5 Reasons to Visit Staunton This Fall

Nestled in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley, the city of Staunton is a dreamy fall getaway with stunning scenery, historical architecture, and a mixed bag of activities for all ages.

Photo by Woods Pierce

For those who have not yet made the trip (and others coming back for more), here are five reasons to visit Staunton this fall. 

1. Fun-filled events

From Halloween Town (Oct. 26)—with trick-or-treating, a scavenger hunt, and more—to the All Hallows Eve Gala at the Stonewall Jackson Hotel (Oct. 18) to the Shenandoah Fall Foliage Bike Festival offering more than 10 routes over two days (Oct. 19-20), Staunton boasts unique events for people of all ages and interests. 

Photo by Tommy Thompson

2. American Shakespeare Center

Staunton’s American Shakespeare Center is home to the world’s only recreation of Shakespeare’s indoor theater: The Blackfriars Playhouse. Here, audiences are invited to engage in a unique theater experience that in many ways mirrors theater during Shakespeare’s time; lights are left on to engage the actors with the audience, and actors perform multiple roles in the same play. The ASC’s fall schedule includes adaptations of Julius Caesar, Antony and Cleopatra, and a world premiere musical called The Willard Suitcases starring Broadway legend Nancy Anderson.

Photo by Kathy Frazier

3. Quaint downtown 

One of the oldest towns west of the Blue Ridge, Staunton boasts unique architecture that escaped the Civil War relatively unscathed. Explore downtown Staunton’s cobblestone streets and conglomeration of used bookstores, boutiques, breweries, coffeehouses, and restaurants. Sample homemade gelato from The Split Banana or break for scones, clotted cream, and homemade tea sandwiches at Anne Hathaway Cottage Tea Room, just two minutes from downtown Staunton. 

Humpback Mountain at sunrise.

Photo by Madeline Russo

4. Breathtaking hikes 

There is no more surreal way to start you morning than watching the sun break over the Shenandoah Valley. Using Staunton as your base, depart early in the morning and head to Humpback Mountain for a sunrise hike. The trail takes about 45 minutes to climb—although it feels shorter when you are racing against daylight. Aim to reach the summit about 20 minutes before sunrise, cradle a thermos of hot chocolate, and brace yourself for a breathtaking sight. 

Photo courtesy of White Oak Lavender Farm

5. Local farm tours

Stroll through a butterfly garden, ride a tractor, or pick your own lavender at one of the many farms outside of Staunton. White Oak Lavender Farm, where you can learn all about your favorite herb, and Viette Farm and Nursery, which boasts many rare blooms, are both 20 to 25 minutes outside of Staunton. If you are up for a slightly longer (but scenic) trip, drive 40 minutes to Back Home on the Farm where you can pet farm animals, pick pumpkins, and lose yourself in the seasonal corn maze.  

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