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

Heritage Museum hours of operation in Dayton, Va.

382 High St. Mondays through Sundays: Heritage Museum is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission fee. For more information, call 540-879-2616 or visit valleyheritagemuseum.org


Battle of Cedar Creek Battlefield Tour in Middletown, Va.

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


Art workshop series at Carrier Arboretum in Harrisonburg, Va.

780 University Blvd. Frances Plecker Education Center. July 18-21 and July 25-28, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Painted Nature-themed Pillow. Create a nature-themed, hand-painted pillow. With Artist in Residence Lynda Chandler. $140 per session, includnes supplies: one pillow form per session muslin fabric, paint, and brushes. For more information, call 540-568-3194 or visit www.jmu.edu/arboretum


Theater camps at Wayne Theatre in Waynesboro, Va.

Ross Performing Arts Center, 521 West Main St. Spotlight Stage camp. Grades K-12. Experience live performing arts. Theatre Intensive Camp: Snow White and the Prince Summer Workshop: Continues on July 25-30, for grades 2-12, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Fairytale Summer Camp: Runs Aug. 1-4, for grades K-4, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Scholarships available. For more information, call 540-943-9999 or visit www.waynetheatre.org


Art workshop at Carrier Arboretum in Harrisonburg, Va.

Frances Plecker Education Center, 780 University Blvd. Collage on Canvas with Artist in Residence Lynda Chandler. July 25-28, from 1 p.m.-4 p.m. Create a collage on a 12x12 canvas. Admission: $140. For more information, call 540-568-5115 or visit www.jmu.edu/arboretum


Civil War Day Camp at Virginia Museum of the Civil War in New Market, Va.

8895 George Collins Parkway. Colonel Shipp`s Leadership Institute. July 25-29, 9 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. For young men ages 13-17. Explore life as a VMI Cadet in the 19th century. Register by July 15. Lunches are not provided. First come, first served. Limited availability. Reservations required. Tickets: 25 per day or $100 for all five days. For more information, visit www.vmi.edu/newmarket


Pokemon GO Instagram Contest in Harrisonburg, Va.

Hardesty-Higgins House Visitor Center, S. Main St. Prizes available for participants, through Aug. 15. For more information, visit www.visitharrisonburgva.com


Digital storytelling workshop at Court Square Theater in Harrisonburg, Va.

41 Court Square. Arts and The Parks: Sharing Your Outdoor Adventure - Digital Storytelling 101. 2015 Shenandoah National Park Artist in Residence and Apple Distinguished Educator, Stace Carter. In partnership with the Virginia Quilt Museum. Doors open at 2:30 p.m. Tickets: $5. For more information, call 540-433-9189 or visit www.valleyarts.org/cst


Adult Summer Reading Program at Massanutten Regional Library in Harrisonburg, Va.

For ages 18 and older. Runs through Aug. 8. Variety of weekly programs. Weekly prizes, grand prize winner at conclusion of program schedule. For more information, visit www.mrlib.org


Farmers Market in Inwood, W.Va.

Taylors Farm Market, 178 Pilgrim St. Mondays through Fridays, from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday, 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.taylors-farm-market.myshopify.com


Classic Film Series at Wayne Theatre in Waynesboro, Va.

Ross Performing Arts Center, 521 W. Main St. Series continues on July 25: The Third Man 1949, with Orson Welles and Joseph Cotteny. All 7 p.m. screenings will include a brief introduction, short intermission, and optional film discussion afterwards led by The Classic Cinema Club. Films are subject to change. Admission: Pay-what-you-will. For more information, call 540-943-9999 or visit www.waynetheatre.org


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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

The arboretum has been a part of James Madison University campus since 1985, consisting of 125 acres of unspoiled forest land and hiking trails, including this small swinging suspension bridge.

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