Honoring Veterans and Celebrating Heritage at Fishburne Military School

Nestled in the Shenandoah Valley and at the heart of Waynesboro, Virginia, stands a vibrant testament to the values of integrity and citizenship.  For over 135 years, historic Fishburne Military School has prepared young men for college and a life of leadership.  The oldest and smallest of all military schools in Virginia, Fishburne Military School enrolls 200 student cadets each year into its distinguished academic curriculum built on the structure of an Army JROTC program.  

Founded in 1879, by Professor James Abbott Fishburne, the history and heritage of Fishburne Military School is steeped in rich traditions that honor the past, engage the present, and prepare for the future.  The school’s focus on honor and service shines brightly in Waynesboro as the Fishburne Military School Corps of Cadets actively participates in service projects, review and demonstrations, parades, and poignant ceremonies throughout the community and region.

Founder’s Day and Annual Veterans Day Ceremony

Fishburne Military School

The school’s annual Founder’s Day and Veterans Day Ceremony held on or near November 11, marks a doubly significant date for the Fishburne Military School community.  Distinguished guests, special guest speakers, faculty, staff, veterans, and cadets gather to offer respect to all veterans and to honor Professor Fishburne who passed away on Armistice Day, November 11, 1921.

The tightly drilled ceremony includes a moving tribute to our servicemembers who remain prisoners of war and are missing in action, and to the 60 Fishburne alumni who have given their lives in service to the country, from the Spanish-American War to the War on Terrorism.

Holiday Parades

Fishburne Military School

The Fishburne Military School’s marching unit, comprised of its band, staff, color guard, and two drill teams, has a long and distinguished history. Fishburne has marched in review for President Calvin Coolidge, Virginia Governors Harry Flood Byrd and Gerald Baliles, Secretaries of the Army Generals George C. Marshall and Eric Shinseki, in the 58th Presidential Inauguration, and in the annual George Washington Birthday Parade in Old Town Alexandria.  Additionally, the Corps of Cadets participates in the Staunton Veterans Day Parade, as well as in both the Waynesboro and Staunton Christmas parades.

Wreaths Across America Ceremony

Fishburne Military School

For several years, Fishburne Military School has participated in Wreaths Across America, an annual national event with the mission to Remember, Honor and Teach.  What began at Arlington National Cemetery with one man and 5,000 wreaths has become a national network of volunteers that places memorial wreaths on over 700,000 veterans’ graves.  Each December, a convoy of trucks filled with wreaths travels to each state, making stops at veteran cemeteries, schools, communities, and monuments.  Fishburne Military School had the honor of being selected as one such site, and the school’s ceremony remembers the country’s fallen heroes and honors those who serve.

To learn more about Waynesboro’s historic landmarks, living traditions, and community cornerstones, visit the Waynesboro Heritage Museum.

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Live Like a Local on Your Next Outdoor Adventure with these Waynesboro, VA “Secret Spots”

When you make Waynesboro, Virginia, your basecamp for outdoor adventure, you have hundreds of trails and acres of natural goodness to explore. Where to start? For some quiet solitude with Mother Nature, pack a lunch and head to one of these less-traveled fishing holes, scenic vistas, or picnic spots.

Land a Quiet Fishing Hole

Backcountry fly fishing with South River Fly Shop.

Waynesboro’s renowned urban fishery is a destination for anglers around the world.  We’re also centrally located for fishing adventures throughout the Shenandoah Valley. For less-traveled fishing holes, pack your hiking boots and head to Ramsey’s Draft Wilderness or the Mill Creek and Coles Run Reservoirs tucked back in the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests.

Or book a backcountry fly fishing trip with South River Fly Shop, and you’ll experience some of the Shenandoah National Park’s best secluded fishing holes with the benefit of full service guiding and instruction!

Before you head out on the water, you can find the latest information on licenses and regulations at Fish Virginia First.

Soak Up the Views

Glass Hollow Overlook. Photo: HikingUpward

One of the Iris Inn’s recommendations for a day hike with variety and views is the Riprap Hollow Trail in Shenandoah National Park.  As one hiker has beautifully described it, this trail is a nice “sampler” with its streams, pine forest, hardwoods, wide vistas, and a 50-foot wide swimming hole in the summer.

For a less strenuous vista, head a few miles down the Blue Ridge Parkway to the Dobie Mountain Loop. This trail is less busy than its neighbor Humpback Rocks and will reward you with views of Rockfish Valley from the Glass Hollow Overlook.

