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Category: Shopping

Locavores Rejoice! It’s Staunton Farmers’ Market Season

The Staunton Farmers’ Market is Open!

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

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

What Can You Buy?

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

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

Before You Go

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

Where:  At the Wharf Parking Lot on Johnson Street

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

great way to start your saturday 

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

Girlfriends’ Getaway

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

Explore Staunton

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

Shopping

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

Relax and Recharge

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

Outside Fun

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

Drinks and Light Fare

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

Dinner with Friends

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

Staunton After Dark

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

Theater

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

Other good stuff:

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

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

 

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
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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.

 

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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.