Friday, November 16, 2012

Thanksgiving 2012 in and around Staunton, Virginia

Thanksgiving in Virginia offers a variety of opportunities to celebrate and give thanks around the Commonwealth. For those planning to spend Thanksgiving in the central Shenandoah Valley, the scenic beauty of the Blue Ridge and Appalachian mountains add to the special holiday experience. While in the area, be sure to tune the radio to 93.1 FM if you want to hear continuous Christmas music to brighten your day and put a pep in your step.

The highlight of Turkey Day is the Thanksgiving feast. Here is a list of some local restaurants in and around Staunton that will offer traditional and not-so traditional menu selections that are detailed on their websites along with serving times and price.

The Stonewall Jackson Hotel and Conference Center in historic downtown Staunton will be serving a classic Grand Buffet featuring traditional dishes as well as some with a new twist in this beautifully renovated landmark.

Kathy's Restaurant on Greenville Avenue will serve a traditional Thanksgiving dinner buffet from 11-3:30. Cost is $14.95 for adults, $4 extra to add the oysters, and children 8 and under are half price.

Rowe's Restaurant, known by many for country cooking and their famous pies, will be open on Thanksgiving Day from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m. They will serve breakfast from 8-10:45, and menu items including pork chops, steaks, and more will be available from 10:45-3:00.

Cracker Barrel restaurants in Staunton and Waynesboro have a budget-friendly Thanksgiving meal that will be served beginning at 11:00 a.m. for $8.99/adults and $4.69/children.

The historic Buckhorn Inn located about 15 minutes west of Staunton on Rt. 250 will serve Thanksgiving dinner from 11-4 pm but reservations are required. This B&B located in the rolling countryside of Augusta County has been serving diners and overnight guests since 1811.

An hour west of Staunton is the beautiful Homestead Resort, a classic retreat for over 200 years in the Allegheny Mountains town of Hot Springs. Stately yet warm and inviting, the Homestead offers a Thanksgiving buffet in the Grand Ballroom as well as brunch in the Grand Ballroom. The beauty of Thanksgiving at the Homestead is the opportunity to enjoy the extensive Christmas decor that is in place through New Year's including the Grand Hall's towering live Christmas tree.

A number of popular local restaurants will not be open on Thanksgiving Day ... Mockingbird, Depot Grille, Mill Street Grill ... so it's best to call ahead.

If in Staunton for the long Thanksgiving weekend, you may want to take in some of the other activities that will kick off the holiday season.

"Black Friday" offers the opportunity to check out the local stores and shops of downtown Staunton and the surrounding vicinity. From unique gift items, jewelry, clothing, handmade chocolates, and domestic goods in Staunton to the shopping availabilities of Waynesboro's Target, Books-a-Million, and Kohl's, there's plenty to keep everyone happy.

The U.S. Capitol Christmas tree will make a stop in Staunton the day after Thanksgiving on Friday, November 23, where it will be on display from 2-4:00 p.m. during its journey from Colorado to Washington, D.C. (track its route here). Look for the truck hauling it which will be parked on North Augusta Street near BB&T Bank and across from Luigi’s, and join Santa and one of his elves for hot chocolate and fun.

Green Valley Book Fair will open Friday, November 23, for its last two-week run of 2012. Open daily from 9 a.m. until 7 p.m., this Mt. Crawford book retailer is known far and wide for its deeply discounted deals on books, audio tapes, and more. It's a great spot to pick up gifts for everyone from children to grandparents.

The Frontier Culture Museum's gift shop offers imported items from Ireland, Scotland, and Great Britain as well as America -- nutcrackers, Christmas ornaments, glassware, historical and cook books, and other just-right gift items for that special person. Don't forget the Museum's famous fudge that comes in a variety of flavors, is priced right, and is always a favorite with visitors.

Staunton's world-known American Shakespeare Theater will feature The Lion in Winter, Two Gentlemen of Verona, and King John in the authentically recreated Blackfriars Playhouse as well as tours of the theater. The playhouse can be found on Market Street beside the Stonewall Jackson Hotel.

Ox-Eye Vineyard's tasting room is located in an historic, renovated 1910 building in the Wharf area of downtown Staunton which offers an inviting location to taste locally-grown wines from an Augusta County vineyard owned by the Kiers family.

The Staunton Christmas Parade will add a magical touch on Monday, November 26 (always the first Monday after Thanksgiving), with its "Tinseltown Christmas" theme. The route will begin at Frederick and Augusta Streets, turn down Market Street, and then turn right onto Beverley Street. Thousands of tiny white twinkly lights, Christmas decorations, and inviting window displays will entice visitors to step into shops and dine in restaurants before and after the parade. A steaming cup of hot chocolate is a local tradition to warm up afterward, and meeting friends downtown is a must.

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