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September
21

Where to Order Fall Treats in the Shenandoah Valley

Fall Bakeries

It's almost time once again to enjoy the wonderful flavors of fall, and you won't have to travel far to find delicious fall treats in the Shenandoah Valley. From festive drinks to pastries, pies, and all of your other favorite fall foods, you're sure to find a place near Shenandoah County homes for sale to satisfy your craving for all things fall. Our real estate agents have all of the delectable details on some of the best places in the Shenandoah Valley to order seasonal treats this fall.

  • Valley Pike Farm Market – 3494 Lee Hwy., Weyers Cave, VA 24486
    Need to pick up ingredients for your own fall treats at a location near Weyers Cave homes for sale? Then simply head to the Valley Pike Farm Market, where you can find the fruits of the fall harvest. This market also stocks one of the largest selections of craft beer and wine in the Shenandoah Valley, with more than 300 options to choose from, including some flavors created especially for fall.
  • Firkin Pie Company – 310 Kalorama St., Staunton, VA 24401
    Pie is one of the most traditional fall treats, which can be found at Firkin Pie Company around the corner from Staunton homes for sale. Firkin Pie Company will be busy creating all of your favorite seasonal pies just in time for fall, perfect for a Thanksgiving dessert, something to share at a holiday party, or a treat after a family dinner.

  • D & L Donuts – 240 N. Central Ave. #1, Staunton, VA 24401
    Also located in Staunton, you'll find local favorite D & L Donuts, where seasonal treats are always on the menu. Fall is the perfect time to try special flavors like apple crisp and pumpkin spice cake donuts. You'll also find all of the standard flavors that you've come to love from D & L Donuts, along with a great selection of coffee to pair with your donut. Stop by during the morning to enjoy fall treats fresh from the oven.

  • Rocktown Kitchen – 217 S. Liberty St. #101, Harrisonburg, VA 22801
    We often think of pumpkin spice and sweet ingredients when we think about the flavors of fall, but there are other great, seasonal ingredients to use as well. Rocktown Kitchen, which is located near Harrisonburg homes for sale, has a menu that shifts with the seasons. There's something special for everyone at this restaurant during the fall, including gluten-free, vegan, and vegetarian options, along with an extensive menu for kids.

  • Showalter's Orchard & Greenhouse – 17768 Honeyville Rd., Timberville, VA 22853
    What could be more fitting for a fall family outing than a trip to the apple orchard? Showalter's Orchard & Greenhouse is a fantastic place to visit with the family, with a convenient location near Timberville homes for sale. They offer a great selection of both regular and hard ciders, all harvested, pressed, and bottled on-site. Showalter's Greenhouse & Orchard grows more than 30 different varieties of apples, so it's also a perfect place to pick up ingredients for a fresh apple pie this fall. Keep an eye out for the many special activities and events that they offer during the fall, as well.

  • Woodstock Garden Cafe – 1175 Hisey Ave., Woodstock, VA 22664
    With a focus on supporting Virginia's Buy Fresh, Buy Local program, Woodstock Garden Cafe is committed to using fresh, local ingredients during every season. That means that the menu changes often based on what's fresh at the time, so there are often new things to try at this local favorite near Woodstock homes for sale. The fall menu is highlighted by some truly outstanding salads, including the Fall Harvest Salad, which features ingredients like candied pecans, cranberries, winter squash, and apples.

  • Queen Bean Coffee Co. – 2201 N. Augusta St., Ste. 100, Staunton, VA 24401
    We couldn't leave you without pointing out one of the best places to enjoy hot, tasty seasonal drinks in Staunton. From seasonal standards like the pumpkin spice latte to unique creations like the Day of the Dead latte, Queen Bean Coffee Co. has something to suit every taste. The team here prioritizes using organic, local ingredients, from the coffee beans used in its craft drinks to the locally sourced baked goods that are served fresh every day.

Is a new home in the Shenandoah Valley at the top of your shopping list this fall? Whether you're buying or selling, our team is here to help with all of your real estate needs in the area. Contact us to buy and sell homes in Shenandoah Valley communities.

September
6

Augusta County Fall Events

Augusta County

Augusta County has fun things to do in any season, but the fall months are extra special. With so many fall events to look forward to, your calendar is sure to be full of fall fun. Watch for our real estate agents at these entertaining activities around Augusta County. 

  • 16th Annual Mill Day - Cyrus McCormick Farm, 128 Cyrus McCormick Cir., Raphine, VA 24472
    Celebrate agriculture, Virginia's largest and most important industry, at the 16th Annual Mill Day. The festival is held on the grounds of the farm that once belonged to Cyrus McCormick, who revolutionized agriculture with his invention of the mechanical reaper. Plus, it's close to Raphine homes for sale. Watch the restored grist mill in action as Glenn Wilson discusses the history of milling. Afterward, enjoy some BBQ as you listen to live music, and the kids take part in fun educational activities. Mill Day runs from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. on Saturday, October 1, and admission is free.

Fall Craft Show

  • Fall Arts & Crafts Show - Augusta Expo Events Center, 277 Expo Rd., Fishersville, VA 22939
    Personalize Augusta County homes for sale or find that perfect gift among artisan items from the Fall Arts & Crafts Show. More than 100 local artists will be showcasing their handmade jewelry, clothing, and home decor accessories near Fishersville homes for sale. Items range from holiday ornaments and wreaths to embroidered linens and macramé wall hangings. Food and beverages will be available when you're ready to refuel. Hours are 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. on Saturday, November 12, and 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. on Sunday, November 13. Admission is $3 for ages 13 and up.

  • Food Truck Wednesdays - Government Center, 18 Government Center Ln., Verona, VA 24482
    Add some variety to lunchtime with Food Truck Wednesdays. Augusta County's top food trucks are stationed outside the Government Center from 11 a.m. - 2 p.m., offering an assortment of tasty treats. Be sure to make time to visit the Verona Farmers Market, held on the building's veranda during the same hours. Sign up for the Food Truck Wednesdays newsletter to find out which trucks will be on hand each week near Verona homes for sale.

Fall Foliage

  • Shenandoah Fall Foliage Bike Festival - St. Paul's United Methodist Church, 2000 Shutterlee Mill Rd., Staunton, VA 24401
    Virginia boasts some of the more spectacular scenery on the East Coast. Especially the area around Staunton homes for sale. Take in the colorful countryside during the Shenandoah Fall Foliage Bike Festival. The popular event, which draws more than 700 cyclists, has been recognized by U.S. News & World Report as one of America's Best Fall Bike Rides. This year, new routes pass picturesque farmlands, historic sites, and charming small towns. Registration fees, $125 for adults and $25 for ages 6-17, include a t-shirt, snacks, and breakfast or lunch. Hit the road at 8 a.m. on Saturday, October 15, and Sunday, October 16.

  • Apple Days Arts & Crafts Show - Willow Oak Plaza, 901 W. Broad St., Waynesboro, VA 22980
    Summer is a time for melons and berries, but Apple Days Arts & Crafts Show celebrates fall's favorite fruit. More than 100 artists from around the country participate in this juried competition for crafted items such as quilts, furniture, and jewelry. Listen to live music as you watch apple butter-making demonstrations, sip on apple cider, and eat luscious apple dumplings. Mark your calendar for Saturday, October 1, from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m., and Sunday, October 2, from noon - 5 p.m.

Fall Event Car Show

  • 41st SVBCC British Car Festival - Ridgeview Park, 620 S. Linden Ave., Waynesboro, VA 22980
    Support a great cause while viewing classic automobiles at the 41st SVBCC British Car Festival. With more than 200 vehicles on display, this event is one of the longest-running car shows on the East Coast. There will also be live music, door prizes, and food vendors, with a portion of all profits going to the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank. The festival runs from 9 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, October 1.

  • SVAC Fall Foliage Art Show - 301 W. Main St., Waynesboro, VA 22980
    The streets of downtown Waynesboro will be filled with visual delights at the SVAC Fall Foliage Art Show. Approximately 150 artists will be displaying their works in all media, including jewelry, pottery, and paintings. Kids can explore their own creativity with sidewalk chalk drawings and other activities in the craft area. Don't miss the ArtMobile, the collection on wheels from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. Sample some fine culinary arts in the food truck area, which also features live music. The art show is scheduled for Saturday, October 8, from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m., and Sunday, October 9, from noon - 5 p.m.

Want to welcome the fall season in a new home? Contact us at Old Dominion Realty to get started.

July
18

Breweries on the Shenandoah Beerwerks Trail

Beerwerks Trail

If you've been looking at Augusta or Rockingham County homes for sale recently, odds are good you've learned about one of the many things that makes our area special: The flourishing craft brewery scene. Nowhere is that more evident than on the local Beerwerks Trail here in the Shenandoah Valley.

The Shenandoah Beerwerks Trail consists of more than a dozen local breweries and stretches across some of the area's most desirable communities. You are welcome to explore the trail on your own and make your stops wherever you wish. Local tour companies also offer a guided group experience on the trail.

