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Explore Staunton Without Breaking the Bank

Staunton is known for its beautiful historic architecture and incredible natural views. It’s also known for having a vibrant food and entertainment culture. Best of all, you don’t have to spend a lot of money to have a great time here. Here are our tips for planning a budget-friendly trip to Staunton.

Original Art and Local Products

Sure, you can download a digital print or two from Etsy, but did you know that buying art from local artists is super rewarding and relatively inexpensive? You’ll be supporting an artist, plus you’ll be outfitting your walls with one-of-a-kind art!

Stop in at the CoArt Gallery to see original work. Several downtown boutiques also sell the work of local makers. Browse the displays at Queen City Games & Gifts, Made: By the People, For the People, The Sparrow’s Nest, and The Foundry Pop-Ups. Recently opened Foxtails works with local partner artists to promote their work in the downtown shop.

Grab a spot at SunSpots Glassblowing Studios. This renowned art space is dedicated to the craft of glassblowing. The studio offers visitors the opportunity to watch live demonstrations, showcasing the mesmerizing process of transforming molten glass into intricate and beautiful pieces of art.

Budget Entertainment

Tickets for Blackfriars Playhouse can be pricey, but are totally worth it. However, you can attend special pay-what-you-will performances to see the Bard’s work on a budget. Similarly, keep an eye on what’s onstage at Silver Line Theater (There’s often an inexpensive student production in the works.)

An evening watching the Staunton Braves at Moxie Stadium is always reasonable (and exciting), and most home games have a special sponsor business. Savvy fans can score free tickets. That means you’ll have a little more money to spend in the new Braves Beer Garden!

SolArt Center is a “safe space for creative expression” that offers pay-what-you-will yoga classes, open mic sessions, art exhibits, and free workshops on creating your own battle jacket.

Enjoy Historic Staunton Foundation’s Walking Tours on Saturdays from May – October. Stroll through several of Staunton’s historic districts as your volunteer guide discusses Staunton’s historic architecture and the city’s historical development from Beverley’s Mill Place to a booming 19th & 20th century commercial center. And it’s FREE!

Cheap Eats

Nope, you don’t have to stick to fast food to score cheap eats in Staunton! Lunchers and brunchers will enjoy light bites at The By and By and The Pampered Palate. Cranberry’s Grocery & Eatery specializes in freshly prepared organic food. Grab a coffee or a smoothie and a gluten-free breakfast or sit down for a light lunch of made-to-order sandwiches, soups, salads, and more. We recommend the moderately priced and extensive menu at Mi Rancho. Wright’s Dairy Rite has simple classics like burgers, fries, and sundaes at retro prices.

You can’t beat the Staunton Farmers’ Market for farm-fresh food at affordable prices!

Happy Hour

Clocktower is a cozy place to get a cocktail and an appetizer or settle in for a full meal. They have happy hour specials on well drinks and wine every day, 3 – 7 pm. Baja Bean’s Southern-California inspired approach to Mexican favorites includes margaritas and daily happy hour on select beers, wine, and mixed drinks from 4 – 7 pm. Yelping Dog Wine celebrates “yelping hour” every Friday from 5-7 pm with discounts on glasses of wine, beer, and bottles. Marino’s Lunch offers $1 off all drinks for happy hour, Tuesday – Friday, 3:30 – 5:30 pm. Pull up a seat at the bar during happy hour at BLU Point Seafood from 4 – 6pm. Finally, head to the bar at the Mill Street Grill for Sunday – Thursday happy hour, 4 – 6 pm.

Free Music

You won’t starve for beautiful (and free!) sounds in Staunton this summer. The bandstand in Gypsy Hill Park hosts free live music most nights of the week. The 2024 Summer Bandstand schedule features weekly concerts by the Stonewall Brigade Band, as well as groups performing gospel, bluegrass, and jazz. On select Friday nights, the bandstand will put on free family-friendly movies. If you’re in town for the 4th of July, the park will ring with live music and other free fun during the Happy Birthday America celebration. 

While many of the concerts performed during the Staunton Music Festival and the Heifetz Festival of Concerts are ticketed events, an equal number are open and free to the public. 

Finally, several restaurants feature regular live music. Check the schedules at Bricks Restaurant and Pub, Ciders from Mars, Redbeard Brewing Co., Byers Street Bistro, Queen City Brewing, Shenandoah Pizza & Tap House, and Marino’s Lunch. You’ll also hear buskers performing along Beverley Street when it closes to traffic each weekend for Shop and Dine Out in Downtown and Beyond.

Budget-Friendly Lodging

Sometimes you take a risk looking for inexpensive lodging. Not so much in Staunton. Grab a budget-friendly room at Tru by Hilton or Fairfield Inn and Suites by Marriot. Both hotels are modern, convenient to both the highway and downtown, and offer amenities like free breakfast, fitness centers, and free parking. And don’t overlook our boutique hotels for great rates and packages. Both Hotel 24 South and the Blackburn Inn have special rates for military, first responders, and government personnel. They also have packages combining lodging and discounted rates for tickets to the Blackfriars or riding on the Virginia Scenic Railway. Hotel 24 South is celebrating its 100th birthday with exceptional midweek stays. 

Land of the Free

Getting outside is pretty easy on the budget. Staunton’s stellar park system offers outdoor recreational opportunities for all. Ride your bike or play on the playground in Gypsy Hill Park or hike the miles of trails through the forest in Betsy Bell Park and Montgomery Hall Park. MHP 18-hole disc golf course.

The places to hike around here are practically limitless. You can spend days hiking and camping in George Washington National Forest wilderness or in improved recreational areas like Sherando Lake. Shenandoah National Park has an entrance fee, but they offer week or annual passes, and you can log a lot of miles without spending much. Plus, you’ll know that your dimes go to support the natural environment. 

New to You Shopping

If you’re on a treasure hunt for vintage goods, housewares, clothing, and collectibles, you’ll find carloads of great stuff in Staunton.

Staunton Antiques Center has a huge showroom packed with antiques, keepsakes, and vintage items waiting to spark your nostalgia. Pop in for a look as you’re strolling downtown. Eclectic Retro also features cool and eclectic goods from bygone eras. 17 E. Beverley Antiques sells furniture, art, holiday ornaments, toys, jewelry, collectibles, and more. There’s a giant room of vintage clothing and accessories upstairs. And there’s something for every taste at Verona’s Factory Antique Mall, which at 147,000+ feet is the largest in the country. Don’t get lost while you’re exploring!

If you’re in the market for new-to-you duds, Juniper Lane Vintage stocks clothing styles ranging from the 1950s-2000s. Wearing vintage clothing reduces waste. It’s also inexpensive, funky, and allows you to shine in your own way. Juniper Lane also carries gently-used wedding dresses, which are one-of-a-kind, beautiful, and reasonably priced.

Hopefully, you now know some ways to discover the charm of Staunton without breaking the bank! From exploring the historic downtown to hiking picturesque trails, start planning your budget-friendly adventure today.

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