Work Up an Appetite in Waynesboro
Warm weather is here, and it’s time to disconnect from the screens and get outside to reconnect with what’s meaningful in life. The Waynesboro area is packed with adventures guaranteed to help you live in the moment. And we know all of those outdoor adventures will leave you starving, so we’ve picked some foodie hotspots to tame your hunger and fuel up for your next excursion! Read on for ways to work up (and appease) your appetite in Waynesboro.
Hike in Shenandoah National Park or Along the Blue Ridge Parkway
The views are wonderful from the top of the Blue Ridge, and from Waynesboro you can head north into Shenandoah National Park or south along the Blue Ridge Parkway. Both directions boast frequent scenic overlooks that are easy to access from your car as well as miles and miles of incredible trails through undeveloped land. Local favorites include the Appalachian Trail, which extends from Rockfish Gap for hundreds of miles in either direction and the short, steep Humpback Rocks Trail, which awards hikers with a rocky summit and endless views in multiple directions. Seasoned hikers will also like Riprap Hollow Trail, which descends from the ridge and treats warm-weather visitors to a large, icy swimming hole. Another good choice is Dobie Mountain, where you can see the remains of an old plane wreck. Hikers looking for gear should visit Rockfish Gap Outfitters, where seasoned outdoor enthusiasts will help you get everything you need for the trail. They also sell equipment for campers, paddlers, and bicyclists.
Fly fishing challenges the body and the brain. Not only is it a physical activity, but you have to do way more work than tossing a hook in the water to catch anything! Anglers must know where to go and how the river moves, what fly to use, and where (and how) to cast that fly. A good place to start is the South River as it flows through downtown Waynesboro, and spring is the perfect season to go, as the aquatic insects are hatching. One of only two urban trout fisheries in Virginia, several sections of the river are stocked with rainbow and brown trout. There are several access points to the river, and along with trout, you might catch largemouth, smallmouth, and rock bass, sunfish, and fallfish. The section of South River from Ridgeview Park to Basic Park makes up the 4-mile Waynesboro Water Trail, which welcomes anglers and paddlers alike. Anglers looking for gear, guides, or tips for the best fishing around, should visit South River Fly Shop.
Blue Ridge Tunnel
If you’re looking for a different kind of experience, check out the newly restored Claudius Crozet Blue Ridge Tunnel that cuts right through the mountain under Rockfish Gap. The tunnel was built in the 1850s for the railroad, but was abandoned when trains got too big to pass safely through. Park at either end of the two-mile trail and hike or bike to the tunnel entrance. Signs along the way provide history of the tunnel and background for the project, which has been twenty years in the making. Once inside the tunnel, you’ll need a good light, as it is nearly a mile long and has no artificial illumination. Look for salamanders on the walls and crayfish in the pools created by groundwater seeping through cracks in the rock. Don’t be surprised if you get splashed by water dripping from the ceiling!
The River Burger Bar
The bar at The River Burger Bar provides a nice transition from the outdoors to inside as it is designed to look like a real riverbed with water running over pebbles. Enjoy wine, beer, and cocktails. Grab a table inside or outside, or call ahead for curbside or take-out service. The River serves both simple and decadent burgers like the chilito hot dish burger, which has a certified Angus beef patty topped with chili, Fritos, grilled onions, Wisconsin cheese curds, and jalapenos. The River also serves lots of tasty and interesting sides like gussied up tots, wings, and fried green tomatoes. If someone in your party has dietary restrictions, you can get vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options.
The Showroom/ Billy Pie at Basic City Beer
Is there anything more refreshing after a long day of exertion than a beer and a pizza? You can get your fill of both at Basic City Beer Co. Enjoy cold craft beer and Billy Pie brick-fire pizza and relax while the kids play. Basic City has lots of arcade and table games that will come out of storage once Covid subsides, and in the meantime, they’re doing a great job with social distancing. There’s lots of room, and plenty of seating inside and out. Parties of adults will enjoy the newly opened Showroom, which serves Basic City beer, a full bar menu of cocktails, cider, and wine and a Southern-style tasting menu.
The Fishin’ Pig
Make sure you wash the trail dust off your hands because you’ll definitely want to lick your fingers as you chow down on BBQ or fried catfish and beans at The Fishin’ Pig. Kids eat free off the Lil’ Piglet menu every Wednesday, and there are daily specials, and more importantly, daily happy hours. You won’t want to skip the Mac-N-Skillets or Bang Bang Shrimp. Get your Sunday Funday on with their brand new brunch-inspired beverage menu featuring a Better than Bloody Mary (with andouille sausage and bacon!) or a whole bottle Mimosa. Cheers!
Heritage on Main
Plan to have a drink before your meal at Heritage on Main, where they serve 31 specialty cocktails and 24 beers on tap, as well as appetizers like cheese boards, wings, ahi tuna, and lobster mac and cheese. Next, choose a home-cooked main course from a menu that includes decadent steak, pasta, and seafood entrees as well as hearty salads and sandwiches. Ask about the weekly specials and save room for dessert! A new Spring 2021 lunch menu is available online. Diners can eat in the dining room, order ahead for carry out, and even order online for delivery up until 4 p.m.
Stay for the Weekend
We know you don’t want to leave, so how about making a weekend out of it? Waynesboro offers charming bed and breakfasts, brand hotels, as well as cabin and camping options. There’s a lodging choice for everyone, all with easy access to outdoor adventure and downtown culture and fun. Why not try the award-winning Best Western PLUS, which provides guests with a comfortable, stylish stay, and a special, upgraded experience? You’ll enjoy the complimentary hot breakfast, 24-hour fitness room, indoor heated pool and more! Not only has this hotel been awarded a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence, it’s been voted a Shenandoah Valley favorite for four years.
Waynesboro offers a wealth of opportunities for enjoying the great outdoors, as well as an abundance of places to please your growling belly after your explorations. Use our Instagram and Facebook as inspiration for your next getaway (@VisitWaynesboro).