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

Theater production at the Old Opera House in Charles Town, W.Va.

204 N George St. The Little Mermaid, Disney musical. July 28 at 7:30 p.m., $15 for adults, $12 for children. July 29 at 7:30 p.m., $19 for adults, $12 for children. July 30 at 1:30 p.m., $19 for adults, $12 for children. July 31 at 2:30 p.m., $17 for adults, $12 for children. For more information, call 304-725-4420 or visit www.oldoperahouse.org


International festival at Frontier Culture Museum in Staunton, Va.

West African Village and Lee S. Cochran Pavilion, 1290 Richmond Ave. Igbo World Festival of Arts and Culture. July 28-30. Festival Theme: Capacity Building, Investing in Igbo Language, Culture, and Human Capital. Various pre-historic Igbo artifacts tools and instruments, as well as music and cultural dances, and many special programs. Local overnight accommodations available. Advance ticket purchases recommended. Tickets: Couples, $100. Individuals, $75. Ages 6-24, $10. Ages under 6, free admission. For more information, call 540-332-7850 or visit www.frontiermuseum.org


Monthly Book Club meeting at Blandy Experimental Farm in Boyce, Va.

Blandy Library. Fourth Thursday of the month, from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. Participants should read book before then meeting. Free admission. For more information, visit blandy.virginia.edu.


Art exhibition at The Heritage Museum in Dayton, Va.

382 High St. Within the Frame: A Portrait Exhibit. Portraits from the Harrisonburg-Rockingham County Historical Society collection capture men and women of the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries through a variety of media, including paint, charcoal, silhouette, and tintype. Runs through the summer months.


Art exhibition at James Madision University

Memorial Hall. Ninth Annual Area Youth Art Exhibition. Runs July 1-Dec. 14. Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Artwork by K-12 students from Harrisonburg Public Schools, Woodland Montessori School and Redeemer Classical School. Supported by JMU College of Education. Free admission. For more information, visit www.jmu.edu


Weekly open jam session Thursdays in Berryville, Va.

Fire House Gallery, 23 East Main St. Lunchbox Jam Session at 12 p.m. every Thursday. For more information, call  540-955-4001 or visit www.firehousegalleryva.com


Summer reading program at Belle Grove Plantation in Middletown, Va.

336 Belle Grove Road. Valley Reads Program. Interactive summer reading program with special events, activities, and prizes. Reading schedule continues on July 28 and Aug. 10 at 10 a.m., various locations on the grounds. Includes a tour each session. Reading prizes will be awarded on Aug. 13 beginning at 3:30 p.m. in  Winchester.  For all ages. For more information, visit www.nps.gov/cebe


Shenandoah Summer Music Theatre production at Shenandoah University

Ohrstrom-Bryant Theatre. Little Shop of Horrors. Sci-fi. July 28 through Aug. 7.  For more information, call 540-665-4569 or visit www.SSMTVa.org.


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

901 Amherst St. Art Nouveau. For rising 9-12 graders. Tour the exhibition Alphonse Mucha: Master of Art Nouveau, then create an Art Nouveau-inspired painted glass window hanging. Bring a sack lunch. Materials and instruction provided. Register by July 22. MSV family-level member admission: $20. All others $25. For more information, call 540-662-1473, extension 240 or visit www.theMSV.org.


Weekly old-time music jam at the Barns of Rose Hill in Berryville, Va.

95 Chalmers Ct. Every Thursday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Play old-time music, or just listen. Family friendly event. Barns bar open untill 8 p.m. For more information, visit www.barnsofrosehill.org.


Youth and Teen Summer Workshops at Museum of the Shenandoah Valley in Winchester, Va.

901 Amherst St. Art Nouveau: Youth rising 5 through 8 graders and teens rising 9 through 12 graders can spend an afternoon in July making art projects and exploring the museum. Paint outdoors, create mixed media works of art, and paint an Art Nouveau-inspired glass window. Registration required by the Friday prior to the workshop start date. Admission: Museum family-level members, $20. All others, $25. For more information, call 540-662-1473 or visit www.themsv.org


Play performance at Blackfriars Playhouse in Staunton, Va.

10 S. Market St. Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson performance at 7:30 p.m. Talk-back performance. For more information, call 540-851-1733 or visit www.americanshakespearecenter.com


Outdoor Film screening in Winchester, Va.

Loudoun St. Mall. Old Courthouse Lawn. Monsters Universityr. Starts at dusk. Bring seating or blankets. Final show in series. Rain schedule: following Tuesday, same location, same time. Free admission, open to the public. For more information, visit www.visitwinchesterva.com


Big Meadows Lodge program at Shenandoah National Park

Skyland Resort, on Skyline Drive at mile 41.7 and 42.5. Inside the Historic 200-Inch Mount Palomar Hale Telescope. The famous ground based telescope used by the man the Hubble Space Telescope is named for and seen by Einstein. For more information, call 1-877-847-1919 or visit www.goshenandoah.com/activities-events.


Farmers Market in Falling Waters, W.Va.

Kitchens Orchard and Farm Market, 1025 Kitchen Orchard Rd. Spring hours: Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Fresh produce and fruit, homemade goods, jams and local and state wines and spirits. For more information, visit www.kitchensfarmmarket.com.


Summer Music Series concert in Waynesboro, Va.

Ridgeview Park Amphitheater, 700 S. Magnolia Ave. Rock N` Ridgeview. Show starts at 6 p.m. Brian Patrick Band and Cravingz. Free admission, open to the public. For more information, visit www.waynesboro.va.us


Outdoor music concert at Daleville Town Center in Daleville, Va.

Daleville Town Center, 90 Town Center St. Party in the Park. The WORX. Variety rock.  Admission: $6. Ages under 12 admitted free. For more information, visit www.dalevilletowncenter.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!

Court House, Harrisonburg, Virginia

The old Courthouse is located in Court Square in downtown Harrisonburg.

About West Phillips

West Phillips is an international portrait and travel photographer, currently based in Miami, Florida. He began his photography career in 2010 while living in San Francisco, California.

...photo by West Phillips