Winchester Mural Trail

The unexpected and, well, uncommon discovery is pretty common here in the Winchester-Frederick County area, so why should our murals be any different? You’ll discover some unique mural finds like a musical cow, Patsy Cline, and George Washington feeding pizza to a man-eating vine. Go ahead and explore, and let us know if you find any that aren’t on the map!

CLICK HERE for a TikTok video preview of them…

And here’s a Google Map of all the locations:

So here they are:

Sunflowers at Homestead Farm at Fruit Hill Orchard

Image by Winchester-Frederick County Tourism Office

Painted by local artist Sarah Gallahan, this beautiful mural is especially fitting during the annual Sunflower Festival held at The Homestead Farm at Fruit Hill Orchard. Only accessible during business hours. 2502 N Frederick Pike, Winchester, VA 22603.

The Jordan Springs Hog

Image by Winchester-Frederick County Tourism Office.

Another Sarah Gallahan offering, this gaelic-tattooed hog is representative of the outstanding barbecue that Jordan Springs Market is known for, and the Irish heritage of the owner, Olivia Landry (she was born in County Tipperary, Ireland). The market is open daily, but the mural can be seen any time. 741 Jordan Springs Rd, Stephenson, VA 22656.

The Mexican Village at Manolete’s

Image by Winchester-Frederick County Tourism Office.

This beautiful mural at Manolete’s Taqueria Gourmet is still expanding and surrounds nearly the entire restaurant. It caused quite a stir locally due to some zoning rules, but it all worked out in the end and this beautiful work of art is worth seeing (and the food is excellent here as well!). Mural is visible and accessible any time of the day. 2240 Valley Ave, Winchester, VA 22601

Paintin’ the Town in Old Town

Image by Winchester-Frederick County Tourism Office.

This teen-crafted work along Indian Alley in Old Town Winchester dates back to a 1999 collaboration between the Old Town Development Board and the Frederick County Parks and Recreation Teen Adventure Quest Camp. It features an array of historic buildings in the Winchester-Frederick County area. It is on the south side of the Braddock Auto Park parking garage, immediately adjacent to the Winchester Art Mural project, and is accessible at any time. Approximate address is 150 N Indian Alley, Winchester, VA 22601.

Patsy Cline Mural

Image by Winchester-Frederick County Tourism Office

This mural of Winchester’s hometown gal, Patsy Cline, features two well-known portraits as well as her in the parade during the 1955 Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival. It is tucked on the north side of the Bridgeforth Photographics building on Indian Alley in Old Town Winchester. Since Indian Alley is one-way northbound, you’ll have to look behind you to catch it! Approximate address is 210 S Indian Alley, and it is publicly accessible any time.

SU ESports Building

Image by Winchester-Frederick County Tourism Office

Okay, so be fair, this is more of a building wrap than a traditional mural, but it looks really cool and is worth checking out! Plus it is just around the corner from the Winchester-Frederick County Visitor Center, so it can be the first stop on your mural trail explorations. The building itself houses the state-of-the-art SU Esports Arena and is home to the nationally recognized ESports program. It is publicly accessible any time. Location is 608 Millwood Ave, Winchester, VA 22601 on the Shenandoah University campus.

The History of the Solenbergers

Image by Winchester-Frederick County Tourism Office

Yet another Sarah Gallahan mural project, this one tells the family history of the Solenbergers (here’s a story on it in from the local newspaper), and is definitely the largest of our local murals. It spans the entire west-facing wall of the 50,000 sq ft building that houses Solenberger’s True Value Hardware along Baker Ln. Address is 832 Berryville Ave, Winchester, VA 22601, and the mural is accessible any time.

Jazz Walk

Image by Winchester-Frederick County Tourism Office

This colorful mural adorns a long fence attached to the former Stephen’s Jazz Cafe. The restaurant is located next to the childhood home of noted jazz musician John Kirby. The mural is along the sidewalk and accessible any time. Address is 440 N Kent St, Winchester, VA 22601.

Dancin’ Flowers and Animals at West Oaks

Image by Winchester-Frederick County Tourism Office

This sprawling, fun and colorful mural, another by local artist Sarah Gallahan, represents the agriculture and music that are the cornerstone of the West Oaks Farm Market experience. This is a 10th generation farm, and their market is open year-round and always seems to be having some sort of music or event, so check them out when you see the mural! They also have a cafe serving breakfast and lunch and a free kids play area, so bring the family with you. Located at 4305 Middle Rd, Winchester, VA 22602. Mural accessible during business hours.

Winchester Art Murals 

Image by Winchester-Frederick County Tourism Office

A collaborative community effort led by the Winchester Art Market (WAM!), this Dennis Wymer creation adorns a building along Indian Alley, just a half a block west of the Old Town Winchester pedestrian mall. Find out more about the story from their Facebook page. It is publicly accessible at any time. Approximate address is 150 N Indian Alley, Winchester, VA 22601.

Winchester Rescue Mission Mural

Image by Winchester-Frederick County Tourism Office

This mural is very special in our community. Although designed and outlined by local mural artist Sarah Gallahan, over 80 volunteers worked together to add color and bring it to life. The lighthouse and scenes of help represent the services provided by the Winchester Rescue Mission. Learn more about the story in this Winchester Star article. It is publicly accessible at any time, and is located at 435 N Cameron St, Winchester, VA 22601.

George’s Pizza Negotiation (Pizzoco Pizza)

Image by Winchester-Frederick County Tourism Office

This is definitely one of our most fun murals, and it adorns the dining room wall inside the incredibly popular Pizzoco Pizza Parlor located a few blocks north of the Old Town Winchester pedestrian mall. You can see the dome of Handley Library in the background, and a young George Washington (he spent much of his time in Winchester from age 18-28) calming a seemingly man-eating vine with some pizza. Great selfie/Instagram spot while in town! It is only accessible during business hours, and is located at 501 N Loudoun St, Winchester, VA 22601.

A Hoppy Shenandoah (Winchester Brew Works)

Image by Winchester-Frederick County Tourism Office

The dazzling duo of Holly and Bonnie founded and own Winchester Brew Works, and their motto is “Love the Valley, Love the Beer.” So it was just appropriate that they had this large, beautiful mural of a hoppy Shenandoah Valley painted across one of the walls in their tasting room when they opened. This family-friendly brewery is located just steps from the George Washington Hotel and the Old Town Winchester pedestrian Mall. The mural is accessible during business hours only, but it is a great selfie/Instagram spot while in town! The brewery is located at 320 N Cameron St, Winchester, VA 22601.

 

Winchester Service Station Grub Trail

From an award-winning craft pizzeria to acai bowls to BBQ that will blow your mind, we’ve got a wealth of dedicated local restaurateurs slinging out some of the best food you can find from active and repurposed service stations throughout the Winchester and Frederick County area. We’ve gone ahead and pulled them together in one trail for you so you can tick each one off your list! And yes, at the bottom of the list, we’ve even found an upscale AirBnB that is a converted 1920’s gas station that you can stay in!

As always, no businesses had to pay to be on our listings, we just love bragging about our area and we think you will, too after you visit!

So here they are, in alphabetic order:

Bonnie Blue Southern Market & Bakery (BBQ)

Image by Robert Harris for Winchester-Frederick County Tourism.

Proudly sitting on a busy corner in a converted historic 1920’s service station, this BBQ joint is so good it was featured as an essential BBQ stop in the New York Times! Fresh breakfast and a tempting array of fresh baked goodies also adorn the menu of this incredibly popular spot loved by locals and visitors alike. Located just a block or so west of the historic Old Town Winchester pedestrian mall at 334 W Boscawen St.  Website  Facebook  Instagram

Bucha Canna (Acai & Kombucha)

Image from Bucha Canna Facebook page

Yes, we’ve even got a healthy, fresh-made acai bowl spot tucked into the side of a gas station here! Look for the Exxon just to the west of I-81 at exit 315; they’re just around on the right side of the building. Also offering healthy snacks, kombucha on tap and CBD products. Located at 1216 Berryville Ave.  Website  Facebook Twitter

Delicias Mexicanas (Mexican)

Image from Delicias Mexicanas Google Business page

One of the top rated Mexican restaurants in our area, they dish out homemade eats (including tortillas) daily and share space with the Exxon gas station just east of I-81 at exit 315. A very unassuming restaurant, you won’t get fancy but you’ll get truly authentic Mexican food with great prices and friendly service! Located at 1709 Berryville Pike.  Website  Facebook Instagram

Gainesboro Market (Traditional American)

