Fair Trade, Handmade and US-Made Fashion in Staunton

One of the best parts of a stroll down a funky, historic main street — like our Beverley Street — is the thrill of ducking into a little boutique and scoring unique clothing not to be found in the larger, national stores.

Love scoring cool, unusual fashions and looking to double down on that thrill of the find? Then come check out Staunton’s ethical fashion scene.

Not familiar with ethical fashion? This is a loose term used to describe clothing options that are focused on fair trade, local sourcing and handcrafted design and production. From local artists to international buying trips, Staunton offers an amazing breadth and depth of ethical fashion options for all.

Made in the USA

Made; By the People, For the People offers reasonably priced American made new and vintage clothing. The boutique offers a wide array of styles from flirty dresses to locally printed T’s for both men and women.

We stopped by Made to talk with owner, Corrie Park “Our shop’s mission is not born of divisive politics or extreme nationalism, instead we aim to shed light on exactly why one can’t help but to feel great when making a purchase at our boutique: satisfaction in knowing your purchase directly helps to sustain the local economy; acknowledgement of the fellow citizens who have created a product that adds comfort and beauty to the day; an appreciation of the regulations that protect American workers from so many of the labor atrocities that occur abroad; and immense pleasure in realizing that the very nature of domestically produced goods results in a lower carbon footprint, and represents adherence to more stringent environmental laws than can be found in most exporting countries.”

Made
Made; seeks to fill the void by offering reasonably priced American made new and vintage clothing
Made in the US Vintage finds
Made in the US Vintage finds
Made
Locally made A-Line skirts from Queen City Sewing

In addition to American made clothing and locally handcrafted products, Made; is excited to be expanding their line up of monthly classes where locals can get in touch with their own creative sides. Check Facebook and Instagram for more information.

15 East Beverley Street  | Facebook

Local Artisan-Made Fashion

When we stopped by Artful Gifts, tucked in one end of the wharf, we found Lisa and Jim Jacenich working on a custom felting commission (a camouflage vest)  in their divine studio and showroom. The couple have been active in textile arts for 20 years, having started in Highland County before moving to their current location in Staunton.

Artful gifts specializes in using natural fibers, like wool and silk, to create the amazing felted fabrics they are known for. In addition to creating unique felts (available for purchase by the yard,) the couple creates unique embellished fashions using their custom fabrics as well as upcycled garments.

While Lisa focuses on the felt and design, Jim works in kumihimo, or Japanese braiding, to create belts and necklaces integrated with beads and hand-blown glass and jewelry.

Be sure to stop by Artful Gifts whenever you are looking for completely unique, one of a kind handcrafted fashion made right here in Staunton.

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6 Byers Street | Facebook

Fair Trade, Boutique Style

Latitudes Fair Trade takes the search for ethical fashion across our borders. Latitudes is a fair trade store that specializes in hand-made, artisanal goods from around the world. Owner, Anna Schoenduby, worked in international travel and education before trading in her corporate gig to focus on her passion – working to create positive economic relationships between American consumers and marginalized artisans from developing nations.

The fashions on display at Latitudes bring a modern flair to the fair trade scene, with vintage style fit’n’flare dresses in classic, feminine prints and classic geometric wrap dresses. We stopped by Latitudes to visit with Anna, where we learned about her upcoming trip to India where she’ll meet with the artisans who create some of the amazing clothing and accessories you’ll find at Latitudes.

Stop by and find the perfect party dress for you or as a gift!

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16 East Beverley Street | Facebook

 

 

Breweries, Beer Gardens & Tap Rooms of Staunton

Breweries, Beer Gardens & Tap Rooms of Staunton

It’s no secret that craft beer has been on the rise in Virginia, and Staunton is fortunate to have three breweries concocting flavor-filled suds. A trip to any of their tasting rooms yields not only a flight of whatever is on tap, but an education about the process of creating great beer. The breweries aren’t the only places to immerse yourself in this small craft culture, however. Read on.

THE BREWERIES

When Queen City Brewing opened in 2003, it became Staunton’s first post-Prohibition brewery. A visit to Queen will offer more than you expect with 22 beers on tap and the opportunity to craft your own beer or soda.

There’s plenty of room to spread out and enjoy the indoors or the out at Redbeard Brewing Company, and you’ll love their small batch/high demand brews. In warm weather, a food truck or two is known to pop up for belly fill-ups.