Picnic with a State Champion

Waynesboro’s State Champion. Photo: The Virginia Big Tree Program

Waynesboro’s Ridgeview Park is home to two mighty giants. You can find the first near the South River, rising 88 feet into the air. The second also towers 88 feet about the park and can be found north of the War Memorial Pool.  Both are State Champion shingle oaks, and if you want to give these trees a full hug, you’re going to need a few friends.  Both oaks boast a circumference of about 15 feet!

The City of Waynesboro has vibrant horticulture and urban forestry programs and takes pride in its botanical gardens and Tree City USA recognition.  A picnic or stroll at Ridgeview Park will give you plenty of opportunity to experience Waynesboro Parks & Recreation’s award-winning handiwork.  Unfurl your blanket, unwrap the brie and pear sandwich you picked up at The Farmhaus, and finish off your picnic with a slice of house-made ricotta cheesecake from Stella, Bella, & Lucy’s.  Then kick back and enjoy the peace and groundedness that comes from time well-spent in the company of trees.

Whether your soul needs a day’s adventure or a long weekend getaway, our good nature is available year-round, with no queues, and no reservations needed!  Just pack your fishing gear, hiking boots, or picnic basket and come to Waynesboro.

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Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About the Wildlife Center of Virginia

Since its humble beginnings in an Augusta County horse barn, the Wildlife Center of Virginia has been offering health care and emergency services to native wildlife for 35 years. While it’s not the only wildlife center in Virginia, it’s unique for its emphasis on education. Think of it as a teaching hospital with doctors on staff and patients in various stages of recovery. As such, the Center cannot allow visitors to walk in and interact with the patients. (These patients, in particular, would find that encounter highly stressful!) However, the Center schedules open houses throughout the year, and there are numerous ways to see the animals in action.

I recently spoke with Amanda Nicholson, Director of Outreach, and got the answers to some of my own pressing questions.

So, Amanda, since pop-in visits are discouraged, how can someone witness the work that the Wildlife Center is doing?

Our Critter Cams are a great way to see some of the animals that are being rehabilitated. For instance, we have a lot of black bear cubs right now that can be seen on one of the channels. We also do a Hospital Cam once a month and occasionally a Surgery Cam. Our open houses give people an up-close look at the operations of the Center. The next open house will probably be in February 2018. While these events are free, they do require reservations and do fill up quickly. Keep your eye on the events calendar on our website and Facebook page to stay current on all our events, such as our Eagle Releases and classes.

The monthly Hospital Cam reveals what’s “all in a day’s work” for the Center’s medical staff. Photo courtesy of www.wildlifecenter.org.
Speaking of eagles, what animals do you treat the most?

Mostly backyard wildlife like squirrels, rabbits, and birds. We do see a large number of orphaned bear cubs, often brought in by DGIF. And in 2012, we saw a record number of bald eagles—42, to be exact, although 2017 is already shaping up to beat that record. You can find a list of current patients on our website.

What’s the most unusual animal brought in?

We’ve had some rare birds that were migrating and got blown off course, like a snowy owl. We’ve also treated a number of non-native animals—illegal pets such as alligators and caiman—that were confiscated from people’s homes.

This bear was released into the wild after receiving care at the Wildlife Center of Virginia. Photo courtesy of www.wildlifecenter.org.
What’s the longest animal resident at the Center?

About two dozen “educational ambassadors” live here and help us educate the public, but our longest single resident is Gus, a barred owl, who was brought as a hatchling in 1994. Gus is human-imprinted and cannot be released in the wild.

What’s the most common mistake people make in handling wildlife?

Feeding wildlife is always a bad idea, because it makes them dependent on humans. Also, don’t assume that a baby animal is orphaned. Many species, such as deer and rabbits, leave their babies alone all day. The best thing to do before intervening with an animal is to call the Wildlife Center or else email us a photo of the animal. We’re always happy to help assess a situation.

Where do you get your funding?

As a non-profit, we rely solely on private funding from kind-hearted individuals and organizations.

The Wildlife Center Gala attracts guests of various species. Photo courtesy of www.wildlifecenter.org.
How can I support the Wildlife Center?

Donations are always needed for patient supplies, such as medications and groceries. The Annual Gala, our biggest fundraiser of the year, is coming up on November 4. It’s at the Stonewall Jackson Hotel and includes a silent and live auction, as well as appearances by some of our educational animals. Everyone is invited to that! We have a gift shop at the Center, which also can be accessed online. Eagle calendars, t-shirts, and stuffed animals, for example, are all available. Another option is our Caring for Critters adoption. People can sponsor one of the animals for the duration of the time it spends at the Center, and we send out email updates to keep sponsors aware of how the animal is progressing.

