Tuesday, May 6, 2014

#TuesdayTen: Ten Things to do in the Shenandoah Valley

Last Friday we had our end of the year pizza party/staff meeting. It's a great time to get everyone together and talk about the year. It's also a time to say goodbye to students who won't be returning in the fall and to hear about everyone's plans for the future. Of course the topic of conversation turned to summer plans. One student is going to Paris and then later on a cruise. Another is going to a Caribbean island. A future student will be hiking a pilgrimage across Spain for the summer.
"I'm going to Food Lion." I announced! That's likely to be as exciting as my summer gets. I got a good laugh and then a light bulb went off in my head about this post I knew was coming up. Apparently in the world of strange and possibly made up holidays, today is "National Tourist Appreciation Day." We are also in the midst of "Tourist Appreciation Week." Consequently, our #TuesdayTen topic for today is "Ten Tourist Attractions You Would Like to See." Instead, I've decided to list Ten Tourist Attractions in my Neck of the Woods.

I've mentioned before that I think Virginia is a great place to live. We have so much history surrounding us and so many great places to visit. All of the following are in the lovely Shenandoah Valley (or within a short driving distance):

  1. We have lots of caverns around here. Those that are local to me are Luray Caverns, Shenandoah Caverns, Grand Caverns, and Endless Caverns. We've been to Luray Caverns the past few summers as part of the library's reading program. Caverns are especially nice to visit in the summer bcause they are natually cool in temperature.
  2. Civil War battle fields are all around us. If you are a history buff, this area is saturated with it. It's a rare trip that we make that doesn't take us past a historical marker. Frances has been studying the Civial War in Virginia history and she's been really interested in this area lately. I hope we can visit a few sites this summer and flesh out some of what she's learned.
  3. The Shenandoah National Park/Skyline Drive area is beautiful year round. The kids have had several field trips in the National Park to learn about animal habitats. We've gone hiking up there, and hope to go again this summer.
  4. There are several wineries around the area. I've never actually visited them, but I have friends who have. Maybe there's a date night in my future!
  5. JMU--I'm not saying this because I graduated from there or because I work there now, but JMU has a beautiful campus. If you are in the area, it's certainly worth a visit.
  6. Woodrow Wilson/Monticello/Montpelier-Virginia is called the Mother of Presidents because 8 of our former presidents were from this great state. Three of them have historical homes within an hour's drive of my house.
  7. Did you know that Rockingham County is the turkey capital of Virginia. Of course, besides turkeys we have lots of other farming in the area. Depending on the season, you've got a pretty good chance of being able to visit a strawberry farm or a pumpkin patch.
  8. Of course if you're looking for a different kind of produce, you can always visit Carter Mountain Orchard and check on the apples or peaches. We've done pick-your-own apples the last few years, but I'd really like to get out there during peach season sometime.
  9. Massanutten Resort is a local "four season" resort. In the winter you can go skiing, snowboarding, or snow tubing. During the spring and fall there are many nature trails you can hike. There is also an indoor water park you can visit year round. Golfers might also enjoy a few rounds there.
  10. Sherando Lake is a great place to go hiking, camping, or swimming with the family. We had a family camping trip out there before Benjamin was born and we'd really like to go back for another try with all three kiddos.
All in all, the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia isn't a bad place for a vacation, or, in our case, a stay-cation. I'm quite pleased to live in a place where so many different opportunities exist within such a short distance. Have you ever visited this part of the country? What excitement does your hometown offer? What tourist attractions would you like to visit? Tell me in the comments, or link up your own post below:

Your Tuesday Ten hostesses are:

The Teacher Wife

Meet our co-host for the month of May, Mrs. Tee!!

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