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

Staunton Augusta Saturday Farmers Market in Staunton, Va.

Wharf Lot. Runs every week through 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


Adult Art Workshop at Museum of the Shenandoah Valley in Winchester, Va.

901 Amherst St. Meet in the Museum lobby. Plein Air Painting. Tour exhibition, Painting the Valley: Works by Andrei Kushnir. Art techniques of plein air painting during outdoor painting session. Materials provided. Beginners welcome. Rain date, July 30. Register by July 15. Museum member admission: $45, all others $50. For more information, call 540-662-1473, extension 240 or visit www.theMSV.org.


Old Town Farmers Market in Winchester, Va.

Taylor Pavilion. ld Town Farmers Market. May 14 through September on Saturdays from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Local food vendors and musicians. In-season fruits, vegetables, artisan breads, cookies, cheese, grass fed beef, gluten free bread, cured meats, jam, eggs, honey and more. All items grown or produced within a 60-mile radius of Winchester. Restrooms available.


Historic House Tours in Dayton, Va.

Fridays and Saturdays: Guided tours of Fort Harrison, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, call 540-879-2616.


Outdoor music concert at Natural Bridge Park in Natural Bridge, Va.

Summerhouse Pavilion, 15 Appledore Lane. Sarah Jane McDonald Band performs country music. Food and drink specials. Discounts on beer purchases. Admission: $5 for live music show only. Music and 48-hour Park Admission, $25. Music and Drama Creation show, including Natural Bridge lighting, $14. For more information, visit www.naturalbridgeva.com


Farmers Market in Luray, Va.

Mechanic St. Every Saturday, May 14 - Sept. 24. For more information, visit luraypage.chambermaster.com/events/calendar


Theater production at Shultz Theater and Performing Arts Center in New Market, Va.

9357 N. Congress Street. The Little Mermaid. Adventure. July 22 - July 23 and July 29 - July 30 at 7 p.m. and July 24 and 31 at 3 p.m. Tickets: $15 for adults, $12 for for students and seniors. For more information, call 540-740-9119 or visit www.schultztheatre.com


Battle of Cedar Creek Battlefield Tour in Middletown, Va.

Meet at the National Park Service Visitor Contact Station, 7712 Main St. July 22-25, 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.


Dinner Theatre fundraiser performance at Historic Jordan Springs in Stephenson, Va.

1160 Jordan Springs Rd. Greater Tuna. Comedy. Greater Tuna Dinner Theater. Runs through July 28. Shows at 6:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 1 p.m. on Sundays. Cash bar with beer, wine, and mixed drinks. No outside alcohol permitted. Tickets: $37.50. For more information, visit historicjordansprings.com


Farmers Market in Martinsburg, W.Va.

Butlers Farm Market, 1793 Dry Run Rd. Open through November 10, Mondays through Saturdays from 9 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.gowhereitgrows.com


Ghost tours in Staunton, Va.

Weekend Ghost Tours around Downtown Staunton. Weekends through October. For more information, call 540-448-2743 or visit www.ghostsofstaunton.com


Country music concert in Winchester, Va.

Bright Box Theater, 15 N Loudoun St. Delta Spur: Modern top 40 country. For more information, call 540-665-2878 or visit www.brightboxwinchester.com


Civil War battle reenactment at Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park

155th Anniversary of First Manassas battle reenactment. July 22-24. For more information, visit nps.gov/cebe


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 18-23, and 25-30 at 11:30 a.m. July 24 and 31 at 2:30 p.m.


Music In The Garden at Boxerwood Nature Center in Lexington, Va.

Boxerwood Nature Center and Woodland Garden. 963 Ross Road. Outdoor music concert series every second and fourth Friday, April through September. Picnicking starts at 5:30 p.m., live music from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Free admission. For more information, call 540-463-2697.


Play performance at Blackfriars Playhouse in Staunton, Va.

10 S. Market St. King Lear performance at 2 p.m. Twelfth Night performance at 7:30 p.m. For more information, call 540-851-1733 or visit www.americanshakespearecenter.com


Adult Workshop at Museum of the Shenandoah Valley in Winchester, Va.

901 Amherst St. Art of plein air painting, or painting outdoors, Learn techniques during this day-long workshop. Beginners welcome. Registration required by July 15. Admission: Museum members, $45. All others: $55. For more information, call 540-662-1473 or visit www.themsv.org

 


Waynesboro Farmers Market in Waynesboro, Va.

Parking Lot alongside Arch Ave., 215 W. Main St. Saturdays, May 7-Oct. 8 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. For more information, visit www.waynesborofarmersmarket.org


Art exhibition in Shepherdstown, W.Va.