Who works at the Center?

We have about 20 staff members. Around six of those are students here for one-year stints. We also host numerous interns throughout the summer and 6-12 undergrad or graduate students.

Is there a way for me to volunteer?

Absolutely! Volunteer opportunities are listed on our website, from outreach docents to animal care volunteers to drivers for injured animals. Some people are even at-home rehabilitators who don’t mind administering around-the-clock feedings.

Maggie, the Wildlife Center’s one-eyed Peregrine Falcon, acts as an educational ambassador. Photo courtesy of www.wildlifecenter.org.
What other programs do you offer?

Check out our online events calendar for events that are open to the public, such as our popular Eagle Releases. Groups can also book their own tour of the facility. Additionally, we do library events throughout the state and even the State Fair!

Quick Facts about the Wildlife Center

20: The number of acres owned by the facility outside Waynesboro, VA.

200: The number of species that have been treated by the Center since 1982.

2,500: The average number of patients treated per year.

70,000: The number of individual animals treated to date.

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Base Camp for Fall Bike Rides in Waynesboro, VA

Base Camp for Autumn Bike Rides in Waynesboro, VA

Helmet…check. Spare tubes…check. Sense of adventure…check. If you’re looking for a bicycling destination that offers a variety of picturesque landscapes and delectable wayside stops, pack your gear and head to the Shenandoah Valley. With Waynesboro, Virginia, as your base camp, you’ll have an abundance of on-road and off-road routes to choose from, taking you everywhere from the peaks of the Blue Ridge Mountains to the historic towns nestled below. Start your adventure rested and well-fed with a night at The Iris Inn or Belle Hearth Bed & Breakfast, then spend your day exploring one of these suggestions.

Sample the Fruits (and Grains) of the Valley

Flying Fox Vineyard

This Waynesboro to Nellysford loop will bring you past some of our region’s delicious offerings. There’s something for everyone’s taste. You’ll find stunning wines to match the views at Veritas Vineyard and Winery, the internationally acclaimed craft spirits of Silverback Distillery, and the cold taps at Wild Wolf Brewing Company.   Wild Wolf’s farm-to-fork restaurant makes this the perfect rest stop on your tour. Refreshed, pedal south to Flying Fox Vineyard to sample one of their Virginia Vermouths or premium wines. And no Nellysford loop would be complete without a stop at Bold Rock Hard Cider! For an abundance of additional grain, grape, berry, and fruit adult beverage options on your route, be sure to check out this map.

Ramp Up for Big Fun

George Washington and Jefferson National Forests

Up for a big challenge? Check out the Big Levels / Sherando mountain biking trail system! Recommended by the outdoor pros at Rockfish Gap Outfitters, the Sherando Lake Recreation Area in George Washington and Jefferson National Forests offers mountain bikers 20 miles of singletrack trails and dirt/paved roads. Reward your efforts by taking the fireroad over to the Blue Ridge Parkway and sailing down 6 miles of “America’s Favorite Drive (Ride).” You also have the option of connecting up with U.S. Bicycle Route 76.

Slow Down & Stop to Smell the Flowers

Viette Gardens

For a scenic ride along some of our county’s flattest road miles, Bike the Valley recommends this Waynesboro to Grottoes loop. Be sure to plan in time for a tour through Grand Caverns, a National Natural Landmark, or the more rugged Fountain Cave Adventure Tour. This 35-mile bike loop also gives you the opportunity to visit the renowned Viette Gardens. Each season at the gardens highlights a fresh palette of colors and textures, and visitors in the fall can stroll beside stunning daylilies, ornamental grasses, and fall berries.

For additional route suggestions and local resources or to brush up on Virginia’s bicycle laws, visit Bike the Valley and download this Bicycling in Virginia map. When it comes to autumn bike rides, you have a lot of choices – better make it a long weekend in Waynesboro!

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Leaf-Peeping Off the Beaten Track near Waynesboro, VA

Waynesboro, Virginia, is a popular destination for outdoor lovers regardless of season. But there’s definitely something about autumn in the Shenandoah Valley that fires up the senses. You’ve got the invigorating sunshine, the crisp mountain air, and rolling vistas of dazzling fall foliage – all beckoning you to come out and play. In addition to the famous Skyline Drive and the Blue Ridge Parkway, Waynesboro offers an abundance of options for those looking to leaf-peep off the beaten track.

