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Come and Explore the Shenandoah Valley

The Iris Inn is the perfect destination for your vacation in Virginia.  Whether you are a history buff, a nature enthusiast, a shopping addict, an art appreciator, or a culinary devotee, the Shenandoah Valley offers a great number of local attractions.

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Virginia possesses a rich history, and the inn is surrounded by places that reflect our past and our heritage. We are close to the birthplaces and homes of former presidents Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, and Woodrow Wilson. Only a few miles away from us is the Blackfriars Playhouse, which provides a glimpse into the world of Shakespearean Theatre. Also nearby is the Frontier Culture Museum, which celebrates our international heritage with re-creations of historic villages. The exhibits present live illustrations of the first American pioneers, whether they came as farmers, craftsman, or unwilling captives. To explore these exhibits is to feel as though you are witnessing the plights and triumphs of these ancestral pioneers.

Perhaps you are less interested in history, and you are more ready to explore the great outdoors. With the 500 miles of hiking trails in this area, we promise you won’t be bored. Our nearby trails include easy strolls, challenging day-hikes, overlooks, waterfalls, and of course, stunningly beautiful scenery. Also, the Iris Inn is only three miles away from Rockfish Gap, the point where the Blue Ridge Parkway stretches south and where Skyline Drive moves north. Take in the smell of nature as you drive these scenic drives from a vintage convertible you rent from Sports Car Rentals. Visit the state’s largest cascading waterfall, Crabtree Falls and experience a 1200-foot-drop in a half-mile section of Crabtree Creek.

If you need a rest from hiking and history, why not treat yourself to a shopping spree? Downtown Staunton offers a wide variety of small, eclectic shops such as the Once Upon a Time Clock ShopPufferbellies Toys and Gifts, the Sacred Circle, Sunspots Studio, and Fretwell Bass and Acoustic Instruments. Charlottesville also possesses a number of wonderful shopping centers and upscale boutiques as well as the fantastic pedestrian mall which boasts more than 120 stores and 30 restaurants. Are you looking for more traditional big-box stores such as Barnes & Noble, Ben & Jerry’s, and Talbots? You can find these and many more at Charlottesville’s Barracks Road shopping center.

After you’ve done all of this hiking, sightseeing, and shopping, you’ll need a place to refuel your travel-worn bodies. Between Staunton, Waynesboro, and Charlottesville, there is a huge variety of eateries, ranging from casual to upscale and traditional to unique. If you’d like to add wine to your dining, there are 28 fantastic vineyards and wineries, all within 30 miles of the inn. Click here for information about our Wine Therapy Weekends.

Activities abound in the areas near the Iris Inn. Fly fish in the South River that flows through Waynesboro, home of the Virginia Fly Fishing Festival. Pick fresh apples at Carter Mountain Orchard with your family. Cool off at the Grand Caverns, and see verified Civil War soldiers’ signatures on the cavern walls. View Charlottesville from a hot air balloon or the Shenandoah Valley from the cockpit of a small plane. Enjoy the P. Buckley Moss Gallery, or go skiing at Wintergreen Resort or Massanutten Mountain. Attend a polo match at King Family Vineyard. Ice skate at Charlottesville’s indoor arena or enjoy a concert at one of the south’s most popular new venues, the John Paul Jones Arena.

Between the historical attractions, the shopping venues, the hiking trails, and the restaurants, you are certain to find an overabundance of activities to keep you occupied, and you may even need to extend your stay to accomplish everything on your itinerary. Perhaps you are struggling to organize your itinerary, and if that’s the case, then let us map out a schedule for you that’s based on your interests. Check out the Itineraries page for more details.