Just because the days have become shorter and the nights colder is no reason to stay home. In fact, Staunton, Virginia and the surrounding area is as lovely and inviting in the winter months as it is in the "outdoor seasons."
One of the most delightful aspects of our small city is the ongoing schedule of plays at the American Shakespeare Center's (ASC) Blackfriars Playhouse, the world's only recreation of Shakespeare's original theater. Each week a plethora of exciting performances take place, with something different almost every night.
But a batch of excitement of a different nature issues from the ASC beginning January 9th, when the Actors' Renaissance Season begins. This season of performances is staged entirely by the ASC actors themselves, a true ensemble collaboration in the old theatrical style. It's really not to be missed, with five plays (one of which, The Taming of The Shrew, is Shakespeare) that run through the first week of April.
All around the Staunton area, through Augusta, Rockingham, Rockbridge, and nearby Albemarle and Highland Counties, glorious elements of nature conspire to offer delightful jaunts into woods and meadows, mountain trails and river beds, and all manner of natural beauty to encounter for the four-season outdoorsperson.
Properly bundled up, on sunny days we even see plenty of bicyclists taking to the back roads in search of a brisk ride with lovely farmstead views.
And the natural areas on George Washington National Forest provide ample opportunities for reflective walks and hikes.
A host of local winery and craft beer tasting rooms stay open throughout the winter season providing opportunities to sample the most recent (and older) vintages and whatever is currently on tap.
You can also find a comprehensive listing of local breweries as well as seasonal beer events on the Virginia tourism site. And certainly the three breweries in Staunton itself, as well as a wine tasting room, and two wine bars remain open year-round.
Since Staunton is such a walkable community, no matter how cold it is you don't have to go far to find a shopping spot to browse, a cozy corner in which to sip coffee or hot cocoa, a foodie eatery with local and farm fresh tastes of the season, and even an alternative movie house to see the latest films.
So when the winter blahs set in, or you're just getting itchy feet, think about the rural delights of the Shenandoah Valley and the big time culture of Staunton and head out for a winter getaway that will delight your senses and renew your soul!
— Joe and Evy (rhymes with heavy) Harman, Proprietors, Frederick House
Photo via What To Fix