Just around the corner from the Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia is the Shenandoah Valley Region, including Shenandoah National Park, Skyline Drive, and extending to nearby communities just over the West Virginia and Pennsylvania borders.
Named for the river that stretches much of its length, the Shenandoah Valley encompasses nine counties in Virginia and two counties in West Virginia. Used as both a geographic and cultural designation, the Shenandoah Valley reaches:
- Blue Ridge Mountains to the east
- Appalachian and Allegheny Plateaus to the west
- Potomac River to the north
- James River to the south
The central section of the Shenandoah Valley is split in half by the Massanutten Mountain range.
Among its significant geographic features are a number of large limestone caves - several of which are managed as attractions allowing visitors to view and learn about the ongoing formation and preservation of these geologic wonders.
The Valley’s rocky, fertile soil and warm, relatively dry growing season makes it an ideal location for agriculture. Recent decades have seen enormous growth in regional grape cultivation leading to the area’s designation as an American Viticultural Area. Approximately 20% of Virginia wineries are based in this area.