jackson Hotel and Conference Center and houses must be reserved in advance.

Lantern Tours at Frontier Culture Museum

December 14-16 and 21-23 at 6:00, 6:30, 7:00, 7:30, & 8:00 pm

The 2018 Lantern Tours at the Frontier Culture Museum bring historic holiday traditions to life and explore the changes that have happened over time. Visitors attending this popular event will tour the museum on foot and by horse-drawn wagon. They’ll see living history vignettes at the English, Irish, German, and American farms as well as a Mummer’s play. The tour will conclude with light refreshments and live music. Reservations required.

Holiday Tea at the Anne Hathaway Cottage Tea Room


Celebrate the holiday season with friends and a special tea luncheon at  Anne Hathaway Cottage Tea Room. You’ll enjoy hand-made scones, tea sandwiches, and shortbread all served with imported jam, clotted cream, and tea. Make your reservations today!

Blow Your Own Ornament at Sunspots


Aspiring glassblowers ages 7+ can huff and puff and create a piece or original art for their tree or window by blowing an ornament at Sunspots Studios! Trained glassblowers will assist you in making a one-of-a-kind ornament for a gift or decoration. Ornaments ready for pick up or shipping the following day. Visitors can also purchase pre-made ornaments in the gallery or watch live glassblowing demonstrations daily until 4.

Explore Downtown Staunton with Traipse

Tour on your own time. Discover one of the “Best Main Streets in the USA,” (USA Today) with the free app, Traipse. Explore Staunton’s historic sites, architectural treasures, and awe-inspiring attractions on this tour/scavenger hunt in downtown Staunton. Choose from several tour options and go at your own pace.

It’s Farmers’ Market Season

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

The Staunton Farmers’ Market

Is there a more idyllic way to spend a Saturday morning than strolling through a lively farmers’ market, chatting with neighbors and locals, and selecting something delicious to enjoy later? For 27 years, Stauntonians and visitors have enjoyed the convenience, community spirit, and nutritional benefits of shopping at our open-air downtown Staunton Farmers’ Market

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

What Can You Buy?

Vendors provide seasonal fruits, vegetables, and herbs as well as meat (beef, pork, chicken, lamb, sausage), and eggs. Vendors will also be selling baked goods, honey, jams, jellies, pickles, relish, and vegetable leathers. If you’re looking for plants, you’ll find perennials, bedding and garden plants, hanging baskets, and cut flowers.

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

Where:  At the Wharf Parking Lot on Johnson Street

The Staunton West End Farmers’ Market

Thursday afternoons give those a chance who may not be able to make it to Staunton’s Saturday morning market to shop for fresh, local goodies. Pick up a favorite or  try something new at the Staunton West End Market.

What Can You Buy?

Vendors provide seasonal fruits, vegetables, baked goods, flowers, plants, art and more.

When: Thursday afternoons from 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm in season

Where:  At the old Big Lots Parking lot, located near 2040 W. Beverley Street

North Augusta Farmers’ Market

The North Augusta Farmers’ Market  has been held at the Augusta County Government Center for the last ten years. Learn more about the organization that oversees this market, Project Grows.

What Can You Buy?

Vendors there will have a selection of craft and artisan items in addition to the eggs, fruits, vegetables, baked goods, and meats that their patrons have learned to love over the years!

When: Wednesdays 11:00 am – 2:00 pm, in season 

Where:  Augusta County Government Center, 18 Government Center Lane, Verona

Girlfriends’ Getaway

Staunton has plenty of trendy restaurants, local wine, luxurious lodgings, and unique shopping and entertainment opportunities. That’s why it’s the ideal environment for making new memories during a wonderful girlfriends’ getaway. You and your besties will want to make it an annual trip. Here’s a fun roundup of must-do activities.

Explore Staunton

When you arrive, head straight for Staunton’s extremely walkable downtown. The Staunton Farmer’s Market opens on the first Saturday in April, and often features live music. Nibble a baked treat and scout out seasonal produce, honey, jams and pickles to take home. Next, explore Staunton’s five historic districts, visit the Woodrow Wilson Birthplace, or take a tour of the American Shakespeare Center. Stop in at Paris Cake Company for something sweet. And if cupcakes are your particular passion, you can’t skip the giant cupcakes and egg-less raw cookie dough at Sweet Nana Cakes.


Staunton has a lot to offer girlfriends who enjoy shopping together. Plan to spend some time exploring our boutiques, galleries, and antique stores. Design at Nine offers the latest in women’s fashion, shoes, and accessories. Try Latitudes for fair trade selections ranging from women’s apparel, to jewelry to recycled metal wall art. If you’re looking for more art to buy, check out Beverly Street Studio, where local artists exhibit and sell their work. You might also be captivated by the spectacular glass work at Sunspots.

