“Where Good Nature Comes Naturally” is not just a tagline – it is a nod to our exceptional natural setting and our welcoming spirit. Often cited by visitors for our first-rate hospitality, Waynesboro is much more than a great place to visit. Our strong manufacturing heritage dates back to the 1800s with products manufactured here that have furnished American homes, shaped the fashion industry, and landed men on the moon.
Strategically located in the I-81 corridor in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, Waynesboro is a city of approximately 22,000 people, nestled in the folds of the Blue Ridge Mountains with the beautiful South River bisecting our downtown. Our manufacturing prowess dates to the 1800s when companies flocked to the area to take advantage of the water and transportation access. Stoves, doors, furniture, bricks, barrels, dairy products, paper, and matches all carried the “Made in Waynesboro” label. Later, DuPont labs refined the Lycra manufacturing process, GE operated research facilities, and industrial players such as PGI, Mohawk, and Crompton rounded out a synthetic and industrial fibers cluster. Products made here played an important role in furnishing American homes, shaping the fashion industry, and landing men on the moon.
Today, the Lycra Company continues fiber production; Virginia Panel and VIRTEX manufacture electronics for defense, medical, and other industries; Augusta Lumber exports hardwood globally; and products made by F. R. Drake touch almost every hot dog made in the world. While our industrial makeup has evolved over the decades, the City continues to have a strong heritage of manufacturing excellence, and is a regional retail center and cultural and recreational hub.
We boast incredible natural assets, including a less than four-mile traveling distance between our downtown and the Shenandoah National Park, the Blue Ridge Parkway, and the Appalachian Trail. We have one of only two urban trout fisheries in the state, and a downtown waterway navigable by canoe and kayak. An emerging artistic, craft beverage, local food, outdoor recreation, and entrepreneurial cluster is nascent in our economy and particularly strong in our downtown. Successes like the redevelopment and reopening of the Wayne Theatre-Ross Performing Arts Center, the expansion and redevelopment of the Shenandoah Valley Arts Center, and the opening of the P. Buckley Moss Gallery in our historic district are jewels of our renascence.
The City’s unique attributes combine to create a perfect location for business, recreation, and culture. Some say it is the quality of life that makes a location what it is. USA Today agrees, including Waynesboro in their October 2018 rundown of America’s 50 best cities to live in. Our safe neighborhoods, abundance of outdoor recreation, and quality of education at all levels contribute to Waynesboro being a great place to live, work, and play and “Where Good Nature Come’s Naturally.”
“Where Good Nature Come’s Naturally” is not just a fancy brand or tag line—it’s a nod to our exceptional natural setting and our welcoming spirit (see Branding Story). Often cited by visitors for our first-rate hospitality, Waynesboro is much more than a great place to visit. It is an affordable and progressive place to live, study and work—all within a setting of natural splendor.