The Scenic and Historic Shenandoah Valley of Virginia
The Autumn Color Carpet Rolls Out

Autumn foliage on Skyline Drive, Shenandoah National Park


It is no secret that much of the scenic allure of the Shenandoah Valley has to do with how its landscape and environment changes are so dramatically visual from season to season – but most so whenever Autumn arrives.

As days get shorter and cooler, you can always count on seeing more and more out-of-state plates on scenic byways and up on Skyline Drive, the world-famous Shenandoah National Park highway that meanders for miles and miles among spectacular Valley vistas and Blue Ridge Mountain peaks.

In fact, about 23 percent of the yearly number of Shenandoah National Park visitors arrive during the month of October, the same month that the annual fall foliage colors tend to be the brightest.  

A portion of Skyline Drive traffic comes from the nearby Washington, D.C. - Baltimore area. And as increasing numbers of cars, motorcycles, campers, bicycles and joggers converge on a two-lane, limited access ribbon of winding road with a 35 m.p.h. speed limit, city escapees can often find themselves in the middle of the one thing they were trying to get away from back home: gridlock!

Autumn traffic congestion does exist on peak foliage days, but with a little bit of planning it's also something that can be avoided. First and foremost: Avoid the weekend crowds and plan to come during the week.

Then try heading in a direction from south to north on Skyline drive, instead of entering via the northernmost gateway, just off I-66 at Front Royal, Va.

Autumn in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley!

Virginia's scenic Shenandoah Valley is a great place to visit during any season, but Autumn is extra special. World renown mountaintop vistas, countless Valley backroads with a myriad of visual experices. It's also a time for flavorful festivals, thrilling live performances and inspiring living history ... all set against a flaming backdrop of Fall colors and natural beauty.

  Happening today

Brass Band concert at James Madison University

Concert Hall, Forbes Center for the Performing Arts. For more information, visit

131 Grace St. Passage, by Dymph De Wild, a 2012 MFA graduate of JMU, and Rebecca Silberman, an associate professor of art at JMU. For more information, call 540-568-7175.

131 Grace St. Passage, by Dymph De Wild, a 2012 MFA graduate of JMU, and Rebecca Silberman, an associate professor of art at JMU. For more information, call 540-568-7175.

Music and Dancing in Raphine, Va.

Clarks Ole Time Music Center, located at Clarks Lumber Co., 1288 Ridge Road. longtime Friday-night tradition of old-time music and dance from 7:30-10 p.m. Admission: $8 per person, $15 per couple. For more information, call 540-377-2490.

Guided walking tours in downtown Lexington, Va.

Meet at the Lexington Visitor Center. Every Friday at 3 p.m., from April through November. Rain or shine. No reservations required. Wear comfortable shoes. For more information, call 540-463-3777.

Anniversary celebration at OASIS Art Gallery in Harrisonburg, Va.

103 S. Main St. 15th anniversary features live auction, food and drinks from local vendors, and live music. Tickets: $13 online and $15 at the door, Join the event on Facebook  to win a bowl designed by Alyce Pollock. Must be present to win. For more information, call 540-442-8188 or visit

Guided Civil War Walking Tours in Winchester, Va.

Old Town Winchester. Meet guide at 2 N. Cameron St. 6 p.m. tour schedule continues on Oct. 2 and 9. Experience the Civil War as a civilian, learn about the events that took place in Winchester during the Civil War. Reservations:  540-542-1326. Admission: $5 per person, payable to the guide.

Belle Grove in a Box at Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park

336 Belle Grove Rd. Belle Grove Plantation front yard. 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. Oct. 9, 10, 17, 19, 24 and 31 at 11:30 a.m. Oct. 4, 11 and 25 at 2:30 p.m. Oct. 17 at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. Oct 18 at 10 a.m., 12 p.m. and 3 p.m.

Battle of Cedar Creek Tour at Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historic Park

Starting at Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation Headquarters, a two-hour, 13-mile, guided car-caravan tour following a park ranger vehicle. Chronologically inteprets the Battle of Cedar Creek, visiting key landmarks. Oct 9, 17, 24 and 31 at 2 p.m. Oct. 19 at 1 p.m.

Theater performance at Blackfriars Playhouse in Staunton, Va.

10 S. Market St. Antony and Cleopatra. For more information, call 1-877-682-4236 or visit

Gallery Talk program at Museum of the Shenandoah Valley in Winchester, Va.

901 Amherst St. CUT. Costume and the Cinema. Oct. 9, and Oct. 11 from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. Gowns and other movie costumes from the CUT. exhibition. Interactive talk with MSV Deputy Director of Arts and Education Nancy Huth. Registration required by Oct. 7 for October 9 program and by Oct. 9 for Oct. 11 program. Museum members admitted free. General admission: $10 includes museum admission. For more information, call 540-662-1473 or visit

Monthly wine tasting at Lexington Valley Vineyard in Lexington, Va.

