Staunton Shines Bright With Arts, Culture & Cocktails

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Staunton Itinerary at a Glance

Voted one of “America’s Favorite Mountain Towns” by Travel+Leisure, there’s no denying Staunton is a charmer. Teeming with art galleries, live performance venues, and a not-to-be-missed dining scene, this creative community is a feast for the senses.

You’ll experience these great activities and more:

Discover the life of the country’s 28th president at the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library and Museum

Shakespeare is serious fun at the American Shakespeare Center

The Shenandoah Valley is known for its farm-to-table restaurants

The Staunton Farmers’ Market provides produce and artisanal goods from nearby farms

Details and Tips

Region: Virginia

Category: History and Heritage

Length: 3 Days

Suitable for: Adult groups

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Staunton Virginia

Staunton Day-to-Day Itinerary

DAY 1 Staunton is a Distinctive Virginia Destination

Staunton is one of the oldest cities west of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Step back in time at the living-history Frontier Culture Museum to learn about the daily life of the region’s earliest settlers.

Next, discover the life and legacy of the country’s 28th president in the city where he was born at the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library and Museum. An exclusive ‘Behind-the-Scenes” guide tour provides a fuller picture of his complex life and legacy.

Love nostalgic rail journeys? Set aside three hours to relax and sightsee aboard the Virginia Scenic Railway, round-trip excursions depart twice daily (Thursday-Sunday).

Dine in what was once a turn-of-the-century flour mill, Mill Street Grill, which is known for mouthwatering ribs and steaks, as well as seafood and pasta.

DAY 2 Allure of The Arts in Staunton

Shakespeare is serious fun at the American Shakespeare Center. So is the Blackfriars Playhouse Tour, where you’ll go on-stage, behind the stage, and even under the stage as guides tell the story of England’s first indoor theater and describe how the staging conditions of 17th-century London shaped the works of Shakespeare and his fellow playwrights.

Art enthusiasts are invited to step inside Gothic-Revival Trinity Episcopal Church and marvel at 12 Tiffany stained glass windows, which date from 1898-1936. Contemporary artworks are produced daily via live glass-blowing demonstrations at Sunspots Studios. Interested in acquiring original works from regional artists? The CoArt Gallery and the R.R. Smith Center for History & Art display some of the best.

The Shenandoah Valley is known for its agricultural bounty, and farm-to-table restaurants are the norm. Chef Boden of The Shack is a two-time James Beard Award semifinalist. Zynodoa offers inspired Southern cuisine with a menu that emphasizes local ingredients. Yelping Dog is a wine-tasting bar with a knowledgeable staff and a serious fondness for local cheese. Save room for homemade gelato from The Split Banana, which delights the senses with a beautiful combination of tastes and colors.

DAY 3 Staunton Cocktails & Memorable Pairings

For something truly memorable, opt for a masterclass in cheese and wine in a beautifully restored tasting room. Ballerino Creamery’s head cheesemaker Louella Hill and master vintner John Kiers of OxEye Vineyards join forces to help you taste your way through the Valley’s freshest flavors.

Pick up a copy of the self-guided walking tour and get acquainted with Staunton’s preservation success; six historic districts are independently listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Refresh yourself at the Ciders From Mars taproom, where you can enjoy a full flight or a single glass of their flagship Hellas Dry Cider. It’s made with a blend of modern and heirloom apples, grown locally.

BLU Point Seafood Co. showcases lobster rolls and seafood baskets, as well as catches straight from the Chesapeake Bay such as rockfish, blue crab, and oysters. Private dining areas can accommodate groups of up to 80 people. Handcrafted cocktails are creative; the raw bar with signature oyster cocktail pairings is a must.

Gorgeous mountain scenery surrounds Staunton. Two national parks, Shenandoah National Park and the Blue Ridge Parkway are close by and make an easy destination for sunset views.

Summer Is Spectacular in Staunton, Virginia

During the summer months, the cultural riches of this small town are bursting at the seams.  Staunton is known far and wide for its summer music season with acclaimed performances from Heifetz International Music Institute and Staunton Music Festival.

On Saturday mornings, the Staunton Farmers’ Market provides produce and artisanal goods from nearby farms and Historic Staunton Foundation provides guided architectural walking tours at 10 am.

On weekends, April – October, the Shop & Dine Out program cordons off Beverley Street to vehicular traffic and it becomes a pedestrian paradise — full of places to enjoy a good meal, shop, and stroll. Many restaurants offer outdoor dining and groups can choose from a variety of cuisines and price points.

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For itinerary assistance and information about group itineraries, contact Visit Staunton.