Steeles Tavern Manor
Hike to Crabtree Falls on the Blue Ridge Parkway 16 Jul 2020, 5:19 pm
There are plenty of things worth doing when you visit us at Steeles Tavern Manor, not least of which is hiking up to Crabtree Falls. It’s located on the popular Blue Ridge Parkway, which is considered one of the most beautiful drives in the entire country. Along this drive, as well as in the Shenandoah National Park to the north, there are a number of beautiful waterfalls, hiking trails, and other opportunities for recreation that are worth experiencing this summer.
While Crabtree Falls is one of many cascading waterfalls on the Blue Ridge Parkway, it’s one of the most popular. It also happens to be very near our luxurious Bed and Breakfast. Whether you’re just traveling down the incredible Blue Ridge Parkway and taking in some of the best scenery in the country, or whether you’re looking for a relaxing getaway destination with fun things to do around it, our Bed and Breakfast is the perfect place to relax and unwind.
We offer 5 stately guest rooms in our luxurious Manor, as well as three more intimate and private cabins on our property, perfect for romantic getaways and extended vacations – not to mention social distancing. With 50 acres to roam and plenty of nearby attractions to enjoy, there’s no better place to relax and unwind this summer than our exceptional Bed and Breakfast in Virginia. Book your room today!
An Easy & Beautiful Hike to Crabtree Falls
Crabtree Falls is just 20 minutes from our Virginia Bed and Breakfast and is the highest vertical-drop cascading waterfall east of the Mississippi River. Altogether, there are five main (and several smaller) cascades that makeup Crabtree Falls, which cascade down for a total of 1,200 feet. The hiking trail to get to the falls is only about 2.5 miles roundtrip, but it is often considered a moderately strenuous trek thanks to its steep incline and rocky terrain.
Getting to Crabtree Falls from our Inn is pretty easy. It’s located at Milepost 27 on the Blue Ridge Parkway, or just east of us on Highway 56 E. The hike begins with a gentle descent down to the base of the towering 60-foot tall waterfall. The first overlook is just a few hundred down a paved and gentle trail that leads from the parking lot and is accessible for travelers of all ages and abilities.
From there, you can continue down the trail, where you’ll find 4 different overlooks, each offering a different view of this cascading beauty, along with these scenic stretches of the Tye River Valley. There’s a bridge that crosses in front of the waterfall for those picture-perfect views you’ve been looking for.
When you’re ready to head out, you can either return to the parking lot on this same trail, or you can extend your trip a little bit and take the loop trail, which climbs a ridge above the falls. The wildflowers here during the summer are absolutely spectacular so give yourself plenty of time to enjoy. Either way, the hike to Crabtree Falls is definitely worth the effort.
Other Great Waterfall Hikes Near Us
As we mentioned earlier, there are a number of beautiful waterfalls both on the Blue Ridge Parkway, and Shenandoah National Park to the north. Here are 5 great waterfalls, all within an hour or so of our Virginia Bed and Breakfast:
- Doyles River Falls & Jones Run Falls are located in Shenandoah National Park and are very near each other. In fact, trails at Doyles River Falls lead the way to Jones Run Falls, making it an easy 2-for-1 stop for the day. There are also great swimming holes at the base of some of the waterfalls here, which is a great way to cool off in the summer!
- White Rock Falls is accessed from the Slacks Overlook parking lot and is a short and easy hike to a pretty waterfall.
- Wigwam Falls is one of the smallest waterfalls in the area, but the area it’s in is interesting and worth exploring nonetheless. There are remnants of an old railroad in the area, and the trail is largely shaded, making it a wonderful place to stretch your legs and take in the scenery.
- Apple Orchard Falls is one of the most popular hiking trails in the Jefferson National Forest. Not only is the area beautiful, but the 200-foot waterfall is an impressive sight to behold.
- Falling Water Cascades, while just over an hour from our Inn, is absolutely worth seeing. It’s part of the Flat Top National Recreation Trail, and the 100-foot waterfall won’t disappoint, as it makes its way down and drops over large rock outcroppings.
