Much Ado About Staunton

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    Foliage and Fresh Eats

    Staunton's historic downtown delights visitors with its vibrant arts scene and great restaurants. The amazing architecture and compact downtown make for great walking and exploring opportunities.

    Day 1

    Park the car - Staunton's celebrated downtown is made for walking. Unwind as you explore. Downtown has been hailed by the National Trust for Historic Preservation as a hip, dynamic revitalization success story. Soak up the warm, golden sunlight and watch how the light plays across the facades of the city's architectural gems.

    Check into one of our charming inns (such as the Inn at Old Virginia or the Frederick House) or perhaps opt for a weekend overlooking the downtown skyline at the Stonewall Jackson Hotel, one of the Historic Hotels of America.

    Staunton is quickly becoming a hub for farm-to-table dining in Virginia, due to the fresh bounty of the Shenandoah Valley farms. Choose from an array of restaurants that provide locally-sourced, seasonal fare. Try Byers Street Bistro if you like a casual dining experience, or choose between hip, contemporary eateries like Zynodoa. If you prefer a laid-back atmosphere and American-style menu, try Mill Street Grill or the Depot Grille.

    Day 2

    Don't miss the Staunton Augusta Farmers' Market, which is a bustling, colorful affair, often with live music and the occasional chef demonstration. Fresh produce and breads are available at the farmers' market, or walk a few blocks down West Beverley Street to Newtown Baking, where artisanal bakers make fresh pastries, breads and sandwiches daily.

    If you would like to learn more about Staunton's unique history, take a self-guided walking tour of Staunton's historic districts or visit the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library and Museum. While away what's left of the afternoon shopping. You'll be pleasantly surprised by the diversity of Staunton's house-wares, antiques, gift shops, toy stores, bookstores and art galleries. If you are hungry, pick up picnic fare (and a free picnic blanket) at Cranberry's Grocery & Eatery, a natural and organic store located downtown.

    Plan to dine early, so you don't miss the evening show at the American Shakespeare Center's Blackfriars Playhouse. Performances have been touted by The Washington Post as "shamelessly entertaining" and by The Boston Globe as "phenomenal ... bursting with energy." Your day is not complete until you've tasted the gelato at The Split Banana, open late every night.

    Day 3

    Start your day at one of our many independent coffee houses. Peek in Trinity Episcopal Church (circa 1746) for a glimpse of its famed Tiffany stained glass windows. On your way out of town, stop by the Frontier Culture Museum, an outdoor living-history museum that re-creates agrarian life in America. The four illustrative farmsteads - American, Scots-Irish, German, and English - were painstakingly moved from their original sites and reassembled on the museum grounds. Costumed interpreters bring the farms to life.
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