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Here’s Why You Need That Winter Getaway to Staunton

Looking for a way to shake the post-holiday blahs? Let Staunton serve up a sure cure for you. Start planning a winter getaway for your family, your couple, or your friends today!

Frozen Wonderland

With Staunton as your starting point, you’ll find a plethora of spectacular winter views. Go east for drives or hikes along the Blue Ridge on the Skyline Drive or the Blue Ridge Parkway. Venture west to explore the Alleghenies and Bath County. Stick close to Staunton for some of the best winter pastoral views.

Foodie Paradise

Close your eyes when you enter one of Staunton’s fine dining establishments and you’ll think you’re in a much larger city. Indulge your taste buds with fine dining at The Shack or Table 44, global fare at Chicano Boy Taco or Taste of India, traditional and delicious meals at The Depot Grille or the Mill Street Grill, or the retro dining experience at Wright’s Dairy Rite.

Antiquer’s Delight

If hunting for treasures is your game, you’ve got to check out Staunton’s vintage offerings. From funky finds to recycled riches, spend the day perusing Staunton’s eight antique shops and markets.  A short drive to Verona will get you to the Factory Antique Mall, one of the largest in the country. Read all about our antique offerings

Instagramer’s Dream Scene

There are many reasons that Staunton keeps popping up on the best small towns lists and one of them is its beauty. From its rolling hills and quaint Victorian architecture, to parks, gardens like the one at the Anne Hathaway Cottage Tea Room, to industrial elements like the red neon Stonewall Jackson Hotel sign, the train station, and  Sears Hill Footbridge over the tracks, you’ll find no end to cool backgrounds for your selfies. While you’re here seek out Staunton’s five photogenic hot spots. 

Hub for History Buffs

Staunton provides a healthy dose of history. As one of the oldest cities west of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Staunton’s history spans three centuries. A wide selection of historic attractions, archival collections, old buildings, museums, and Civil Warsites are located in and around Staunton. Highlights include the Frontier Culture Museum, an outdoor living history museum providing snapshots of life on the 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. Highlights include the President’s restored 1919 Pierce-Arrow limousine as well as a new, state-of–the-art World War I trench exhibit complete with lights and sound to experience what life was like for soldiers as they engaged in battle. 

 You can also tour historic districts downtown and learn about Staunton’s place in Civil War history as you explore Thornrose Cemetery.

attractions galore

Shakespeare is serious fun at the American Shakespeare Center’s Blackfriars Playhouse, the world’s only re-creation of
Shakespeare’s indoor theater. Take a backstage tour where you’ll get a behind-the-scenes look as you go on, behind and
under the stage. Photography— including selfies–are encouraged!  Tours are (usually) available Monday-Friday at 2 pm and Saturday at 11 am.

The Actors’ Renaissance Season kicks off on January 11. With no director, little costume assistance, and very little rehearsal time—similar to the way historians believe Shakespeare’s company operated—ASC actors take the stage in four different productions: The Merry Wives of Windsor, Henry IV, Part I, Anne Page Hates Fun, and Arden of Faversham. 

Other “winter friendly” attractions include: the Camera Heritage Museum, R.R. Smith Center for History and Art, and Sunspots Studios.

Wildlife Hot spots


Situated between Shenandoah National Park and the Washington and Jefferson National Forests, Staunton is a great place to view winter wildlife. See our list of wildlife hot spots for when the chilly weather keeps you close to your hotel. If you feel like venturing beyond Staunton, check out Winter Wildlife Hot Spots Part 2: Farther Afield.

Staunton’s Coziest Corners

Brrrrr. Winter is making its presence known! If you can’t resist the urge to curl up after a long day in the snow, come to one of these cozy spots for drinks, dinner, or to hang with your friends. Enjoy toasty drinks, comfortable furniture and most importantly, some crackling fireplaces. Make the most out of the winter weather!

Fireplaces

Stonewall Jackson Hotel / 24 South Market Street

One of our favorite winter pleasures is basking in a fire’s warm glow while enjoying a seasonal beverage and comfort food. Sorrel’s Lounge offers casual drinks, dining and a flickering fireplace just off the lobby of the beautifully decorated Stonewall Jackson Hotel. Weeknight happy hours from 5-7.