The Best Bed and Breakfast in Virginia
One of the best things about staying at our Bed and Breakfast in Virginia is waking up the peaceful tranquility our 50-acre property affords, and enjoying a leisurely and delicious breakfast. After that, adventure is yours for the taking. With great attractions like Crabtree Falls, the Blue Ridge Parkway, and the Shenandoah National Park nearby, there’s certainly plenty to choose from!
At the end of the day, unwind in simple luxury at Steeles Tavern Manor, and let us take care of the details while you sit back, relax, and enjoy summer as it was meant to be. Book your room at our luxurious Bed and Breakfast in Virginia today!
Discover Blue Ridge Parkway’s First 106 Miles 25 Jun 2020, 4:51 pm
The Blue Ridge Parkway, nicknamed “American’s Favorite Drive,” is a stunningly beautiful road that stretches for 462 miles from Virginia to North Carolina. Millions of visitors travel through the Blue Ridge Parkway every year, exploring the rich history, cultural traditions, and stunning natural beauty of this area. As you travel along the parkway, you’ll discover some of the oldest mountains in the world, some truly breathtaking scenery, and some of the world’s most incredible biodiversity.
Nestled just minutes from the Blue Ridge Parkway is Steeles Tavern Manor, a luxury Bed and Breakfast offering a welcome respite for those traveling along and exploring the parkway. We’re situated between the popular towns of Lexington and Staunton, VA, and are located in the northern Ridge section of the Blue Ridge Parkway. Our historic Bed and Breakfast features 5 luxurious guest rooms as well as private cabins, both of which will help you feel right at home as you explore the area. No two visits here are the same. This summer, stay with us and explore the portion of the parkway nearest our Inn. Book your room with us today!
106 Miles of Breathtaking Beauty on the Blue Ridge Parkway
The Blue Ridge Parkway is broken up into four different districts, stretching north to south. Steeles Tavern Manor is located near the northernmost section, The Ridge. This summer is the perfect time to come explore this exceptionally beautiful part of the parkway, and our Bed and Breakfast serves as a great home base for the duration of your stay in the area. The Ridge stretches from the very start of the parkway in Afton, where Shenandoah National Park ends and continues through milepost 106.
The majority of the parkway in this area includes the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests, but there is plenty of rolling farmland to admire along this portion of the parkway, too. There are a number of wonderful communities to explore along this portion of the parkway, including Staunton and Lexington, which are each around 20 minutes on either side of our Inn. Within these 106 miles of the Blue Ridge Parkway, here are just a few of the things we recommend you do:
- Visit Natural Chimney Regional Park. It is home to rock formations of up to 120 feet, which stands in stark contrast to the pastoral terrain of the Shenandoah Valley below.
- Enjoy plenty of fishing opportunities in the area, including along the South River, Tye River, James River, Piney River, and Lake Nelson.
- Staunton‘s one-of-a-kind Blackfriars Playhouse is a must-see destination, as it is the world’s only re-creation of Shakespeare’s original indoor theatre. It’s currently open under their safe-start program.
- Visit one of the many incredible waterfalls in the area, including White Rock Falls, Crabtree Falls, considered the highest waterfall east of the Mississippi River, Wigwam Falls, Apple Orchard Falls, and Fallingwater Cascades.
- Visit Thomas Jefferson’s Poplar Forest, the personal retreat of the famed 3rd President of the United States, or his former home at Monticello.
- Visit Natural Bridge State Park, which is home to an impressive 215-foot tall Natural Bridge that was formed as Cedar Creek eroded through this limestone gorge.
- Visit one of the many apple orchards in the Nelson County area. There are more than 40 varieties of apples and peaches grown here, a harvest that is widely celebrated each fall.
- Towards the southern edge of The Ridge section of the Blue Ridge Parkway is the Peaks of Otter area. There are hiking trails in this beautiful area, and it’s well worth the visit.
- Visit one of the wineries or breweries in the area.
- Relax, unwind, and let us take care of you while you enjoy the peaceful tranquility of our property and Inn at Steeles Tavern Manor.