War Memorial Building, 102 E. German St. The Company We Keep - An exhibition of paintings, prints, photographs and turned wood By Susan Carney, Sarah Huntington, Dave Kiser, and Neil Super. Runs July 14 - 17. Open Thursday through Fridays from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Sundays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, call 304-279-0506


Half-day Fly Fishing Lessons at Murrays Fly Shop in Edinburg, Va.

121 S. Main St. Professional guidance for casting, reading the stream and fishing techniques. Session schedule continues on July 23 and 27. Aug. 6, 10, 20, 24 and 27. Sept. 3, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sessions held on the Shenandoah River. Fly rod and reel outfit provided for use, fly lure purchases required. Bring your own food or drink, and provide your own transportation. Fishing license required. Limited to up to four people, for ages 12 and up. Admission: $98 per person. For more information, visit www.murraysflyshop.com


Americana music concert at Barns of Rose Hill in Berryville, Va.

95 Chalmers Ct. Locust Honey, Chloe Edmonstone and Meredith Watson perform Old-Time, Bluegrass, and Pre-War Blues to both their original material and the traditional songs and tunes of the American Southeast. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets: General Admission, $15 in advance until 3 p.m. on the day of event. $20 at the door. Ages 12 years and admitted free when accompanied by an adult. For more information, call 540-955-2004 or visit www.barnsofrosehill.org

 


Comedy show in Winchester, Va.

Bright Box Theater, 15 N Loudoun St. Bright Box Comedy. Shows on July 29-30. For more information, call 540-665-2878 or visit www.brightboxwinchester.com


Country music concert at Bright Box Theater in Winchester, Va.

15 N Loudoun St. Delta Spur performs modern top 40 Country. For more information, visit www.brightboxwinchester.com


Theater production at Winchester Little Theatre in Winchester, Va.

315 W. Boscawen St. Seusical JR. July 16 - July 23 Showtimes: Tuesday through thursday at 7 p.m. , 2:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Saturday, 2:30 p.m. on Sundays. For more information, visit www.wltonline.org


Shenandoah Valley Music Festival Concert in Orkney Springs, Va.

Orkney Springs Hotel, Shrinemont. The Beatles and Friends with the Piedmont Symphony Orchestra. For more information, visit www.musicfest.org.


Shenandoah Valley Music Festival Concert in Orkney Springs, Va.

Shrine Mont pavillion. Piedmont Symphony Orchestra Beatles and Friends. Outdoor seating is also available on the grounds. For more information, visit musicfest.org


Saturday walking tour in Lexington, Va.

Robert E. Lee Hotel lobby, 30 S. Main St. Lexington Food and Cultural Tour. Every Saturday, year round, at 11 a.m. Three-hour walking culinary tour of historic downtown area.  For more information, call 540-309-1781 or visit www.roanokefoodtours.com


Shenandoah Summer Music Theatre production at Shenandoah University

Ohrstrom-Bryant Theatre. The Pirates of Penzance. Musical farce. Shows July 14 through July 24. For more information, call 540-665-4569 or visit www.SSMTVa.org.


Saturday Guided Walking Tours in Staunton, Va.

Emily Smith House porch at the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library at 24 North Coalter St. Saturdays from May to Oct. 10 a.m. Hosted by Historic Staunton Foundation. Includes four of six historic districts, with volunteer guide. Covers history and architecture. Approximately two hours. No reservations required. Casual dress, wear comfortable walking shoes. Rain or shine. For more information, call 540-885-7676 or visit www.historicstaunton.org


Blackberry festival at Shenandoah National Park

Skyland Resort mile 41.7 and 42.5 on Skyline Drive. 2016 Blackberry Delight. Family-friendly. Skyland chefs create special blackberry-infused dishes. Live music, dancing, Shenandoah storytelling, and youth activities. Bluegrass and accoustic music, clogger dancers. For more information, visit nps.gov/shen


Summer Film Series for Youth at Clarke County Library in Berryville, Va.

101 Chalmers Ct, Suite C. Family Film Day. Saturdays during summer months at 1 p.m. July 23: The Goonies. Free admission. For more information, visit http://www.clarkecounty.gov/residents/library.html


Downtown festival in Stuarts Draft, Va.

Stuarts Draft Park. 13th annual Sweet Dreams Festival. July 23 from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. Live stage entertainment, bingo, contests, youth crafts and entertainment, laser tag, rock climbing wall, balloon twisting, inflatables, 5K race, cornhole tournaments and softball tournament. Local crafters and artisans, community agencies and businesses, food vendors and a pancake breakfast hosted by the Stuarts Draft Ruritans. Family friendly. Free admission. For more information, call 540-245-5727 or visit www.SweetDreamsDay.com


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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!

Edith J. Carrier Arboretum in Harrisonburg, Virginia

A student relaxes at the arboretum, a part of James Madison University campus since 1985, consisting of 125 acres of unspoiled forest land and hiking trails.

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