You may already be familiar with the Shenandoah Valley Wine Trail, which offers a similar experience for the vineyards and wineries here in Virginia. Just as the Wine Trail showcases all the outstanding new developments in wine, the Shenandoah Beerwerks Trail does the same for the craft brewing scene.

Let's take a closer look at just a few of the many fun and exciting stops along the way:

  • Elkton Brewing Company – 100 North Fifth Street, Elkton, VA 22827
    Elkton Brewing Company is only minutes from some of the best Elkton homes for sale. It brings an age-old family recipe dating from the early 1900s to the Elkton area – a legendary Austrian brew that is now available to the public for the first time. The brewery is located within the spacious yet historic setting of the old Elkton Milling Company building, which was originally founded back in 1890.

  • Brew HaHa Brewing Company 11704 Spotswood Trail, Elkton, VA 22827
    Brew HaHa Brewing Company stands out as the newest brewery to enter the ranks of the Shenandoah Beerwerks Trail. Located near the entry of famous Massanutten Resort, it warmly welcomes beer aficionados as well as those who'd prefer something non-alcoholic. In addition to its "nanobrewery" craft beers, you'll also find small-batch craft sodas with memorable flavors derived from local ingredients.

  • Skipping Rock Beer Company – 414 Parkersburg Turnpike, Staunton, VA 24401
    Skipping Rock Beer Company is all about worrying less and living more. Nothing encapsulates that idea better than a high-quality craft beer that's "a reflection of place" from right here in the Shenandoah Valley. Beers that have been lovingly handcrafted down to the smallest detail will greet you along with a relaxed and casual atmosphere full of old friends and new ones who you haven't met yet. As a watering hole near Staunton homes for sale, it simply can't be beaten.

  • The Friendly Fermenter – 20 South Mason Street, Suite B10, Harrisonburg, VA 22801
    The Friendly Fermenter is here to make the whole experience of craft brewing "friendlier" than ever. Just a short hop from Harrisonburg homes for sale, it approaches this goal with the town's very first DIY "brew on-site" shop. Drop in any time and the helpful staff will be there to show you the ropes. Want to take the hobby home with you? There's also a full assortment of different brewing gear to buy.

  • Brothers Craft Brewing – 800 North Main Street, Harrisonburg, VA 22801
    Brothers Craft Brewing, originally known as Three Brothers Brewing, offers both large-scale brewing and small, experimental batches you can sample during your own journey down the trail. The brewery is well known in the area for its monthly charity events and its deep involvement in the community. Live music, games, fundraisers, and much more await you, with local food trucks frequently found nearby.

  • Seven Arrows Brewing 2508 Jefferson Highway #1, Waynesboro, VA 22980
    Seven Arrows Brewing features a large taproom that gives visitors access to many different offerings of the brand, its lagers foremost among them. Twelve iconic beers are always available, with a rotating cast of characters taking up the rest of the menu. Seven Arrows distinguishes itself with a full kitchen, a lasting collaboration with Nobos Restaurant. It's a terrific pick near Waynesboro homes for sale.

  • Stable Craft Brewing – 375 Madrid Road, Waynesboro, VA 22980
    If you are paying a visit to the horses of the Hermitage Hill Farm and Stables, a working horse farm in Waynesboro, then you'll want to top off your visit by swinging by Stable Craft Brewing. This brewery's barn venue fits right in with the action of the real working farm, and the tours end here so you can get some refreshment. And "fresh" it is: Stable Craft grows its own authentic Cascade and Nugget hops!

Contact us to find out more about the Shenandoah Valley.

June
13

Summer Learning: Augusta County Historical Places

Augusta County

Shhh! Don't tell the kids, but learning can be fun. Our real estate agents love to combine culture and entertainment at these impressive historical attractions near Augusta County homes for sale.

  • Frontier Culture Museum - 1290 Richmond Rd., Staunton, VA 24401
    How did the early immigrants blend their histories to create a new culture in the colonies? Learn about their fascinating stories at the Frontier Culture Museum. Permanent exhibits include replicas of West African, Irish, English, German, and Native American farms from the 1700s along with an 1820s American farmhouse and early American schoolhouse. The museum also hosts lectures, concerts, and special holiday events. Admission is $12 for adults, $11 for high school and college students, and $7 for ages 6-12. Hours are 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. daily through December 1.

  • Bare House and Mill - 157 Wilda Rd., Stuarts Draft, VA 24477
    Bare House and Mill, situated on scenic fields not far from Stuarts Draft homes for sale, are both listed on the National Register of Historic Places. While the original home was destroyed by fire in the mid-1850s, it was soon replaced by a Greek Revival/Italianate two-story brick home that still stands. The mill, which was shut down after the 1870 floods, has been ravaged by time, although the limestone ruins hold evidence of a rare undershot wheel.

  • Valley Railroad Stone Bridge - Jolivue, VA 24401
    As air travel has taken over as the preferred method of transportation, structures such as the Valley Railroad Stone Bridge have become a rare sight. The four-arch bridge, which spans Folly Mills Creek, was constructed in 1884 as part of the Valley Railroad line connecting Staunton and Lexington. While the line was discontinued in 1942 and the tracks were subsequently removed, the stunning bridge has been maintained as a charming landmark for area travelers. The remarkable masonry engineering displayed by the bridge landed it on the National Register of Historic Places. 

  • The Stonewall Brigade Band - Gypsy Hill Park, 600 Churchville Ave., Staunton, VA 24401
    Art meets history with the Stonewall Brigade Band, the oldest continuous community band in the country. In 1855, the band started with all brass instruments as the Mountain Saxhorn Band. Since then, it's grown into a full band, adding woodwind and percussion instruments. The Stonewall Brigade Band performs free summer concerts at 8 p.m. each Monday night from June through August. Their Gypsy Hill Park bandstand, built expressly for the band, dates back to 1889.

  • R.R. Smith Center for History and Art - 20 S. New St., Staunton, VA 24401
    Local culture is showcased at the R.R. Smith Center for History and Art, housed in an 1894 hotel in Staunton's Beverley Historic District. The building is home to the Staunton Augusta Art Center, with exhibits that change every six weeks, and the Augusta County Historical Society, which holds archives that can be used for ancestral research. Be sure to stroll the adjacent Mevluda Tahirovic Memorial Garden, a lovely tribute to the donor's late fiancée. Gallery hours are 1 p.m. - 4 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Saturday. Admission is free.

  • Harnsberger Octagonal Barn - Weyers Cave, VA 24486
    Built around 1867, the Harnsberger Octagonal Barn is a significant departure from the classic red-sided rectangular barns. The unusual design was influenced by architectural theories that were in fashion after the Civil War. Local carpenter William Evers supervised construction, and the barn is still in use, not far from Weyers Cave homes for sale.

  • Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library & Museum - 20 N. Coalter St., Staunton, VA 24401
    As the 28th President of the United States, Woodrow Wilson helped lead our country during the early years of the 20th century. Today, the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library & Museum is located in the city of his birth, right down the street from Staunton homes for sale. Tour his family home, and explore seven galleries featuring artifacts from Wilson's life and times. Admission is $15 for adults and $8 for ages 6-17. Hours are 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. daily except Sunday when doors open at noon.

Summer is a perfect time to buy or sell your Augusta County home. Contact us at Old Dominion Realty to get started.

April
4

Helpful Tips for Planting a Tree This Spring

Tree Planting

Trees provide some much-needed shade in the summer and can even attract beautiful birds to your land. The right trees may also increase the value of your property as they improve your home's curb appeal. If you've been looking for the perfect time to add a new tree to your landscape, that time has come. Spring is the best season for tree planting. To help ensure your trees grow strong and healthy, our real estate agents have some helpful tips to share.

  • Plan Ahead When Choosing a Planting Site
    When deciding where to plant a tree, make sure you consider how your home and yard will look with a mature tree in that spot. Ensure the tree won't interfere with your home or structures once it's grown. 

  • Choose the Right Tree for the Site
    Consider the conditions in the site where you'll be planting, and choose a tree that can thrive under those conditions. For example, if you're planting in a shady area, you need a tree that tolerates shade. If your soil is poorly drained, look for a tree that can tolerate some flooding. Take your time reading the labels at your local garden center to ensure you pick a suitable tree.

  • Remove the Container
    While you can technically plant a tree that's been wrapped in burlap, doing so will slow down the tree's root growth. So, whether the tree is contained in burlap, wire casing, or a plastic pot, it's best to remove the root container before planting.

  • Create a Wide Hole
    When digging a hole in which to plant your tree, you need to make sure that the hole is wide enough. The loose soil in the hole around the root ball makes it easier for the tree's roots to expand when it first begins growing. Experts generally recommend the hole is at least three times as wide as your tree's root ball, but it's perfectly okay to dig wider than this.

  • Don't Pack the Soil Too Tightly
    After you put the root ball in the hole, you'll need to refill the hole with loose soil. Be careful not to pack this soil down too tightly. Pack it firmly enough that it holds the tree upright, but not so firmly that the tree's roots will struggle to push through it.

