Augusta County, Staunton and Waynesboro are located in the Shenandoah Valley, a geographic valley and cultural region of western Virginia and the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia in the United States.
The Valley is bounded to the east by the Blue Ridge Mountains, to the west by the eastern front of the Ridge-and-Valley Appalachians (excluding Massanutten Mountain), to the north by the Potomac River and to the south by the James River.
The cultural region covers a larger area that includes all of the valley plus the Virginia highlands to the west, and the Roanoke Valley to the south. It is physiographically located within the Ridge and Valley province and is a portion of the Great Appalachian Valley.
The local area is centrally located to a number of colleges and universities – including the University of Virginia, Washington & Lee University, Virginia Military Institute, James Madison University, Mary Baldwin University, Bridgewater College, Eastern Mennonite University and Blue Ridge Community College.
Local primary and secondary education links:
- Staunton Public Schools
- Staunton Montessori
- Waynesboro Public Schools
- Fishburne Military School
- Augusta County Public Schools
- Stuart Hall
- Grace Christian School
- Ridgeview Christian School
- Valley Career and Technical Center
- Virginia School for Deaf and Blind
Augusta County is a county located in the Shenandoah Valley on the western edge of the U.S. commonwealth of Virginia. It is the second-largest county in Virginia by total area, and it surrounds the independent cities of Staunton and Waynesboro. The county seat of Augusta is Staunton, although most of the administrative services have offices in neighboring Verona.
The county was created in 1738 from part of Orange County, and was named after Princess Augusta of Saxe-Gotha. It was originally a huge area, but many parts of Augusta County were carved out to form other counties and several states, until the current border was finalized in 1790.
As of the 2010 census, the county population was 73,750, which represented an increase of more than 34 percent over the 1990 figure.
Staunton, founded in 1747, is located in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley and lies between the Blue Ridge and Allegheny Mountain ranges at the intersection of Interstate 81 and Interstate 64.
Staunton, referred to as the Queen City of the Shenandoah, has a 250-year heritage and is known for its historic architecture that incorporates a revitalized Victorian downtown and boasts six separate historic districts.
Staunton’s celebrated downtown has been recognized by the National Trust for Historic preservation as a “Great American Main Street” and a “Distinctive Destination.”
Staunton is also the birthplace of President Woodrow Wilson, which is home to the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library. Staunton is the first city to adopt a city manager form of government.
Staunton is also home to the Valley League’s Staunton Braves, with several alumni playing in Major League Baseball.
A charming destination, Waynesboro is centrally located in the eastern portion of Virginia’s scenic and historic Shenandoah Valley, just 90 miles northwest of the state capital of Richmond and 125 miles southwest of the nation’s capital, Washington, D.C., and situated in the eastern portion of the Shenandoah Valley only minutes from the Blue Ridge Parkway and Skyline Drive. The city covers an area of approximately 15 square miles.
Named in 1797 after Revolutionary War hero Mad Anthony Wayne, the area was first recognized by the state of Virginia in 1801. Although many travelers passed through the area, the city was slow to grow until two railroads were constructed that crossed each other near the city, giving it the nickname, “iron cross.” This picturesque city has retained the charm of the Valley while embracing modern progress.
Each spring, Waynesboro hosts the Virginia Fly Fishing and Wine Festival on the banks of the South River, a southern tributary of the Shenandoah River, that runs directly through the city. Each October, the Shenandoah Valley Art Center hosts the Fall Foliage Festival in downtown Waynesboro. Artisans from across the country and Canada are represented at this nationally renowned festival of the arts, food, and music.
The summers feature baseball games with the Waynesboro Generals, the 2013-2014 champions in the Valley League, whose notable MLB alumni include former #1 draft pick Denny Walling and 2007 World Series MVP Mike Lowell.
Waynesboro is also home to Fishburne Military School. Founded in 1879, Fishburne is an all-male, college preparatory, JROTC military private day and boarding school serving grades 7-12 and postgraduate. Fishburne boasts small class sizes (6:1 ratio), a warm and caring faculty, varsity athletics for all cadets, and a 100 per cent college acceptance rate.
Local businesses of note include Lumos Networks, a leading fiber-based service provider in the Mid-Atlantic region, Invista, one of the world’s largest integrated producers of polymers and fibers, primarily for nylon, spandex and polyester applications, Polymer Group Inc. (PGI), a leading global engineered materials company, focused primarily on the production of nonwovens for the hygiene, wipes, medical, and industrial markets, and Reo Logistics, which provides global freight brokerage services as well as a variety of warehousing, distribution, transportation, freight management, and third-party logistics services.
Things to do
American Shakespeare Center:
10 South Market Street
Staunton, VA 24401
Situated in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley in historic Staunton, Virginia, the 300-seat Blackfriars Playhouse — the world’s only re-creation of Shakespeare’s original indoor theatre — opened its doors in September 2001 and has already delighted tens of thousands of enthusiastic audience members from around the world.
Frontier Culture Museum:
1290 Richmond Avenue
Staunton, VA 24401
The Frontier Culture Museum tells the story of the thousands of people who migrated to colonial America, and of the life they created here for themselves and their descendant’s. To tell the story of these early immigrants and their American descendant’s, the Museum has moved or reproduced examples of traditional rural buildings from England, Germany, Ireland, West Africa, and America.
Red Brick District:
35 South New Street
Staunton, VA 24401
Explore the Red Brick District to discover world class theatre, great live music, cool art galleries, and museums that bring the past to life.
Staunton/Augusta Farmer’s Market:
At the Wharf Parking Lot on Johnson Street
Hours: Saturdays, 7:00 AM – noon
Come pick up some locally grown fruits and vegetables from the first Saturday in April until the Saturday prior to Thanksgiving.
Wayne Theatre/Ross Performing Arts Center:
Box Office Hours: Tuesday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
521 West Main Street
Waynesboro VA 22980
Waynesboro’s premier live entertainment performance venue in which all of the arts may be appreciated, enjoyed, learned and supported.
Waynesboro Heritage Museum:
Hours: Tuesday through Saturday 9:00 AM until 5:00 PM
The Waynesboro Heritage Museum is located in downtown at the corner of Main Street & Wayne Avenue. The museum has a wonderful collection of pictures, photographs, antiques, collectibles, a world-class doll collection and a Valley Native American artifacts collection.
Wildlife Center of Virginia:
PO Box 1557, Waynesboro VA 22980
The Wildlife Center of Virginia is an internationally acclaimed teaching and research hospital for wildlife and conservation medicine located in Waynesboro. Since its founding in 1982, the Center has treated more than 50,000 wild animals from every corner of Virginia.
Local Area Links
- Staunton Augusta Art Center
- Augusta County Historical Society
- RR Smith Center for History & Art
- Historic Staunton Foundation
- Shenandoah Children’s Choir
- Artisans Center of Virginia
- Oak Grove Theater
- Museum of American Frontier Culture
- Woodrow Wilson Birthplace
- Stonewall Jackson Hotel
- Factory Antique Mall
- Lexington-Rockbridge Chamber of Commerce
- Greater Augusta Regional Chamber of Commerce
- Shenandoah National Park
- Sherando Lake
- George Washington & Jefferson National Forest
- Shenandoah Regional Airport