Table 44 / 300 Church Street, B

There’s a woodstove in the lobby of Table 44, which makes it especially welcoming during the colder months. You can huddle close as you’re waiting for lunch and selecting treats for later from the display cases of Paris Cake Company deliciousness.

The Store / 221 North Lewis Street

Toast your toes by the fireplace in The Store as you sip your coffee and wait for your farm-to-table breakfast. This store and restaurant connects local farms to the community, so you know your food will be fresh! Enjoy breakfast, lunch, dinner, and local beer, wine, and cider. Pick up some baked or canned goods to savor at home.

Stable Craft Brewing / 375 MADRID ROAD, Waynesboro

At Stable Craft Brewing, you have a choice of basking in the glow of the taproom fireplace or renting an igloo and partying like they do up north with your nearest and dearest. This brewery hosts regular seasonal activities, offers an excellent taplist, and serves a full menu.

Seven Arrows Brewing / 2508 Jefferson HWY 1, Waynesboro

It’s cold outside, so lounge in front of the fireplace and enjoy a varied menu of craft beer at Seven Arrows Brewing. Hungry? Order something delicious from onsite Nobos Kitchen, specializing in appetizers, burgers, and favorites like the meatloaf mac and cheese and the Cuban sandwich.

Barren Ridge Vineyard / 984 Barren Ridge Rd, Fishersville

People head to Barren Ridge Vineyards for the terrific wine and incredible views from the patio, but in winter, the huge stone fireplace warms up the tasting room and provides a lovely backdrop. Bring snacks and enjoy wines by the tasting, glass, or bottle.

Other Cozy Spots

Beverley St. Cigar / 2 E Beverley St.

If you enjoy a fine cigar and good company, grab a big chair in the Beverly St. Cigar smoking lounge. Enjoy free wi-fi, watch the game or the bustle of downtown through the huge windows, and pick up some last-minute gifts like flasks, pipes, hats, and cigars.

Pompei Lounge / 23 E Beverley St.

The Pompei Lounge has a variety of comfortable places to sit. Plant yourself at the bar or in a couch in the intimate seating areas around the multi-level cocktail den. Enjoy your favorite beverage as well as Italian food from the Emilio’s menu. Check the schedule for live music or game nights.

Mill Street Grill /1 Mill Street

There’s no fireplace here, but the Mill Street Grill has been serving up coziness and delicious food since it opened in 1992. Grab a booth or a seat at the bar and warm your belly with some comfort food.

By & By / 140 E. Beverley St

If you’re looking to warm up while shopping and exploring downtown Staunton, stop into centrally-located By & By. Cuddle on the couch and watch the city life outside the window while enjoying coffee, desserts, grilled sandwiches, and craft beer and wine.

Réunion Bakery & Espresso / 26 S. New St.

Settle into a comfy chair and celebrate the shorter days of winter with a hot cup of coffee or espresso and a French pastry from Réunion Bakery & Espresso. You won’t be able to resist buying some croissants or bread to take home with you!

10 Photos that Will Make You Want to Visit Staunton this Holiday Season

Staunton is a wonderful town any season of the year, but it really shines for the winter holidays. This year, plan to experience our fine dining and shopping opportunities, our holiday decor and festivities, and our natural beauty. Here are ten of our best holiday photos. Pay us a visit and share your favorite holiday photo by tagging #LOVEstaunton.

The Decorated Lobby of the Stonewall Jackson Hotel and Conference Center

Tea at The Anne Hathaway Cottage Tea Room

The Beautiful and Welcoming Stores downtown

The Staunton Christmas Parade

Winter at the Blackburn Inn

The Festival of Lights in Gypsy Hill Park

A Christmas Carol at The American Shakespeare Center

Holiday Lantern Tours at the Frontier Culture Museum

Seasonal Treats From Paris Cake Company

Hand-Blown Ornaments at Sunspots Studios

Plus, a Christmas video of Trinity episcopal Church

 

Finding Your Next Best Read: Staunton’s Bookstore Scene

If your favorite way to spend a winter day involves curling up with a new book or sharing that experience by buying a book for a loved one, stock up at one of Staunton’s bookstores. You’ll find Shakespeare, Harry Potter, historical and legal texts, works by Staunton’s amazing local authors and everything in between. Though the ease of ordering books from home has hurt many brick and mortar bookstores, Staunton’s book culture is thriving. Make time  to explore Staunton’s bookstores and get to know the bibliophiles who run them!