Wine and Wags, every second Friday, May through October. Walk through the vineards.  Bring a picnic or snack baskets available. Pets welcome. For more information, call 540-462-2974.

Art show at Burwell-Morgan Mill in Millwood, Va.

15 Tannery Lane. Bi-annual show sponsored by Clarke County Historical Association. Oover 300 artists from around the region and over 1000 works of art for sale. 25th Anniversary. Runs through  Oct. 18. Monday through Thursday from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m., Friday and Saturday frrom 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. Lunch available at nearby Locke Modern Country Store or picnic in a meadow. Admission: Adults, $5. Seniors $3. Ages 12 and under, free admission. Free Admission Day Oct. 10. For more information, call 540-955-2600 or visit

Theater performance at Mary Baldwin College

Fletcher Collins Theatre, Deming Fine Arts Center, By Oscar Wilde. Oct 7 through Oct. 11, 7:30 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, 2 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets: $12 for adults, $7 for students and senior citizens. For more information, call 540-887-7189 or visit

Musical theater production at Shenandoah University

Ohrstrom-Bryant Theatre, 620 Millwood Avenue. Jonathan Flom directs a musical based on the 1940s film The Shop Around the Corner. Oct. 9 - Oct. 11 shows. Later had inspired the movie, You`ve got mail. Tickets: $20. For more information, visit

Monthly Wine tasting event at Lexington Valley Vineyard in Lexington, Va.

Wine and Wags is held every second Friday of the month, through October. Bring a picnic or snack baskets are available. Stroll the vineyards with your pet. Virginia wines. For more information, call 540-462-2974.

Shenandoah National Park flood-related closings

Until further notice, limited parking available in the Whiteoak Canyon Boundary Area due to significant run-off in and around drainage areas due to recent heavy rainfall. Impacts the bridge to the upper Whiteoak parking lot. Pedestrian traffic still permitted. Parking along Berry Hollow road is not allowed. Alternate access to Whiteoak and Cedar Run trails is available. Always check current park status before traveling. For more information, call 540-999-3500  or visit

Shenandoah Antiques Expo at Augusta Expo in Fishersville, Va.

277 Expo Road, I-64, Exit 91. 57th year. Three day event, Oct. 9 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Oct. 10 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Oct. 11 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Hundreds of exhibitors offer antiques, vintage Americana, jewelry, silver, glassware, primitives, rugs and mid-century modern pieces. $10 for three-day pass, two-day and Sunday passes:$5. Free parking. For more information, call 540-337-2552 or visit

Theater performance at James Madison University

Studio Theatre, Forbes Center for the Performing Arts. First Lady Suite by Michael John LaChiusa. Friday at 8 p.m. Saturday at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Sunday at 2 p.m. Musical. Features JMU musical theatre students. For more information, visit

Theater performance at Theatre Shenandoah in Edinburg, Va.

107 Center Street. The Miracle Worker. Drama. Friday and Saturday hows at 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 9, 10, 16 and 17. Sunday shows at 2:30 p.m. on Oct. 11 and 18. For more information, call 540-982-3972 or visit

West Virginia Craft Week in Martinsburg, W.Va.

Berkeley Art Works, 116 North Queen St. Runs through Oct. 11. Gallery co-op space with 18 artists and artisans. Open Wednesday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Friday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. Part of the nationally-celebrated American Craft Week.For more information, visit

Second Friday Poetry Reading at the Berkeley Art Works in Martinsburg, W.Va.

116 North Queen St. Newest poetry interest group offers chance to read and share poetry. Reading schedule follows order of signing in. Free admission, open to the public. Donations accepted. For more information, call 304-620-7277.

History at Sunset program in Maurertown, Va.

Shenandoah County Park, 380 Park Lane. Battle of Toms Brook 151st Anniversary Tour. For more information, visit

Art show in Millwood, Va.

Duvall Designs Gallery, located near historic Burwell-Morgan Mill. Monthly rotation of featured artists. Open every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, call: 540-336-9632.

Drum Circle program in Berryville, Va.

My Neighbor and Me, 15 E. Main St. Jona Masiya. For more information, call 540-955-8124.

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Hugh Morrison Jr. Archives Photo: Soda Fountain

Hugh Morrison Jr. photographed the people and places of Shenandoah County, Virginia, during the first half of the 1900s, until 1950. He compiled an immense body of work, now archived by the Shenandoah County Historical Society. The collection includes more than 25,000 digital images.

About Hugh Morrison Jr. Archives Collection

The Shenandoah County Historical Society supports historic building and site preservation as well as collects and preserves information about the history of Shenandoah County, Virginia. In parnership with Shenandoah County, SCHS operates a visitor's center and museum in the 1795 Historic Shenandoah County Courthouse in Woodstock, Virginia. by Hugh Morrison Jr. Archives Collection