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-size 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 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 Shenandoah Valley farm, also has a tap room, along with an on-site restaurant and on-farm lodging. It’s one of the 15 microbreweries on the Shenandoah Beerwerks Trail, all within an hour’s drive. Be sure to hit Waynesboro’s other nearby breweries: Seven Arrows Brewing, providing a pub-like setting well loved 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, be sure to sample Hops Kitchen’s beer-infused dishes, such as the popular satay or Brewery Crafted Nachos, voted by the Food Network as the best nachos in the state!
For breakfast or lunch, Farmhaus Coffee Co. serves up Blanchards Coffee alongside local goodies in a bright, airy space that doubles as an art gallery. Try the Avocado Toast, Yogurt Parfait (made with local granola) or any of the melt-in-your-mouth “Hausmade” pastries.
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 gallery space, studio space and notable gift shop, while the P. Buckley Moss Gallery hosts the country’s most extensive collection of the artist’s familiar folk art. The Virginia Street Arts Festival completed its 4th year with the addition of murals on the Wayne Theatre campus.
Rest Your Head
Whether your tastes run from 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.