Virginia's Shenandoah Valley Region
Whether you are looking for breathtaking scenery, a host of outdoor activities, or Civil War battlefields, the Shenandoah Valley Region is a symphony of all, much like a siren's song that will not fail to lure us into returning. This region is found in northwestern Virginia and is part of the Great Appalachian Valley, roughly extending from the City of Winchester to what is known as the Natural Bridge where George Washington once carved his initials. Its major cities are Winchester, Harrisonburg, Staunton, and Lexington and runs from north to south along the I-81 and U.S. Route 11 corridor.
This region demonstrates a mix of overlapping eras of history. Shenandoah or daughter of the stars not only has a wealth of history above ground but is also laced with historically significant caverns below, including the well-known Luray Caverns. Healing waters of sulfur springs held sacred by Native Americans hundreds of years ago are still marked by spring in their names, such as Augusta Springs, Falling Springs, or Hot Springs. Buffaloes used to graze in the valley. Hard to imagine that this place of majestic mountainous beauty rang with the sound of war, was stained by the blood of Civil War soldiers, and devastated by numerous battles. Possession passed back and forth between North and South throughout the war, and the valley was beaten beyond recognition. Fully recovered today, battlefields can only be found by markers which identify them.
Side trips outside of the state's recreational areas can be fun-filled additions to round out your state park experience. Discover lessor known places of interest, such as Country Singer Patsy Cline's grave south of Winchester on Route 664. Then add activities such as museums and festivals, and your travel experiences in this region will never be forgotten.
Regional Overviews provided by Sharon K Grossman