The Shenandoah Valley in Virginia has played a pivotal role throughout American history, particularly during the Civil War-era. If you’re interested in learning more about our nation’s history or simply looking for something fun and unique to do during your stay with us, here are some must-visit historic sites that you won’t want to miss.
Historic Homes and Museums
Museum of the Shenandoah Valley
Winchester, VA | (540) 662-1473
This beautifully designed museum is the perfect introduction to the Valley, its history and its people. Visit the Museum Store and have lunch at the Tea Room. The historic Glen Burnie house with its mature English-style gardens and Asian water gardens are open April through December and are not to be missed. Closed Mondays and major holidays.
Middletown, VA | (540) 869-2028
A National Trust Historic Site built in 1797 using design principles from Thomas Jefferson. Site of the battle of Cedar Creek in 1864. Guided tours daily, March through October. Check their website for special events throughout the year, including a Beer Tasting Festival in May and weekend Christmas Candlelight Tours in December.
Millwood, VA | (540) 837-1856
This classic 1800’s home was rescued from a serious decline in 1986 by an elderly Baltimore textile executive who spent a sizable fortune to revitalize the house and furnish it with gorgeous antiques.Currently, the house is in transition to a more authentic version of its former self. Open for self-guided tours from April through the last weekend of October.
Old Court House Civil War Museum
Winchester, VA | (540) 542-1145
Originally constructed in 1840, this former courthouse has played several roles throughout the years, including the first American courthouse beyond the Blue Ridge Mountains and a Civil War hospital. As you explore the museum, you’ll see a wide variety of relics and exhibits that transport you back in time. Open daily from April to October.
Warren Rifles Confederate Museum
Front Royal, VA | (540) 636-6982
The Warren Rifles Confederate Museum showcases various leaders of the Confederate army, including Robert E. Lee and famous spy, Belle Ford. The museum also displays authentic war arms, Confederate uniforms, restored historic documents, weapons used in the Battle of Front Royal, women’s clothing from the period, and several artifacts from Confederate generals and soldiers.
Winchester, VA | (540) 662-4412
Between September 1755 and December 1756, General George Washington used a small log cabin as his office during the time Fort Loudoun was being built. That same cabin still stands today and is open to visitors who wish to see how the general lived during his time in the Shenandoah Valley. You’ll also find some of his personal effects within the home. Open daily from April to October.
Stonewall Jackson’s Headquarters
Used as the winter home of Stonewall Jackson himself from 1861-1862, this historic home boasts the largest collection of Stonewall Jackson memorabilia in the world. Some of the most fascinating items on display at the museum are Jackson’s personal prayer table, an initialed prayer book, and weapons that he used during the Civil War. Open daily from April to October.
In the early 1700s, the Hollingsworth family built this home on a fertile piece of land in the Shenandoah Valley. Important Quaker meetings were held here, and it is rumored that there are several ghosts from the Hollingsworth family still wandering its halls. Open daily from April to October.
Woodstock Museum of the Shenandoah Valley
Woodstock, VA | (540) 459-5518
Founded in 1969, the Woodstock Museum displays regional artifacts, 18th-century buildings, and a homemade copper moonshine still. Open Thursday through Saturday from May to October.
Civil War Battlefields
Cedar Creek Battlefield Visitors Center
Middletown, VA | (540) 869-2064
Interpretive exhibit, film, bookstore. Open daily April through October. Guided battlefield tours and off-season tours of visitors center are available by appointment.
New Market Battlefield State Historical Park
New Market, VA | (540) 740-3101
This 300-acre National Historic Landmark tells the poignant story of the battle that swept up 257 young cadets from the Virginia Military Institute in its fury. Open daily year round (closed some holidays).
Harpers Ferry National Historic Park
Harpers Ferry, WV | (304) 535-6298
Not just for history buffs, this is a place of stunning natural beauty and historic charm. Visitor center opens daily. Ranger-led tours are given daily from Memorial Day through Labor Day and less frequently throughout the year.
Sharpsburg, MD | (301) 432-5124
The site of the single bloodiest day of the Civil War. Today Sharpsburg (population 650) is in the middle of the best-preserved Civil War battlefield in the country. Open daily year round (closed some holidays).
Winchester, VA | (757) 593-8227
The Kernstown Battlefield was where both Kernstown battles were fought and also the site of the last Confederate victory of the Civil War. During your visit, you’ll be able to tour the home and estate in which one the families lived and took shelter during the battles on their field. The battlefield itself is open to visitors on Saturdays and Sundays from the first Saturday in May to the last Sunday in October.