Mulch

  • Mulch Around the Tree
    After you plant the tree, put some mulch around it. Organic mulch will break down over time, serving as a natural fertilizer for the tree as it grows. Wood mulch tends to look the nicest, but you can use pine needles, straw, or even leaf litter if desired.

    When mulching around the tree, be careful not to pile the mulch directly against the trunk. Doing this could trap moisture against the tree trunk, leading to rot.

Water

  • Avoid Overwatering
    Sometimes homeowners, having the best of intentions, end up overwatering their young trees after planting. Overwatering the tree can be even worse than not watering it enough. Long-term exposure to overly moist soil can cause root rot, which will eventually cause your tree to wither and die.

    A good strategy is to always test your soil before watering. Stick your finger or a stick into the soil, and see if it's still moist an inch or two beneath the surface. If the soil at this level is still moist enough to clump together, your tree does not need watering yet. When you determine that the tree does need watering, make sure you water for long enough to penetrate into the deeper soil. Consider setting a hose about a foot from the tree, then letting it flood the area for about an hour.

planting tips

  • Wait a Year Before Fertilizing
    The soil and mulch should contain enough nutrients to sustain the young tree for its first year. Fertilizing too soon after planting can cause the roots to remain "stuck" in the area where you dug rather than expanding out into the surrounding soil.

    Once a year passes, you can fertilize the tree, but make sure you use a fertilizer formulated specifically for young trees. General-purpose fertilizers are sometimes too high in nitrogen, which can cause a tree to develop too much foliage and not enough branch growth.

If you follow the tips above when planting your trees, you should have many years of shade and beauty to look forward to. If you're new to the area and still looking for Staunton homes for sale, feel free to contact us. We'll help you find the perfect spot so you can plant your own trees next spring.

February
7

Celebrate the Arts in Staunton

Staunton Arts

Staunton is home to a thriving arts community that is worth celebrating all year round. 

Consider stopping by this February and spend a romantic Valentine's Day with your significant other viewing classic and contemporary art at these incredible galleries, museums, and shops around Staunton homes for sale

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  • Staunton Augusta Art Center - 20 S. New St., Staunton, VA 24401
    Located in the Beverley Historic District, the center is housed in a French Second Empire-style hotel that dates back to 1894. In 2021, Staunton Augusta Art Center celebrated its 60th anniversary of hosting exhibits, classes, and other events aimed at making art accessible to all. Don't miss "Landscapes of Virginia," a showing of paintings and pastels by Julia Lesnichy, a modern impressionist artist based in Crozet. Hours are 1 p.m. - 4 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Saturday, and 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Sunday. Admission is free.

  • CoArt Gallery - 22 W. Beverley St., Staunton, VA 24401
    CoArt Gallery is a testament to the power of art in creating a sense of community. The gallery was founded in 1998 as a co-operative to give Shenandoah Valley artists an affordable place to showcase their work. Media on display includes paintings, photography, ceramics, sculpture, and collages. CoArt also serves as the gallery for the Beverley Street Studio School of Arts, with rotating displays of student artwork. Hours are 1 p.m. - 5 p.m. Wednesday, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. Thursday and Friday, 10 a.m. - 8 p.m. Saturday, and 1 p.m. - 5 p.m. Sunday.

  • The Basement on Byers - 3 Byers St., Staunton, VA 24401
    With exhibits from both established and up-and-coming artists, The Basement on Byers is taking an exciting new approach to displaying art. Unlike the static placements in most museums and galleries, The Basement designs scenes that allow viewers to experience pieces as they might encounter them in everyday life. Art forms on exhibit have included pen and ink, mixed media, photography, sculpture, and glasswork. The Basement is open Wednesday through Friday from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

  • Michael B. Tusing Gallery - 21 N. Market St., Staunton, VA 24401
    The Michael B. Tusing Gallery is the oldest gallery in Staunton, but it's certainly not showing its age. Paintings, blown glass, and hand-thrown pottery are just some of the forms that make up the gallery's eclectic collection of modern art. Whether you're a serious collector or casual fan of art, you're equally welcome to browse the fascinating pieces on display. Hours are noon - 4 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday.

  • Sunspot Studios - 202 S. Lewis St., Staunton, VA 24401
    Get rare insight into the creative process when you visit Sunspot Studios. When Doug and Caroline Sheridan discovered that their small copper business had a glassblower for a neighbor, Doug learned the skills that enabled him to create glass and copper artwork. Today, the studio offers decorative and functional pieces such as jewelry, hummingbird feeders, and vases. Memorialize your relationship by jointly creating your own work of art in a "Blow Your Own Ornament" session for two. The price is $55-60, and reservations are required. Sunspot Studios is open noon - 5 p.m. Friday through Sunday, with glassblowing demonstrations until 4 p.m. 

  • Camera Heritage Museum - 1 W. Beverley St., Staunton, VA 24401
    Did anyone envision a time when we would carry cameras around, ready to document any part of our daily lives? See the fascinating evolution of cameras at the Camera Heritage Museum. With more than 6,500 cameras in their collection, this is the largest public camera museum in the United States. The exhibit includes photographs spanning more than 150 years that demonstrate the output of many of the cameras on display. Hours are 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. Saturday. Admission is $5.

  • The Foundry - 17 W. Beverley St., Staunton, VA 24401
    Just as an actual foundry gives shape to metal, The Foundry allows artists to mold their budding business to meet their dreams. The pop-up format provides a convenient space in a thriving area without a prohibitive financial investment. In January, The Foundry launched their new ETC space, where the entrepreneurs host workshops for guests to discover their own creative spirit. The Foundry is open 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. daily.

Our real estate agents know the Staunton area is a great place to call home. Contact us at Old Dominion Realty and let us help you find your dream home.

December
27

New Year's Resolution: Real Estate Tips for 2022

Sell Home in 2022

If your plans for 2022 involve selling your home and purchasing a different property, now is the perfect time to start your planning. Accomplish your New Year's resolution of selling your home! Here are some tips our real estate agents recommend in 2022 to help you streamline the selling process. 

Declutter Tips

  • Remove Half the Stuff in Your Closet
    No matter what year you're selling your home, some things remain timeless. Like the fact that a clean and decluttered space will show better to potential buyers. It's common knowledge that you need to declutter before listing your home, but it's best to cut the amount of stuff in your closets and cabinets by half. Buyers will open your closet and cabinet doors to get a closer look at the storage space in your home. Though it might seem like having the closet or cabinet packed full will showcase how much it can hold, it's better to stage the space with less stuff. Having less stuff in a closet or cabinet makes it appear roomier and well-organized, Both of these traits will increase its appeal to potential buyers. 
  • Price Your Home Right at the Start
    It's tempting to price your home at the higher end of what you think you can get for it in hopes of maximizing your profits. You may think that if it doesn't quickly sell, you can always lower the price after a few weeks. Most of the time, it's better to price your home at a lower, more realistic price. Homes that are correctly priced attract more interest and sell faster. A home that's on the market for an extended period often appears worrisome to potential buyers. They may worry that it hasn't sold because there are issues (like expensive repairs or strict offer requirements) that are preventing potential deals from closing. 

Natural Lighting

  • Illuminate Your Home with Attractive Lighting
    A simple, highly effective way to help your home look its best is to ensure that it's well-illuminated. Any home looks better when it's lush with atmospheric lighting. Go through your home and check that all your light fixtures have working light bulbs. Confirm that the lightbulb in the fixture is the best alternative. For example, fluorescent lighting often looks hazy and a little dull. Swap these light bulbs for an LED bulb that emits a soft, warm light. 

  • Optimize Your Home's Natural Light
    A space with lots of natural light looks cheery and inviting; it also appeals to potential buyers. Maximize the amount of light that enters your home by cleaning your windows, washing drapes and blinds, and moving any furniture that obscures the light.

Real Estate Agents

  • Work with an Experienced Agent
    A qualified agent with experience handling Staunton homes for sale transforms the home selling process. Since they have local experience, they understand how to properly price your home and what concessions are considered normal for your area. They can make recommendations that will help your home look its best. Your real estate agent will assist with scheduling tours and open houses, and they'll take care of the marketing for your property. Experienced agents know how to handle buyer negotiations so that you're able to get as much money as possible for your home. If a problem arises during the home inspection or appraisal, they'll try to salvage the deal. 

Home Upgrades

  • Be Strategic with Your Home Upgrades
    You might think that completing a few home upgrades is a simple way to get more money for your home. Some upgrades will have an excellent return and help your home sell faster and for more money. Others don't make a significant difference to potential buyers and provide a poor return for your money. One area that tends to have a strong return for your money is your home's kitchen. If your cabinets are old, consider painting them and adding new hardware to update their look. You can replace your countertops for a few thousand dollars. This instantly gives your kitchen a facelift, and you'll get your money back when your home sells. Remember, home repairs and maintenance aren't upgrades. These are the tasks that buyers expect to be completed in a home that's been properly cared for. Check that all your utilities and appliances are in working order. Doors should be even and on track. All your home's electrical components should work. It's also best to take care of any plumbing or structural repairs that your home needs before listing it. 

