Five Road Trips in the Shenandoah Valley VA - WV Supporting Shop Small Shop Local

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Go Blue Ridge Travel suggest five road trips exploring the cuisine, wineries, and small shops in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia and West Virginia. An easy drive out of DC, one can enjoy the Blue Ridge Mountains stark beauty in the Winter and traditional holiday experiences in small town USA.

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Shop Small Shop Local in the Shenandoah Valley

Putting the Christmas Spirit Back into your Shopping Experience

Thanksgiving as a holiday is a welcome event compared to the hectic Christmas holiday that begins the day or evening of this year. It is one of a few holidays that simply celebrate America’s love of family, friends, and food. For the Shenandoah Valley where local resourcing is a way of life, Thanksgiving is extra special. The valley is seeing a return to the farm with many farmers markets and U-pick farms available during the growth months to locals and visitors. Small businesses line the main streets of the towns with a revitalization of downtown areas.

Thanksgiving has always been the holiday to eat and eat and eat some more all on one day! This year the big stores are trying to take over the holiday starting the commercial shopping on Thanksgiving. In a protest to this commercialism, Go Blue Ridge Travel gives a big salutation to our small shops. Hats off to American Express on Shop Small and Shop Local. Here are five road trips to Virginia and West Virginia.

Interstate 81 Corridor - Harrisonburg to Winchester

Harrisonburg, Virginia is going all out with their Shop Local Campaign. Many stores are offering specials for Shop Small Saturday.Downtown Harrisonburg features 25 restaurants and over 45 speciality shops, which makes shopping a real pleasure. If you have the children, don’t miss taking them to the Explore More Discovery Museum right there in the heart of the Downtown area. Another favorite of mine is Ten Thousand Villages where you can pick up gifts from various cultures around the world.

Woodstock is branded by the locals as 'the other Woodstock'. This little town offers many shops to browse thru. Definitely a must top is All Things Virginia at The Farmhouse. A real supporter of local foods and crafts, the Farmhouse has a large selection of food products, fine art and crafts made right here in our backyard. Check out their facebook page for the latest products and happenings. Stop by Woodstock Cafe and Shoppes for lunch.

Winchester, Virginia is full of surprises when it comes to shopping. Forget about going to the city for Williams Sonoma or Sur La Table, Nibblins Edibles and Gifts can stand up to either of these in the kitchenware selection available to the buyer. Family owned, Nibblins also offers cooking classes where one can see kitchenware demonstrated. They also have great coffee and ‘to die for’ fudge.

Perhaps one of the best-hidden surprises is Throx Country Store. Located on Senseny Road, you may need your GPS to find this treasure. Not only is it a fantastic deli, but Throx carries the largest collection of craft beer in the region. Expanding into speciality gifts, Throx has something for anyone on your list including good old fashion candies.

Sante Wine, Beer, and Gifts is located in Kernstown Commons. A great place for gift baskets, Sante also has a selection of beautifully built wine tables for your kitchen or dining rooms. Sante also has unique cheeses for your holiday party.

Route 7 - Loudoun County

Bluemont Vineyard not only offers you a truly relaxing experience with a magnificent view of Loudoun County but it also has a unique gift shop. Enjoy their wines particularly the table red.

Route 340 and Interstate 66 - The Plains to Front Royal to Jefferson County

The Plains is a small village directly off of Interstate 66. Small quaint shops and restaurants are on Main Street. If you are a fine arts and craft collector or have someone on your list impossible to buy for, then a visit to Live An Artful Life is a must.

Front Royal is the last town on Interstate 66 before you reach I-81. Main Street offers one of the largest selections of small antique stores in the region.

Crossing the Virginia state line into West Virginia, Black Dog Coffee is located on Route 340 just outside of Charles Town. Another family owned business, Black Dog has grown out of a decade of research. Their best seller is Ethiopian Longberry Harrar Horse. Ethiopia, the birthplace of coffee, produces some of the finest coffee in the world. Complex and intensely flavorful, Harrar is an unwashed, dry processed coffee with an incredibly smooth body, powerful undercurrents of wild fruit, blueberry and chocolate followed by a crisp, clean finish. Now reaching out to over 40 retail establishments, Black Dog Coffee can be found at the The Ashby Inn and Throx Market Station and Country Stores.

Visitors often refer to Shepherdstown as the ‘Greenwich Village of DC’. German Street runs for three long blocks with an eclectic selection of small stores and wonderful restaurants or coffee shops. I particularly like the D’Accord Boutique offering authentic French products. One of the newest shops is Plum. Cari Aliveto Rosen, designer and owner, crafts one of kind sterling silver pieces of jewelry. Two River Treads, a shoe store promotes barefoot strategy footwear. A town that loves to celebrate holidays, Shepherdstown will offer a full month of activities each weekend in December.

Put your foot on the brake, DO NOT TURN INTO THAT MALL, but head to a town here in the valley and enjoy your holiday shopping.

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Nancy Craun
since: 07/2010
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