Image from Gainesboro Market Facebook page

This surprising bastion of down-home cooking favorites in the BP gas station on 522 North has a full breakfast menu (try the Sweeney – a sausage, egg & cheese on a glazed donut) and an array of sandwiches and subs! Located at 4780 N Frederick Pike.  Website  Facebook

Greenwood Grocery & Deli (Traditional American)

Image from Greenwood Grocery Facebook page

Located in a Citgo gas station in a residential area, this place is hopping before the sun comes up with breakfast specials hot off the grill. A variety of sandwiches, burgers and craft beer await you later on at this local favorite spot. And yes, this is a picture of eggs and bacon in the form of the American flag on their breakfast grill! Located at 1893 Senseny Rd.  Website  Facebook Instagram

Jordan Springs Market (BBQ)

Image from Jordan Springs Facebook page

This is the go-to spot for award-winning BBQ served out of an active gas station if you’re on the east or north side of Winchester. You can smell the smokers out back and you’ll find an array of local items sold inside as well, and did we mention they have a beautiful mural by local artist Sarah Gallahan? Located at 741 Jordan Springs Rd in Stephenson.  Website  Facebook Instagram

Paco’s Tacos (Mexican)

Image from Paco’s Tacos Facebook page

Tucked away just off Hwy 37 near the I-81 interchange on the north side of town, Paco’s Tacos recently opened up at a former Exxon gas station. This new popular spot is dishing out Mexican specialities and super friendly service that the locals are already raving about! Located at 1518 Martinsburg Pike.  Facebook

Pizzoco

Image from the Pizzoco Facebook page

With a name alluding to the 1920’s Conoco service station that used to take up residence in the same building, Pizzoco slings outstanding craft pizza that earned a recognition in 2022 as the #53 pizzeria in the country and #1 in Virginia by Yelp. Located a few blocks north of the historic Old Town Winchester pedestrian mall at 501 N Loudoun St.  Website  Facebook  Instagram

Riley’s Chicorkfish (BBQ)

Image from Riley’s Chicorkfish Facebook page

Short for chicken, pork and fish (three things they love to grill up!), Riley’s Chicorkfish is squeezed into the side of the Exxon station on Rt 50 just west of town and has quickly developed a devoted and passionate local following. Try their taco Tuesday and Texas twinkie Saturday specials, and please, please don’t expect to go home hungry from this place. Located about a mile or so west of the hospital on Rt 50 at 2765 Northwestern Turnpike.  Facebook

Restaurante La Flor Blanca Salvadoreño (El Salvadorian)

Image from La Flor Blanca Facebook page

Handmade tortillas, pupusas, steaks and sopas can all be enjoyed at this great little spot at the Exxon and next to Delicias Mexicanas (that’s right, we’ve got TWO different gas station restaurants at the same spot!). Located just east of I-81 at exit 315 at 1709 Berryville Pike.  Facebook

Shaffer’s BBQ & Market (BBQ)

Image from Winchester-Frederick Co Tourism

Run by Matt & Julie Shaffer, this BBQ and local market located in a repurposed gas station and is always busy, especially on half-price burger Tuesdays! You’ll find a wide selection of craft beer (many by the can), local bacon, eggs and meats, and just about the friendliest folks you’ll find anywhere. Located on the edge of the Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park at 8140 Valley Pike in Middletown.  Website Facebook Instagram

Shawnee Springs Market (Traditional American)

Image from Shawnee Springs Instagram page

The market and restaurant associated with the nationally-loved canning company of the same name, Shawnee Springs Market is located in the Shell gas station along 522 North. This bustling location serves up sandwiches, weekly beer tastings and a variety of fresh baked sweets! Located up 522 N near Lake Holiday at 212 Cross Junction Rd in Cross Junction.  Website Facebook Instagram

….and now here’s the AirBnB!

Downtown Renovated 1920’s Gas Station

Image from the property’s AirBnB listing

Yes, you see that correctly, you can even stay in a beautifully repurposed 1920’s Sunoco gas station. It offers private off-street parking, an EV car charging station, full kitchen, custom shower with rain system, super high speed wifi, and plenty of light with frosted garage doors. It is walking distance to breweries, the Old Town Winchester pedestrian mall and, of course, the Pizzoco (one of the sites on the grub trail!). Located on the north end of town just a short walk from the Old Town pedestrian mall. AirBnB Listing

 

2021 Christmas Lights Guide for Winchester and Frederick County

Freshly updated as of Saturday, December 11, 2021 for this holiday season! We have used local knowledge, some message boards and some good old driving around to generate this resource of holiday decorations. If we missed a good one, let us know!

Here’s a map of the locations with details to help you plan out your excursion. Please use caution when enjoying these lights and be mindful of traffic patterns and traffic speeds.

↓ Click the square icon in the top left corner for a list and categories

Professional Displays

Walking in a Winter Wonderland at Clearbrook Park.

This is a very large walking (no driving) light display put on by the Frederick County Parks and Recreation folks. There is a fee and reservations are required – please click here to find and reserve open times. It is open November 27 – January 3.

Follow the Star Drive-Through Nativity at Fellowship Bible Church

Live drive-through nativity courtesy of the Fellowship Bible Church. ONLY OPEN Saturday December 4 and Sunday December 5, 5-9pm each day. More information on their Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/2846236828988556 

Standout Residential Neighborhoods

Condor Ct – well-decorated cul-de-sac in Stephens City near Bass-Hover ES.

Fair Lawn Ct – near Bowman Library in Stephens City

Fox Drive & Whittier Ave – numerous homes in this vicinity, across from James Wood MS in Winchester

Musket Ridge Neighborhood, specifically Cedar Mountain Dr – located off Tasker Rd in Stephens City

Oakdale Crossing Neighborhood – located off Senseny Rd and connects to the Raven Wing Neighborhood

Raven Wing Neighborhood, especially Kinross Rd – accessible by Rt 50 or Senseny Rd

Redbud Run Neighborhood, especially Merlot Dr – located in Stephenson just off of Hwy 7 near Millbrook HS

Wakeland Manor, specifically Auburn Hill Ct – very popular spot just off Warrior Drive in Stephens City

Whittier Acres – in Winchester also near James Wood MS

Standout Individual Homes

111 Christo Rey Dr, Clear Brook “Christo Rey Glow” Tune to 93.1 for music sync, FB page: https://www.facebook.com/ChristoReyGlow/ 

127 N Maple Rd, Winchester (visible from Hwy 522 across from the Crossroads Grocery Store). Lots of lawn decorations.

129 Merlot Dr, Stephenson. Tune to 95.7 FM for music sync.

130 Woolen Mills Dr, Middletown. 1st Place Winner of the Middletown Christmas Display Contest!

203 Crestleigh Dr, Winchester. A large military truck in the front yard adorned with Christmas decorations!

216 Mosaic Ct, Stephenson (Snowden Bridge). A Christmas light show synced to 101.7 FM, running from 5-10pm nightly.

273 Northumberland, Stephenson (Snowden Bridge). Multi-song light show.

335 Branner Ave, Winchester. Story can be found in the Winchester Star from December 2020 

587 White Oak Rd, White Post (Stephens City). Very popular home.

909 Allen Dr, Winchester (just behind Daniel Morgan MS).

1770 N Frederick Pike, Winchester (just north of 37 bypass).

2133 Mark Dr, Middletown. 3rd Place Winner of the Middletown Christmas Display Contest!

7933 Main St, Middletown. 2nd Place Winner of the Middletown Christmas Display Contest!

Other Displays

Loudoun Street Pedestrian Mall (Old Town Winchester). Lights through the walking mall and the large central Christmas Tree on display.

Shenandoah University Campus – annually lit up throughout the campus with holiday lights.

Lights to remember loved ones, as sponsored by individual members of the public. https://www.valleyhealthlink.com/winchester-medical-center/volunteer/lights-of-love/ 

12 Tempting Homemade Breakfast Spots Around Winchester

The good old greasy spoon breakfast is alive and well in Winchester and surrounding Frederick County. While we have our share of upscale dining in the area, often times nothing beats a hearty home-cooked breakfast. We’re very fortunate to have a wide array of spots located all through the region to satisfy your craving for eggs, bacon, pancakes, waffles and yes, most even have scrapple and grits. Here’s a list, in no particular order, of some of these great spots!

As always, although we do our very best to have the most up-to-date information here, please check the hours/offerings of the restaurant before visiting!

Papermill Place Restaurant

This is one of, if not the most crowded breakfast spots in the area. Locals and visitors of all walks of life pile in here every morning of the week year-round. The coffee is hot, the kitchen is quick, and the staff is brimming with southern hospitality. Kids will love the “Millie’s pancake,” which is shaped like their favorite cartoon mouse. (540) 667-1136. 2214 Papermill Rd, Winchester, VA 22601. Breakfast served all day. Facebook page.

Bonnie Blue Southern Market & Bakery

Bonnie Blue Cafe in Winchester. Image by Robert Harris for Winchester-Frederick County Tourism.

Located in a renovated Esso gas station, this very unique and exceptionally popular spot offers very large southern style breakfasts (try the homemade biscuits with locally cured bacon bits baked right in). You’ll also find a wide array of local products near the bakery case, including hickory syrup, farm raised eggs and local brews. (540) 686-7490. 334 W Boscawen St, Winchester, VA 22601. Breakfast served all day. Facebook page.

Big L’s Bagels

Big L’s Bagels in Winchester. Image by Robert Harris for Winchester-Frederick County Tourism.

This coffee shop makes the list because of their extremely popular homemade bagels and the wide variety of breakfast bagel sandwiches and in-house baked goods that owner and guy-who-always-remembers-your-name Lenny Sweet creates on a daily basis. Open 7 days a week until around noon, this easy-access spot borders the north end of the Loudoun Street Pedestrian Mall in Old Town Winchester. 38 E Piccadilly St, Winchester, VA 22601. Breakfast served all day. **Please order online before visiting via this link** Facebook page.

Lynette & Jerri’s Diner (Amherst Diner)

Lynette and Jerri’s Diner. Image by Winchester-Frederick County Tourism.

Located across the street from Bonnie Blue, this small traditional diner is very popular with locals, and offers counter and booth seating and quick service with a smile. Originally opened as the Amherst Diner in 1958, it was purchased by employees Lynette & Jerri in 2015 to keep the doors open and thriving. Interesting historic fact – famed polar explorer Rear Admiral Richard Byrd was raised next door (the original house is gone but a historical marker remains). (540) 504-7995. 334 Amherst St, Winchester, VA 22601. Breakfast served all day.

Riley’s Chicorkfish

This is one of our newest gas/service station eateries, located on Rt 50 a mile or so west of the hospital. They’ve quietly built a dedicated following for their simple but perfectly executed breakfast and BBQ lunch items. And we know you’re going to ask, so Chicorkfish is a blend of what they regularly grill up; chicken, pork and fish 🙂  (540) 313-4978. 2765 Northwestern pike Winchester, VA 22602. Breakfast is served from 5am-10:30am, Monday – Saturday (closed Sundays). Facebook page.

Granny’s Place

Want to have breakfast in one of Patsy Cline’s old haunts? Then this is the spot for you. Better known for their fried chicken dinners and evening live music, this rustic bar and grill surprisingly opens at 6am every morning for breakfast and is very kid-friendly with cartoons often playing on the flat screen TV’s during the early hours. Located on Rt 7 headed out of Winchester. (540) 313-4965. 2294 Berryville Pike, Winchester, VA 22603. Breakfast served all day. Facebook page.

Jordan Springs Market BBQ

Jordan Springs homemade sausage gravy over toast; image courtesy of Jordan Springs Facebook page

Another one of our famous gas/service station eateries, you’ll find warm smiles and hearty food every visit to Jordan Springs. This unassuming spot turns out award-winning BBQ and – you guessed it – great breakfast! One of our earliest opening spots, you can get breakfast on weekday mornings starting at 6:30am! Make sure to try the homemade sausage gravy, made with local Gore’s sausage. (540) 662-0601. 741 Jordan Springs Rd, Stephenson, VA 22656. Breakfast served all day. Facebook page.

Piccadilly Grill Diner

Located just a few storefronts down from Big L’s, this very intimate counter-service diner offers traditional breakfast favorites in a bustling setting right in Old Town Winchester. Street parking is available as well as garage parking across the street by the George Washington Hotel. (540) 722-7177. 46 E Piccadilly St, Winchester, VA 22601. Breakfast served all day. Facebook page.

Backseat Bar and Grill

Backseat Bar and Grill. Image by Winchester-Frederick County Tourism.

This is the go-to spot for all-day breakfast on the north end of Winchester. Serving up all sorts of diner classics (like burgers and fries) in addition to your favorite homemade breakfast dishes, this find is easily accessible from Hwy 37 just a minute or two from I-81. (540) 722-7177. 46 E Piccadilly St, Winchester, VA 22601. Breakfast served all day. Facebook page.

High Point Restaurant

High Point Diner in Stephens City. Image by Winchester-Frederick County Tourism.

Also located in the small historic town of Stephens City, this local diner pumps out plenty of breakfast comfort classics every morning. Tip: look nearby for a replica of ECTO 1 from the original Ghostbusters, which can occasionally be seen in the area! (540) 869-2469. 5106 Main St, Stephens City, VA 22655. Breakfast served all day. Facebook page.

 

Hayfield Family Restaurant

Breakfast at the Hayfield Family Restaurant. Image by Winchester-Frederick County Tourism.

This is a true country restaurant where you can rub elbows with the locals and meet some great folks. The menu is simple, the plates are as big as the smiles and the coffee is hot. Located about 10 minutes west of Winchester, this is a great spot to get a hot breakfast while exploring the countryside, visiting farm markets, or viewing foliage in the fall. (540) 877-1004. 5340 Northwestern Pike, Gore, VA 22637. Breakfast served until 11am.

JoGail’s Country Cookin’

Just up Hwy 50 from the Hayfield Family Restaurant is this very busy local favorite. Fast service, country smiles, and hearty servings are a benchmark here. This is yet another great spot to get a hot breakfast while exploring the countryside, visiting farm markets, or viewing foliage in the fall. (540) 877-1178. 5665 Northwestern Pike, Gore, VA 22637. Breakfast served all day. Facebook page.

11 Ice Cream, Custard and Cool Treat Hotspots around Winchester

 

Okay, let me begin by saying this area has a serious addiction to ice cream.  And let me be clear that this isn’t a criticism in any way.  In fact, pair this with the affinity for great coffee (see our local coffee shops post), and you’re pretty much set when you visit over the summer.

Now, I’ve occasionally had to make some tough sacrifices for this job, and one of them is the many ice cream cones I’ve had to eat in order to accurately write this blog.  You’re welcome.  Somebody had to do it.

Seriously, though, I sincerely hope you have a chance to check out at least one or two of the below listed shops the next time you’re in the Winchester area (by the way, don’t hesitate to let us know if I missed anything!).

Ice Cream

0-60 Energy Cafe – Valley Avenue

Courtesy 0-60 Energy Cafe Facebook Page

This is one of the only spots in the region that serves up custard and Italian ice. Located in a former Rita’s Italian Ice building, the owners decided to keep on offering the very popular frozen custard, Italian ice, and “gelati” which is a layered version of these two frozen treats. Don’t worry, you can still get your outstanding coffee, breakfast sandwiches and grilled cheeses here, too. Best of all, they’re open year-round so you don’t have to wait until spring to get your custard fix! 2430 Valley Ave, Winchester, VA 22601

 

A&L Scoops and Swirls

Image by Winchester-Frederick County Tourism

Our southernmost sweet tooth haven, this small family-owned ice cream shop offers up soft serve, scoop ice cream and a full ice cream menu, with many delicious desserts to choose from. Located just down the street from Lord Fairfax Community College, they’ve got that coveted outside patio seating to fully enjoy our beautiful, laid back warm summer evenings. 7597 Main St, Middletown, VA 22645

 

CD’s Coffee and Cream

Image by Winchester-Frederick County Tourism

Craig and Diana (the C and D of this establishment) have carved out a very busy little spot here on Rt 50 just a minute or two west of Valley Health Hospital. The best of both worlds, you can have your caffeine and sugar fix at the same time here. Featuring single origin volcanic soil coffee and locally made Garber’s ice cream, this is a must stop when exploring our beautiful countryside!  2953 Northwestern Turnpike, Winchester, VA 22602

 

Mattie’s Soft Serve (food truck)

Courtesy of Mattie’s Soft Serve Facebook Page

A few years after 5 year old Mattie, a kindergartner at a local elementary school, died unexpectedly in 2005, her aunt and uncle sought out and opened up an ice cream truck to keep her memory alive. Today, the distinctive 33-foot long purple bus can be seen around town, often parked near the Martin’s supermarket on Rt. 7 near I-81. They have creative, rotating flavors but you’ll always find Mattie’s favorite, the banana split with a cherry on top, on their menu. Check out their Facebook page for their current schedule! Location varies – check Facebook page for schedule

 

Megamilkshakes by Sweet Surprise (Apple Blossom Mall)

Courtesy of Megamilkshakes Facebook Page

Save up your appetite before you attempt one of these insane milkshakes! If you’re escaping the summer heat inside the Apple Blossom Mall, this spot is well worth the visit. In addition to single, mega and “New York style” sizes of milkshake, they have traditional scoop ice cream available in cones and bowls. This location, just opened in early 2021, is their second; the first being in Harrisonburg. 1850 Apple Blossom Dr, Suite 169, Winchester, VA 22601.

