Crush Friday, VA! 7 Stress-Busting Weekender Ideas

Friday is the day for rolling down the windows and rolling out of town, headed for adventures that relax and invigorate. These seven stress-busting weekend ideas will help you fully rejuvenate, but they come with a warning: with this much fun, you may never want your weekend to end.

(1) Kick-off the weekend exploring the Beerwerks Trail

Along the Shenandoah Beerwerks Trail you can taste some of the best craft beer in the country, with over a dozen breweries to choose from. With tap rooms nestled in working horse farms and among the hip reclaimed architecture of historic foundries, the ambience options are as varied as the brews. Kick back with a full line-up of live music options and raise a toast to the relaxing weekend ahead.

(2) Sleep in till brunch

Early mornings not compatible with rest and relaxation?  Waynesboro has a full line up of brunch destinations, complete with chicken and waffle dishes or a mid-day cocktail. From the neverending stack of pancakes at Weasie’s Kitchen to destination coffee shops like the Farmhaus on Main and the French Press, the perfect brunch not only slows down the pace but also fuels the rest of your weekend adventures.

(3) Stroll the Blue Ridge Mountains

The rolling mountains calm the nerves and relax the soul. With beautiful strolls starting at less-than-a-mile, there are inviting options for all. Local favorites include listening to the cool babbling of White Rock Falls and taking in the sweeping vistas of Humpback Rocks. Or stick to the Valley floor where Coyner Springs Park offers nature trails and a leash-free dog park, while South River Greenway walkers and bikers enjoy a river overlook, picnic shelter, and downtown access to after-walk drinks and dinner options.

(4) Catch a show as the historic Wayne Theatre Performing Arts Center

With a fully renovated historic playhouse, indoor seating, live music, production plays, movie nights, educational series and more, the Wayne Theatre Performing Arts Center invites attendees to sit back and enjoy the show. After a day on your feet or in the mountains, we all deserve an evening on the town with the best in show.

The Quebe Sisters come to the Wayne Theatre on July 27th

(5) Sunday-Funday: Splash through the South River Water Trail

Cool the heat by dipping your toes in the South River Water Trail. With spring-fed waters, shaded banks, and plenty of of places to splash, the South River is a weekend getaway for fishermen, waders, and floaters alike. Rent kayaks or paddle boards for an afternoon float or go on a guided fishing tour to find the best casting spots. Or for the young at heart, simply roll up those pant legs and splash on in.

(6) Enjoy history for all ages

History is hiding around every corner in the Shenandoah Valley. A stroll through the Waynesboro Heritage Museum shares the history of the business and industry that shaped the city, while the nearby Plumb House Museum contains collections of both Civil War and Native American artifacts. Presidential history buffs can explore the nearby Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library and Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello. But for those craving not just the presentation of history but also the chance to participate, the Frontier Culture Museum offers live interpretive history exhibits while the Virginia Institute of Blacksmithing invites weekend-visitors to pound their stress away with classes on historic forging and metalworking crafts.

(7) Get cozy in a Bed and Breakfast

After daytime adventures among the mountains and rivers, there’s no better relaxation than the comforts of great food, gorgeous lodging, and scenic views. Visitors to the Iris Inn enjoy hot tub soaks and wine along mountain top perches, while those at the Belle Hearth Bed and Breakfast experience Victorian architecture that’s nestled in a historic neighborhood walkable to downtown and the South River.

Among the Shenandoah waters and the Blue Ridge Mountains, Monday has never felt so far away.

Don’t Miss These Bucket List Views: Breathtaking Vistas for the Young and the Young at Heart

Where the Skyline Drive meets the Blue Ridge Parkway lies basecamp: an outdoor trail town ready to launch unforgettable adventures, with memories for years to come. You won’t want to miss any of these Bucket List Views, which range from the curbside-accessible to all-day mountain adventure, all a short drive from Waynesboro, Virginia.

