Things To Do In The Shenandoah Valley

Steeles Tavern Manor is conveniently located for your vacation in the Shenandoah Valley, midway between Lexington and Staunton Virginia. The Shenandoah Valley is a collection of small communities rich in history and natural resources and abounds with a variety of attractions and things to do and see, including breweries, vineyards, theatre, and outdoor activities. 

Local and Unique Experiences

The views and scenery are magnificent while driving along the highway through the Shenandoah Valley.  But most travelers never realize all the wonderful things there are to do as they zip by.  Farm tours, caving, glass blowing, and horseback riding are just a few of the activities guest can enjoy.  Listed below are just a few of our favorite unique activities.

The STM Bourbon Experience

You don’t have to go all the way to Kentucky for some great bourbon.  Here at Steeles Tavern Manor we have an impressive inventory of bourbon, and we are the only B&B in Virginia to offer bourbon tastings.  Trey is a bourbon enthusiast and will guide you thorough a personal tasting of the samples of your choice.  We currently have about 50 bottles in our inventory and the collection is still growing.  During the tasting we’ll discuss the bourbon industry, how it’s made, and what makes it a uniquely American spirit.

collection of bourbon bottles
handblown glass beer mugs

Create your own glass ornament

Sunspots Studios is a locally owned glass blowing studio and retail show room in Staunton.  The glass items they produce are stunning and completely handmade by local artisans.  

For a truly unique experience, you can even schedule a private session to create your own ornament with the help of a skilled glassblower!

The studios are open Wed-Sun and have live glass blowing demonstrations daily.

Make a reservation for your glass blowing experience by calling Sunspots at 540-885-0678.

Horseback riding in the mountains

We recommend Appalachian Horse Adventures for the ultimate horseback riding experience.  They are based out of nearby Montebello in the Blue Ridge Mountains.  The guided rides are exclusively for your group only, and they can accommodate beginners to experienced riders.  This is not your typical “nose to tail” group ride but a unique and private mountain trail ride.

Book your adventure on their website, and get ready for some Blue Ridge Mountain fun!

group of 3 people on a horseback ride

Caving anyone?

The Shenandoah Valley is well known for its quaint towns, wineries/breweries, beautiful drives….and caverns.  Grand Caverns in nearby Grottoes, Va has the oldest continually cave show in the United States, and the Luray Caverns are the largest caverns in the eastern US.  Both offer tours year round and are quite beautiful.

For the true thrill seekers, Grand Caverns offers adventure tours where guests can “get down and get dirty” crawling and squeezing through tight passages.

“Bee” a Beekeeper

Are you interested in becoming a beekeeper or just learning a little bit more about these fascinating creatures?  Becky, at Bels Bees, is an experienced beekeeper who loves to share her knowledge with others.  

 Suit up and experience how it feels to be inside the apiary. Open a hive with a beekeeper and learn about the extraordinary life of these pollinators.

Book your experience directly with them by calling 540-570-1262.

train in staunton train station

Ride the Virginia Scenic Railway

Take a recreational lunch or dinner train ride through the beautiful Shenandoah Valley countryside on the Virginia Scenic Railway.

The Alleghany Special  is a lunch tour that heads west out of Staunton through rural Virginia farm land, and the Blue Ridge Flyer offers a dinner tour through the Blue Ridge Tunnel to the town of Ivy.

Tours are 3 hours and depart from and return to the train station in Staunton.  Reservations required.

Small Towns/Big Adventures

We are located “In the Middle of it All” midway between Lexington and Staunton.  No trip to the Shenandoah Valley should be without a visit to these charming towns.

Stroll down West Beverly Street and you’ll immediately know why Staunton has been named as one of the top 10 Small Towns for Culture by USA today and one of the Best Small Town Main Streets by Country Living Magazine. Just a short drive north of Steeles Tavern Manor, this beautiful mountain town has a vibrant, thriving downtown with small boutiques, cafes, restaurants, art studios, breweries and wine tasting rooms. A favorite of the locals, the Saturday farmers’ market (seasonal) is always worth a visit.  Also noteworthy is Gypsy Hill Park with its famous bandstand and free live music in the summer. The best ribs around are served daily at Mill Street Grill, a popular restaurant located in the basement of a former grain mill.  Aioli Restaurant is a great pick for a quiet dinner for two.