Where to Stay Along the Blue Ridge Parkway
When it comes to lodging on the Blue Ridge Parkway, there’s nowhere that will match the luxury accommodations and exceptional hospitality found at Steeles Tavern Manor. Our historic Inn, tucked into the beautiful foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, offers you a secluded and private getaway, and serves as the perfect base from which to explore this portion of the parkway. With nothing but 50 beautiful acres of land surrounding us, which includes a spring-fed pond, walking grounds, meandering creek, and an in-ground swimming pool, you’ll want for nothing during your time here.
We often say we’re “in the middle of it are,” and it’s true. From here, you can easily explore different stretches of the Blue Ridge Parkway, as well as Skyline Drive and Shenandoah National Park just to the north of us. There’s so much to do around our Bed and Breakfast that we can’t possibly capture it all in a single blog. We can offer you the chance to get away to our beautiful Inn, though, where you can see it and explore it for yourself. What are you waiting for? Book your room at our Shenandoah Valley Bed and Breakfast today!
#BnBPhotoChallenge20 10 Apr 2020, 10:07 am
I love contests and online challenges that rally a response. I found out that @bandbsaroundtheworld has a 30 day challenge for the month of April for bed and breakfasts. I missed yesterday’s that highlighted Inn Mascots (sorry Earl & Chubby) but I plan to join for the remainder of the month.
Today’s challenge is a Shareable Recipe. Here’s a simple one packed with protein and a bit of carbs to get you going for the day. Bonus: you can eat it with proper utensils (ie fork and knife), or pick it up and eat on the go!
Avocado Toast with Pizzaz
1 piece of bread (I also make fresh bread and toast it)
1 ripe avocado
Handful of tomatoes (I had grape tomatoes on hand)
1 egg (farm fresh or not)
Freshly cracked pepper
Place bread in toaster to your desired crispness. Or broil it in the oven for 2-3 minutes.
Take the avocado and roughly mash it up in a bowl. I prefer chunks of avocado in mine. Then add lime juice squeezed from half a lime.
Chop your tomatoes and drive a bit of olive oil on them, toss.
In separate skillet, prepare the egg the way you like it. In the picture, its fried, but you could do sunny side up, poached, or even scrambled. Your choice!
Place your toasted bread on a plate. Spread the desired amount of avocado on the toast. Sprinkle some sea salt and cracked pepper on the avocado. Place your egg on top and decoratively add your chopped tomatoes. Viola it’s done!
Sometimes I take the heat up a notch and add cayenne pepper to the eggs while they cook and then add slices of jalapeños.
Hope y’all enjoy it.
An Eggcellent Skillet 21 Mar 2020, 12:22 pm
With social distancing and self quarantining (is that a word?) becoming more of the norm these days, I’m experimenting in the kitchen. If you enjoy creating specialties in your kitchen too, post your successes on Steeles Tavern Manor’s Instagram (steeles_tavern) or Facebook page and let’s start talking about good food.
Here’s a recipe I originally found in a magazine in my dentist’s office (guess I was hungry) and since found it online by blogger Cathy Roma – What Should I Make For….
We call it STM Eggcellent Skillet
1 tsp unsalted butter
1Tbsp heavy cream
1 Tbsp parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 tsp fresh thyme, finely chopped
2 tsp chives, minced
Salt & pepper to taste
- Preheat over to 400 degrees, Heat a 6 1/2 inch cast iron skillet over high heat on the stove for 1 minute, then turn off burner.
- Add butter, swirl around skillet (this is fun to do!!)
- Crack 2 eggs into ramekins. Add to skillet
- Drizzle the heavy cream over the eggs. Sprinkle with parmesan, thyme, chives, salt & pepper.
- Bake for 3 minutes or until whites are no longer runny and yolks are set but not fully cooked through and serve immediately in the skillet.
- Cracking the eggs into a ramekin instead directly into the skillet prevents egg shells from getting into your eggs and decreases chances of a broken yolk
- Don’t skip the cream! It helps t set the white as they cook.
