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Embrace the Great Outdoors in Staunton

Each June, we celebrate Great Outdoors Month, and boy, is Staunton the place to do it. The weather is warm and mild, nature is at its seasonal peak, and the kids are out of school and full of energy. Step away from the couch and the screens and embrace the beauty and healing qualities of the great outdoors. Here’s how to dine, listen, hike, and enjoy family fun outside in Staunton.

Staunton’s Outdoor Patios

There’s nothing like dining outside on a balmy summer evening. Make sure you’re visiting Shop & Dine Out in Downtown and Beyond each weekend when Beverley Street closes to vehicular traffic and opens to community fun. In addition to the restaurants setting up tables on Beverley Street, the following Staunton spots have open-air spaces all week long.

Outdoor Spots in Staunton

Gypsy Hill Park has plenty to keep you busy. Walk or ride bikes around the 1.3-mile loop, feed the ducks, or let the kids play on the playgrounds. There’s also a skate park, a dog park, and an 18-hole golf course. Gypsy Hill Park pool has a slide, lanes for lap swimming, and a dedicated kiddie pool for toddlers. When you need a break, spread out your picnic at one of the park’s many tables or pavilions. The surrounding park has playgrounds, a duck pond, a skate park, a dog park, and a swimming pool, all excellent spots to enjoy the great outdoors.

Young children and their families have been begging for rides on the Gypsy Express mini-train for over 60 years! The popular attraction loops a track in Gypsy Hill Park each summer weekend. Rides cost a dollar and include several circuits of the track, crossing bridges, and chugging through tunnels. The train is wheelchair accessible.

Gypsy Hill Park Bandstand hosts free live music four nights a week. Bring your chairs and blankets and the whole family. Here’s what’s on the dance card!

Monday Nights: Stonewall Brigade Band, June 5 – August 28

Staunton’s historic 70-member Stonewall Brigade Band is the oldest community band in the U.S. It’s been playing in Gypsy Hill Park since 1889! Concerts featuring marches and big band classics begin at 7:30 pm. Look for themed shows like “The Best of Disney Movies,” “Flag Day,” “Celebrate America,” and “Classic Concert Band.” Here’s the full schedule.

Tuesday Nights: Praise in the Park, June 4 – July 30

Head to Gypsy Hill Park on Tuesday nights for Linden Heights Baptist Church’s annual Praise in the Park concert series. You’ll hear contemporary and southern gospel as well as gospel bluegrass. Listen to favorites like Streets of Gold Gospel Quartet, Faithful Praise, Blue Mountain Sunrise Band, and more. A special PRAISE show celebrates America on July 2. Concerts begin at 7 pm. See the full schedule here.

Wednesday Nights: Bluegrass, July 10 – August 28 

Get ready for some energetic tunes and banjo picking! Most concerts include sets by two different local and regional groups. Concerts begin at 7 pm. Watch for the full schedule here.

Thursday Nights: Jazz in the Park, July 11 – September 5

Celebrate hot summer nights with the Jazz in the Park summer concert series, starting at 7 pm. You’ll hear jazz by Just Jazzin’ Big Band, John’s Blue Locomotive, and Kurt Crandall & True Story.  You’ll also enjoy the music of Beleza Quartet and Rob Maletick Band. See the full lineup here.

You can stay busy all day at Montgomery Hall Park. Work up a sweat on miles of hiking and mountain biking trails that loop through the trees. Next, rest up while the kids play at the traditional or natural playgrounds. The park has tennis and pickleball courts, a disc golf course, and a community swimming pool. Plenty of picnic tables offer comfortable places to have lunch. 

Outdoor Guided Adventures

Middle River Outfitters’ experienced guides will help you learn everything from the most basic fishing skills to casting your line like a pro. Sign up for lessons on how to select lures and flies, cast, and land trophy fish from a boat, the shore, or the river. Middle River Outfitters knows where to find the fish, too. They will guide you to popular destinations like the South Fort of the Shenandoah or Mossy Creek and to trout waters on private land.

Star B Stables provides horse enthusiasts with another opportunity to saddle up and explore picturesque Augusta County. Rides last an hour and are easy to combine with other nearby activities. Riders of any experience level over the age of six are welcome. You’ll hold your own reins, but someone else will lead you.

Find your next outdoor adventure with Vivid Earth Adventures. Experienced guides provide instruction for white water canoeing, caving, rock and tree climbing, rappelling, and various outdoor skills. You’ll learn about safety systems, navigation, and much more, tailored to your needs and experience level. Vivid Earth will also work with you to design longer, customized trips.

Fee-Free Day at Shenandoah National Park is June 19

Shenandoah National Park is known for its stunning vistas, serene forests, diverse ecosystems, and abundant wildlife. It offers a rich outdoor experience for nature enthusiasts, including over 500 miles of trails and the famous 105-mile Skyline Drive with its many scenic overlooks. With cascading waterfalls, vibrant wildflowers, and world-famous leaf shows in autumn, Shenandoah National Park provides a tranquil escape and opportunities to connect with the natural world. While a visit to the park is well worth the modest entrance fee, those fees are waived on June 19!

Shenandoah National Park is divided into three districts (north, central and south), which makes for a perfect way to plan some easy, fun, and family-tested road trips.

Breathe in the fresh air, bask in the sunshine, and enjoy the Staunton great outdoors in all its summer glory.

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