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.

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

Cool Summer Gallery Cruising

Art Destinations in Waynesboro, VA

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.

Buckley Moss Gallery

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.

 Shenandoah Valley Art Center

Autism Spectrum by Jan Rapacz at Shenandoah Valley Art Center

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.

Wayne Theatre Exhibit Gallery

One at a Time by Jeffrey Stockberger from Painting Virginia exhibition

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.

 

TimePiece by Joan Dreyer

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

Waynesboro Fall Foliage Art show and festival. Photo by Norm Shafer.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gateway-to-Nature Vacation

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.

Looking On Dark Hollow Falls. NPS | Katy Cain

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.

NPS | Mary O’Neill & N. Lewis

(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.

Kayaking on the South River at Ridgeview Park. Photo by Pat Jarrett

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.

(5) View the Night Sky

The official Night Sky Festival begins August 10th in Shenandoah National Park, but the clear Blue Ridge Mountain air offers sparkling skies all year long. Explore the Park’s Tips for Stargazing, become a Junior Ranger Night Explorer, or join any ranger-led astronomy events in the Blue Ridge mountains.

Stargazing at Big Meadows during the 2017 Night Sky Festival. NPS/Mary O’Neill

(6) Meet the Wildlife

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.

Stony Man Summit. NPS. Photographer: Brett Raeburn

(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!

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.

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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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