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6 Things We’re Thankful For in Staunton

Thanksgiving is here again. Let’s pause to give thanks for our families, friends, communities, health, food, pets, jobs, and more. Here’s what we’re thankful for in Staunton this year.

We’re thankful for Staunton’s foodie culture

We love the way Staunton offers a wide range of delicious menus.

Breakfast options include amazing fresh-roasted coffee from Crucible Coffee Roasters, smoothies from Cranberry’s, and French pastries from Reunion Bakery and Espresso.

Later on, dine on Mediterranean tapas at Aioli, Mexican at Chicano Boy, Salvadoran pupusas at Gloria’s Pupuseria or curry at Taste of India. Steak lovers can’t go wrong at Mill Street Grill or the Depot Grille. BLU Point is famous for its seafood and raw bar. Accordia, Yelping Dog, and the Green Room have wine and snacks on the menu. Zynodoa and The Shack have made headlines for their upscale American entrees that emphasize local ingredients. 

Don’t skip dessert! Split Banana has gelato to die for, you’ll become a waffle convert after tasting something at Sweet Addie’s, and get your fill of classic delights at Wright’s.

We’re thankful for the arts

We’re thankful for Staunton’s vibrant art scene. Colorful murals appear where you least expect them, galleries display rotating shows, and Art in the Park offers a chance to purchase art and meet the artists. Shoppers can check out many types of art by local and regional artists at the Staunton Augusta Arts Center’s Art for Gifts (through December 31). Grab a Mini Masterpiece on sale now at CoArt Gallery. Aspiring artists can sign up for workshops at Art Hive, or take a class at the Beverley Street Studio School.

Staunton’s live music scene bursts with extraordinary talent! Ciders from Mars, Redbeard Brewing, Shenandoah Pizza have regular live music. Queen City Brewing often hosts open mic and jam sessions. Gypsy Hill Park rings with summertime live music almost every day of the week. Seasoned and rising stars perform in Heifetz Institute’s annual Festival of Concerts. Staunton Music Festival brings ten days of chamber music concerts to various downtown venues. 

Theater lovers will enjoy historically informed Shakespearean performances or seasonal classics like A Christmas Carol at Blackfriars Playhouse. Local talent takes the stage year-round at ShenanArts, a community theater, and Silver Line Theatre puts on productions and provides theater opportunities for children.

Ben Lambert and Molly Martinez-Collins. Photo by October Grace Media.

We’re thankful for our incredible history

Staunton’s history spans three centuries as one of the oldest cities west of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Many historic attractions, archival collections, museums, and Civil War sites are located in and around Staunton. Experience the  Frontier Culture Museum, an outdoor living history museum, the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library & Museum, which explores the life and legacy of our 28th president, or the Tiffany windows at Trinity Episcopal Church.

You can even get an up close and personal look at historic buildings within the neighborhoods of Beverley, Gospel Hill, Newtown, Stuart Addition, The Villages, and The Wharf. A downloadable version of the Self-Guided Architectural Walking Tour of Historic Staunton is available here or at our Downtown Staunton Visitor Center.

We’re thankful for our locally-owned businesses

Staunton’s walkable downtown dresses up for the holidays. Shoppers can find unique gifts in our boutiques and artisan shops. These include incredible-smelling bath and body products at Essentially Zen Artisan Body & Bath Co. and plant-themed presents at Burrow & Vine. Pufferbellies Toys and Books caters to kids and Sunspots Studios sells art glass and jewelry. Staunton Books has a curated selection of new and used reads. Queen City Games and Gifts, Words Matter Gift Shop, Harmony Moon, Made; By the People, for the People, and The Foundry Pop-Ups, and Bonfire Begonia all carry unique gifts.

We’re thankful for our breathtaking outdoor spaces

Staunton is just a short drive away from Shenandoah National Park, a premier destination for hiking, camping, leaf peeping, and learning. Staunton also enjoys access to the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests and thousands of acres of wilderness land and recreation areas. The Skyline Drive and the Blue Ridge Parkway offer phenomenal ridgetop rides past scenic overviews and hiking trailheads.

The city of Staunton boasts a wealth of natural resources in its park system. Visitors can feed the ducks in Gypsy Hill Park or take a quiet stroll in Betsy Bell Wilderness. They can also play a round of disc golf in Montgomery Hall Park or climb to Woodrow Park for a postcard view of downtown.

We’re thankful for our community

We’ve fallen in love with Staunton’s wonderful sense of community. We feel at home here when we’re chatting with folks over produce at the Staunton Farmers’ Market

We fit in when we represent our wizard houses at the  Queen City Mischief and Magic Festival.

We know we’re part of something good when we set up a lawn chair for the fireworks at Happy Birthday America Celebration or cheer on the Staunton Braves. And we belong when we attend the Staunton Pride Festival or arrange a seasonal lights display at Gypsy Hill Park. We feel that same connection when we dine outdoors on a Shop & Dine Out Downtown and Beyond weekend.

Happy Thanksgiving, Staunton!

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