Voted as one of the best Best Southern Small Towns, Lexington is a short 20 minute drive south of Steeles Tavern Manor.  Known for its history and beautiful Main Street, this small college town is home to both the Virginia Military Institute and Washington and Lee University, established in 1839 and 1749 respectively.  You’ll find numerous museums, historical sites, shops, and restaurants in this quaint southern town.  For a quick lunch sandwich check out Sweet Treats Bakery.

If you’re touring the Blue Ridge Parkway or planning a hike at Crabtree Falls consider staying with us as we’re located a short 6 miles from the parkway.

Bottle of white wine and glasses on a tray on a white-covered bed

We stayed for 2 nights in June, very relaxing with lovely grounds and outdoor seating areas, beautiful views, and the breakfast is fantastic - everything is homemade or locally sourced. Hosts lovely and very helpful in describing the area. Highly recommend the challenging Crabtree Falls hike. Nice restaurants for dinner in either Staunton or Lexington.

Dining, Wineries, and Breweries

Award-winning Restaurants, Wineries, and Breweries are right in our backyard.





We are happy to make reservations or offer recommendations.

Close to Steeles Tavern Manor:

  • Edelweiss – $$ Authentic German food and great beer selection just 10 minutes up the road in Greenville.  Reservations not taken.
  • Devils Backbone Brewery – $$  Large brewpub with a full service restaurant.  15 minutes south just outside Lexington.  Reservations not taken.
  • Giovanna’s Italian – $$  Local Italian restaurant with great pizza and pasta.  Good option for take out.
  • Gertie’s – Only 3 minutes away in Vesuvius.  Locally owned and operated in what used to be the town country store.  Great burgers, BBQ and sandwiches. Favorite spot for the locals.


  • Zynodoa – $$$  Upscale fine dining, small town style, quiet ambiance. Locally sourced food. Reservations strongly recommended.
  • Maude and the Bear– $$$$  Highly acclaimed chef Ian Borden (2 James Beard award nominations) offers a tasting menu Thursday-Sunday evenings. Reservations required.
  • Mill Street Grill – $$$  Great ribs! Very popular, always a big crowd. Reservations not taken.
  • Byers Street Bistro – $$  Upscale pub food.
  • Shenandoah Pizza – $$  Great fresh pizza, laid-back atmosphere, good selection of beers on tap.


  • Haywood’s Restaurant – $$$  Upscale dining with nightly music.  Reservations recommended.
  • The Palms Restaurant – $$  Classic American burgers, pizzas and more in a casual setting.  No reservations taken.
  • Sweet Treats Bakery – $  Great for lunch and freshly baked treats.
  • TAPS – $$ Upscale bar and restaurant in downtown Lexington
  • Pure Eats – $ Best burgers in town using locally raised beef.
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view of Blueridge Mountains

This Sunset cabin was beautiful & had lots of attention to detail that made our 5 night stay there wonderful!! We did day trips to enjoy the mountains, skyline drive, Civil War battle fields, a hike along Crabtree Falls, visited Monticello & Montpelier and drove some of the Blue Ridge parkway. Then relaxed for sunset & enjoyed our own cabin with a fireplace & hot tub on our back deck! LOVED this place & location!! Trey & Dana were very responsive to our questions and they have great instructions in the cabin along with restaurant suggestions in the cabin book. Would definitely return here!!!! What a fantastic view from chairs in front of the cabin.

Outdoor Adventure

Great adventures await you, right outside our front door.

The list of exciting outdoor activities available in the Shenandoah Valley and Blue Ridge Mountains is too extensive to list here so we’ve come up with a few of the most popular options.  Feel free to give us a call if you’re looking for some suggestions.


The Shenandoah Valley and Blue Ridge Mountains are beautiful settings for riders of all abilities. Check out these links for some great rides. Several are just a short drive from us.


You’ll find many hiking trails in our area including Crabtree Falls, the highest cascading waterfall east of the Mississippi. This hike is a favorite of our guests. Just 13 miles from Steeles Tavern, Crabtree Falls trail features a series of five major cascades and a number of smaller ones that fall a total distance of 1,200 feet.  Ask us for the local hiking trail maps.

Canoeing and Kayaking

For the adventurous DIYers here’s a Paddling Guide to our local rivers and streams.  There are also several companies throughout the valley that offer guided float trips.  Our favorite outfitter is Twin River Outfitters in Buchanan.


The Shenandoah Valley has many great caverns open to the public.  Both the Grand Caverns and Luray Caverns are a short drive from us.  These are especially fun on cold or rainy days when you might not want to venture outside.

