A Fall Weekend in Downtown Staunton

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Whether you’re coming into Staunton by way of the Blue Ridge Parkway, Skyline Drive, Interstate 81 or 64, or even the bucolic backroads from the west, downtown Staunton is a small town offering big cultural experiences. From the arts and food to the history and independent shops, most everyone finds something to love in the Queen City.

Get Comfortable

Center your downtown stay with overnight accommodations at Hotel 24 South or The Blackburn Inn.

Hotel 24 South is an historic 124-room hotel boasting old South charm. The lobby is a walk back in time, so take your time. Admire the preserved architecture, which was carefully restored in 2005. Note that the lobby chandeliers and sconces are original to the building.

The 1924 Wurlitzer Organ is located on the mezzanine and is still operational – the only one known to still be in working condition. The organ is original to the hotel.

The Blackburn Inn has its own history to share. Built between 1825 and 1828 as the Main Administration Building for the Western State Hospital. In 1981, the facility transitioned into a medium-security prison. In June 2018 and after much restoration and renovation, The Blackburn Inn opened its doors as an elegant boutique hotel. Original to the building are its spiral staircase, heart pine floors, archways, and fireplaces.

The 1837 gardens encompass four acres. They were planted for the healing of the Western State Hospital patients and are still present today, as are the 1871 fountains and the 1877 gazebo.


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Brand new to Staunton is the Virginia Scenic Railway. Trips began in August 2022 and have entertained many couples and families looking for a peaceful way to enjoy time together. The out-and-back trips go “across the mountain” to Crozet and south to Goshen. A meal and beverage is included.

Fall excursions are sold out; watch for info on Santa Trains!


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The American Shakespeare Center’s Blackfriars Playhouse is always an amazing experience. Never skip the chance to see a show in this most intimate performance venue. Depending on your getaway dates, you may catch The Tempest, Pericles, Une Tempête, a community concert, or Shakespeare Uncorked before one of those shows.

Save the Date: A Christmas Carol debuts December 1

American Shakespeare Center. Lindsey Walters.

American Shakespeare Center. Lindsey Walters.

When was the last time you visited a presidential library? If it’s been a while or if you’ve never visited one at all, try this one: The Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library and Museum. Our 28th president is perhaps best known for creating the League of Nations after World War I, an action that earned him the 1919 Nobel Peace Prize. It was under his watch that 19th Amendment was passed and ratified. That’s the one that gave women the right to vote. Wilson is the only United States President to have earned a PhD.

October 6 & 20: Twilight Tours: Mourning at The Manse

November 3 & 20: Twilight Tours: Military Through the Ages

December 1 & 15: Twilight Tours: Yuletide and Merriment

Meander through the “villages” of the Frontier Culture Museum to not only learn a bit about the history of Virginia’s settlers before they were settlers, but to also enjoy the amazing foliage inside the park.

Courtesy Frontier Culture Museum.

Courtesy Frontier Culture Museum.

It’s a treat to be greeted by interpreters in period clothing and doing things their fictitious characters would have been doing prior to their voyage to North America. You’ll learn about the Native Americans who were already present in the Shenandoah Valley, the Germans, Irish, and English who settled here, and the enslaved Africans who arrived here against their will.

October 30: Oktoberfest (previously scheduled for October 1 and postponed due to Hurricane Ian)

October 15: Archaeology Day

November 1: Tradition to Industry

Ready to start planning your fall getaway in downtown Staunton? Be our guest! Request a Staunton Travel Guide.

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