Strasburg, Virginia, is called the Gateway to the Shenandoah Valley, and this small town has been welcoming visitors for decades who come to enjoy its natural beauty and recreational opportunities. Founded in 1761, Strasburg is just 80 miles from Washington, D.C. and was a perfect stop on our Virginia road trip.
We hiked, dined, explored and enjoyed gourmet breakfasts at our bed & breakfast. Here are our suggestions of things to do in Strasburg, Virginia.
Please see the related stories from other stops on our Virginia road trip.
Hiking and Biking near Strasburg
With 178 miles of hiking trails in the George Washington National Forest, Strasburg is a popular destination for the outdoor enthusiast. You can find trails for all skill levels and some that are handicap accessible.
We opted to hike the Buzzard Rock Trail, a moderate trail that had fantastic views of the valley below. While the first part was moderate, the last part had us huffing and puffing a bit. As we stopped to take a photo over the valley, we saw another hiker making his way down, barefoot. No thanks. We had packed our sturdy hiking boots, necessary when navigating the rocky trails in Virginia.
From our B&B we could walk to the Strasburg River Walk, a flat 1.8-mile out-and-out trail that ends at the river. We had a little trouble finding the entrance to the trail, but enjoyed the walk through meadows and woods.
There are also biking trails through the Shenandoah Valley from fairly flat up to expert level, so you can challenge yourself as much as you’d like.
Dining in Strasburg
Like other small towns, many restaurants in Strasburg are closed early in the week when we were visiting. Lucky for us Box Office Brewery was open. All I need to say to Chris is “craft beer” and he’s ready to go anywhere.
Chris met one of the co-owners, Tom Price, who told us he had been interested in the building that dates back to around 1918. It had operated as a movie theater until 1955 and had been boarded up for decades.
They took over the space and converted it to a restaurant while paying homage to its past use, with old movie posters at the entrance.
The menu includes items like burgers, sandwiches and barbecue. We opted for some smoked wings and a pizza from the pizza oven. Very yummy.
You can’t miss seeing The Pancake Underground, a bright orange-and-mauve food truck that serves dishes like chicken and waffles and shrimp and grits. If you’re feeling adventurous, try The Elvis, two pancakes layered with peanut butter, bananas and bacon.
Other restaurants include Crabby Maggie’s Seafood and Old Dominion Doggery & Burger Shoppe.
Exploring the downtown shops of Strasburg, Virginia
We arrived at Clementine’s, a cute shop in downtown Strasburg, Virginia, and saw a note on the door that read “Be right back!” Just then we saw a woman scurrying across the street coming from another shop. “I’m right here,” she said. “I just went to wish my friend Happy National Thrift Store Day!”
Strasburg is that kind of place, a small town where shop owners know and support each other while feeling comfortable enough to leave notes on the door when they need to dart out. She opened the shop for us, we chatted about the shop and other things to do in town, and she pointed us in the direction of the Strasburg Emporium.
We knew we’d arrived when we saw the colorful murals on the exterior and enjoyed wandering through the stalls of 90+ vendors on the inside.
Other things to do in Strasburg, VA
If you’re there in the warmer months, visit the weekly Farmers Market held on Saturdays from May to October. And if you’re thinking of a trip in November, plan to go during the annual Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup Festival!
If you’re heading south after your stay, you have to stop at the Route 11 potato chip factory, located about 30 minutes down highway 81. See how they make the potato chips, get some delicious samples, and if you’re like us, fill up any remaining space in your car with bags of some of their delicious chips.
This small Virginia company has been frying up chips for more than 20 years, gaining a cult-like following.
Where to Stay in Strasburg, Virginia
I knew our innkeeper Alice Muellerweiss would be friendly from the emails I received prior to our arrival at Hopewell House Bike & Bed. What I didn’t know is what a fantastic cook she is and what gourmet breakfasts we would enjoy during our stay.
Alice and Kevin Watson moved to Strasburg and live on one side of Hopewell House, renting out three bedrooms on the other side to guests. In addition to the name they chose for their guest home, their love of cycling is evident through little touches in the décor. In addition to being enthusiastic cyclists, they often host other cyclists here.
Hopewell House is a great place to stay to explore the Shenandoah area and is walkable to downtown. Our favorite feature was the wraparound porch where we sat one night and drank wine during a rainstorm.
Our room was spacious and comfortable, but the best part was definitely the fantastic breakfasts Alice makes.
One morning we had a towering stack of pancakes topped with peaches and whipped cream and sausage. The next day was a delicious broccoli quiche (see recipe below) that my husband adored, served with an arugula salad, homemade banana bread and fruit topped with whipped cream.
Oh, and she also bakes, so we had cookies one afternoon and slices of a delicious cake another day.
Hopewell House Bike & Bed Broccoli Mushroom Quiche
Alice was kind enough to let me have this recipe and share it with our readers. I made it recently for my husband and my friend, Melissa, and we all loved it. Between the three of us we just about polished off the entire quiche.
- 1 9-inch pie crust (store bought or homemade)
- 1 large egg
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large garlic, minced (or use quick tube garlic tablespoon)
- 2 cups chopped small broccoli florets
- 2 cups chopped mushrooms
- 3 large eggs, beaten
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 cup Colby Cheese (can use cheddar)
- Dash of Nutmeg
- Dash of Cayenne Pepper
- ⅓ cup parmesan cheese
** veggies can be chopped small or larger chunks (it is a preference)
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- While the oven is preheating, add olive oil to a medium sized skillet over low to medium heat. Allow the olive oil to heat for a minute, then add garlic. Cook the garlic for about a minute until browned and aromatic.
- Next, add chopped broccoli and mushrooms to the skillet. Cook for about 4-6 minutes, until the broccoli and mushrooms become tender. Drain any water that may have developed. Set the garlic broccoli mushroom aside for now.
- Place a pie crust into a 9-inch pie dish. Spoon the garlic broccoli mushroom mixture into the pie dish.
- In a medium sized bowl, whisk together a large egg and a tablespoon of milk. Brush this egg wash mixture over the edges of the crust to help it brown.
- Add three more eggs into the same bowl, and whisk until beaten. Generally, you’ll need four eggs to make quiche. Now, pour milk, shredded Colby, dash of nutmeg and dash of cayenne pepper into the bowl then stir until combined. Pour this mixture over the broccoli and mushrooms.
- Sprinkle parmesan cheese on top.
- Bake the broccoli mushroom Colby quiche for about 45 minutes until the crust has browned and the filling looks solid.
- Allow the quiche to cool down before slicing into it.
- Serve the broccoli mushroom cheddar quiche warm and accompany with fresh lettuce & tomatoes drizzled with olive oil and coconut balsami.