It’s so fun to see how bustling downtown Staunton city streets are, with locals and tourists alike out and about shopping, people watching, and eating at our many foodie destinations.
It’s especially fun for me with my shop right on West Beverley Street, or what is in effect our “main street.” In a Main Street America town, that’s a prime spot to be in on all the fun!
The Latest Greatest
Staunton has definitely been hopping lately, and literally, too — with the Heifetz International Music Festival closed just as the Staunton Music Festival opened, visitors have been hopping and bopping and whooping and hollerin’ to all the good music in town.
And who’s doing all this toe-tapping and contemplative listening? A lot of you are from Washington D.C. So often when I, or my “register gals” ask visitors where they’re from, time and again we get a very common refrain in folks telling us that they’re here for the weekend — or a mid week getaway — from Washington D.C.
A few years back, Washingtonian Magazine listed Staunton as one of the best destination spots for D.C. denizens in part because it’s easy to hop a train, land right in the center of town, and be in walking distance to several hotels, B & Bs, and Airbnbs. That ride is four hours, and one can do it in about three by car.
Condé Nast Traveler gave a similar review of Staunton as a top three day trip from D.C. saying, “In charming towns like…Staunton you’ll find cute places to stay, eat, and shop, and in all, this drive—ideal for leaf-peeping in fall—isn’t so long or arduous you get worn out.”
Instead, just think, leave work a little early on a Friday, be in Staunton by dinnertime, and leave Staunton at seven on Sunday and still be home a bit after 10:30 before going back to work on Monday. And both ways you’ll have lovely drives or train rides with gorgeous views and that feeling that you can finally let out your breath and just…relax!
What’s not to like?
What’s really nice, Washingtonians tell us, is that Staunton is so walkable that even if they do bring a car, more often than not it’s just parked while they take in everything from the Farmers Market on Saturday morning, to shopping and a wine tasting mid day, and a great dinner, like at the destination restaurant The Shack where my son Ian Boden is the owner/chef, to a Shakespeare show at night, all just walking in about 10 square blocks.
All that and it’s only a few blocks back to great accommodations if you’re staying near downtown.
With Fall upon us, and even more delightful weather ahead, Staunton is gearing up for some of its biggest events. First, at the end of September we’ll host our Fourth Annual Queen City Mischief and Magic Festival — book your stay now if you need a place to stay because this baby is packed with harry Potter fans and lovers of mischievous magic of all kinds.
Then there’s the Shenandoah Fall Foliage Bike Festival in mid October when the area is ablaze with beautiful leaves and a bevy of riders — from hard core cyclists to families on bikes. Even if you don’t ride, it’s a great time to come to soak in the mountain vibe, cool crisp air, and a spirit of being active and healthy.
Everything Old is New Again
But here I am forgetting one of the best things of all — antique shopping.
I wrote a downloadable e-book titled A Digital Guide to Antique Shopping in the Staunton-Augusta-Waynesboro area. It’s a great way to familiarize yourself with the many unique antique shops within a 15 mile radius of Staunton.
Start with my shop — we can’t wait to meet our D.C. friends and help you find that perfect Mid Century Modern piece of furniture or amazing bit of homewares, or suit you up with a farmhouse hoosier, something with rustic country charm, a Colonial or Federal or Victorian style piece, and all kinds of goodies of all types in between.
Our specialty is curation, so we try to offer you a beautiful space that’s well laid out for you to have maximum antique and vintage shopping pleasure — even if it’s only to browse down memory lane.
Meanwhile, our helpful desk staff are all locals and can give you great advice on the latest, hottest, most happening (or low-key) event that week or weekend along with where to eat and drink and do Staunton like a local.
Join the rest of the urban escapees from D.C. (there’s still plenty of room) and come find out what all the buzz is about, and why Staunton is your next best getaway destination. You’ll also enjoy plenty of other antique shopping nearby as you can see in my guide.
— Ellen Boden, Proprietress, Staunton Antiques Center
*For more insight into antiques shopping, download my FREE e-book guide to shopping antiques in our region: