When looking for a vacation spot in Northern Virginia, you should check out Winchester, Virginia. This small town is located near the Maryland border at the northern end of the Shenandoah Valley. The best time to visit Winchester is during the months of September, June, and May. However, January and February can also be pleasant times to visit the town. For a more traditional Winchester vacation, you can spend the day in downtown Winchester.
If you’re a history buff, don’t miss the Stonewall Jackson Headquarters Museum, which preserves the area’s history. It includes seven acres of gardens, a restored 18th-century home, and several galleries showcasing local art and maps. Different exhibits highlight the lives of historical figures throughout the ages. Once you’ve seen these Winchester attractions, you’ll know why this small town has become a popular vacation destination for visitors.
As a frontier town, Winchester saw its share of battles. During the American Civil War, it was the site of six battles and was home to both Confederate General Stonewall Jackson and Union General Philip Sheridan. The town was an important center for medical operations during the war. At one point in time, the city was the site of several battles, including one that claimed the lives of over 8,000 people. The town is located on Jubal Early Drive, which was a strategic location during the war.
Visitors to Winchester will find several museums and historical sights in the city. The Old Town is home to the Stonewall Jackson’s Headquarters Museum, George Washington’s Office Museum, and the Shenandoah Valley Discovery Museum. The latter is located in a newly renovated furniture building in the downtown area and features interactive exhibits and hands-on activities. A rooftop sky level is ideal for gardening. The latter also has a cafe and museum store.
Visitors to Winchester can also take a nature hike at Abrams Creek Wetlands Preserve. The 25-acre preserve is home to more than three hundred special species of plants and 180 different types of birds. These wetlands take over 10,000 years to develop and are especially useful for capturing pollutants. It is also the location of the largest apple orchard in the U.S., and the largest apple festival in the state.
The Revolutionary War is another important reason to visit Winchester. During the Revolutionary War, a local resident named Daniel Morgan raised a militia company. This company was led by Captain Ashby and was instrumental in defending Virginia against Pontiac’s Rebellion and the Shawnee Indians in the Ohio valley. While Washington didn’t particularly like Winchester, he nevertheless recognized its importance as a strategic point for the American Revolution.
One of the most notable historical sites in Winchester is the Handley Library, which was named after an Irish-American lawyer who fell in love with the area’s Scotch-Irish heritage. Judge Handley left $250,000 to the city in his will to build free public libraries and schools for the poor. The Handley Library, at 100 West Picadilly Street, was completed in 1913. It was designed by New York architects Barney and Chapman. It is a beaux-arts classicism masterpiece with beautiful detailing and a dome.