My family lives in Staunton, Virginia. And, thanks to my parents moving to Staunton this past winter, even more of my family lives in Staunton. It’s also where we now house the winter office for Camp Alleghany.
If you don’t already know about Staunton, it’s a lovely little town nestled in the Shenandoah Valley between the Blue Ridge Mountains to the east and the Alleghanys to the west.
In the past couple of years Staunton has gotten a lot of buzz for its thriving arts scene, bustling downtown, nearly perfectly restored (and plentiful) Victorian architecture, and just for being a great place to raise a family.
Being at home in lovely Staunton, I can’t help but find a kindred spirit in the equally charming downtown of Lewisburg, West Virginia, just a couple of miles down the road from camp. It’s also got neat little shops, coffee bars, history, art, and architecture, and some great dining.
Little town in the hills
Lewisburg has also been getting some buzz lately too, so I thought I’d share a bit of it with you. That way as you plan to drop off or pick-up your daughter from camp, you might also consider a little getaway for yourselves or the rest of the family. Or, if you’re an alum, and wonder what the old stomping grounds are like, come visit camp and the surrounding area. I am sure you’d have fun in Lewisburg!
First, this is March Madness, so Garden & Gun Magazine has this fun little March Madness inspired competition where Southern towns go head to head for the best in the bunch. Staunton isn’t on there — how did that happen? — so we’re throwing our weight toward Lewisburg!
Recently, in 2011, Lewisburg won Budget Travel’s Coolest Small Town in America, and it just seems to keep popping up in articles here and there. But just to give you a more personal guide from moi, here are some of our picks from the great little town of Lewisburg.
Some of our favorite restaurants:
- Stardust (I think my #1 all time fave in town)
- Stella’s (where we have our annual 10-year dinner now)
- Wild Bean (awesome coffee / lunch shop; also has Internet access for customers, and is a fave spot for counselors to go on time off)
I’m sure generations of ‘Ghany alum can appreciate the Greenbrier Valley Theatre. It’s right down town and has a great selection of performances throughout the summer. Our Upstarts (15 and 16 year old campers) get to go see a play here once per term, an outing that is much anticipated and thoroughly enjoyed.
What to do?
So are you thinking of checking Lewisburg out yet? There’s a wonderful B&B called the General Lewis Inn. It’s a great place to stay and you can walk to all the shops and restaurants downtown.
While out walking you’ll definitely want to check out the antique shops — they’re great; my favorite is Brick House Antiques (they’re old school, so I am sorry, there’s no website). I bought a china cabinet there a few years back (Matt was not happy with having to figure out how to transport this back to Staunton, haha). So be careful, ladies! 😉
Hazel Boutique is a wonderful little shop owned and operated by one of our own Alleghany alumnae, Carin Kramer! There’s also an outfitter store to help with all the outdoorsy things to do in the region, a shoe store, some souvenir shops, an Irish bar, and more. The downtown is small, but has a lot to offer!
Let’s not forget the Greenbrier, which is not technically in Lewisburg, but very close by. You don’t have to stay there overnight to enjoy the restaurants and shopping (although you DO have to stay overnight to enjoy the casino). The Greenbrier Classic Golf Tournament takes place every summer there. Don’t forget that Alleghany families get a discount to stay there.
There are lots of outdoor things to do in the area, from the Greenbrier River Trail, and the river itself to camping, hiking, biking, and just staring in awed wonder about how lovely that part of West Virginia really is.
And here is a great video about the Greenbrier Valley in general, and Camp Alleghany gets a little cameo in it around 10 minutes and 20 seconds :).
Now that it’s finally spring and maybe all of this snow will stop sometime it’s okay to start dreaming about the summer and making plans to get out to places of nature and retreat. I hope you’ll check Lewisburg out while you’re on your way in and out of camp. You’ll be glad you did!
–Elizabeth Dawson Shreckhise, Assistant Director, Camp Alleghany for Girls