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Check off these items on the Staunton Spring Bucket List

Technically, your bucket list is the list of important things you want to do before you kick the bucket. But if thoughts of your demise are too macabre for you, just think of it as a list of things that will help you live your best life and enjoy interesting experiences. If you’re looking for inspiration for bucket-worthy springtime activities near Staunton, here are ideas to get you started. Make Staunton your home base as you check these off!

Commune with Nature

We all say we want to get outside for relaxation, fitness, and learning about the environment. Celebrate National Park Week on April 20th 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 to view the Valley in spring from above. SNP showcases more than 850 species of flowering plants. Here’s a wildflower calendar to help you plan your trip and identify what you discover. Or head to the George Washington National Forest to take in the views and get back to nature!

Run the Rapids

Ready to have a thrilling adventure? Rack your kayak and head to Goshen Pass for six miles of powerful class II, class III, and class IV rapids. Check here for current water levels. The gorge was created as the Maury River cut through Little North Mountain and the water that courses through is considered some of the best whitewater for intermediate paddlers in Virginia. 

Follow the Sap

For more than 60 years, people have been driving over the mountain to beautiful Highland County for the Highland Maple Festival. Visit one of ten working sugar camps for a free tour. You can see the “opening” of the trees and learn the history behind maple syrup production. Enjoy delicious treats like pancakes and maple donuts, hear lively folk and bluegrass music, and shop the wares of over a hundred juried art and craft vendors.

Head Downtown

How about eating healthy for once? The Staunton Farmers’ Market opens on April 6th this year. Visit each Saturday from 7 a.m. – noon for fresh homegrown and homemade goods and produce. This family-friendly market has been a Staunton staple since 1993. Stroll the stalls meeting the producers, listening to live music, and enjoying the Staunton community. Shop and Dine Out in Downtown and Beyond is another beloved Staunton tradition that starts on April 5th. Join your friends and neighbors as they dine and shop alfresco along Beverley Street. Save up your hot air and blow your own ornament at Sunspots Glassblowing Studio.

Get a Behind-the-Scenes Look at Staunton’s Most Beautiful Homes

We know you snoop the real estate photos, but here’s a chance to actually go inside some of Staunton’s loveliest homes.  Historic Garden Week Tours explore Staunton’s north end on April 20th. Visit four T.J. Collins-designed houses with beautifully landscaped gardens on Ridgeview Road. Get inspiration for your own garden masterpiece. If you can’t make it to the garden tour, make sure to take a stroll through Gypsy Hill Park to see the dogwoods in bloom.

Taste a New Brew

The Alpine Goat Brewery in Weyers Cave is officially open. Stop in for European-style beers, mountain views, and goats! Need motivation to get more beer in your life? The Alpine Goat Brewery is kid and dog-friendly, and it participates in the Shenandoah Valley Beerwerks passport program. You can earn a free t-shirt as you taste your way through the best craft beer the Shenandoah Valley has to offer.

Tour Staunton in a Unique Way

Follow a show at the Blackfriars with an informative and entertaining playhouse backstage tour to learn production and theater secrets! Take a virtual tour of Woodrow Wilson’s birthplace and museum until you get here and see it in person. Ghost enthusiasts will love the Ghosts of Staunton Tours, educational and entertaining tours through Staunton’s most haunted spaces. And Virginia Scenic Railway takes riders on excursions through the Shenandoah Valley countryside.

Stop the Plastic Tidal Wave

Learn how to reduce your carbon footprint at Earth Day Staunton 2024. This information-rich, family-friendly event has something for everybody. You’ll meet animals, including educational ambassadors from the Wildlife Center of Virginia, take home a tree, see a queen bee, get under the hood of an electric vehicle, learn to preserve our waterways, and much more. (April 20th)

Go on Safari

Virginia Safari Park is a lot more convenient than going to Africa to see exotic animals. Just a short drive away in Natural Bridge, the 180-acre property includes a drive-thru animal habitat. Roll your windows down and the animals will stick their heads into your car for feed. A walk-through section of the zoo has giraffes, tigers, penguins, birds, and farm animals. If you’re looking for an even rarer experience, sign up to spend a Saturday with rhinos, penguins, or sloths and their handlers. You’ll learn how the animal-care specialists feed and interact with them.

Ready for some cuteness overload closer to home? Keep an eye on Facebook for when the spring lambs are born at the Frontier Culture Museum. You should also visit during on April 6th for Fiber Festival to see interpreters process sheep’s wool 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.

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