Top Things to Do While Planning Your Dream Vacation to Staunton
National Plan for Vacation Day is the last Tuesday of January. Did you know that Americans leave hundreds of millions of paid vacation days unused each year? We make all kinds of excuses: I’m too busy, too tired, too broke, etc. But research shows that you’re much more likely to actually use (and enjoy) your vacation days if you make a commitment ahead of time.
Plan with your time and monetary budget in mind, and you’ll have something to look forward to that will help you get your work done. Better yet, you’ll return to work rested and satisfied that you’ve used your time well. Take stock of the days you’ve earned, and figure out how you’re going to use them. Our suggestion is to take a trip to Staunton! Here are the top things we have to offer, and don’t forget to find a place to lay your heads down after all of your adventures!
A Culinary Hot Spot
Staunton is a town of restaurants, many of which emphasize the region’s bounty by specializing in farm-to-table fare.
- Try chef-made delights at Zynodoa and The Shack. Taste global fare at Chicano Boy Taco, Aioli Restaurant, or Taste of India. Remedy Burger creates the smash burgers of your dreams. Mill Street Grill and Byers Street Bistro specialize in American-style comfort food.
- You can enjoy a wide variety of wines by the glass or bottle at Yelping Dog Wine. Accordia Natural Wine Bar & Bistro and The Green Room also have nice selections. Star Party Winery and Ox-Eye Vineyards both have downtown tasting rooms.
- Staunton is centrally located along the Shenandoah Beerwerks Trail. Besides two breweries in town, 15 others are a short drive away. Cider fans should sample a flight at Ciders from Mars.
- Looking for coffee? Reunion Espresso & Bakery, Crucible Coffee, and The By&By offer fresh-roasted coffee, and more.
Staunton offers views of the Blue Ridge and Allegheny Mountains, and you can spend an entire afternoon taking scenic drives along country roads or riding your bike up and down rugged singletrack.
- Staunton is just 20 minutes from Shenandoah National Park with miles of hiking trails and over 70 scenic overlooks. Nearby George Washington and Jefferson National Forest is a vast tract of natural land, threaded with trails and recreational areas.
- There’s also spectacular hiking, biking, birdwatching, pickleball, and more in Staunton’s city parks. Spend a few hours exploring the trails at Montgomery Hall Park and Betsy Bell Wilderness Area or play some tennis or golf at Gypsy Hill Park.
- Staunton even boasts independent specialty shops to get you geared up for adventure. Black Dog Bikes will get you pedaling, and Wilderness Adventure can get you hiking, camping, and on the trail in style.
- And if you want to go on a guided adventure that’s specifically tailored to your interests and abilities, contact Vivid Earth Adventures or Middle River Outfitters.
History, Queen City Style
One of the oldest towns in the area, Staunton draws visitors for its architecturally stunning downtown, made up of many buildings dating from the Victorian Era.
- The city contains six distinct historic districts, and visitors can take guided or self-guided walking tours to learn about the city’s long history and its notable architecture.
- Fans of the paranormal will love taking educational and entertaining tours with Ghosts of Staunton Tours. Staunton Guided Tours provides personal hour-long car tours, and if you’d like to learn about railroad history (while enjoying a scenic tour and delicious meal), buy a ticket for an excursion with Virginia Scenic Railway.
- Step back in time at The Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library and Museum. Not only does it teach about the life and times of the president, but it also presents a larger picture of how it was to live during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
- The Frontier Culture Museum also provides a window into the past by illustrating the lives of the Shenandoah Valley pioneers from the 1600s through the mid-1800s. Costumed interpreters answer questions and demonstrate daily activities.
Find some culture on one of Staunton’s stages or galleries.
- Staunton stages world-class performances at the Blackfriars Playhouse, a recreation of Shakespeare’s indoor theater. Not only can you witness shows that are similar to what Shakespeare’s original audiences would have seen, but you can also catch modern and musical performances. If you have time, schedule an informative and entertaining tour of the theater to learn production and theater secrets!
- Don’t miss the Staunton Augusta Art Center’s annual Art on the Town in May, and Art in the Park in September. In addition to these festivals, visit the center’s gallery and the CoArt Gallery to view and purchase local and regional art. Staunton even has a growing outdoor public art scene, with a number of murals and art installations you can find in the most unexpected places.
- The annual Red Wing Roots Festival celebrates roots music with a family-friendly weekend featuring more than 50 artists to Natural Chimneys Park. The Staunton Music Festival showcase selections from 600 years of classical music each August.
- If you visit in the summer, the Gypsy Hill Park bandstand fills the evenings with live music all week long. Choose from marching band favorites, gospel, bluegrass, and jazz.
There’s lots to do in Staunton if you’re traveling with the gang.
- Staunton’s walkable downtown and wealth of locally owned businesses means there’s something here for everyone. Options range from gift shops and bookstores to toy and hobby stores, to clothing and accessory boutiques, and much more.
- Lean into Staunton’s strong sense of community. When you’re in town on Saturday mornings from April – October, explore the Staunton Farmers’ Market where you can find fresh foods, local products, and live music. And each weekend, several blocks of Beverley Street close to traffic and turn into a walking mall for Shop and Dine Out Downtown.
- Baseball fans can cheer for the Staunton Braves, a team that represents our town in the Valley League.
- September marks the annual Queen City Mischief & Magic Festival, a popular home-grown event for fans of the Harry Potter book and movie series.
- People come out in droves for Happy Birthday America, which includes a parade, concessions, a free concert, and a spectacular fireworks presentation. Winter is marked by the annual Staunton Christmas Parade.
Prioritize yourself in 2024. Start dreaming about (and planning) your upcoming Staunton getaway today!
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