The Shenandoah Valley is rich with important historical sites and intriguing points of interest. One of the biggest draws to northern Virginia, these seven Shenandoah Valley historic sites have unique stories tied to the area’s past. Plan a day to explore one (or more!) of these intriguing places with your sweetheart to learn more about the region.
As you’re planning your romantic getaway to the Shenandoah Valley, don’t forget to request a copy of our complimentary Vacation Guide! This handy tool will give you all the information you need to find the best restaurants, activities, and attractions during your stay.
Belle Grove Historic Plantation
One of the oldest plantations in Virginia, Belle Grove dates back to the 1700s and played a special role during the Civil War. On October 19, 1864, Union General Philip Sheridan and his troops staged the assault of the Battle of Cedar Creek in this very location. Part of the Lynchburg Campaign, this battle helped ravage Confederate supply lines, which led to its eventual surrender.
Long Branch Plantation
Owned by one of the state’s anti-secession leaders, Hugh M. Nelson, Long Branch Plantation has been preserved since its construction in 1811 when it sat on nearly 1,000 acres of land. Now, the current plantation covers 400 acres and reflects the architecture and history of the period. During your visit, you can wander the grounds and learn more about the original owner who was eventually forced into the Confederate army because of the draft and rose to the status of Aide-de-Camp before passing away in August 1862.
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. Witnessing the president’s original 1919 Pierce-Arrow limousine will transport you back in time. Venture through the museum’s annals to see history come to life. 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’ll discover authentic weapons and uniforms from the era. Children even have a chance to learn about the President’s life in the Kids’ Corner!
The National Heritage AreaIn
1996, Congress designated eight counties throughout the Shenandoah Valley as a National Heritage Area now known as the Shenandoah Valley Battlefields National Historic District. Many of these locations are sites of war battles with remains of buildings still preserved for historical purposes. However, you’ll also find miles of untouched farmland throughout the valley that are absolutely pristine, making it 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
A block to the east of the Main Street in Lexington, Virginia, this house has been a historic site and museum since 1954. Through detailed restoration, the property has been preserved to reflect the life and times of Stonewall Jackson and his family prior to the Civil War. The site is now owned and operated by the Virginia Military Institute and is listed on the National Registry of Historic Places. As you tour the home, you can opt for a self-tour or guided format and witness dozens of personal possessions and period items.
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 to Harrisonburg, 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 the top of your list.
Caverns Near Harrisonburg
Several unique caverns are located within the Shenandoah Valley region. Deep below the ground, you’ll find fascinating geological formations. Get an up-close look at stalactites and stalagmites as well as underground lakes, calcite formations, and more. Read our blog to learn more about the difference between Skyline Caverns vs. Luray Caverns.