Gen Z Getaway in Staunton
Hey, Gen Z! Looking for one last adventure before you head back to class? Think Staunton’s just a Boomer town? Think again. Staunton has enough culture, dining, and outdoor adventure to keep all generations busy. Whether you’re in town for the day or weekend, here’s how to have a last getaway before matriculation.
Stay somewhere cool and inexpensive
If you’re looking to stay in Staunton, we have some fun lodging choices that won’t break the bank or involve crashing on someone’s couch.
- Tired of hanging out in your hotel room when you’re away from home? Tru by Hilton has a lobby designed to be a common space for mingling and working. There’s also a build-your-own breakfast bar and a social media wall.
- Gibson’s Warehouse is a four-suite loft lodging in a 1905 TJ Collins-designed warehouse in Staunton’s Wharf District. The building once stored hay, fertilizer, and farm equipment, but it’s been renovated into cool and modern suites with kitchens. There’s a space for mingling in the lobby and the location is central to dining, shopping, entertainment, and the farmers’ market.
Food is for eating and documenting on social media, and Staunton has a wealth of restaurants serving delicious, interesting, and photogenic fare.
- There’s nothing more delicious and Instagrammable than a wholesome topped waffle. Sweet Addie’s promises to serve you the “best Belgian waffles on the planet,” and you can get them loaded with your choice of sweet or savory toppings.
- 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. Cranberry’s serves made-to-order sandwiches, soups, salads, and more.
- Slyde at 23 has an eclectic menu with dishes from all around the world, but the specialty is sliders. They’re oh so yummy and cute!
- Mrs. Liptrap’s Restaurant and Bourbon Tavern is Staunton’s new comfort food destination! Look for foods like fried sides, deli salads, lasagna, burgers, sandwiches, jambalaya, pork barbeque, and scrumptious desserts.
- The By and By Cafe and Beer Garden serves gourmet espresso drinks, bagels, grilled sandwiches, craft beer and wine. There’s a Beer Garden in a quiet outdoor space you can enjoy any time of day, and your dogs are welcome to tag along..
Listen to live music
Staunton is a musical town and there’s often live music to be experienced. Here’s where to find it.
- Tempest Bar & Lounge, Ciders from Mars, Redbeard Brewing Company, Byers Street Bistro, Queen City Brewing, Shenandoah Pizza & Tap House, Barren Ridge Vineyards, and Stable Craft Brewing regularly host musicians.
- You can also catch live music at the Staunton Farmers’ Market, Gypsy Hill Park, and the Frontier Culture Museum.
Hit the great outdoors
- Find yourself in nature by signing up for a hike or other outdoor adventure with Vivid Earth Adventures. Guided trips provide instruction for canoeing, caving, rock climbing, rappelling, outdoor skills, and more. All trips are tailored for your experience level and particular need.
- If you’d like to experience the outdoors closer to town, head to Betsy Bell Park for an off-the-beaten-path adventure with some phenomenal views of Staunton from above.
- Montgomery Hall Park has extensive hiking trails and an 18-hole disc golf course.
Gen Z is known for having an eclectic taste in clothing, with an emphasis on casual comfort, retro revival, sustainability, and individuality.
- Look your best with Billy Opal’s combination of high-end and vintage clothing, accessories, hats, and shoes for both women and men. Not only will you find a wide range of unique looks for all occasions, but you can also get one-on-one help to perfect your style.
- Juniper Lane Vintage celebrates styles from the 1950s – 2000s, with an emphasis on the 70s, 80s, and 90s. Wearing vintage clothing saves energy and reduces waste. It’s also fun, and funky, and it allows you to be uniquely you. Juniper Lane also carries wedding dresses from different eras, which are one-of-a-kind, beautiful, and reasonably priced.
- You’ll find a curated collection of new and vintage items from various decades at Local Collective. The store offers affordable prices on decor, art, and consciously sourced clothing.
- There’s a giant room of vintage clothing and accessories upstairs at 17 E. Beverley Antiques. You’ll also find old sheet music and holiday ornaments, toys, silver, jewelry, art, furniture, collectibles, and more, all with a story.
- Thrift and Sips carries clean used clothing and customers can enjoy non-alcoholic drinks as they shop.
- The Vinyl Asylum has moved from downtown Staunton to the Factory Antique Mall in Verona, but they still give you an old-fashioned music shopping experience. You’ll find many genres of music in a variety of formats.
See some art
Staunton has a rich and varied art scene. From galleries hosting the works of local and regional artists to a burgeoning street art scene to our world-famous Shakespeare theater, there’s something for everyone.
- Staunton Augusta Art Center and Beverley Street Studio School’s galleries rotate multiple shows each year. Shows feature high-quality local and regional artist.
- Catch an engaging performance of a Shakespeare play at Blackfriars Playhouse.
- ShenanArts is a community theater that stages a number of energetic performances featuring local talent.
Get involved/make a difference
Your reputation, Gen Z, is that you’re a group of people determined to make the world a better place. Here’s how to do that in Staunton.
- Lower your environmental impact when you shop at Refill Renew. Bring your own containers to fill with low-waste cleaning and personal products.
- The money you spend at the SAW Habitat for Humanity Restore benefits the community by building and restoring homes and lives. The Valley Mission Thrift helps the homeless with shelter, support, and hope. Shop easy, knowing you’re making a difference. Plus, you might bring home a treasure!
- Catch some air and get your hands dirty at Jones Garden, a community space in Staunton’s west end. It’s dedicated to healthy eating, affordable and sustainable food, and “beautifying areas of the community by creating inviting community green spaces that encourage community pride and enjoyment of nature.”
Create some content
Looking for backdrops for your content creation or dating profile? Staunton is full of interesting and amazing sites that will make your social media stand out.
- Staunton’s historic train station and the Sears Hill Footbridge leading to Woodrow Park are cool backdrops for your photos. The bridge has the best view of downtown short of standing on somebody’s roof.
- 150-year-old Thornrose Cemetery isn’t just for graves. It’s packed with interesting plants, sculptures, and architectural elements like bridges and pavilions.
- Get your caffeine fix at Crucible Coffee Roasters and get a pic of the amazing-looking and tasting coffee creations. Step outside and pose by the mural or in nearby Landes Park, which hugs the creek and tucks under the railroad trestle.
- Wright’s Dairy Rite offers retro charm and neon that looks great in photos. The food tastes great in real life!
- Gypsy Hill Park’s duck pond is a wholesome spot to feed hungry fish and waterfowl and get cute pictures.
- Staunton’s huge “You Belong Here” mural celebrates inclusivity.
- The gardens at the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library are maintained by the Garden Club of Virginia and can be toured for free.
Staunton has a lot to offer Gen Z, whether you’re into shopping, the arts, outdoor activities, or simply soaking up the local atmosphere. Enjoy your visit!
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