Spy Rock: 360 Degrees of Grandeur

Described by some as “the best viewpoint in the central Blue Ridge” Spy Rock offers a fully panoramic view including the neighboring mountain summits of the Priest and the Three Ridges. At nearly 4,000 feet of elevation, visitors will breath fresh mountain air while “standing on top of the world.”

The traditional route rises approximately 2 miles up a strenuous climb from the Montebello Fish Hatchery. Or, take the alternative route up Meadows Lane which, while slightly longer, reduces the overall elevation gain and avoids skirting private property above the hatchery. Or combine it with a trip to Crabtree Falls, described by HikingUpward as “one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Virginia, and certainly the tallest.” Falling in series of cliffs and breaks, the water moving through Crabtree Falls has carved a rare hanging valley and plunges a total of 1,080 feet on its way to the Tye River.

Do Go Chasing Waterfalls

Wait, waterfalls?! If the magic of white brush strokes on outdoor photography is calling your name, the diversity of waterfalls views and experiences is as breathtaking as any mountain summit. Nestled in hollows, along the steep granite and limestone geographies of the Blue Ridge, nearby waterfalls are as stunning as they are variable. Heading south on the Blue Ridge Parkway, White Rock Falls sits at milepost 19.9, followed by Wigwam Falls (milepost 34.4), Apple Orchard Falls (milepost 78.4), and Fallingwater Cascades (milepost 83.1).

Alternatively, head north into the Shenandoah National Park, with these 6 spectacular waterfall hikes await.

Doyles River Falls. Photo by the National Park Service. https://www.virginia.org/waterfalls

Humpback Rocks: The Destination for Sunsets and Mountain Vistas

Located at the very northern end of the Blue Ridge Parkway, Humpback Rocks has visitors scrambling for cameras and handholds as soon as they reach the summit, which arrives following a steep one-mile climb from the trailhead. Perfect for both the adventurous family picnic and the romantic sunset date, Humpback Rocks has been a beacon for travelers since at least the 1840s when it was a landmark guiding wagon trails over the Howardsville Turnpike. The trail gains a total of 800’ and includes views to the north (Shenandoah National Park) and west (the sweeping floor of the Shenandoah Valley).

Travels can combine this vista with history lessons from the adjacent Outdoor Farm Museum, featuring costumed interpreters and historic log-cabin architecture to provide demonstrations on the once lifestyles of regional subsistence farmers.

Roadside Vistas

Heart-opening views do not require heart-pounding hikes. This turn-by-turn list of overlooks by milepost number offer drivers the assurance of rolling ridgetops and mountain sceneries along the many pull-offs along the Blue Ridge Parkway. We recommend 20 Minute Cliff, Ravens Roost, and Chimney Rock Mountain overlooks as destinations sure to wow, with photography options morning, day, and evening.

For an 80-foot free-fall waterfall explorable by motorists, drive south and west towards Covington to take in Falling Spring. Family and pet friendly, a picnic area offers visitors the chance to kick-back and relax amidst the joy of making memories.

https://www.virginia.org/listings/outdoorsandsports/fallingspring

The Oldest Rocks, the Deepest History: Five Reasons to Visit Virginia’s Historic Blue Ridge Mountains

The ancient Blue Ridge Mountains shelter not only millions of years of species diversity, but also tell a compelling story of native and early European settler history. Their rolling hills, shaded forests, and granite peaks invite visitors to experience history in a hands-on way, providing the perfect combination of education and exploration in this uniquely accessible mountain setting. We’re sharing five reasons to make the Blue Ridge Mountains your next geographic and cultural history adventure.

1. The Blue Ridge Mountains are the oldest in the hemisphere, and nearly the world.

Sculpting the soft curves and inviting slopes of the Blue Ridge Mountains was no overnight trick of nature’s magic. Creating an ecosystem so diverse, ancient, and enchanting was a nearly billion year endeavor, and today’s Blue Ridges are the final testaments to mountains that once soared as high as any other in their day. Created by uplifting action from to the collisions of Earth’s tectonic plates, the Blue Ridge Mountains are second in age only to South Africa’s Barberton greenstone belt. While they may be smaller, this grandmother of a mountain range is many times the age of either the Rockies or the Himalayas, both mere geological upstarts in comparison. The Blue Ridge Mountains are living proof to the old adage, “it takes a long time to make something that looks this good.”

