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Downtown Staunton is a treasure trove of Victorian architecture, from stately residences to the commercial buildings downtown and in the adjacent Wharf District (actually along the railroad, not a river). Pick up a walking-tour brochure from the visitor center, and set out on your own. The brochure describes five tours, but be sure to take the "Beverly" and "Wharf" tours, which cover all of historic downtown.

Guided Tours

Free 2-hour guided tours of downtown depart from in front of the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library at His Birthplace at 10am on Saturday from May through October.

Local native Marney Gibbs of Staunton Guided Tours (tel. 540/885-2430; www.stauntonguidedtours.com) will provide narration as you ride the trolley around town followed by a 10-block walking tour of downtown. She charges $15 for adults, $7 for children 7 to 13. Reservations are required.

Whether you do it yourself or take the guided tour, be prepared to work up a sweat: Staunton is built on the side of a steep hill, a la San Francisco.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.