Staunton, Virginia CVB — 2010-11 Visitors Guide
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Welcome To Staunton

If you like a downtown where restored buildings house hip restaurants & shops. If you like the plays of Shakespeare or sustainable architecture. If you like a city where the history of the Shenandoah Valley is relived and people take to the streets to celebrate.

If you like a place where the independent spirit thrives in gifted artists and musicians and where the solitude of the mountains is just a short drive away

If you like a place where you are always treated as a guest. We are that place, the Queen City of the Shenandoah. Staunton, Virginia…As You Like It.

Located in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley, historic Staunton, Virginia is one of the oldest cities west of the Blue Ridge Mountains. In 1732, Scots-Irish settler John Lewis and his family became the first Europeans to settle in the area, and a Courthouse for Augusta County was built here in 1745. Lots and streets were laid out in 1747 for the town of Staunton (pronounced STAN-ton), named after Lady Rebecca Staunton, the wife of Colonial Governor William Gooch. Strategically located at the intersection of the Great Wagon Road and early roads to the west, Staunton developed as a major center for trade. This was greatly enhanced with the arrival in 1854 of the Virginia Central Railroad. This railroad would later play a key role during the Civil War when the Shenandoah Valley served as the “Breadbasket of the Confederacy.”

Because Staunton remained largely unscathed during the Civil War, it has one of Virginia’s finest collections of 19th century architecture. Staunton boasts five historic districts and a compact, walkable downtown. The city was recognized by the National Trust for Historic Preservation in 2001 as one of the nation’s “Dozen Distinctive Destinations,” and in 2002 as a Great American Main Street City, the first Virginia city to be so honored.