- You can add veggies, meats, or other herbs and cheeses. Just make sure you sauté your veggies and meats before adding to the skillet (otherwise some veggies will make the skillet too watery)
Adventures in the Shenandoah Valley 10 Mar 2020, 1:08 pm
Welcome to Steeles Tavern Manor nestled in the southern end of the Shenandoah Vally in western Virginia. We like to tell folks that we are “in the middle of it all”. Within a 30 minutes drive or less guests can enjoy historical sites, local artisan’s wares, vineyards, breweries, dining, shopping, hiking, rafting or tubing like the list below.
- Cryus McCormick Farm (5 minutes from us)
- Rockbridge Vineyard (6 minutes away from us)
- Wade’s Mill (8 minutes away from us)
- Brownsburg Museum (8 minutes away from us)
- Verdant Acres (7 minutes from us)
- Ridge Valley Alpacas (10 mites from us)
- The Quiltery (5 minutes from us)
- 3 Seasons Antiques (4 minutes from us)
- Crabtree Falls (15 minutes from us)
- St. Mary’s Wilderness (6 minutes from us)
- 12 Ridges Vineyard (15-20 minutes from us)
- Natural Bridge (30 minutes from us)
- rafting on the James River or Maury River
- Towns of Lexington and Staunton (20 minutes and 25 minutes from us)
- Virginia Military Institute (20 minutes from us)
- Washing & Lee University (20 minutes from us)
- Mary Baldwin University (25 minutes from us)
- The American Shakespeare Theater (25 minutes from us)
- Sunspots Glass Blowing (25 minutes from us)
- Pufferbellies Toy Store (25 minutes from us)
- Book Dragon book store (25 minutes fro us)
And these are just a few interesting stops in our area.
But maybe you’re looking to get away from all of that and just relax. You want to use this getaway as a time to sleep late and relax. We have 50 acres for just that. You can meander by Marl Creek, AKA Halfway Creek, fish in the pond where bass, blue gill and crappie live, walk the meadow with the cows, or take in breath taking views from the deck next to the pool, or on a swing by the pond. If you’re in a cabin at the top of the high meadow all you have to do is walk out the front door and sit on the deck while enjoying the view of the valley below and Elliot’s Knob in the distance.
Truly we’re in the middle of it all. In the middle between Baltimore and Knoxville, and Staunton and Lexington. Come see for yourself and choose how much to do…or not… while you are in the middle of it all.
Think Spring, Think Steeles Tavern Manor 21 Feb 2020, 7:14 am
It may not feel like spring time yet but I promise, it’s coming and with it, lots of Spring Adventures. Whether you want to hike, canoe down the Maury river, bike the trails, or test your endurance in a 5K or 50K, it’s all happening in our incredible part of the Shenandoah Valley.
Check out these races for the competitor in you.
Bel Monte Endurance Races – 25K, 50K, 50M March 14, 2020
Terrapin Mountain 50K March 21, 2020
Run of the Mill 5K April 18, 2020
Grand Caverns Signature 5K April 24. 2020
The Summer Extravaganza 5K and 10K July 11, 2020
Spring adventure research….done
Registration for said adventure…..done
New workout schedule………….. considered
Now it’s time to book your room or cabin where you can rest and recover in the beauty of the valley with a stream running by and pond close for duck watching or fishing.
Book directly and save yourself potential hassles and cash at www.steelestavern.com . Prefer a jacuzzi tub to ease your sore muscles? We have several rooms and cabins with them. Want an incredible walk in shower with rain head for that all over cascading water effect? We have a couple, it’s your call. And if the thought of soaking in a hot tub gazing at the pond or watching for deer in the trees sounds good…..book a cabin and make it happen. Post adventure massages are available too.
You pick the adventure and we’ll provide the fuel to begin your day and later the luxurious “best sheets ever” as you unwind in your room or cabin, or enjoy s’mores by the fire pit, or chill on the deck by the pool. You can even order a skillet brownie or chocolate chip cookie with the fixin’s delivered to you in the evening. You’ve played hard, now let us take care of you.
It’s what we do and we’re in the middle of it all.
