There aren’t many cities where the events calendar shows “Bicycle – Vineyard Tour” in the same month as “Civil War Weekend.” But it’s just this kind of diverse experience you can find in Winchester, near the northern end of the Shenandoah Valley.
Add in farmers markets, art exhibits, concerts, various festivals, and a national park star gazing party, and you can see there is indeed something for everyone—all the time—in this historic locale.
The full August calendar can be found here, but let’s highlight a few of the goings-on.
Bicycle-Vineyard Tour — Combining two of the Valley’s major enticements, this is a 30-mile ride through lovely countryside with a catered lunch and wine tasting at Valerie Hill Vineyard and Winery. Leave Element Sports at 10:30 a.m. on August 6; cost is $50 per person.
Marker-Miller Orchard Peach Festival—According to the Orchard’s Heather McKay, this festival is about “Everything peaches…..peach cobbler, peach pie, peach turnovers, peach ice cream, and of course fresh peaches to eat. Enjoy music from 1:00-3:00 while sitting on the front porch or in the picnic pavilion. Blue Ridge Bar-B-Q and 3 Fires Oven Pizza will be serving food. Scenic wagon rides and the cow training will be running all day. Don’t forget to stop by the bakery and Sweet Shop.” August 12 from 9:00 to 5:00.
Star Party—Get a look at the Perseid Meteor Shower on August 12 at a stargazing party hosted by the National Park Service, the Shenandoah Astronomical Society, and the Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation. Held at the SVBF’s Thoburn Redoubt tract.
Civil War Weekend—August 18-20: A multi-event program where Civil War sites throughout the area cooperate to offer battlefield tours, seminars, interactive experiences, presentations and demonstrations, all designed to bring the area’s Civil War history into focus. Sites and organizations include: Belle Grove Plantation, Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park, Kernstown Battlefield, Stonewall Jackson’s Headquarters, the Newtown History Center, Shenandoah Valley Civil War Museum, Star Fort, the Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation, and the Winchester-Frederick County Visitors Center.
Farmers Market— In full swing until September 30, on Saturdays from 9:00 to 1:00. The Old Town Winchester Farmer’s Market has locally grown in-season fruits, vegetables, breads, cookies, cheese, grass fed beef, gluten free bread, cured meats, jam, eggs, honey and many other items. Located at Taylor Pavilion, 125 North Loudoun St. Fourteen vendors plus musicians and entertainment.
“Art and the Animal,” on display at the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley, is a traveling exhibition of more than 60 paintings, drawings, and sculpture of animals from around the globe. Exotic birds, majestic cats, magnificent mammals, and endangered species are all represented. The exhibit runs through September 3rd. Not an exhibit but nonetheless compelling, the Museum also hosts “Gardens at Night” with the retro band The Real Geniuses on August 11. Enjoy the music and tour the seven-acre Glen Burnie Gardens. Another will be held Sept. 8 with the Alter Eagles. Free to MSV members.
The Belle Grove Plantation Wine Fest is August 26, from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. An unlimited tasting ticket is just $20. Vendors, live music, chef demonstrations, and of course several Virginia vineyards.
There is a lot more going and a lot more to see and do in Winchester. Explore more options here.
Need lodging for your visit? Try the George Washington A Wyndham Grand Hotel or the Best Western Lee-Jackson Inn and Conference Center.
Photo courtesy Marker – Miller Orchards Farm Market and Bakery