Ready to put your home on the market? Contact us today to get started!

December
13

Holiday Helping Hands - Give Back This Holiday Season

Holiday Giving

Local non-profit organizations work hard to provide needed services and support throughout our area. The holiday season is the perfect time to show those organizations some love by giving back through a donation or volunteering your time to lend a helping hand. This is an especially busy time of year for non-profits, so your support makes a big difference. Our real estate agents have all of the details on 7 local non-profits where you can lend a helping hand this holiday season.

  • Staunton-Augusta-Waynesboro Habitat for Humanity – 800 W. Beverley St., Staunton, VA 24401
    In addition to opening a new ReStore near Staunton homes for sale, the Staunton-Augusta-Waynesboro Habitat for Humanity works all year long to provide safe, affordable housing to community members in need. There are many ways to get involved, whether you make a financial donation or volunteer to be part of one of the organization's many programs. Volunteers are always needed for home builds, home repairs, volunteering in the ReStore, working on community outreach, and partnering with local families to provide valuable support.

  • Ride With Pride – 2435 Shutterlee Mill Rd., Staunton, VA 24401
    The Ride With Pride non-profit is a unique organization that offers therapeutic horsemanship training and services. Therapeutic horsemanship is used as a tool to help people with physical, emotional, or intellectual challenges through the joy and practice of riding horses. Donations are always welcome, and this is also a great place to volunteer your time. Volunteers are needed to tend the stables, care for the horses, teach lessons for clients, provide support during lessons, and help with fundraisers, so there are many roles available even if you're new to riding.

  • Shenandoah Valley Bicycle Coalition – 85 W. Gay St., Harrisonburg, VA 22802
    While the Shenandoah Valley Bicycle Coalition is located near Harrisonburg homes for sale, the organization has an impact on communities throughout the region. Their mission is to make communities more accessible for bicycle riders by creating trails, developing safe routes for riding to school, creating greenways, encouraging communities to develop safe road riding routes, and empowering new riders. You can contribute by making a donation, volunteering to support events, becoming an advocate, adopting a trail, or even helping create brand new trails in the area.

  • Augusta County Library – 1759 Jefferson Hwy., Fishersville, VA 22939
    In addition to the main branch in Fishersville, the Augusta County Library operates six smaller branches in communities throughout the region. Charitable gifts are always welcomed by the library, and you can also join the Friends of the Library organization to provide support in a variety of ways. Volunteers are needed at many branches to help with stocking the shelves with books, teaching classes for the community, providing support at charitable events, and many other tasks around the library.

  • The Arc Augusta – 1025 Fairfax Ave., Waynesboro, VA 22980
    Dedicated to offering assistance to people with developmental disabilities (DD) near Waynesboro homes for sale and throughout Augusta County, The Arc of Augusta provides a variety of vital services. Those services include advocating for the rights of people with DD and operating two-day support programs for adults with DD. This is a membership-based non-profit, and by purchasing a membership, you help to sponsor adults with DD who wouldn't otherwise be able to financially manage to attend the day programs. Members also have the opportunity to lend their support by volunteering.

  • Martha's Meals on Wheels of Staunton – PO Box 2354, Staunton, VA 24402
    Established in 1973, Martha's Meals on Wheels of Staunton has been providing fresh, hot, delicious meals to people in need for nearly 50 years. Meals are provided to homebound people and those who cannot prepare their own meals, with no age or income requirement. The organization is supported entirely by donations and relies on volunteers to deliver meals. Volunteers can give their time once per week or once per month to deliver meals in the Staunton area.

  • Blue Ridge Area Food Bank – PO Box 937, 96 Laurel Hill Rd., Verona, VA 24482
    The Blue Ridge Area Food Bank works to feed the hungry throughout central and western Virginia. Every donation makes a big difference, with each dollar donated providing four meals to people in need. The organization is always in need of volunteers to recover food, work in the warehouse, and work in a variety of support roles at the food bank. You can also host a food drive or a fundraising event for the food bank.

Are you searching for your next home in an amazing Shenandoah Valley community? Our local real estate team is here to help. Contact us to buy and sell homes throughout the Staunton, VA area.

December
6

Holiday Light Displays Near Staunton

Holiday Light Displays

The holidays are a wonderful time in Staunton, with local businesses, homeowners, and community organizations going all out to put on some amazing holiday displays. Touring the light displays around Staunton is a great way to enjoy some quality time with your family and get everyone in the holiday spirit. Staunton's Celebration of Holiday Lights is the biggest light display near Staunton, with a variety of ways to get involved yourself or simply drive through and enjoy the show. Our real estate agents have all of the festive details on the best holiday light displays near Staunton this year.

Gypsy Hill Park

Celebration of Holiday Lights at Gypsy Hill Park – 600 Churchville Ave., Staunton, VA 24401

Held every year at Gypsy Hill Park, Staunton's Celebration of Holiday Lights is always one of the most anticipated events of the holiday season near Staunton homes for sale. Every year, thousands of visitors explore the light displays around the park. This year's Celebration of Holiday Lights takes place every day from 11/22/2021 through 01/01/2022, with the fun starting at 6:00 PM each evening. All of the displays are created by local families, community organizations, businesses, and church groups, so there's plenty of creativity on display each year.

Holiday Lights

What to Expect at the Celebration of Holiday Lights

Visiting the Celebration of Holiday Lights is like being transported into a holiday wonderland, with dozens of unique, handcrafted holiday scenes lit up throughout the 214 acres of Gypsy Hill Park. In most years, there are more than 80 displays, each created by a local family or community organization. You'll encounter some of your favorite characters from the holiday season, along with dazzling lights, holiday scenes, and a few fun surprises.

The Celebration of Holiday Lights is a drive-through display, so you don't even have to leave your vehicle to see all of the delightful displays. There are also some free attractions that are part of the event, which you can enjoy outdoors. These attractions include free hot chocolate, a live nativity display, caroling from local choir groups, pictures with Santa, and crackling bonfires where you can warm up on a crisp holiday evening.

You will also find some special displays and memorials to honor members of the community. The Field of Deer features a group of deer, each placed to honor a special person and sponsored by a member of the community. This is always one of the most popular, meaningful displays at the Celebration of Holiday Lights. There will also be a Lite a Tree display this year, placed to honor local first responders, firefighters, police, and rescue squad members. These beautifully lit trees are placed by members of the community, and you can even volunteer to place a tree yourself.

Tree Lights

Getting Involved in the Celebration of Holiday Lights

The Celebration of Holiday Lights is all about community involvement, and it wouldn't be possible without all of the people who volunteer to create unique displays. Through the Celebration of Lights website, you can fill out an application to create your own display, place a deer in the Field of Deer, or light your own outdoor tree for the Lite a Tree display. Share your holiday spirit with the more than 30,000 people who visit the Celebration of Holiday Lights every year.

Add more fun to the calendar and be sure to check out these other holiday light displays in the area.

Decorations and Lights at Snow & Ice Christmas Shop – 4080 Evelyn Byrd Ave., Harrisonburg, VA 22801

Located near Harrisonburg homes for sale, the Snow & Ice Christmas Shop always puts on some great displays for the holiday season. While the store is open year-round, the team at Snow & Ice really goes all out for the holidays. The whole shop is decorated for the season, with light displays, holiday scenes, and so much more. If you're looking for a great place to stock up on decorations and lights to create your own display, this shop also offers everything you need.

Santa on Mountainview

Santa on Mountainview – 608 N. Commerce Ave., Waynesboro, VA 22980

Last but certainly not least, we have Santa on Mountainview, a holiday light display put on every year by a local homeowner near Waynesboro homes for sale. This award-winning display has been a local favorite for more than 20 years and only seems to grow every year. The display features more than 50,000 lights and 300 inflatables. The inflatables include popular cartoon and holiday characters, so this is a great display for families with young kids. You can visit every evening after dusk, from Thanksgiving weekend through Christmas.

Are you searching for a home of your own near all of the festivities around Staunton? Let our local real estate team help you find the perfect match. Contact us to buy and sell homes in the Staunton area.

July
26

Back-to-School Shopping in the Shenandoah Valley

Back to School Shopping

While it might not qualify as retail therapy, back-to-school shopping is an annual summer ritual. Our real estate agents will be getting their kids ready to hit the books with some strategic shopping at these malls and markets around the Shenandoah Valley.

Valley Mall - 1925 E. Market St., Harrisonburg, VA 22801
Looking for top national retailers like H&M, Old Navy, and JC Penney? You'll find them just minutes away from Shenandoah County homes for sale at Valley Mall. Department stores and specialty retailers carrying footwear, cosmetics, accessories, and other school needs are all together in one convenient location. The self-service Visitor Center helps make the most of your shopping expedition. Before your visit, check out the website for information on current sales and promotions. Register for Valley Mall's online Kids Club, a virtual program that uses entertaining activities to promote environmental awareness. Mall hours are 10 a.m. - 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 12:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. Sunday.

