Welcome to the Shenandoah Valley

Welcome to the Shenandoah Valley. Although definitions vary, the Shenandoah Valley today is generally considered to run from the West Virginia counties of Berkeley and Jefferson, where the Shenandoah River joins the Potomac River at Harpers Ferry, to points south of Lexington, Virginia.

Valley `Vics` - Victorian Architecture in the Shenandoah Valley

      I never really appreciated Victorian architecture until I moved to the Valley of Virginia. I grew up in a circa 1980s house in a circa 1980s neighborhood. I had an appreciation for older homes, but never realized the history of our area and its influence on its progression of architecture. Driving through the towns of the valley is like going on a historic house tour. There are samples of all types of architecture from colonial to Georgian to modern. What surprised me in researching this article is the plethora of Victorian architectural styles decorating the scenery. What exactly does Victorian mean? In reality it refers to the era of the reign of Queen Victoria from 1837 to 1901. The architectural stylings popular in England during her reign slowly made their way across the Atlantic and became popular in America from roughly 1850 to 1910. It is logical, then, that so many examples of Victorian architecture exists in the Valley because the timing coincides with the industrial and population booms of the area. When thinking of Victorian architecture, one often thinks solely of the Queen Anne style with its gingerbread, bay windows and turrets. There are, however, several different styles that fall within the genre.   ...more

Valley's historic inns, hotels take guests back in time

You don’t have to look far within the Shenandoah Valley to experience its rich history. Many of the valley's towns and cities boast historic streetscapes with centuries-old buildings and homes. Some of them have been refurbished and converted into hotels, inns and B&Bs. Their owners go through great effort to restore the original architectural features and choose decor that reflects the lifestyle of residents who lived in the Valley hundreds of years ago. The Jacob Swartz House in New Market, for instance, gives its overnight guests a taste of life in Shenandoah Valley during the Civil War.   ...more

Second half of Civil War exhibition in Winchester shifts focus from civilian to military history

The second part of the An American Turning Point: The Civil War exhibition, Waging War, is now open at the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley in Winchester, Va. The museum has partnered with the Virginia Historical Society, the Virginia Sesquicentennial of the American Civil War and Commission and the National Endowment for the Humanities in bringing the traveling exhibition to the Shenandoah Valley. Waging War follows a Surviving War exhibition, which had been on display in the museum Changing Exhibitions Gallery for much of the first half of 2012. The current show closes on Dec. 2, 2012. Both parts of An American Turning Point: The Civil War bring the Civil War in Virginia to life through displays of authentic artifacts, interactive multimedia panels, coupled with a schedule of related museum programs.   ...more

Touring the Shenandoah Valley Backroads

To learn about touring Shenandoah Valley scenic backroads, get a copy of Touring the Shenandoah Valley Backroads (second edition), by Andrea Sutcliffe. You can check out the 13 tours featured in the book by clicking here. Order the book at 1-800-222-9796 or visit www.blairpub.com.

Upcoming Events in the Shenandoah Valley

Apr. 21, 2015: Art exhibition at Carrier Arboretum in Harrisonburg, Va.

780 University Blvd. Frances Plecker Education Center. Art in the Arboretum. Runs through April 30, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Janet Lee Wright uses watercolor and acrylics to paint portraits of flowers and trees. Free admission. For more information, call 540-568-3194 or visit www.jmu.edu/arboretum.

Apr. 21, 2015: Garden Explorers program series at Museum of the Shenandoah Valley in Winchester, Va.

901 Amherst St., meet at the garden entrance. Greenhouses. Explore the Museum greenhouse, create a terrarium garden. For ages four and up accompanied by an adult. Registration required.  Walk-in admission subject to availability.  MSV Member admission: $3 per child. All others: $5 per child. Adults must accompany children: Free admission for adults. For more information, call 540-662-1473, extension 240 or visit www.theMSV.org.

Apr. 21, 2015: Art exhibition at Shenandoah Arts Council Gallery in Winchester, Va.

811 South Loudoun St. Shenandoah Arts Council gallery. Susan Carney, painter and printmaker, and Sally Myers, sculptor. Featuring work inspired by nature and birds. Runs April  4 through May 3, soen Thursdays through Saturdays, from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m., and by appointment. For more information, visit www.shenarts.org. For more information, call 540-667-5166 or visit www.shenarts.org.

Apr. 21, 2015: Patsy Cline Historic House open for 2015 season in Winchester, Va.

608 S. Kent St. Guided tours of house every 45 minutes. Hours: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays to Saturdays and from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sundays, closed Mondays. Closed April 5 and the weekend of May 1 to May 3. Admission:$8 for adults, $6 for seniors, free for ages under 12 and active military with ID. Gift shop in the kitchen area of the house. For more information, call 540-662-5555 or visit www.celebratingpatsycline.org.

Apr. 21, 2015: Public art classes at Berkeley Art Works in Martinsburg, W.Va.

116 North Queen St. Weekly, three-hour sessions continue each Tuesday, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m, through April 28. Work in watercolor, acrylics, pastels, oil, apprpriate for all skill levels. Social and collaborative atmosphere with individualized coaching and guidance and an informal environment. Registration required. Open to the public. Admission: $80 for four sessions. For more information, call 304-620-7277 or visit artworks.berkeleyartswv.org/openstudio.

Apr. 21, 2015: History workshops at Josephine School Community Museum in Berrville, Va.

Josephine School Community Museum. The Middle Potomac History Researchers meets every third Tuesday, focusing on African American history and genealogy research within the North Central Potomac River watershed. For more information, call 540-955-5512.

Apr. 21, 2015: Full-dress Cadet Parade at Virginia Military Institute in Lexington, Va.

VMI Parade Grounds. The full Corps of Cadets marches in formation on the parade ground as part of VMI tradition. For more information, call 540-464-7313.

Apr. 21, 2015: Earth Day Celebration at Bridgewater College

Cole Hall. Tom Benevento, director of the Sustainable Living Homestead for the New Community Project in Harrisonburg, Va., discusses Sustainability and the Integration of Justice, Poverty, Nonviolence and Ecology from Local to Global. Free admission, open to the public.

Shenandoah Valley Tourism Information
Visit the Shenandoah Valley Tourist Information Center when traveling to the Shenandoah Valley. The Virginia Tourism-certified facility is centrally-located at the Virginia Museum of the Civil War, just off Interstate 81 exit 264 in New Market, Va. Call for information at 866.515.1864