Steeles Tavern Manor Bed & Breakfast

8400 North Lee Hwy, Steeles Tavern, Virginia 24476
Innkeeper(s): Melissa & Ray Alexander

Fall – Hiking and Apple Picking in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia 18 Sep 2014, 1:40 pm

What a wonderful time to be outdoors and take a walk or hike.  Strolling on the trails in the warm, crisp air with the leaves starting to show their colors. Gorgeous! We have some great hiking spots close to us.  Just check them out on the map.

On your way to your hike, Stop in at Gertie’s Country Store and grab a picnic lunch. It will be great to enjoy a lunch at the top of Crabtree Falls or at Yankee Ridge..

Another Fall favorite is apples.  Silver Creek & Seaman’s Orchard is located in the Blue Ridge close to us and the hiking trails.  They have pick your own apples as well as apples picked that are available for purchase from September through November.

Grab a jacket, pack your hiking boots, and visit us this Fall.
See you soon!
Ray, Melissa, and Bacchus

AUGUST is CRAFT BEER MONTH in VIRGINIA 8 Aug 2014, 4:04 pm

In the month of August, Virginia is For Lovers BEER!

Did you know…….

Locally sourced beer in Virginia is a tradition that began in 1587 when Virginia colonists brewed their first ale using corn?   And the production of craft beer stimulates economic growth in Virginia by supporting local farmers of grains, barley, and hops?

Therefore Governor Terry McAuliffe has issued a certificate of recognition to proclaim AUGUST as Craft Brewers Month as an opportunity to celebrate the Commonwealth’s craft beer and the business and community leaders working to grow the industry!

It’s time to support and drink the local brews.  And we are lucky to have the best ones nearby.

LEXINGTON VA:  Devils Backbone Brewery and Blue Lab Brewing Company.

Devils Backbone location on Route 11 in Lexington is where the beer is created! Open every day at 1pm, you can buy pints of beer and sit inside or outside on their patio. Grab a lunch and bring it with you to enjoy while sipping the brew! Brewery tours are available on Saturday and Sundays. You’ll be guided through the brewing process in their working brewery.

Blue Lab, located in downtown Lexington, is open Wednesday through Saturday. What’s on tap in August: Summer Blonde Ale, Hefeweizen, Pale Ale, I.P.A, and Irish Red to name a few. Sit and enjoy a glass of beer. Or if you can’t stay then grab a growler to go. The beer is great!

Do you want to enjoy a day of beer tasting? Then go over on Route 151 and follow the Brew Trail. About a 30 minute drive from our location but a very scenic one.  To get there….Follow Route 56 to the Blue Ridge Parkway heading north and then off the first “exit” to Wintergreen on Rt 664. In 10 minutes you will be at Devils Backbone – Main Camp.  You can also visit Wild Wolf Brewery and Blue Mountain Brewery.

Here are some August BEER Events:

August 9  -  Summer Blues & Brew Festival @ Frontier Culture Center, Staunton

August 13 -  Annual Hop Festival @ Blue Mountain Brewery, Afton

August 23 -  Virginia Craft Brewers Fest @ Devils Backbone Brewery, Wintergreen

September 6 – Rockbridge Beer & Wine Festival @ Virginia Horse Center, Lexington


“Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.” — Benjamin Franklin

And, as always, we will be serving the local microbrews (as well as local wines) at our 5:30 Social Hour!

So come and enjoy!

Ray, Melissa, and Bacchus

What to do outdoors in the Shenandoah Valley this summer: Hiking, Scenic Drives, Drive In Movie, or simply relax? 13 Jul 2014, 2:05 pm

Visiting us this Summer?  Well, you are in luck because this area is filled with fun filled things to do.


Are you the outdoors type? Take in nature and hike Crabtree Falls.  Located on Route 56 only 13 miles from us, the 1.7 mile intermediate hiking trail leads you up along the falls with several overlook areas where the first overlook is just a few hundred feet from the parking lot.  Need more adventure? Then Spy Rock is your thing.  A strenueous hike where the last part of the hike is rock climbing.  When you reach the top, the view is spectacular. The trail head is located off Route 56 in Montebello which is between our location and Crabtree Falls.

Or take a hike on the Appalachian Trail. You can find it 4 miles from Crabtree Falls on Route 56. Park in the dirt lot on the right side of the road then cross Rt 56 to find the AT trail.  You’ll come across this gorgeous suspension bridge in less than ¼ mile.


Jump on the Blue Ridge Parkway off Route 56 (6 miles from us) at milepost 27.  Head south to Lexington (20 miles) which is the next exit point for the Parkway.  Along the way, stop off at the scenic overlooks. A nice picnic spot at mile post 34 is Yankee Horse Ridge complete with a picnic table and small waterfall.  The windy ride up the Blue Ridge on Route 56 to the Parkway entrance is also a scenic ride.

