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.

This Getaway Weekend Sizzles with Variety

Are you a big believer that variety is the spice of life? The weekend of September 21-23 in Waynesboro, Virginia will fire you up with options! With a music festival, park adventure, craft-beer run, and gem and mineral show all packed into the same weekend, consider your life spiced!

Heat, Beats, & Beer

Virginia Chili, Blues n Brews Festival photo by Norm Shafer

There might be a nip in the air as fall approaches, but this festival puts some “heat” in the season change! Pro and amateur chili chefs compete for prize money and the title of People’s Choice. They’re joined by thousands of lovers of spice, music, and beer at the Virginia Chili, Blues n’ Brews Festival. Now in its 11th year, the downtown Waynesboro event is September 22 from 3-9pm. Staged against backdrop of the South River and sweeping mountain views, the festival promises a marvelous mashup of sensory experiences.

 Recharge at Shenandoah National Park

from Shenandoah National Park facebook page

Restoration and resilience are the focus of the 25th anniversary of National Public Lands Day on September 22, and if you’re looking to personally recharge, Shenandoah National Park is fee-free that day and filled with renewing vistas, waterfalls, or quiet glades. One of Virginia’s most beloved natural wonders, the 200,000-acre Shenandoah National Park boasts more than 500 miles of trails. Just three miles from the park’s southernmost Rockfish Gap Entrance, Waynesboro makes the perfect starting point for an exploration of its wild southern section.

A Run with a View—and a Reward

If a physical challenge is your spice, brace yourself for the Basic City Burn. Featuring a just under three-mile course that climbs a quad-burning 300 feet to the highest point in Waynesboro, the stunning view of the valley is just part of the event’s allure. Runners and walkers also get treated to cool swag and a post-race party with beer tastings at Basic City Beer Co. and food by Hops Kitchen.

 Not Just Any Old Rocks

from Shenandoah Valley Gem & Mineral Society facebook page

Second in age only to South Africa’s Barberton greenstone belt, the Blue Ridge Mountains are a perfect destination for rock hounds, nature lovers, and history buffs alike. The weekend of September 21-23 will allow you to feast your eyes on the fascinating and beautiful rocks and minerals found in the Shenandoah Valley (and beyond) at the 51st Annual Gem & Mineral Show. The whole family will be enthralled with the mix of unique shopping, treasure-hunting (for kids), educational talks, and demos like panning for gold and cabochon making.

Local Food & Fowl

The weekend options don’t stop there. Every Saturday through September 29, 9am-1pm, you can also visit the Waynesboro Farmer’s Market, both a marketplace and a community gathering space, in the heart of downtown Waynesboro. Visitors can shop, play along the river banks, or stroll along the nearby South River Greenway.

Autumn brings thousands of migrating raptors to the mountain pass of Rockfish Gap at the juncture of Skyline Drive and the Blue Ridge Parkway. Manned by volunteers collecting raptor data for global research and education, the Rockfish Gap Hawk Watch is open to the public and easily accessible without hiking or climbing. Novice birders can witness this awesome natural event between now and November 30, although the peak migration occurs mid- to late-September.

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 Darker Side of the Shenandoah

The Darker Side of the Shenandoah – The Legends & Stories Waiting for You Near Waynesboro, VA

Coming to the Shenandoah Valley for the spring wildflowers and a gentle stroll?  This isn’t the trip planner for you. But if you’re looking for a little mystery to go with your outdoor explorations, read on! Like every beautiful place, the Shenandoah Valley is also home to a whole series of legends and stories of a darker nature – sightings and encounters that defy explanation, handed down over generations of adventurers. Here are a few ideas for a walk on the wild side near Waynesboro, VA.

The Dreaded Wampus of the Blue Ridge Mountains

“A piercing scream.”  “An awful smell, like a skunk and a wet dog.”  “Five feet tall.”   “An unholy hybrid of canine and feline.”   “It was holding my pal with a hand.  Then it hissed and took off – on two legs!”

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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!

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The High-Octane Life in the Blue Ridge Mountains

Waynesboro, Virginia, is renowned for an abundance of high-octane thrills, with mountain biking and rock climbing often highlighted. A spirited heritage runs deep in these Blue Ridge and Allegheny Mountains, and an exploration into the region’s rich lore and mystique is itself an adventure!


These Spirited Mountains

Photo credit: Blue Ridge Institute & Museum of Ferrum College

“Mash,” “granny fee,” “singlings,” “mountain dew,” and “a bootleg turn”… the language, mystique, and modern media portrayals of Blue Ridge moonshining have created quite a body of lore.

For the real scoop on the history and culture of untaxed liquor in the mountains of Virginia, there’s no better resource than the Blue Ridge Institute & Museum’s online exhibition, “Moonshine – Blue Ridge Style.

Settlers to the Allegheny and Blue Ridge Mountains in the 1700s brought their traditions with them, including distilling grains into whiskey and fruit into brandy and using the leftover “slop” from the process for livestock feed. The United States government first began taxing alcohol to help pay for the Revolutionary War. Those distillers who chose not to get a license nor pay tax on their whiskey became known as “bootleggers” and “moonshiners.

Photo credit: Blue Ridge Institute & Museum of Ferrum College

When Virginia banned alcohol in 1914, the demand for moonshine only increased, and previously licensed distillers and bootleggers alike found illegal, but highly creative means to continue to produce and deliver their liquor.

For firsthand accounts and tall tales of moonshine’s role in mountain life, search the online issues of “The Mountain Laurel – The Journal of Mountain Life.” From “medicinal uses” and working a still before school to a story about a gorilla protecting the still of one moonshiner, this collection is a treasure trove of memories and stories!

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Your Kids Will LOVE these Waynesboro Activities

Waynesboro,VA is the greatest playground a kid (and their adult) could ask for!  Fresh mountain air, family-friendly venues, and engaging hands-on fun, provide endless outlets for curiosity, creativity, and energy.   The kid in your life will love these favorite Waynesboro activities.

Wildlife Center of Virginia Tour

Maggie is one of several education animals at the Wildlife Center of Virginia.

Celebrating a birthday?  Looking for a unique family outing?  Schedule a tour of the renowned Wildlife Center of Virginia!  Kids will learn about the inner-workings of a wildlife hospital and have a close-up experience of one of the resident non-releasable owls, hawks, or eagles.  A guided nature hike led by a Wildlife Center educator will give children a fresh look into the animals and habitat of the adjoining George Washington National Forest.

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Good Nature is Only a Step Away in Waynesboro, VA

Recreation is a way of life in Waynesboro, Virginia.  Residents and visitors to this beautiful Appalachian Trail Community have countless options for enjoying nature year-round.  And Waynesboro is proactive in expanding its Outdoor Recreation Network to provide easy, interconnected access to the hundreds of miles of trails, routes, and waterways running through and around the city.  Whether you like to walk, bike, run, or paddle, you’re only a step away in Waynesboro!

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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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