Scenic road Shenandoah Valley north

Northern Shenandoah Valley Road Trip: Winchester to Harrisonburg Virginia

A Northern Shenandoah Valley road trip offers incredible scenery, delicious local food and drink, rich history, unique places to stay, and a chance to unwind, not far from Washington DC. Allow three to five days to explore the scenic area from Winchester to Harrisonburg, Virginia, avoiding the busy highway and enjoying beautiful country roads.

Scenic road Shenandoah Valley north

Scenic road Shenandoah Valley north

Explore and Escape in Winchester and Frederick County, Virginia

Begin your Northern Shenandoah Valley road trip in the historic downtown of Winchester. The Old Town Winchester Walking Mall is a lovely pedestrian area lined with unique stores, restaurants, museums, a nanobrewery, a theater, and historic buildings, including a tavern that George Washington frequented.

Winchester Walking Mall Virginia

Winchester Walking Mall Virginia

When you’re ready to explore further, take a slow drive along the country roads of Frederick County, stopping at local farms and wineries, or enjoying a hike along the West Virginia border. In summer, you can catch a flick at the Family Drive-in Theater, an old-school drive-in with car-mounted speakers. In fall, farms offer apple-picking, pumpkin patches, and other family-friendly fun.

Here are 15 fun things to do in and near Winchester Virginia:

15 Fun Things to Do on a Winchester Virginia Getaway or Day Trip

For more information about things to do in Winchester and Frederick County, visit:
Winchester Frederick County Tourism | Facebook | Twitter

Back Road Fun in Shenandoah County, Virginia

Heading south along Route 11 or smaller country roads, the next area to explore on a Northern Shenandoah Valley road trip is Shenandoah County, Virginia. Beautiful scenic roads, excellent hiking along the West Virginia border, local wine and beer on the Shenandoah Spirits Trail, small towns, and interesting museums give visitors plenty to do. We recommend at least two nights in the area if time allows.

Exploring fun things to do in Shenandoah County Virginia

Exploring fun things to do in Shenandoah County Virginia

Here are our 10 fun places to explore, eat, and drink in Shenandoah County:

10 Fun Things to Do in Shenandoah County Virginia

For more information about things to do in Shenandoah County, visit:
Visit Shenandoah County Tourism | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Town and Country in Harrisonburg and Rockingham County Virginia

Our final stop in Northern Shenandoah County is Harrisonburg, home of James Madison University (JMU) and the county seat of Rockingham County. The Main Street Award winner has an historic downtown that is fun to explore on foot. Local restaurants and craft brewery offer relaxing places to stop and refuel before heading out for hiking and biking in Rockingham County.

Things to do in Harrisonburg Virginia

Things to do in Harrisonburg Virginia

Be sure to get a photo with Harrisonburg’s fun LOVEwork. Here are fun things to do in Winchester Virginia:

Favorite Things to Do in Harrisonburg Virginia and Rockingham County

For more information about things to do in Harrisonburg and Rockingham County, visit:
Harrisonburg Tourism | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram

Northern Shenandoah Valley Road Trip Tips

Country road Frederick County VA Shenandoah Valley

Country road Frederick County VA Shenandoah Valley

Many people, like us, have traveled through the Shenandoah Valley on busy highway 81 without ever enjoying all that the region has to offer. To make the most of your visit:

  • Get off the highway. Route 11 is the obvious alternate to route 81, since it parallels and criss-crosses the highway. But there are plenty of smaller, beautiful country roads that take you into the heart of the valley. Make time to explore a road less traveled
  • Take it slow. The beauty of a road trip through Northern Shenandoah Valley is the change to see and experience something new. Enjoy the country roads; stop at a farm stand; visit a winery; poke around a small town.
  • Extend the fun. If you allow extra time you can extend your road trip into Southern Shenandoah Valley or east onto Skyline Drive.

Have you explored the Northern Shenandoah Valley area of Virginia? We’d love to hear your tips on favorite stops for our next visit.

