You want it, they got it.
By Hope S. Philbrick
We’ve already shared two great reasons to visit Shenandoah County, Virginia:
It’s packed with 178 miles of hiking trails, which vary in level of difficulty but consistently deliver on spectacular views.
And it’s loaded with artists producing hand-crafted goods, from paintings and pottery to llama wool socks and farm-fresh jams and so much more, featured on the Artisan Trail.
There are lots more ways adult travelers can have fun in Shenandoah County, which is located on the north end of the Shenandoah Valley between the Massanutten Mountain to the east and the Appalachian Mountains to the west. Among our recent discoveries…
Shenandoah Spirits Trail. Nothing says “adult” like a drinking trail! 21 Plus Salute! Cider. Wine. Beer. Distilled spirits. This trail has them all, with over 40 stops and new establishments routinely popping up. @21plusTravel Tip: Stay safe and leave the driving to a professional chauffeur with Shenandoah Wine Tours, Inc.
- Muse Vineyards is an award-winning winery that takes an old-world approach to winemaking using estate-grown fruit from French and Italian varietals. The winery won the coveted Governor Cup in 2015, the first time it entered the esteemed competition.
- Woodstock Brewhouse is tucked into a historic 1920s era building. Craft beers are brewed on site. Sip the delicious liquids on their own or pair them with flatbread pizzas and other bites. Live musical entertainment is performed upon occasion.
In Shenandoah County, six historic towns run along U.S. Route 11: Strasburg, Toms Brook, Woodstock, Edinburg, Mount Jackson, and New Market, each with its own personality. Each town offers unique treasures.
- Strasburg has a walkable downtown decorated with murals and is home to antique shops, art galleries, and museums. The Strasburg Museum displays Civil War, Native American and other exhibits.
- Toms Brook is home to many artisans and farms. Play a round of disc golf at the county park just south of town.
- Woodstock, the fourth oldest town in Virginia, has several antique shops, microbreweries, cafés, and museums including the Marshall House (circa 1772) and Wickham House (circa 1771). Tours reveal local history, some of which could fuel a soap opera.
- Edinburg is home to The Mill, which survived the Civil War and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places plus is designated a Virginia Historic Landmark. You’ll also find a bed and breakfast, campground and several shops.
- Mount Jackson was home to a Confederate military hospital and has the only Civil War cemetery in Virginia exclusive to Confederate soldiers, of keen interest to history buffs. Tourism hotspots include the Route 11 Potato Chip Factory—don’t miss seasonal flavors like Sweet Potato and Yukon Gold when available!—and Shenandoah Caverns—the state’s only caverns with elevator service! The vintage 1940s-era duckpin bowling alley is also worth checking out.
- New Market has historic architecture, Civil War history, family-owned boutique stores, caverns, restaurants, the 27-hole Shenvalee Golf Resort that first opened in 1927, and hosts seasonal musical festivals.
National Forest land covers 26 percent of the County. Outdoor adventure opportunities abound, whether you favor canoeing, kayaking, horseback riding, fishing, geocaching bicycling or even off road driving.
At Seven Bends State Park explore over 1,000 acres of geological formations, including the iconic seven bends of the Shenandoah River. Fish, splash, go boating or tubing, or simply relax along the riverfront with or without a picnic.
On the Fields of Gold Farm Trail dig into the County’s agricultural roots. Pick your own fruit or stock up on local jams, taste wine or roll up your sleeves and tour a working farm, feast at a farm-to-table restaurant or kick it up on the dance floor at a festival.
Shenandoah Downs boasts harness racing and is Virginia’s only track for pari-mutuel betting for horse racing. Special events are scheduled seasonally.
Whatever your interests, an adults-oriented getaway to Shenandoah County is a sure bet.
– Photos © HSP Media LLC
Featured products, services and/or travel arrangements may have been complimentary in part or in full; this affords the research opportunity but does not sway opinion. Shenandoah County hosted a group of travel writers during a MATPRA 2017 post-FAM.