Agora Downtown Market - 165 S. Main St., Harrisonburg, VA 22801
In most cities, downtown has traditionally been the primary shopping hub. Agora Downtown Market combines historic Main Street appeal with trendy boutique shops. Everything old is new again at Heartworn Vintage, while Charlee Rose Boutique carries a curated collection of clothing and accessories sourced from women-owned businesses. Handmade bags at Lineage are the brainchild of founder Paul Hansbarger, who was inspired when he couldn't find a diaper bag he was willing to carry. Another modern touch is a focus on fair trade and sustainable items. Tare Apothecary + Refillery, featuring zero-waste goods and supplies for everyday use, is having their grand opening in August. Pick up a latte from Broad Porch Coffee Co., which uses ethically sourced beans from sustainable farms. Hours are 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

The Dayton Market - 3105 John Wayland Hwy., Dayton, VA 22821
For more than 30 years, The Dayton Market has been such a popular destination in the Shenandoah Valley that it's become a tourist draw. Nearly 20 independently owned shops are under one roof, providing a casual setting to browse homemade foods along with handcrafted clothing, accessories, gifts, and collectibles. Green Hummingbird Fair Trade Clothing and Tic Tac Toys are two of the top shops for families. You won't be able to resist the tempting aromas coming out of The Pretzel Shop and The Kaffee Klatsch, and no one leaves The Dayton Market without a stop at The Cheese Place. In addition to dozens of savory cheeses and spreads, the shop features an impressive selection of old-fashioned candy such as root beer barrels, gumdrops, and chewy wax bottles. Market hours are 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, while The Cheese Place is also open during the same hours on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Downtown Staunton
Take your back-to-school shopping to the next level and spend a fun day with the kids exploring Downtown Staunton. Walk around the downtown area and pop in and out of the local shops and with many shops throughout downtown, you are sure to find what you're looking for on your shopping list. Pick up running shoes for your student-athlete at Sole Focus Running. The Book Dragon Shop makes a great stop if you want to add to your child's library. Or buy some vintage apparel for your fashion-forward teen. Regardless of what shops you stop at, you're sure to have a good time browsing!

ShenandoahValleyWeb.com
Do you have a specific shopping list to cover, whether it's for you or the kids? ShenandoahValleyWeb.com has a comprehensive listing of stores, malls, and specialty shops in the area. Entries are sorted into well-defined categories, including bookstores, hobbies and supplies, and sporting goods. One of the entries is University Outpost Bookstore, serving students at James Madison University but open to all. The Outpost is a great source for apparel and accessories for all members of the family, even the four-legged ones. Other helpful features of the website include a map of Shenandoah Valley that indicates significant points of interest, as well as a calendar of events and a listing of attractions and activities in the area.

Grab your back-to-school shopping list and plan your shopping trip! While the kids are hitting the books this year, are you ready to learn more about what makes the Shenandoah Valley such a hot real estate market? Contact us at Old Dominion Realty for friendly and knowledgeable help buying or selling your home.

July
12

Recipes for Your Garden Fresh Veggies

Summer Vegetables

It's easy to eat healthy during summer, whether you shop for fruits and vegetables at the great farmers markets around Shenandoah County homes for sale or grow your own. Our real estate agents share some of their favorite recipes that put vegetables front and center.

Yellow Zucchini

  • Summer Vegetables Ratatouille
    What better way to get kids to eat veggies than to prepare a dish named for a Disney movie? Well, that's the story you can tell them. Summer Vegetables Ratatouille takes almost no time and effort to make. It's a great side dish or even a light meal if you want to skip the meat. Simply slice up an eggplant, green zucchini, and yellow zucchini along with three tomatoes and a cup of mozzarella cheese. Arrange over a layer of tomato sauce, drizzle with olive oil, and bake for 30 minutes.

  • Grilled Vegetable Pizza
    If your experience with pizza doesn't go beyond the traditional pepperoni and sausage, expand your horizons with Grilled Vegetable Pizza. It combines two classic elements of summer eating: fresh veggies and outdoor cooking. Start by slicing up Chinese eggplant, zucchini, cremini mushrooms, red bell pepper, red onion, and cherry tomatoes. Toss with herbs and seasoning, then cook in a grill basket. Crust for the dough can also be grilled. Top with pesto sauce, smoked gouda, and the veggies. Go vegan with plant-based gouda and vegan pesto sauce.

  • Summer Peach Salad
    Fresh fruit adds a welcome touch of sweetness and texture to a green salad. This Summer Peach Salad is perfect for lunch on the patio with family or friends. Toss peeled, pitted, and diced peaches and avocados, blueberries, sliced red onions, chopped pecans, mini mozzarella balls, chopped mint leaves, and romaine lettuce in a large bowl. Serve with a vinaigrette dressing made from balsamic vinegar, olive oil, Dijon mustard, onion powder, and sugar. If you want something a little heartier, add a protein such as diced chicken. 

Summer Veggies

  • Zucchini Tomato Bake
    Fresh tomatoes are delicious as is, but cooking them brings out their innate sweetness, adding another dimension of flavor. Zucchini Tomato Bake takes less than one hour from start to finish. Combine chopped zucchini, halved cherry tomatoes, minced garlic, and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper before placing in a baking dish. Sprinkle with freshly grated Parmesan, bake for 30 minutes, and garnish with basil leaves.

  • Caprese Pasta Salad
    You'll feel like you're dining in the Italian countryside when you eat this Caprese Pasta Salad. As a bonus, the only cooking required is boiling the water for the rotini pasta. When it's done, add the pasta to a large bowl with halved grape tomatoes, mini mozzarella balls, and basil. Toss with a dressing of pesto, balsamic vinegar, and olive oil. For some extra pizazz, drizzle a balsamic reduction over the top. When tomatoes are out of season, adapt the recipe by substituting sun-dried tomatoes. 

  • Tomato-Lemon Tart
    Wow family and friends with a Tomato-Lemon Tart that makes it look like you've been in the kitchen baking for hours. The secret is frozen ready-made puff pastry that you roll out onto a sheet of parchment paper. After sliding the dough onto a baking sheet, brush with garlic and oil. Place a layer of lemon slices on top, scatter basil leaves, and top with a layer of tomato slices. Season with salt and pepper, drizzle with oil and bake until the pastry is browned and crispy. Cut into rectangles and finish each piece with a dollop of crème fraîche.

  • Warm Corn Chowder Salad
    Pick up some farm-fresh corn from a roadside stand near Staunton homes for sale to make Warm Corn Chowder Salad, a summery take on a cold-weather favorite. Cook some bacon until crisp, then set aside and add peeled and diced Yukon Gold potatoes to the pan. Once the potatoes are almost tender, add diced red peppers and corn kernels. After all ingredients are heated through, transfer to a bowl and mix with the cooked bacon along with sliced red onion, cider vinegar, and crushed red pepper.

  • Watermelon, Feta, and Arugula Salad
    Contrasting ingredients turn Watermelon, Feta, and Arugula Salad into an explosion of flavor. Just cube some watermelon and toss it in a bowl with arugula, olive oil, lemon zest, salt, and pepper. Add crumbled feta cheese and mint leaves, then lightly toss again. Serve as is or use as a bed for grilled chicken strips.

Summer in the Shenandoah Valley is a great time to buy or sell a home. Contact us at Old Dominion Realty to get started.

April
12

Staunton Victorian Architecture Tour

Staunton Architecture

Nestled in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley, Staunton, Virginia, is a beautiful city with a rich history that goes back at least as far as the history of the United States itself. Our real estate agents are lucky to live in a place with such an amazing variety of historic homes. 

Staunton was originally settled as a frontier outpost in the 1730s and was incorporated in 1801. But Staunton really boomed from the years surrounding the Civil War until the 1920s, and it's from this period—roughly coinciding with the Victorian era—that many of the city's most spectacular historic buildings date. 

At present, 33 structures and districts in Staunton are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. If you happen to be interested in historic Staunton homes for sale, read on to learn more about the Victorian homes and buildings that make up Staunton's vibrant historic districts. 

Beverly Street

Beverly Street runs right through the historic heart of Downtown Staunton and is home to some of the city's most striking Victorian architecture. A prime example is the Marquis Building, a handsome brick building with numerous balconies and a dramatic turret, designed in 1899 by the renowned architect T.J. Collins. 

Other unique Victorian-era structures in the Beverly Street Historic District include the Queen Anne Clock Tower, the Hoover House Hotel, and the Putnam Organ Works Store. This was a part of town that began to expand rapidly in the years following the railroad's arrival in Staunton in 1852. No Victorian tour of Staunton is complete without a stroll through the Beverly Street Historic District.

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Newtown

Staunton's oldest residential district, the area known as Newtown, was deeded to the city in 1878. There are buildings in this district dating to practically period in the city's history, including several noteworthy Victorian structures like the Cochran House and the Robertson House. One of the oldest structures in the district is the Stuart House, which dates to 1791. 

