More than Mountains–Explore Our Arts and Culture

American Shakespeare Center’s Blackfriars Playhouse

American Shakespeare Center’s Blackfriars Playhouse

Wayne Theater

Wayne Theater

When you think of the Shenandoah Valley, the first thing that may come to mind is outdoor adventure — hiking to find the perfect scenic overlook or kayaking the beautiful Shenandoah River. 

 

While the area offers plenty of opportunities to make memories in the great outdoors, the Shenandoah Valley is also culturally rich, a home to artists and performers who are passionate about their craft. If you are planning to visit the region for a few days, and want to truly take it all in, read on and plan your trip around these not-to-miss gems.

Day 1:

The American Shakespeare Center’s Blackfriars Playhouse

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Start in Staunton. A quintessential historic Valley destination, Staunton is merely an hour and forty minute drive from Richmond and accessible by rail from Washington, DC. Boasting some of the Valley’s most notable restaurants and rated one of Southern Living’s “Best Mountain Towns”, it is also the home of the must-visit American Shakespeare Center’s Blackfriars Playhouse.

 

This indoor theatre hosts famous Shakespeare plays and many other classic performances. In fact, the Playhouse is the world’s only re-creation of Shakespeare’s indoor theatre, giving this place truly a remarkable historical feel. The theatre holds matinee and evening performances all-year-round, So, no matter when you decide to visit, you can soak in greats like Othello and Twelfth Night in a setting second only to Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London.

 

Post performance, keep the evening going by visiting one of Staunton’s amazing destinations for bites, beverages, and full-out gourmet dining experiences. Take in the complete list and sort by what you love over at visitstaunton.com/eat-drink

QUICK TIP

Looking for a place to stay in Staunton? The American Shakespeare Center partners with Blackburn Inn, Stonewall Jackson Hotel, and the Frederick House. If you’d like to make your home base closer to Waynesboro, check out the Iris Inn.

Day 2:

Staunton, Waynesboro & the Wayne Theatre

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Photo Courtesy: Nils Westergard Instagram @nilsrva

Wake up refreshed, grab a coffee and homemade pastry from Reunion Bakery & Espresso and take in Staunton’s Main Street, featuring over 100 independent shops and art galleries. Don’t miss Latitudes Fair Trade, 17 E Beverly Antiques or Sunspots Studios Glassblowing for curated and hard-to-find gifts. 

 

After taking in the sights of Staunton, hop in the car for a short 20-minute drive to Waynesboro. Home to the annual Virginia Street Arts Festival and a Shenandoah Valley street art destination, Waynesboro is a small town with an artist’s soul. 

 

Waynesboro is home to a collaboration of organizations and galleries that work together to promote the city’s art-centric scene. To get a feel for the local look, we recommend visiting the Shenandoah Valley Art Center, which hosts a range of exhibits year round and the P. Buckley Moss Gallery, which houses the most extensive collection of this local artist’s artwork.

Want to take to the streets? Look up for the murals peppered throughout the city. They’re hard not to miss! You can also stop by the Visitor Center’s at the corner of Arch and Main Streets to pick up a self-guided tour list of the beautiful local architecture (and the murals along the way)! 

 

QUICK TIP

While you’re exploring all that is art (and architecture), don’t forget to refuel at mouthwatering favorites like Stella, Bella, and Lucy’s or Benny Stivale’s, home of the “Virginia Slice,” where you can order a 28-inch pizza!

 

For the grand finale, finish out the day with a performance at the Wayne Theatre, a recently restored Vaudeville-era theater that now hosts everything from world-class performances to classic films. Fun fact, performers and directors have been conducting spectacular live entertainment here since 1926!

 

If you like our recommendations, but want to plan more while you’re in Staunton, Waynesboro, or the surrounding areas, we welcome you to explore these beautiful and culturally rich destinations online before your trip at VisitStaunton.com & VistWaynesboro.net

 

 

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