Get Your Fix of Farmers Market Goodness

Waynesboro is the city where good nature comes naturally, and so does the friendliness of our local farmers! This summer, celebrate the season’s abundance with a number of ways to meet your food producers. From a traditional riverside farmer’s market, to taprooms serving up local flavor, to pedal-powered market tours, we’re raising a toast to local food in the Shenandoah Valley.

Waynesboro Farmer’s Market

Stroll through the pavilion at Constitution Park in downtown Waynesboro for live music, greenway access to the South River, and produce stalls bursting with summer color. Begin every Saturday morning among good-natured farmers with local fruits and vegetables, baked goods, honey, eggs, and meat. The market is open 9am to 1pm.

Chat with vendors like Jacqueline’s Fresh Cut Flowers for a bouquet of blooms, or stop by 7th Sunrise Gifts and Coffee for your morning pick-me-up. With triple the number of vendors from prior years, this summer’s selection includes crafters for Father’s Day gifts, Philosopher’s Tea for specialty drink selections, mushrooms from White’s Spring Valley Farm, and the sweet honey of Spieker’s Apiary.

Overwhelmed by local food possibilities? Don’t be — this June, Virginia Cooperative Extension will be hosting live food demos at the Waynesboro Farmer’s Market every Saturday. Demonstrations will include easy to follow take home recipes and fresh produce from vendors like Poplar Ridge Produce, Marshall Southwick, and Kegley’s Farm. Stop by the market every Saturday to see what’s growing and learn more about how to incorporate fresh produce into everyday meals.

Blue Ridge Bucha

Blue Ridge Bucha’s taproom is the first full-service kombucha taproom in the state of Virginia and one of just a handful on the East Coast. In addition to their flavor flights of ginger, elderflower sunrise, and juniper berry kombucha, their outdoor patio is hopping on weekends with a kid’s play area and food offerings from a variety of local producers.

Check Blue Ridge Bucha’s calendar for regular weekend appearances by the Bageladies Bagelini Bus, featuring freshly cooked bagel sandwiches including roasted eggplant with peppers and sweet potato hummus, or egg and cheese with asparagus and horseradish cream, all piping hot out of a reimagined rainbow school bus. The taproom also serves up samplings from local artisan producers like Bellarino Creamery and Little Hat Creek’s woodfired baked goods and ecologically produced vegetables.

Celebrating summer days with man’s best friend? Well behaved dogs, on leash, are welcome in the courtyard area and under the covered front porch. Says Blue Ridge Bucha, “Let us know if they’re thirsty, too; we are happy to get a bowl of water!”

City Cow Market + Bike Rental

Fill your bike basket with farm fresh goodness with the City Cow’s market and bike rental program. A tiny downtown destination with a big visual presence, this small shop is bursting with color and energy. Antique cars and decorations attract interest, while local fruits and vegetables are offered along with artisan crafts from Nourishing Valley, Shabby Gone Chic, Gone Loopsy Jewelry, Motions and Notions, and more.

The on-site bike rental program features vintage cruisers, tricycles, and a two-person tandem for citywide cycling. Located near the Waynesboro Farmer’s Market, Basic City Beer Co, Blue Ridge Bucha, and Rockfish Gap Outfitters, the City Cow sees itself as a connector, bringing together many local food and outdoor recreation destinations.

Building on Waynesboro’s unique character as an Appalachian Trail Community, the City Cow will be offering discounted bike rentals to Appalachian Trail thru-hikers, as well as free ice cream for summertime riders, opening up a whole new way to explore the city’s sights and local cuisine.

Setting the Hook: Fishing & Festival Destinations in the South River Watershed

Acclaimed “trout central in the Old Dominion,” the South River waterway through Waynesboro lures visitors with the perfect combination of greenways, trout fisheries, kayak floats, and downtown dining. With a stunning lineup of river-focused festivals and educational offerings, we’re setting the hook. Whether you’re new to fly fishing or passionate about the cold, clear streams of the Shenandoah Valley, this season serves up South River adventures for all.

South River & Fly Fishing Events

Photo courtesy South River Fly Shop

Cast your line for back-to-back weekends of river fun. Some of the best fly fishing in the Valley is right downtown in Waynesboro’s Urban Trout Fishery, where Shenandoah Valley Trout Unlimited has partnered with the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries to build trout habitat structures and an ongoing conservation legacy.

For an inviting welcome to this destination fishery, join these educational festivals on the banks of the South River. They pair perfectly with river strolls and evening dining beneath the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Fly Fishing Expo — April 27 & 28

Held on the banks of the South River along the greenway in downtown Waynesboro, this two-day festival features schedule-packed, multi-tent presentations to improve and inspire your fly fishing. Learn from the experts with classes on fly casting techniques, kayak fly fishing rigging, four seasons fly fishing, Shenandoah watershed Brookies and Bronzebacks and more.

The South River is a popular destination for fly anglers due to the great fly fishing opportunities and ease of access. One of the goals of the Expo is to provide funding for continued conservation habitat improvements on this great fishery, ensuring that the tips you learn can be applied to exceptional fishing for years to come.

Riverfest — May 4th

Riverfest, Saturday Apri. 30, 2015. (Photo by Norm Shafer).

This on-the-river festival features Reptile World shows, Stream Safari, presentations by the Wildlife Center of Virginia, Fish and Fun Rodeo, canoe rides, kids arts & crafts, stream electro-fishing with the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, and the always captivating Great South River Duck Race. Dedicated to environmental conservation and watershed stewardship in the Shenandoah River Basin, this family-friendly event promises interactive and educational activities for children of all ages and young-at-heart adults. Check out their full schedule for opportunities to participate in live fish species identification, learn frog calls, and meet the non-releasable falcons of the Virginia Wildlife Center.

Float the Waynesboro Water Trail

Riverfest, Saturday Apri. 30, 2015. (Photo by Norm Shafer).

If you prefer boats over banks for river exploration, the new Waynesboro Water Trail spans a scenie four-mile stretch of the South River with convenient boat ramps at Ridgeview Park and Basic City Park. With Class I and Class II rapids, this stretch offers the perfect mix of trout habitat, beginner-level paddling, and mid-way take outs for shorter float options. Connecting a downtown greenway and four separate city parks, this water trail is open every day sunrise to sunset.

Guides & Outfitters

Tommy Lawhorne works with Robert Dillard, of Winston Salem, N.C. during a guided fishing trip on the South River South River in Waynesboro, Va., Friday, Oct. 14, 2016. (Photo by Norm Shafer).

With half-day and all-day guided services along the South River, as well as expeditions for Shenandoah National Park Native Brook Trout and James River Smallmouth Bass, the South River Fly Shop offers full-service guides that introduce participants to premier fishing locations, providing expert instruction and ensuring that fishing gear is in tip-top form. Their helpful staff can also update you on the latest license requirements and delayed-harvest fishing regulations.

For independent adventurers ready to explore Shenandoah Valley trout streams and regional river floats, local outfitters Rockfish Gap and South River Fly Shop supply kayaks, fishing poles and equipment, bicycles, backpacks, and camping gear. With both sales and rental options available, their family-friendly services will have you floating in no time.

Whether wading, floating, or sitting on the river bank, reel in memories for years to come along the South River waterway.

Top 6 Can’t-Miss Family Fun Activities for Spring

The redbuds are blooming, and spring is bursting with opportunities to celebrate the season. Our top six family fun offerings will have the young and young at heart in your life exploring the outdoors, cheering to musicals, and safely meeting the region’s wildlife. Not to be forgotten, we’ve included fur-ball friendly adventures for man’s best friend, plus spring-themed beverages for adults along for the ride. Don’t miss these gorgeous days of mountain air filled with small town charm.

Alice in Wonderland the Musical–April 13 & 14

Head down the rabbit hole with zany characters, mad tea parties, and flamingo croquet in this new musical version of the timeless classic Alice in Wonderland. The ever-curious Alice, the White Rabbit, tap-dancing playing cards, the Mad Hatter, the mysterious Cheshire Cat, the Queen of Hearts, and all your favorites from Lewis Carroll’s beloved books take the stage to make this a magical, tuneful, and over-the-top entertaining musical for the whole family.

Alice in Wonderland will be presented by the Wayne Theatre with a student cast in two shows on Saturday, April 13, at 7 p.m., and on Sunday, April 14, at 3 p.m. Tickets to the musical are $5 for students and $12 for adults.

Hoppy Easter Extravaganza–April 14

It’s a Hoppy Easter at Stable Craft Brewing this year, as fun-filled family celebrations are topped off with a Jelly Bean IPA for parents. Doors open at noon, with all-afternoon festivities including Easter Egg Decorating (3-6pm), live music from (1-4pm), Easter themed races and prizes, a chance to meet the horses, and S’mores and Sunsets from 4pm till closing.

With a full tap room, a pub-style restaurant, and on-farm stables, Stable Craft Brewing offers a scenic and authentic setting to explore hops fields and to peek inside the on-site brewing process. Hoppy Easter, all!

Parkway Discovery–Starting April 26

 

 

 

 

 

The vistas from the Blue Ridge Parkway never fail to wow drivers, but young explorers in the backseat sometimes miss out on the experience. On April 26, the Humpback Rocks Visitor Center (milepost 5.8) will open for the season, offering kids the chance to explore a mountain farm and pick up a Junior Ranger packet to earn an official BRP patch. Within minutes of the visitor center, short but rewarding hikes welcome families–like Greenstone Trail (with unique geology), Ravens Roost (with cool rocks for climbing), and Catoctin Trail (with a thrilling view at the end). Make your enjoyment of this scenic byway a family affair!

Mutts Gone Nuts–April 26

Disorderly duo Scott and Joan Houghton and their hilarious pack of pooches have created a comedy dog thrill show like no other. Expect the unexpected in this top-notch presentation that includes high flying frisbee dogs, tightwire dogs, dancing dogs, magic dogs and of course, the one and only Sammie the Talking Dog. All nine canine partners are adopted from animal shelters and rescues. Have your photo taken with up to two of the dogs after the show, with a $10 donation to the Augusta Regional SPCA.

 Mutts Gone Nuts comes to the Wayne Theatre for one show on Friday, April 26, at 7 p.m. Tickets start at $18.

Riverfest–May 4

Riverfest, Saturday Apri. 30, 2015. (Photo by Norm Shafer).

Canoe rides, Stream Safari, Reptile World shows, life animal presentations from the Virginia Wildlife Center, Fish and Fun Rodeo, electro-fishing with the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, and child-focused arts and crafts are just the beginning of the all day family fun unfolding at this year’s Riverfest.

Programs and activities start at 10am and continue throughout the day until 4pm. This FREE annual event takes place river-side at Constitution Park South in Waynesboro and is capped off by the Great South River Duck Race.

Petpawlooza–May 5

Celebrate your family’s furriest members in this afternoon event, or choose to grow your family’s fun with on-site pet adoption and rescue agencies. The Marvelous Mutt Stunt Show will air in Coyner Springs Park (home to Waynesboro’s Dog Park) at 12:15, 1:45, and 3:15pm on Sunday May 5th, plus join in for the Musical Sits Pet Contest, meet the Kissable Pits, and commission pet caricatures and balloon animals. Bring your leases, all your pets are invited to Petpawlooza.

 

 

 

 

Fire Up Your Winter Getaway

Snow is flying. The thermometer is plummeting. But before you think about hibernating under a quilt, consider warming up with a winter getaway in Waynesboro.

Book at stay at the historic Belle Hearth B&B, and you’ll be treated to seven working fireplaces, each with a uniquely decorated hearth that radiates Victorian charm. The award-winning breakfast is served at a candlelit table set with antique china and laden with hot homemade breads, casseroles, and quiches—everything you need to brace yourself against the winter chill.

The annual Swedish Fire Festival lights up the night sky on January 26th at nearby Barren Ridge Vineyards. This blending of European midwinter celebrations mingles French and Swiss cheeses, Swedish mulled wine, and a multi-course Scandinavian meal for a cultural and palate-pleasing smorgasbord. You’re in for an unforgettable evening with the Swiss alpenhorn performance and the lighting of the Swedish fire torches along the driveway!

