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

Quilt Show at Bowman Shannon Cultural Arts Center in Mt. Jackson, Va.

5998 Main St. Runs July 1-31. Presented by The Shenandoah Valley Quilters Guild. Locally made quilts of all sizes will be displayed for sale along with other items by local artists. Open 12 p.m. To 5 p.m. Thursday through Monday. For more information, visit theartgroup.org


Historic House Tours in Dayton, Va.

Fridays and Saturdays: Guided tours of Fort Harrison, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, call 540-879-2616.


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.


New Market Farmers Market in New Market, Va.

Behind the 7-Eleven store at I-81 interchange. Fridays from May 13 through October from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. For more information, call 540-740-3432 or visit newmarketvirginia.com


Guided Civil War Walking Tours in Winchester, Va.

Loudoun St. Walking Mall. Meet guide at 2 N. Cameron St. Hosted by Old Town Winchester. Every Friday through October, excluding Aug. 19, and Oct. 14. Reservations required. Admission: $5. For more information, call 540-542-1326 or visit www.visitwinchesterva.com


Theater production at Shultz Theater and Performing Arts Center in New Market, Va.

9357 N. Congress Street. The Little Mermaid. Adventure. July 22 - July 23 and July 29 - July 30 at 7 p.m. and July 24 and 31 at 3 p.m. Tickets: $15 for adults, $12 for for students and seniors. For more information, call 540-740-9119 or visit www.schultztheatre.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


Civil War history program at Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park

Meet at the National Park Service Visitor Contact Station 7712 Main St. in Middletown, Va. History at Sunset series program, An Every-Restless Landscape: Change, Continuity and the Creation of Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park. Car caravan tour, plus moderate walking. For more information, call 540-869-2028 or visit www.bellegrove.org


Shenandoah Valley Music Festival concert in Orkney Springs, Va.

Shrine Mont pavillion. Eileen Ivers. Outdoor seating is also available on the grounds. For more information, visit musicfest.org


Night Skies skygazing program at Shenandoah National Park

Big Meadows Area mile 51, inside Rapidan Camp Gate. Learn about light pollution from amatuer astronomers, view stars through a telescope. Bring a blanket, chair, and flashlight. Weather permitting. Free admission for park visitors. For more information, call 540-999-2222 or visit www.goshenandoah.com/activities-events.


Beach Music Festival at Glen Maury Park in Buena Vista, Va.

101 Maury River Drive. Multi-Purpose Area. July 29-30. Classic Car Show.  Rain Date for Car Show July 31, 2p.m.-5 p.m. Gates open at 8 a.m. Showcase Band Concerts: The Entertainers, Blackwater Rhythm and Blues, The Embers featuring Craig Woolard. Tickets: $25 each or $40 per couple. Special concert Friday night 6 p.m.-9 p.m., Part Time Party Time Band: $5 per person. For More Information, call 540-261-7321 or visit www.glenmaurypark.com


Guided tours in Staunton, Va.

Meet at Staunton Visitors Center. Guided trolley and walking tours. Year-round. For more information, call 540-208-1741 or visit www.stauntonguidedtours.com


Historical program at Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park

7712 Main St. Ranger-led program.An Ever-Restless Landscape: Change, Continuity, and the Creation of Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park. car caravan tour, moderate walking. Free admission, open to the public. For more information, call 540-869-3051 or visit www.nps.gov/cebe


Historic steam power festival in Berryville, Va.

Clarke County Ruritan Show Grounds 890 West Main St. Summer Steam Show. July 29, 30, and 31.  For more information, visit www.svsgea.com


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

901 Amherst St. Alphonse Mucha: Master of Art Nouveau will present works from the Dhawan Collection, Los Angeles, one of the largest collections of Alphonse
Mucha work in the United States, in a traveling exhibitioin. Changing Exhibitions Gallery. For more information, call 540-662-1473, extension 240 or visit www.theMSV.org.


Outdoor music concert in Martinsburg, W.Va.

Town Square, intersection of King and Queen Sts., owntown. Fridays at Five community concert series. Runs through Aug. 5.  Free admission. For more information, visit www.travelwv.com


Evenings on Main Concert in Luray, Va.
Ruffner Plaza. Blue Mountain Road, bluegrass music. For more information, visit luraypage.chambermaster.com/events/calendar
Downtown heritage festival in Staunton, Va.

Celebrates 20th anniversary of downtown association. Exhibition items were solicited from the community and include  photographs, documents, and memorabilia that relates to local families, businesses, downtown events, activities, social clubs and more. The exhibition runs through July 31 For more information, call 540-332-3867 or visit stauntondowntown.org


Cult Movie Series at Wayne Theatre in Waynesboro, Va.

Ross Performing Arts Center, 521 W. Main St. Doors open at 7 p.m., movie at 8 p.m. No advance tickets required. Series continues on July 29: Smokey and The Bandit. Doors open one hour prior to start time for refreshments. 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!

Railroad bridge pillar in Bridgwater, Virginia

All that remains of a railroad bridge built in the late 1800s over the North Riverin Rockingham County, one that had replaced what had at the time been the longest covered bridge in the world.

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