Find The Best Cure for Cabin Fever in the Shenandoah Valley 29 Dec 2019, 3:49 pm
When the holidays are over, the tree is dismantled, the decorations put away, and the parties have ended, you may start getting a case of “cabin fever.” We have a sure remedy for the winter “blahs”! A romantic getaway to the Shenandoah Valley may be just what the doctor ordered to cure cabin fever.
During January and February we have special rates on our cabin stays. The cure for cabin fever will cost $30 less and one-night stays are an option Sunday nights through Thursday nights! Our Pond View Cabin is pet-friendly too so your canine family member can also be cured of cabin fever! Each of our three romantic cabins have a king size bed, fireplace, luxurious bathroom, and an inviting hot tub on your private deck.
As part of your Cabin Fever getaway, visit our neighboring towns to find fun activities and great tastes! In Staunton, VA, learn about and experience great restaurants in what has become a real “foodie” town. Historic Trinity Church, completed in 1857 in a Neo-Gothic style, is worth a self-guided tour anytime. The 12 Tiffany windows installed over a span of 40 years of the master glass artist’s life, are of special interest.
If you love classic and antique cars, another indoor experience will take you through the Bruce A. Elder Antique And Classic Automobiles museum. The museum is housed in the 1911 Beverly Garage Building – once known as “The Finest Garage in The South.” The display of antique and classic cars changes frequently. Professionally guided tours are available on Fridays and Saturdays at 10:30am, 1:30pm, 3:00pm, and 5:00pm. The cost for the tour is just $5 for adults.
The “HeART and Soil of the Shenandoah Valley Artisan Trail” is an art adventure in the Shenandoah Valley. While you’re in Staunton, VA, visit Jane Hicks Quilts and purchase a colorful quilt. Go over to the Appalachian Piecework shop – another studio specializing in textile arts. Visit the “Innkeepers Xtras, Craig Peterson” shop to see and buy some wonderful paintings done in a “rustic realism” style. Enjoy all that Staunton, VA has to offer as “one of America’s favorite mountain towns.”
In Lexington, VA, January and February bring exciting performances at Washington & Lee University. “Step Afrika!” will be on the stage on January 16th. Then the American Shakespeare center will perform “The Grapes of Wrath” on January 25th, 2020. A series of concerts follow the play with performances by Chanticleer, Jeremy Wilson, and the Marlbrook Chamber Players. A performance of “Drum TAO 2020” will “wow you” on Thursday February 6th, sponsored by the Class of ’64 Performing Arts Fund.
Be sure to visit one of the newest breweries in the Shenandoah Valley. Great Valley Farm Brewery provides “amazing views, fantastic brews” – even in the winter. Relax and taste their brews Wednesdays through Sundays. Try other brews included in the Shenandoah Beerwerks Trail while finding the cure for your cabin fever.
Find your cure for “cabin fever” here in one of our warm cabins in the Shenandoah Valley. Enjoy some special rates and good times during the winter months at Steeles Tavern Manor B&B.
Celebrate New Years Eve in the Shenandoah Valley in a Tranquil setting 13 Dec 2019, 11:32 am
What are your plans for New Years Eve? Come to the Shenandoah Valley to celebrate the new decade in a tranquil way. We have special packages to help you raise a toast and enjoy some good cheer to mark the New Year. This year, find a perfect alternative to the noisemakers and crowds that you may see on TV at Times Square or may have experienced at huge, noisy parties.
Check-in to Steeles Tavern Manor B&B and relax by the fire pit or take a stroll around the property, near the pond, or along the Marl Creek Trail. Enjoy a glass of wine, a mug of beer, or some warm cider early in the evening before heading out for a special dinner at some of the best restaurants in the Shenandoah Valley. Dana, one of the innkeepers at the B&B, can make dinner reservations for you at one of the restaurants listed here.
Enjoy a fabulous dinner at one of the most creative restaurants in Staunton. The town has become a “Mecca” for “foodies” and Zynodoa is a hot spot in this foodie town. On New Years Eve they will have a 4 course prix fixe menu with choices for $70.00 per person. Hours of operation on New Years Eve are 5pm-10:30pm. Be sure to make your reservation for this special dinner event!
