Best Small Towns to Visit

Enough about the ground hog.   March did go out like a lamb and April has finally arrived.  We had a beautiful, sunny day in Steeles Tavern today.

It’s time to get out and explore the Valley!  Steeles Tavern is located midway between 2 small, quaint towns – Lexington and Staunton.  It takes our guests about 20 minutes to arrive to either of these downtown areas.  Once there, you can walk the streets stopping in cute little shops, get a bite to eat in a local owned restaurant, or stop in for tasting whether it be sampling cheese, coffees, beers, or wines.


In 2012, Staunton was named one of the best small towns to visit in America by the Smithsonian Magazine. The Smithsonian creates their list based on one key value – culture. Staunton is home to Woodrow Wilson, our 28th president where his library still stands.  The town is situated in the foothills of the Blue Ridge with restored buildings that house shops, restaurants, and galleries.  The American Shakespeare Center’s Blackfriars Playhouse has been established as one of America’s premier Shakespeare destinations.  When we moved here a year ago, we learned to drop the “u” to pronounce Staunton like the locals.  So why is Staunton pronounced STAN-ton, instead of STAWN-ton? The story we heard is that, during the Civil War, townsfolk created the STAN-ton pronunciation so that they could identify out-of-towners (i.e., Yankees), who would pronounce the word STAWN-ton and could be apprehended.  How about that for a little history!


This year, the Smithsonian has named Lexington as one of their best small towns to visit. Lexington is loaded with great architectural and historic buildings.  As you drive into the downtown the massive impressive structures of Washington and Lee university and Virginia Military Institute tower over you on both sides of the road.   Lexington is loaded with Civil War history being the birthplace of  Generals Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson.  And, like Staunton, the quaint downtown blocks have wonderful shops and restaurants.


Ray and I moved here from the Pittsburgh PA area.  As I was reading the Smithsonian Magazine article I came across Butler Pennsylvania which was #7 on their 2012 best small town list.  We lived about 20 minutes from Butler.  So I guess we are lucky to have lived and currently live close to some of the best small towns in America!

Come visit us in Steeles Tavern and experience the culture of America’s best small towns.

Your Innkeepers, Ray and Melissa

Scroll to Top

Join us as we celebrate Independence Day!

Book 3 nights in the Manor (arriving July 2, 3 or 4th) and receive (at No Additional Charge!)
– A 2 hour early check in (2 pm)
-A local cheese ball, crackers, and bottle of wine waiting for you in your room
-Inclusion in our annual pool side picnic with grilled brats, sides and beverages

Mid-Summer Savings

Head for the Shenandoah Valley to escape the Summer heat! Reserve two or more nights in August in the Manor or a cabin and get a 10% discount on the room rate.  Book directly online to receive this special discount.

Bourbon Tasting Anyone?

Elevate your stay at Steeles Tavern Manor by booking a custom bourbon tasting.  With over 40 bottles in our collection, we have something for everyone.  See this package and others on our Packages & Specials Page.

Give The Gift of Steeles Tavern Manor This Christmas

Give your loved one a very special gift of a stay at Steeles Tavern Manor.  We offer gift certificates in many amounts.