Shenandoah Valley Brewing Company shares their home-brewing knowledge, making them an undeniable destination for aspiring brew masters. Stop by to curate your own flight, fill a growler, or scoop up the stuff needed to pull off DIY craft beer. *Recipes*

 

BEER GARDENS & TAP ROOMS

The By & By has grown from a coffee shop on the corner to a Staunton beverage mecca. The menu includes a rotating stock of craft beer and wine, gourmet espressos, loose leaf teas, and Italian sodas to enjoy with paninis, pastries, and pies. To sweeten the stop, the beer garden is a cool place to chill from May to October.

Newtown Baking probably wouldn’t be on your radar when seeking craft beer, would it? Oh, but it should be. Order a wood-fired pizza (Thursday-Sunday, 5-9 p.m.) and enjoy it out back in the garden with a frosty brew; there’s a picnic table waiting.

The Staunton Abbey has plenty of craft beer to choose from with 12 taps flowing and more than 300 bottled selections. Stay a while and enjoy a sub, pizza, calzone, stromboli, burger, wings, or salad. Keep an eye on their Facebook page for free pizza slice days, tap takeovers, and special releases.

 

TO TAKE HOME

Shenandoah Hops is your go-to for mix-and-match six packs of bottled craft beer as well growler refills. Stop by Fridays from 6 to 8 p.m. for beer tastings, often poured by the brew masters themselves.

The Wine Cellar is a misnomer for our purposes, as they do indeed stock a healthy selection of craft beer from around the world. You can also mix up your own six pack of singles here, and doing so will earn you 10% off. It pays to try something new! You can’t visit the Cellar without taking home a box of their handmade chocolate truffles.

Scenic Drives to Staunton

Scenic Drives to Staunton

The first day of spring is March 20, which means early buds and blooms will be sprouting everywhere. Spring days are perfect for a scenic drive to Staunton, the home of great food and vibrant culture. Check out the map below to choose your route.

 

Skyline Drive to Staunton

104 miles • 3 hours

Travelers day-trippin’ from Northern Virginia and Washington, D.C. will undoubtedly enjoy a leisurely ride along Skyline Drive through Shenandoah National Park. A fee of $20 will grant you access, but savvy travelers know that select dates are “fee free” at National Parks. Stroll along on one of those days to avoid the fee. Better yet, purchase an annual pass for $40 to enjoy it again and again.

Access Skyline Drive from Front Royal, Thornton Gap, Swift Run Gap, and Rockfish Gap. Rockfish is where you’ll exit Skyline Drive to descend into Staunton. Pick up Route 250 to wind your way through Waynesboro and Fishersville before reaching the Queen City.

Points of Interest Along the Way:

  • Try the blackberry pie at Skyland Resort Dining Room in Shenandoah National Park.
  • Sample Virginia craft beer at Seven Arrows Brewing Company in Waynesboro.
  • Sip the fruit of the vine at Barren Ridge Vineyards in Fishersville.
Barrenridge
The view from Barrenridge Vineyards

 

Elkins, WV to Staunton

106 miles • 2 hours 20 minutes

From the wild and wonderful state of West Virginia, head east to Staunton, taking in the beautiful views of the Monongahela National Forest as you ride along the Staunton-Parkersburg Turnpike. When you enter Virginia, you’re treated to sweet switchbacks and turns. Perhaps a motorcycle is the most thrilling mode of transportation for this fun scenic drive.

Points of Interest Along the Way:

  • Monterey is the home of the Highland Maple Festival. Grab a bottle of syrup!
  • Stretch your legs at the Confederate Breastworks Interpretive Trail in McDowell.

 

Farmville to Staunton

98 miles •  2 hours 20 minutes

If you’re traveling from the furniture and décor hot spot of Farmville to the farm-to-table cultural center of Staunton, Route 56 is the way to go. You’ll cross the scenic James River as you approach the Blue Ridge Mountains, which are a destination unto themselves. Bring the camera for all the beauty this drive affords.

Points of Interest Along the Way:

  • Crabtree Falls is a just off Route 56 in Tyro. A paved trail takes you to the lower falls if you don’t have time to hike farther up.

 

Covington to Staunton

76 miles • 1 hour 45 minutes

Driving through the beautiful mountains of western Virginia via Route 220 satisfies the soul on many levels, but when such a drive includes beautiful points of interest, well, you may want to take it again and again and again.

waterfall flickr
vamedia on Flickr

Points of Interest Along the Way:

  • Falling Springs waterfall is an 80′ cascade that can be seen from the road.
  • Southern gem, The Homestead Resort, is a beautiful photo op you can’t pass up.
  • Jefferson Pools in Warm Springs is a natural hot spring frequented by Thomas Jefferson.

Once You’re in Staunton

First, WELCOME! Second, let’s eat!

What else is there to do and see?

Tell us all about your Staunton experiences by leaving a comment.

Love is in the air in Staunton

Looking for a place to spend Valentines Day with your sweetie, spouse or BFF? Whether it’s a romantic evening or just hanging out for the afternoon, there are tons of options right in Staunton.

Special Tasting with Mike Lund Foods

Get the weekend started right with one of Mike Lund Food’s exclusive tasting menu dinners on Friday and Saturday night. Start out by mingling over Rappahannock River oysters and sparkling wine and settle in for a full table of offerings including truffled mac’n’ham’n’cheese, curried lobster soup and a dessert bar. Check out the menu here and don’t forget that reservations are required for this incredible event!mike lund food

835 Springhill Road | Facebook | For reservations info@mikelundfood.com

Southern Style Farm to Table in Four Courses

Looking for a romantic evening on historic Beverley Street? Zynodoa is planning three full nights of a four-course chef-tasting valentine’s-themed menu on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings. Share some heated looks and old-school (with a new twist) cocktails over crab cakes, pork belly and beef tenderloin. Be sure to make reservations and come early for a romantic stroll down Beverley.

zynodoa

115 East Beverley | Facebook | Event Information

A Bevy of Choices on Beverley!

Looking for more options? Ava Restaurant & Wine Bar is offering not one, not two, but three prix fixe options this Thursday through Sunday. Choose from a light three course dinner for two, or opt for a full night with five courses. With wine pairings for each level (but sparkling wine for all!) Ava is the place for lovers (and lovers of wine.) Looking for just a a bite and some people-watching? Stop by and choose from the appetizers and drinks menu for a tête-à-tête. Reservations required.

ava

103 West Beverley Street | Facebook | Event Information

Tiffany and Trivia

Not looking for a Valentine’s Day theme, but still want a fun day in Staunton with your sweetheart (or buddies?) then check out one of the best date ‘afternoons’ downtown! Start out at Trinity Episcopal Church, founded in 1746, and check out the collection of twelve Trinity windows and locally-made Taylor & Boody organ. Take a stroll around the lovely grounds and head across the street to George Bowers Grocery for a hot game of 80’s trivia, cold beer and local Polyface grass-fed burgers.

george bowers
from top right | Light streaming through the windows at George Bowers Grocery; trivia, 80’s style; cozy up for burger, beers and trivia; historic Trinity Church

George Bowers Grocery | 219 West Beverley Street | Facebook
Trinity Church | 214 West Beverley Street | Website

A Valentine’s Weekend at The Bistro

Don’t miss out on the Valentine’s Day (and weekend) fun at the Wharf. Chef Joey Sprouse has pulled together an amazing menu of oysters, prime rib and salmon for all you Wharf-loving lovers out there! Dinner service starts at 5 p.m. come for dinner and stick around for an evening of live music.

Friday, February 12 | William Walter & Company | 9:00pm – Midnight
Saturday, February 13 | Firecracker Jam Band | 9:00pm – Midnight

the bistro

 

Fun Things To Do In Staunton When It’s Chilly Outside

Fun Things To Do In Staunton When It’s Chilly Outside

Looking for for something fun to do in Staunton when it’s not so fun being outside? We’ve got plenty of options to keep the whole family engaged when the weather’s not cooperating!

Live Glassblowing Classes and Demonstration

Sunspots Studios, a favorite destination for many of Staunton’s repeat visitors, offers an amazing opportunity to learn about the art of glassblowing. With daily live demonstrations until 4 p.m., come with the whole family and take advantage of the up-close and personal viewing area and watch one of the in-house artists create beautiful works of art.

sunspots studios

The gift shop and gallery is full of one-of-a kind home and garden glass treasures, artisan jewelry and handbags.

If you’re ready to jump in for hands-on fun, Sunspots offers a unique glassblowing class. Suitable for ages 7 and up, come and spend some time in the studio and create your own hand-blown glass ornament.

Call ahead for glassblowing demonstration and class times.

202 South Lewis Street | Facebook

Special Valentines Day Event At Sunspots Studios

Join Sunspots Studios for an exclusive Valentines Day event Wednesday, February 10, 2016 through Sunday, February 14, 2016.  Sunspots has new, special equipment to allow you and your Valentine to blow an ornament at the same time, locking your breath together forever! Get more information here.

A Picturesque Walk Through History

Tucked away in the heart of historic Staunton, the Camera Heritage Museum is packed full of over 4,500 cameras and accessories, covering the history of man’s fascination with recording the moments of our lives.