Emilio’s Italian Restaurant is another dining option for New Years Eve in nearby Staunton, VA. Enjoy a wonderful Italian meal before ringing in the New Year. Reservations are required in order to find a table in one of the five elegantly designed dining rooms. Emilio’s serves authentic Italian and Sicilian cuisine in historic downtown Staunton.
If you want to travel south on US Rt 11, make a reservation at Southern Inn Restaurant in Lexington, VA. Relax with your special someone at this wonderful restaurant that offers locally sourced ingredients on their contemporary American menu or Italian classics. Compliment the meal with local wine and beer. Make a reservation to ensure a seat at the New Years Eve table!
The Red Hen Farm to Table Fine Dining Restaurant will also be offering their special meals on New Years Eve. This fine dining establishment offers “inspired Shenandoah cuisine” which of course means using locally produced ingredients. Because the restaurant is so intimate, they can be very creative. Because the location is in an historic building, your experience is very special. Reservations are a must for any meal but especially for this special night!
After you have enjoyed a wonderful dinner at any of these restaurants, return to Steeles Tavern Manor for a quiet transition into the new decade. Be sure to add a special touch for your celebration. A Charcuterie Board may be just what you need to sustain yourself while you make your list of goals for the New Year. If you add our Celebration package, you will be provided with a bottle of wine and a Simply Cheddar Cheese Ball, crackers, and a box of Godiva chocolates (4 pieces). Snuggle up and watch a movie or just enjoy the fireplace in your room. After a wonderful night’s rest in our luxurious sheets, start your day with a wonderful breakfast made for new beginnings.
Make your reservation for New Years Eve in the Shenandoah Valley. Enjoy your stay and add a special package to end 2019 and celebrate the new decade! Steeles Tavern Manor B&B will provide the perfect setting for your serene celebration.
Easy Christmas Cookie Recipes from Steeles Tavern Manor B&B 29 Nov 2019, 10:22 am
When the turkey has been eaten and the leftovers are finished, it’s time to start baking Christmas Cookies! I remember my Grandmother keeping lots of tins filled with cookies in her bedroom – probably because it was one of the coolest rooms in her house. The time between Thanksgiving and Christmas was special in our family so the good china was used to display and serve the many kinds of Christmas cookies she lovingly prepared. She would carefully place the different cookies on a tiered serving dish like the one pictured here.
Here are two easy recipes for Christmas cookies from my Grandmother to our guests at the B&B.
Toffee Cookie Bites
24 saltine crackers
1 c butter
1 c light brown sugar
12 oz milk chocolate chips
1/2 c chopped pecans, toasted
Cover a 9×13 pan with aluminum foil. Line with crackers. Microwave butter and brown sugar on high 3-4 minutes, stirring halfway and at the end, until sugar dissolves. Pour over crackers. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle with chocolate chips; spread until melted. Sprinkle pecans over the top. Cover and chill for 2 hours. Break apart.
These are so delicious and very easy to make! The salt in the crackers and the sweet of the sugar added to the chocolate make these irresistible! Serve at room temp or right out of the freezer or refrigerator!
If you are not a chocolate fan, try these shortbread favorites. They are easy to make, not too sweet, and have a wonderful texture.
My Scottish Grandmother’s Shortbread Cookies
1/2 c butter, softened
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
1 c self-rising flour
1 teaspoon of vanilla
Cream butter, add powdered sugar and beat at medium speed until light & fluffy. Add flour and vanilla. Roll out and cut into squares. Press fork tings into edges for decoration. Place on ungreased cookie sheets and bake at 300 degrees for 30 minutes.
One year we found all the cookie tins in her bedroom and we knew we’d hit the jackpot. These cookies are delicious and remind me of when we traveled “over the river and through the woods” to visit my Grandmother’s house in Pennsylvania.
You can enjoy some of these cookies here at Steeles Tavern Manor B&B in the Shenandoah Valley. Stay with us during the holiday season and enjoy all the holiday happenings in our area.