Goshen Pass (off Route 39) near Lexington. It is a very scenic drive along the Maury River between 2 mountains where you can’t stop saying “WOW” to all the gorgeous rock formations.


Outdoor movies isn’t just a thing of the past.  Hull’s Drive In is located 10 minutes on Route 11 towards Lexington.   In 2012, Hull’s upgraded their projection system to digital which now allows them to show first run movies! And they are dog friendly for guests staying with their furry kids in the Pond View Cottage.


You can soak in the rays and relax by the Steeles Tavern Manor  pool.  Whether you are staying in the Bed & Breakfast or the Cottages, come enjoy the pool!  Take a walk on the grounds and make your way to the stream. Then continue across the bridge on the woodsy trail for about ¼ mile.  Adirondack chairs and benches are on the property in front of the pond and by the stream.  Relax, read a book  and enjoy the day!

Stay in our Pond View Cottage and enjoy fishing in our stocked pond. Bass, Catfish, Trout, and Crappie are swimming around. It is catch and release so all guests can enjoy the catch!

Guests relaxing on the front porches of the Ivy & Sunset Cottage will enjoy the scenic mountain and valley views and even catch a few sunsets.

If you already have your reservation made for a planned visit here at Alpine Hideaway Cottages or Steeles Tavern Manor then now you have decisions to make on what to do! If you haven’t made your plans yet, then you better hurry.  Summer ends soon!

Ray, Melissa & Bacchus



Steeles Tavern Manor and Alpine Hideaway Cottages proudly approved as a Virginia Green Lodging facility! 22 Apr 2014, 12:57 pm

Today is Earth Day!

But now every day is earth day at Steeles Tavern Manor Bed & Breakfast and Alpine Hideaway Cottages.  We recently received our Green Certification from Virginia to be classified as a Virginia Green Lodging facility.

Here in Steeles Tavern we are committed to use environmentally friendly cleaning, laundry, and bath products.

We use locally grown products in the foods we serve both at breakfast and social hour and include local products in our Celebration Package.  We also plant our own herbs and vegetables during the summer season and use them in our breakfast entrees.

We added recycling bins for the guests to recycle bottles and cans. And we ask guests to conserve as well by reusing towels and bed linens during their stay.

And, finally, we utilize a wood burning furnace during the winter months to provide heat to the first floor and to heat the water in the Manor House.

We are proud to be in the VIRGINIA GREEN LODGING program!

Come visit our “green” lodging facilities!

Ray and Melissa, Innkeepers

BARKING DOG – STAUNTON VA..….. What is everyone yelping about? 3 Apr 2014, 8:46 am

A super great wine bar called The Barking Dog, has opened in the heart of downtown Staunton last year. It is a wonderful place to sit, relax, chat, and have a glass of wine or purchase a bottle. Prefer beer? No worries. The Barking Dog has 50 craft beers available. Whether you are walking the streets of Staunton or need a place to stop in prior to dinner or waiting for your Shakespeare Theater show to start, this is a perfect place to chill out.

With your favorite beverage, you can order a wonderful cheese plate or delicious gourmet grilled cheese sandwich. Ray and I tried the Double Cheddar Tomato Jam sandwich on sourdough. It brings you back to your childhood days eating a grilled cheese with tomato soup. And all sandwiches are served with Route 11 chips! We also shared one of the cheese plates (check out the picture!) with our friends, Walt and Jeannie, over a few bottles of wine, of course.

Its name….The Barking Dog. How did owner John Reese name his establishment? He named it after his 3 daschunds: Charlie, Franklin and Oscar. But soon The Barking Dog will be renamed to ….The Yelping Dog. Reason? It’s one of those legal things. But who cares about the name! It’s the same wonderful place, same owners, but new name.

John also offers wine tastings monthly either during a Saturday afternoon or a weekday evening. Ray and I attended his last one. Adam Breske from Siema Wines poured 6 wines. The cost….a small donation ($5) is collected for the local SPCA. How appropriate! It is a great way to taste different wines.

Visit us, visit Staunton and visit the Barking (Yelping) Dog!
Hours: Tue-Thur 11am – 9pm, Fri-Sat 11am-10pm, Sun 12pm-6pm. Closed Mondays.
Ray and Melissa

WELCOME BACCHUS! 30 Mar 2014, 11:54 am

Our new fur baby has finally arrived on Friday night from Monroe, Louisiana.  Bacchus, black lab mix, was adopted from Bonnie Blue Rescue.  He was named Bacchus after one of the New Orleans Krewes.  I didn’t know what a Krewe was myself so I did some research.

