Two recent day-trips that the Redhead and I took are less than 1.5 hours drive from Staunton, VA and both were to small towns – one actually more like a hamlet.
Broadway, VA is North of Staunton in Rockingham County, VA, about 12 miles north of Harrisonburg, along Route 42. With a population of less than 4,000, it has been ranked as one of the safest places to live in VA. Slow down as you approach, Broadway is filled with lots of surprises.
WW Motor cars was an unexpected surprise in this tiny town. Located within an old Feed Mill, WW provides superb restorations of antique cars. Several of their works in progress can be viewed through display windows facing the main street or tours of the facility can easily be arranged with the owners. WW Motors: http://www.wwmotorcars.com/index.html
Just down the street is Ben Franklin’s J&B’s Country Store antiques ( https://www.facebook.com/Ben-Franklin-J-Bs-Country-Store-Antiques-Treasures-Broadway-VA-131869670197155/?tn-str=k*F) This is a collection of “pop-up” shops and a small coffee / sandwich/ donut cafe, too. The ladies working here are very nice and enjoy talking with customers and browsers – old and new.
If you’re looking for a tasty bite, The Gobbler restaurant is nearby as is the unique Hummingbird Bistro – a gourmet, family run, food truck: http://www.thehummingbirdbistro.com/index.html.
Like many small, rural towns Broadway might be overlooked – certainly as a tourist destination. But, for those looking to find those hidden gems where the people are the story – Broadway, Virginia is certainly worth a visit.
Next stop, heading South from Staunton…the place that made Al Roker cry – with pleasure!
For some time now, we’d been hearing from our friends and neighbors about “The best pies ever”. When we asked where these pies were all they could tell us was, “someplace out in the country”. Being country folk, when James and Ann say, “Country”, they mean COUNTRY. Like the middle of nowhere! Or so it seemed. So, finally getting an address and relying on Garmin and Google Maps and luck, we set out to find “Woodruff’’s Pies”.
Actually, while a bit remote, Woodruff’s Pies are fairly easy to find. Monroe, VA is a small, hamlet type of area that is located somewhat between Lexington and Lynchburg and very close to the city of Buena Vista and the Blue Ridge Parkway. Starting in the early 1950’s, James and Fannie Mary Woodruff ran a small grocery store and gas pump from a building they had built themselves and which also contained their second floor living area. For 30 years they ran their shop and then in 1998 daughter, Angela, and her two sisters reopened as a small sandwich cafe. It didn’t take long until Angela’s passion for baking took over and Woodruff’s Pies were born. Being an out of the way location Woodruff’s Pies struggled along until February, 2020 when NBC Today host, Al Roker, paid the Woodruff family a visit (https://www.today.com/video/103-year-old-still-helps-run-pie-shop-she-opened-nearly-70-years-ago-79076933543). Two months later Covid struck and the nation-wide lock-downs ruined many businesses. But, thanks to Roker and the Today Show segment, lines of customers clamoring for the now famous pies formed outside the shop. Today. customers can enjoy their pie and a tasty sandwich at one of the small tables inside the shop or out in the yard at a picnic table. On our visit we enjoyed the Apple and the Almond Delight pies and the chicken salad sandwiches. Fantastic!
The Woodruff family and their pies are truly an American Story – in every sense. Woodruff’s Pies.
One of the many things we enjoy while day-tripping is the ability to truly get to know an area. Guide books, Best Places, Trip Advisor, etc. all have their purpose. But, nothing can replace just getting in the car, exploring, talking to everyone you can along the way and and taking time to …taste the pie!