Barrister Books / 1 Lawyers Row

For 10 years, Barrister Books has been Staunton’s source for old, used, and rare books. Located in a scenic part of downtown near the historic Augusta County Courthouse and the R.R. Smith Center for History and Art, stop in and browse the incredibly organized shelves for your next great read. If you’re lucky, the shop will be featuring an exhibit of work by book or paper artists.

  • Open Wednesday – Saturday: 10:30 – 5:30, Sunday: 12-5, and by appointment

Black Swan Books / 1 East Beverly Street

Black Swan Books, which calls itself “just the kind of place…to get lost in – equal parts mystery, relaxation, and treasure hunt,” is conveniently located downtown on Beverly Street. Pop in the next time you’re window shopping and find a collection of carefully curated rare and used books as well as records by local and popular artists. The books are arranged by category, and, yes, there is a children’s section, full of both standard and collectible books. There are places to relax and examine your finds. You might also discover art exhibits, live music, and book or poetry readings/signings.

  • Open Wednesday – Saturday: 11-6, Sunday: 12-5

Bookworks / 101 West Beverley Street

Virginia Living Magazine voted Bookworks as one of its “Best of Virginia” indie bookstores. The store, located inside Queen City Marketplace, has an impressive selection including many categories of fiction and nonfiction for both children and adults. You’ll also be able to find newspapers, magazines and books by local authors. If you’re looking for a gift that’s not a book, peruse their selection of greeting cards, puzzles, coffee mugs, and music from local musicians. Bookworks will gladly help you special order anything you can’t find on the shelves.

  • Open Monday – Saturday: 9-6
  • Newsstand is also open Sunday mornings from 8-9

Pufferbellies Toys and Books / 15 West Johnson Street

Kids and adults alike will find things to fascinate them in Pufferbellies Toys and Books. Don’t get distracted playing in this magical space before you make you way to the book section, though. Mother/daughter team Susan and Erin Blanton use their experience as a children’s librarian and editor to stock a spectacular assortment of  books for children of all ages. You’ll find board books and chapter books, classics, current popular favorites, and delightful new discoveries.

  • Open Monday – Friday: 10-6, Saturday: 9-5, Sunday: 12-4

Staunton Books Popup / 13 W Beverley St

Housed in a historic building built in 1895 (that you can explore), Staunton Books Popup sells “nearly new” used books, crafts, cards, and gifts (including lavender eye pillows, book weights, and handmade bookmarks). Browse fiction, non-fiction, philosophy, history, and books for children. “Our shop and interests are eclectic, with an academic bent and an optimistic view of the human experience.” The books are neatly arranged by category and are all available at the same low price: $5 each or 3 books for $10.

  • Open Friday-Sunday in “fair weather” 

The Avocado Pit Bookstore / 2621 West Beverley St.

If your tastes lean towards genealogy, military, art, collectibles, technical, or business and stock market, you’ll find plenty of reading material at  The Avocado Pit Bookstore. The store also carries general stock, children’s books, and cookbooks. If somehow you don’t find what you’re looking for, you can make a request or visit TAP’s booth in the Factory Antique Mall in Verona. The Verona site specializes in comics, graphic novels, ghost hunting, and paranormal.

  • Open Monday – Saturday: 2-5, or by chance or appointment

Staunton’s Fall Foliage: Weekend of November 9-11

The autumn colors peaked in Staunton last week, and boy were they spectacular. While many of the trees have dropped their leaves in the past few days, there’s still time to see touches of color. Plan to visit the Staunton Farmer’s Market on one of its final weeks this Saturday and check for some color in the historic Wharf area and nearby on the grounds of Trinity Church.

Gypsy Hill Park

Beyond Staunton

The Virginia Department of Forestry  reports peak fall foliage this week, especially at areas below 3000 feet. The weather should be sunny and in the 40s this weekend, so get out there and enjoy the mountains and the Shenandoah Valley in all their glory. Take advantage of Fee-Free Entry Day at Shenandoah National Park on Sunday, November 11.  Here’s a link to the park’s list of suggested hikes or plan to leaf peep from your car while cruising along the Skyline Drive.

