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?
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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).
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.
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!
Looking for a way to beat the heat during the remaining dog days of summer? Here are a few places to cool off in Waynesboro whether you’re an art collector or the aesthetically curious.. We’ve compiled several destinations to fill the last days of summer with artistic inspiration.
Drawing her imagery and visual style from the Shenandoah Valley, Pat Buckley Moss has reigned as an artistic legend for decades. In the words of her gallery website, “she considers the landscapes, lifestyles, cultures and traditions of the area to hold an important message for modern society.” At her downtown Waynesboro Gallery, which boasts the most extensive collection of her work available, visitors can gain insight into both the artist’s evolving creative career as well as the geography from which her message and inspiration flows.
Moss is a highly-prolific artist, and her P. Buckley Moss Waynesboro Gallery offers paintings, prints, and a complete selection of accompanying ornaments and collectibles. Situated in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley and Waynesboro’s revitalized downtown, the gallery is a convenient walk to coffee shops, restaurants, and specialty retailers. For those seeking an arts inspired country tour, historic destinations such as CrossKeys Vineyards, Virginia Military Institute, Mary Baldwin College, Monticello, University of Virginia, and many other P. Buckley Moss featured locations are an easy drive away. See an image that strikes your fancy? Ask the friendly caretakers at the gallery if they can direct you to its nearby location.
Hours: Visit the P. Buckley Moss Gallery Monday through Saturday from 10am to 5pm, or Sunday 12pm to 4pm. During the late winter (January 1 through March 31st) the Gallery closes on Mondays. Find them at 329 West Main Street, Waynesboro, VA.
Voted a Best of Virginia destination in 2018 by Virginia Living Magazine, the Shenandoah Valley Art Center is a destination gallery that combines rotating exhibitions of original artwork with classes open to the public, workshops, cultural trips and even musical performances. Their in-house studio spaces for artists also means that visitors may find opportunities to interact with working artists in addition to the gallery’s latest series of exhibits.
Member exhibits ensure regular rotations of art from regional creatives, while the Center’s featured exhibits focus on special themes and nationally recognized artists. Their gift shop features affordable local and regional artists’ works including jewelry, prints, cards, pottery, glass, and more. The Center notes: “The work changes frequently so come soon and come often!”
Hours: The Shenandoah Valley Art Center’s summer hours run Tuesday through Friday from 10am to 4pm and Saturday 11am to 2pm. Special events including artists talks and receptions are announced on their website. They are located at 122 South Wayne Avenue in Waynesboro, Virginia.
The Wayne Theatre Exhibit Gallery pairs perfectly with an evening of live performance at the Wayne Theatre Performing Art Center. This summer until August 26th, their exhibit Exceeding Expectations: Staunton, Augusta County, and World War I focuses on the Shenandoah Valley’s history in the War, including over 1,000 local men serving and the local birthplace of wartime president Woodrow Wilson.
Beginning August 30, the gallery will feature the contemporary fiber arts exhibit 13 Perspectives that challenges members of the metropolitan area New Image Artists juried group to explore a personal perspective through the lenses of fiber.
Hours: Tuesday through Friday, 10am to 2pm, as well as during all performances at the Wayne Theatre Performing Arts Center. The gallery is located at 521 West Main Street, Waynesboro, Virginia.
Coming this October: the Fall Foliage Festival
Every year the Blue Ridge Mountains turn red with the autumn breeze, and the Fall Foliage Arts Festival graces the streets of downtown Waynesboro. This October 13th and 14th, join more than 150 artists and artisans who will showcase paintings, printmaking, woodworking, pottery, sculpture and more.
Looking for a home-base from which to launch a nature-centered vacation? Waynesboro offers a combination of hiking, paddling, fishing, and outdoor relaxation, all a short and convenient drive from its small-town charm. Check out these eight can’t-miss nature experiences that begin at your Waynesboro doorstep.
(1) Chase Waterfalls in Shenandoah National Park
A national treasure in its own right, the Shenandoah National Park invites visitors to sweeping mountain views, easy access to hiking trails, and an incredible density of waterfalls.
Every year, visitors arrive from all over the world to visit the Park, but you’ll find its entrance mere minutes from downtown Waynesboro. In between dipping your toes, don’t forget to check out their all-summer Ranger programming.
(2) Cruise the Blue Ridge Parkway
The Blue Ridge Parkway snakes along mountain ridges from the southernmost tip of the Shenandoah National Park to the Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina. Hiking opportunities abound, but those seeking adventure with less exertion won’t be disappointed with the breathtaking overlooks accessible by car or the stellar driving offered by ribbons of ridgetop pavement. Bring your camera or sketchbook; these views are for sharing and remembering.
(3) Fly Fish an Urban Trout Fishery
What happens when the river, the fly shop, and the brewery are all one short walk from one another? Regardless, we promise not to tell that fishing story! For a local- and expert-led introduction to South River trout fishing, the South River Fly Shop offers full-service guiding and instruction.
(4) Picnic by the River
With a multi-use greenway, miles of water trail, and six parks that follow the South River waterway, you don’t need to leave town to enjoy nature. Spread out under the pavilion at Constitution Park, let your dog run free at Coyner Springs, or reserve the shelter at Ridgeview for by-the-river summertime grill outs.
Waynesboro’s many parks also offer convenient canoe and kayak launch points into the South River Water Trail. Turn your picnic into an opportunity to wade in the river or float away the afternoon.
Red-tailed hawks, black bears, barred owls, white tail fawns, bobcats, and eastern box turtles are just some of the creatures you may find inhabiting the Blue Ridge Mountains. Most are happy to share the trail with you, as their sightings are common from the Valley floor to the mountain ridge tops.
(7) Climb Above your stress
Let stress and worry fade to the valley floor below. This list of suggested hikes includes panoramic views, granite scrambles, and overhanging cliffs. From the Shenandoah National Park to the Blue Ridge Parkway, gorgeous drives parallel the Appalachian Trail, allowing frequent and beautiful access to this 2,000+ mile trail system that travels from Georgia to Maine. Pick your mountain, begin the climb, and join a community of explorers who have been finding peace and relaxation in these mountaintops since Trail construction began in the 1920s.
(8) Hang Out with the Locals
Looking for that infamous local fishing hole or rumored backwoods adventure? There’s a whole City waiting to share its secrets. Rockfish Gap Outfitters promises to outfit every style of adventure with bikes, kayaks, and backpacking gear while swapping outdoor adventure stories. South River Fly Shop hosts “Ties and Lies” to share fishing advice and too-good-to-be-true epics. Trail Angels give Appalachian Trail thru-hikers rides to town, and the Beerwerks Trail combines the best of craft brews and good-natured friendliness.
This summer, we look forward to creating new outdoor memories with you in Waynesboro, Virginia!
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.