2. Explore the rich history of Native American settlements

While many children learn in school about the eastern Virginia Powhatan, in the mountain regions to the west dwelled the Siouan Indians of the Monacan and Mannahoac tribes, living in a confederation that stretched from the James River fall line in Richmond to the Blue Ridge. In these mountains, they grew the “Three Sisters” (corn, beans, and squash) along with fruit orchards, grapes, and nuts. Today, visitors can participate in a Monacan Indian living history exhibit at Natural Bridge State Park where they can learn about traditional cooking, tool production, pottery, basket weaving, gardening, and shelter construction.

Photo from the Virginia Department of Conservation https://www.flickr.com/photos/vadcr/27389921650/in/album-72157669233431052/

3. Visit the “Museum of the Managed American Countryside.”

The National Park Service calls the Blue Ridge Parkway the “museum of the managed American countryside” due to its easily accessible driving tour of historic sites such as the rough-hewn log cabins of mountain pioneers and the visible traces of early logging, railway, and canal industries. From the Humpback Rocks Visitors Center just south of Waynesboro, parkway travelers can walk through the Mountain Farm Trail to explore early settler life in the mountains, with log cabins collected from the surrounding region for easy viewing. During the summer, the log cabins are both open and staffed with historic educators.

Photo from https://blog.virginia.org/2016/08/blue-ridge-parkway-hikes-virginia/

4. Plumb the Depths of Ancient Geology

“Where History Runs Deep” is the apt and inspiring motto for Grand Caverns, a national natural landmark in Grottoes, Virginia. Formed from underground water action in the region’s limestone rock, Grand Caverns claims to be America’s oldest show cave, in operation since 1806. Visitors can stroll through high ceilings and open caverns in their classic tour, or sign up for an “Adventure Tour” through Fountain Cave. Fountain Cave was recently reopened to the public after almost 100 years, and visitors will be treated to a true caving experience that includes no interior lighting, a once-used rugged 1800s pathway, and a full outfitting of helmets, knee pads, and caving gloves. For those seeking a better lit encounter with geologic history, a hiking trail, swimming pool, miniature golf course, and picnic area provide family-friendly complements to the full caving experience.

Photo from https://www.facebook.com/Grand-Caverns-118751574853602/

5. Mile-by-Mile Driving Destinations, for Every Variety of Historic Adventure

The Blue Ridge Parkway offers nearly 500 miles of unfolding adventure, from waterfall walks to roadside historic interpretive signs. This Milepost Guide offers a turn-by-turn description of the cabin getaways, living history exhibits, sweeping vista overlooks, and roadside geologies of the Blue Ridge Parkway. Whether sticking to the Parkway or exploring the small towns and historic destinations in the mountain foothills, the road may be winding but it is never less than breathtaking, historic, and adventure filled.

Music for Your Ears: Your Guide to the Summer Music Events near Waynesboro, Virginia

Summer unleashes music, and lots of it in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley! You won’t have trouble finding live performances most any night of the week in Waynesboro, and the Valley’s summer festival season rolls in like a heatwave, with the hottest bands and coldest brews lining up for a season of entertainment. From free and relaxing nights in the park to big-name festivals nearby, we’ve compiled a musical score to keep your summer humming all season long.

Free Concerts in the Park

Love spontaneous and FREE? No need to book tickets for a major music festival in advance when there’s live and free outdoor music all June and July in Waynesboro. Join groups like the Judy Chops every Thursday in June for the Groovin’ at the Greenway series, or swap parks in July for the Rock n’ Ridgeview line up that includes Gaby Haze and Chamomile and Whiskey. These events are all free to the public and organized by Waynesboro Parks and Recreation.

