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.

Fall Bike Rides from Waynesboro, VA

Luxury Cabins at Iris Inn

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 Belle Hearth Bed & Breakfast or the bike-friendly Iris Inn, 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. You’ll find stunning views and wines at Veritas Vineyard and Winery, internationally acclaimed craft spirits at Silverback Distillery, and 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.

Continue reading “Fall Bike Rides from Waynesboro, VA”

More Than a Scenic Drive Waynesboro is Divinely Placed for LEAF PEEPING ADVENTURE

Sherando Lake photo by Brad Johnson of Impulse Image

leaf peeping

n.The activity of traveling in the fall to areas wooded with deciduous forests to view the changing color of the leaves.

No doubt you’ve heard that the iconic Skyline Drive and Blue Ridge Parkway are famous destinations for leaf peeping, and anyone who’s visited Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley in autumn  will attest that fall motor touring is spectacular. For those looking for a dash of adventure to round out those scenic drives, Waynesboro, Virginia is the perfect place to start. Here are some ways to take your leaf peeping to a whole new level of fun!

 

Blue Ridge Parkway from Humpback Rocks photo by Brad Johnson of Impulse Image

EXPERIENCE A NATIONAL TREASURE

With the southern entrance to Skyline Drive located just three miles from Waynesboro, start your autumn adventure with a drive through Shenandoah National Park, a designated National Scenic Byway and Historic Landmark. 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.

Photo by Brad Johnson of Impulse Image

ADD HISTORIC PERSPECTIVE

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 will help you take full advantage of October’s gorgeous autumn days.

 

Photo of Crabtree Falls from Fun in Fairfax – 8 More Great Fall Hikes in Virginia https://www.funinfairfaxva.com/great-fall-hikes-in-virginia/

IMMERSE YOURSELF IN THE LANDSCAPE

ON FOOT. 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.

ON HORSEBACK. Travel under, through, and above autumn colors on horseback with a half-day, full-day, or overnight adventure in George Washington National Forest 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 from a whole new perspective.

BY BIKE. When it comes to autumn bike rides, you have a lot of choices near Waynesboro. For a scenic ride along some of our county’s flattest road miles, Bike the Valley recommends this Waynesboro to Grottoes loop. Up for a bigger 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 single track trails and dirt/paved roads.  Reward your efforts by taking the fire road over to the Blue Ridge Parkway and sailing down 6 miles of “America’s Favorite Drive (Ride).”  You also have the option of connecting with U.S. Bicycle Route 76.

To time your Waynesboro visit for peak leaf peeping, check in on the Virginia Department of Forestry’s weekly fall foliage update.

Art In and On the Streets of Waynesboro

Fall Foliage Art Show. Photo by Norm Shafer.

This October 13 & 14, the Fall Foliage Art Show and the Virginia Street Arts Festival team up to fill the streets of Waynesboro with live mural painting, fine art sales, public art installations, plus beer, food, and music all weekend.

Fall Foliage Art Show. Photo by Norm Shafer.

The Fall Foliage Art Show is a 48 year tradition that brings over 150 juried fine artists to a Main Street festival, transforming downtown into a lively outdoor market of paintings, pottery, jewelry, woodworking, and more. From 10am to 5pm Saturday and noon to 5pm Sunday, traveling world class artists will share their stories, sell their work, and help decorate your home with memories for years to come.

Virginia Street Arts Festival. Photo by Norm Shafer.

Sharing the streets, the Virginia Street Arts Festival will bring two renowned muralists to transform a vacant brick building into a celebratory splash of color and culture. Watch artists at work 30 feet in the air, help the Blue Ridge Children’s Museum paint giant cubes for an interactive public art installation, or join chalk artists leaving their marks on the streets and sidewalks of downtown Waynesboro.

Fall Foliage Art Show. Photo by Norm Shafer.

One block over in Lumos Plaza, find the best eats at food trucks and the festival beer garden. Live music performers will be announced in the weeks leading up to the festival, so check back often for musician and guest artist announcements.

