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About We're Outta Here

We all work hard and hopefully we all play harder. Each month We’re Outta Here gives our readers some of the finer places that you and yours can get away to for that nice trip on the road. Whether it be a romantic inn for two or a super region for your whole riding group, this monthly column will give you thoughts and ideas to keep traveling on your motorcycle always a fresh and new experience.

Stonewall Jackson Hotel

24 S Market St, Staunton, VA • 540-885-4848

StonewallOutside“We like to think of this town as the hidden gem of the Blue Ridge.”

So said one of the group sales women I was in discussion with in the lobby of the Stonewall Jackson Hotel, right in the downtown section of Staunton, Virginia.

She had a point. Although we have been in and around Staunton many times, usually making our way north or south, this was the first time we had overnighted in the small city itself.

Most times we were passing through the region we found ourselves at Mrs. Rowe’s, off Interstate 81, for pie and ice cream. Today was different, as we were on a recon mission of sorts.

StonewallDoorOur 2018 Backroads Spring Break, the 20th annual by the way, will have the official start in this town and at this very hotel – The Stonewall Jackson (not to be confused with the Stonewall Resort in WV) and we thought, on our way back from CLASS at VIR, we’d make it a point to get to Staunton early and take in the sites and see what was to be seen.

We were not disappointed, and we can see why Staunton was recently named as one of the top 20 Small Towns in America by Smithsonian Magazine.

The woman was right, it is a hidden gem – but it is called the Queen City of the Shenandoah Valley and rightly so.

Located just west of the famed Blue Ridge Parkway it is an old town, founded in 1747 and named for Lady Rebecca Staunton, wife to Royal Lieutenant-Governor William Gooch.

In those days this was the center of Virginia, as the state of West Virginia was part of the commonwealth. The 28th president of the United States, Woodrow Wilson, was born here in Staunton and his library can be found right in town just a short stroll from the hotel.

Just about everything in Staunton is just a short stroll from the Stonewall Jackson Hotel.

We spent a late afternoon in October walking along East Beverly Street, which has a great number of interesting shops and points of interest.

StonewallBreweryA large used bookstore, the Black Swan, drew us right in, as did the local ice cream parlor (go figure) The Split Banana. You would be foolish not to wash some delicious dairy with some great local brew and that is what we found at the Shenandoah Valley Brewery (Jeff C. take notice).

Another place of interest is the Camera Heritage Museum that has been nominated for the Virginia Association of Museums' Top Ten Endangered Artifacts program.·This place houses a huge and unique collection of antique cameras dating from the 19th century to modern times. It was closed when we got there, but it is certainly #1 on our list when we return in May. Right behind this will be a visit to the Bruce A. Elder Antique And Classic Automobiles. We got a chance, when strolling to dinner, to look into the window of this collection and it certainly will be a gathering point at some time when we are on the Spring Break.

StoewallTheaterRight next door to the hotel you will find the 300-seat Blackfriars Playhouse - the world's only re-creation of Shakespeare's original indoor theatre.

But, let’s talk about the Stonewall Jackson Hotel a bit, shall we?
We love old places like this – they always seem to exude class and have a charm from years gone by that is impossible to find in the chain motel off the interstate.

The Stonewall Jackson, a member of Historic Hotels of America, was built 94 years ago in 1924 as designed by H.L. Stevens and it is considered an excellent example of the architect's work in the Colonial Revival style. In mezzanine of the hotel you will find an original 1924 Wurlitzer organ, believed to be the only one of its kind. It has been faithful restored to its original condition. Beautiful.

Atop the hotel its giant neon lighted sign is a beacon for travelers and big part of the town’s hip and cool vibe.

StonewallBedroomThe rooms are very well appointed and you could not ask for a more comfortable bed.

In the lobby, you will find a well stocked bar, Sorrels Lounge, with plenty of seating in and around it. The hotel’s restaurant, 24 Market, is distinguished for its offerings as well as its fine décor and large windows that let the morning light stream in.

If needed they have a serious fitness center (Jeff C. take notice) as well as a heated indoor pool and hot tub.

Parking for the bike is indoors and fairly secure, with a quick elevator ride to and from the machines.

Basically the Stonewall Jackson Hotel and the town of Staunton, Virginia are everything we could ask for in an overnight destination or as a base for local exploration and we hope you will join us on our first night for the 20th Backroads Spring Break this coming May – we promise you will be so glad you did.