There are too many fun things to do in Staunton on your next vacation as long as you’re ready to make the best memories ever.
Not only is Staunton an ideal base for exploring Virginia’s beautiful Shenandoah Valley and the Blue Ridge Mountains, but it also boasts one of the best historic main streets in America and is famous for its flourishing arts and culture atmosphere.
Whether you’re interested in art, history, architecture, dining or outdoor recreation, Staunton is the perfect place to take your vacation.
Staunton is a great place from which to explore the Blue Ridge Mountains, Virginia’s beautiful Shenandoah Valley, and many great places in the region.
As part of the things to do in Staunton, you can see the American Shakespeare Center’s replica of William Shakespeare’s plays, interact with locals, and shop at the Staunton Farmers Market, among other activities you can participate in.
Therefore, Whether you’re interested in architecture, art, history, music, outdoor recreation, or fine dining, Staunton is a great place to visit.
The proceeding paragraphs contain the best things to do in Staunton, VA.
Fun Things to Do in Staunton (VA),
1. Sunspots Studios Glass blowing
Located in downtown Staunton’s historic shopping and dining district, this studio, also known as Sunspots Studios Glassblowing, lets visitors learn all about the fascinating art of glassblowing.
You can visit the studios on any day of the week, enjoy live glass-blowing exhibitions and probably buy a special piece of glass art for keep.
You can even make your own glass masterpiece with the help of glass artists. This experience is open to anyone over the age of seven.
In the gallery, you will see a wonderful agglomeration of exquisitely crafted glass vases, plates, ornaments, and more.
2. Buy Fresh Daily at the Staunton Farmer’s Market
For Staunton locals, the Staunton Farmers Market is always a highlight of the week, offering the opportunity to purchase fresh, healthy food products directly from the growers.
This market is held on Saturdays starting in early April and runs until the Saturday before Thanksgiving. The Wednesday market starts at the beginning of May and lasts until October.
Everything sold in this market is produced by stallholders who take pride in their products, and fruit and vegetables are usually harvested the night before they are brought out for sale to ensure you get the freshest.
You’ll see everything from artisan bread to free-range eggs and fresh herbs to homemade pickles and preserves.
Located between Mary Baldwin University and Blackfriar’s Playhouse, BY&BY is Staunton’s popular and popular coffee shop.
The shop opened in 2003 and has gone from strength to strength ever since, making it one of the many interesting things to do in Staunton.
BY&BY currently offers a variety of great fair-trade coffees and espressos, iced coffees, local teas, and more.
You are invited to chat with the team while enjoying your favorite drink paired with any of their delicious cakes or pastries.
In addition, BY&BY recently opened a beer garden serving quality craft beers alongside delicious grilled sandwiches and all-day breakfasts.
On Monday evenings (weather permitting), you can enjoy outdoor movies in the beer garden.
Things to Do in Staunton (VA) at Night
1. See a Show at the Oak Grove Theatre
For over sixty years, residents and visitors to Staunton have enjoyed a summer season of plays produced by the Oak Grove Theater.
The performing arts team at Oak Grove Theater produces a season of five plays each year, beginning in late March and running through the end of September.
It has a unique atmosphere in the pleasant outdoor theatre of Oak Grove. The five games have a different theme and usually include a fair amount of humour and even the odd parody or two.
Theatre guests are encouraged to arrive early for a picnic to be enjoyed in the grove before the play begins.
Each game lasts seven nights, with the schedule changing every Thursday until five games are completed. So it’s always exciting!
2. Taste Fine Wine at Ox-Eye Vineyards
In the center of the Shenandoah Valley, Ox Eye Vineyards, which has its name from the diverse wild daisies that cover the farm each year, offers great wine tasting
The property provides scintillating conditions for vine production with cool climate breezes, deep limestone soil, and the right autumn temperatures to grow full-flavored grapes.
The business was founded by owners John and Susan Kiers, who began making their single varietal wines in 2010.
They previously sold their grapes to local wineries for several years but now produce a range of delicious food-grade wines, including Pinot Noirs, Chardonnays, Frankovkas, and Rieslings.
You can taste fine wine in their Tasting Room in the historic Wharf Taunton district; it is open daily.
3. Queen City Brewing
Queen City Brewing opened in 2003 and is the first brewery to do so in Staunton since Prohibition.
They expanded their own brewing capacity 15 years ago and now have over 30 beers on tap.
You will see their wide range, including a selection of lagers, porters, fruit blends, several beers (including Belgian, British, and Irish beers, IPAs), and much more.
Even if you’re not excited about the wines, you can try their fruity Ruby Sangria, some of their homemade lemonades, and their alcoholic ginger ale.
