Take a hike, Cabin Fever! –  3 Surefire Cures in the Shenandoah Valley

If that Snuggie you’ve been hiding behind can stand on its own this winter, it’s high time to take your cabin fever for a ride!  These surefire cures near Waynesboro, Virginia, will help you get out among the living and experience a fresh, invigorating view.

Get your passport. 

Laughter really is the best medicine.  A solitary dose is fine, but for maximum effect, experience laughter in community.  Find winter solidarity at our three Waynesboro breweries on the Shenandoah Beerwerks Trail.  Jam sessions, arcade games, trivia nights, and the company of others who appreciate a good time will put a spring in your step.

The Shenandoah Beerwerks Trail is not only your guide to some of the best craft beer in the country, it can also launch you into an unforgettable day of quirky roadside attractions, farm-fresh fare, and Shenandoah Valley recreation at its best!  You’ll get to experience all the tastiness these Blue Ridge Mountains have to offer.  Pick up your Shenandoah Beerwerks Trail Passport and visit six breweries on the trail to become the proud owner of a snazzy new tee.  You can get your passport at a participating brewery, visitor center, or the nearest igloo.

If winter really has you sapped, get chauffeured around by Shenandoah Tours or stay at Belle Hearth Bed & Breakfast and book one of their Shenandoah Valley Wine & Brew Tours. You’ll be picked up at the front door of Belle Hearth for a three-hour chauffeured tour, complete with a picnic lunch.  It doesn’t get better than that!

Move. Breathe. Repeat.
OM Brew at Seven Arrows Brewing

Sure, we know movement helps both winter inertia and cabin fever.  But sometimes you just gotta ease in to it.  That’s where OM Brew at Seven Arrows Brewing Company has your back.  On Saturday mornings, 10 bucks gets you a refreshing yoga session and a complementary craft beer when you’re done.  Best part is, class begins at a respectable 10:30 so you and your Snuggie can sleep in!  A second way to enjoy some flavor-filled exercise: treat yourself to the Sip ‘n’ Saddle Up wine package from the Iris Inn Bed & Breakfast, featuring a breathtaking vineyard trail ride with Rebel’s Run @ Afton Mountain.

If you’re crawling the cabin walls, really stretch out those winter kinks by tackling one of the invigorating hikes in our backyard.  Just off the Blue Ridge Parkway is St. Mary’s Wilderness, Virginia’s largest designated wilderness area.  There are no cabins here, no motors, no nuthin’.  Nothing that is except miles of fern forests, valley vistas, and peaceful waterfalls!  Or check out Riprap Hollow in Shenandoah National Park.  Considered to be one of the best circuit hikes in the southern section of the park, Riprap Hollow provides variety, from great vistas and a small gorge to scenic springs and a large swimming hole.

Eat someone else’s cooking.
Heritage on Main Street

Really, on a long winter’s day is there anything better than someone else doing the cooking and you doing the savoring?  For true, nourishing comfort food that does both a body and mind good, there’s no better place to break free from meal monotony than the Shenandoah Valley.  And now with hints of spring in the air, outdoor dining patios are beginning to open.  Even if you still have to huddle in your hoodie, there’s nothing like soaking in the sunshine while filing your belly with fresh flavors prepared for you.  No dishes, no hassle.  Just pure, wholesome fuel to keep you energized for the day’s trails!

It only takes one day in Waynesboro’s spacious natural playground to cure cabin fever.  Get a dose today!

The Darker Side of the Shenandoah

The Darker Side of the Shenandoah – The Legends & Stories Waiting for You Near Waynesboro, VA

Coming to the Shenandoah Valley for the spring wildflowers and a gentle stroll?  This isn’t the trip planner for you. But if you’re looking for a little mystery to go with your outdoor explorations, read on! Like every beautiful place, the Shenandoah Valley is also home to a whole series of legends and stories of a darker nature – sightings and encounters that defy explanation, handed down over generations of adventurers. Here are a few ideas for a walk on the wild side near Waynesboro, VA.

The Dreaded Wampus of the Blue Ridge Mountains

“A piercing scream.”  “An awful smell, like a skunk and a wet dog.”  “Five feet tall.”   “An unholy hybrid of canine and feline.”   “It was holding my pal with a hand.  Then it hissed and took off – on two legs!”

The dreaded Wampus Cat has been known to stalk the mountains of the South and these very lands for generations.  Sure, the illusive Wampus Cat has recently experienced wild popularity as a cutesy mascot and a fantastic beast valued by famous wandmakers.  But don’t allow the Wampus Cat’s newfound familiarity to cause you to drop your guard.  When you’re exploring these Blue Ridge Mountains, you never know what you’ll find or what will find you.  Be sure to follow the cardinal rule – always hike with a buddy!

Spoooooky Swannanoa

Photo credit The University of Science and Philosophy

Swannanoa Palace has many faces.  Poised atop Afton Mountain, the historic marble mansion is viewed by some as a symbol of love and devotion, by others as an eerie magnet for the paranormal.

Built in 1912 as a summer home, the Gatsby-esque mansion is said to be a token of love from James Dooley to his wife Sallie May.  The 23,000-square-foot home boasts Gilded Age architecture, Italian marble, 52 rooms, and ornate woodwork.  But the highlight is a 4,000 piece-Tiffany Glass window with a likeness of Sallie May herself.

In its early years, Swannanoa enjoyed a short stint as a country club (even hosting President and Mrs. Calvin Coolidge for Thanksgiving 1928) and an even shorter stint as a convent. Beginning in 1948, Swannanoa was home for fifty years to Walter Russell’s University of Science and Philosophy, an organization focused on elevating cosmic consciousness in the human race.

Today, Swannanoa Palace makes for a popular wedding and photo shoot venue and a prime setting for paranormal investigations.  To experience both the grandeur and the beautiful eeriness that is Swannanoa, keep an eye out for this year’s schedule of historic tours.

Eternal Darkness In the Land of 4000 Caves

Fountain Cave at Grand Caverns

All is definitely not as it seems here in the Shenandoah Valley.  Something lurks below these majestic mountains and scenic byways.  In a state with over 4,000 caves, the Waynesboro area has its share of legends and ghostly tales.  Even in a show cave such as Grand Caverns, a few well-placed lights are all that hold the eternal darkness at bay.  To experience the thrill and chill of our region’s underworld (and to be ensured to come back safely to tell the tale), contact WILD GUYde Adventures or get down ‘n’ dirty with a trek through Fountain Cave.

“And we’ll hear the dead people talk.”

Sue Eisenfeld’s The Memory Keepers

Wild, delightful, haunting, beautiful, tragic… Shenandoah National Park has been described in a number of ways.  To truly appreciate a walk in these woods, explore the complex history and heritage infused in this land.  Author Sue Eisenfeld’s writings on the lost communities, relics, and memories of these mountains is a good place to start.  Following the wisdom of Tennessee Williams to “hear the dead people talk,” Eisenfeld captures both the thrill and the sadness of coming upon plane wreckage, burial plots, and the remnants of lives lived within Shenandoah.  To feel this for yourself, take a hike along South River Falls Trail to the ruins of Pocosin Mission.  Sit alone in silence and you might hear the many voices of Shenandoah.

What’s waiting for you in Waynesboro, VA?  There’s only one way to find out.  But bring a friend…or two.

Outdoor Adventure Challenges, Shenandoah-Valley Style

Toughest Rides, Hikes, and Climbs Near Waynesboro, VA

Think you need to trek out west for extreme outdoor adventures? Think again! Rugged hikes, epic mountain biking, and exhilarating climbs are all just a short drive from the urban bustle of Washington, D.C., Fredericksburg, and Richmond.  Base your adventures here in Waynesboro, VA and you’ll be smack in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley with quick access to Skyline Drive, Shenandoah National Park, the Appalachian Trail, and the Blue Ridge and Allegheny Mountain Ranges.

But hold up, there’s a bonus!  Waynesboro has all the stuff you need when you come off the trail – gear repair, great local food, killer craft beer options, to-die-for coffee shops (yes, with wifi!), and friendly locals to answer your questions.  We’re an Appalachian Trail Community and the people you meet on the streets of Waynesboro may have just come off the trail themselves!  Get their take on the toughest adventures around and add them to this challenge list.

Pumped Up for Bikepacking


Ready to break free from the city and get down to basics? Rack the bike and gun it to the Shenandoah Valley to access the most extreme trail around.  Just remember, you’ve been warned: The Virginia Mountain Bike Trail is no joke.  It’s a 473-mile epic backcountry expedition along the length of Virginia’s Allegheny and Blue Ridge Mountain Ranges.  You, your wheels, and your gear need to be at peak performance.  Before you even think about launching into the wilderness, spend some time at Rockfish Gap Outfitters in Waynesboro. Whether you’re looking for a tune-up, overhaul, or fresh new wheels and gear, these are the pros you want helping you prep.

Don’t have 10 sick days to allocate to The Virginia Mountain Bike Trail? Take a look instead at the Blue Ridge Wrangler. This challenging 158-mile loop starts and ends near Waynesboro, so it’s readily accessible for a long weekend getaway from the big city.

Into the Wild

Hiking Upward: Three Ridges

The Priest Wilderness is 5,994 acres of rugged beauty in west central Virginia.  To summit the Priest is to have conquered what is considered by many to be one of the toughest day hikes on the Appalachian Trail. This is due in part to an unrelenting elevation gain of 3,000 feet in one 4-mile stretch of the trail. As one hiker puts it, this is “the hike that gives you the most bang for your climbing buck in the entire state.”

For another intense workout, check out Three Ridges.  It’s another quad-burner, with nearly 4,000 feet in elevation gain.  But tackle this hike and you’re rewarded with vista after vista and small waterfalls.

On Top of the World

Blue Ridge Mountain Guides

Looking for exhilaration and the best views around?  Then you’ll want to book a rock- or ice-climbing trip with Blue Ridge Mountain Guides.  Whether this is your first ascent or you’re a die-hard climber, these instructors can tailor climbs to fit your goals.  To share in your glory, rope in a few of your buddies and conquer the mountain (and your fears) together!

So which adventure is calling you?  “Schedule” those sick days and get ready to play hard in Waynesboro, Virginia!

Reveling in the Pleasures of Food & Drink -3 Killer Ideas for Craft Food & Beverage Getaways in Waynesboro, VA

“If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.”

~ J.R.R. Tolkien

If you’re all about the merriment when you travel, Waynesboro, VA is jam-packed with golden opportunities to revel in the pleasures of food and drink. Try one of these weekend craft food and beverage getaways on for size. You won’t believe you haven’t been here sooner!

Find Your Flavor in Waynesboro

Seven Arrows Brewing Company

What’s your beverage of choice? Pale, stout, red, white, espresso, rye? Even better if you aren’t sure, ‘cause there’s a lot of flavor to sample here in the Shenandoah Valley! And the grains, hops, and fruits are farm-fresh, making every glass something to savor.

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Valentine’s Chocolate by the Pint

Basic City Beer Company’s Gringo-Mexican Molé Stout

There’s chocolate by the bar, box, and pound—and then there’s chocolate by the pint. Liquid pint, that is.  Feast your tastebuds on these chocolate-infused beers, all locally crafted in the Shenandoah Valley and ready to make your Valentine’s Day even sweeter. Get them while they’re on tap at these three Waynesboro-area breweries.

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5 Hands-on Artisan Experiences in Waynesboro, VA

Don Miguel Ruiz declared, “Every human is an artist.” If that’s the case, more of us need to be offsetting our daily slog with the creation of beauty! Discover (or rediscover) the creative outlet that brings beauty and fulfillment into your life at these five Waynesboro DIY artist experiences.

Wood & Stain
Nail’d It DIY Workshop allows artists to create one-of-a-kind signs for their homes.

Hand-lettered signs on reclaimed wood are all the rage now, but you don’t have to pay an artist to make one for you. Nail’d It DIY Workshop allows you to make your own in its charming downtown studio where a row of neatly hung smocks begs you to come play. The only problem will be deciding from the over 80 designs ranging from humorous quotes to monogrammed centerpiece boxes. Clients are also welcome to bring their own designs or choose a fun seasonal project. Then tie on a smock and get artsy with the 10 stains and 15 paint colors! Walk out with a handmade and heartfelt piece of art to adorn your living room or front porch. You can register online for a specific time or walk in during weekend open house hours. And just announced: Nail’d It is starting offering canvas projects, too! Decorate your own pillow cover or tote bag on February 7 at special introductory pricing!

Hours vary. Check the website for class times and open houses. Projects start at $45.

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Unconventional Valentine’s Gifts for Your One-of-a-Kind Sweetie

Let’s face it. They broke the mold when they created your fun-loving, hard-playing, adventure-seeking sweetheart. So why would you stoop to another ho-hum dinner or lame box of chocolates this Valentine’s Day for someone so spectacularly stellar? Surprise him/her with one of these truly unique gifts, experiences, or weekend adventures in Waynesboro, VA, and the two of you will be talking about this Valentine’s Day for years to come.

Picnic on the Summit

Humpback Rocks

Waynesboro is smack in the middle of Virginia’s most wild and beautiful playground.  There’s no better place to find solitude and to spend quality time together.  And that’s really what your sweetie wants from you, isn’t it?

For “wow!” factor there’s nothing like a picnic along Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park. Nature lovers will want to grab an Osprey or Yeti at Rockfish Gap Outfitters. Then, take a detour to Greenwood Gourmet Grocery to fill it with local edibles like Simply Cheddar, Ula Tortillas and chips and craft beverages such as Blue Ridge Bucha.

There are hundreds of miles of trails in the park, each with unique terrain, vistas, and rock formations to explore.  To get you started, take a look at Blackrock Summit Trail with its panoramic views or Riprap Trail to Chimney Rock with its rocky outcroppings.

Of course, before you go check out this Winter Hiking Guide from Shenandoah National Park so you two don’t find yourselves stuck somewhere with too much solitude!

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Flavor, Festivals, & Fitness – Top 3 Reasons to Visit Waynesboro, VA in 2018

Infuse more flavor, more nature, and more play into your new year!  If work-life balance is on your 2018 wish list, head to Waynesboro, Virginia.

The Shenandoah Valley: Your Passport to Flavor

Our craft beverage producers take “fresh” to the next level.  They’re using hops, grains, water and fruits sourced right here in the Shenandoah Valley.  And with a focus on conscious and sustainable practices, they make it easy for the rest of us to savor local flavor packed with purpose.

Take Blue Ridge Bucha, Virginia’s first kombucha producers.  With big flavor and a small footprint, the team at Blue Ridge Bucha hand crafts delicious, organic kombucha that is distributed in refillable bottles.  Just one of many sustainable practices, this commitment alone has saved more than 675,000 bottles…and counting.  You can find Blue Ridge Bucha on draft in over 50 locations in the Mid-Atlantic.  And in 2018, Blue Ridge Bucha is set to open a Waynesboro taproom complete with outdoor patio!

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Good for the Sole – Heartwarming Stories from an Appalachian Trail Community

The 2,190-mile Appalachian Trail (A.T.) travels through 14 states on its course from Georgia to Maine.  A thru-hike along the length of the A.T. challenges hikers both physically and mentally and is frequently described as “life-changing.” 540 miles of the A.T. wind through Virginia, more than through any other state, and hikers often refer to the infamous “Virginia Blues” – the feeling that they’re not making progress and the state will never end.  Appalachian Trail Communities like Waynesboro, Virginia, know how important support and rejuvenation are to the weary hiker.

“We had a great trail magic moment on Mother’s Day when we were hiking along the Blue Ridge Parkway. A local woman brought an amazing spread of sandwiches, pastries, chips, fresh fruit, and drinks to a place where the trail crossed the Parkway. She kept saying, ‘Call your mothers and let them know that there’s another mother out here taking care of you!’ It was so sweet.”  ~ Staige Davis and Andrea Parra, thru-hikers

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