If you are looking for the perfect any-size-fits-all gift, purchase a gift certificate toward a stay at the B&B. You can choose the amount of the gift certificate and the recipient can enjoy all the amenities at Steeles Tavern Manor B&B and maybe a special package too depending on the amount you decide to give. Gift certificates are a great way to show your love and appreciation to all those people who mean the most to you. Think about giving a getaway gift certificate to your spouse or special someone – then YOU too can enjoy the special time away together.
The holidays include Christmas cookies and gifts. We at Steeles Tavern Manor B&B are happy to help you solve these two holiday challenges!
Holiday Happenings in the Shenandoah Valley VA 2019 25 Nov 2019, 7:34 pm
There are many holiday traditions in the Shenandoah Valley. Here are some of the holiday happenings to get us into the holiday spirit and, in some cases, help local children have a brighter Christmas.
On Saturday, December 7, 2019 you have the opportunity to visit a number of businesses in our neighborhood. The North Rockbridge Holiday Open House Trail will run from 10am to 5pm (at most businesses) and includes family-owned businesses in the northern part of our county. See and purchase gifts such as quilts, flour from an historic grist mill, local wines, antiques, local produce, and even your Christmas tree!
The Lexington, VA area has lots of traditions that go along with ringing in the holiday season. The Fourth Annual Festival of Trees will start on November 28, 2019 and continue until January 1, 2020. This wonderful collection of Christmas trees can be found at Natural Bridge State Park. Start at the visitor center at 6477 South Lee Highway, Natural Bridge, VA. Local businesses and organizations decorate the trees with various themes, colors, and some unusual “ornaments.” Visitors are asked to donate items by placing them under their favorite tree. The items needed are school supplies, gloves, hats, scarves, and socks to be given to students in the Rockbridge County Schools. Visit this wonderful display between the hours of 8:00am and 5:00pm each day.
Another very traditional service of music and stories happens at Washington and Lee University on Thursday, December 5, 2019 at 8:00pm. The Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols will be shared by the University Singers at Lee Chapel on the university campus. This candlelight service has been a tradition at W&L for over 80 years. Experience this peaceful evening of special music, the reading of lessons, prayers, and hymns.
After the quiet service on Thursday night, join the fun downtown on Friday, December 6, 2019 at 6:00pm for the Downtown Lexington Christmas Parade! The theme for this year’s parade is “Festive Friends Furry & Feathered.” All the parade floats and costumes will reflect the feathered or furry idea of Christmas. Main Street will be included in the route of the parade and will light up with decorated floats and fire trucks! Expect to see some furry friends marching along with scout troops, church groups, politicians, and local business owners and employees.
Everyone knows that it isn’t Christmas without “The Nutcracker!” Lexington, VA has its own performance of this traditional and well-known and loved ballet. The Shenandoah Ballet will perform their 10th season of this classic story of Clara and her nutcracker-turned-prince. The performance will be held at Lenfest Center for the Arts, 100 Glasgow Street and is scheduled on December 13 at 7pm, December 14 at 2pm and 7pm, and December 15 at 3pm.
There are also fun holiday happening in Staunton, VA. The traditional Christmas parade steps out on Monday, December 7 at 7pm. The theme for Staunton’s kick-off for the holidays is “Small City, Bright Lights, BIG Christmas!” Country music stars Wilson Fairchild will lead the parade and of course Santa and Mrs. Claus will be on the final float in the parade.
Holiday Lantern Tours are available at several sites in the Staunton area. At the Frontier Culture Museum, experience history as you are guided through the Museum by lantern light. You will witness some vignettes from Ireland, England, Germany, and early times in America. These tours will be available December 13-15 and 20-23 from 5:30pm to 8:30pm. The cost is $15 for adults and $8 for children.
Bring a flashlight and a friend and join a Lantern Tour of the Woodrow Wilson Manse at night. You will learn some of the holiday traditions of the time and enjoy some light refreshments characteristic of the time. The event is family-friendly and will be held on December 7 and 27, 2019 at 7:15pm.
Plan your stay at Steeles Tavern Manor B&B for all these traditions of the season! We will provide some fantastic Christmas cookies – a tradition in our families – and a luxurious place to rest between all these activities. Make your reservation now.