7 Shenandoah Valley Historic Sites You Have to Check Out

October 19, 2017

The Shenandoah Valley is rich with important historical sites and intriguing points of interest. You’ll find these Shenandoah Valley historic sites all over our area, and it’s one of they’re some of the biggest draws across northern Virginia. So, which Shenandoah Valley historic sites should you check out? We’ll tell you! Get your camera ready and brush up on your history!

You’ll find these and many other fantastic things to do here in the Shenandoah Valley in our free Vacation Guide! When you plan your trip to the Harrisonburg area, check back with our guide for the best ways to spend your time. At our bed and breakfast, we want you to have the very best experience! Download it today!

7 Shenandoah Valley Historic Sites to Check Out

Belle Grove Historic Plantation

Belle Grove Historic Plantation is one of the oldest plantations in Virginia, dating back to the 1700s. While it is rich in its own history, it also holds a special footing in Civil War history. In it, Union General Philip Sheridan and his troops staged the assault of the Battle of Cedar Creek on October 19, 1864. The Battle of Cedar Creek is a part of the Lynchburg Campaign that ravaged the Confederate supply lines, leading to the Confederacy’s eventual surrender.

Long Branch Plantation

Long Branch Plantation was owned by one of Virginia’s anti-secession leaders, Hugh M. Nelson. During the Virginia secession convention, he gave a fiery speech demanding diplomatic efforts before going to war. Unfortunately, the ballots were cast to engage in war with the Union, meaning Nelson’s services were needed. He eventually rose to the status of Aide-de-Camp for Confederate General Richard Ewell, under whose command Nelson sustained severe wounds leading to his ultimate passing in August of 1862. His estate has been maintained as a private business venture.

Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library

Take an inspiring journey through seven galleries that explore Wilson’s early years, his busy presidency, suffrage, prohibition, and World War I. The President’s original 1919 Pierce-Arrow limousine transports you back in time as you venture through the museum’s annals seeing history come to life again. Walk through the state-of-the-art World War I trench reproduction to experience what life was like for soldiers of the Great War. Throughout the museum, you will come upon authentic weapons and uniforms from the era. There you can see what life was like for the doughboys (Marines) of the War. Children even have a chance to learn about the President’s life in the Kids’ Corner!

The National Heritage Area

In 1996 Congress designated eight counties throughout the Shenandoah Valley as a National Heritage Area now known as the Shenandoah Valley Battlefields National Historic District. This preservation of the sites of many of the war’s battles not only means that many of the buildings that were left standing are still there, but also that there are miles and miles of untouched farmland throughout the valley that are absolutely pristine, making this a wonderful place to visit both for its natural beauty and the chance to learn about the Shenandoah Valley Civil War history.

The Stonewall Jackson House in Lexington

The house, a block to the east of Main Street in Lexington, Virginia has been a historic site and museum since 1954. Since 1979, it’s reflected, through detailed restoration, the life and times of the man and his family while they lived there before the war. The Stonewall Jackson House is owned and operated by the Virginia Military Institute and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and is full of personal possessions of the man, as well as period pieces. You can tour the home both in public tour and guided formats.

The Frontier Culture Museum of Virginia

Less than 30 miles south of Harrisonburg is the small city of Staunton, VA. Surrounded by the same Shenandoah Valley beauty that captivates visitors annually, Staunton is also home to one of the best places in Virginia to learn about the state’s past: the Frontier Culture Museum of Virginia. If you want to explore the lives of the state’s early settlers and immigrants through exciting artifacts, exhibits, and farms, this fascinating museum should be at top of your to-visit list.

Caverns Near Harrisonburg

The Shenandoah Valley has intriguing geology and topography. The geological history of the area has left behind beautiful limestone, shale, and sandstone formations in incredible caverns near Harrisonburg VA. There are many opportunities to explore the Shenandoah Valley. Whether you’re hiking or on horseback in Harrisonburg VA, exploring these amazing Shenandoah Valley caverns will fill you with wonder!

Plan Your Trip Back in Time Today

For history buffs or anyone with an appreciation for history, these Shenandoah Valley historic sites ought to be the center of a wonderful vacation destination. So, browse our beautiful Harrisonburg accommodations at By the Side of the Road Inn & Cottages! You’ll find a sense of history in our wonderful estate. So, plan your next vacation to Harrisonburg and contact us when you’re ready to book!

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