A krewe is any group of revelers to band together to host a Mardi Gras ball, ride on a Mardi Gras parade float, and participate in social events throughout the year.  Krewe float riders toss throws to the crowds; the most common throws are strings of colorful plastic beads, doubloons (aluminum or wooden dollar-sized coins usually impressed with a krewe logo), decorated plastic throw cups, and small inexpensive toys.

BACCHUS is considered to be one of the “Super Krewes” of the Carnival due to its invitation to celebrities. Founded in 1968 by a handful of New Orleans business leaders, the Krewe of Bacchus debuted in 1969, its aim to bring national attention to Mardi Gras with gigantic floats and a Hollywood celebrity. Its King is always a well-known personality…Danny Kaye being the first King and Bob Hope being another. A progressive, daring and bold Krewe, Bacchus has often been known to break with tradition during the Carnival in order to create excitement among the crowd.  We hope that our Bacchus’s behavior doesn’t follow these traits!  Bacchus has 2 siblings also named after a Krewe: Rex & Iris.

Bacchus, in Greek Mythology, was the God of Wine.  He showed people how to cultivate grapevines and make wine. What an appropriate name for our Inn Dog!

He had his first encounter this morning with snow and loved every bit of it.


Come visit us and meet Bacchus.  Be prepared to receive a lot of kisses!


See you soon!

Melissa and Ray

THREE 23 Mar 2014, 2:57 pm


YES………..3 vineyards + 3 grape varietals = THREE

Each year King Family Vineyards and Veritas Winery along with a third winery get together to create their “THREE” wine. This year Grace Estate Winery become the third partner.  THREE is a winemaking collaboration between the 3 wineries. Using 3 different grape varieties from three different vineyards the winemakers craft one unique blended wine.

This year, THREE is a red blend of Merlot, Petit Verdot, and Cabernet Franc. Sticking to their “rule of three”, the blend was made from three separate tasting trials in order to ensure the proper blend of fruit and oak.  The result is a well-balanced wine with rich notes of dark cherry and blueberry and has great aging potential.

THREE was released last Friday. The wine can be purchased at the 3 wineries for $33.33 a bottle. Well worth the price!  We bought 2 bottles ourselves. In fact we buy a bottle every year.

All 3 wineries are located in the Crozet area. If you are in the area, you definitely need to visit these wineries.


Ray and Melissa

“THE SHACK” – NEW EATERY IN STAUNTON 21 Mar 2014, 9:44 am


Staunton’s newest restaurant called The Shack opened in January, Owner/Chef Ian Boden is well-known chef in the area. He owned the former Staunton Grocery restaurant and then moved to Charlottesville to The Glass Haus Kitchen restaurant and now he is back in the area. The Staunton Grocery closed prior to us moving to Virginia but locals raved about his food especially the burgers. The Shack is an appropriate name for this restaurant because it is literally in a small red brick building that has 7 tables inside, seating 26 people. On Wednesday and Thursday nights the Shack serves only burgers with a choice side and also some “starters”.  They always have the beef and lamb burger on the menu with 2 – 3 other choice burgers for $12-$15.  Then Friday and Saturday nights, the Shack offers a pre-fixed 3 course or 4 course menu for $45 & $55. They do not take reservations due to their small size so it is first come, first serve. The tables seat 4 so you may be asked to sit with another couple. They hand write menus daily and post it on their Facebook page. It depends on local producers and farmers bounty to decide the menu. And they just started to offer wine & beer.

This past Wednesday, Ray and I tried the burgers. Ray got the beef burger and I ordered the lamb (my favorite).  The beef is from Buffalo Creek Farm (Lexington) where we buy our bacon and steaks for the cottage’s grill package. The burgers were out of this world delicious! Simply amazing! We both got the homemade French Fries as sides. I usually don’t eat fries but when I saw them on a plate of food it made my mouth water. They were so good!! We can’t wait to go back again. If you are visiting us you must try The Shack.


105 South Coalter Street

Staunton, VA 24401

(540) 490-1961

Hours: 5pm – 9pm

See you soon!

Melissa and Ray


The Governor’s Cup is a prestigious competition held each year and judged by well known wine critics in the country. Bringing home the gold medal from the Governor’s Cup is a sought after achievement for any Virginia winery.  Two local winery did just that. Not only did Barren Ridge and Rockbridge Vineyards get awarded the gold for their Meritages, they both were chosen to be two of 12 wines placed in the governor’s case and promoted by the governor throughout 2014.

