It might not feel like fall yet, but with many schools starting soon, we know that summer is on its way out. Are you looking for a final, fun trip to take with the family before the leaves start changing, and before soccer and football gobble up all your Saturdays? Here are some ideas for a Staunton road trip.
Staunton’s convenient location at the intersection of interstates 81 and 64 makes it an ideal destination for a quick road trip. Not only can you hop off the highway at small towns and other fun destinations on the way, but the Shenandoah Valley scenery is also incredible, even from the highway! Depending on your direction, consider stopping at Monticello, Shenandoah Caverns, or Natural Bridge State Park. Or cruise along the Blue Ridge Parkway. Shenandoah National Park’s Skyline Drive makes it one of the most beautiful and driveable parks in the country.
Once you get to Staunton, parking in the downtown footprint is easy. There’s a lot of metered parking, parking garage space, and two-hour street parking. Staunton is a walkable town, and you can see much of it on foot or from the 25-cent trolley.
- Staunton boasts the world’s only recreation of Shakespeare’s Blackfriars Playhouse, and performances will give you a sense of how the show appeared to the Bard’s original audiences, so you should definitely try to fit a show into your schedule.
- Crack the Code Escape Room will test your IQ as you try to sleuth your way through a Staunton-themed mystery.
- If you’d rather learn the mysteries of how art glass is created, head down to Sunspots Studios to catch a glass-blowing demonstration or even try your hand at blowing your own ornament.
- Little ones will love riding the Gypsy Hill Express miniature train as it loops through Gypsy Hill Park.
- And finally, catch a glimpse of Staunton in times gone by with a tour of the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library and Museum or the Frontier Culture Museum.
Don’t forget to eat
Staunton is a town that takes its food offerings seriously. If you’re here on a weekend, check out Beverley Street, which closes to car traffic for Shop and Dine Out Downtown. Since diners will be enjoying food al fresco, you can window shop other people’s meals until you see something you like!
- We recommend Remedy Burger for its juicy and delicious smash burgers.
- Nearby Shenandoah Pizza & Taphouse serves up gourmet pizzas with delightful topping combinations and an interesting selection of brews.
- More beer awaits, along with delicious Mexican fare, at Baja Bean.
- And if you want to tap into classic car culture, try Wright’s Dairy Rite, where they’ve been bringing burgers and shakes to the covered drive-in since the 1950s.
Take some selfies
Nothing will help you remember your road trip like the Staunton selfies you post on Instagram. Make sure to get a photo as you enjoy one of these Staunton experiences. Make sure to tag your shots with #LoveStaunton.
- Pose in front of the You Belong Here mural on Central Ave. between Beverley and Johnson Streets.
- Cross Sears Hill Bridge for a view of the historic train station from above and one of the best views of downtown.
- Explore beautifully landscaped Thornrose Cemetery along with its tower and footbridge.
- Bite into something delicious outside Reunion Bakery & Espresso or The Split Banana.
- Pause after you’ve conquered one of the hills in Montgomery Park on your mountain bike.
- Relish the freshness at the Saturday Staunton Farmers’ Market.
Get yourself a little something
It’s always nice to take something home with you when you travel. Here are some places to get fun treats and souvenirs.
- Kids (and the young-at-heart) will love Pufferbellies Toys & Books.
- Musicians can find something good at Heifetz Institute Gift Shop, and those looking for vinyl should try The Vinyl Asylum.
- The Foundry Pop-Ups features art, jewelry, and more by locals. You’ll find more unique art at the Co-Art Gallery. Made; By the People, for the People, The Sparrow’s Nest, and Jude’s, a Fine Emporium all carry thoughtful gifts.
- Foodies can let their tastebuds lead them on a tour of Staunton Olive Oil Company.