 

New Town Creamery

Courtesy New Town Creamery Facebook Page

Opened in early 2014, this husband and wife operation took the place of the former McCoy’s Dairy Bar.  This completely new ownership has made high quality, fun foods their focus.  In addition to regionally sourced ice cream, they have an array of quick summer foods like hot dogs, funnnel cakes and fries.  And be careful, they’ll deep fry just about anything.  Their Easter special?  Deep fried Cadbury eggs.  Their summer best seller?  Deep fried Oreo cookies…  320 Fairfax Pike, Stephens City, VA 22655

 

Red Fox Creamery & Country Store

Courtesy of Red Fox Creamery Facebook Page

Owners Kathy and Brian Lewis opened Middleburg Creamery in 1996, and relocated to the Old Town Winchester pedestrian mall in late 2010.  This is a true creamery that makes everything from scratch.  Kathy is the ice cream guru, whipping up many great classic and seasonal flavors.  Far from just a creamery, though, they have a scratch kitchen that turns out local favorites like chicken salad, rotisserie chicken, chili, soups, baked goods and more. 146 N Loudoun St, Winchester, VA 22601 

Frozen Custard

Pack’s Frozen Custard / Dairy Corner (4 locations)

Image by Winchester-Frederick County Tourism

Pack’s is a local institution – a regional chain started several decades ago by the one and only Mrs. Pack – where you’ll get a very similar but not identical experience at each of our four local remaining locations.  When Mrs. Pack retired a few years ago, we understand that the locations were bought by either close family or long-time employees.  Now, a word to the wise, if you’ve never had true custard before, take it easy Chief.  This is some seriously rich awesomeness in a cone.  And go prepared for a line, especially on Friday and Saturday evenings all summer.

1) 177 Dairy Corner Pl, Winchester, VA 22602 (the original location, new ownership in 2020) – Facebook page link

2) 2021 N Frederick Pike (522 North), Winchester, VA 22603 – Facebook page link

3) 2580 Northwestern Pike (Hwy 50), Winchester, VA 22603 – Facebook page link

4) 380 Fairfax Pike, Stephens City, VA 22655

 

 

Disclaimer – no businesses paid us or gave us anything to be on this list – we just love sweet treats and our local businesses, as we hope you do when you visit!

 

 

2021 Apple Blossom Festival Itineraries

Visit us for the Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival, and check out these two itineraries to make a full weekend out of it! To see the full listing of events, visit www.thebloom.com/events.

Family Weekend – Play Together, Stay Together

Friday, April 30
AFTERNOON
Arrive and check in to your accommodations. Home rentals are perfect for those traveling as a family. Choose from charming apartments in Old Town Winchester, farmhouses, a tiny house, RVs, cabins, cottages, and more. If you are the camping type, or have an RV, Candy Hill Campground is a great option for families.
EVENING
Take the kids to see a movie at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema. You can even choose your seats when you purchase your tickets in advance. This unique theater features full-service dining directly to your seat!

Saturday, May 1
MORNING
Held at the Apple Blossom Mall, the Fire Truck Rodeo gives families a chance to see antique and brand new fire engines, aerial ladders, and specialty vehicles up close. Firefighters also demonstrate their driving skills as they maneuver through tightly-spaced cones to the tick of a stopwatch.
LUNCH
Bring the family down to Old Town Winchester, where kids love the Shenandoah Valley Discovery Museum, and a variety of toy stores on the Loudoun Street Pedestrian Mall. Try one of nearly 30 restaurants, many with outdoor dining, and grab an ice cream cone from Red Fox Creamery before heading over to the Carnival.
AFTERNOON/EVENING
The kids will love the rides, games, and food at the Carnival, which runs from noon-11pm on Saturday. The Carnival features more than 55 rides and a popular ticket for “ride for one price”.

Sunday, May 2
MORNING/AFTERNOON
A favorite festival event among families, Bloomin’ Sunday at the Frederick County Fairgrounds is held from 9am-5pm and includes an arts & crafts show, live entertainment, concessions, cruise-In car show (weather permitting), kid’s zone, and more. Children under 10 are admitted free!
The Frederick County Fairgrounds is also the location of the festival’s Midway this year, a festive area that has family friendly games, moon bounces, rock wall, face painting, and bungee jumping all weekend long.
Before departing for home, consider ending your visit with a local tradition at Apple Blossom time – a leisurely country drive among the apple orchards. (Your route could include: Cedar Creek Grade, Marlboro Road, Middle Road, and Barley Lane). View the rows and rows of pink and white blossoms set among the backdrop of the Blue Ridge and Allegheny Mountains in the distance.

Girlfriend Getaway – Dance the Night Away in Apple Country


Friday, April 30
AFTERNOON
Arrive and check into your accommodations. The George Washington – a Wyndham Grand Hotel is located a block from the Old Town walking mall and has an in-house spa and Roman bath-style pool. Another option is the conveniently located Hilton Garden Inn, with a restaurant and bar on premises. See a complete listing of local hotels here.
EVENING
Wander into Old Town Winchester for dinner. The two-block Loudoun Street pedestrian mall is lined with outdoor cafés, boutiques and specialty shops, and entertainment options. After dinner, put on your dancing shoes and 80s attire before heading to the 80’s Dance Party at the Frederick County Fairgrounds. Dance the night away to bands playing your favorite hits from the 80’s, including a Journey tribute band, Departure. We have plenty of Uber and Lyft drivers to get you to your destination safely.

Saturday, May 1
MORNING/AFTERNOON
Relax in the morning and look for signs of spring at the beautiful gardens at the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley. You can also tour the exhibition, Norman Rockwell’s America, on display in the galleries.
Enjoy a spa treatment at the Saumaj Health Spa located in the George Washington hotel – you don’t need to be a hotel guest to enjoy their services! You are also able to take a dip in their saltwater pool or hot tub at the time of your appointment.
EVENING
Make sure you have tickets for the Country Music Party if you want to see some of the hottest rising stars in country music! If you are already danced the night away last night and want to enjoy a more laid-back vibe, head to one of our upscale wine bars, like The Wine Room at the Taylor Pavilion or CRUSH Wine Bar.

Sunday, May 2

MORNING/AFTERNOON
Spend your final day in the Winchester area experiencing spring in the Shenandoah Valley.
For an incredible brunch, head down to Regions 117 on the shore of Lake Frederick for an outstanding farm to fork menu. If you want to stay close, try the Chicken and Waffles at George’s Food and Spirits in the George Washington Hotel, or wander over to Village Square Restaurant in Old Town for their Champagne and Bloody Mary Brunch.

Before departing for home, consider ending your visit with a local tradition at Apple Blossom time – a leisurely country drive among the apple orchards. (Your route could include: Cedar Creek Grade, Marlboro Road, Middle Road, and Barley Lane). View the rows and rows of pink and white blossoms set among the backdrop of the Blue Ridge and Allegheny Mountains in the distance.

Top 10 Must-Do List for Fall Around Winchester

Fall starts in the Northern Shenandoah Valley in September, and every year the communities of Winchester and surrounding Frederick County gear up for the many travelers that come through from all over the region, nation and world. Just like in 2020, this year it feels like everyone is looking to explore more and stay outside. Fortunately our unique experiences, great local markets and businesses are open and are ready to safely welcome everyone as new friends when they arrive.

Viewing our fall foliage is such an integral part of any trip here this time of year, we’ve just put an icon next to leaf-peeping related opportunities.

Our team has compiled a Top 10 list of Winchester area things you just can’t skip when visiting every year as the nights get cooler, the weather gets calmer, and our outdoor beauty comes into sharp focus.  Get out and enjoy!

#1 – Go to a farm market

Richards Fruit Market
Image of Richards Fruit Market, property of Winchester-Frederick County Tourism

This season is their bread and butter, and for good reason.  You’ve got the big, ever-popular ones like Marker-MillerVirginia Farm Market, and West Oaks Farm Market and then some really unique and fun smaller finds like Hill High Farm, the Homestead Farm at Fruit Hill OrchardRichard’s Fruit Market, Rinker Orchards, Virginia Farm Market, and Shen Val Farm Market!