Sounds of the Beerwerks Trail

There’s no better summer combination than music, brews, and food — and the Shenandoah Valley Beerwerks Trail breweries are happy to carry that vibe through every weekend this summer. Check out Stable Craft Brewing for the rolling hills of a working horse farm, Basic City Beer Co for the saw-toothed windows and industrial architecture of a former foundry, or Seven Arrows Brewing for weekly releases of new beer infusion flavors. From open jams, featured artists, to karaoke nights, this schedule of events will keep you smiling, toasting, and tapping your toes all summer long.

Stage Performances Not to Miss

From the music of beloved animated films to performances by the rising classical stars of the Heifetz Institute, country music trio the Quebe sisters, and the big band sound of The Glenn Miller Orchestra 2018, there’s always a plethora of LIVE musical events to choose from on the historic Wayne Theatre calendar.

Around the Region

Image from https://www.facebook.com/RedWingRootsMusicFestival by Ruby Sky Photography

The Music Fest Line-Up

Book it fast, because the June 16th Shenandoah Valley Blues and Brews festival is right around the corner. This one day event will feature the widely touring Samantha Fish along with local favorites like Sun-Dried Opossum and Kiz Carter and Juke Jackson. Sponsored by Blue Ridge Beverage and Miller Coors, the event is sure to keep you hydrated and happy.

On its heels comes the Valley-wide July 13-15 sensation, the Redwing Roots Music Festival, featuring Trampled by Turtles, Josh Ritter, Steep Canyon Rangers, The Secret Sisters, The Steel Wheels, and many more. With the tagline Great Music, Great Outdoors attendees will be treated to a stellar line up of more than 40 bands, plus gorgeous camping at Natural Chimneys, hiking and biking options throughout the weekend, and even free morning yoga to keep your dancing limbs limber.

Picture from https://www.redwingroots.com/morning-yoga/

The season won’t slow down there, with LOCKN’ Music Festival arriving on August 23-26 in Arrington, Virginia. Nestled in the majestic Blue Ridge Mountains, LOCKN’ says “Our goal is not only to offer fans mind-blowing lineups but also to present the best in local and regional cuisine, craft beers and wines, and opportunities to explore our picturesque setting.”  If you love their location, be ready to return six weeks later, as the next door Festy Experience featuring Gillian Welch and Railroad Earth arrives October 5-7 to offer craft beer, food trucks, camping, and outdoor adventures.

For those who miss the June Blues and Brews Fest, full redemption arrives September 22nd with the Virginia Chili, Blues, and Brews Festival in downtown Waynesboro, featuring a similar blues line up with the spicy addition of a chili cook-off along with a curated selection of micro- and mega-brews.

The Lure of the Outdoors 5 “Ready to Roll” Adventures that Offer Natural Beauty and Easy Access

Late spring is the season of long evening daylight and beckoning weather. Luckily, Waynesboro offers the perfect mountain-town amenities for a sunset jog, a quick afternoon float, or an evening cycle through the Valley. These five adventures promise the mood-boosting benefits of time in nature, while utilizing the accessibility of local parks and backyard trail systems.

(1) Paddle the Waynesboro Water Trail

The Waynesboro Water Trail links five City parks in a four-mile run that includes a mix of Class I and II rapids, wilderness-level solitude, industrial skylines, and downtown take outs. With its surprising views into many unexpected corners of Waynesboro, it’s a unique way of exploring the City while staying cool, shaded, and on the water. Allow 2-3 hours to float the full South River Blueway from Ridgeview Park to Basic Park. A wide diversity of take out options help paddlers break the float into smaller sections or extend their trip to include Grand Caverns Park or the Port Republic confluence with the South Fork of the Shenandoah River.

Recommended water levels for the South River are 2.75’ to 4’ on the USGS Waynesboro Gauge. Or, check with Rockfish Gap Outfitters for the latest water level updates and deals on local kayak rentals.

