Hub-and-spoke from Staunton to enjoy the famed Blue Ridge Parkway.
As you make your way through the Shenandoah Valley, make your first stop at Barren Ridge Vineyards. Located on the outskirts of the beautiful town of Staunton – an art and culinary destination with small town charm. This converted apple orchard is now home to the state-of-the-art winery and tasting room. Imagine yourself on their sun-drenched patio with a glass of wine enjoying the breathtaking views after a tour and a tasting. If available on tap, be sure and try their sparkling white wine. And if you’ve packed a growler get it filled with this bubbly concoction—perfect for an evening toast back at your hotel!
Continue to Staunton’s historic downtown and take a stroll (or hop on the downtown trolley) and drop into one of the art galleries. Don’t miss the live glass blowing at Sunspots Studio. Dining in Staunton is an unforgettable experience totally unexpected in a small town. Zynodoa is new American cuisine at its best in an inviting urban-casual atmosphere. Emilio's offers great Italian dining with dark wood and white tablecloths. Choose one of Staunton’s romantic Bed & Breakfast inns for overnight or stay at the 1929 Stonewall Jackson Hotel.
Rise and shine for breakfast before heading out for a day along the Blue Ridge Mountains. Drive I-64 east and pick up the Blue Ridge Parkway at Exit 99. The Blue Ridge Parkway turns 80 years old in 2015 and remains one of America’s favorite scenic roads. Drive south, stopping where you wish for scenic overlooks and quick woodland hikes. Near Milepost 27 exit the Parkway and drive east on Rt. 56 to Crabtree Falls, the highest vertical-drop cascading waterfall east of the Mississippi River. This is one of Virginia’s most beautiful places and you can enjoy it with an invigorating hike along a well-used switchback trail to the top. People of all ages and abilities can find their way to one of the falls five major cascades.
If you make it to the top of the trail you will have worked up an appetite so resume your drive eastward on Rt. 26 and northward on Rt. 151 to Wintergreen for lunch at Devil’s Backbone Brewing Company. This brewery of fine beers and ales is as serious about food as it is its suds. When the weather is right you can eat on the outdoor terrace and enjoy one of their handcrafted beers made with locally grown hops.
Return to Staunton and unwind with a winetasting at Ox-Eye Vineyard’s Tasting Room. Have a farm to table meal downtown and then take in a classic play at the American Shakespeare Center where you can enjoy the best of the Bard at the Blackfriars Playhouse, the world’s only re-creation of Shakespeare’s indoor theatre. After the show cap off your visit to Staunton with refreshments on the roof at the Pompei Lounge.