#2 – Turn off that GPS and go for a country drive 

Image property of Winchester-Frederick County Tourism

Yes, I’m telling you to get lost (but seriously, in a friendly way) out on our local roads.  We’ve got fields, orchards, rolling hills and mountains all within about 20 minutes of Old Town Winchester.  Or if, like many of our fall visitors, you’re headed to the nearby Skyline Drive in the Shenandoah National Park, take a side road like 522 or 11 and enjoy the ride down and make a few discoveries along the way.

#3 – Roll up your sleeves and pick an apple 

Image of Marker-Miller Orchards, property of Winchester-Frederick County Tourism

Surprise, this is apple country.  I know you probably already knew that, but to really grasp the scale of it you’ve got to actually get into the trees at one of those orchards.  Marker-Miller, West Oaks and Rinker Orchards have pick-your-own operations, or just drive around the countryside and look for some “pick-your-own” signs.

#4 – Hike or mountain bike to a vista point, even if just for an hour or two

Image of Eagle Rock on the Tuscarora Trail, property of Winchester-Frederick County Tourism

The Tuscarora Trail is truly a hidden gem, but may not remain so once people realize there’s alternative for Old Rag to get beautiful valley vistas.  We’ll make it easy for you to get magnificent views of our fall foliage – get to Eagle Rock overlook by clicking HERE and hiking about 1.75 miles northeast along the trail, or get to Pinnacle Rock (pictured) by clicking HERE and hiking from the Biby Trailhead.  Need maps, gear, or just some local expertise?  Then Mountain Trails Outfitters on the Old Town Walking Mall is a necessary stop. There are many miles of mountain biking trails in the George Washington National Forest, through which the Tuscarora Trail runs. Check out Element Sports in town for local expertise, maps and gear.

#5 – Enjoy a meal al fresco

Image of Old Town Winchester Loudoun Street Mall, property of Winchester-Frederick County Tourism

This was our our lastest blog, but it was still a little warm when we posted it.  The evenings are perfect now – check out the list, choose at least one and enjoy!

#6 – Go on a horseback trail ride 

Image of Rocking S Ranch, courtesy of Rocking S Ranch Facebook Page

Okay, we’ve got lots of options regionally for trail rides, and there’s a reason for that.  Our surrounding countryside in the Shenandoah Valley provides an incredible trail ride experience.  This is a must-do for young and old alike.  Check out our professional trail ride outfitters such as Bailey’s Walking After Midnight FarmMagic Mountain Farm or the Rocking S Ranch (the #1 rated local attraction on Winchester’s TripAdvisor page).

#7 – Have a local, seasonally brewed pint of beer or cider

Alesatian Brewing
Image of Alesatian Brewing Co, property of Winchester-Frederick County Tourism

In the very recent past, you couldn’t get a pint of locally crafted beer here.  Now we’ve got four different, unique and pretty awesome brewery options and an outstanding cidery.  Alesation Brewing Company, Broken Window BrewingWinchester Brew Works, Escutcheon Brewing Co. and Winchester Cider Works all have great fall offerings and on-site tastings.  These are all sites along the Shenandoah Spirits Trail, which pulls together every brewery, winery, cidery and distillery in the Northern Shenandoah Valley. Want traditional non-alcoholic apple cider?  You’ll find it at most local markets – Rinker’s apple cider is pretty famous.

#8 – Catch a show under the stars at the drive-in

Image of Family Drive-In Theatre, property of Winchester-Frederick County Tourism

There are only seven drive-in theatres left in all of Virginia, so the Family Drive-In located just outside Stephens City is truly a special place. Open throughout the fall season (not just summer!) and offering special screenings of classic films.

#9 – Get off-road and a bit dirty, then take a mountain dip

Image of Appalachian Offroad Adventure property of Winchester-Frederick County Tourism

The Cove Campground offers over 40 miles of off-road trails set in a 3,000 acres mountain playground. You can bring your own 4×4 vehicle to ride the trails, or jump behind the wheel of one of the Jeeps from Appalachian Offroad Adventure. After an orientation ride, you get to drive on a guided half or full day tour on the trails. Afterward, if the day is still warm, relax on the sandy beach at their largest lake.

#10 – Challenge Yourself to a Corn Maze 

Image of the West Oaks corn maze, property of Winchester-Frederick County Tourism

Check out the traditional maze at the Pumpkin Patch at Hill High Farm, the massive annually-themed maze at West Oaks Farm Market, or the scavenger hunt corn maze at the Pumpkin Patch at Edge-Wood Dairy. Each is as unique as the farm markets that they are attached to!

 

As always, no business or individual paid to be on this list – it’s just a fun collection of some top fall activities that should keep you busy for this fall, and probably next fall as well!  Don’t be shy to let us know if we missed anything!.

14 Local Spots for Dining alfresco around Winchester

On the right day, nothing beats a relaxed outdoor meal at a great restaurant, especially during these times.  When my wife and I are looking for a place to eat, outdoor dining is a huge plus because, well, we’ve got a little girl and a toddler and aside from a generally more laid back atmosphere, any noise our kids make just seems much quieter outside.

Fortunately for us, we’ve got an over-abundance of both perfect days here in the northern Shenandoah Valley as well as restaurants with outdoor dining for every budget and taste.  In fact, Old Town Winchester has the largest concentration of alfresco dining in the entire Shenandoah Valley!

B=Breakfast, SB=Sunday Brunch, L=Lunch, D=Dinner


50/50 Taphouse

Winchester/Old Town

Image from 50/50 Taphouse Facebook Page

If you want a burger and/or a beer, well, they’ve got 50 kinds of each here (hence their name).  They have a huge indoor space but you can also score a great seat in their enclosed, partially shaded outdoor seating area.  Located just steps from the Loudoun Street Mall and next to the Shenandoah Valley Discovery Museum.  L/D

Aroma Deli

Winchester/Old Town

Image by Winchester-Frederick County Tourism

Breakfast served most days until around 11am.  This local favorite has great rotisserie chicken with a Peruvian flair, burritos, and of course breakfast.  They’re located in a historic house about 2 blocks from the Loudoun Street Mall, and you can eat outside on their porch or patio.  Mature trees and umbrellas provide shade during the heat of the afternoon.  B/L/D

Backseat Bar and Grill

Winchester

This casual diner staple is always busy turning out dishes to hungry customers, whether it be hearty breakfasts or great burgers and sandwiches for lunch or dinner.  They’ve added a pretty large outdoor seating area in the parking lot that lets you enjoy our cooler mornings and evenings most of the year.  B/L/D

Bonnie Blue Southern Market & Bakery

Winchester

Image from Bonnie Blue Facebook Page

This fairly recent addition to the area’s family of restaurants has the feel that it’s been here for generations.  Very popular for their breakfast and barbecue, this great find has fresh coffee and great pastries as well.  Umbrella covered picnic style seating outside is more lively than intimate. B/L/(D on Fridays)

Creekside Town Center (multiple restaurants)

Winchester/Kernstown

Image from Creekside Facebook Page

This outdoor shopping area has recently become a dining hotspot, with nearly all of their restaurants offering alfresco dining.  Located in Kernstown just minutes from the extremely popular Alamo Drafthouse, this upscale area is quite a find.  Below are the restaurants offering alfresco dining:

The Butcher Station – Local farm-to-fork hotspot with burgers and seasonal items. Also a stop on the Virginia Oyster Trail. L/D

The Chocolate Café – Creative sandwiches, fresh bakery goods, and covered patio dining. L

Firefly Café & Bakery – Fast casual, fresh sandwiches and bakery goods with a social mission.  SB/B/L

I J Cann’s American Grill – Casual, affordable upscale American cuisine.  SB/L/D

George’s Food and Spirits

Old Town Winchester

Image courtesy George’s Food & Spirits

The attached upscale casual restaurant to the beautiful George Washington Hotel, this lower level dining experience boasts an intimate, relaxed atmosphere just a block from the Loudoun Street Mall.  And believe it or not, they were the first inland stop on the famous Virginia Oyster Trail.  Limited outdoor seating available.  B/L/D

Oak Stone Craft Pizza & Bar

Winchester

Image from Oakstone Pizza Instagram Page

This very popular craft pizza joint is located across the beautiful Handley High School, and offers a large brick patio seating area. They have a very creative menu offering outstanding pizzas but also a variety of sandwiches and dinner entrees.  SB/L/D

Old Town Walking Mall (multiple restaurants)

Winchester/Old Town

Image by Winchester-Frederick County Tourism Office

This is the biggest concentrated hub of alfresco dining options in the entire Shenandoah Valley.  Nearly every restaurant has taken advantage of the beautiful, recently renovated Loudoun Street Mall on Loudoun St.  We’ll just list out all of the ones with alfresco dining so you can relax and people watch any day of the week, year-round!

