Looking for a Shenandoah Valley Adventure? Here are Five!
Adventure means something different to just about everyone. For one, it might be hiking. For someone else, it could be skydiving, touring vineyards, or swimming with sharks. (We’ll pass on the last one, thank you.) The point is, it just depends on your personal interest!
Visitors to the Shenandoah Valley seeking adventure trips usually love history, the outdoors, food and wine. Luckily, we have plenty of choices for the thrill seeker. Let’s start with the great outdoors.
#1-Adventure Awaits for the Outdoor Lover
If you’re a bike lover, there are plenty of places to ride. On-road, greenways and paths, gravel routes and mountain biking, what’s your pleasure?
The Central Shenandoah Valley is growing in popularity for bikers and it’s nationally recognized as a bike touring destination. And it’s no wonder.
The region’s pastoral landscapes, quaint small towns, and cities, as well as natural, historic, and cultural resources, make it an excellent biking adventure!
Your best resource to plan your bicycling quest is Bike the Valley. It details both on and off-road cycling in communities and neighborhoods. And, it also provides a comprehensive list of scenic loop rides in Augusta, Bath, Highland, Rockbridge and Rockingham Counties, as well as the 11 towns in between.
For hikers and other nature lovers, the Shenandoah National Park beckons! On any given day, you can usually see a distance of 60 miles, and what views they are, too. You’ll find trails for every endurance level, including waterfall hikes.
If you’re hiking in the summer, here’s our take on the best swimming holes to hike to. You can’t go wrong in taking a scenic drive or a hike along the Blue Ridge Parkway and the Skyline Drive, either. These are huge favorites for outdoor adventure lovers!
#2-Vineyards and Breweries to Explore
The Shenandoah Valley and Central Virginia have many award-winning wineries and breweries to visit. For the wine enthusiast, you couldn’t find a better place for a wine adventure.
The Valley has emerged as a regional wine leader in the eastern US. And, it is one of the country’s most exciting wine producing regions today.
More and more, Shenandoah Valley wines are sought-after in fine restaurants and wine shops across the nation and internationally.
So what’s the best way to map out your wine trail? We recommend several resources. First, the Shenandoah Valley Wine Trail. You’ll find many wineries to explore and enjoy. Plus, you’ll also find exceptional restaurants along the way, many of them farm-to-table.
In Central Virginia, there’s no better wine resource than the Virginia Wine Trail. To view the many Shenandoah Valley and Central Virginia wineries that placed in the Governor’s Cup Case, Medalists, as well as the coveted Cup itself, click here.
Want to add some breweries and cideries to your wine adventure? Check out the Blue Ridge Whisky Loop. This is a treasure trove of the many wineries, cideries, and breweries available to see in the Shenandoah Valley. You’ll also find a long list of dining options and attractions.
#3 History Lovers Love the Shenandoah Valley and Central Virginia
For American history, THE place to visit is the Central and Shenandoah Valley. From Monticello to the New Market Battlefield to Winchester, history is literally everywhere.
Tucked away in the small town of Dayton, you’ll find a stellar history museum, The Heritage Museum, which has the most extensive genealogy library and history library in the Shenandoah Valley.
The Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library and Museum in Staunton is another great find. And to the south, in the Lexington area, you’ll find the Cyrus McCormick Farm, Lewis and Clark Historic Trail, Miller’s House Museum, and much more.
Of course, in Central Virginia, Monticello is a must! We’re really only scratching the surface here of all the places to visit for history, but we’re hoping you get the idea. This is where history junkies come to love on the past!
#4 Music for All!
Oh, music lovers! You are in for such a treat. The Valley is home to a variety of musical genres that bring people to the area year after year. The highly acclaimed Heifetz Institute has many classical events that showcase some of the finest up and coming classical musicians in the world. Not convinced? Check out this video of 12-year old HeifetzPEG student SoHyun Ko. She’ll blow you away!
But we don’t do just classical. We’ve got the Blues as in the Shenandoah Valley Blues & Brews Festival. We’ve got roots music with the Red Wing Roots Festival, the Tom Tom Summit and Festival (in Charlottesville), Rocktown Beer & Music Festival (in Harrisonburg), and much more. Get the lineup here.
The point is, if music is your muse and adventure maker, we’ve got it!
#5 Foodies Love A Cuisine Adventure
From a gourmet b & b breakfast right here at the Iris Inn to restaurants around the area, there is no shortage of outstanding food for the foodie. Here in the Valley, you can’t miss with these favorites:
The Shack--Chef Ian Boden was a James Beard finalist and the food is pretty good, too! Farm-to-table. Very high quality, beautifully presented, all in an eclectic atmosphere. Better make reservations.
Zynodoa–Another outstanding farm-to-table restaurant with the tagline, “Inspired Southern Cuisine.” Zynodoa uses the freshest ingredients available seasonally and supports independent farmers. Exceptional!
Mill Street Grill–Located in a turn of the century flour mill, Mill Street consistently serves high quality American-style food in a relaxed atmosphere. Delicious!
Depot Grill--Set in an historic rail depot with beam ceilings, the Depot is an American eatery and bar with a classic tavern vibe.
Stella, Bella, & Lucy’s–This Waynesboro lunch spot has fresh made-to-order cuisine in a casual, relaxed surrounding. Always delicious!
Duners--In Ivy, you’ll find the ever-popular Duners, a fine dining restaurant with menus that change daily. Really superb!
Chicano Boy Taco--This unusual restaurant took off immediately. The food is fresh, tasty, and Latino-inspired. Do not miss it!
Gloria’s Pupuseria--This Salvadoran restaurant started out as a food truck. Popularity grew because the food was so good. Freshly prepared, it’s guaranteed to fill you up!
And that’s in the Valley! For our top pick of Charlottesville restaurants, click here.
Find Your Adventure Trip Here!
Ready for your own adventure? Let us know what you want to create and we’ll take care of all the details. Just show up and prepare to enjoy your own made-to-order fun. We can even fix you up a picnic lunch to take with you.
Book your reservations here!