Another important structure is the Stonewall Jackson Building, built in 1887 and served as Staunton's first public school. Its architecture blends elements of the Victorian and Colonial Revival styles. As you walk through the neighborhood, keep a lookout for the numerous Victorian-era family homes that line Madison Place and South Fayette Street as well. 

Stuart Addition

The historic district known as the Stuart Addition was originally deeded to the city of Staunton in 1803. Like much of the city, this neighborhood experienced its greatest period of growth, beginning in the 1870s when Victorian, Queen Anne, and Georgian Revival styles or architecture were prevalent. The C.W. Miller House, built in 1899 on the campus of Mary Baldwin University, is one of the most prominent structures in the district. 

Another important building to note as you explore the Stuart Addition is St. Francis of Assisi Roman Catholic Church. Designed by prominent architect T. J. Collins, the church was built in 1895 and is a striking display of dramatic Victorian Gothic architecture. 

Gospel Hill

One of Staunton's oldest and most varied residential districts, Gospel Hill includes numerous homes built between 1840 to 1930 and which range in size from bungalows to mansions. Notable Victorian buildings include the Arista Hoge House, the Catlett House, and two homes are known simply as Oakdene and The Oaks. Each of them is individually listed on the National Register of Historic Places. 

Of course, arguably the most well-known house in the Gospel Hill Historic District is the Woodrow Wilson Birthplace, a stately brick home that was built in 1846 and in which the future president was born 10 years later. Although the house was build during the Victorian era, its architecture would be more accurately described as Colonial Revival. 

Wharf Area

An amazingly well preserved commercial district dating back to the mid-19th century, the Wharf Area represents the heart of Staunton's boom years. Featuring rows of warehouses, commercial buildings, and storefronts, the district is mostly filled with picturesque brick buildings. These structures sprung up during the period of growth that happened in Staunton following the Civil War, replacing the wood buildings that formerly dominated the area. 

The Railroad Water Tower, American Hotel, and John Burns Building are among the notable structures still present in the Wharf Area, all dating from the mid to late 19th century, when the area was packed with businesses like distilleries, liveries, saloons, and merchants of all kinds. The former Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad Station, built in 1902, is another hidden gem in the Wharf Area Historic District. 

Contact us today to learn more about life in Staunton, VA. It's a city with a rich history and a bright future, and our real estate agents are excited to help you find your dream home in the Staunton area. 

March
9

Where to Go Stargazing in the Shenandoah Valley

Among Virginia homes for sale, there are plenty of desirable options. Shenandoah County homes for sale have an extra something more for amateur astronomers of all kinds: Access to unique Shenandoah National Park and its unparalleled night sky.

One of the first things any would-be Copernicus learns is this: If you want a truly phenomenal view of the stars, you need to get away from city lights. Light pollution is the term given to the artificial brightening of night skies because of lights that operate all night long.

Many people don't realize that a sky free of light pollution "looks like the movies" – the whole Milky Way can be visible at night. While it's possible to see it any time of year from anywhere on Earth, it can be virtually invisible unless you find a good vantage point.

Luckily, you can get a great view by visiting Shenandoah National Park. It is recognized as one of the best places for stargazing in the United States.

Discover the Stars at Shenandoah National Park

A long, narrow park encompassing nearly 200,000 acres, Shenandoah National Park includes part of the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Shenandoah River Valley. About 40% of the entire area has been designated a protected wilderness. It is a remarkably serene and quiet place even at the height of the season.

  • Exploring the Skies with Frank Perfetti is a weekly event in May through October led by amateur astronomer Perfetti, who has gathered thousands of dazzling night sky photos over more than 50 years as an aviator. No telescope is necessary, but flashlights are required, and a jacket will protect you from the wind.
  • Night Skies Events are also held weekly throughout the season. Attendees should bring their own binoculars. A limited number of telescopes are available for use during some meetings. A blanket, chair, and flashlight are the other "must-haves" for making the most of this guided tour of the night sky.
  • Twilight Hiking is a journey through the park's "big meadow" at dusk, offering an unparalleled view of the changing mountain sky and emerging stars. Available May through August, it is led by Shenandoah Mountain Guides, who can also tell you about animal signs, seasonal plants, and the local ecosystem.
  • The annual Night Sky Festival will return one weekend in August 2021. Kid-friendly learning activities, ranger talks, and stargazing go on throughout the evening on a selected Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. It's a terrific way to introduce young minds to the wonders of the stars!
  • Want to meet more night sky enthusiasts? There are several unofficial astronomy groups around the Shenandoah Valley. The most active group is the Shenandoah Valley Stargazers, which you can find on Facebook or on their official website. Visitors to the area are welcome to contact them to learn about night sky excursions.

  • JMU's John C. Welles Planetarium offers free public shows every Saturday from late August through late June. This is an ideal stop for those who start their journey into Shenandoah Valley National Park from Harrisonburg. Other programs include Science Sunday for Girls and periodic "Star Parties," where you can use the telescopes.

Where to Start Your Journey to Shenandoah National Park

Harrisonburg (35 minutes), Waynesboro (46 minutes), and Staunton (54 minutes) are some of the closest towns. Many people choose to start out from one of these communities, using it as a base to enjoy dining, shopping, and local Shenandoah Valley charm between their stargazing trips.

Here's what to know about them:

  • Harrisonburg
    The home of both James Madison University (a public research university) and Eastern Mennonite University (a private university), Harrisonburg is an iconic college town. The Rosetta Stone language learning software company has its headquarters here, not far from some of the best Harrisonburg homes for sale.
  • Waynesboro
    Waynesboro homes for sale are situated in a community of about 21,000 residents known for a relaxed pace of life. Historic Main Street offers a dazzling assortment of charming locally owned businesses for you to visit. A safe and welcoming town with affordable lodgings for tourists is often the place where local astronomy groups depart on their trips into Shenandoah National Park.
  • Staunton
    Staunton is the home of the American Shakespeare Center, a theater company operating out of a replica of William Shakespeare's own Blackfriars Theatre. In 2011, it attracted the Heifetz International Music Institute, a summer music school and festival focused on classical music. Woodrow Wilson's presidential library is located here. Staunton homes for sale feature some true architectural marvels in a historical setting.

Looking for a home near this national park? Contact us at Old Dominion Realty to discover real estate opportunities in Shenandoah Valley.

February
22

7 Things We Love About Historic Staunton

Historic Staunton

What's it like to live in a community where history waits for you around every corner? Historic Staunton is such a unique place to call home, with countless historic sites, beloved local small businesses, and family-friendly attractions to explore. Historic preservation has long been a focus for the diverse collection of residents who call the community home. The rewards of all of that preservation work are evident every day when you explore the city. The past and present blend together in harmony in Staunton, which is one reason why people shopping for Virginia homes for sale so often fall in love with the community. Our real estate agents have narrowed the list down to 7 of the things that we love most about historic Staunton.

  • Historic Preservation Is a Priority in Staunton
    Before we get into specific historic sites and attractions, it's important to note why we have so much history to enjoy in the first place. One thing we love about historic Staunton is that preservation has always been a high priority for residents and community leaders. When you shop for Staunton homes for sale, you're joining a community of people who truly care about the city that they call home.

  • Gorgeous Victorian Architecture in the Beverley Historic District
    The Beverley Historic District, which includes much of downtown Staunton, is a great place to see the results of that historic preservation first-hand. This is where you'll find one of the city's largest collections of historic buildings, most of which were built between the 1870s and the 1920s. That means the architectural style of many downtown buildings comes from the Victorian era, with businesses, banks, churches, and public buildings that look as stunning today as they did when they were first constructed. Many historic buildings have been lovingly restored and maintained, with many still in use today.
    • A Historic Main Street Packed with Local Businesses and Restaurants
      It's not just the architecture that makes Historic Downtown Staunton such a special place to spend a day. This part of the city is also home to many of the more than 270 local businesses in Staunton, some of the best restaurants in the region, and tons of attractions that will appeal to family members of all ages. Whether you're looking for an elegant dinner, a night at the theater, an educational outing with the kids, or an afternoon of shopping at unique small businesses, all you need to do is head for Main Street.

    • Antique Fire Engine Museum – 500 N Augusta St., Staunton, VA 24401
      Staunton is home to a diverse collection of museums, including some unique ones that you won't find in many other communities. The Antique Fire Engine Museum is one such destination, providing a first-hand glimpse at the technology used to fight fires over the centuries. This museum is home to the only remaining 1911 Robinson fire engine, among other exciting exhibits.
    • Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library & Museum – 20 N Coalter St., Staunton, VA 24401
      The history preserved in Staunton stretches far beyond the city's borders, and the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library & Museum is a great example of why that's the case. Located in a beautiful, historic brick building, the facility is home to educational programs for all ages, historical artifacts from Woodrow Wilson's presidency, a research library that serves as an outstanding resource for students, and a dedicated team of historians who love sharing stories with visitors.

    • Mary Baldwin University – 101 E Frederick St., Staunton, VA 24401
      History and education go hand-in-hand, so it's no surprise that both are well-represented in Staunton. Mary Baldwin University is a historic college located in Staunton, serving students since it was founded in 1842. The beautiful campus is a lovely place to visit on a pleasant afternoon, and the school itself is still a popular destination for students in the present day.