Awabi Sushi Bar – Extensive and creative sushi menu, beer, sake and wine. L/D

El Centro – Classic Mexican food and very popular margaritas. L/D

Espresso Bar & Café – Full espresso bar and some pastries; front and rear patios available. B/L

Old Town Snow White Grill – Tiny, classic no-frills grill; no better place for a slider! L/D

Roma Wood-Fired Pizza – Local Italian in a cozy atmosphere; craft brewery located upstairs. L/D

Thai Winchester – Award-winning chef-created Thai food. L/D

Union Jack Pub & Restaurant – Famous fish & chips, creative pub fare, many beers on tap. L/D

Water Street Kitchen – Traditional Southern cuisine favorites in the heart of the walking mall. L/D

Village Square Restaurant – Upscale chef-inspired dining with an oyster bar.  L/D

Violino Ristorante Italiano – Upscale, family owned authentic Italian landmark restaurant. L/D

Papermill Place

Winchester

This no-frills local favorite diner is hopping most mornings. We suggest you take a look here before heading to one of those big chain breakfast spots – you’ll get big servings of good food here for great prices. They offer a nice side patio with umbrellas for dining outside. B/L/D

Piccadilly’s Public House

Winchester/Old Town

Image from Piccadilly Public House Facebook Page

Popular for lunch but usually hopping for dinner and after, the large outdoor seating area here offers a peaceful afternoon meal spot or energetic evening scene with sports games often projected on the side of the adjacent building.  Burgers, sandwiches, wings, salads and a full pub menu promise something for every taste.  L/D

Region’s 117

Lake Frederick

Image by Winchester-Frederick County Tourism

This brand new addition to our family of unique local restaurants boasts lake-view dining with some outstanding locally-sourced menu items.  Casual visitors are encouraged to grab a cup of coffee or espresso from their separate grab and go counter and relax outside on the elevated deck on huge hanging sofas (they’re too nice to be called swings).  This is a great stop before or after a few hours kayaking or fishing on Lake Frederick.  SB/L/D

Roma Casual Italian & Greek Dining

Stephens City

A very popular local Mediterranean (Greek & Italian) restaurant.  The Stephens City location has a small but comfortable outdoor seating area.  See Old Town Winchester section for other location.  L/D

Shaffer’s BBQ & Market

Middletown

Image by Winchester-Frederick County Tourism

This is the least fancy entry on our list, but it possibly offers the best views. This very popular and locally-focused BBQ market in a former gas station has a picnic shelter that overlooks the Cedar Creek & Belle Grove National Historic Park and the Appalachian Mountains. They also offer lots of locally sourced goodies, such as local beer, canned goods, cider, and more. Definitely worth a stop! B/L/D

Umberto’s Pizza & Pasta

Winchester/Delco Plaza

Image from Umberto’s Facebook Page

Too hot or cold outside?  Well, you can still get your alfresco dining fix at Umberto’s.  Their outdoor dining patio is, well, inside.  They offer inside inside dining as well. Very popular Italian cuisine and pizzas keep the tables filled at this unexpected gem. L/D

 

As always, no business paid to be on this list – we just love dining outdoors and wanted to share a thorough list of the bounty of offerings we have.  Enjoy!

 

A Wealth of Picnic Spots in the Winchester Area

On a recent family road trip during these COVID-19 times, my family and I were determined to patronize as many local restaurants as possible. We found ourselves, though, eating several take-out meals from these restaurants in our car. If you have kids, you understand how much damage that can do to your car after a few days.

Since we have over 200 restaurants here in the Winchester area, most of which are offering to-go ordering, we quickly realized there may be a lot of visiting folks on road trips in the same predicament I found myself in. We began to put together a list, which grew well beyond what we thought we had, of great local spots where you can enjoy your takeout meals at picnic tables.

If you want to just skip right to a map, we created a custom Google Map just for you. Or browse below in our blog to find that perfect spot for your next meal.

Enjoy, and thank you for supporting our many locally owned restaurants!

~Justin Kerns, Executive Director, Winchester-Frederick County CVB

 

Belle Grove Plantation Picnic Tables

This beautiful property, surrounded by the Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historic Park, has several picnic tables and trash cans located throughout the fenced-in area of the property. They prefer (but not require) that this area is used during business hours. The grounds are free, and there are free restrooms in the barn during business hours (please check their website or Facebook page for current hours). Map

Parking:                      Free

Hours:                         Business hours preferred

Covered/Shaded:      Yes, trees

Restrooms Nearby:   Yes, free during business hours

Grill(s):                        No

Pets allowed:              No

Ownership:                 Belle Grove Plantation

 

Clearbrook Park Picnic Tables

There are a great number and variety of picnic tables here. Many are shaded by trees and/or shelters, and several are waterfront around the lake. Parking and restrooms are free. Enter the park at the lot off of Brucetown Rd. Map

Parking:                      Free

Hours:                         8am till dusk

Covered/Shaded:      Trees and roofs

Restrooms Nearby:   Yes, free within the park

Grill(s):                        Yes, charcoal

Pets allowed:              Yes, on leash

Ownership:                 Frederick County Parks and Recreation

 

Creekside Town Center Picnic Area

There are a number of great local restaurants here in this more upscale shopping center, and there are several public (not associated with any particular restaurant) picnic tables in a small cluster right here. Free parking, however no public restrooms. Map

Parking:                       Free

Hours:                         Dawn to dusk

Covered/Shaded:        No

Restrooms Nearby:     Yes, at several restaurants if you’re patronizing them

Grill(s):                        No

Pets allowed:              Yes, on leash

Ownership:                 Creekside Town Center Management

 

Frederick Heights Park Picnic Tables

There are three picnic tables, offering varying levels of natural/tree shade, in this new and very peaceful neighborhood park. Expect to walk a short distance to each of the tables. Fields, natural preserve areas and a playground are all available here for free. There are no restrooms at this park. Map

Parking:                       Free

Hours:                         Dawn to dusk

Covered/Shaded:        Partial, trees

Restrooms Nearby:     No

Grill(s):                        No

Pets allowed:              Yes, on leash

Ownership:                 Frederick County Parks and Recreation

 

Gainesboro Tourist Park Picnic Tables

This qualifies as one of the coolest little spots on our list – if nothing else because the Ruritan Club in the very small community of Gainesboro saw fit to create this generous little free spot for passersby through their community. Map

Parking:                       Free

Hours:                         24 hours

Covered/Shaded:        Yes, pavilion

Restrooms Nearby:     Yes, a porta-potty is usually on-site

Grill(s):                        No

Pets allowed:              Yes, on leash

Ownership:                 Gainesboro Ruritan Club

 

Homestead Farm Picnic Tables

There are several picnic tables here at this small but vibrant local farm market. The owners are very welcoming of folks bringing their own food and eating at their tables during their regular business hours, but please also consider leaving room for a tasty treat served inside, like hand-dipped ice cream, home baked cookies and pies, or fresh fruit from their farm. Enjoy! Map

Parking:                       Free

Hours:                         Business hours – please check Facebook page

Covered/Shaded:        Some with umbrellas

Restrooms Nearby:     Yes, at the farm market during business hours

Grill(s):                        No

Pets allowed:              Yes, on leash

Ownership:                 Homestead Farm at Fruit Hill Orchard

 

Jim Barnett Park

There is an abundance of picnic tables throughout this surprisingly large park. Some are randomly placed, and some are under shelters. We recommend driving around the park and finding the perfect spot for your take-out lunch! Restrooms are available at the playground area on the south end of the park and also in the main park office building. Map

Parking:                       Free

Hours:                         Dawn till Dusk

Covered/Shaded:        Trees and roofs

Restrooms Nearby:     Yes, free,

Grill(s):                        Yes, charcoal

Pets allowed:              Yes, on leash

Ownership:                 Winchester Parks and Recreation

 

Jim Barnett Park Christianson Familyland Picnic Area

We listed these separately from the rest of the Jim Barnett park picnic tables as they’re in a covered area overlooking the large playground area and have their own restrooms. There are also independent picnic tables by the playground and on the way over to Wilkins Lake, just steps away. Map