Relax and Recharge

Recharge your mind and body with a class at Sanctuary Yoga and Wellness.The studio welcomes walk-ins and offers classes in a variety of styles, including vinyasa, hatha, and yin. See here for a schedule. If you’re serious about relaxing, why not share a spa day with your girlfriends? Indulge yourself at Breezy Hill Day Spa, housed in a historic mansion or Mill Street Body and Soul Day Spa and Salon,  which is right downtown. Both spas’ services include massage, facials, manicures, and pedicures. Breezy Hill offers an all-day session that includes lunch.

Outside Fun

Take a scenic drive to Fishersville and ramble around the Andre Viette Farm. Viette is world famous for his daylilies, and the farm and garden center is open year round. Get inspired by the beautiful gardens and take some plants home to your own. If fresh flowers are your thing, explore the Pebble Hall Wildflowers. Pick a bouquet of whatever’s in bloom, pet the horses, and plan a picnic to appreciate the view. If you’re outside for something more rigorous, remember that you’re in some of the best hiking country in the world. For some ideas, see An Alternate Spring Break: 5 Awesome Hikes. You might also rent a kayak or stand-up paddleboard from Rockfish Gap Outfitters in Waynesboro for a fun-filled day of paddling on the South River or Lake Sherando.

Drinks and Light Fare

Still wishing there were one more season of Downton Abbey? Drown your sorrows in tea at the Anne Hathaway Cottage Tea Room.  Enjoy traditional High Tea, light lunches and afternoon cream teas in a picturesque thatched cottage surrounded by gardens. You can even sample all the teas thrown into the harbor during the Boston Tea Party! If you’re still thirsty, head to Ox Eye Tasting Room to taste a variety of their wines. Follow your tasting with a full glass of your favorite. Or go to Yelping Dog Wine, where wine can be enjoyed by the glass or by the bottle, and you can munch on a cheese plate or gourmet grilled cheese sandwich. If you prefer a vineyard with a view, take a picnic to Barren Ridge Vineyards, only a short drive east of Staunton.

Dinner with Friends

Staunton boasts a rich restaurant scene with much to choose from, but if you’re looking for fare to share with your girlfriends, try a range of Spanish tapas and other Mediterranean food at Aioli Restaurant. If pizza and beer are more up your alley, split a gourmet pie at Shenandoah Pizza and Tap House. And if you still have room for more food, get some scoops of homemade gelato at The Split Banana. Here, a number of flavors, both traditional and exotic will tempt your taste buds. Guinness Extra Stout in a waffle cone, anyone?

Staunton After Dark

Many of Staunton’s watering holes host events on different nights of the week. Fun stuff includes trivia, live music, and karaoke. Check out the Staunton on Tap and the Shenandoah Beerwerks Trail events page for more info. Downtown 27 is Staunton’s own dance club. Downtown 27 offers live music, DJ dance parties, and other exciting entertainment. And if active puzzle games are your style, book a Staunton’s Crack the Code Escape Room. Groups of six or fewer use their wits to puzzle out clues and escape the room in under an hour.


A trip to Staunton isn’t complete without some Shakespeare at the American Shakespeare Center. You can catch a performance almost every night year-round, and you can even sit on stage to get very close to the actors. If you’re lucky, they might use you as a prop! Check out what’s on stage at Shenanarts, where you’ll see ambitious and energetic performances by local talent almost every weekend.

Other good stuff:

For a list of Staunton restaurants known for brunch, see our post: Staunton’s Brunch Bunch.

If you’re planning to stay in Staunton overnight, here are some quirky and fun places to stay or click here for our bed and breakfast picks.


Insider Tips for Visiting Staunton this Spring

Insider Tips For Visiting Staunton This Spring

If you haven’t visited yet, now is the perfect time to make your first trip. Staunton frequently tops many “best” lists – and for good reason. The city’s architecture, performing arts, local charm, and buzz-worthy dining scene make it an ideal getaway, especially in the spring.

Check out Staunton’s spring art festivals

You may not be shopping for art, but it never hurts to look! And it’s always fun to see artists in action. Regional art festival standouts include the Queen City Plein Air Festival and the Hot Glass Festival in April, and Art in the Park extravaganza in May. Or go on an art walk downtown visiting the many galleries and working studios that include all mediums from fiber to textiles to glass and everything in between. 

See a show (or two!)

Staunton is home to the American Shakespeare Center and the Blackfriars Playhouse, the world’s only re-creation of Shakespeare’s indoor theatre. Hailed by The Boston Globe as “phenomenal…bursting with energy,” this is a theatrical experience you won’t want to miss.

While he often appears at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, tenor Gerhard Siegel will perform a single recital (works by Puccini, Mahler, Schumann) in Staunton on April 7. Tickets available through Staunton Music Festival.

Take a free guided walking tour

Historic Staunton Foundation offers FREE walking tours every Saturday at 10 am from May through October. Visitors wind their way through four of Staunton’s six historic districts as a local guide describes Staunton’s development and architecture.

Go shopping & antiquing

Take a stroll and window shop on Beverley Street, proclaimed by USA Today as one of the “most charming main streets” in America. Downtown merchants offer an eclectic mix of antiques, arts, and distinctive gifts in addition to delicious foodstuffs.

