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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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

A Trail of Two Waynesboros

Hikers of the Appalachian Trail may be surprised to find Waynesboro on their map twice—once in Virginia and once in Pennsylvania. Both are designated Appalachian Trail Communities (Waynesboro, PA shares its ATC designation with Washington Township and together they go by “Greater Waynesboro Area, PA”). Hikers visiting both locales can expect a warm welcome when they stop to resupply, and visitors taking a faster mode of transportation will be equally charmed by the small-town culture.

Main Street in downtown Waynesboro, VA.

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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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What’s Your Getaway Type? Killer Winter Ideas for Foodies, Artists, Frazzled, and Nature-Loving Travelers

Unforgettable Waynesboro Winter Getaways

What does the ideal winter getaway look like for you?  Some of us eagerly anticipate cold weather sports and recreation.  Others look forward to spending the dark evenings in the company and laughter of friends. For many, a winter night should be paired with a good book and a strong fire. This winter season, find the joy and comforts you crave in Waynesboro, VA!

The Foodie

Eggs benedict…Iris Inn-style. Photo by Jumping Rocks Photography.

For the Foodie, enjoying rich flavors and colorful dishes is the perfect way to spend a winter weekend.   Start your mornings sipping coffee or hot chocolate by the fireplace in the Iris Inn’s sunlit Great Room, then savor a relaxing and fulfilling breakfast designed by the Iris Inn’s Chef and full kitchen staff.  For a real treat add a Sip and Simmer Cabin Dinner to your stay.  the Iris Inn’s Chef  will prepare a seasonal dinner where you add the finishing touches, pair with local wines, and enjoy right in the privacy of your own cabin.

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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.

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Frosty Treats in Waynesboro

Have you mowed the lawn until the grass is sticking in your throat? Are you slaving over an outdoor grill, flipping hamburgers while the sweat trickles between your shoulder blades? Do you drive a car without air conditioning, peeling your thighs off the seats and sporting a windblown hairstyle? Then make a beeline to Waynesboro for one of these throat-soothing, spine-chilling frosty treats!

Micah’s Frozen Mocha includes homemade whipped cream.

Frozen Mocha

Micah’s Coffee. 1000 West Broad Street. When the weather turns hot, Waynesboro’s popular drive-thru coffee stand whips up cold espresso drinks and frappes. One of their most popular treats is the Frozen Mocha, blended with Ghiradelli chocolate, espresso and milk, topped with homemade whipped cream. Kids will enjoy a Frozen Hot Chocolate, the same recipe without the espresso.

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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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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!