Parking:                       Free

Hours:                         Dawn till Dusk

Covered/Shaded:        Pavilion and tree

Restrooms Nearby:     Yes, free

Grill(s):                        Yes, charcoal

Pets allowed:              Yes, on leash

Ownership:                 Winchester Parks and Recreation

 

Marker-Miller Orchards Picnic Pavilion

This popular pick-your-own orchard and farm market has a large pavilion with several picnic tables available free of charge, as well as a number of picnic tables along their front porch. Feel free to bring your own lunch, but be sure to leave room for some of their famous apple cider donuts or fresh fudge! A large play area is available for kids and restrooms are on-site. Please limit your visit to their regular business hours, which can be found on their website or Facebook page. Map

Parking:                       Free

Hours:                         During market business hours

Covered/Shaded:      Pavilion

Restrooms Nearby:   Yes, free,

Grill(s):                        No

Pets allowed:              Yes, on leash

Ownership:                 Marker-Miller Orchards

 

Middletown Community Park Picnic Tables and Shelter

This idyllic little community park is a perfect spot to enjoy a takeout meal with your family. There is a pavilion, two areas of covered picnic tables, a playground and restrooms. Map

Parking:                        Free

Hours:                           Dawn to dusk

Covered/Shaded:        Yes, pavilion

Restrooms Nearby:     Yes, free

Grill(s):                         No

Pets allowed:               Yes, on leash

Ownership:                  Town of Middletown

 

Museum of the Shenandoah Valley

This great little spot is free for the public to use. It is located just behind the gatehouse at the entrance to the MSV Gardens. Restrooms are available in the main museum building just up the hill. Please note that the gardens are a fee area; please pay for entrance if you will be going beyond the picnic area. Map

Parking:                        Free

Hours:                           Limited to MSV Gardens Hours (see website for hours)

Covered/Shaded:        Trees and roofs

Restrooms Nearby:     Yes, free, at the main museum building

Grill(s):                          No

Pets allowed:                Yes, on leash

Ownership:                   Museum of the Shenandoah Valley

 

Newtown Commons Picnic Shelter

This town-owned picnic shelter is open to the public dawn to dusk. There are no restrooms or grill on-site, but there is a large field if you have kids with you that need to burn off some energy. Free parking along the street (Rt 11 South). Map

Parking:                        Free

Hours:                           Dawn to dusk

Covered/Shaded:        Yes, pavilion

Restrooms Nearby:     No

Grill(s):                          No

Pets allowed:                Yes, on leash

Ownership:                   Town of Stephens City

 

Park Place Park

This quiet community park run by the City’s Parks and Rec Department offers one unshaded picnic table, free parking, a nice open field and a play area. There are no restrooms at this location. Map

Parking:                       Free

Hours:                         Dawn to dusk

Covered/Shaded:        No

Restrooms Nearby:     No

Grill(s):                        No

Pets allowed:              Yes, on leash

Ownership:                 City of Winchester Parks and Recreation

 

Richard’s Fruit Market Picnic Tables

There are a few picnic tables here that the Richard family is happy to let visitors eat their picnic / to-go lunches at. The kids will love them as they are right next to the free farm petting zoo. As with our other farm markets, make sure you leave a little room for some goodies from the market, like their fresh peach or strawberry shakes, butter tarts or fresh fruit. Please limit your visits to business hours, which can be found on their website or Facebook page. Map

Parking:                       Free

Hours:                         During market business hours

Covered/Shaded:        No

Restrooms Nearby:     Yes, at the market during business hours

Grill(s):                        No

Pets allowed:              Yes, on leash

Ownership:                 Richard’s Fruit market

 

Rose Hill Park Picnic Pavilion

This is a covered pavilion, offering free parking and restrooms. There is a nice playground here, as well as a 1+ mile gentle hiking trail with Civil War historic markers. Map

Parking:                        Free

Hours:                           Dawn to dusk

Covered/Shaded:        Yes, pavilion

Restrooms Nearby:     Yes, free

Grill(s):                          No

Pets allowed:                Yes, on leash

Ownership:                  Frederick County Parks and Recreation

 

Rutherford Crossing Civil War Site

This spot is hidden in plain sight, right along Rt 11 at I-81 near the large Target shopping center. Soak in some Civil War history from the numerous interpretive signs while you enjoy your take-out meal. There are no restrooms on-site, but some can be found at the nearby Target, Lowes and several restaurants. Map

Parking:                       Free

Hours:                         Dawn to dusk

Covered/Shaded:        No

Restrooms Nearby:     Yes, at several restaurants, Lowes and Target

Grill(s):                        No

Pets allowed:              Yes, on leash

Ownership:                 Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation

 

Sherando Park at Warrior Drive Picnic Tables

At least one uncovered table is here, along with restrooms, an outdoor workout facility, a bike park, and a mountain bike trail. You can work off that lunch right after you eat it! Map

Parking:                       Free

Hours:                         Dawn to dusk

Covered/Shaded:        No

Restrooms Nearby:     Yes

Grill(s):                        No

Pets allowed:              Yes, on leash

Ownership:                 Frederick County Parks and Recreation

 

Sherando Park Picnic Tables

There are a number of picnic tables, most of them shaded by either pavilions or trees, spread throughout this large park. There are some by the large playground as well as near the lake. We suggest just driving around and finding one that looks good! Map

Parking:                       Free

Hours:                         Dawn to dusk

Covered/Shaded:        Yes, pavilion and trees

Restrooms Nearby:     Yes, various throughout the park

Grill(s):                        Yes at most

Pets allowed:              Yes, on leash

Ownership:                 Frederick County Parks and Recreation

 

Timbrook Park

This very small park, immediately adjacent to the police department, offers a few uncovered picnic tables and a kid’s play area. Parking is free but there are no public restrooms available. This spot is walkable or a very short drive from the many restaurants in Old Town Winchester. Map

Parking:                       Free

Hours:                         24 Hours

Covered/Shaded:        No

Restrooms Nearby:     No

Grill(s):                        No

Pets allowed:              Yes, on leash

Ownership:                 City of Winchester Parks and Recreation

 

Virginia Farm Market Picnic Tables

This covered picnic table was erected several years ago as an Eagle Scout project. It is on the edge of the Virginia Farm Market property, and has a Civil War Trails marker nearby. The table is available any time, but if you visit during business hours make sure to check out the large market! Map

Parking:                       Free

Hours:                         24 hours

Covered/Shaded:        Yes, pavilion

Restrooms Nearby:     Yes, inside the market during business hours

Grill(s):                        No

Pets allowed:              Yes, on leash

Ownership:                 Virginia Farm Market

 

Virginia Welcome Center at Clear Brook

There are a number of picnic tables here at this well-maintained Virginia Welcome Center, both covered and uncovered. The grounds, parking and restrooms are free and available 24 hours a day. There is even a triceratops head for the kids to play on, courtesy of the local Shenandoah Valley Discovery Museum! Map

Parking:                        Free

Hours:                           24 Hours

Covered/Shaded:        Trees and roofs

Restrooms Nearby:     Yes, free, 24 hours

Grill(s):                          Yes, charcoal

Pets allowed:                Yes, on leash

Ownership:                   Virginia Department of Transportation

 

Whittier Park

This great little City-owned community park offers a quiet spot with free parking and a playground/field for the kids to run around in. Just a minute or two from Old Town Winchester. Please note there are no public restrooms at this park. Map

Parking:                       Free

Hours:                         Dawn to dusk

Covered/Shaded:        Yes, pavilion

Restrooms Nearby:     Yes, free, 24 hours

Grill(s):                        No

Pets allowed:              Yes, on leash

Ownership:                 City of Winchester Parks and Recreation

 

Wilkins Lake Picnic Tables

Numerous picnic tables are located around the lake. Easy access from the Abrams Delight/Visitor Center parking lot or the Wilkins Lake Parks and Recreation lot at Shenandoah University – you’ll find this lot if you keep driving around the lake and look for the signs. Please be careful not to park in dedicated Shenandoah University spots. Map

Parking:                        Free

Hours:                           Dawn to dusk

Covered/Shaded:        Both covered and uncovered

Restrooms Nearby:     Yes, free at the Visitor Center

Grill(s):                          No

Pets allowed:                Yes, on leash

Ownership:                   City of Winchester Parks and Recreation

 

Winchester-Frederick County Visitor Center Picnic Tables

This shaded area overlooks the water and is attached to the Winchester-Frederick County Visitor Center. You can find free parking, high speed internet, clean restrooms and visitor information here during regular business hours (9a-5p seven days a week). The tables are available 24 hours a day. Map