For more information about things to do on a road trip through the Shenandoah Valley, visit:
Visit Shenandoah Valley | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

For more Shenandoah Valley tips and things to do, check out these related articles:

Follow Fun in Fairfax VA on FacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram for more fun places to visit and things to do in Northern Virginia and surrounding areas.

Portions of our Northern Shenandoah Valley road trip were hosted by Winchester Frederick CountyVisit Shenandoah County, and Harrisonburg Tourism. All opinions, text, and photos are our own.

A Northern Shenandoah Valley Virginia road trip offers scenery, hiking, local food and drink, history, unique stops, and time to unwind, not far from DC.

Tags: , , , ,

33 Responses to “Northern Shenandoah Valley Road Trip: Winchester to Harrisonburg Virginia”

  1. Susanna November 15, 2016 at 3:03 pm #

    Great article! However the Library in Winchester us the Handley Library not Hanley. 😀

    • Fun in Fairfax VA November 15, 2016 at 3:48 pm #

      Thanks so much for catching that typo (now fixed)! Thanks for the positive feedback too, Susanna. 🙂

  2. Doreen Pendgracs November 15, 2016 at 7:30 pm #

    I have never been to Virginia, but would love to visit. Your post makes everything look SO scrumptious! I’m sure I would gain 10 pounds.

  3. suzannestavert November 15, 2016 at 8:24 pm #

    This is not an area I am familiar with! Thank you for such a thorough tour! I saved it to Pinterest for future reference.

    • Fun in Fairfax VA November 15, 2016 at 10:00 pm #

      Thanks for the positive feedback Suzanne. It really is a beautiful area.

  4. Ed November 15, 2016 at 9:55 pm #

    Great article showing what we have to offer in our valley. Thanks 3rh hill winery@ DeMello vineyards

    • Fun in Fairfax VA November 15, 2016 at 10:02 pm #

      Thanks Ed. We loved our visit to 3rd Hill Winery at DeMello Vineyards. That’s quite a tasting barn you built! The Shenandoah Valley is lovely.

  5. Polly November 17, 2016 at 8:05 am #

    Lovely! I’m originally from Berryville, so this is making me so homesick! Can’t wait to come back and visit.

    • Fun in Fairfax VA November 17, 2016 at 8:36 am #

      Thank you Polly. I can understand being homesick for such a beautiful and fun area. Hope you get back to visit soon.

  6. McCool Travel November 17, 2016 at 4:06 pm #

    Shenandoah Valley is road trip heaven. Scenic roads that are hilly and curvy, leading to all kinds of local food and beverage experiences. I may go back sooner than expected.

  7. Liz @ I Heart Vegetables November 18, 2016 at 11:44 am #

    Wow it looks absolutely gorgeous! I’m ready for a road trip!

  8. emma November 18, 2016 at 4:26 pm #

    If I’d had it my way, I would have moved out here instead of Fredericksburg 🙂 These photos are amazing!

    • Fun in Fairfax VA November 20, 2016 at 9:21 am #

      Thanks Emma! Fortunately, it’s close enough for a day trip (though we suggest an overnight or more). Happy exploring!. 🙂

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Southern Shenandoah Valley Virginia Road Trip: Staunton to Lexington - November 28, 2016

    […] from Staunton and Waynesboro to Lexington, Virginia. Or extend your trip further by adding the northern Shenandoah Valley area from Winchester to […]

  2. 8 Great Things to Do in Roanoke Virginia - Fun in Fairfax VA - December 7, 2016

    […] is about a 4 hour drive from Washington DC if you stick to the highway. Even better, add it to a Northern Shenandoah Valley and Southern Shenandoah Valley road trip and explore Virginia’s scenic […]

  3. 5 Fun Reasons to Drive the Mazda MX-5 Miata • McCool Travel - January 17, 2017

    […] Northern Shenandoah Valley Road Trip […]

  4. 5 Virginia Hike and Beer Day Trips Near Washington DC - April 4, 2017

    […] Read more about Winchester and the Northern Shenandoah Valley. […]

  5. Shenandoah National Park Day Trip Planner: Things to Do in the Central District - April 10, 2017

    […] Northern Shenandoah Valley Road Trip […]