Witness Peak Color & Aerobatics at Rockfish Gap

Rockfish Gap Hawk Watch

Every autumn, thousands of raptors soar high above the juncture of Skyline Drive and the Blue Ridge Parkway as they migrate through Rockfish Gap. Broad-winged hawks, ospreys, bald eagles, and peregrine falcons are just four of the 16 species you may witness gliding from thermal to thermal.

The Rockfish Gap Hawk Watch, located on the grounds of the Inn at Afton, is easily accessible by car and offers 180 degree panoramic views of both the migration and the fall foliage of the Shenandoah Valley to the west and the Piedmont Region to the east. Local volunteers are at the watch from August 15 to November 30 to collect raptor data for global research and education. If the volunteers are in the midst of counting and unable to chat “raptors”, please direct your curiosity to the educational panel on the site. Songbirds, Monarch butterflies, and dragonflies also migrate through Rockfish Gap. Pack a picnic and enjoy a colorful aerial show above and around you!

Travel the Civil War Trails Route 250 Corridor

Pinterest

For a mix of scenic beauty and historic perspective, follow the Civil War Trails Route 250 Corridor from Waynesboro’s Plumb House to Camp Allegheny at the West Virginia border.   Landmarks, activities, and interpretive signs along the route include a wartime farmstead, overlooks, a walking trail, and quaint towns to explore. Additional Valley Campaign driving tours and this Civil War Trails map can help you take full advantage of October’s gorgeous autumn days.

Find Solitude in St. Mary’s Wilderness

The Outbound Collective

Get off the roads and into the wilderness with a family-friendly hike to Saint Mary’s Falls! Virginia’s largest designated wilderness area, Saint Mary’s Wilderness is over 9,800 acres of vistas, waterfalls, fern forests, meadows, and wetlands. With seventeen miles of trails, this is also a destination for those hikers looking for a challenge.

Saddle-up for Autumn in the George Washington National Forest

North Mountain Outfitter

Travel under, through, and above the George Washington National Forest’s autumn colors on a half day, full day, or overnight adventure with North Mountain Outfitter. Their gorgeous mountain trail rides include the region’s highest points, ridges, streams, & valleys. Reserve your saddle today to experience the Shenandoah Valley’s fall foliage by horseback!

To time your Waynesboro visit for peak leaf-peeping, check in on the Virginia Department of Forestry’s weekly fall foliage update.   And while vibrant yellows, oranges, and reds above you may vie for your attention, don’t forget to also look down – our fall wildflowers are not to be missed either!

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The High-Octane Life in the Blue Ridge Mountains

Waynesboro, Virginia, is renowned for an abundance of high-octane thrills, with mountain biking and rock climbing often highlighted. A spirited heritage runs deep in these Blue Ridge and Allegheny Mountains, and an exploration into the region’s rich lore and mystique is itself an adventure!


These Spirited Mountains

Photo credit: Blue Ridge Institute & Museum of Ferrum College

“Mash,” “granny fee,” “singlings,” “mountain dew,” and “a bootleg turn”… the language, mystique, and modern media portrayals of Blue Ridge moonshining have created quite a body of lore.

For the real scoop on the history and culture of untaxed liquor in the mountains of Virginia, there’s no better resource than the Blue Ridge Institute & Museum’s online exhibition, “Moonshine – Blue Ridge Style.

Settlers to the Allegheny and Blue Ridge Mountains in the 1700s brought their traditions with them, including distilling grains into whiskey and fruit into brandy and using the leftover “slop” from the process for livestock feed. The United States government first began taxing alcohol to help pay for the Revolutionary War. Those distillers who chose not to get a license nor pay tax on their whiskey became known as “bootleggers” and “moonshiners.

Photo credit: Blue Ridge Institute & Museum of Ferrum College

When Virginia banned alcohol in 1914, the demand for moonshine only increased, and previously licensed distillers and bootleggers alike found illegal, but highly creative means to continue to produce and deliver their liquor.

For firsthand accounts and tall tales of moonshine’s role in mountain life, search the online issues of “The Mountain Laurel – The Journal of Mountain Life.” From “medicinal uses” and working a still before school to a story about a gorilla protecting the still of one moonshiner, this collection is a treasure trove of memories and stories!


And Speaking of Gorillas and Whiskey…

Silverback Distillery, photo credit: Stephen Wassermann

To get your taste buds on premium Virginia spirits, there’s no need to hazard a brush with the law – just head up the mountain from Waynesboro to Silverback Distillery! Mixing tradition, pure ingredients, modern craftsmanship, and a fully licensed establishment, Silverback Distillery produces ultra-premium vodka, gin, rye whiskey and honey rye whiskey, with bourbon on the way. And as distillers of old, Silverback Distillery sources their grains from local farmers and then the spent mash returns to farms as animal feed and fertilizer.


