Discovering Waynesboro: A Day’s Journey Through Virginia’s Scenic Splendor

Visiting Waynesboro: Unveiling a Hidden Gem in the Heart of the Shenandoah Valley

Nestled in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley, Waynesboro, Virginia, is a well-kept secret blending natural beauty and vibrant community life. Located at the southern end of the Shenandoah National Park and with many quaint shops and funky reimagined industrial spaces, visiting Waynesboro is a must on your trip to the Blue Ridge Mountains, and less than 30 minutes away from our Shenandoah Valley lodging.

Waynesboro’s history is rich and well-preserved, and you’ll find evidence of its past in various forms throughout the city. Located to the west of Rockfish Gap, the area that became Waynesboro is on a natural route over the Blue Ridge Mountains between Virginia’s Piedmont and the Shenandoah Valley. For centuries the Monacan people traversed this route for hunting and trading. The colonists followed the same alignment for the Three Chopt (Notch’d) Road, named for the three slashes which marked the path. For history buffs, the Plumb House Museum is a well-maintained 19th-century historic home that offers visitors a glimpse into the region’s more recent history. The Waynesboro Heritage Museum provides even more insight into the area’s historical significance and the people who have shaped its story.

a couple of kids watching a live band performance

Waynesboro's Green Haven: Parks and Recreation at Their Best

Waynesboro boasts an impressive parks system, funded partially by a settlement with the Dupont company whose industrial space stands on the edge of town in contrast to the surrounding nature. The result has been world class parks and recreation spaces like Ridgeview Park, where you can enjoy picnics, fish, play sports, or take a leisurely stroll along the South River. The playground there is amazing!  

The South River Greenway follows the River and takes you through the city’s history with interpretive signs and lovely views of the river and Blue Ridge Mountains. It is an inviting trail for biking, walking, and running punctuated by murals and parks. Sunset Park is an exciting new park opening soon. Waynesboro hopes to softly open the park by the end of this year with a restroom, picnic shelter and two overlooks already constructed. Part of the plan is 4 miles of single track shared use trails for biking, walking and running. Exploring the outdoors in Waynesboro is a fantastic way to connect with nature and experience the breathtaking beauty of the Shenandoah Valley that is accessible to people of all ages and ability.

Historic Charm and Modern Tunes: The Wayne Theatre and Foundry Music Hall

Waynesboro has a thriving arts and culture scene, showcasing the community’s creativity and talent. The Wayne Theatre is a beautifully restored historic venue that hosts a wide range of performances, from live music and theater to films. Local art galleries like the Shenandoah Valley Art Center provide a platform for regional artists to exhibit their work, giving visitors a glimpse into the creative soul of Waynesboro. Throughout the year, the city hosts various festivals, craft fairs, and music events that display its vibrant arts and culture scene. New to the arts and culture scene is the Foundry music hall in the Virginia Metalcrafters Marketplace. The reimagined defunct warehouse has been revamped as a new concert hot spot. 

The Metalcrafters has been long home to the Basic City Beer Company, but with the Foundry and other food businesses, there is a strong culinary scene emerging with a strong focus on fresh, locally-sourced ingredients that highlight the best of Virginia’s flavor.  Recently opened Patina serves mouth-watering Italian inspired cuisine with fresh ingredients. Commonwealth Crush is a cooperative for small Virginia grape growers which helps with all aspects of wine production. The tasting room has a selection of wines from the Common Wealth Crush label along with some non-alcoholic beverages and light fare.   

beautiful mural of a face with a yellow flower on a wall

Savoring Local Flavors: Culinary Delights in Downtown Waynesboro

If you are looking for more down home food, Waynesboro has that too. The River Burger Bar in downtown not only has amazing burgers, but also delicious salads, appetizers and a great selection of local beers. Heritage on Main, Stella, Bella & Lucy’s and the Green Leaf Grill are all popular local spots. A staff favorite spot for grabbing dinner before heading up to Love Ridge is the Fishin’ Pig. Their tasty barbeque and variety of sauces makes for a quick and tasty meal to bring for dinner in your cabin or for an impromptu outdoor picnic. 

A trip to Waynesboro wouldn’t be complete without at least checking out the eclectic shops on Main Street. The Rusticae boutique is a great place to browse for both new and vintage clothing. You can also stop in at the South River Fly Shop to talk to their guides about booking a fishing trip or to pick up some tackle for your own trip to Sherando Lake or the South River. For more ideas and information, stop by the Waynesboro Visitor Center where the knowledgeable and friendly staff can equip you with all you want to know about local attractions and events or visit the Waynesboro tourism website to look at some other shopping options.

When you visit our VA cabins and need a dose of town life, a trip to Waynesboro will not disappoint. With many parks, natural beauty, culture, and culinary delights this gem in the Shenandoah Valley invites travelers to explore its many facets.

Book your stay now and enjoy the wonders that Waynesboro offers.