  6. 8 Great Things To Do In Shenandoah Valley Virginia • McCool Travel - April 16, 2017

    […] Northern Shenandoah Valley Road Trip: Winchester to Harrisonburg Virginia […]

  7. Historic Homes of Virginia Share Lives That Shaped America - May 30, 2017

    […] The mansion at Belle Grove Plantation is the centerpiece of an antebellum farm once owned by Isaac and Nelly Hite. Nelly was the sister of future president James Madison. Tours share details of life on the plantation during the early 1800s, and the period architecture and furnishings of the manor house. Outside, visitors can stroll the gardens and grounds in the pastoral country setting in Middletown. Enjoy a visit to Belle Grove on a getaway road trip through Virginia’s Northern Shenandoah Valley. […]

  8. Outdoor Summer Fun In and Near Northern Virginia - Fun in Fairfax VA - June 20, 2017

    […] a road trip is more your style, we highly recommend a drive through Northern and Southern Shenandoah Valley. Architecture and nature lovers can explore Frank Lloyd Wright […]

  9. 12 Virginia Beer Trails to Sample Local Craft Brews - Fun in Fairfax VA - August 7, 2017

    […] wineries, and distilleries stretching from Winchester to Harrisonburg. This list calls for a Northern Shenandoah Valley road trip! Sign up your designated driver with the promise of winding country roads and beautiful mountain […]

  10. 15 Fabulous Romantic Getaways from Washington DC - Fun in Fairfax VA - August 10, 2017

    […] For seclusion and romance, it’s hard to beat the Inn At Vaucluse Spring, just south of Winchester in Shenandoah Valley. The property has a collection of historic buildings, some  private and some with shared rooms. Book the Mill House and you’ll enjoy two stories of comfort plus your own private patio by the pond. Stroll the farm fields, have dinner at the on-site restaurant, and hang out in your home away from home. If you want to add a little activity to your weekend, downtown Winchester has a fun pedestrian area and the surrounding countryside is perfect for a scenic drive. Read more about things to do in the Winchester area. […]

  11. 15 Fun Things to Do on a Winchester Virginia Getaway or Day Trip - September 21, 2017

    […] Northern Shenandoah Valley Road Trip: Winchester to Harrisonburg […]

  12. 5 Fun Things to Do on a Hampshire County Getaway to West Virginia - October 18, 2017

    […] Northern Shenandoah Valley Road Trip […]

  13. 10 Fun Things to Do in Shenandoah County Virginia - Fun in Fairfax VA - October 20, 2017

    […] Northern Shenandoah Valley Road Trip: Winchester to Harrisonburg Virginia […]

  14. Virginia Gift Guide for Residents and Travelers Who LOVEVA - Fun in Fairfax VA - December 7, 2017

    […] to please with a gift of the salty, tasty goodness. Oder your Route 11 Chips on Amazon and plan a Shenandoah Valley road trip to visit the […]

  15. Road Trip Worthy Virginia Burger Spots - Fun in Fairfax VA - December 21, 2017

    […] Waynesboro’s central location between Skyline Drive and the Blue Ridge Parkway makes it the perfect spot to start a road trip through southern Shenandoah Valley. Or use it as the jumping off point for a trip through the northern Shenandoah Valley. […]

  16. 8 Great Things to Do in Harrisonburg Virginia and Rockingham County - February 21, 2018

    […] visited Harrisonburg on a road trip through the Northern Shenandoah Valley. It’s also a prime destination for families visiting students at James Madison University. […]

  17. Take a Scenic Potomac Eagle Train Trip in Romney West Virginia - June 14, 2018

    […] Another option for exploring the nearby area is on a scenic drive through Northern Shenandoah Valley. […]

  18. Sensational Northern Virginia Winery Views Close to Washington DC - January 16, 2019

    […] was like during the Civil War. Manassas Gap was a strategic connector between the Piedmont and the Shenandoah Valley, and the site of multiple skirmishes. The winery is open daily, and is about 65 miles from […]

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: