A central part of the Shenandoah Valley’s character lies in the small river towns where history is valued, the pace of life is calm, and scenic beauty is a glance in any direction.
The Town of Shenandoah is such a destination. Located in Page County, the Cabin Capital of Virginia, Shenandoah is about 18 miles southwest of its more famous neighbor, Luray, and accessible from I-81.
But just because the town is quiet doesn’t mean it’s boring. We asked Town Manager Juanita Roudabush what tourists can expect to find.
“We are a historic railroad town located where the legendary Shenandoah River meets the gorgeous Blue Ridge Mountains,” Roudabush said. “There many things to see and do while in Shenandoah and here are a few attractions to visit:”
* The museum at Shenandoah Town Hall. (It’s free!) Items on display showcase our military history, railroad history, and much more! Open Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. until 5 p.m.
*The Shenandoah River Park and Landing – have a picnic, take photos, fish, boat or just relax. Come early mornings on weekdays and watch the James Madison University Rowing Club work out.
*Shenandoah River Adventures can rent you canoes, kayaks, and tubes, for a great float down the river. They also have tent sites on their property.
*Our other parks offer tennis courts, playgrounds, picnic areas, hiking and biking trails. The Veterans Park memorial was created to honor all veterans, and indeed, the town’s biggest single event all year is the annual Memorial Day Festival, a full weekend of parades, food, music and patriotism.
*Our great restaurants – Mamma Mia Italian Restaurant celebrated its 20th anniversary in February. Also try the North Side Diner and Boxcar Deli & Subs.
*Our large historic district, listed on both the state and national register of Historic Places, with over 300 structures, including Sears Homes.
*Search for the hidden geo-cache– and new to the area are the painted rocks – find them throughout Town. Take one, leave one, or just enjoy the hunt for them. Each one hand painted and left by volunteers.
*Our local shops for unique finds – homemade soaps, lotions, wreaths and decor, craft beers and Virginia wines, etc.
*Shenandoah Speedway– (“Where the Mountain Roars”) featuring all manner of automotive racing. Be aware their season ends October 7th.
*Visit Karen’s Frozen Favorites or Maddie’s Ice Cream truck for your favorite sweet treats.
Roudabush also told us, “As we go into the fall and winter we still have events going on in Town as follows:”
October 15, 2017 – 4th Annual Page County Grown Century Bicycle Ride – Starts in Luray, travels through Stanley and Shenandoah and returns to Luray. Contact Chris Gould of Page Valley Cycling at 202-365-0186.
October TBA, 2017 – 5k Run – Race to Recovery – 5k Run in Shenandoah to benefit Grace House. Contact Grace House President Sue Kite at 540-652-6155.
November 5, 2017 – Noon – Thanksgiving Meal at Stevens Cottage. A full Thanksgiving meal is served. Tickets are available at Shenandoah Town Hall and Shenandoah General Store or by calling Nancy Karnes at 540-742-1141. Brought to you by the Shenandoah Heritage Association.
November 5, 2017 – 3 p.m. – Veterans Service at the new Veterans Park (across from the Post Office). Sponsored by Mayor Lucas. Call 540-652-6027 for more information.
December 2, 2017 – Saturday with two sittings at 5 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. – Lamplight Dinners at Stevens Cottage. Call Nancy at 652-3354 for tickets or menus. Proceeds will support Shenandoah Heritage Association for the upkeep of Stevens Cottage. Contact Nancy Karnes at 742-1141 for more information.
December 9, 2017 – Saturday at 6 p.m. – Christmas Tree lighting ceremony – Big Gem Park tree lighting, caroling, visits with Santa, hot chocolate, marshmallow roasting all for free – sponsored by the Town of Shenandoah and the Shenandoah Indians. Contact Town Hall at 652-8164 for more information.
Spring Next year – Don’t forget our largest of event of the year….the 21st Annual Memorial Festival and Parade held the weekend before Memorial Day each year!
As for lodging in and around Shenandoah—investigate one of Page County’s many rental cabin options. These run the gamut of remote and Spartan to positively luxurious. The Luray Page County Chamber of Commerce has a cabin-specific website that can help you find the perfect choice.
One other compelling attraction worth noting is not in Shenandoah but in Ed Good Park—located in nearby Stanley. There you will find a recently completed monument honoring the 130 Page County families who were “displaced” when Shenandoah National Park was established. It is the fourth of eight monuments planned by the Blue Ridge Heritage Project, which seeks to commemorate the nearly 500 families who were resettled out of the mountains as the national park evolved in the 1930s.