Light the fires of romance at the Iris Inn, where your own private cabin invites you to unwind with a gas fireplace, heated floors, bubbling hot tub, and two-person rain-head shower. Make your stay extra special by adding a bottle of local wine, an in-room couple’s massage, or a chef-prepared meal that you and your sweetheart cook together in your private kitchen.

The fires are also burning at Stable Craft Brewing at Hermitage Hill Farms. Stretch out next to their outdoor fire pits while you sip a crafted ale, or opt for renting a private igloo – complete with cozy heater – for you and your friends to experience the beauty of a snowy landscape without the chill.

Want to enjoy your craft beer by an indoor fire? Cozy up with one of Seven Arrows Brewing Company’s sessionable beers in front of the stone fireplace. This brewery releases a newly infused beer every Friday and has onsite restaurant, Nobos Kitchen.

Where will you warm yourself by the fire in Waynesboro?

7 Ways to Celebrate the Season in Waynesboro, VA

If you’re already playing Christmas music, chances are you love this time of year–the smell of pine, the taste of cinnamon, the sound of carols. So do we! With a sprinkling of traditional and a dash of unique, Waynesboro offers seven wonderful ways to spice up the season. Come celebrate with us!

Jake Johnson’s ceramics are made at his South River Mill studio.
Discover Arts, Crafts . . . and Bagels

Once a prolific textile factory, South River Mill in Waynesboro is now home to a variety of businesses and a vibrant arts scene. You can check out the Mill’s wares—from ceramics to metalwork (and bagels)—at the SRM Open House & Holiday Sale (Dec 1 & 2, 10:00-5:00 PM).

Watch the Parade Go By

Bring your own camp chair and blanket to the annual Waynesboro Christmas Parade (Dec 1, 6:00 PM), a nighttime parade featuring glowing floats and glitzy bands. Warm your hands with a hot chocolate from one of three hot chocolate stations along the parade route. You can also donate a new toy to the Toys for Tots float as it passes by!

The Wayne Theatre presents Christmas Home Tour 2018
Sneak Inside Historic Homes

Well, you won’t have to sneak exactly. But you’ll feel like a spy when you peer inside the halls and living rooms of some of Waynesboro’s finest homes. How do they decorate for the season? Find out at the Christmas Home Tour (Dec. 1, 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM). Get ideas for your own holiday decorations or merely ogle theirs; either way, the proceeds go to benefit the Wayne Theatre Alliance, a non-profit seeking to enrich the community through performing arts.

Shop Main Street for Gifts

The beer lover on your list will love a sampling of domestic and imported beers from the over 150 varieties stocked at Mister Jamison’s Deli. And why not grab a gift card from the newly remodeled Heritage on Main Street, We wouldn’t blame you if you kept this gift for yourself.

The fashion bug will love a cool personalized gift from Initial Inspiration, a boutique of monogrammed clothing, handbags, and jewelry. Or for vintage wear, head down the street to Twice As Nice, the ever-popular upscale consignment store.

Wilson Fairchild photo by Conrad Matiuk
Catch a Show

This time of year, music takes center stage at Waynesboro’s historic Wayne Theatre. Local celebrities, Wil and Langdon Reid, will have your boots tapping in Wilson Fairchild Christmas (Dec 15, 8:00 PM). Additionally, the Wayne offers two ways to enjoy the beloved Nutcracker ballet: both the Charlottesville Ballet (Dec 1, 1:00 & 5:00 PM) and Albemarle Ballet Theatre (Dec 8, 2:00 & 5:00 PM) will bring their unique renditions to the stage.

from Charlottesville Ballet’s Facebook page
Glut Yourself on Cookies and Craft Beer

On December 16 from 2-5:00 PM, Stable Craft Brewery is hosting Christmas Cookie Decorating. Kids can fill up on cookies while adults fill up on Chocolate Oatmeal Stout or Cranberry Kettle Sour. Not only that, but everyone can sit by the firepit and drink in the incredible views of the Shenandoah Valley.

Join Voices

When was the last time you got together with your city and sang a song? You won’t want to miss the Wayne Theatre’s Community Sing-Along, followed by a screening of The Christmas Story (Dec 21, 6:30 PM). The sound of Christmas favorites sung in harmony is guaranteed to lift your spirits and make the season bright.

This Getaway Weekend Sizzles with Variety

Are you a big believer that variety is the spice of life? The weekend of September 21-23 in Waynesboro, Virginia will fire you up with options! With a music festival, park adventure, craft-beer run, and gem and mineral show all packed into the same weekend, consider your life spiced!

Heat, Beats, & Beer

Virginia Chili, Blues n Brews Festival photo by Norm Shafer

There might be a nip in the air as fall approaches, but this festival puts some “heat” in the season change! Pro and amateur chili chefs compete for prize money and the title of People’s Choice. They’re joined by thousands of lovers of spice, music, and beer at the Virginia Chili, Blues n’ Brews Festival. Now in its 11th year, the downtown Waynesboro event is September 22 from 3-9pm. Staged against backdrop of the South River and sweeping mountain views, the festival promises a marvelous mashup of sensory experiences.

 Recharge at Shenandoah National Park

from Shenandoah National Park facebook page

Restoration and resilience are the focus of the 25th anniversary of National Public Lands Day on September 22, and if you’re looking to personally recharge, Shenandoah National Park is fee-free that day and filled with renewing vistas, waterfalls, or quiet glades. One of Virginia’s most beloved natural wonders, the 200,000-acre Shenandoah National Park boasts more than 500 miles of trails. Just three miles from the park’s southernmost Rockfish Gap Entrance, Waynesboro makes the perfect starting point for an exploration of its wild southern section.

A Run with a View—and a Reward

If a physical challenge is your spice, brace yourself for the Basic City Burn. Featuring a just under three-mile course that climbs a quad-burning 300 feet to the highest point in Waynesboro, the stunning view of the valley is just part of the event’s allure. Runners and walkers also get treated to cool swag and a post-race party with beer tastings at Basic City Beer Co. and food by Hops Kitchen.

 Not Just Any Old Rocks

from Shenandoah Valley Gem & Mineral Society facebook page

Second in age only to South Africa’s Barberton greenstone belt, the Blue Ridge Mountains are a perfect destination for rock hounds, nature lovers, and history buffs alike. The weekend of September 21-23 will allow you to feast your eyes on the fascinating and beautiful rocks and minerals found in the Shenandoah Valley (and beyond) at the 51st Annual Gem & Mineral Show. The whole family will be enthralled with the mix of unique shopping, treasure-hunting (for kids), educational talks, and demos like panning for gold and cabochon making.

Local Food & Fowl

The weekend options don’t stop there. Every Saturday through September 29, 9am-1pm, you can also visit the Waynesboro Farmer’s Market, both a marketplace and a community gathering space, in the heart of downtown Waynesboro. Visitors can shop, play along the river banks, or stroll along the nearby South River Greenway.

Autumn brings thousands of migrating raptors to the mountain pass of Rockfish Gap at the juncture of Skyline Drive and the Blue Ridge Parkway. Manned by volunteers collecting raptor data for global research and education, the Rockfish Gap Hawk Watch is open to the public and easily accessible without hiking or climbing. Novice birders can witness this awesome natural event between now and November 30, although the peak migration occurs mid- to late-September.

On Screen/In Person in Waynesboro

Mid Atlantic Art Foundation‘s On Screen/In Person is a film series designed to bring the best in new independent American films to the Mid-Atlantic region and the Wayne Theatre plays host as Virginia’s exclusive venue for this series made possible by the National Endowment for the Arts. Six films tour annually with their filmmakers including a public screening, pre- or post-screening discussion with the visiting filmmaker, and a community activity to provide context and a greater appreciation for the film.

The Wayne Theatre’s screening of this series is done as Pay What You Will admission. Advance tickets are recommended and may be reserved at no cost. All screenings begin at 7 p.m.

