Summer Fun in the Shenandoah Valley
Summer is a magical time of year in the Shenandoah Valley. Our welcoming communities and natural areas offer such a range of activities that there’s something for everyone. We’ve included ways to swim, paddle, and fish on our bodies of water, listen to live music under the stars and to celebrate Pride Month. Here’s how to have summer fun in the Valley!
Splash and Play at a Waterfront Park
- Glen Maury Park (Buena Vista) provides easy public access to the Maury River for swimming, fishing, and boating. The 315-acre park also has an olympic-sized pool, a wading pool, hiking and mountain bike trails, tennis courts, pavilions, a playground, camping, and golf.
- For a small pond in the city, Staunton’s Lake Tams offers up some surprisingly good catches. Stocked with largemouth bass, bluegill, and channel catfish, this spot is perfect for introducing your youngest family members to fishing. Another family favorite in Gypsy Hill Park is the duck pond, a picturesque enclosure where you can feed ducks, geese, and swans.
- Augusta County’s Sherando Lake Recreation Area is tucked into the skirts of the Blue Ridge and boasts two beautiful, spring-fed lakes for fishing, swimming, and exploring with kayaks and canoes. There’s a campground, picnic areas, and a large, sandy beach, as well as fishing piers and a trail system.
- Hit the slides and wave pools inside and out at Massanutten Waterpark. The park, a top-ten favorite of Parents Magazine, Budget Travel Magazine and USA Today, offers indoor, outdoor, and waterless arcade-game fun. Rocket headfirst down the Rockingham Racer slide, avoid water cannons in the Massanutten Meltdown, or surf in a wave pool.
- Luray’s 34-acre Lake Arrowhead has a white sand beach for lounging and wading as well as a roped-off swimming area for safety. The lake has seasonal lifeguards and a concession stand as well as stocked fishing grounds, a playground, volleyball and horseshoes, and a walking trail. Paddlers can rent canoes and kayaks.
- Shenandoah River Park (Shenandoah) provides easy access to the river for fishing, boating, tubing, and more. Plan a picnic or a cookout on the banks and relax as the river rolls slowly by.
- Chill on the grassy beach at Bryce Resort’s 45-acre Lake Laura. This Shenandoah County gem has places to lounge in sun and shade, deep water diving platforms, and onsite rentals of kayaks, canoes, paddleboards, paddle boats, and tubes.
- 27-acre Watermelon Park stretches for miles along the Shenandoah River near Berryville. Visitors can park their RV, fish, swim, and take advantage of onsite kayak and tube rentals. Take a shuttle ride upstream and float the lazy river back to your car. Day use and rental fees apply.
Paddle and Fish on a River or Water Trail
- The scenic Upper James River Water Trail stretches for 59 miles of the James River through Botetourt and Rockbridge Counties. The UJRWT is great for canoeing, kayaking, and rafting adventures and it draws anglers from all across the country.
- The Waynesboro Water Trail stretches for four miles of the South River. It connects several city parks and is good for wading, fishing, and paddling. It flows north and joins the South River Blueway for paddlers who want to extend their journey. No boat of your own? No problem. Rent kayaks, canoes, and paddleboards from Rockfish Gap Outfitters.
- The Virginia Department of Game & Inland Fisheries, Trout Unlimited, and landowners have opened a four-mile stretch of Mossy Creek in Augusta County to the public. This challenging section of water often rewards patient anglers with nice catches of brown trout. For supplies, lessons, or a guided fishing adventure, visit Harrisonburg’s Mossy Creek Fly Fishing.
- Old Dominion Outfitter & Guide Service will take you fly-fishing in the backcountry of Shenandoah National Park. If you’d rather take a guided fishing trip floating on the Shenandoah River’s South Fork, they’ll show you the best locations for catching smallmouth and largemouth bass.
- Enjoy Harrisonburg-area fishing and paddling at Lake Shenandoah. 27-acre Riven Rock Park has a creek for wading, picnic shelters, horseshoes, and a trail system. Cool down after a hot hike at Fridley Gap / Mountain Run Swimming Hole or Hone Quarry Falls.
- Looking for a canoe, kayak, tube, or rafting adventure? Massanutten River Adventures, Shenandoah River Outfitters, Shenandoah River Adventures, Down River Canoe, and Front Royal Outdoors will help you explore the South Fork of the Shenandoah River through Rockingham, Page, and Warren Counties.
- Take a canoe trip on the north-flowing, North Fork of the Shenandoah River through Shenandoah County. You’ll travel through beautiful scenery, including wonderful views of Massanutten Mountain. Put in and take out at eight public access points. Edinburg’s Murray’s Fly Shop offers gear, on-the-stream fly-fishing lessons, and guided fishing trips in George Washington National Forest.
Rock out at a Music Festival
- See some of the biggest names in folk music at the annual Red Wing Roots Music Festival (June 24-26) (Mt. Solon). Listen to The Steel Wheels, The Jayhawks, Langhorne Slim, Aoife O’Donovan, and over 40 more on five stages against a stunning backdrop of 120-foot limestone towers at Natural Chimneys Park & Campground. Besides music, the festival has food, beer, craft vendors, activities for kids, hiking, yoga, and more. Here’s the 2022 lineup.
- July 3rd’s Summer Jam at Massanutten has a lineup of great music, fireworks, beer, wine, food trucks, and fun and games. Rock out as The Wildflowers play an amazing tribute to the music of Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers. They’ll be joined by TC Carter, a rhythm and blues guitarist, and Brisk, a 90’s rock and alternative band.
- Don’t skip Staunton’s Gypsy Hill Park on the Fourth of July when Wilson Fairchild will get you dancing at the Happy Birthday America celebration.
