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

Taste Bud Tempting Food & Brews to Power Your Next Outdoor Adventure

Outdoor adventures are fueled by more than good cheer: Great food and delicious hydration all contribute to the perfect day in the woods. From mountain treks to parkway picnics, we’ve paired the flavor of local food with the taste of adventure for every style of outdoor recreation.

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

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

~ J.R.R. Tolkien

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

Find Your Flavor in Waynesboro

Seven Arrows Brewing Company

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

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

Valentine’s Chocolate by the Pint

Basic City Beer Company’s Gringo-Mexican Molé Stout

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

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

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

Picnic on the Summit

Humpback Rocks

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

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

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

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

Continue reading “Unconventional Valentine’s Gifts for Your One-of-a-Kind Sweetie”

Waynesboro, VA: The Perfect Day Trip/Getaway from Richmond, VA

Stuck in your Richmond office daydreaming about wide open spaces and cool mountain streams?  Idling in traffic and wishing you were high above it all?  Want to trade in that concrete jungle for a forest path? You’re only 90 minutes away from a rejuvenating getaway.  Hop on I-64 West, set your sights on those Blue Ridge Mountains, and before you’ve finished your playlist, you’ll be in Waynesboro, VA, the playground of the Shenandoah Valley.  Here are 6 reasons to jump in the car this weekend.

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Waynesboro,VA: An Inspiring Playground for All Ages

School may be out, but recess is in!  If you’re an outdoor lover, there’s no better place to spend your summer than in Waynesboro, Virginia.  We’ve got the peaks, the valleys, the water, and all the good nature your body and spirit crave.  Can’t decide where to start?  Check out these summer events you won’t want to miss, then pack those hiking boots, bike helmets, or racing shoes and escape to the Blue Ridge Mountains for an adventure-filled getaway!

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Savor the Summer with Outdoor Dining in Waynesboro,VA

Good nature and good dining pair naturally in Waynesboro, VA, making it easy to slow down and savor every moment of summer.  Experience our gorgeous Blue Ridge Mountains and Shenandoah Valley by mountain trail, water trail, or farm trail.  Then kick back and enjoy a leisurely afternoon or evening on the patios and hammocks of one of these dining destinations.

NOBOS

Photo: Nobos Facebook

Located at Seven Arrows Brewing Company, NOBOS serves up a full delicious menu made from scratch.  You can enjoy a locally-sourced burger paired with your favorite locally-sourced brew all while relaxing on their spacious deck!

Heritage on Main

Photo credit: Heritage on Main Facebook

After playing in the sun, unwind in the cool comfort of Heritage on Main’s covered patio. Catch the sports game, swing to live music, share some laughs on trivia night, or simple sit back and sip a custom cocktail or cold craft brew.

Basic City Beer Co.

Photo credit: Basic City Beer Co. Facebook

“Hammock Lounge.”  Need we say more?  At Basic City Beer Co. you’ve got the best of all worlds – a 6 tap outdoor draft station complete with hammocks and picnic tables and ping pong, shuffleboard, a pool table, and a full tap lineup waiting for you indoors.  Check out the food truck schedule to see what’s on the menu to pair with your Frying Pan Stout and Waynesbeeroh Lager.

The Purple Foot

Photo credit: Trip Advisor

Looking for a quiet lunch among friends?  The patio garden at The Purple Foot is the place for you.  With a delectable menu that includes Quiche Du Jour and Crepe Cod Bay, you’ll want to sample everyone’s plate.  Good thing you’re with friends! Just be sure to leave room for the daily sinful dessert.  After lunch, swing into The Purple Foot’s gift shop and wine shop to pick up a little something for later.

The Fishin’ Pig

Photo credit: Trip Advisor

You need a protein fix after a day on the trails!  Head to The Fishin’ Pig for a hearty selection of BBQ, seafood, and southern cuisine.  Peruse the menu while sipping a signature cocktail or local craft brew out on the patio. If you can’t decide between Bang Bang Shrimp Tacos, a mouthwatering pork BBQ Cuban, or beef brisket you may need to order one of each and share around the table.  Or order Grady’s Smoke Shack Sampler and Kelly’s Pork N’ Fish Dish to cover your bases!

Plaza Azteca

PHoto credit: Yelp

The sizzling flavors of Mexico.  An icy, cold margarita.  Fresh, homemade guacamole. Mix in a mariachi band and live entertainment.  There’s no place like Plaza Azteca for relishing the tastes and ambiance of a beautiful summer evening!

The Farmhaus on Main

Photo credit: The Farmhaus on the Main Facebook

Coffee is only the beginning at the Farmhaus!  Start your day on the front porch with a specialty coffee and a homemade berry pop tart.  Then stay for lunch and treat yourself to Haus-made lemonade and a gourmet salad on the back patio!

Stable Craft Brewing

Photo credit: Stable Craft Facebook

Get your farm fresh beer, locally-sourced burger, and beautiful mountain views all-in-one!  Hang out in the pavilion or on the patio and relax under the setting sun.  Or time your visit for Sunday evenings and you could be sitting around the firepit toasting with brews and s’mores!

Don’t let this summer pass you by. Savor every moment and every bite – plan your stay in Waynesboro,VA today!

 

 

 

Give Mom the Gift of the Great Outdoors This Mother’s Day!

On May 14th, treat the mothers in your life to a getaway in Waynesboro, VA. Mother’s Day has roots in the Shenandoah Valley, so there’s no better place to celebrate!  Our quaint bed & breakfasts, scenic mountain trails, and farm-to-table dining offer endless opportunities to pamper your loved ones.  Explore one of these three delicious pairings or design your own outdoor adventure.

Mother’s Day Group Hike + Basic City Beer Co.

hiking
Credit: Blue Ridge Outdoors Facebook event

Enjoy some of the best views and brews of our region! This beginner-friendly group hike will be led by Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine and the pros from Waynesboro’s Rockfish Gap Outfitters. This casual and guided hike will lead you to the summit of Turk Mountain in Shenandoah National Park where you can snap some photos with Mom.  After a morning on the trail, the group will convene at Basic City Beer Co. where you can recharge with a refreshing hibiscus infused lager or Dry Town Nitro Coffee. 

Brunch at Veritas Vineyard & Winery + Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail

brunch
Credit: Veritas Vineyards

Veritas Vineyard & Winery knows how to celebrate.  With a wine-paired menu that includes the phrases “blackberry reduction”, “duck confit”, “rosemary tuile”, and “lemon creme”, this will be a Mother’s Day Brunch to remember. If a four-course meal specially prepared for you and set against the backdrop of the Blue Ridge sounds like bliss… make those reservations today!

Keep the zen flowing with an afternoon on the Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail.

mtj

The Thomas Jefferson Loop is a must for visitors to Waynesboro.  Along this loop’s mountaintops, forests, and wetlands are a treasure trove of wildlife and birding opportunities.

Close out the special day with photo ops at Sherando Lake and Rockfish Gap Hawk Watch.  

Wildflowers + Brunch along Skyline Drive

flowers
Credit: NPS

Rather than buying Mom a vase of flowers, give her 150 miles of wildflowers! There are more than 850 species of flowering plants in nearby Shenandoah National Park, and each wildflower season offers colorful diversity.  Meander north along Skyline Drive and dogwood, trillium, azaleas, and pink lady’s slipper are bound to catch your eye.

Make reservations now so that you can pause on your Sunday drive for Mother’s Day Brunch. This annual holiday buffet at Skyland (Skyline Drive mile 41.7 and 42.5) serves panoramic views alongside a mouth-watering selection of appetizers, salads, entrées, and desserts.  After brunch, continue along Skyline Drive or check out one of the trails or waterfall hikes on your leisurely way back to Waynesboro.

Another Mom-pleasing idea:

May 14, 1-6pm Wine + Massage at Barren Ridge Vineyards 

2017-Mothers-Day

On Sunday, May 14th, join us for an afternoon of relaxation with your mom! Treat her to our Mother’s Day special for $15: a 10-minute neck-and-shoulder massage with certified massage therapist Mary Kay Heberling, and a glass of wine to enjoy with her family in front of this gorgeous view. No reservations–massages are first come, first served.

One weekend in Waynesboro’s great outdoors and you’ll be hooked.  So many trails and so little time!  But not to worry… Mom’s birthday will be here before you know it.

Live Like a Local: Best Burger Joints in the ‘Boro

If a mouth-watering burger is what you’re hankering for, look no further than Waynesboro!

Jake’s Bar & Grill, 137 N. Wayne Avenue

Tumbleweed Burger at Jake's
Tumbleweed Burger at Jake’s

Jake’s is a welcoming watering hole with a cozy, western flair, serving 100% all natural, locally raised, USDA ground beef burgers. Try their award-willing Tumbleweed Burger, featuring a beef patty topped with breaded jalapeño nuggets, cream cheese, apple jelly, and crunchy fried onion strips served on a glossy brioche roll. Once you’ve tasted it, you’ll know why it swept all three categories at the Staunton-Augusta Regional Chamber of Commerce Burger Cookoff.  Jake’s also won the attention of Scoutology as being among the best burger joints in the state!

Also try the Sagebrush, a beef patty smothered in grilled onions, peppers, and mushrooms with melted Swiss and homemade Coyote sauce.

Heritage on Main, 309 W. Main Street Continue reading “Live Like a Local: Best Burger Joints in the ‘Boro”