Parking:                       Free

Hours:                         24 hours

Covered/Shaded:        Yes, umbrella

Restrooms Nearby:     Yes, free at the Visitor Center

Grill(s):                        No

Pets allowed:              Yes, on leash

Ownership:                 Shenandoah University

 

Picnic Spots Without Tables

If you’ve got your own picnic blanket or just don’t mind spreading out in the grass to enjoy your meal, the majority of the above spots have room for that as well. We do have a few other areas that, while they don’t have picnic tables, could still be a good place to eat your delicious to-go meal. Check them out:

 

Lake Frederick DGIF Lawn Area

This is a fee-use lake, owned by the state, primarily aimed at visitors kayaking or fishing on the lake. However, there is a nice large grassy area with a beautiful relaxing view of the lake just over the little hill from the parking lot. This is a great spot if you have your own blanket or towel; there are no tables or restrooms at this location. Map

Parking:                       Free (*DGIF fee use area)

Hours:                         Dawn to dusk

Covered/Shaded:        Yes, some tree shade

Restrooms Nearby:     No

Grill(s):                          No

Pets allowed:                No

Ownership:                   Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries

 

Shenandoah University Abrams Creek Walk

There are some nice Adirondack chairs all along the Abrams Creek walk through campus. Feel free to sit down and eat your to-go meal, however there are no picnic tables and parking can be a little challenging since most spots require an SU permit. There is some limited guest parking and always free parking at the nearby Visitor Center. Map

Parking:                     Limited, SU permit required or park at Visitor Center

Hours:                       Dawn to dusk

Covered/Shaded:    Yes, some tree shade

Restrooms Nearby: Yes, at Visitor Center

Grill(s):                      No

Pets allowed:            Yes, on leash

Ownership:              Shenandoah University

 

Taylor Pavilion in Old Town Winchester

Just steps from 20+ local restaurants, this public space has nice broad steps, shade and a parking garage right next to it. This is a great spot to spread out and people watch while you eat your to-go meal. Please note there are no tables here, and public restrooms may be limited or unavailable due to COVID. Map

Parking:                       City garage, $1/hr

Hours:                         24 hours

Covered/Shaded:        Yes, pavilion

Restrooms Nearby:     Yes* may be limited due to COVID

Grill(s):                        No

Pets allowed:              Yes, on leash

Ownership:                 City of Winchester

 

Third Battle of Winchester Lawn Area

There is a nice, well-mowed and shaded spot along the fence near the parking lot here that is popular for picnic lunches. There are no tables or chairs, so you’d need to bring your own blanket or towel to sit on in the grass. The battlefield visitor center across the street offers restrooms during their open hours, and there are several miles of gentle and well-interpreted trails starting from this parking lot. Map

Parking:                       Free

Hours:                         Dawn to dusk

Covered/Shaded:        Yes, trees

Restrooms Nearby:     Yes, during business hours at the visitor center

Grill(s):                        No

Pets allowed:              Yes, on leash

Ownership:                 Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation

 

 

All images on this page by Winchester-Frederick County CVB

15 Winchester Area Live Music Hot-Spots

LC_11-7-2014 041
Flickr image by Richele Cole (embedded), taken at the Bright Box Theater

It took a few months of living here (probably because I have two little kids in my house) to start to grasp the depth of the live music scene in the Winchester area.  With all of the hyper-talented SU Conservatory students floating about our community, I figured there were live performances going on all over the place.  Now, after devoting some serious time to find out about more and more cool spots to catch some live tunes, I decided it might be nice to try and put it all down in one place.  As always, if I missed something here, don’t hesitate to let me know.  And get out there and enjoy!

 


 

Backseat Bar and Grill


Image from Backseat Bar & Grill’s Facebook page

Country, blues and acoustic fill much (but not all) of the regular live music bill at this local favorite eatery. 104 Full House Dr, Winchester, VA 22603; (540) 665-9033. Click here for a schedule of upcoming shows.

 

Blue Fox Billiards

Untitled
Flickr image by PhyllisLynn (embedded)

Local, regional and national acts including country, metal, bluegrass and more. 1160 Millwood Pike, Winchester, VA 22602; (540) 665-2114. Click here for a schedule of upcoming shows.

 

The Bright Box

Blue Heaven
Flickr image by Tyler Priola (embedded)

Local, regional and national acts of every kind located in the heart of Old Town Winchester. 15 N Loudoun St, Winchester, VA 22601; (540) 665-2878. Click here for a schedule of upcoming shows.

 

Escutcheon Brewing Co


Image from Escutcheon’s Facebook page

Winchester’s original craft brewery features regular acoustic shows in their tasting room area. 142 W Commercial St, Winchester, VA 22601; (540) 773-3042. Click here for a schedule of upcoming shows.

 

Hopscotch Coffee & Records

Live Music at Hopscotch Coffee and Records

Image of Fletcher C. Johnson performing from Hopscotch Coffee & Records Facebook Page

One of our popular local coffee spots, patronized regularly by nearby Shenandoah University students. Occasional acoustic live music on tap in this eclectic coffee/record shop with outstanding locally roasted beans; (540) 514-5356. Click here for a schedule of upcoming shows.

 

Mimosa


Image of Engine No. 9 from Mimosa’s Facebook Page

This local Asian fusion restaurant offers an open mic every Thursday, as well as regular local original artists from country to jazz to electronic dance music (EDM). 202 Grocery Ave # 101, Winchester, VA 22602; (540) 545-8482.  Click here for a schedule of upcoming shows.

 

Nana’s Irish Pub & Restaurant


Image of Rick Harris from Nana’s Irish Pub’s Facebook Page

Live Irish, bluegrass, and rock music is performed weekly at this hidden gem of great Irish fare and live music right in the middle of Middletown, just steps from the new Gingerwolf Distillery. 7843 Main St, Middletown, VA 22645; (540) 868-9877. Click here for a schedule of upcoming shows.

 

Shenandoah University

Conservatory Presents 2014 Holiday Gala Concert
Flickr image by Shenandoah University (embedded)

The world-class SU Conservatory turns out regular musical offerings year-round, from free, open rehearsals to nationally known conductors to their ever-popular Summer Music Theatre program.  620 Millwood Ave, Winchester, VA; (540) 665-4569.  Click here for a schedule of upcoming shows.

 

Sweet NOLA’s Restaurant


Image from Sweet NOLA’s Facebook page

Live music, nationally recognized bands, and crazy-good Southern New Orleans-style food (“Food so good you need a safe word” according to their bumper sticker) in an intimate, funky cool setting.  688 N Loudoun St, Winchester, VA; (540) 667-6652.  Click here for a schedule of upcoming shows.

 

 

~Old Town Walking Mall Restaurants~

 

147 North


Image from 147 North’s Facebook page

An energetic blend of open mic nights, acoustic bands, and even EDM fill 147’s busy weekend music calendar.  147 N Loudoun St, Winchester, VA; (540) 313-4804.  Click here for a schedule of upcoming shows.

 

Brewbaker’s Restaurant


Image from Brewbaker’s Facebook page

Local and regional live music, many times in conjunction with Shenandoah University.  168 N Loudoun St, Winchester, VA; (540) 535-0111.  Click here for a schedule of upcoming shows.

 

Piccadilly Public House

Weekly piano bar on Wednesday and Thursday is juxtaposed with lively regional cover bands of every type acoustic performances on weekends.  125 E Piccadilly St, Winchester, VA; (540) 535-1899.  Click here for a schedule of upcoming shows.

 

Java Kava Bar

Live music at Java Kava Winchester from Facebook
Image from Java Kava’s Facebook page

Sip fresh kava or coffee here at Virginia’s first kava bar while enjoying local young talent performing live (sometimes scheduled, sometimes not!). 16 S Loudoun St, Winchester, VA; (540) 313-7199.  Click here for a schedule of upcoming shows.

 

~Wineries~

 

James Charles Winery

Someone To Ride The River With

Flickr image by Coy Ferrell (embedded)

Live music every Friday and Saturday evening throughout the year, featuring a range of local, acoustic and SU conservatory performers and beautiful mountain views. 4063 Middle Rd, Winchester, VA; (540) 931-4386. Click here for a schedule of upcoming shows.

 

Valerie Hill Vineyard & Winery


Image from Valerie Hill’s Facebook page

Enjoy regular acoustic shows on weekends throughout the year in a historic, intimate setting.  1687 Marlboro Rd, Stephens City, VA; (540) 869-9567.  Click here for a schedule of upcoming shows.