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

Art workshop series at Carrier Arboretum in Harrisonburg, Va.

780 University Blvd. Frances Plecker Education Center. Collage on Canvas, Trees of the Arboretum. June 20-23 and June 27-30, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, call 540-568-3194 or visit www.jmu.edu/arboretum


Juried Photography Exhibit in Martinsburg, W.Va.

Berkeley Art Works gallery, 116 North Queen St. Photo16, Hosted by the Berkeley Arts Council. Runs June 8 through July 9. For more information, visit artworks.berkeleyartsW.Va.org/photo16.


Theater camps at Wayne Theatre in Waynesboro, Va.

Ross Performing Arts Center, 521 West Main St. Spotlight Stage camp. Grades K-12. Experience live performing arts. Theatre Intensive Camp: June 27-30, for grades 6-12, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Snow White and the Prince Summer Workshop: Runs July 11-15, July 18-22, July 25-30, for grades 2-12, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Fairytale Summer Camp: Runs Aug. 1-4, for grades K-4, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Scholarships available. For more information, call 540-943-9999 or visit www.waynetheatre.org


Art workshop at Carrier Arboretum in Harrisonburg, Va.

Frances Plecker Education Center. Collage on Canvas, Trees of the Arboretum. June 27-30, from 1 p.m.-4 p.m. Create a collage on stretched canvas with paint and decoupage medium. Admission: $140. For more information, visit www.jmu.edu/arboretum


Film screening at Court Square Theater in Harrisonburg, Va.

41-F Court Square. National Theatre Live: Hamlet. Drama. June 29 at 6:30 p.m., June 30 at 2 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Theater members save 20 percent and get free popcorn. Tickets: Adults: $14, seniors and students: $12. Ages 12 and Under: $10. Groups of 20 or more: $12 each. For more information, call 540-433-9189 or visit www.valleyarts.org


Summer Nature Camp at Blandy Experimental Farm in Boyce, Va.

Animals, plants, weather, habitats, and more, and include theme-based crafts and games. Wetland Wonders. June 27 through June 29, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Grades 2-4: Eat or Be Eaten. For more information, visit blandy.virginia.edu.


Downtown festival in Stanley, Va.

Stanleys Homecoming. Carnival at 6 p.m., Miss Homecoming Pageant at 6:30 p.m., live music at 9:30 p.m. For more information, visit www.facebook.com/StanleyHomecoming


Womens History Exhibit at Shenandoah County Library in Edinburg, Va.

514 Stoney Creek Blvd. Library of Virginia traveling exhibit, celebrates the accomplishment of prominent Virginia women. June 27-June 30 at Shenandoah County Library. Hosted by Shenandoah County Library System Truban Archives. Free admission. For more information, visit countylib.org


Bluegrass music jam sessions in Lexington, Va.

Blue Sky Bakery, 16 Lee Ave. Live bluegrass music every Wednesday morning. Bring a musical instrument to jam with, or just listen.


Summer theater camp for youth at Wayne Theatre in Waynesboro, Va.

Ross Performing Arts Center, 521 West Main St. Theatre Intensive Summer Camp. For students in grades 6-12. Runs June 27-30, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Theater basics, acting techniques, song and dance, improvisation and audition workshop. Admission: Pay-what-you-will. For more information, call 540-943-9999 or visit www.WayneTheatre.org


Farmers Market in Martinsburg, W.Va.

Orrs Farm Market, 682 Orr Dr. Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fresh produce and fruit, homemade goods, jams and local and state wines and spirits. For more information, visit www.orrsfarmmarket.com.


Staunton Augusta Wednesday Farmers Market in Staunton, Va.

Wharf Lot. Runs every week hrough November. Saturdays: 7 a.m. to 12 p.m. Wednesdays: 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Producer-only market with fresh foods, baked goods, plants and more. Free parking available. For more information, visit www.safarmersmarket.com


Holiday celebration in Luray, Va.

Yogi Bears Jellystone Park, 2250 US Hwy 211 East. Patriotic Week, June 27 - July 4. Patriotic hair beading, T-shirts tie-dyeing, American Pride parade on July 2. DJ dance party on Saturday night, live music. Fireworks show on July 3. For more information, call 540-743-400.


Summer Family Movie Series at Wayne Theatre in Waynesboro, Va.
Ross Performing Arts Center. Two showings every Wednesday at 10 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. Advance tickets not required. Series continues on June 29 with Toy Story. Admission: Pay-what-you-will. For more information, call 540-943-9999 or visit www.waynetheatre.org
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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!

Silver Lake in Dayton, Virginia

Silver Lake is a shallow, 10-acre, spring-fed mill pond, just outside the town. It's both a scenic attraction and a popular fishing spot.

About Manny Jose

Manny Jose has loved the Shenandoah Valley since the mid-1970s when he came to the area as a university student. He moved back to the Valley permanently in 1999. Subsequently, since 2012, he has been passionately taking photographs to capture the scenic beauty, rich history, unique people groups and cultures, and current happenings in the Valley.

...photo by Manny Jose