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.

Outlook is bright for timely fall foliage display at Shenandoah National Park

  While national weather forecasters have been predicting the possibility of a cold autumn in the eastern United States, mainly due to another possible polar vortex arriving in early fall, the somewhat different weather patterns of 2014 could actually encourage colorful foliage this year.Shenandoah National Park spokesperson Karen Beck-Herzog says that the best thing that can happen is a moist growing season … and that's exactly what happened earlier this year.Now, she says, “We're having nice, cold days.  We're having crisper nights.  And that's going to set us up potentially for some beautiful fall colors.”Certainly in past years there have been strange and late timing in the natural color show. This year, look for a more typical arrival of fall and fall colors, says Beck-Herzog, most likely during the during the second to third week in October.Just 75 miles from Washington D.C., Shenandoah National Park forms the eastern border of much of Virginia's Shenandoah Valley, with about 200,000 acres of federally-designated wilderness sheltering both abundant wildlife and a diverse ecosystem. Over 500 miles of wilderness trails lie within the park borders, including a 100-mile stretch of the Appalachian Trail. The Skyline Drive is a 1930s-era scenic highway that follows the backbone of the Blue Ridge Mountain range for 105 miles. It offers the perfect venue for viewing one spectacular mountain-top vista after another. The two-lane road winds back and forth along the highest elevations with a 35 m.p.h. speed limit and roadside services that include overnight stays at Big Meadows Lodge and Skyland Resort, as well as a fine restaurant, convenience store and gas stations, cabin rental units and various well-maintained campground facilities and picnic areas.   ...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

Oct. 20, 2014: Stress reduction workshop series at Blandy Experimental Farm in Boyce, Va.

Blandy library. Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction workshop. Mondays, from Oct. 6 through Nov. 24 from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Ages 16 and older. Co-sponsored by the Foundation of the State Arboretum and Mindful Shenandoah Valley. Reservations required. For more information, call 540-542-6139 or visit www.mindfulvalley.com.

Oct. 20, 2014: US Army Field Concert Band and Soldiers Chorus concert at James Madison University

Concert Hall, Forbes Center for the Performing Arts. Free admission.

Oct. 21, 2014: Harrisonburg Farmers Market in Harrisonburg, Va.

Turner Pavilion, 228. S. Liberty St. Tuesdays from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Oct. 21, 2014: Institute for Visual Studies art Exhibition at James Madison University

Room 208, Roop Hall. The Art of the Puppet. Sept. 9 through Oct. 31. Mondays through Fridays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and by appointment. Puppet-making and performance, includes marionettes and shadow puppets. For more information, call 540-568-5656.

Oct. 21, 2014: Gallery Explorers program series at Museum of the Shenandoah Valley in Winchester, Va.

901 Amherst St. Explore the Second Time Around exhibition.For ages 4 and up. Use repurposed materials to make artwork to take home. Museum members: $3 per child. Admission: $5 per child. No charge for adults. Pre-registration required. Walk-in admission subject to availability. For more information, call 540-662-1473, extension 240, or visit www.theMSV.org.

Oct. 21, 2014: Belle Grove in a Box at Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park

Front lawn at Belle Grove Plantation. Interactive 30 minute program about history and settlement of the Valley, the Battle of Cedar Creek and the impact of the Civil War. Surrounding landscape features are represented by props in a way that provides geographic orientation. Appropriate for all ages. Oct. 21 - Oct. 25, and Oct. 27 - Oct. 31 at 11:30 a.m., Oct. 26 at 2:30 p.m. Special 1864 Belle Grove in a Box progam on Oct. 7 at 2:30 p.m.

Oct. 21, 2014: 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.

Oct. 21, 2014: Bingo games at the Virginia Horse Center in Lexington, Va.

Every Tuesday and Thursday. Doors open at 5 p.m., games begin at 6:30 p.m. Cost: $1 to $25 for a bingo card. For more information, call 540-464-2950.

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