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Seize the Staunton Day Date: No Kids Allowed

Are babysitters just too expensive or are you just too tired to go out after work? Take advantage of the kids being in school and one of those days off you never use by planning a day date in Staunton. There’s plenty of stuff to do, you’ll have more energy, and many things are cheaper during the day. Here’s how to spend a memorable day with the love of your life and get home in time to meet the bus.

Shop and Sitesee Like a Grownup

It’s no fun taking kids places where their curious fingers can break stuff. Take advantage of your kid-free afternoon to indulge in Staunton’s most delicate offerings. Sunspots Studios is literally filled with art glass ornaments, sculptures, barware, and more. You’ll be able to breathe easy as you tour Trinity Episcopal Church to look at over a dozen authentic Tiffany Windows and the Taylor and Boody pipe organ.

Peruse the selection of used books at Staunton Books, work your way around Staunton Olive Oil sampling high-quality olive oils and vinegar, or look for fine cigars at The Beverley Cigar Store. Ask all you want to know about the presidency and WWI at Woodrow Wilson because you won’t have a little one interrupting by talking about how bored he is. Looking for some new-to-you furniture and decor? Staunton Antiques Center and 17 E. Beverley Antiques have the treasures you need to make your spaces beautiful, unique, and intentional. And up the road in Verona, you can spend an entire day perusing the Factory Antique Mall, which is the largest in America!

You’ll find plenty to do and see on a leisurely stroll through Staunton’s historic downtown. Admire the stunning Victorian architecture, from Victorian gems to Federal-style homes. Pick up a self-guided architecture tour pamphlet at the Staunton Visitor Center to find some beautiful buildings in each of the historic districts.

Relax Together

Luxuriate in a relaxing Swedish and deep tissue couples massage at the Spa at the Blackburn Inn. You can also choose specialty massages that employ Himalayan salt, chocolate, or sugar cookies. Breezy Hill Day Spa also offers couples massage as well as pedicures, waxing and facial treatments. 

Ride the Love Train

Share a spectacular voyage through Augusta County on one of the three-hour Virginia Scenic Railway excursions (Thursday – Sunday). Roll west through the national forest to Goshen and back or east through the Blue Ridge Tunnel to Ivy and back. Rides west on the Alleghany Flyer depart at 10:30 a.m. The Blue Ridge Flyer leaves the station at 3:30 p.m. Both include meal and dessert service, and riders now have the option of ordering wine and beer. 

Love You a Whole Lunch

One of the nice things about eating out for lunch is that restaurants tend to have smaller crowds and quicker service. They also often offer cheaper midday prices or lunch specials. Best of all, you don’t have to pay for food that your kids won’t eat. Here’s where to find lunch in Staunton.

  • Cosette Cafe unites European and international flavors intersect with local ingredients.
  • Chicano Boy has a simple menu featuring tacos, burritos, and bowls filled with fresh, flavorful ingredients.
  • Taste of India has a large menu with all your Indian favorites.
  • Latin Soul prepares dishes that showcase flavors from the owners’ Central America and African-American heritages.
  • Pampered Palate and Cranberry’s are Staunton’s longtime lunch destinations. Both serve dressed-up sandwiches, wraps, soups, quiches, and sides.
  • Recently opened, Bijou boasts a small-but-mighty menu of fresh and flavorful soups along with salad and desserts of the day. Bijou has vegan and gluten-free options and serves lunch Thursday – Saturday, 11 – 2.

Sip So Good 

Spend a portion of your day date chilling over your favorite wines, beers, or ciders. Start at Redbeard, where a welcoming atmosphere meets fresh craft beer. Nearby Ciders from Mars serves great cider made from Virginia apples and the taproom gives a view into the ciderworks. 

If you prefer wine, sip local estate wines at OxEye Vineyards. Star Party and Ramulose Ridge have joined the downtown wine scene with new tasting rooms. For one of the best views in Augusta County, take a scenic drive to Barren Ridge Vineyards for a picnic and some local wine.

Accordia, Green Room, and Yelping Dog are ideal spots to share a bottle of local or global wine and a cheese plate. All three have outdoor seating on the weekends during Shop and Dine Out in Downtown and beyond.

See Love on Stage

Watch fools fall in love at a Blackfriars Playhouse performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream (through June 9). Weekday shows start at 7:30 pm, so you might need a sitter, but it will be worth it to see this comedic love story and learn how “the love of man for woman, or of woman for man, is like…a summer night.” You can also tour the playhouse, which is a perfect re-creation of Shakespeare’s indoor playhouse, Tuesday – Friday 10 a.m. and 2 PM or Saturdays at 10 a.m. Cinephiles can catch a matinee and a glass of wine at the Visulite

Sick of Netflix and Chill? How ‘Bout Trailmix and Hills?

Bond in the wonder of nature. Here are several short hikes that will get you out and home before school lets out. Bonus points if you pack a picnic!

  • Just south of Staunton, Folly Mills Falls hardly counts as a hike because getting to the falls only takes a few minutes. You can continue along the creek for a total of a mile and a half.
  • The southern end of Shenandoah National Park boasts several short hikes with dramatic payoffs. Calvary Rocks and Chimney Rock Trail is four miles out and back with two impressive views of the Shenandoah Valley. Little Calf Mountain is even shorter and summits on a large, grassy meadow with views for miles. The Jones Run and Doyles River can be done as a 6.7-mile loop or a 3-mile out and back. Both versions make their way to a creek with extensive waterfall action.
  • If you’re looking for a tunnel of love, try a hike through the Blue Ridge Tunnel. Out-and-back nets about five miles with two trips through the mile-long railroad tunnel. Don’t worry – this is not the same tunnel used by the Virginia Scenic Railway train tour!
  • You don’t even need to leave Staunton to take a nature hike in Montgomery Hall Park. A series of loop trails explore a large, wooded area, and hikers can get in close to 10,000 steps without repeating any of it.

Date with Destiny

Want to know if you should stay together forever? Why not get a tarot reading from Lisa Adams, the Renegade Mystic? She will “help you tune in to your inner wisdom through tarot and oracle cards, helping you affirm what you already know to be true.”

School will end in just a few short weeks, so seize your chance for a Staunton day date before it’s too late!

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