- Spend Labor Day weekend (September 4 & 5) at the 7th annual Appaloosa Festival at the Skyline Ranch Resort in Front Royal, VA. Hosted by Scythian, Appaloosa features local, national, and international bands, and musical workshops by top artists.
- A Taste of the Valley is an annual festival at Page Valley Fairgrounds that showcases local wine, spirits, food, and music. This year it features the sounds of Josh Davidson (country, outlaw country, southern rock, folk, and blues) and Thundergun (classic rock covers).
- The 18th annual Watermelon Pickers’ Fest brings bluegrass back to the Clarke County Fairgrounds September 15-17th. This family-friendly weekend of camping, food, vendors, dancing, and music by Little Feat, The Earls of Leicester, Larry Sparks, the Lonesome Ramblers, and many more is sure to keep you toe-tapping and dancing.
Enjoy More Music at a Concert Series
- Lexington’s Lime Kiln Theater Summer Concert Series (Lexington) offers live music under the stars. This year, the outdoor venue welcomes Shakey Graves, Madison Cunningham, The Milk Carton Kids, The Steel Wheels, and more. Food, wine, and beer will be available before and during the show.
- Waynesboro Parks and Rec’s Groovin’ at the Greenway’s Thursday night concert series presents a variety of genres including rock, blues, funk, swing, soul, alt-country, and more. Artists include Who Shot John, Thieves of Burden, Shades of Gray, and more, and each concert features an onsite food truck. The event is family-friendly with activities from Blue Ridge Children’s Museum. The Wayne Theatre, Plaza Antigua, Fishin’ Pig, and Basic City Beer Co. also all have regular music.
- Staunton’s lineup of summer music is impressive. You’ll hear local and regional sounds at the Blackburn Inn’s SummerStage events and Redbeard Brewing Company Summer Concert Series. Fans of classical music will love The Staunton Music Festival and Heifetz Institute’s Festival of Concerts. And there’s something for everyone at the free concerts in Gypsy Hill Park that happen most nights of the week and features big band classics, gospel, jazz, and bluegrass.
- Heritage Oaks Golf Course’s Music on the Range concert series brings monthly live music to the course’s pavilion. Enjoy 60s sounds with Little Walter and the Convictions, rock with Check Engine, and a variety of genres with Prime. CornDog Company will be on-site selling your dinner.
- The following Harrisonburg venues often host live performances: Sage Bird Ciderworks, Pale Fire Brewing Company, Brothers Craft Brewing, Restless Moons Brewing Co., Court Square Theater, Forbes Center for the Performing Arts, and the Golden Pony.
- Enjoy Luray’s community spirit at the free Evenings on Main concert series at Ruffner Plaza. Musicians will play on select Friday nights from 7-9 p.m. through September. Make plans to see Big City Band, The Seven Bends Band, Clarence “The Blues Man” Turner, and others.
- The Shenandoah Valley Music Festival has been bringing award-winning artists in a variety of genres to Shrine Mont in Orkney Springs for more than 50 years. This year, eight outdoor concerts will rock the stage over several weekends in July, August, and September. The lineup includes America, Village People, the Richmond Symphony, Marty Stuart & His Fabulous Superlatives, tribute bands to ABBA and The Fab Four, and more.
- Front Royal’s Virginia Beer Museum and Vibrissa Beer offer great weekend live music events throughout the summer!
- Front Royal’s Gazebo Gatherings Summer Concert Series brings live music to the Gazebo on Main Street on Thursday nights at 7 p.m. through August 25. Enjoy a night out, grab dinner, visit some shops, and listen to great tunes.
- Check the schedule at West Oaks Farm Market (Winchester) for Friday-night performances during the Farm Concert Series. Artists include Souled Out, Chris Darlington Band, Low Water Bridge Band, and more. Concerts are family-friendly and continue through October.
- Bluegrass fans will love the free bluegrass concerts every Thursday evening through the summer and fall at The Homestead Farm at Fruit Hill Orchard (Winchester).
- Briede Family Vineyards and James Charles Winery & Vineyard (Winchester) make delicious and sustainable wines and schedule a regular calendar of live music.
- Bring your chair or blanket and settle back to enjoy the weekly free performances hosted by Berryville Main Street.
- Berryville’s Barns of Rose Hill is a nonprofit performing arts venue that enriches lives through the arts – live music, exhibits, films, workshops and community programs, and so much more.
- Lexington’s Devils Backbone Outpost Tap Room & Kitchen is celebrating Pride with rainbow-inspired beer flights, smash buckets, and food specials. There’s a Pride Drag Fundraiser on June 18 that benefits Project Horizon.
- Get ready to celebrate the last Wednesday of each month with Pride Night at Sage Bird Ciderworks (Harrisonburg). The events feature lively musical performances, special guests, and pop-up sales supporting local artisans. Event proceeds support the Friendly City Safe.
- The Pride Film Festival at Court Square Theater (Harrisonburg) is sure to inform, entertain and celebrate LGBTQI culture. Films include “Moonlight,” “Milk,” “A Fantastic Woman,” “Hedwig and the Angry Inch,” and “The Kids are All Right.” You also won’t want to miss the theater’s A Night of Illusion Drag Show. Hosts and performers include JP Gulla (aka “Big Daddy”), Gabrielle Remsen Ruby Villaverde, Genesis Knight, Trista Storm, Makayla Monroe, and more.
- Harrisonburg’s annual Best.Weekend.Ever (June 18) celebration will feature music, family-friendly activities, vendors, food trucks, and a downtown sip-and-stroll. Check out the Pride-themed area in Liberty Park for photo ops, a hair tinsel station, rainbow cookies, and lively drag performers.
- Winchester Pride Celebration will be held on the Downtown Mall with main events near the Old Court House on September 17, 2022.
- For more pride events around the state, check out Virginia’s Travel Blog’s Pride Guide.
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