Full Throttle Adventure

Photo credit: Blue Ridge Institute & Museum of Ferrum College

The connection between the illegal liquor trade and stock car racing is not what you may think. While legend has it that moonshiners were the forefathers of racing, according to the Blue Ridge Institute & Museum, very few bootleggers were oval track drivers. Rather, it’s the mechanics who are the moonshine connection. High-performance engines and modified suspensions were valuable to racers of all stripes as they attempted to outrun their pursuers. And while organized racing didn’t routinely call for a bootleg turn to avoid capture, the legends of the day needed every trick of the trade to take home the night’s purse.

Check out Living Legends of Auto Racing for stories of the men and women pioneers of racing.   And get a look at the speedways, advertisements, and cars of this region’s racing history with this extensive photo collection.


The Tradition Speeds On

Photo credit: Eastside Speedway

From the beginning, stock car racing has been a community and family affair, from the racing team to the spectators. Speedways became community hubs for entertainment, competition, holiday celebrations, and charity events.

Raceways across Virginia continue to be community gathering places. Eastside Speedway in Waynesboro is a prime example, with yearly activities that include nostalgia drag races, championship car shows, and family-friendly events, in addition to their full schedule of races.

Before you go, brush up on your hot rod terms so you’ll know your “stock” from your “mini-mod!” But when in doubt, just ask your new friend standing beside you cheering their driver. Waynesboro is, after all, renowned for our Good Nature!

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4 Seasons of Fun: Historic Natural Wonders near Waynesboro, VA

Waynesboro and Augusta County, Virginia, were once America’s western frontier.

The Shenandoah Valley’s renowned rugged beauty and secluded natural treasures continue to attract adventurous spirits. Today’s explorers will discover a wild and wondrous landscape rich in geological, natural, and cultural significance. Like a kaleidoscope, each turn of the seasons reveals fresh sights to enjoy.

Autumn: Skyline Drive

Old Rag in Shenandoah National Park. Photo credit National Park Service.

The southern entrance to Skyline Drive is located just three miles from Waynesboro. This iconic drive through Shenandoah National Park is designated a National Scenic Byway and a National Historic Landmark and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Over 300 species of wildlife and more than 1,400 species of plants are found in the Park. An extensive network of trails and 75 strategically-placed overlooks provide ample opportunity to experience this protected wilderness. Ranger-guided tours of President Hoover’s summer retreat, Rapidan Camp, visitor center exhibits, and park programs give visitors an up-close look at the natural and cultural history of the Park.

Fall foliage season is an especially gorgeous time to meander along Skyline Drive with its mountain top views of the Shenandoah Valley to the west and the Piedmont to the east. To time your visit with peak autumn color, check fall foliage updates frequently.

Winter: Grand Caverns

Grand Caverns is a wonderland of rock formations, some exceedingly rare. Photo courtesy of Grand Caverns Facebook page.

When the weather is too frigid or slick for a hike, head to Grand Caverns where it’s a constant 54 degrees Fahrenheit regardless of the season. There are only ten National Natural Landmarks in Virginia, and Grand Caverns located right here in Augusta County is one of them. The caverns contain exceedingly rare and ornate shield formations as well as beautiful draperies, flowstone, stalactites and stalagmites.

Discovered in 1804 and opened for tours in 1806, Grand Caverns is the oldest continually operating show cave in the United States. The cave was popular with both Confederate and Union soldiers and is now listed as a Civil War Trails site. Over 200 of their signatures have been found in the caverns!

Now when you visit Grand Caverns, you can explore two cave sites in one day! Don helmets, headlights, knee pads & gloves for a guided Adventure Tour through Fountain Cave. Discovered in 1835, Fountain Cave was once a commercial cave but hasn’t been open to the public for almost 100 years. This tour is for those looking for a more hands-on, lights-off caving adventure. There’s a rugged 1800’s pathway, but be prepared for climbing and crawling.

When you venture back up to the surface, enjoy a picnic right there at Grand Caverns Park. After lunch you can take a stroll along the public park’s scenic hiking and cycling trails, part of the Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail, or get some fishing in along the South River.

Spring: Blue Ridge Parkway

Spring Rhododendron at Marby Mill. Photo credit: Bernardo Egli.

