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

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


Play performance at Blackfriars Playhouse in Staunton, Va.

10 S. Market St. King Lear performance at 7:30 p.m. For more information, call 540-851-1733 or visit www.americanshakespearecenter.com


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


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

901 Amherst St. Art Nouveau: Youth: July 26 from 12 p.m.- 4 p.m. Teen:s July 28 from 12 p.m.- 4 p.m. 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


Art exhibition at Berkeley Art Works in Martinsburg, W.Va.

116 North Queen St. The Art of the Portrait, an exhibit of portraits by local and regional artists. Runs through August 14. Free admission, open to the public. For more information, visit www.berkeleyartswv.org/artworks


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

901 Amherst St. Alphonse Mucha: Master of Art Nouveau. Runs through July 31. Exhibition Opening Reception on April 23 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Admission: Museum members admitted free. All others $20. Open to the public. For more information, call 540-662-1473 or visit www.themsv.org


Civil War history exhibition at Belle Grove Plantation in Middletown, Va.

To Be Sold: Virginia and the American Slave Trade. A special exhibit from the Library of Virginia. Exhibition runs through Sept. 25. For more information, call 540-869-2028 or visit www.bellegrove.org


Historical exhibition at Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library and Museum in Staunton, Va.

I Believe in Democracy. Presidential politics from a historical perspective, comparing the 1916 U.S. presidential election. Runs through Nov. 8. For more information, visit www.woodrowwilson.org


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

901 Amherst St. Art Nouveau.  For rising 5-8 graders. Tour the exhibition, Alphonse Mucha: Master of Art Nouveau, then create an Art Nouveau-inspired painted glass window hanging. Bring a sack lunch. Register by July 22. Admission for museum members: $20, all others: $25. For more information, call 540-662-1473, extension 240 or visit www.theMSV.org.


Garden Lunch Box Lesson program at Museum of the Shenandoah Valley in Winchester, Va.

901 Amherst St. From Asparagus to Zucchini. Explore the Vegetable Garden. Meet at the garden entrance. Weather permitting. For more information, call 540-662-1473, extension 240 or visit www.theMSV.org.


Weekly Tuesday evening bingo in Shenandoah, Va.
Shenandoah Volunteer Fire Company, Shenandoah Community Center. Doors open at 5 p.m. Games start at 6:30 p.m.
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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!

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.

...photo by Hugh Morrison Jr. Archives Collection