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. While the farm to table movement has been catching on in big cities around the country lately, it’s been the norm in the Shenandoah Valley for generations.
Our Custom Map Of Area Attractions. Please Zoom In Closer To See Them All.
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 Bluegrass music shows on Wednesday summer evenings. Sunspots Studios is another “must see” attraction. It has daily glass blowing demonstrations and a large retail space featuring the work of local artisans. The best ribs around are served daily at Mill Street Grill, a popular restaurant located in the basement of a former flour 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, or, for the best fried chicken in The Valley, you’ll want to eat at the Southern Inn.
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.
Dining, Wineries, and Breweries
Award-winning Restaurants, Wineries, and Breweries are right in our backyard.
- Rockbridge Vineyard and Brewery – Raphine, 5 min
- 12 Ridges Vineyard – Vesuvius, 10 min
- Barren Ridge Vineyards – Fishersville, 35 min
- CrossKeys Vineyards – Mt Crawford, 40 min
- Marceline Vineyards – Mt Crawford, 40 min
- Bluestone Vineyards – Bridgewater, 40 min
- Devils Backbone – Lexington, 10 Min
- Rockbridge Vineyard and Brewery – Raphine, 5 min
- Heliotrope Brewery – Lexington, 20 min
- Shenandoah Valley Brewing Co – Staunton, 25 min
- Redbeard Brewing Co – Staunton, 25 min
- Skipping Rock Beer Co – Staunton, 25 min
- Queen City Brewing – Staunton, 30 min
- Great Valley Farm Natural Brewery – Natural Bridge, 30 min
- Stable Craft Brewing – Waynesboro, 30 min
- Shenandoah Beerwerks Trail
We are happy to make reservations or offer recommendations.
Close to Steeles Tavern Manor:
- Edelweis – $$ Authentic German food and great beer selection just 10 minutes up the road in Greenville. Reservations not taken.
- Devils Backbone Brewery – $$ Large brewpub with a full service restaurant. 15 minutes south just outside Lexington. Reservations recommended.
- Giovanna’s Italian – $$ Local Italian restaurant with great pizza and pasta. They also deliver to us.
- Aioli – $$$ Quiet, intimate setting specializing in Mediterranean cuisine. Reservations strongly recommended.
- Zynodoa – $$$ Upscale fine dining, small town style, quiet ambiance. Locally sourced food. Reservations strongly recommended.
- The Shack – $$$ Highly acclaimed, modern Southern favorites. Reservations strongly recommended.
- 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.
- Southern Inn – $$$ Contemporary American cuisine with a modern take on Southern specialties. Reservations recommended.
- The Palms Restaurant – $$ Classic American burgers, pizzas and more in a casual setting. No reservations taken.
- Sweet Treats Bakery – $ Great for lunch and freshly baked treats.
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. A couple close to STM are Wilderness Canoe Company in Natural Bridge and Twin River Outfitters in Buchanan.
Guided horse trail rides on registered Tennessee Walking horses or horse drawn buggy rides at Appalachian Horse Adventures. Only 9 miles from the Inn on Rt 56. Trails wind down country roads, through scenic forests, past trickling streams. Best way to see our beautiful mountains!
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.
History, Sights, and More
Since we’re “In the Middle of it All” check out these activities and sights in the area. COVID 19 has impacted the operating hours of many of these sites. We recommend you check directly with them to see if they are open.
- 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. Guided tours available.
- Stonewall Jackson House – The Lexington house that Stonewall Jackson and his family lived in while he was a professor at VMI. Guided tours available.
- 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”.
- Nelson Scenic Loop is a 50-mile drive that will begin/end where Route 56 & the Blue Ridge Parkway meet (6 miles from Steeles Tavern). Travel along the loop enjoying spectacular mountain views, stopping at Crabtree Falls, and other hiking trails along the way. Turn onto Nelson County Route 151 to visit 5 wineries, 3 breweries, 1 cidery, and 1 distillery. Head back on the Blue Ridge Parkway for more scenic wonders! This is a great day trip.
- 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.
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.