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


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.


Outdoor program at Sky Meadows State Park in Delaplane, Va.

11012 Edmonds Ln. Astronomy for Everyone. July 2 and Aug. 27, evening program. For more information, call 540-592-3556 or visit http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/state-parks/sky-meadows


Outdoor program at Sky Meadows State Park in Delaplane, Va.

11012 Edmonds Ln. Recurring monthly program. Settle`s Kettle. First Saturday of the month from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. For more information, call 540-592-3556 or visit http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/state-parks/sky-meadows


Farmers Market in Luray, Va.

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


Civil War history program in Middletown, Va.

Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park, front lawn. 1864 Shenandoah Valley Campaigns in a Box. 30 minute program provides an overview of either the the 1862 or 1864 Shenandoah Valley Civil War campaigns. July 2, 16 and 23 at 2:30 p.m..  Free admission, open to the public. For more information, visit www.nps.gov/cebe


Youth theater program at James Madision University

Studio Theatre, Forbes Center for the Performing Arts. The Musical Roanoke Children`s Theatre. Rapunzel. Fairy tale. July 2-3, 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. Part of the Forbes Family Fun series. For more information, visit www.jmu.edu


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


Americana music concert at Lime Kiln Theater in Lexington, Va.

607 Borden Road. An Evening with Walkers Run. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Tickets: $15 in advance, $20 at the door. For more information, call 540-817-9913 or visit www.limekilntheater.org..


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


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


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

Summerhouse Pavilion, 15 Appledore Lane. Trio Festivo performs patriotic 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


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


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

15 N. Loudoun St.Souled Out. For more information, visit www.brightboxwinchester.com.


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


Americana music concert at Shepherdstown Opera House in Shepherdstown, W.Va.

131 W. German St. The Woodshedders. Katie Powderly and the Unconditional Lovers. Doors open at 8 p.m. Tickets: $10. For more information, call 304-876-3704 or visit www.operahouselive.com


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 2: WALL-E. July 9: Paulie. July 16: March of the Penguins. July 23: The Goonies. Free admission. For more information, visit http://www.clarkecounty.gov/residents/library.html


Holiday celebration at Natural Bridge Park in Natural Bridge, Va.

15 Appledore Lane. July 4th Weekend Celebration. Declaration of Independence reading: 1 p.m., Guided Hikes: 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Monacan Demonstrations: 10:30 a.m., 2 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. Runs July 2-3. Food specials available at Summerhouse. For more information, visit www.naturalbridgeva.com


Outdoor festival in Elkton, Va.

Town of Elkton Boat Launch on Old Spotswood Trail. First Annual Fireball Dash and Splash. One mile dash, followed by tube float down the Shenandoah River to the finish line. Live entertainment, food trucks. Benefits Epilepsy Foundation of Virginia and The Boys and Girls Club. $20 participant fee. Bring a camp chair and sunscreen. Alcohol-free event. Free admission. For more information, visit www.raceentry.com/race-reviews/fireball-dash-and-splash


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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!

Shenandoah Valley Apple Orchard in Winter, Frederick County, Va.

A wintertime orchard snowscape near Winchester, Va. where the surrounding Frederick County countryside is known as Apple Country.

About William I. Spinrad, Jr - Land Matters Photography

William I. Spinrad, Jr. resides in Frederick County, Va. and is a former Park Ranger with the National Park Service, as well as a Land Resources Officer. He has a degree in Geology and working towards a Masters in Recreation Resources Management. He works part time as a Visitor Assistant at the Virginia State Arboretum/Blandy Experimental Farm in Boyce, Virginia, and believes in conserving land and natural and cultural resources. Photography is both a hobby and a professional pursuit. Mr. Spinrad owns and operates Land Matters Photography.

...photo by William I. Spinrad, Jr - Land Matters Photography