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Staunton’s Fall Foliage Report: Weekend of November 2-4

The colors are here! Staunton is bursting with vivid yellows and oranges this week. To top it off, the weather is on the warmer side, so get out and enjoy nature’s finest display. Visit Gypsy Hill Park, Montgomery Hall Park, Woodrow ParkBetsy Bell and Mary Gray Wilderness Area, and Thornrose Cemetery for some of the loveliest views in town. Check here every week for our updated fall foliage report.

Gypsy Hill Park

Beyond Staunton

The colors continue to march on outside city limits. Leaf peepers can expect to see yellows and reds from maples. Look also for red displays from sumac and, surprisingly, poison ivy vines, which add festive garlands to tree trunks. The Virginia Department of Forestry estimates that 50-75 percent of the trees have changed. Check out the views along the Skyline Drive, the Blue Ridge Parkway, and from the top of Shenandoah Mountain to the west.

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You Made That? Staunton’s Impressive Arts and Crafts Scene

Many artisans live and work in Staunton, and many allow you into their creative spaces where you can actually see them honing their skills and creating beautiful things with their hands. After watching them create, you might feel inspired or feel a deep connection to their work. Fortunately, you can purchase their handmade wares to wear, for the home, or as gifts for the special people in your life.  Read below for the best of Staunton’s arts and crafts scene.

Sunspots Studios & Glassblowing | 202 S. Lewis Street

One of Staunton’s most interesting tourist attractions is Sunspots Studios & Glassblowing, owned by Doug and Caroline Sheridan. You can wander the gallery and select unique and beautiful art glass in the forms of ornaments, vases, jewelry, and even wizard wands to purchase. Visitors are welcome to visit the studio and watch Sunspots staff demonstrating fascinating techniques and creating unique pieces. Would-be artisans can even attempt to blow their own ornaments with guidance from Sunspots staff, of course.  Admire the work of additional artists in May when Sunspots hosts the Virginia Hot Glass FestivalSunspots is open Monday through Saturday from 10 to 6 and Sunday from 11:30 to 5.

Rachel’s Quilt Patch | 40 Middlebrook Avenue

Three generations of quilters are ready to help you with your project at Rachel’s Quilt Patch. Rachel Brown and her daughter, Kay, are avid quilters and work the fabric shop together, along with granddaughter, Emma Rose, who helps out after school. Rachel’s Quilt Patch sells quilting supplies and notions and gift items like soaps. The store offers regular classes for both beginners and experienced quilters. You can also join clubs and “sew-ins.” Quilters can get assistance with fabric options, stitching, quilt preservation, and even service for sewing machines. Store hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 10 am to 5 pm, or by appointment Thursday evenings.

Artful Gifts | 6 Byers Street

For wearable art that is organic and sustainable, make sure you visit Artful Gifts, where fiber artist Lisa Jacenich creates hand-felted clothing out of wool, silk, and other natural materials. You can buy unique and intriguing coats, hats, dresses, blouses, and shawls. You will also find scarves and mittens coaxed out of re-purposed wool sweaters. If you’re looking for an accessory, check out Lisa’s husband Jim’s kumihimo (Japanese braiding), which he uses to create jewelry and belts. The Jaceniches also offer a variety of individual and group workshops, so you can learn some of their techniques to try on your own.

Concepts Created | 515 Middlebrook Avenue

Bryan Black, designer and owner of Concepts Created, has been constructing custom furniture out of reclaimed wood and other materials since 2007. Each piece is created after a detailed consultation with the customer. Skilled handcrafting and attention to detail produce unique pieces that have both beauty and history. Stop by the workshop on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9-2 to meet Bryan, check out inventory furniture on sale, and view artwork by other local artists.

Appalachian Piecework | 38 Middlebrook Avenue

Laurie Gundersen is a “utilitarian folk artist” and the driving force behind Appalachian Piecework. Her talents include basket weaving, fabric dying, quilting, and spinning. From her 18th century barn loom she crafts handwoven market bags. From locally-harvested trees she weaves a variety of baskets. Not even the bark is wasted. Appalachian Piecework also offers handcrafted products by like-minded artisans. Stop by to shop Thursday through Saturday from 11 to 6. Restoration requests and custom orders are welcome.