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Wooden mill with large wheel next to a stream

Set in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley, Steeles Tavern Manor is just what you imagine a first-class B&B to be. We stayed in the manor house. The room was immaculate, quiet, and comfortable. The from scratch breakfast was wonderful in both presentation and taste. What a treat to be waited on! Owners Dana and Trey are welcoming and offer true hospitality while respecting your privacy. Make a reservation! You will not be disappointed!

History, Sights, and More

Since we’re “In the Middle of it All” check out these activities and sights in the area.  

  • Cyrus McCormick Farm – Home of Cyrus McCormick, inventor of the grain reaper. Beautiful grounds, small museum, gristmill, nature trail and picnic area. One mile away.
  • Wade’s Mill – Wade’s Mill is a working water-powered grist mill on the National Register of Historic Places. Fresh stone-ground flours and more can be purchased in their store. Fifteen minutes away. Open April through December.
  • Lee Chapel and Museum – Burial site of Robert E. Lee located on the campus of Washington and Lee in Lexington.
  • Stonewall Jackson House – The Lexington house that Stonewall Jackson and his family lived in while he was a professor at VMI. 
  • Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library – Explore the life and legacy of President Woodrow Wilson through his Birthplace, Museum Galleries, and Research Library. Twenty minutes away in Staunton.
  • Frontier Cultural Museum – In an interactive outdoor setting, learn about the people who settled the Shenandoah Valley. Twenty minutes away in Staunton.
  • American Shakespeare Center – Home of the Blackfriars Playhouse, and Shenandoah Shakespeare, an internationally acclaimed theatre company that performs Shakespeare’s works under their original staging conditions-amidst audiences under the chandelier lights of the world’s only re-creation of Shakespeare’s own indoor theatre. Twenty minutes away.
  • Lime Kiln Theater – Just 25 minutes away is this beautiful outdoor music and arts venue. Open May-September, the Lime Kiln hosts a variety of national groups. Get your tickets early as most shows sell out quickly!
  • Natural Bridge – Once owned by Thomas Jefferson, this 20-story tall stone structure bridge is a National Historic Landmark. Thirty minutes away.
  • Virginia Horse Center – Virginia’s world-class horse show facility. Weekly events year round with a 4,000-seat indoor coliseum. Twenty minutes away.
  • Nothing says Fall like apple picking in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley! Check out these two nearby orchards: Seaman’s Orchards and Dickie Brothers Orchard
  • Goshen Pass – Take a drive along Route 39 from Lexington to enjoy the scenery of Goshen Pass and the Maury River. It’s a great place for a picnic or walk along the river. You won’t stop saying “WOW”.
  • Hull’s Drive-In Movie Theater – Remember the drive-in movies of our childhood? Or maybe you aren’t old enough to remember! Outdoor movies under the night sky. Hull’s is located 10 minutes south on Route 11. Open weekends from March through October. Double feature, first-run movies, fun date night with your sweetie.
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Breathtaking aerial view of the vibrant Blue Ridge Parkway fall colors

We spent 4 nights at Steeles Tavern Manor. I can't find the right words to express the wonderful accommodations and the hospitality of the Innkeepers. STM has very comfortable rooms, fabulous breakfast and the swimming pool was great after long days of hiking and sightseeing. The Innkeepers are very knowledgeable about the area and offer suggestions for dining and activities. The Crabtree falls picnic was a delicious add-on. With so many things to do in the area and the beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains, we will be returning for another visit. This is a must do accommodation.

The Blue Ridge Parkway


Did you know the Blue Ridge Parkway was recently named by Travel and Leisure magazine as the most beautiful place in Virginia?  We completely agree! 

There are limited access points to get onto the Parkway, and Steeles Tavern Manor is only a short 6 mile drive to the access point at mile post 27.

If you head north, there are several scenic overlooks within a few miles that are worth pulling over for.  Head south and enjoy a beautiful drive to the next access point near Buena vista and Lexington at mile post 45.  Either way you can’t go wrong! Be sure to take our Crabtree Falls picnic with you because there are no stores on the Parkway. 

Some Blue Ridge Parkway interesting facts:

-The Parkway is a administered by the National Park Service and is the most visited park in the NPS with over 15.9 million visitors in 2021

-It is America’s longest linear park and runs for 469 miles through 29 Virginia and North Carolina counties.

-Unlike it’s cousin to the north (Skyline Drive National Park), there is no fee to drive on the Parkway.

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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.