Divinely placed among the adventure, Waynesboro enjoys close proximity to the Blue Ridge Mountains, Skyline Drive, Blue Ridge Parkway, and Appalachian Trail, making it ideal for a great mountain getaway. Add to that a picturesque river in a growing downtown and you’ve got the perfect base camp for exploration.
Fly fishing happens year-round in Waynesboro’s South River, where trophy sized rainbow and brown trout lure anglers to its spring-fed waters. You can also cast your line in neighboring mountain streams, where native brook trout thrive. Grab your gear or a guide at South River Fly Shop just two blocks from the river.
Waynesboro has hundreds of hikes out its back door. At Rockfish Gap, where the Blue Ridge Parkway begins, step onto the famous Appalachian Trail and follow it for as many miles as your heart (and legs) desire. If you prefer to stick to the Shenandoah Valley, try one of the trails near Sherando Lake Recreation Area. The Lower Lake has an easy footpath encircling its perimeter, with a larger network of trails spilling outward into George Washington National Forest.
Nothing showcases the splendor of the Shenandoah Valley like a scenic drive or bike ride. With Waynesboro as your base camp, you are within minutes of the Blue Ridge Parkway (America’s favorite scenic drive, with over 15 million visitors a year), the Skyline Drive (bisecting Shenandoah National Park), and Route 11 (historic byway that brought bison, Native Americans, and settlers to the valley). The Dooms Day Loop and the Waynesboro to Grottoes Loop are a couple of favorite bike excursions from town, or simply pedal along the bike lanes and Greenway trail within Waynesboro city limits.
Reenergize with a kombucha tasting at Blue Ridge Bucha’s tap room. This fermented tea is touted for its health benefits, and Blue Ridge Bucha’s organic, small batches are touted for their taste! You’ll want to grab one of their refillable bottles to take with you.
Stable Craft Brewing, located on a working horse farm, also has a tap room, on-site restaurant, and rustic on-farm lodging. It’s one of the 15 microbreweries on the Shenandoah Beerwerks Trail, all of which are within an easy hour’s drive of one another. Be sure to hit Waynesboro’s other nearby breweries: Seven Arrows Brewing, which provides a pub-like setting and enticing full menu that is adored by locals; and Basic City Beer Co., housed in a renovated brass foundry, which lends a neo-industrial flair to the beers it brews with artesian spring water. While you’re there, sample Hops Kitchen’s beer-infused dishes, such as the popular Chicken Satay or Brewery Crafted Nachos, voted by the Food Network as the best nachos in Virginia!
For breakfast or lunch, Farmhaus Coffee Co. serves up Blanchard’s Coffee alongside local goodies in a bright, airy space that doubles as an art gallery. Try the Avocado Toast, Yogurt Parfait, or a melt-in-your-mouth “Hausmade” pastry.
Explore the Arts
Waynesboro’s burgeoning art scene showcases contemporary, traditional, folk, performing, and street arts all in geographically close proximity. Check out the Vaudeville-era Wayne Theatre for everything from local to international musicians, art openings, original theater productions, and even film screenings. The Shenandoah Valley Art Center is your go-to for a variety of traditional and contemporary visual art, with galleries, studios, and a wonderful gift shop filled with goods handmade by local artisans. View the familiar folk-art of P. Buckley Moss at her Downtown Gallery, which houses the country’s most extensive collection of her work. Additionally, the Virginia Street Arts Festival has called Waynesboro home for five years, adding distinctive murals to the Wayne Theatre campus, Basic City Beer Co., and the historic Ice Plant building along the South River.
Rest and Rejuvinate
Whether your adventure calls for a room with a spectacular view, access to stellar amenities, or storybook surroundings, there’s a place for you to rest and soak up the ambience in Waynesboro. Complete your getaway with a relaxing stay at The Iris Inn, where you’ll find options ranging from traditional B&B rooms to private cottages and luxury cabins overlooking the Shenandoah Valley.