There’s always a food truck available on Friday nights (or you can bring your own food), and you’d be sure to enjoy the live music that plays every Wednesday and Friday night.
Things to Do in Staunton (VA) For Couples
1. Museum of Border Culture
Another thing to do in Staunton is to visit the Frontier Culture Museum. It is an interesting and educational attraction suitable for the whole family.
The Frontier Culture Museum tells its visitors through 11 permanent exhibits the story of the first immigrants and settlers and their daily lifestyles. These exhibits are housed in original structures and have been transported to America, England, Germany, Ireland, and West Africa.
You’ll meet costumed docents to answer all your questions and take your time on a self-guided tour of the museum—with shuttles running back and forth for your convenience.
Children will also enjoy themselves; the museum offers fun and educational five-day summer camps. These programs are available for ages 5 to 8 and 9 to 12, with various skills important to early settlers’ survival.
2. Enjoy the Beautiful Display of Art at the Artisans Center
Over the years, Staunton and her neighbors in the Shenandoah Valley have attracted many artists and craftsmen.
As many of them depend on the Virginia Artisan Center to support their craft and establish systems to modernize their economy, it does not lack a presence.
Based in Staunton, the Artisans Center of Virginia inspires artists and craftspeople to showcase and hone their talents through exhibitions, classes, workshops, and other arts and crafts events.
They have different events planned for the season, so you can check out their website to see what’s on the ground.
Get a complete list of the different craft trails you can follow for information about Antique Centers, Open Door Studios, agri-artisan farms, and much more.
3. Take in the stunning views of Betsy Bell and Mary Gray Wilderness Park
It’s easy and accessible if you want to capture some of the best views from the Shenandoah Valley toward the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Betsy Bell and Mary Gray Wilderness Park provides this opportunity and is one of the best things to do in Staunton.
The park has an observation deck (at 1,959 feet) that is hard to beat, and even getting there is part of the fun.
And if you have an SUV with high ground clearance, the Observation Platform is accessible by road, but you have to watch out for a series of sharp turns, terrifying heights, and narrow tracks.
Other ways to get to the lookout include a fairly steep hike or a challenging mountain bike ride. You can bring some food and enjoy the amazing views.
Things to Do in Staunton (VA) For kids
1. Horse Riding at the Star B stable
If you love horseback riding, then a visit to Star B. Stables should be on your list of things to do in Staunton.
Star B stables are domiciled in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley and provide the escape you need from the stress of hard work! Here, visitors can enjoy guided horse trail rides for an hour.
The best thing about Star B is that you don’t need any riding experience. Guides are available to help you with the tour, so you have the chance to try horse riding if you’ve ever thought of it.
Star B. Stables offers rides all year round for anyone over the age of six who wants to escape to nature. Simply book a tour and enjoy the beauty of nature on horseback!
2. Admire Folly Mills Waterfall
Folly Mills Falls is one of Staunton’s most amazing hidden gems. It is known among locals and even some Virginians for being one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Virginia.
It’s only a short walk from the parking lot to the waterfalls. Although it can be quite muddy after the rain, this is one place to see at any time of the year!
Getting there is easy; just turn west on Cochran’s Mill Road from Rt 11 (south of Staunton). Just before you cross Folly Mills Creek, there is a parking lot on the left.
You would have to be careful of the rocks near the falls, which can be slippery and would require wearing suitable shoes.
Overall, seeing Folly Mills Falls in Staunton is an attractive thing.
3. Enjoy ice cream at Kline’s Dairy Bar
Your visit to Staunton would be incomplete if you fail to visit Kline’s Dairy Bar. Tasting their daily ice cream is sure to evoke a sense of nostalgia.
The original Kline’s was started in 1943 in Downtown Harrisburg and was so popular that the owners opened three more stores, including the Staunton location.
You can check out the difference at Kline’s Dairy Bar when you sample their delicious ice creams, which are still handcrafted daily using only the finest and freshest ingredients.
They also serve food and have space for private events. Locals and visitors to Staunton can order delectable takeaways for private events, and soon custom ice cream cakes will be available.
You can browse through their website to view the available special daily flavors.
Indoor Activities in Staunton (VA) For Adults
1. Drink Coffee at Crucible Coffee Roasters
One of the many exciting and fun things to do in Staunton is to track down some delicious coffee at Crucible Coffee Roasters, the best local coffee shop in town.
The coffee company was born from the love of coffee and human connection.
It was founded by Brandon Bishop, a retired international businessman, and Kean Ivey, his high school friend and military veteran. Both have great experiences with coffee from different parts of the world.
Crucible Coffee Roasters sell their beans so you can have something to take home. You’ll find a variety of single origins and blends from El Regalito, Guatemala, to Yirgacheffe.
This is, therefore, the perfect coffee shop for those looking for an extraordinary cup of joe in Staunton.
This store is open every day of the week from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
2. St. Francis of Assisi
Stop by the Catholic Church of St. Francis of Assisi to visit a favorite landmark in Staunton. It would be fulfilling if you were Catholic because it is one of the most famous places in the city.
Catholicism wasn’t prominent in Virginia until the French Revolution and expanded dramatically when Irish Catholics began moving into the region.
St. Francis of Assisi, a catholic church, was founded in 1845 and named after one of the most important saints of the Catholic faith, St. Francis of Assisi.
When you are in Staunton, you may well worship in the church. Among the many activities to attend are morning and afternoon masses.
The church is beautiful inside and out, with structures, marble, and other beautiful things among the beautifying features. You can admire its interior and exterior.
3. Be Transported to Another World in the Grand Caverns
Located in Grottoes, Virginia, The Grand Caverns is added to our list of things to do in Staunton.
Grand Caverns is a must-see on your trip as it is the oldest specimen cave in America and a National Natural Landmark designated by the National Park Service.
You will see some of the cave’s unique features, including shield formations, stalagmites, stalactites, and sinter stones.
All this makes it a wonderful place to visit, especially for those interested in geology.
People can explore the Virginia Caverns or indulge in on-site activities, including biking and hiking trails, miniature golf, picnic centers, and a swimming pool.
It’s one place to be, especially on hot summer days!
Romantic Things to Do in Staunton (VA)
1. Bruce A. Elder Antique and Classic Cars
Bruce A. Elder’s Antique and Classic Cars are must-see attractions for anyone visiting Stauton, especially those eager to learn about the development of the automobile over the past century.
In the heart of historic downtown Staunton, Bruce A. Elder’s antique and classic cars are housed in the legendary Beverley Garage.
The Beverley Garage was built in 1911 and is iconic for being the best Ford dealership in the South. So getting to this place means you’re going down in history – plus, you know!
Plan to visit this attraction on a weekend, as professionally guided tours are only available on Saturdays and Fridays.
In this place, you will see several vehicles, limousines, racing cars, and trucks, all making part of the collection. Interestingly, with enough cash, you can buy some of these vehicles.
2. Be Part of the Staunton Music Festival
Although Staunton has no shortage of musical entertainment, the Staunton Music Festival is the talk of the summer season for all music lovers.
The Staunton Music Festival runs for ten days in mid-August of the year, and you can host up to 30 concerts in that short time.
The good news is that this festival brings the love of classical music to people in the city by hosting free concerts daily and even an extensive evening performance that requires tickets.
If you are a true music enthusiast who intends to attend many concerts, you can purchase a summer or annual pass that offers discounted tickets.
Concerts are also held at various locations throughout historic Staunton, allowing visitors to see other locations as well.
3. Eat Good Food at Zynodoa Restaurant
Staunton is known for its amazing restaurants, and Zynodoa is one of the city’s most popular places to meet and eat.
Zynodoa is a great example of a true Shenandoah Valley farm-to-fork restaurant, serving the freshest, locally sourced ingredients.
Here, they carefully prepare their food to offer delicious and innovative southern cuisine.
Most of the meat served at Zynodoa is sourced from the Piedmont and Shenandoah Valley regions, while their fish and seafood are rightfully sourced from the Chesapeake Bay.
The restaurant is open daily for dinner and offers a great brunch package on Sundays. They have a long list of wines that feature the best from Virginia, California, and worldwide.
Free Things to Do in Staunton (VA)
1. Camera Heritage Museum
If you are enthusiastic about photography, then The Camera Heritage Museum is a must-see attraction for you in Staunton.
This museum houses amazing collections of vintage cameras that trace the evolution of photography from the 1900s to the present day.
Most of the cameras displayed come from rare private collections and are backed by amazing stories, many of which have stories rooted in history.
The museum has put together an informative self-guided stereo audio tour to help you navigate the museum in the most exciting way while learning about its fascinating collections.
The collections change every week as many vintage cameras are sent from all parts of the world as donations to the growth of the Museum.
The Museum is located at 1 West Beverley Street, Staunton, VA 24401
2. Staunton Military Academy Museum
Located on the campus of Mary Baldwin College, the Staunton Military Academy Museum seeks to reveal the story of the famous Staunton Military Academy, which formerly occupied much of the school’s current campus.
The museum shares the same estate with the VWIL (Virginia Women’s Institute for Leadership) museum, the former embracing the past and the latter looking to the future.
Inside the museum, you’ll see medals, uniforms, and other artifacts, most of which were donated by former graduates, many of whom entered the armed services and served their country in World War II or the Vietnam War.