(2) Stroll through the Parks

There’s not much more satisfying than a run with man’s best friend through open fields past freshly blooming parklands. Coyner Springs Park offers a rustic 145 acres that include nature trails, a leash-free dog park, kite-flying skies, disc golf, and enough wilderness to offer up frequent sightings of red-tailed hawks, woodpeckers, and foxes.

Joggers, baby strollers, and evening walkers find their riverside delights along the South River Greenway, a mile-long stretch of paved walking and biking surface that includes a river overlook, picnic shelter, and downtown access to after-walk drinks and dinner options.

(3) Cycle the Valley

Follow the South River along the base of Sawmill Ridge and the Blue Ridge Mountains in this evening, 12.5 mile bike ride called the Waynesboro Dooms Loop. For a longer, 35-mile pull, the Waynesboro to Grottoes Loop also hugs the river, offering a tour of the inflection between the Valley bottom and Blue Ridge topography, while still promising some of the flattest roads in Augusta County.

Both loops begin and end in downtown Waynesboro, promising enough in-town, gourmet calories to replenish the toughest ride. Cyclists are welcome along all three of Waynesboro Beerwerks Trail brewery destinations.

(4) Downtown Fly Fishing

The dinner-to-adventure jaunt can be shorter than a bike ride, as the South River’s Urban Trout Fishery offers fly fishing opportunities within a block of the downtown cultural core. Rare is the springtime day that a fisherman can’t be seen wading near the improved trout habitat and rock cascades of Constitution Park. Nearby South River Fly Shop offers equipment, gear, guided tours, and “big fish stories,” including a weekly Ties and Lies night. The South River itself offers spring-fed waters, ripping whitewater, easy parking, and exceptional catch-and-release trout fishing opportunities.

(5) Catch the Perfect Sunset (Sunset Park, Humpback Rocks)

Sunset Park, with sweeping views overlooking all of Waynesboro, remains under construction — but don’t be surprised to find weekly contingents of local mountain bikers building trails and readying its amenities for prime time. Outdoor enthusiasts seeking panoramic views needn’t wait, however. The Humpback Rocks trail system offers granite pinnacles in only one mile of climbing, with spectacular views of the Rockfish and Shenandoah Valleys. Longer excursions to Humpback Mountain (2 miles) and to a developed picnic area (4 miles) allows a choose your own adventure that can fit in an after-work nature-reset or expand to an all-day mountain top excursion.

Humpback Rocks trail includes both blue and white blazes, proof of its intersection with the nation’s “premier hiking path,” the 2,000 mile Appalachian Trail that runs from Georgia to Maine. “Day hikers” may encounter thru-hikers part-way through their adventure, with opportunities to swap stories and marvel that some of the mountains’ most breathtaking destinations are but backyard explorations from Waynesboro.

3 Farm Fresh Experiences From Town to Country, Local Food has Never Felt so Close

Meet Your Farmer at the Waynesboro Farmer’s Market

Farmer’s markets are the perfect spot to meet the folks who grow your food. The Waynesboro Farmer’s Market (a producers-only affair, meaning all the farms on-site participate in producing the products they sell) delights with characters, stories, and delicious ways to get to know the growers who are greening our local food shed. Their regular assortment of offerings includes fresh veggies, meat, bread and baked goods, honey, flowers, and a variety of arts and crafts.

Occurring every Saturday from 9 a.m. to1 p.m. throughout the growing season, the Waynesboro Farmer’s Market is a family affair. Located in Constitution Park in the heart of downtown Waynesboro, children and adults are welcome to shop, play along the river banks, or stroll along the nearby South River Greenway.

With so many farms, wineries, bakeries, and local food producers dotting the Valley, there’s no need to wait for a Saturday to explore a regional farmer’s market. The Staunton, North Augusta, Harrisonburg, and Lexington farmer’s markets will keep you munching all week with schedules that include Tuesday, Wednesday, and Saturday.