The Blue Ridge Parkway was designed to link Shenandoah National Park and Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Far from being a thoroughfare from Point A to Point B, “the idea is to fit the Parkway into the mountains as if nature has put it there.” Construction began in 1935, but it wasn’t until 1987 that the Blue Ridge Parkway was officially dedicated – all 469 miles of it. The result is a National Park that has utilized engineering and landscape architecture to create a leisurely and awe-inspiring experience for visitors.

The northern end of the Parkway is just outside Waynesboro at Humpback Rocks. Begin your exploration at the Humpback Rocks Visitor Center and outdoor Mountain Farm Museum. Costumed interpreters, exhibits, and hiking trails provide a unique look into the natural history and cultural heritage of the Appalachian Mountains.

The wide range in elevation along the Blue Ridge Parkway creates a rich biodiversity. To see what wildflowers may greet you along your drive, take a look at the Parkway’s Bloom Schedule and Wildflower Report.

Summer: Natural Chimneys

Natural Chimneys. Photo credit: Augusta County Parks & Recreation.

Standing in the shadow of Natural Chimneys, you can’t help but feel the weight of history – 500 million years of history! These seven towers range in height from 65 to 120 feet and are made up of numerous layers of compacted sediment, fossilized sea creatures, and lava. These incredible formations are found at Natural Chimneys Park and Campground in Augusta County.

The park has over 2.5 miles of hiking and biking trails, including a route to the top of the Natural Chimneys. After your summit, head back down to cool off in the park’s swimming pool.

Ready to explore? Throw your boots or bike in the car, top off the fuel tank, and head to Waynesboro. Four seasons of fun await you in the Shenandoah Valley!

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Romance is in the Air in Waynesboro, VA

Hermitage Hill Farm & Stables. Copyright Jeff Gleason Photography.

Fall deeper in love with a romantic getaway to Waynesboro, Virginia! With venues that express your personality and magnificent vistas to help capture the magic, the picturesque Shenandoah Valley creates a gorgeous backdrop for your engagement photos, wedding ceremony, renewal vows, or romantic weekend.

Sky Ridge Farm. Copyright Mackenzie Leigh Hopkins.

Imagine saying “I do” surrounded by enduring beauty and natural elegance.

Sky Ridge Farm offers stunning mountain views and a breathtaking, colorful barn.

Photo ops abound at Red August Farm, from the stately cherry tree-lined drive to the historical barn full of vintage details and chandeliers.

Red August Farm. Copyright Ward Photography.

And for the backdrop of a stately horse farm in a winery-like setting, look to Hermitage Hill Farm & Stables. Your guests will love visiting with the horses during Carrotini Cocktail Hour!

Hermitage Hill Farm & Stables

The Iris Inn Bed and Breakfast offers both a gorgeous mountain venue that overlooks the Shenandoah Valley and a multitude of options for on-site lodging for the wedding party and guests. Closer to town, you have the beautiful terrace and ballroom at the Waynesboro Country Club and the Queen Anne-style Fairfax Hall built in 1890 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. For even more ideas, check out these additional wedding resources and venues in Waynesboro.

Old Rag, Shenandoah National Park. Photo credit National Park Service.

For a romantic getaway weekend in Waynesboro, treat your love to a night in the Orchid Room at Belle Hearth Bed & Breakfast, complete with cozy gas fireplace, plush robes, and a three-course gourmet candle-lit breakfast in the morning. Spend the day meandering along Skyline Drive, hiking to Rose River Waterfall, and pausing to experience the serenity of Shenandoah National Park’s panoramic overlooks.

Thinking a natural retreat with the one you love? Book a stay atCabin Creekwood’s honeymoon cabin, located just one mile from Sherando Lake, “the jewel of the Blue Ridge Mountains.” The spectacular Blue Ridge Parkway is just 1.5 miles away, making it easy to capture romantic photo ops at the cascades at White Rock Falls and all along the Parkway.

To time your romantic getaway with the Shenandoah Valley’s famous October fall foliage, bookmark the Virginia Department of Forestry’s online fall foliage guide where you can find recommended fall foliage driving tours and foliage reports.

No matter the season, Waynesboro, VA is the place for all lovers and romantics. Bring your love to our backdrop to create memories of a lifetime.

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Fall is for Brewery Fare & Food Trucks in the ‘Boro!

Surrounded by the Shenandoah Valley’s rich farmland, rolling vineyards, and hop yards, Waynesboro,VA is a city that celebrates good nature and local flavors. Whether you come for our fall foliage, festivals, or outdoor fun, you won’t want to miss what our brewery and mobile kitchens are serving up at these 9 one-of-a-kind eateries.

Hops Kitchen located at Basic City Brewery

Photo credit Hops Kitchen Facebook page

Craft food meets craft beer in the Hops Kitchen! Their mouth-watering menu includes dishes that infuse Basic City beer, local charcuterie boards, Build Your Own Burgers, and chef’s specials like chicken adobo, spicy drunken shrimp, and Mojo Cuban Sandwiches.

Nobos Kitchen located inside the Seven Arrows’ taproom

Photo credit Seven Arrows Brewing Facebook page

NOBOS offers a full delicious menu that is made from scratch and often sourced from area farms. One look at the menu and you’ll see you have a tough choice ahead of you: Steak & Seven Arrows Beer Cheese Hoagie, beer battered shrimp, or local beef burger? Maybe you should also order the zesty chicken bacon wrap to-go!

Stable Craft Brewing’s Agri-pub

Photo credit Stable Craft Facebook page

The agri-pub at Stable Craft Brewing offers locally-sourced beef and farm fresh fare. Kick back in the Biergarten or pavilion with one of sixteen beers on tap while you peruse the menu. From the ale-infused cheese dip to the pulled pork or angus grilled meatloaf you simply can’t go wrong. Unless, of course, you don’t leave room for dessert. “Brewers Grain Brownie, drizzled with stout chocolate sauce.” Need we say more?

El Habanero Food Truck

Photo credit El Habanero Facebook page

To satisfy your craving for authentic Mexican food, make a beeline to El Habanero. Their chorizo quesadillas, tacos, sopes, burritos, and tortas will compete for your affection!

Magnolia Mountain Grill Food Truck

Magnolia Mountain Grill Facebook page

Locally sourced home cookin’ is the specialty of Magnolia Mountain Grill. Their wood-fired smoker kicks out savory burgers and BBQ. Top those off with Mom’s Potato Salad, Aunt Gail’s Baked Beans, and Christian’s Homemade Mac n’ Cheese and you may just park yourself next to this food truck all week!

Alex’s Taco Truck

Alex’s Tacos Yelp page

At this local favorite, deliciousness comes in the form of fresh, homemade guaraches, tortas, carnitas, and tamales. You’ll want to come hungry to Alex’s Tacos!

Delicias Marina Food Truck

Delicias Marina’s Facebook page

One of the joys of eating out is experiencing new dishes you might not take the time to make for yourself. Enter Delicias Marina, where you can find the real flavor of Uruguay, Argentina, and Brasil, including milanesas, empanadas, and chivitos. Pure comfort food!

Little Gio’s Food Truck

Photo credit Waynesboro.com Facebook page

Now located at 305 East Main Street in Waynesboro, Little Gio’s is your stop for a delicious gyro, pita pocket, steak fajitas fries, pupusas, souvlaki, cheese steak, and so much more!

Holy Smokes BBQ of Virginia Food Truck

Photo credit Holy Smokes’ Facebook page

This award-winning BBQ food truck is a must for meat lovers! Swing by for your fill of smoked sausage, turkey panini sandwiches, pulled pork nachos, hand-cut fries, and Holy Smokes’ house-made sauces. Irresistible!

Now who’s hungry? Bookmark this page and hop in your car! A foodie’s paradise awaits you in Waynesboro, VA.

 

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Civil War Driving Tours

Bordered by the Blue Ridge and Allegheny mountains, the Shenandoah Valley acted as a north-south passage for travelers during its settlement and growth, and at no other time was its location so critical than during the Civil War. Union and Confederate troops clashed along its length as the two armies sought to gain ground while driving the enemy backwards. Today, Civil War buffs can experience those costly battles through a variety of museums, films, tours, battlefields, and re-enactments. Since any point in the Shenandoah Valley is easily reached within an hour or two of Waynesboro, the region is ripe for day trips and driving tours.

A cavalryman rides across the battlefield during Waynesboro at War’s Civil War Weekend. Photo by Katie Ford, courtesy of Waynesboro at War.
  1. Battle of Waynesboro Driving Tour

 Waynesboro was the site of the last Civil War battle fought in the Shenandoah Valley. On March 2, 1865, Confederate General Early faced off with Union General Sheridan in a brief skirmish that ended in a Confederate defeat. Just two months later, General Lee would surrender at Appomattox.

Start your driving tour by visiting the Plumb House Museum at 1012 W. Main Street (open Thurs-Sat, call 540-943-3943). The house, built between 1802 and 1804, stood just opposite the battle site and has the holes in its walls to prove it. From there, ascend the hill to 301 Pine Avenue to stand on the Confederate defensive line, which ran roughly the same direction as Pine. Next, drive to Ridgeview Park at the end of Magnolia Avenue. Here, a surprise attack was staged by the Union army along the gravel alley connecting the baseball fields to the end of Locust Avenue, which marked the left end of Early’s Confederate line. You can park at the baseball fields and walk the gravel alley, as motorized traffic is prohibited. For your final stop, head to the Waynesboro Heritage Museum at 420 W. Main Street in downtown Waynesboro. Here, Confederate Colonel William H. Harman was surrounded by five Federals and gunned down. The museum now stands as a wealth of information on the battle and general history of Waynesboro, so be sure to stop in.

A more detailed printed guide of this tour is available at the Waynesboro Downtown Visitor Center or by calling 540-942-6512.

Expand Your Experience

September 16-17, 2017: Waynesboro at War presents a Civil War Weekend. Held annually at Coyner Springs Park, the event highlights the Civil War action seen in Waynesboro. Spectators are invited to meet soldiers from each army, taste camp life, witness the battle, and even participate in an 1860s “Blue vs. Grey” baseball game.

Soldiers occupied tents such as these during the war. Photo by Katie Ford, courtesy of Waynesboro at War.
  1. Winchester Driving Tour

At the northern end of the Shenandoah Valley, Winchester endured numerous battles as the armies fought over its key position. Here, Stonewall Jackson established his headquarters for his famous 1862 Valley Campaign, and here generals Lee, Early, and Sheridan saw action during their own campaigns. A generous number of sites—more than can be mentioned in this driving tour—can be visited here.

Begin your tour at the Old Courthouse Civil War Museum at 20 N. Loudon Street (open Wed-Sat). This 1840 courthouse was used as a prison and hospital during the war and now exhibits over 3,000 artifacts from the Winchester area as well as soldiers’ graffiti on the walls. Next, stretch your legs along the many miles of interpretive trails through the Third Winchester Battlefield Park at 541 Redbud Road. This area saw some of the fiercest fighting of the whole war! When you’re ready to come indoors, head to Stonewall Jackson’s Headquarters Museum at 415 N. Braddock Street, where you’ll find one of the largest collections of Jackson memorabilia. Wrap up your day at the Kernstown Battlefield on the Pritchard-Grim Farm at 610 Battle Park Drive (open May-October, weekends only). This 315-acre farm was the center of the First and Second Battles of Kernstown and now houses a visitor center and exhibits.

Expand Your Experience

September 16: Friendly Fire, Murderous Fire: The Fight for the Middle Field – Third Winchester. Find out why this particular skirmish was called “that basin of hell.”

September 23: Civil War Era Ball. Hosted by the Kernstown Battlefield Association, this second annual ball will feature live music and dances called by the Shenandoah Valley Civil War Era Dancers.

Belle Grove Plantation, Middletown
  1. Signal Knob Area Driving Tour

Signal Knob served as a key lookout point on the 60-mile long Massanutten Mountains, which split the Valley in two from Strasburg to Harrisonburg. Hikers may enjoy the aggressive 10-mile hike to the top of the knob, but for those content to stay on level ground, start your tour at the Visitor Contact Station at 7712 Main Street, Middletown. Here, you will gain an overview of the history of the valley and the war, enhanced by a fiber optic map. Next, drive to the stately Belle Grove Plantation (336 Belle Grove Road). The plantation paints a picture of valley life prior to and during the war. The Battle of Cedar Creek was fought on and around the plantation’s grounds. For more in-depth interpretation of the Cedar Creek Battle, visit the CCB Foundation Headquarters, at 8437 Valley Pike. Finally, head to Hupp’s Hill Civil War Park at 33229 Old Valley Pike, Strasburg, where you’ll find a museum interpreting the 1864 Valley Campaign.

Expand Your Experience

September 23: Fisher’s Hill Bus Tour. Historian and author Scott Patchan will lead this in-depth bus tour of the Fisher’s Hill battlefield, covering both well-known and seldom-seen battlefield sites.

October 13: History at Sunset—Treating the Wounded at Cedar Creek. Join Ranger James Horn as he examines the treatment of wounded and the general practice of medicine during the Civil War.  This special program will be held at St. Thomas Chapel, which was used as a hospital by the Union army following the battle.

October 14-15: Battle of Cedar Creek Reenactment and Anniversary. Relive the largest Civil War battle in the Shenandoah Valley held on the original battlegrounds in Middletown, VA.

For more information on these or other Shenandoah Valley Civil War sites, visit Shenandoah at War.

 

 

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