The Scenic and Historic Shenandoah Valley of Virginia
 
Connecting with nature, calming the spirit

 

The Shenandoah Valley continues to grow as a national and international visitor destination. Although annual visitor numbers have long run into the millions, there’s still a lot of space here, such as in numerous national parks, in protected forests and around certain unpopulated bends of the Shenandoah River.

What makes the Valley so unique is the variety of options available for experiencing its natural and scenic beauty. It’s home to a number of four-season resorts with convenient, bundled lodging and hosted activities. Then there is the huge Shenandoah National Park, a protected wilderness that also offers plenty of lodging, camping and dining services that are open for all but the coldest times of year.

While the trails and access roads of George Washington National Forest are much more freely accessible than at Shenandoah National park, they provide relatively limited lodging opportunities and other visitor services.

Roughing it is not the only option. Pamper yourself at a luxurious bed and breakfast or stay at a developed camping area. Hang out at a hotel or plug into some real AC at an RV park. It’s all about whatever pops into your mind and matching it up to your own degree of comfort level.

It’s certainly still possible to get back in touch with nature in open areas on public lands. Although the national forest supports many other kinds of purposes that could possibly interrupt a meditative interlude, such as timber harvesting projects, ATV and horse trail activity, and during hunting season.

But as the region rightly promotes itself as a world-class tourist destination, it attracts more and more crowds of people …especially on pretty weekends. That's a good thing. Folks who arrive with bikes or kayaks – or fiddles – bring along their own special kind of energy and excitement. There’s plenty of room here for everybody, and there is always some new place to discover that, at least for the moment, is yours alone.

Even for some us who have lived in the Valley for decades, we often still find interesting places hiding there, right in front of our eyes. 

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Be cool!
Heritage Museum in Dayton, Virginia

The midsummer sun is bright, life’s a splash of fun. It’s nearly always cooler up on the ridges, where a summer thermal can carry a hang glider for miles. Paddle or tube from one shady patch to another on the Shenandoah River. Or head down for nature’s air conditioning at any one of our world-famous caverns. Above ground or below, July is the perfect time for chillin’ in the Shenandoah Valley!

  Happening today

American Roots Music Summer Concert Series at Frontier Culture Museum in Staunton, Va.

Pavilion, 1290 Richmond Road. Sunday evenings through Aug. 28, 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Commonwealth Bluegrass Band. Dinners available. Food vendors begin serving at 4 p.m., bands play from 5-7 p.m. Limited availability. Tickets: Adult,s $12, youth ages over 5, $7. Ages under 6 admitted free. For more information, call 540-322-7850 or visit frontiermuseum.org


Skyland Sunday program at Shenandoah National Park

Skyland Resort, on Skyline Drive at mile 41.7 and 42.5. The Universe and You. For more information, call 1-877-847-1919 or visit www.goshenandoah.com/activities-events.


Play performance at Blackfriars Playhouse in Staunton, Va.

10 S. Market St. King Lear performance at 2 p.m. For more information, call 540-851-1733 or visit www.americanshakespearecenter.com


Battle of Cedar Creek Battlefield Tour in Middletown, Va.

Meet at the National Park Service Visitor Contact Station, 7712 Main St. July 29 and 31 at 2 p.m.. Two-hour, guided car-caravan tour led by ranger vehicle: Chronological interpretation of the Battle of Cedar Creek. Stops at key landmarks. Presented by Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park. For more information, call 540-869-3051 or visit nps.gov/cebe.


Sundays on the Deck and in the Barn at Rockbridge Vineyards in Raphine, Va.

35 Hillview Ln. Uncorked and Unplugged. Music by various local artists. Bring lawn chairs. Lunch available for purchase or bring your own picnic. Family-friendly. For more information, call 540-377-6204 or visit www.rockbridgevineyard.com


Civil War history program at Belle Grove Plantation in Middletown, Va.

336 Belle Grove Rd. Belle Grove Plantation front yard. Belle Grove in a Box. 30 minute interactive orientation for all ages about the history and settlement of the Shenandoah Valley, the Battle of Cedar Creek and the impact of the Civil War on the Valley. Various props from a box to visually interpret surrounding landscape features. July  31 at 2:30 p.m. Aug. 1-6, Aug. 8-13, Aug. 15-17, Aug. 19, Aug. 22-26, Aug 29-31 at 11:30 a.m. Aug. 7, 14, 21 and 28 at 2:30 p.m.


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About ShenandoahValley.com

Visiting this website, you've just landed in the scenic and historic Shenandoah Valley of Virginia and West Virginia, USA. ShenandoahValley.com is owned and operated by a small, independent business located right here in the region. We know the place. Our mission is to showcase its visual beauty, but we've also got some things to share about the people who live here, the culture and, of course, some really rich history and heritage.

Visit this place and it can seem like you are coming home. Our website background photos are provided by a select group of photographers from across the region who share their own love of the Valley through the lenses of their cameras.

While we provide a regional events listing that is always up to date, ShenandoahValley.com is not an encyclopedia about the Valley or a travel guide. In fact, we're not really selling anything on here. You can find location-specific tidbits about the Valley, particularly on our events page.

Each month we feature a Home page feature story and video that highlights something special about events, history and people.

Much of what is on here simply comes from our love for this world-reknown spot, the Daughter of the Stars, O Shenandoah, Shenandoah River... Shenandoah Valley.

If you like our website, consider making a donation ...we'd certainly tip a glass of Virginia-made beer or wine to your kindness! Either way, we're glad you stopped by. Come back to see us again!

Antique shop landmark in Lexington, Virginia

A rooster outside an antique shop captures the eye along U.S. Route 11 in Lexington, Va.

About Christy McKee

Christy McKee is a professional portrait and wedding photographer since 2011, based in Staunton, Virginia. She lives there with her husband and hopes to raise her children within the beauty of the Shenandoah Valley. Mrs. McKee uses both film and digital photography to capture the details of daily life, She also is involved with landscape and macro photography.

...photo by Christy McKee