Cuddle Baby Goats

Nothing says springtime like soft fur and baby goats. Both A Better Way Farm and My Peeps Farm offer goat cuddling sessions that never fail to elicit smiles and shrieks of delight. Pair them with cheesemaking classes, farm tours, or a chance to buy pastured eggs.

My Peeps Farm raises Nigerian Dwarf goats on 10 acres. A Better Way Farm is a small eco-farm and micro-dairy in Augusta County focused on managing their land in harmony with nature. They promise “Happy goats make sweet, delicious milk,” and they let you be the judge by offering goats’ milk cheeses and more in their farm store.

Meet the Cow that Came to Town

The best part of cities nestled in farmland is the locally grown food available to downtown restaurants and retailers. This summer, the City Cow, the latest entrepreneurial initiative of the the owner of the Purple Cow Ice Cream Parlor and Cafe, comes to Waynesboro. Featuring displays from a variety of local vendors, visitors will find farm-fresh produce, items from the Enchanted Apothecary, Stone Cottage Candles, tie-dye, and even cow mugs to match the marketing decor. The City Cow will be one of the first landmarks seen by drivers exiting the Blue Ridge Parkway and heading into Waynesboro.

Visitors will find even more locally grown food at several downtown restaurants. The Farmhaus on Main serves up seasonal salads, sandwiches, coffee, and books, while BlueOregano specializes in catered meals and family cooking classes in their downtown storefront.

However you choose to partake in local food and farms this season, it’s glasses up and cheers to the many growers who are serving up great fare and farm-fresh experiences in the Shenandoah Valley!

4 Blue Ridge Brunches: The Perfect Pairing to Your Springtime Weekends

Each year, May brings the annual search for the perfect brunch. Warm days invite late morning lounging, families gather for Mothers Day, and weekend drives in the country remain incomplete without a favorite meal and relaxation stop. We’ve compiled the four best places that serve up a seasonal brunch of laughter, friendship, and amazing food.

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Location, Location — Why Waynesboro is Divinely Placed for Your Weekend Getaway

Weekend warriors seeking the perfect base camp are finding their sweet spot at the intersection of Interstates 81 and 64. Sitting a mere 90 minutes from Richmond and less than three hours from Washington, D.C., Waynesboro offers a weekend of outdoor adventure, cultural excursions, and historic explorations — all within a short country drive of this “divinely placed” getaway.

Continue reading “Location, Location — Why Waynesboro is Divinely Placed for Your Weekend Getaway”

Meet the 5 “Boots Optional” Trails Beating a Bold Path through the Shenandoah Valley

Some of the best trails in the Shenandoah Valley aren’t steep pitches that are best tackled with hiking boots. Casual walking shoes will carry you through artisan trails, welcoming farms in fields of gold, and even to the best craft breweries and wineries in the Shenandoah Valley.  We’ve mapped the five itineraries that promise adventure, culture, sweeping vistas, and a nice cold brew.

(1) Shenandoah Beerwerks Trail

The 14 craft breweries along the Shenandoah Beerwerks Trail range from the industrial vibes of Basic City Beer Co. –listed as “truly a brewery to look out for” by the Wandering Gourmand –to the horse farm and mountain views of Stable Craft Brewing. Others like Redbeard Brewing Company offer warm-fermented, unfiltered “real ale,” naturally carbonated  in the kegs they are served from in this nearby Staunton nanobrewery.  Never more than an hour’s drive from each other, the breweries along this trail will have you exploring the historic architecture and cultural centers of small downtowns, the rolling hills of the Shenandoah Valley, and welcoming tap rooms with plenty of space for friends.

Skyler Hill pours a beer from Basic City Beer Company’s unique tap tower made of reclaimed materials from the Virginia Metalcrafters foundry.

Don’t miss the many live music events scheduled throughout the springtime calendar. Although the Beerwerks Trail is dotted with food trucks and onsite restaurants to fuel your adventure, don’t miss out on the trail’s side tours of local food offerings.