Meritage is our favorite red wine (besides Zinfandel).  For those of you who are not familiar with Meritage wine, it is a red blend referred to as a Bordeaux-style blend. This means that it must have at least three Bordeaux grape varietals, none of which can be more than 90% of the blend.  Varietals include Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Petit Verdot, and Malbec.


Rockbridge is a hop, skip, and a jump from our property. Shep and Jane Rouse, owners, have won numerous medals over the years including Best in Show in the Atlantic Seaboard Wine Competition, Best in Show in Town Point Competition and twice winner of the Virginia Governor’s Cup.  They have won a third medal in the Cup this year for their 2008 Meritage. Rockbridge’s Meritage is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Petit Verdot, and Malbec.


Barren Ridge is located just north of Staunton. Owners John and Shelby Higgs have a wonderful tasting room that sits high overlooking the vineyards which was once John’s family apple orchard. First time winners of the gold medal this year for their 2009 Meritage, Barren Ridge’s 2009 Meritage is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, and Petit Verdot. “Virginia can make world-class wine. We’re inferior to no one.”  – Barren Ridge Owner John Higgs

We have both Meritage wines in our personal wine cellar!  They are fabulous wines and we are lucky to have both wineries close to us. So you can be lucky to taste the gold medal winners when you visit us. Rockbridge, 2 miles from us, is open 7 days a week and offer complimentary tastings.  Barren Ridge charges a tasting fee but we have complimentary tasting cards for our guests to enjoy their wine tasting.  Trust us….You definitely want to visit both wineries and you won’t come out empty handed!

See you soon!

Melissa and Ray



TAKE AN ADVENTURE!  Want to do something fun? Who doesn’t!  Whether you enjoy shopping or being outdoors you should try our Adventure Package.

We start you off with a Steeles Tavern Manor / Alpine Hideaway Cottage insulated tote bag.  Inside the bag are 2 water containers, 2 bottles of water, 2 trail mix bars, lunch for 2 voucher at Gerties Country Store, and the “Adventure Ticket”.  The ticket provides you with a list of local places to visit.  A map of these locations is printed on the back of the ticket.

Here is how the adventure works:   (1) visit at least 3 places on the list, (2) take a picture of yourselves having fun visiting these places, and (3) send us the pictures as “proof” that you had fun on your adventure.   Even more…….As our introductory offer for trying the package, we will reimburse you $10 (consider it gas money!).   So take the adventure and see what our local area has to offer.


  1.  Rockbridge Vineyard – Tasting room located in their red barn is cozy place to stop by for a visit and try some award winning Rockbridge wines.  Tasting is complimentary.
  2. Wade’s Mill – A historic working grist mill that offers stone ground flours, and various grain mixes such as pancakes, waffles and grits. You can purchase Jim and Georgie’s products as well as great kitchenware items in their gift shop.
  3. Orchardside Yarn Shop and Berry Farm – A neat place to shop for yarns. Carol will help with suggestions and even get you started on your project.  When blackberries are in season, you can “pick your own” berries from their blackberry patch. We use the berries in our fruit dishes!
  4. McCormick’s Farm – Home of Cyrus McCormick, inventor of the grain reaper. Beautiful grounds, small museum, grist mill, and nature trail. Also a nice spot to eat your Gertie’s lunch.
  5. Peddlers Palace Estate Shop – Located just across the road from the Bed & Breakfast, Jeff has wonderful antique finds!
  6. Gertie’s Country Store – Gertie will fix you one of her specialty sandwiches. Just use the lunch voucher included in the adventure package. Have lunch inside to experience this local atmosphere or get your lunch to go and have a picnic stop at McCormick Farm or Rockbridge Vineyards.
  7. Blue Ridge Parkway – Take a drive on the top of the Blue Ridge Mountains and feel that you are close to Heaven! Take in the great views or go on a hike in the many trails the Blue Ridge offers (feeling adventurous yet?). The parkway entrance is located off Route 56 – about 6 miles from Steeles Tavern Manor.
  8. Crabtree Falls – The highest cascading water fall this side of the Mississippi River. Hike up the side of the falls (1.9 mile hike to the top). Gorgeous views as you climb. Also located off Route 56, about 7 miles past the Blue Ridge Parkway entrance.
  9. Miss-Ellaneous Country Store Accents – Quaint shop with wonderful country home décor items. It’s the type of store to browse and find unique things and great gifts.
  10. 3 Seasons Antiques & Unique Treasures – It’s all in the name – open 3 seasons (closed in the winter months), stocked with antiques and unique treasures located in the quaint village of Fairfield! Melinda will greet you at the door and help you find that special something.
  11. The Quiltery – The crafty, needlework person will love this shop.  Or just stop by and browse Maureen’s collection of quilts.




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