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

Art exhibition at Smith House Galleries in Harrisonburg, Va.

311 S. Main St. July featured artist: Debra Sheffer. Plein-air oil painter. Rural Shenandoah Valley scenes. For more information, call 540-801-8779 or visit valleyarts.org


Art exhibition at OASIS Fine Art and Craft in Harrisonburg, Va.

103 S. Main St. Jewel Yoder Hertzler: Recent Paintings. Runs July 1 - July 31. Free admission. For more information, call 540-442-8188 or visit www.oasisartgallery.org


Play performance at Blackfriars Playhouse in Staunton, Va.

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


Art exhibition at Smith House Galleries in Harrisonburg, Va.

311 South Main St. Strokes of Distinction, artistic interpretations of conversations with stroke survivors and their care partners. Opens on July 1 from 5-8 p.m. at the Smith House Galleries and will be on display through July 2,8 Monday through Friday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Collaborative effort between the Arts Council of the Valley, Sentara RMH Medical Center, artists and others.  For more information, visit www.valleyarts.org rg


Art exhibition in Martinsburg, W.Va.

Berkeley Art Works, 116 North Queen St. The Art of the Portrait, a juried exhibit of portraits in paintings, photographs and mixed media. July 13-Aug. 14. Reception on July 22 from 5-7 p.m. Free admission, open to the public. For more information, visit www.berkeleyartswv.org.


Half-day Fly Fishing Lessons at Murrays Fly Shop in Edinburg, Va.

121 S. Main St. Professional guidance for casting, reading the stream and fishing techniques. Session schedule continues on July 27. Aug. 6, 10, 20, 24 and 27. Sept. 3, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sessions held on the Shenandoah River. Fly rod and reel outfit provided for use, fly lure purchases required. Bring your own food or drink, and provide your own transportation. Fishing license required. Limited to up to four people, for ages 12 and up. Admission: $98 per person. For more information, visit www.murraysflyshop.com


Summer Brown Bag Lunch Lecture Series program at Carrier Arboretum in Harrisonburg, Va.

EJC Arboretum Pavilion, 780 University Blvd. Neal Roth, Senior Regional Director, discusses wetlands conservation and the positive role of Ducks Unlimited. No registration required. For more information, call 540-568-5115 or visit www.jmu.edu/arboretum


Bluegrass music jam sessions in Lexington, Va.

Blue Sky Bakery, 16 Lee Ave. Live bluegrass music every Wednesday morning. Bring a musical instrument to jam with, or just listen.


Farmers Market in Martinsburg, W.Va.

Orrs Farm Market, 682 Orr Dr. Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 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.orrsfarmmarket.com.


Staunton Augusta Wednesday Farmers Market in Staunton, Va.

Wharf Lot. Runs every week hrough 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


Summer Family Movie Series at Wayne Theatre in Waynesboro, Va.

Ross Performing Arts Center. Two showings every Wednesday at 10 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. Advance tickets not required. Series continues on July 27 with Shrek. 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!

Hottle-Keller Homestead in Shenandoah County, Virginia

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.

About Hank Zimmerman

Hank Zimmerman owns and operates Shenandoah Valley Productions LLC, publisher of ShenandoahValley.com.

...photo by Hank Zimmerman