Shenandoah Beerwerks Trail map

(2) Fields of Gold Farm Trail

Cool Breeze Farms on the Fields of Gold Farm Trail

While in the search for the finest local fare, the Fields of Gold Farm Trail explores the stories and roots of Virginia’s family farmers. Taste fresh maple syrup with Back Creek Farms, pick daylilies and peonies at Andre Viette’s Flower Farm and Nursery, or learn how to make goat cheese with A Better Way Farm and Goat Dairy. Pick-your-own-fruit and working-farm tour options abound, as do farmers markets, food festivals, and gourmet meals at farm-to-table restaurant destinations.

Waynesboro Farmers Market

With over 200 farming venues, the variety of options are more abundant than August tomatoes. The Fields of Gold trail maps allow visitors to explore farms by location up and down the Shenandoah Valley, as well as search for adventures by keyword including farm experiences, trout fishing excursions, on-farm lodging, and more.

(3) Heart and Soil Artisan Trail

From sheep farms to hand-painted yarn stores, the Heart and Soil Artisan Trail connects travelers to the cultural destinations of craft, tradition, and locally made artwork. Explore artisan studios like  Make Waynesboro, which offers hands-on pottery classes and special events for all ages, as well as Appalachian Piecework, a working textile studio that also features handsplit bark baskets and turned wood bowls. At Wintuck Pottery, Lynn Hilton Conyers works as a contemporary potter combining Raku firings with mixed media surface decorations.

Jake Johnson teaches wheel throwing at his studio, Make Waynesboro

The Heart and Soil Artisan Trail also offers art gallery destinations like the Shenandoah Valley Art Center, the P. Buckley Moss Gallery, as well as more classical performance spaces such as the Wayne Theatre, whose bookings range from live music to movie nights to the very grandest of theatre productions.

Moss Gallery in downtown Waynesboro

(4) Virginia is for Lovers Wine Trails

With nearly 300 wineries along trails stretching across the state, Virginia is a unique wine destination and the Shenandoah Valley, with its blue ridges and sparking sunsets, offers some of its finest destinations. Rows of grapes drape rolling hills, beckoning visitors to stroll, explore, and relax.

Afton Mountain Vineyards

Wineries within easy striking distance of Waynesboro include Afton Mountain, Barren Ridge, Cardinal Point, Flying Fox, King Family, and Veritas, but the list doesn’t stop there. Explore the the Nelson 151 Trail on the slopes of the Blue Ridge, drive down the Blue Ridge Parkway to discover Virginia’s Mountain Road Wine Experience, or learn how Thomas Jefferson’s home has become the Monticello Viticultural Area in recognition of the region’s distinguished and burgeoning wine industry. The one thing holding you back will be the question of how to pack all possible trail adventures into one loop.

(5) Guided Tours by Local Trail Blazers

With so many trails to explore, working with a local guide can customize your adventures, while providing transportation for a “driving free” winery and brewery experience. Shenandoah Tours offers personalized craft beer tours featuring multiple brewery destinations, multiple tastings at each brewers, and a group lunch as part of the excursion.

Stephanie Spencer enjoys a flight at Stable Craft Brewing

To pair wine-sipping adventures with cozy bed-and-breakfasts, the Summer Valley and Vineyards Package at Belle Hearth offers a three-course gourmet breakfast, chauffered tours to award-winning vineyards and cideries, a picnic lunch, and dinner vouchers for two for a night on the town.

Belle Hearth Bed & Breakfast

Finally, the Iris Inn’s Shenandoah Valley farm tour introduces guests to celebrity farms like Polyface, renowned for ecological and regenerative farming practices, as well as White Oak Lavender Farm for aromatherapy workshops, and Open Gate Farm for baby chick and milk goat petting. By the end of these trails, a relaxing evening in the Iris Inn’s outdoor hammocks will be well deserved–no shoes required!

Iris Inn Bed & Breakfast and Luxury Cabins