One of Julie's most memorable places she's traveled to is the Shenandoah Valley located in the western region of Virginia and eastern section of West Virginia. Julie says, "it's so beautiful with so much to see and do and explore - just full of history."
The beautiful and historic Shenandoah Valley is part of the Great Valley, a large region that stretches from New York to Alabama. The Shenandoah Valley lies between the Blue Ridge Mountains to the east, the Allegheny Mountains to the west, the Potomac River to the north, and the Roanoke Valley to the south.
A Little History
Native American groups lived in the Valley for nearly 11,000 years before Europeans penetrated the mountain ranges in the 17th century. The man credited with first exploring the Valley was John Lederer, a German medical practitioner who visited in 1669. Permanent settlement began in the 1730's as German and Scotch-Irish immigrants from Pennsylvania began to arrive, attracted by the Valley’s fertile land. Many of the early settlers were Quakers who had good relations with the Indians. Along this historic Valley route passed giants of their day: frontiersman Daniel Boone and future presidents Adams, Jefferson, Madison, Monroe, and Jackson.
Thanks to its unique geography and agricultural abundance, the Shenandoah Valley was critical to both sides during the Civil War, with numerous military campaigns having been waged here. Because much of the landscape remains unchanged, modern visitors can retrace the steps of Stonewall Jackson’s 1862 Valley Campaign, Lee’s invasion north in what would be the Gettysburg Campaign, and the campaigns of 1864 including Philip Sheridan’s Shenandoah Campaign.
Things To Do in The Valley
There are lots of shops, restaurants, attractions and even various festivals in the Shenandoah Valley. For some ideas on what to do here check out some of these attractions:
- The Luray Caverns - Deep beneath Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains, this U.S. Natural Landmark is the largest and most popular caverns in Eastern America, with ceilings 10 stories high and filled with towering stone columns and crystal-clear pools.
- Museum of the Shenandoah Valley - The Museum of the Shenandoah Valley (MSV) interprets the art, history, and culture of the great valley for which it is named.
- Shenandoah National Park - Just 75 miles from the bustle of Washington, D.C., Shenandoah National Park is your escape to recreation and re-creation with 200,000 acres of protected lands, cascading waterfalls, spectacular vistas, and quiet wooded hollows.
- Dinosaur Land - A prehistoric forest from the past. Spectacular and colossal! Unbelievable but true! Over 50 exhibits on display. Open March 1st through Dec 31st.
Like reading about Julie's favorite trip? Be sure to check out her unique, recycled artwork at Yellow Door and online.
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