    • Frontier Culture Museum of Virginia – 1290 Richmond Rd., Staunton, VA 24401
      Kids and adults alike love visiting the Frontier Culture Museum of Virginia, which celebrates the many early immigrants who first established communities like Staunton. The museum features a unique collection of living history exhibits, allowing you to get a real impression of what life was like in those times. It's one of the most celebrated museums in the city and a must-see for every resident.

    Ready to find a home with easy access to all of the attractions and excitement that historic Staunton has to offer? Our team is here to help. Contact us today.

    January
    18

    National Cheese Lovers Day: Where to Find Locally Made Cheese in Augusta County

    Augusta County Cheese ShopsEvery once in a while, a holiday comes along that our real estate agents can really get behind. Case in point: National Cheese Lovers Day is coming right up on January 20th!

    If you happen to be in Virginia looking for Augusta County homes for sale, then you're in luck. Our neck of the woods happens to be home to some amazing local cheese shops, creameries, and farmers markets, and we're thrilled to give a shout-out to some of our favorites in honor of the upcoming holiday!

    • Nu-Beginning Farm Store - 221 N Lewis St, Staunton, VA 24401
      Nestled in the heart of Staunton, the store at Nu-Beginning Farm is your one-stop-shop for all things local, healthy and handmade. Just minutes from these Staunton homes for sale, the store offers everything from homemade grab-and-go meals and handmade crafts to a fine selection of local meats, produce, baked goods, and, of course, cheese. Among their many offerings are a variety of local cheeses from Mountain View Farms and Shenandoah Valley Family Farms. Store hours may vary due to COVID-19, but the Nu-Beginning Farm Store is currently offering online ordering and curbside pickup.

    • The Cheese Shop - 2366 Tinkling Spring Rd, Stuarts Draft, VA 24477
      There's always something new and delicious to discover at the Cheese Shop. Nestled in the cozy community of Stuarts Draft—about 20 minutes from Staunton, VA—this local cheese shop has more than earned its place among the best local purveyors of fine cheeses. They've certainly grown since they started out as a front porch farm stand more than 50 years ago! You'll find an amazing selection, including specialties like bacon cheese, aged six-year cheddar, and horseradish cheese. The Cheese Shop also has goodies of all kinds, from local candies, nuts, and dry goods to soups, spices, and teas.

    • Staunton Farmers Market - Byers St, Staunton, VA 24401
      A staple of the Staunton community since 1993, the Staunton Farmers Market is the perfect place to stock up on local goods. Cheese lovers will usually find several tempting options here, including local products from Ballerino Creamery and a variety of local farms. Hours also vary by season, but the winter market is now open every Saturday from 10 am until 2 pm. For everyone's safety, organizers of the farmers market are asking that all shoppers wear face coverings and maintain at least six feet of social distancing at this time. 

      • Ballerino Creamery - Staunton, VA
        Focused on making perfectly crafted fresh and aged cheeses using milk from local dairy farms, Ballerino Creamery is, without a doubt, one of Augusta County's finest cheesemakers. This Staunton creamery makes styles ranging from mozzarella and camembert to ricotta and farmers cheese, and every last one is worth tasting. Ballerino Creamery doesn't currently have their own brick-and-mortar store where you can shop for cheeses. But their products are available at numerous shops and stores locally, including Newtown Baking in Staunton and Greenwood Grocery in Crozet. You'll find them set up at several local farmers' markets as well, including the Staunton Farmers Market. 

      • Harrisonburg Farmers Market - 228 S Liberty St, Harrisonburg, VA 22801
        There's no end to the unique local products you might find at the Harrisonburg Farmers Market. Local artisan cheeses are always on the menu, along with fresh eggs, honey, jams and jellies, baked goods, arts and crafts, and a wide range of locally grown fruits and vegetables that change with the seasons. The market is open every Saturday from 9 am to 1 pm during the winter season (December through March), and every Tuesday and Saturday from 8 am to 1 pm throughout the rest of the year. Harrisonburg Farmers Market is just footsteps away from many Harrisonburg homes for sale

      • The Cheese Place - 3105 John Wayland Hwy, Dayton, VA 22821
        When a store has a name like The Cheese Place, you just know you're going to find something good there. This cozy family-owned shop in Dayton, VA offers dozens of cheeses from some of the best creameries in Virginia and all over the country. You'll never run out of new varieties to try. The Cheese Place is also a great place to shop for spices, dry goods, nuts and baking supplies, local jam and honey, and much more. Plus, they have the best selection of candy around, and they're located just minutes from these Dayton homes for sale

      Contact us today to learn more about all the great opportunities in Augusta County, and ask our team about finding the perfect Virginia homes for sale. We're here to help you and your family find your dream home in Staunton, VA, and the surrounding areas. 

      November
      13

      7 Ways to Celebrate the Holidays in Staunton


      Staunton Holiday Events
      Christmas comes but once a year, and our friends in the Staunton, VA area know how to celebrate the season in style! If you're in the neighborhood looking at Staunton homes for sale, be sure to set aside some time to check out these great holiday activities in the Shenandoah Valley.

      1. Find Christmas Gifts at the Staunton Augusta Arts Center
        For the art lover on your Christmas list, there's no better place to find the perfect gift than the Staunton Augusta Art Center. The 2018 Art For Gifts exhibit lasts from November 9 to December 30, featuring a juried holiday shopping boutique with original fine arts and crafts by 60 incredible artists.

      2. Attend the Frontier Culture Museum Christmas Fair
        The Frontier Culture Museum of Virginia tells the story of the thousands of farmers, artisans, and other pioneers who migrated to colonial America in the 17th and 18th centuries. Head to the museum on Friday, November 23 and Saturday, November 24 to experience the annual Christmas Fair. Admission is donation-based and includes holiday-themed activities, great food and drink, caroling in the courtyard, and a holiday artisan and craft fair. 

      3. Share Christmas Tea With Friends
        The perfect place to spend some quality time with someone special this holiday season, the Anne Hathaway Cottage Tea Room offers traditional Victorian High Tea, as well as light lunches, English pub fare, and afternoon cream teas. Reservations are now being accepted for the Christmas season.

      4. Create Your Own Christmas Heirloom
        Sunspots Studios is famous for its live glassblowing demonstrations and beautiful glass gifts. But this holiday season, they're offering an opportunity to create your own work of art with Blow Your Own Ornament workshops. Open to anyone ages 7 and up, it's a great way to create a unique gift or start a new holiday tradition for your family.

      5. Make a Delicious Holiday Treat
        Our mouths are watering just thinking about the 3rd Annual Paris Cake Company Gingerbread Workshop, which comes to the Stonewall Jackson Hotel and Conference Center on December 9. Limited space is available, so contact the Paris Cake Company by phone or email in advance to reserve your spot, and then head to the Conference center at 1 p.m. on the 9th to assemble your gingerbread house. All the decorating supplies you need will be provided, along with a variety of delicious refreshments. 

      6. Tour Historic Staunton
        The Historic Staunton Foundation Holiday House Tour is one of the most anticipated events of the holiday season in Staunton. Now in its 46th year, this annual event offers an opportunity to explore the architecture of some of the most beautiful homes in the Stuart Addition Historic District and downtown Staunton. Tours take place on December 1 and 2. Visit the official website to learn more about the houses and the tour route!

      7. Watch the 'I'll Be Home for Christmas!' Parade
        Staunton puts on a spectacular holiday parade every year. This year's event dubbed the I'll Be Home For Christmas! Parade begins at the corner of North Augusta and Beverley streets at 7 p.m. on Monday, November 26. It's a popular event, so get there early to grab a good spot to watch all the floats, bands, and businesses walking by.

      The holiday season is also a great time to go house hunting, and our real estate agents have a wealth of experience helping folks find their dream homes in the Staunton area. Contact Old Dominion Realty to learn more about how we can help you get started on the road to homeownership. 

      January
      11

      10 Fitness Classes In Staunton to Make Your New Year's Resolution Stick

      Staunton VA Fitness Businesses
      Will 2018 be the year you get fit? If you're one of the many Americans who made a fitness resolution on New Year's Day, congratulations! You're heading toward a healthier, happier life, and fitness goals don't have to be ridiculous to make a big impact. Instead of holding yourself to a grueling gym schedule, you can start with small, manageable goals – like attending a weekly class. Staunton is full of coaches and classes that make working out fun.

      Our REALTORS® have plenty of experience helping people transform their lives, and our local businesses can help you transform your body too. Here are ten gyms and fitness centers in Staunton that are sure to help you stick to that New Year's resolution:

      1. Staunton-Augusta YMCA - 708 N Coalter Street, Staunton, VA. 24401
        There's no place like the Y if you want a variety of fun, affordable classes. The Staunton-Augusta YMCA has a serious lineup of group fitness opportunities from mind-body classes like tai chi and yoga to barre class, boot camp, and deep water conditioning in the pool.

