*In this rapidly evolving situation with COVID-19, we urge you to call each venue ahead of time, to be sure they are open for business and what their hours might be.
What’s better than a trip to Staunton? Finding free things do do while you visit, of course! Here’s a list of fun (and frugal) activities for grownups.
Beverley Street Studio School Gallery & Co-Art Gallery
The Beverley Street Studio School Gallery hosts seven annual exhibits, which are open to the public seven days a week. Enjoy the work of 40+ local artists in the Valley’s largest cooperative gallery, the Co-ART Gallery, which is housed in a connecting space.
Mary Baldwin University hosts five professional exhibits in its Hunt Gallery each academic year. The art ranges from “abstract to classical, reflecting a wide variety of media and artistic intentions.”
Gallery at Ox-Eye Vineyards Tasting Room
If you stop in at Ox-Eye Vineyards tasting room, located in a T.J Collins-designed building in historic downtown, make sure you head upstairs for a look at the gallery, which is free to the public and offers several shows each year.
Located in a 2,000-sf. loft about the Staunton Antiques Center, the Artisans Loft celebrates the work of local artists with four juried shows each year.
Staunton Augusta Arts Center
The Staunton Augusta Arts Center is located in the historic R.R. Smith Center for History and Art. Peruse the galleries Monday through Saturday to check out the rotating exhibits, which change every six weeks.
Have you ever seen glass blown at Sunspots Studios? It’s free to watch and demos are offered daily until 4 p.m.
Trinity Episcopal Church
For more about the surrounding area, visit Staunton Architecture: Newtown Historic District.
Thornrose Cemetery is a good place for a walk to experience human and architectural history. It’s the final resting place of more than 1,700 Confederate soldiers from five area battlefields. The various statues and landscaping are worth your attention as well. Check out our walking tour of Thornrose Cemetery.
Staunton Walking TourS
Did you know that Staunton has five distinct historic districts? Grab a printed tour map from the Staunton Visitor Center at 35 South New Street, and enjoy this wonderful, walkable city at your own pace. You can also explore by foot using the free app, Traipse! Traipse takes you on an adventure that is half historic tour and half scavenger hunt. You can Traipse anytime, with whomever you want, in places like downtown Staunton, Gypsy Hill Park, and the campus of Mary Baldwin University. Make sure you stop and take plenty of photos for Instagram! Tag them with #loveStaunton.
Betsy Bell and Mary Gray Wilderness Parks
Betsy Bell and Mary Gray Wilderness Parks are open to the public from dawn until dusk. Hike the nature trails and appreciate the expansive views of Staunton and the surrounding area. Be sure to bring your camera to capture wildlife!
Gypsy Hill Park
Some people love the duck pond at Gypsy Hill Park. Others appreciate the fishing lake or dog park. Bring your inlines, your BMX, or your skateboard to thrill onlookers with your mad tricks at the skatepark. During the summer, the bandstand hosts free summer concerts. Concerts feature a different genre each night and include the Stonewall Brigade Band on Monday, Praise in the Park on Tuesday, Bluegrass in the Park on Wednesday, and Jazz in the Park on Thursday.
Montgomery Hall Park
Those who want a real workout will enjoy the mountain biking and hiking trails at hilly Montgomery Hall Park. If disc golf is more your style, tee up on the 18-hole course.
The Wine Cellar
The Wine Cellar hosts regular tastings. Sip some samples and then select a bottle of wine or beer from the newly expanded beer selection. The tastings are on Fridays or on Saturdays. Check Facebook for more info.
Staunton Olive Oil Company
If you enjoy cooking or are looking for a special gift, stop by Staunton Olive Oil Company’s tasting room for a cooking demonstration and to try their many varieties of infused and fused olive oils and balsamic vinegars.
Fun Stuff at Breweries
While you’re not going to get free beer or food while you visit, you can certainly take advantage of the many free activities hosted by our local breweries. Join the weekly trivia and karaoke at Redbeard Brewing. Skipping Rock Beer Co. hosts lots of live music and trivia games. Queen City Brewing lets you listen to live music or take the stage yourself with open mic nights. Shenandoah Valley Brewing Company also hosts live music and events. If you’re planning to brewery hop, earn yourself a free t-shirt with Shenandoah Beerwerks Trail’s passport program!
If you are traveling with your family, click here for our post on free family adventures.