Don’t hesitate to visit as the museum is open from 1 pm to 4 pm on Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays, and admission is free
3. Fields of Gold Farm Trail
The Shenandoah Valley has wonderful fertile soil responsible for producing a whopping one billion dollars worth of agricultural products annually.
While you’re in Staunton, take a day or week to explore the Fields of Gold Farm Trail and see and learn about what goes into making this delicious food on your plate.
The Farm Trail takes you through dozens of valley farms where you can interact with farmers, tour a working farm, and watch children feed animals or pick fruit.
You can also visit local farmers’ markets, enjoy a delicious farm-to-fork fresh dinner, or go wine tasting. There are several routes to choose from – check out the route map on the website.
Cheap Things to Do in Staunton (VA)
1. Visit the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library and Museum
The Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library and Museum presents the life and times of America’s twenty-eighth president.
This museum is located in the late president’s birthplace in Staunton’s Gospel Hill Historic District. It is a beautifully restored former Manse and is a fine example of Greek Revival architecture. The building is well furnished with original period pieces and many personal items owned by the late president.
A self-guided tour lets you learn about his early life as you walk through seven galleries.
Some of the highlights of this museum include a terrifyingly realistic World War 1 trench exhibit, a 1919 Pierce-Arrow limousine, and younger folks will enjoy scavenger hunts held in the historic gardens.
2. Dog Wine and Cheese Shop
If you’re after a sublime selection of gourmet cheeses and wines under one roof, then Yelping Dog is the perfect place to head in Staunton.
Not only do they stop for cheeses and wines, but Yelping Dog also offers a nice selection of craft beers that you can enjoy on the premises or even take home.
Visitors can unwind in the evening with craft beers, wines by the glass, and a cheese plate or delicious sandwich.
At Yelping Dog, they are always willing and ready to help if you need advice on choosing the perfect wine for your planned meal. They also provide food and wine pairing suggestions and tasting notes.
3. Black Raven Ghost Tours
Black Raven Ghost Tours is operated by Black Raven Paranormal and provides an innovative way to learn about the ghouls, history, and legends of historic downtown Staunton.
Joining the Black Raven Ghost Tours is one of the best things to do in Staunton and should not be missed by any visitor.
Join the popular Queen City Ghost Tour, and you’ll be taken on a lantern-lit trip back in time to Staunton’s old days. You would learn all about the mysterious people who shaped the city’s history by visiting six haunted places.
The month of October comes with several tours to choose from, including the Dark Staunton Tour and the Haunted Depot Tour.
Cool Places to Visit in Staunton (VA)
1. Explore the Wharf Historic District
Taunton’s Historic Wharf District may never have existed if not for the railroad’s arrival in 1854. The railroad brought thriving businesses to Staunton and the creation of warehouses throughout the Wharf District.
One of the best things to do in Staunton, VA, especially for architecture buffs, is a self-guided tour of the Historic Wharf District.
There are many interesting buildings to admire, and maps of the area can be obtained from the Staunton Visitor Center or several vendors.
As you walk through the neighborhood, you’ll notice several different architectural styles, including the Federal style, the Greek American Hotel, and the Queen Anne style.
The original C & O train station (now The Depot Grill) was built in the Bungalow style (out of curiosity), which seems a bit odd for a station building.
2. Grab a Beer at Skipping Rock Beer Co.
A visit to Staunton will definitely be a nice step if you are a beer lover. Skipping Rock Beer Co. is a great place to stop in town for a rejuvenating craft beer.
Local Virginians take pride in making good craft beer, and Skipping Rock is proof of that. The beer company has a taproom in Staunton and an extensive menu featuring everything from rye IPAs to NEIPAs and more.
They are inspired to create beers of phenomenal quality, down to the smallest detail.
You can fill your growl, sit and interact with other people while holding a pint in your hand.
You would enjoy their view of the pastures and the accompanying relaxing feeling. Worry less and live more! It’s the perfect place to bring your family and friends.
3. Stop by the American Shakespeare Center
The world-famous American Shakespeare Center has been recreated only once in the heart of Staunton, Virginia!
The American Shakespeare Center, also known as Blackfriars Playhouse, focuses on recreating the plays of William Shakespeare.
This theatre is based on similar ones. So if you are a person who loves literature, especially the works of Shakespeare, you must see the theatre on a trip to Staunton.
With 16 different titles and two rotating ensembles, the theatre runs all 52 weeks of the year, so there’s always something to see.
They are also offered plots to learn more about the games during these programs.
Performances take place all 52 weeks of the year with two rotating ensembles and 16 different titles, so there will always be something to watch. The program also offers labs for anyone interested in learning more about games.
In Staunton, you will be marveled and entertained!
We hope you enjoy your vacation in Staunton doing every of the best things we have listed above.