 Spend a day at a museum

Explore the Shenandoah Valley’s pioneering history at the Frontier Culture Museum, with living snapshots of what frontier from the 1600s through the mid-1800s in this area. Jumping ahead to the 20th century, take a closer look at our 28th president at the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Museum as you take a self-guided tour through seven galleries that explore Wilson’s life and legacy.

Sample your way through our farmer’s market

At this “producers-only” market, you can enjoy live music and meet local farmers and food artisans. Starting in April, this event runs every Saturday from 7 am to 12 pm in the Wharf District.

Taste new brews

Beer is in, and Staunton is at the center of a booming beer scene. What better place to try out a flight on the Shenandoah Beerwerks Trail than Redbeard Brewing, which was recently tapped in a story by the Washington Post for best barrel-aged beers.

Marvel at mountain views

Staunton is equally close to Skyline Drive and the Blue Ridge Parkway.  Both roads rank among the “best mountain drives” in America. You’ll have access to spectacular views, and hundreds of miles of hiking including the Appalachian Trail. Wildflowers dazzle with colorful blooms, starting in mid-March.

Unique Gifts for Your Staunton Valentine


Want to make an impression on Valentine’s Day? Why not snag your sweetie a one-of-a-kind Staunton find? From gourmet chocolates to fair-trade birdhouses, Staunton vendors offer unique gifts to complement any romance.

Chocolate gifts

Cocoa Mill Staunton
Declare your feelings with Cocoa Mill’s Edible Chocolate Valentine Truffle Heart Box, which the Wall Street Journal declared “Best Overall” when comparing it to other celebrated chocolates. Or try a Valentine’s Expression Box that includes an “I love you” solid chocolate bar surrounded by an assortment of artisan milk and dark chocolates.



Stop by Cranberries Grocery for Staunton-made Santiago Chocolates and other natural and organic goodies. Also stock up on locally-made soaps, lotions and other body care products from Wynott, La Sunflower, and Made by Mieka.

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Wine gifts

Your wine-loving valentine will adore sampling a new local vintage from one of Staunton’s wine stores. Head to Yelping Dog Wines to peruse the 1,500-bottle selection. After you shop, you can grab a seat for an intimate wine and cheese treat. You might also visit The Wine Cellar, Staunton’s “Libation Destination,” for help choosing a special bottle and local, gourmet chocolates to pair with it. And if the total wine experience is more to your valentine’s taste, score some tickets to the Winter Wine Festival on February 24.


Staunton gifts

Valentines will remember your love (and Staunton) whenever they hear the tinkling of a Staunton charm from H.L. Lang and Company Jewelers. These lovely keepsakes depict the Stonewall Brigade Bandstand, the Marquis Building, the watering can and other Staunton landmarks. Another place to look for unique gifts is Crown Jewelers, where you can select from both new and estate jewelry to suit your love’s style.
Watering can
Staunton watering can charm
mugs - Shakespeare Insults
mugs - TARDIS
mugs - Banned Books
mugs - Twain quotes

Does your darling enjoy the Staunton Shakespeare experience? Why not buy a copy of a favorite play at Bookworks? This shop, in the Queen City Marketplace, stocks books by the Bard and other literary products.  Saucier finds include mugs covered with Shakespearean insults and the titles of banned books.

Make sure to visit the gift shop at the American Shakespeare Center for more Shakespeare-themed goodies.

Handmade gifts

  Select a Staunton local landmark mug from Rachel’s Quilt Patch for your favorite coffee drinker.  Write a love letter on one of Rachel’s or Emma Rose’s original cards then watch the recipient pull a tissue from a handmade, decorative tissue box to dab those joyful tears.  
Decorative tissue box
Harmony Moon’s hand-felted birdhouse

If your honey loves watching birds, try one of Harmony Moon’s fair trade, hand-felted birdhouses. They are made from naturally water-resistant sheep’s wool and sustainable and recyclable materials. They are both decorative and functional. “Birds love ’em, and so will you!”

Artful Gifts offers one-of-a-kind scarves, hats, and clothing handmade from fabrics crafted from wool, silk, and other natural materials. Inspired by the heritage of Highland County, this unique “art wear” pampers the wearer and can be custom made.

Art wear from Artful Gifts


All-natural gifts

While Medieval Fantasies Company is better known for its handmade swords, armor, and Welsh items, it also offers Medieval Bath and Body products. The Lavender and Amethyst collection includes bath soaps, foaming bath gems, soaking salts, lavender oil perfume, and hand-poured, ginger and amber-scented soy candles.

Redwood and Co. is another great source for homemade soy candles, which come in Drifter,  Wanderlust, and other intriguing scents.  

The Lavender and Amethyst collection

Outdoor gifts

Break free of the winter blues by planning a romantic hike or spring camping trip with your sweetie. Check out Wilderness Adventure for deals on sleeping bags, camp hammocks, and other gear to keep your campsite cozy. And if your beloved would enjoy a new bike to explore all the scenic roads in Augusta County, you should visit Black Dog Bikes. Their range of bikes appeals to casual and serious cyclists.