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.Read more...
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.
Clarke County High School is located at 627 Mosby Blvd. Gibson Brothers with Davis Bradley and Special Guests. Concert proceeds benefit local high school sports programs. Doors open at 6 p.m. Season Tickets for six concerts: $132. Advance ticket, $24. At the door: $27. For more information, call 540-955-6130, extension 7450 or 703-989-5627, or visit berryvillebluegrass.com.
Beach complex, 14239 Douthat State Park Road. Appalachian Heritage and Arts and Crafts Fair. Apple butter making, traditional Appalachian artisan and craft demonstrations, food, pig roast and more. Demonstrations and the arts and crafts fair begin at 10 a.m. and last until 5 p.m. Hayrides, $3 per person, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Bring a lawn chair or blanket for live music and clogging. Youth activities. Admission: $5 parking fee. For more information, call 540-862-8100 or visit www.virginiastateparks.gov.
Taylor Pavilion. May 16 weekly through Oct. 31, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. 13 weekly farm and food vendors, three additional vendors on rotating basis. 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.
Room 208, Roop Hall. Collaborating Across the Disciplines. Runs through Dec. 11, Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and by appointment. Artworks, products and applications created by multidisciplinary teams of IVS students and faculty. Free admission. For more information, call 540-568-5656..
Haunted History And Legends Tours. Walk through old town and visit a former hospital, a theater, graveyard, an old hotel and the former childhood home of Confederate spy Belle Boyd. Tours run every Saturday night from April through November, starting at 9 p.m. in June, July, and August. 7 p.m. in September, October and November. Adult entertainment for ages of 13 and older. Reservations required: $12 per person. For more information, call 304-261-7470.
VMI Parade Grounds. Come watch as the full Corps of Cadets marches in formation on the parade ground as part of this VMI tradition. For more information, call 540-464-7313.
412 W. King St. Hansel and Gretel. Runs through Nov. 1, Saturdays and Sundays at 1 p.m. 4th annual Cowboy Harvest Dance Party Oct. 24 and 25: puppet show, dancing, hot apple cider, cupcakes, balloons and prizes, reservations suggested. For more information, call 304-258-4074 or visit www.wondermentpuppets.com
15 N. Loudoun St.Southern rock music concert at Black Box Theater in Winchester, Va. For more information, call 540-665-2878 visit www.brightboxwinchester.com.
The Little Gallery Underground Gallery, Music Library, Room B59, Music Building. Music Without Sound: Music-inspired Art featuring works by five studio artists from the JMU School of Art, Design and Art History. Runs through Oct. 14 during normal Music Library hours. For more information, visit www.lib.jmu.edu.
Virginia Horse Center, 487 Maury River Road. Every Saturday, 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Featuring local produce, honey, baked goods, meats, eggs, crafts, and more. For more information, call 540-463-6841.
Fort Valley Nursery, 1175 Hisey Ave. Open every Saturday 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., rain or shine Under a canopy within the nursery. Runs through October. For more informtion, call 540-459-4917.
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. 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.
Main St. and First St. 90-minute walking tour interprets the effect of the Civil War on Middletown citizens of Middletown. 5 p.m. on the 2nd Saturday through October. For more information, call 540-868-9176.
Constitution Park, 215 W. Main St., Under the Pavilion by the South River. Saturday mornings from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Hosted by Project GROWS.
Annual fall festival and plant sale. Vendors offer small trees, fall perennials, and Virginia native plants, as well as a wide variety of other fall landscape plants and home and garden items. Guided and native plant walking tours. Make a donation and take a hay ride. Make a scarecrow. Pumpkin crafts and games. Live bluegrass music in the Amphitheater on Oct 11 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., professional tree climbing techniques at 12:30 p.m. on Oct. 11. Experts on hand for questions. Art groups will be sketching. Fall bulbs for sale. Free admission for most activities with donations accepted. ArborFest admission $10 per car. For more information call 540-837-1758, or visit online at www.blandy.virginia.edu.
od pairings and wine tastings. For more information, visit www.foxmeadowwinery.com.
Meet at the Visitor Contact Station 7712 Main St., Middletown, Va. Visitors will then ranger-guided car caravan to various locations on the battlefield. The Confederate Defense of Millers Lane. . For more information, call 540-869-2064.
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 www.clarkehistory.org/art-at-the-mill.html.
10 S. Market St. The Winter`s Tale. For more information, call 1-877-682-4236 or visit www.americanshakespearecenter.com.
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 www.mbc.edu.
10 S. Market St. Shakespeare`s Joan of Arc (Henry VI, Part 1). For more information, call 1-877-682-4236 or visit www.americanshakespearecenter.com.
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 ShenandoahPerforms.org.
Music includes Abbey Road tribute, over 40 arts and food vendors. Beer garden, wine tastings. Ski chairlift rides. Youth activities. For more information, visit www.massresort.com/fallfest
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 www.nps.gov/shen..
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 www.heritagepromotions.net.
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 www.jmu.edu/forbescenter/events/
Downtown Buena Vista between 20thand 22nd Sts. Culture, traditions, history and beauty of the region with a festival focusing on the lost arts. Live demonstrations of traditional arts and informative displays, as well as arts and crafts, continuous live music and entertainment, a local history exhibit, antique farm machinery, children`s activities, food, fun and more. Free admission. For more information, visit www.celebratebuenavista.org/MountainDay.html
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 www.theatreshenandoah.org.
Your Artistic Adventure benefits Arts Council of the Valley Court Square Theater. Raffle drawing for a diamond, and launch party with light food, drinks, and live music. Followed by stop at one of ten host homes for cocktail party heavy hors d`oeuvres and socializing. Local artwork and live music at each host location. Tickets: $100 per person for the evening, Raffle tickets: $40 per ticket. For more information, call 540-801-8779.
305 Friends Way. Volunteer clean-up work on Niles Cabin surrounding property. Food available. For more information, visit www.friendswilderness.org
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 www.berkeleyartswv.org.
Downtown restaurant district. Rocktown Bites, Saturdays at 2 p.m. Self-guided tours: Six restaurants, food shops, and local businesses. Sample food, drink and behind-the-scenes sessions with local restaurateurs and chefs.
Taylor Pavilion at 119 N. Loudoun St. Old Town Winchester. Baldwinsville Pep Band, a New York-based band performs music of Patsy Cline.
Meet at the Thoburn Property, Bowman`s Mill Road, Middletown the site will be marked by signs. National Park Service telescopes available, or bring your own. Co-sponsored by the National Park Service, the Shenandoah Astronomical Society and the Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation. For more information, call 540-869-3051 or visit www.nps.gov/cebe.
3035 Cedar Creek Grade. Everything apples. Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. 20 varieties of apples, pick your own available. Apple cobbler and apple cider slush. Live music each day from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Cow train and playground. Food available. Wagon rides throughout the day. For more information, visit www.markermillerorchards.com.
Page County Fairground, 15 Fairlane Dr. Oct. 10 and 11 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Living history at the privately-endowed Shenandoah Germanic Heritage Museum that is occasionally open to the public for festivals and other events that commemorate the early German settlers of Shenandoah County, Virginia.