Connections to Presidents and Civil War History at Belle Grove Plantation

The historic Belle Grove plantation house; tree leaves are in the foreground of the photo.

Belle Grove Plantation began with 483 acres given to Isaac Hite Jr. by his father in 1783. By 1824, it had grown to 7,500 acres, producing grain, livestock, flax and hemp. Also on Belle Grove were a grist mill, a saw mill, a distillery, a store, a lime kiln and quarry, and a blacksmith shop. […]

The Secret Flower in Skyline Caverns You Must See to Believe!

Skyline Caverns is a series of geologic caves and a tourist attraction located in Warren County, Virginia, one mile south of Front Royal. Unlike other caverns in the area, Skyline Caverns were discovered on purpose — a retired geologist went searching for them. Walter S. Amos went sniffing around for caverns that could be commercialized […]

An Afternoon in Strasburg

For such a small town, there’s a surprising number of things to in Strasburg, VA. Here’s how we spent an afternoon exploring this quaint little town. The scenic and lovely Shenandoah River runs lazy along the town, offering a refreshing backdrop to the town. We started with lunch at Jaliscos, a neat little Mexican food […]

Discovering Black and African American History in the Shenandoah Valley

The Shenandoah Valley Black History Project developed several driving tours, two of which actually combine quite nicely into one driving tour, doable in a few hours. The combined driving tour takes you through scenic backroads in Rockingham and Shenandoah counties in the Shenandoah Valley. Ultimately, this is an exploration of history that rarely makes it […]

History and Wonder at the Natural Bridge

I remember a photo of my grandmother posing, pretending to hold up a rock bridge in Virginia. My grandfather would often tell my grandmother to “pack for cold” or “pack for warm” depending on whatever destination he had in mind. And then they would set off for an adventure. He took my Nana all over […]

Rooms and What a View! at the Iris Inn Bed and Breakfast

The Iris Inn, in Waynesboro,VA, is a low-key gem of a bed and breakfast inn offering travelers plenty of places to hang out and simply enjoy the views of the Blueridge Mountains — it’s a place to relax and unwind after a busy day of sight-seeing, or just because! The inn offers individual rooms in […]

Storybook Trail – Masanutten State Park

The Story Book Trail is an almost mile-long, out-and-back wheel-chair accessible trail on Masanutten Mountain, leading to an overlook revealing the Page Valley and Route 211 below. The trail gently heads up hill under tree-cover the entire way. With boardwalks in places and a paved trail, you can walk it in your flip-flops. Along the […]

Where History Runs Deep — Exploring Grand Caverns

Grand Caverns, formerly known as Weyer’s Cave, is located in the central Shenandoah Valley in the town of Grottoes, VA and is America’s oldest “show cave.” Open to the public since 1806, there’s a lot of history in the cave, as former presidents and Confederate and Union soldiers have visited it over the years. Today, […]

Going Wild at the Virginia Safari Park

I’ve enjoyed drive-through animal “safari” zoos several times, always delighting in seeing (and usually getting to feed) the animals. Kids will love it, but so will any but the most cynical of adults. And believe it or not, this makes a great winter daytrip! The Virginia Safari Park was no different, and cool — it’s open […]

Paddling James — A Kayak Adventure on the James River

The James River begins in the Appalachian Mountains and flows 348 miles to the Chesapeake Bay, past Richmond, Williamsburg, and Jamestown — all former or present state capitals of Virginia. It’s been a river vital to the state of Virginia and remains so today. It’s easy to see why. The river is a major recreational […]