It is no secret that much of the scenic allure of the Shenandoah Valley has to do with how its landscape and environment changes are so dramatically visual from season to season – but most so whenever Autumn arrives.
As days get shorter and cooler, you can always count on seeing more and more out-of-state plates on scenic byways and up on Skyline Drive, the world-famous Shenandoah National Park highway that meanders for miles and miles among spectacular Valley vistas and Blue Ridge Mountain peaks.
In fact, about 23 percent of the yearly number of Shenandoah National Park visitors arrive during the month of October, the same month that the annual fall foliage colors tend to be the brightest.
A portion of Skyline Drive traffic comes from the nearby Washington, D.C. - Baltimore area. And as increasing numbers of cars, motorcycles, campers, bicycles and joggers converge on a two-lane, limited access ribbon of winding road with a 35 m.p.h. speed limit, city escapees can often find themselves in the middle of the one thing they were trying to get away from back home: gridlock!
Autumn traffic congestion does exist on peak foliage days, but with a little bit of planning it's also something that can be avoided. First and foremost: Avoid the weekend crowds and plan to come during the week.
Then try heading in a direction from south to north on Skyline drive, instead of entering via the northernmost gateway, just off I-66 at Front Royal, Va.Read more...
Virginia's scenic Shenandoah Valley is a great place to visit during any season, but Autumn is extra special. World renown mountaintop vistas, countless Valley backroads with a myriad of visual experices. It's also a time for flavorful festivals, thrilling live performances and inspiring living history ... all set against a flaming backdrop of Fall colors and natural beauty.
Anderson Coliseum Work Horse Cafe. Mountain music jam session honoring mountain heritage. Musicians welcome to play and audience encouraged to dance and sing along. Concessions available. Sessions held second Tuesday of each month, starting at 6 p.m. More information at 540-464-2950.
The Little Gallery Underground Gallery, Music Library, Room B59, Music Building. Music Without Sound: Music-inspired Art featuring works by five studio artists from the JMU School of Art, Design and Art History. Runs through Oct. 14 during normal Music Library hours. For more information, visit www.lib.jmu.edu.
VMI Parade Grounds. Come watch as the full Corps of Cadets marches in formation on the parade ground as part of this VMI tradition. Free admission. For more information, call 540-464-7313.
15 Tannery Lane. Bi-annual show sponsored by Clarke County Historical Association. Oover 300 artists from around the region and over 1000 works of art for sale. 25th Anniversary. Runs through Oct. 18. Monday through Thursday from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m., Friday and Saturday frrom 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. Lunch available at nearby Locke Modern Country Store or picnic in a meadow. Admission: Adults, $5. Seniors $3. Ages 12 and under, free admission. Free Admission Day Oct. 10. For more information, call 540-955-2600 or visit www.clarkehistory.org/art-at-the-mill.html.
780 University Blvd. Frances Plecker Education Center. Botanical Illustration in Acrylic Wash Workshop with Lynda Chandler, arboretum artist in residence. Oct. 12 15, and Oct. 19-22, 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Order supply kits in advance, will be available day of class. Admission: $200, additional cost for supplies. For more information, visit www.jmu.edu/arboretum.
Lisanby Museum, Room 1108, Festival Conference and Student Center. Bridge of Dreams: Buddhism, History and Society in the Ukiyo-e Prints of Edo Japan. Runs through Oct. 16, Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Free admission.
Until further notice, limited parking available in the Whiteoak Canyon Boundary Area due to significant run-off in and around drainage areas due to recent heavy rainfall. Impacts the bridge to the upper Whiteoak parking lot. Pedestrian traffic still permitted. Parking along Berry Hollow road is not allowed. Alternate access to Whiteoak and Cedar Run trails is available. Always check current park status before traveling. For more information, call 540-999-3500 or visit www.nps.gov/shen..
Concert Hall, Forbes Center for the Performing Arts. Julie Fowlis: Music of the Scottish Isles. For more information, visit www.jmu.edu/forbescenter/events/
901 Amherst St. Fall Landscape Photography. Beauty in Botany exhibition closes on Oct. 31. Meet the artists, light refreshments served. Exhibition works available for purchase. Registration required by Oct. 26. Seating is limited. Museum members: $10. General admission: $15. For more information, call 540-662-1473, extension 240 or visit www.theMSV.org.
Fire Hall Gallery JC Visitors Ctr 108 N. George St. Light Dark Fire. Ginny Fite, Words and Color, Martha LeRoi, Clay, Carol Slovikosky, Glass. Runs through Oct. 27. Works in words and color, clay, and glass. Free admission. For more information, call 304-724-2090 or visit washingtonstartists.org.
John Brown and his followers seized the Armory in 1860, and he eventually met his death as a result. His actions are also said to have contributed to the start of the American Civil War.