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.
Glen Burnie House, 901 Amherst St. Wine and cheese reception 5 to 6 p.m. performance by Hollywood films by saxophonist Timothy Roberts and pianist Ieva Jokubaviciute beginning at 6 p.m. Special after-hours gallery access to the just-opened exhibition, CUT. Costume and the Cinema. Museum members, Shenandoah University students and faculty: $30. General admission: $35. Includes wine and cheese reception. Registration required by Oct. 6. For more information, call 540-662-1473, extension 240 or visit www.theMSV.org.
Armstrong Concert Hall, 702 University Drive. Craig Fraedrich directs Shenandoah Conservatory Little Big Band: The Many Moods of Mingus. Tickets: $12. For more information, visit ShenandoahPerforms.org.
10 S. Market St. A Midsummer Night`s Dream TalkBack discussion session follows performance. For more information, call 1-877-682-4236 or visit www.americanshakespearecenter.com.
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.
Shenandoah National Park has closed the Whiteoak Canyon area trails and parking area due to recent flooding: Whiteoak Canyon parking lot off of Berry Hollow road, route 600, and the Whiteoak Canyon and Cedar Run trails. TClosed until further notice. All hikers should generally be extra careful on the trails. Check for weather updates on the SNP Facebook page, Twitter feeds or at www.nps.gov/shen.
Library Meeting Rooms, S. Main St. Annual, four-part community educational series about Shenandoah Valley Heritage. Underwritten by the Deyerle Family of Harrisonburg. Thursday evenings. Series continues on Oct. 8, 15, 22, 7 p.m. Oct. 8: History of Timberville. An old folks home, a pillow factory, an orphanage? Bev Garber discusses the history of Timberville and the founding of Plains District Museum. Free admission. For more information, visit www.mrlib.org/events.
Berkeley Art Works, 116 North Queen St. Runs through Oct. 11. Gallery co-op space with 18 artists and artisans. Open Wednesday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Friday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. Part of the nationally-celebrated American Craft Week.For more information, visit www.berkeleyartswv.org.
Berkeley Art Works Gallery, 116 North Queen St. Third Annual Eastern West Virginia Juried Exhibit. Runs Oct. 8 through Nov. 8. Hosted by Berkeley Arts Council. 31 selected works out 72 submitted from 28 artists from the Eastern Region of West Virginia. Oct. 17 reception. For more information, visit artworks.berkeleyartsW.Va.org.
Pogue Auditorium, George C. Marshall Foundation, VMI Parade. Homes for our Troops presentation by Luke Murphy: Blasted by Adversity. A non-profit organization that builds special, mortgage-free homes nationwide for severely injured veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan veterans. Reception follows program. Reservations required. Free admission for museum members. Non-members, $15 at the door. For more information, call 540-463-7103, extension 138 or visit www. marshallfoundation.org.
Belle Grove Plantation is a 1797 manor house at the Cedar Creek & Belle Grove National Historical Park in Middletown, Virginia. Now a National Historic Landmark, Virginia Historic Landmark, and a National Trust for Historic Preservation historic property.