Leave behind selfie sticks and Snapchat and stop by the the museum to get a glimpse of 150 years of history seen through the lens of this amazing collection. Some of the featured items rare historical photographs, such as that taken by a camera on board a Japanese planes during the attack on Pearl Harbor, the personal photograph collection of the John Wilkes Booth family and a signed photograph of the Beatles performing on the Ed Sullivan show.

The collection includes vintage and modern examples of camera technology, as well as the work of regional photographers dating back to 1847 when Charles F. Hamilton was working with daguerreotypes right here in Staunton.

camera heritage museum

The Camera Heritage Museum is open to the public Monday – Friday 9 to 5, Saturdays 9-2. Tours are $5.

1 West Beverley Street | Facebook

Five Staunton Destinations to Enjoy with Kids

Five Staunton Destinations to Enjoy with Kids

This is part of a series of three articles which will highlight the best of downtown Staunton, per traveler reviews.

Family travel is not for the faint of heart. I know. I’m a mom of three and a bargain hunter to boot. Research shows that moms typically make the travel plans, so with you kindred weary spirits in mind, here are the top five things to do with your children in Staunton (and on the cheap).

Blackfriars Playhouse The Taming of the Shrew AMERICAN SHAKESPEARE CENTER – 5 stars – Thursday-Sunday Show

The Bard’s original English Blackfriars Playhouse is recreated in Staunton (the only one in the world), delivering the most authentic William Shakespeare experience in America. What you see is what would have been – no sets, no lighting effects, no microphones. It’s a rare opportunity for aspiring actors and actresses ages 7 and older to see passion and dedication up close (some guests sit on stage!).

Can’t make it to a show? Playhouse Tours are available for $7 per person. Each tour is guided and delivered as a mix of entertainment and education. Photography is allowed on the tour but not during performances.

>> PRO TIP: The first few performances of each production offer a unique opportunity for those without reserved seats to “pay what you will.” Check the calendar for specific dates. Otherwise, ticket prices vary by performance and seat preference (generally $18-$59).

“Go on with an open mind and get ready to smile. It is simply a great way to spend an evening (or afternoon). My two teenagers laughed like it was a teen movie and my wife and I loved it. Quirky and fun!” -BaldAndHappy, Washington, DC


 

Sunspots ornaments SUNSPOTS STUDIO – 4.5 stars – Open Daily – Free Demonstrations

This glass studio will leave your kids in awe. Warn them of the “look but don’t touch” rule while in the gift shop, and then check out the glassblowing in action. If you’re visiting between Wednesday and Sunday, blow your own family ornament (ages 7 to adult; $40-45 each). Should you choose not to, at least find a bauble to take home as a souvenir.

“It was very interesting and even my 7 yo enjoyed it. There are seats, so that it’s a comfortable place … Definitely worth checking out!” -NCtraveler73, Raleigh, NC (TripAdvisor)


 

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 FRONTIER CULTURE MUSEUM – 4.5 stars – Open Daily

Perhaps one of the most underrated experiences in Virginia, the Frontier Culture Museum tells the story of westward migration by those who forged the way. The great pioneers were English, Irish, German, and West African. See working homestead farms representative of the 1600 and 1700s, as well as early American dwellings and a Native American dwelling that would have been customary for the Blue Ridge around 1730.

>> PRO TIP: Sunday is “pay what you will” from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and the tour is self-guided. Otherwise, rates are free to $10 depending on age.

“Kids had a great time trying the different frontier activities. Definitely worth going.” -Kevin L. (TripAdvisor)


WOODROW WILSON BIRTHPLACE, PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY, AND MUSEUM – 4.5 stars – Seasonal Hours
Did you know Woodrow Wilson is the only President of the United States to hold an earned doctoral degree? Or that he went by “Tommy” through childhood and into his years at College of New Jersey (now Princeton University)? How about that his face is on the $100,000 bill? It’s not surprising if you missed that question. Those were never publicly circulated, only 42,000 were created, and it’s illegal to own one. Learn what else you don’t know about President Wilson when you visit. Rates are free to $14 depending on age.

>> PRO TIP: Traditionally Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library is free to active duty military, National Guard, Reservists, and their families Memorial Day through Labor Day thanks to the Blue Star Museum Program.

“Good displays portraying Wilson’s life. Informative, interesting, well done. Even a craft/activity room for kids. Especially enjoyed learning about his car!” – Lydspot, Staunton, VA


STAUNTON FIRE & RESCUE – 4 stars* – Open Daily – Free
It’s doubtful that this would be on your “must do when we’re in Staunton” list, but it should be if you’re traveling with kids. Actually, grandpas, dads, and uncles will probably enjoy this visit, too, as it’s the oldest volunteer fire station in Virginia (1790; paid as of 1893) and home to one of maybe two remaining 1911 Robinson Fire Engines.
*Rating via Trekaroo

Where do you love to roam around Staunton with kids in tow? My personal favorite is Pufferbellies, a fun toy store that’s actually a great deal more. Not only will you find specialty toys for STEM learning, but they also have a great selection of books, arts and crafts, and even an adult coloring section.

Leave a comment or go share your experience with a TripAdvisor review.

Downtown Staunton’s Five Best Places for Nightlife

Downtown Staunton’s Five Best Places for Nightlife

This is a series of three articles which will highlight the best of downtown Staunton, per traveler reviews.

When you’re visiting Staunton and seeking a nightcap with a side of city vibe, these are the places to check out. You’ll mix with locals and other travelers – business, leisure, alumni – and you’ll soon understand why this city is one of Virginia’s most beloved. Cheers to good times, new friends, and Staunton.

Brick’s Restaurant and Pub – 4 stars – Pizza, Bar, Italian
Open 5 p.m. to 2 a.m., Brick’s is a good place to unwind. As Rod O. from Charlottesville wrote in his Yelp review, “Is it a sports bar? It could be, maybe, though it seems like a comfortable place to relax! I could give this pizza no less than 4 1/2 stars!” Local Chris H. recommends Brick’s calling it a “great local hangout … the pizza is addictive!” Claudia H. from nearby Verona dubbed it a “pizza dive bar,” which is not a negative comment by any means, as she went on to write that it’s “a great new addition to downtown Staunton.” Come as you are, shoot pool, get a homemade pizza, cheese fries, calzone, or wings, and wash it down with a Devils Backbone Vienna Lager or Pabst Blue Ribbon, whichever way your taste leads.

The Pompei Lounge – 3 stars – Lounge, Italian
Located within and above Emilio’s Italian Restaurant, Pompei is open 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. Head upstairs after an excellent meal at Emilio’s and enjoy a Lemon Drop Martini (Yelp reviewers recommend it) with live tunes. When it’s warm, you’ll love the view from the rooftop terrace. There’s always something going on at The Pompei Lounge.
“… a great local place that felt as much like a house party as a bar, with plenty of little nooks, crannies, rooms and terraces (seriously, it felt as though this place went on forever!) to make a night of it with a good group of friends …” -Maki P., Seattle, WA
“Holy crap, this place rocks! Excellent atmosphere, attentive staff, kickass bartenders!” -a love note from Vinyl Rob on The Pompei Lounge Facebook page

Marino’s Lunch – 4.5 stars – Bar, Burgers
A Staunton institution, Marino’s is an authentic local hangout with bluegrass jams Tuesday and Friday nights. Rub elbows with area musicians and learn a thing or two about their skills, as well as plenty of lore and tall tales. Slide into a booth, order a drink and a cheeseburger, and let the good times roll.
“This place is a great way to meet the local scene. I went on a Tuesday night and it was packed. Everyone is super friendly and up for a good time. Their cheeseburgers are fantastic and cheap.” -Amanda L., Pine, CO
“If you are in Virginia, this place is worth a 100 mile detour.  You will not forget it, ever.  It is the kind of place people write stories about.” -Christy R., Italy, TX

ALSO SEE: Downtown Staunton’s 10 Best Places to Dine

Yelping Dog Wine – 4 stars – Wine Bar, Sandwiches
A wine and cheese shop open until 9 p.m. (10 on Fridays and Saturdays), Yelping Dog is decidedly low-key and chill with live music from time to time. Order a cheese plate or gourmet grilled cheese and ask for the perfect wine pairing.
“Hands down my favorite place to spend a relaxing afternoon or evening!” -Erin M., Fort Defiance, VA

Byers Street Bistro – 4 stars – Music Venue, American (New)
Count on a lively band every Saturday night at Byers Street Bistro. Open until midnight, you can sample a range of draught Virginia craft beers with appetizers like fried green tomatoes, smoked bacon and corn hushpuppies, and Chesapeake crab cakes.
“The restaurant has a nice atmosphere both upstairs and down in the pub area.  Fun place to catch live music on the weekends too.  This has been my go to spot, if I’m in the area, for the past ten years.” -Jesse V., Winchester, VA

What is your favorite fine dining, nightlife, dive, or café in Staunton? Head to Yelp and leave a review, plus fill in the missing details for each: hours, outdoor seating, etc. Share your knowledge and #LOVEStaunton.