Lush rolling hills, the soft blue of the horizon, and the fresh mountain air are what make the Shenandoah Valley one of Virginia’s geographical treasures. Nicknamed “the Big Valley,” the Shenandoah Valley stretches along 200 miles of the pristine Blue Ridge and Allegheny Mountains. The area includes Lexington, Harrisonburg, Staunton, Natural Bridge, Luray, Winchester, as well as many other cities and charming towns. Many Virginians call this area home, while some have never visited. Wherever you may fall on this spectrum, you’ll be sure to agree that the following traits are what make Shenandoah Valley truly spectacular.
1. It's a rural heaven...
2. ...with JUST enough city life.
One of the several small towns nestled in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley, Lexington is equally historic and charming.
3. Nothing beats driving down the winding roads on a beautiful day...
There's no need to rush when the roads are this pristine.
4. ...except maybe the meandering trails.
This is a photo of the Whiteoak Canyon trail bridge.
5 There are so many vineyards to choose from.
Shenandoah Valley is the wine country of Virginia.
6. All the natural beauty...
Incredible views like this are not difficult to come by.
7. ...and the natural wonders, too.
Natural Bridge is one of the world's natural wonders and is a must-see for those who have not yet visited.
8. Shenandoah National Park.
In addition to some of the most awe-inspiring views in the state, Shenandoah National Park is where some of Virginia's most popular hikes are located. For the adventurous soul, the Park provides endless activity.
9. Skyline Drive is unforgettable.
A trip to Skyline Drive is one of the most beautiful drives in the country.
10. The amount of surrounding wildlife.
Driving through the Shenandoah Valley often means driving a little slower. You'll want to keep your eyes out for wildlife viewing, especially in the form of deer crossing the road!
11. There are roadside attractions you won't want to miss.
Route 11 Potato Chip factory will be a delicious detour.
12. And the finest of down home cooking.
Exit 265 off 81 will lead you to the family-friendly Johnny Appleseed Restaurant. Complimentary apple fritters are served with each meal and are sure to make you smile. Interestingly enough, this place is also known for its crab cakes.
13. The area is loaded with history.
The site of Fisher's Hill Battlefield offers a self-guided walking tour. This is just one of the many stops along the Historic Wilderness trail.
14. Breathtaking lodging and resorts aren't hard to come by.
The Homestead is just one of the many historic and picturesque accommodations nestled in the Shenandoah Valley.
15. You'll get a unique perspective of things.
Climbing the Woodstock Tower, which was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps will give you an incredible 360 degree view of the valley at over 2000 feet.
16. You can enjoy everything from trail riding...
This photo is taken at Wagon Wheel Ranch in Winchester.
17. ...to a mural-lined greenway...
The Hawksbill Greenway offers a glimpse of wildlife in the urban setting complete with work done by local artists. The two-mile greenway leads to downtown Luray.
18. ...to the depths of the famous caverns.
Shenandoah Cavern in Quicksburg is just one of the many cavern systems in this part of the state.
19. Its beauty has inspired poets and writers alike.
As the lyrics to the American folk song go, "Oh, Shenandoah,
I long to see you,
Away your rolling river.
I long to see you..."