Getting out of Lexington: Waynesboro Edition

A junior Washington and Lee student gives tips for how to enjoy leaving “the Washington and Lee bubble.” This week’s highlights Waynesboro, Virginia

Josette Corazza

Waynesboro, Virginia, is about a 50-minute drive up I-64 East. The independent city features the closest Target store to campus, which is normally my reason for taking a day trip to the area. However, it also offers many other outdoor, historical, dining and shopping options.

The city is located at the base of the gorgeous Blue Ridge Mountains, visibly towering behind shopping centers and restaurants. Waynesboro is a designated Appalachian Trail Community, meaning it is highlighted in guidebooks and hiking maps and located just two miles from an entrance to the trail.

The South River runs through the city, making it a great place for fly fishing. You can stop by South River Fly Shop for all your fishing gear. The four-mile Waynesboro Water Trail is also a great stop for paddle sports. Duck into Rockfish Gap Outfitters for kayak rentals and other paddling equipment.

On these colder autumn days, if you don’t feel like spending the day outdoors, Waynesboro offers some great historical and cultural gems. Stop by The Plumb House, which hosts the annual reenactment of the Battle of Waynesboro and features collections of Civil War and Native American artifacts year-round. The P. Buckley Moss Gallery showcases the renowned Waynesboro artist’s work, including a complete selection of her ornaments and other collectibles.

Some well-known retail stores located in Waynesboro.

include LOFT, Kohl’s, Bed Bath & Beyond and Ross. Unique downtown shopping destinations include The City Cow, a sweet souvenir shop; Twice as Nice, an up- scale consignment boutique; and Initial Inspiration, a gift shop that does embroidery and personalization.

If you’re really feeling the loss of south-of-the-border flavor since Mexicoop’s reign ended, Moe’s Southwest Grill sits on the Lexington-adjacent outskirts of Waynesboro. You can also find Cracker Barrel, Chick-fil-A and Starbucks in the city, if you’re missing the fast food staples that Lexington doesn’t offer.

Perhaps you’re looking for more sophisticated dining, and in that case, Waynesboro also has you covered. Stella, Bella & Lucy’s serves locally sourced breakfast and lunch options. The Green Leaf Grill dishes up “comfort food twists” ranging from seafood gumbo to chipotle rasp- berry baked brie. If you’re looking to quench your thirst, check out Blue Ridge Bucha, a kombuchery churning out certified organic kombucha handmade from Blue Ridge Mountain water.

With so many things to explore, see, taste and experience, Waynesboro is a day-trip destination perfect for spending some time out of the Washington and Lee bubble.