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Why You Should Visit the Shenandoah Valley in the Fall

“There is something incredibly nostalgic and significant about the annual cascade of autumn leaves.” ― Joe L. Wheeler

Here comes fall! Have you planned your Shenandoah Valley adventure?

1. The Fall Foliage: Of course this is reason #1! The Shenandoah Valley bursts into autumn with colorful ferocity as green fades into fiery shades of fall. There is no better place to watch the seasonal shift of nature than at a Shenandoah Valley B&B in the heart of Virginia’s mountains. (Stay up-to-date with the foliage by calling the Virginia Fall Foliage hotline at 1-800-424-LOVE.

2. Fewer People: Summer is the overwhelmingly popular time to travel, but that doesn’t mean it’s the best time. Beat the crowds with a fall getaway (especially a mid-week vacation when the streets are still and the beds are available).

3. The Outdoor Activities. Whether you’re hiking, biking, horseback riding, or simply enjoying a scenic drive, fall is the ideal time to venture outdoors. You’ll find cooler weather that has left behind the humidity of summer but hasn’t quite entered the chill of winter, and you’ll have the opportunity to experience the colors of nature firsthand.

4. Shenandoah Fall Foliage Bike Festival. If you’re an avid biker, a casual cycling enthusiast, or a supporting observer, then you won’t want to miss this festival! “A perennial favorite with cyclists up and down the mid-Atlantic states and beyond, the Fall Foliage Bike Festival offers a full weekend of riding, sightseeing and warm Virginia hospitality.”

We look forward to seeing you on a fall adventure in the Shenandoah Valley! Click here to check out our member inns, and book your lodging soon, as our B&Bs fill up fast in the fall.


A Treetop Adventure with Virginia Canopy Tours

There’s no doubt that Virginia breathtaking (especially that historically stunning portion of the Commonwealth known as the Shenandoah Valley!). It’s one thing to view Virginia from the roads of a scenic drive or from the mountaintops after a challenging hike; it’s another thing entirely to watch the view rush past you as you zip through a canopy of lush trees.


Photo by Virginia Canopy Tours

Virginia Canopy Tours offers you a chance to “Zip the Park” and explore Shenandoah with their zip line excursions: “During the canopy tour, participants will enjoy stunning views of the Massanutten Mountains and the gorgeous hardwood forest of the Shenandoah Valley.  Guests will learn the rich history of the Shenandoah Valley, native plant species, and the wild inhabitants who make the woods their home.” These two and a half- to three-hour tours will take you up to 90 feet above the ground and beyond speeds of 40 miles per hour. You’ll explore 8 different zip lines, a sky bridge, an air stair bridge, a rappel, and more.

After your treetop adventure, you’ll definitely want a place to unwind and relax, and that’s where the Bed and Breakfasts of the Historic Shenandoah Valley comes in. BBHSV member Lackawanna Bed & Breakfast is only a short drive away from Shenandoah River State Park.

Happy zip lining!

Breweries in and around the Shenandoah Valley, Virginia

“Without question, the greatest invention in the history of mankind is beer. Oh, I grant you that the wheel was also a fine invention, but the wheel does not go nearly as well with pizza.” –Dave Berry, Writer and Humorist

Did you know that August is Virginia Craft Beer Month? Now is the time to showcase the Commonwealth’s growing craft beer industry as well as highlighting the award-winning brews in the area. The Shenandoah Valley of Virginia is home to a number of breweries and is just down the road from the aptly named “Brew Ridge Trail.” Check out the following breweries, and while you’re at it, find lodging at a nearby B&B:

Redbeard Brewing Company, Staunton, VA

Queen City Brewing, Staunton, VA

Shenandoah Valley Brewing Company, Staunton, VA

Three Brothers Brewing Company, Harrisonburg, VA

Pale Fire Brewing Company, Harrisonburg, VA

Three Notch’d Brewing Company, Harrisonburg, VA

The Brew Ridge Trail, including Devils Backbone Brewing Company, Wild Wolf Brewing Company, Blue Mountain Brewery, South Street Brewery, and Starr Hill.

Happy Virginia Craft Beer Month!


Indulge in this recipe for Apple Crepes with Hot Cranberry Sauce

If you thought our last pancake recipe from By the Side of the Road Inn & Cottages was good, wait until you try these apple crepes with hot cranberry sauce! You’ll never want to go back to cold cereal and milk again.

Ingredients – Crepes
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 cup milk
2 eggs
3 Tablespoons melted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch salt
Ingredients – Apple Filling
6 fresh tart apples — peeled, cored, and sliced 1/4 inch thick
2 to 3 Tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 to 1/2 cup sugar (depending on variety of apple used)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon allspice
2 Tablespoons lemon juice with freshly grated zest
6 Tablespoons unsalted butter
Ingredients – Hot Cranberry Syrup
1 cup white sugar
3 Tablespoons cornstarch
2 cups cold water
2 cups fresh cranberries
1 or 2 drops red food coloring (optional)

Crepes: Sift together flour and sugar in a small bowl. Combine remaining ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Add dry mixture and beat until smooth. Lightly grease a 6-inch non-stick skillet over medium/high heat. Coat the bottom with about 3 Tablespoons of batter, spreading to cover the bottom of the skillet. Cook until crepe is lightly brown; flip and quickly brown the other side. Stack between layers of parchment or waxed paper until all crepes are cooked. Makes a dozen.

Apple Filling: Prepare the apples and place in a large bowl. Combine the sugar and spice with the cornstarch and sprinkle over the apples. Coat the fruit well. Melt the butter over a medium flame/heat and add the apple mixture. Saute several minutes until juices emerge, lower flame/heat, and continue to simmer until apples are “tender crisp” — maybe 5 minutes more (again, depending on the variety used). Turn off flame/heat, cover apples, and hold warm.

Hot Cranberry Syrup: Combine sugar with cornstarch and mix well. Add cold water and stir over medium flame/heat until sugar begins to dissolve. Add cranberries and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to a low boil and continue cooking as cranberries begins to burst and mixture thickens nicely, approximately 5 to 7 minutes more. Add 1 or 2 drops of red food coloring if the cranberries haven’t provided enough color.

To serve: Fill each crepe with 2 to 3 spoonfuls of warm apple filling, fold to center, adorn with beautiful red cranberry syrup, and garnish with a sprig of edible greenery. Eat and enjoy!


Originally published here.