WHEN: October 13 (10am to 5pm) and October 14 (noon to 5pm)

WHERE: The two festivals will converge in downtown Waynesboro, running from the intersection of Arch Avenue and Main Street up the hill towards the Wayne Theatre Performing Arts Center. Bring your walking shoes to take in the full effect — multiple blocks will be filled with art and activities.

COST: Both events are free to the public. Bring your wallet to purchase art, food, beer, and more from festival vendors.

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

Explore Waynesboro’s Rich Roots

Explore Waynesboro’s Rich Roots

Like your travel adventures wrapped in historical context? Are you the person always wondering “How and why did this place come to be what it is today?” Most seasoned travelers would agree that destinations that have a deep dedication to history create the most vivid and memorable travel experiences, and a visit to Waynesboro, Virginia, won’t disappoint!

 

Immerse Yourself in a History Weekend

photo by Portia Schneider

Step back into Civil War history at the annual Waynesboro at War educational and interactive event, September 15 and 16, 2018, at Waynesboro’s Coyner Springs Park. Waynesboro at War highlights the Civil War action seen in Waynesboro. Spectators can participate in a Civil War town ball game and Civil War Dance Social, as well as talk with soldiers from both armies and experience camp life, cavalry, and artillery demonstrations.  Ticket information and details can be found at https://www.waynesboroatwar.com/

 

Examine the Foundations of a Modern City

There are historic landmarks around every corner in Waynesboro, so the curious among you can easily meander through the pages of Waynesboro’s story from early settlement in the 1700s, through to the Civil War, and on to the industrial boom in the late 1800s. Waynesboro’s historic districts and seven independently-listed properties on the National Register of Historic Places paint a vivid picture of the underpinnings of the city as it stands today.

Start your exploration at the Waynesboro Heritage Museum, 420 West Main Street (open Tues-Sat, 9-5pm, call 540-943-3943) which houses permanent galleries of relics from the town’s founding, industries, and educational institutions, as well as stories of how land was acquired under King George II of England in 1797, of when Waynesboro as stagecoach stop called Teasville (Teesville), and of how Waynesboro’s namesake, Brigadier General “Mad” Anthony Wayne got his nickname.

Next, visit the Plumb House Museum at 1012 W. Main Street (open Thurs-Sat, 10-4pm, call 540-943-3943) to view additional collections of Civil War and Native American artifacts, a historic garden, summer kitchen, and outbuildings. The Plumb House was built during Thomas Jefferson’s presidency and was later caught in the middle of the Civil War Battle of Waynesboro, standing just opposite the battle site. The house still bears the scars of gunshots and a cannonball that entered a chimney and rolled across the room.

Then call ahead (540-836-0024) for a tour of Waynesboro’s African-American Heritage Museum. The museum houses a small but rich collection that weaves a tapestry of revered figures in the community. Waynesboro’s Rosenwald School was one of many built across the South as the result of the partnership and friendship between Julius Rosenwald and Booker T. Washington. Rosenwald’s philanthropy and contributions to the African-American community was the subject of an award-winning film “Rosenwald.”

 

Take a Self-Guided Tour of Historic Architecture

While visiting the African-American Heritage Museum, be sure to take in the Port Republic Road Historic District, Waynesboro’s principal historic African-American neighborhood. The area includes significant architectural and cultural landmarks including Rosenwald School and Grounds, Fairview Cemetery (1885-present), and Shiloh Baptist Church (1924).

Fishburne Military School

Another notable Waynesboro architectural landmark is also the oldest and smallest of all military schools for boys in Virginia. Fishburne Military School is listed in the National Register of Historic Places, and architectural highlights include the 1915 library (Virginia’s second-oldest Carnegie library) and the 1916 barracks designed in the castellated Gothic style by T.J. Collins & Son.

Preserved and restored commercial and residential architecture abounds in the Waynesboro Downtown Historic District and the Tree Streets Historic District. Visitors will find numerous architecturally distinctive buildings representing the Classical Revival, Art Deco, Gothic Revival, and Greek Revival styles.

Whether you prefer your travel memories via full immersion, curated collections, or self-guided exploration, Waynesboro has something exciting and enduring for you. Stop by one of our Visitor Centers or request a brochure today to get started!