      2. Sanctuary Yoga & Wellness Co-Op - 16 West Beverley Street, Staunton, Virgnia 24401
        At Sanctuary Yoga & Wellness, whole-body wellness is a group effort in more than one way. Teacher-owned and housed in a gorgeous building downtown, this co-op offers everything from introductory and "gentle yoga" classes to early-morning Ashtanga practice and restorative evening sessions.

      3. Staunton Health & Fitness - 90 Lee Jackson Highway, Suite 1250, Staunton, VA 24401
        A clean, modern workout space with a private space for women, Staunton Health & Fitness is a great place to challenge yourself. World-class fitness classes include Body Pump, Zumba, Body Combat, and Sh'Bam courses with Les Mills instructors.

      4. Anytime Fitness - 20 Bobby's Way, Suite 103, Staunton, VA 24401
        Join Anytime Fitness in Staunton to take advantage of group training sessions, which are designed to keep you accountable and keep your energy high. Choose a base conditioning class, a high-energy calorie-burning session, or a strength-building workout format.

      5. F45 Training Staunton - 856 Statler Blvd, Staunton, VA 24421
        One of Staunton's more unique workout centers, F45 Training Staunton will never keep you longer than 45 minutes. Of course, these high-intensity classes are packed with physical challenges: strength and cardio workouts are broken down into 45-second intervals with 15-second breaks in between.

      6. CrossFit Staunton - 90 Lee Jackson Highway, Suite 113, Staunton, VA 24401
        If you like pushing your limits and making progress every time you hit the gym, it's time to consider CrossFit. CrossFit Staunton is home base for a diverse but close-knit community, from beginners who want to shed a few pounds to athletes who want to be as strong and flexible as possible.

      7. Total Defense Martial Arts - 708 D Street, Staunton, VA 24401
        Gym exercises and dance moves can change your body, but martial arts will also give you skills you can use to protect yourself. If you want to learn self-defense while building and toning your muscles, try a Brazilian jiu-jitsu or boxing class at Total Defense Martial Arts.

      8. Head Over Heels Gymnastics - 1100 Greenville Avenue, Staunton, VA 24401
        If your little ones want to stay active in the new year, consider a class at Head Over Heels Gymnastics. Students can enroll all year long for classes at the new location. Gymnastics isn't just a fun way to work out; it helps improve flexibility and motor skills too.

      9. Aliquid Training and Performance - 611 Greenville Avenue, Staunton, VA 24401
        Promising the "next generation of fitness," Aliquid Training and Performance is a training center for athletes who want to meet specific fitness and health goals. Aliquid coaches offer hands-on, tailor-made programs that will help you make your New Year's dreams come true.

      10. American Freestyle Karate - 310 Betsy Bell Road, Staunton, VA 24401
        Last but not least, American Freestyle Karate offers family karate programs, which help you save time and learn a new skill while bonding with your kids and building your confidence together. Karate is a great choice for families who want to get fit together.

      Is your new year going to include a new home too? If you're looking at Staunton homes for sale, make sure you have an experienced agent on your side. Contact us for help buying or selling your home in the Staunton area.

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      November
      25

      Staunton VA Lights Up for the Holidays

      Gypsy Hill Park Aglow Through December

      Start your family's holiday season with a visit to the 10th Annual Celebration of Holiday Lights at Staunton's Gypsy Hill Park.  Gypsy Hill Park will be filled with twinkling Christmas lights and more than 50 brightly colored holiday scenes even Clark Griswold would be proud of.

      ODR Staunton Celebration of Holiday Lights


      Join the expected thousands of Staunton residents and visitors as they tour Gypsy Hill Park's 214 acres to view the holiday displays created by individuals, families, organizations, local businesses and churches in and around the Staunton, Waynesboro, and Augusta County area. This year's celebration takes place from Monday, November 23, 2015 through Friday, January 1, 2016 from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. each evening. This is a free event, open to the public.

      Team ODR Staunton Celebration


      Old Dominion Realty's participation in the 2015 event is a "command performance" having taken part in previous years.  The Old Dominion Realty Team designed and created our holiday scene entitled, "I'll Be Home for Christmas." Special thanks to Debbie Fauber, Maria Ralston, Natalie Campbell, Krista Fields, Cathy Ward and their families who acted as Santa's helpers in organizing our presentation.

      Remembering Your Loved Ones at Gypsy Hill Park

      In celebration of loved one, a Veteran or "just because" you can place a lighted deer in Gypsy Hill Park's Field of Deer. During the 2014 Celebration of Lights, 124 deer were displayed by the pool at Gypsy Hill Park. 

      Honoring the Military

      See rows of sparkling, spiral Christmas trees placed to honor those in our military. Thelma Newman, chairperson and founder of the Celebration of Holiday Lights, invited anyone interested to bring their trees to the park to be placed in honor of someone currently serving or a veteran. 

      Caroling, Cookies and Cocoa

      On Saturday, December 19 be ready to "FA-LA-LA" from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Caroling in the Park.  Enjoy free hot chocolate and cookies from Staunton's Subway on North Augusta Street, complimentary photos with Santa from Queen City Photography, an outside community fire at the Gypsy Hill Park bandstand and singing by the Staunton Choral Society and Harrisonburg Harmonizers.

      Free Wagon Rides

      New to 2015, Staunton Parks and Recreation Department will be providing free wagon rides around Gypsy Hill Park during the afternoon of the Caroling in the Park event on December 19 for guests and visitors.

      ODR Christmas Lights Signage
      Joining the Staunton Community

      Organized by a group of Staunton's community citizens, the Celebration of Holiday Lights combines the local beauty of Gypsy Hill Park with a time of the year when friends and families typically come together.  Staunton has a growing reputation as a tourist destination and the event is another way to bring people to the city and show the true community spirit of its locals. 


      If living in an active, close-knit community is what you're looking for, contact the team of experienced REALTORS® at Old Dominion Realty to start your search for homes in Staunton, VA.

      April
      1

      Staunton VA A Best Small Town in America

      Staunton: An Ideal City for Virginia Living


      Staunton, VA
      is one of the Best Small Towns in America.  Named by Smithsonian.com as one of the 20 Best Small Towns in America, Staunton's rich history, unique city-manager government model, and historic landmark buildings that still stand today combine to make it a gem in the Shenandoah Valley. Newcomers to Staunton quickly realize why this community is an ideal choice for Virginia living.

      Staunton VA Best Small Town

       

      Living Life in an Award-Winning City

      For those who choose to live life in Staunton, VA the city offers the chance to live in a city that has won numerous awards. In addition to being named in the Smithsonian List, in 2014 alone the community was named one of "America's Favorite Mountain Towns" by Travel + Leisure, one of the "Top 10 Idyllic and Historic Main Streets Across the USA" by USA Today and one of "America's Best Main Streets" by Fodor's.

       

      Something to Do for Everyone

      Staunton, VA may be a small town, but it is packed with things to do. Whether your interests are in the outdoors or the arts, you will find something to match.


      For the outdoor lovers, the community's location in the Blue Ridge Mountains is ideal. Take the time to drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway, especially in the fall, and drink in the natural beauty of the region. Betsy Bell Wilderness Park, located within Staunton, is a favorite with mountain climbers, runners and bikers.

      Staunton VA Gypsy Hill Park


      Families will find the community is bursting with activities and interesting attractions. A favorite place for an outing is Staunton's Gypsy Hill Park. The 214-acre park has a public golf course as well as sports courts for most major sports. It also has playgrounds, a lake, a public swimming pool and a miniature train. The gymnasium and sports courts often host youth sports leagues.

      Staunton VA Blackfriars


      The arts also reign supreme in the community of Staunton. Take in a Shakespearian play at the American Shakespeare Center's Blackfriars Playhouse, the only re-creation of Shakespeare's indoor theater in the world. Downtown Staunton has five different art galleries for you to explore as well. If you prefer a more modern twist on the arts, head to the Oak Grove Theater for live music and drama performances in all genres.

      Staunton VA Frontier Cultural Museum


      Staunton, VA also celebrates its heritage through a number of museums and historic sites. The Frontier Culture Museum of Virginia, for instance, is an outdoor living history exhibit highlighting the life of America's earliest immigrants. Staunton is also home to the Camera Heritage Museum, the country's largest camera museum, and the Antique Fire Engine Museum, home to a 1911 Robinson Chemical Fire Engine that has been completely restored.

       

      Upcoming Events in Staunton

      In addition to these regular attractions, Staunton has its share of seasonal events. Spring is a great time to discover the community! Not only are the mountains coming alive with life and flowers, but this is also the time that many local events start.

       

      On April 4 the Staunton/Augusta Farmer's Market opens for the season. From 10 to noon on April 4 is the annual Eggstravaganza Egg Hunt, held at Montgomery Hall Park. On April 18, head to Sunspots Pavilion and Byers Street for the family-friendly Earth Day Staunton.


      Moving to Staunton, VA

      If a move to Staunton, VA is in your future, contact Old Dominion Realty for help finding homes for sale in Staunton, VA.

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