The 2018-2019 series includes:

Break the Chain: September 13, 2018
with director Laura Swanson

Holden On: October 18, 2018
with director Tamlin Hall

Tyrus: November 11, 2018
with director Pamela Tom

Man on Fire: February 21, 2019
with director Joel Fendelman

From the Second Wave to the Tidal Wave: March 14, 2019
with director Joel Fendelman

Chavela: April 24, 2019
with director Daresha Kyi

Cool Summer Gallery Cruising

Art Destinations in Waynesboro, VA

Looking for a way to beat the heat during the remaining dog days of summer? Here are a few places to cool off  in Waynesboro whether you’re an art collector or the aesthetically curious.. We’ve compiled several destinations to fill the last days of summer with artistic inspiration.

Buckley Moss Gallery

Drawing her imagery and visual style from the Shenandoah Valley, Pat Buckley Moss has reigned as an artistic legend for decades. In the words of her gallery website, “she considers the landscapes, lifestyles, cultures and traditions of the area to hold an important message for modern society.” At her downtown Waynesboro Gallery, which boasts the most extensive collection of her work available, visitors can gain insight into both the artist’s evolving creative career as well as the geography from which her message and inspiration flows.

Moss is a highly-prolific artist, and her P. Buckley Moss Waynesboro Gallery offers paintings, prints, and a complete selection of accompanying ornaments and collectibles. Situated in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley and Waynesboro’s revitalized downtown, the gallery is a convenient walk to coffee shops, restaurants, and specialty retailers. For those seeking an arts inspired country tour, historic destinations such as CrossKeys Vineyards, Virginia Military Institute, Mary Baldwin College, Monticello, University of Virginia, and many other P. Buckley Moss featured locations are an easy drive away. See an image that strikes your fancy? Ask the friendly caretakers at the gallery if they can direct you to its nearby location. 

Hours: Visit the P. Buckley Moss Gallery Monday through Saturday from 10am to 5pm, or Sunday 12pm to 4pm. During the late winter (January 1 through March 31st) the Gallery closes on Mondays. Find them at 329 West Main Street, Waynesboro, VA.

 Shenandoah Valley Art Center

Autism Spectrum by Jan Rapacz at Shenandoah Valley Art Center

Voted a Best of Virginia destination in 2018 by Virginia Living Magazine, the Shenandoah Valley Art Center is a destination gallery that combines rotating exhibitions of original artwork with classes open to the public, workshops, cultural trips and even musical performances. Their in-house studio spaces for artists also means that visitors may find opportunities to interact with working artists in addition to the gallery’s latest series of exhibits.

Member exhibits ensure regular rotations of art from regional creatives, while the Center’s featured exhibits focus on special themes and nationally recognized artists. Their gift shop features affordable local and regional artists’ works including jewelry, prints, cards, pottery, glass, and more. The Center notes: “The work changes frequently so come soon and come often!”

Hours: The Shenandoah Valley Art Center’s summer hours run Tuesday through Friday from 10am to 4pm and Saturday 11am to 2pm. Special events including artists talks and receptions are announced on their website. They are located at 122 South Wayne Avenue in Waynesboro, Virginia.

Wayne Theatre Exhibit Gallery

One at a Time by Jeffrey Stockberger from Painting Virginia exhibition

The Wayne Theatre Exhibit Gallery pairs perfectly with an evening of live performance at the Wayne Theatre Performing Art Center. This summer until August 26th, their exhibit Exceeding Expectations: Staunton, Augusta County, and World War I focuses on the Shenandoah Valley’s history in the War, including over 1,000 local men serving and the local birthplace of wartime president Woodrow Wilson.

 

TimePiece by Joan Dreyer

Beginning August 30, the gallery will feature the contemporary fiber arts exhibit 13 Perspectives that challenges members of the metropolitan area New Image Artists juried group to explore a personal perspective through the lenses of fiber.

Hours: Tuesday through Friday, 10am to 2pm, as well as during all performances at the Wayne Theatre Performing Arts Center. The gallery is located at 521 West Main Street, Waynesboro, Virginia.

Coming this October: the Fall Foliage Festival

Waynesboro Fall Foliage Art show and festival. Photo by Norm Shafer.

Every year the Blue Ridge Mountains turn red with the autumn breeze, and the Fall Foliage Arts Festival graces the streets of downtown Waynesboro.  This October 13th and 14th, join more than 150 artists and artisans who will showcase paintings, printmaking, woodworking, pottery, sculpture and more.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gateway-to-Nature Vacation

Looking for a home-base from which to launch a nature-centered vacation? Waynesboro offers a combination of hiking, paddling, fishing, and outdoor relaxation, all a short and convenient drive from its small-town charm. Check out these eight can’t-miss nature experiences that begin at your Waynesboro doorstep.

(1) Chase Waterfalls in Shenandoah National Park

A national treasure in its own right, the Shenandoah National Park invites visitors to sweeping mountain views, easy access to hiking trails, and an incredible density of waterfalls.

Looking On Dark Hollow Falls. NPS | Katy Cain

Every year, visitors arrive from all over the world to visit the Park, but you’ll find its entrance mere minutes from downtown Waynesboro. In between dipping your toes, don’t forget to check out their all-summer Ranger programming.

(2) Cruise the Blue Ridge Parkway

The Blue Ridge Parkway snakes along mountain ridges from the southernmost tip of the Shenandoah National Park to the Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina. Hiking opportunities abound, but those seeking adventure with less exertion won’t be disappointed with the breathtaking overlooks accessible by car or the stellar driving offered by ribbons of ridgetop pavement.  Bring your camera or sketchbook; these views are for sharing and remembering.

NPS | Mary O’Neill & N. Lewis

(3) Fly Fish an Urban Trout Fishery

What happens when the river, the fly shop, and the brewery are all one short walk from one another?  Regardless, we promise not to tell that fishing story!  For a local- and expert-led introduction to South River trout fishing, the South River Fly Shop offers full-service guiding and instruction.

(4) Picnic by the River

With a multi-use greenway, miles of water trail, and six parks that follow the South River waterway, you don’t need to leave town to enjoy nature. Spread out under the pavilion at Constitution Park, let your dog run free at Coyner Springs, or reserve the shelter at Ridgeview for by-the-river summertime grill outs.

Kayaking on the South River at Ridgeview Park. Photo by Pat Jarrett

Waynesboro’s many parks also offer convenient canoe and kayak launch points into the South River Water Trail. Turn your picnic into an opportunity to wade in the river or float away the afternoon.

(5) View the Night Sky

The official Night Sky Festival begins August 10th in Shenandoah National Park, but the clear Blue Ridge Mountain air offers sparkling skies all year long. Explore the Park’s Tips for Stargazing, become a Junior Ranger Night Explorer, or join any ranger-led astronomy events in the Blue Ridge mountains.

Stargazing at Big Meadows during the 2017 Night Sky Festival. NPS/Mary O’Neill

(6) Meet the Wildlife

Red-tailed hawks, black bears, barred owls, white tail fawns, bobcats, and eastern box turtles are just some of the creatures you may find inhabiting the Blue Ridge Mountains. Most are happy to share the trail with you, as their sightings are common from the Valley floor to the mountain ridge tops.

(7) Climb Above your stress

Let stress and worry fade to the valley floor below. This list of suggested hikes includes panoramic views, granite scrambles, and overhanging cliffs. From the Shenandoah National Park to the Blue Ridge Parkway, gorgeous drives parallel the Appalachian Trail, allowing frequent and beautiful access to this 2,000+ mile trail system that travels from Georgia to Maine. Pick your mountain, begin the climb, and join a community of explorers who have been finding peace and relaxation in these mountaintops since Trail construction began in the 1920s.

Stony Man Summit. NPS. Photographer: Brett Raeburn

(8) Hang Out with the Locals

Looking for that infamous local fishing hole or rumored backwoods adventure?  There’s a whole City waiting to share its secrets. Rockfish Gap Outfitters promises to outfit every style of adventure with bikes, kayaks, and backpacking gear while swapping outdoor adventure stories. South River Fly Shop hosts “Ties and Lies” to share fishing advice and too-good-to-be-true epics. Trail Angels give Appalachian Trail thru-hikers rides to town, and the Beerwerks Trail combines the best of craft brews and good-natured friendliness.

This summer, we look forward to creating new outdoor memories with you in Waynesboro, Virginia!