The Potter’s Daughter Studio | 13 W Beverley Street

Jessie Taylor’s The Potter’s Daughter Studio is home to both a pottery studio and a massage therapy practice. Jessie’s pottery is designed to reflect the natural world and her unique artistic expression and is fired in wood or gas kilns.

Cherish Every Moment | 13 East Beverley Street

There’s a little bit of everything and Cherish Every Moment, and most of it is handmade or upcycled. Shop for gifts like one-of-a-kind jewelry as well as lighting and home decor. Cherish Every Moment also assists with interior design and can create made-to-order upcycled furniture and wall decorations. Open Tuesday – Sunday, 11-5.

Bonfire Begonia

Staunton’s Susan Weeks has been designing unique jewelry for 25 years. You can find it in her new storefront, Bonfire Begonia, along with all kinds of other beautiful and eclectic items like paintings, paper mâché, furniture, and work by other artists. You can even sign up for crafting classes. Another great way to appreciate Susan’s jewelry is to subscribe to her take on the gift box trend. Instead of getting mass-produced impersonal products, subscribers will get a one-of-a-kind necklace made from vintage and found materials each month. Each piece is shipped with a handmade greeting card so it can be easily gifted. 

Gift Shops Offering Handmade and Fair Trade Crafts

If you’re looking for handmade and fair trade crafts, clothing, art, and jewelry by both domestic and foreign artists, make sure to visit Harmony Moon, Latitudes, and Made; By the People, For the People.

Galleries and Fine Art

For fine art like paintings, drawings, sculpture, and juried handcrafts, visit our Art Gallery page. The galleries in downtown are a treat for the eyes and feature work by a number of talented local artists.

Art for Gifts | 20 S. New Street

Stop by the Staunton Augusta Art Center’s annual Art for Gifts sale and exhibition from November 9 – December 30. You’ll discover original, juried fine art and crafts by 60 artists in this holiday shopping boutique. Open Monday-Saturday 10-6, and Sunday 1-4. Closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Staunton’s Fall Foliage Report: Weekend of October 26-28

You won’t need to look hard to see autumnal colors this weekend as you move around Staunton. Though our fall foliage display isn’t yet as vibrant as in years past, it’s starting to really feel like fall, and you’ll still find some beautiful backgrounds for your seasonal photos. Check here every week for our updated fall foliage report.

Gypsy Hill Park

Beyond Staunton

Interestingly, according to the Virginia Department of Forestry, “individual trees planted in urban and suburban landscapes often color earlier than those in the forest.” So, while elevation impacts temperature, which can affect color, you’re likely to see pops of color in town before widespread changes in the mountains.  The fall foliage changes are coming, though, so get out on the trail and be the first to spot them!

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Staunton’s Fall Foliage Report: Weekend of October 19-21

Staunton’s Fall Foliage Report:

weekend of October 19-21

Virginia’s trees are still pretty green, but here’s hoping this week’s cooler weather will bring on some eagerly anticipated colors. According to Smoky Mountain National Park’s Fall Foliage Prediction Map, we should look for the leaves to peak over the next two weekends. Check here every week for our updated fall foliage report.

Gypsy Hill Park

Beyond Staunton

Bundle up when you set out on the trail this weekend. Those exposed higher elevations can be downright blustery. The cold, the shorter days, and the breakdown of chlorophyll should allow some yellow and orange to shine through – if the leaves don’t fall off the trees first. According to the Virginia Department of Forestry, the warm weather until now has limited the production of red pigments. “25-30% of the trees have changed color, but red colors are still lacking in most spots.” See the full report here. 

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Staunton’s Fall Foliage Report

Staunton’s Fall Foliage Report:

weekend of October 12-14

We’re a week into October – normally prime leaf peeping season – and Staunton’s trees are still mainly wearing their summer colors. Some leaves have fallen, giving kids opportunities to play, but you’ll need to wait a bit longer for those iconic autumnal photos. Check here every week for our updated fall foliage report.

Gypsy Hill Park

Beyond Staunton

It’s been great weather for getting outside and hiking, but even at higher elevations along the Blue Ridge Parkway, the views are deeply green. The Virginia Department of Forestry attributes the slower-than-normal changes to the “abundant rain of late summer and fall.” They suggest looking for “early changers like black gum, poison ivy, dogwood, Virginia creeper, and sumacs flashing shades of red along forest edges.” See the full report here. 

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