Day-Tripping North on US Route 11 from Steeles Tavern VA

US RT 11 sign Steeles Tavern Manor B&B and Alpine Hideaway Cottages are located along  US Route 11 in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. Sometimes Ray & I enjoy being “tourists” in our own area and head out on a day trip to nearby towns and attractions. We recently took a drive north from our B&B on US Route 11 – known in Virginia as “the Lee Highway”. Route 11 runs north & south through the Shenandoah Valley. Interstate 81 was built almost parallel to the colonial trail but speeds along going around many quaint, historic towns and villages. Near the southern end of the Shenandoah Valley and near Cloverdale, VA, there is an historic marker that reads in part: “This is the old road from Pennsylvania to the Yadkin Valley, over which in early times settlers passed going south.”

From Steeles Tavern we traveled north and passed through the little village of Greenville – birthplace of Kate Smith. The next town was Verona, where the Factory Antique Mall is located. It is said to be the largest antique mall in the country! We traveled through the historic district of Mt. Sidney that has 74 buildings included and dating back to the 1820’s.

Continuing on the Lee Highway, we arrive in Mt Crawford. This small village (population about 433) is home to an amazing book fair! The Green Valley Bookfair occurs seven times during 2018 and each fair runs from six days to 24 days. The next book fair starts on May 5, 2018. The book fair is a special outlet store offering more than 30,000 different titles in at least 60 different categories, including children’s books.  Guests make reservations with us so that they can return for more than one day to find book bargains galore.

Harrisonburg, VA was our next stop. James Madison University is located in Harrisonburg and has a number of very interesting places to visit (even if you do not have a student here). Spring is a wonderful time to visit the Edith J. Carrier Arboretum at James Madison University. The Arboretum holds a spring plant sale during the weekend of May 18 & 19. In May, special events at the Arboretum include carriage rides on Mother’s Day, a Food & Wine Day on May 11, and a special weekend for kids to hear stories of garden gnomes and fairies. 

We passed through New Market, VA – a town well known in Civil War history. Since we had visited the museum on a previous daytrip, we did not stop this time. We highly recommend a visit to the museum and if you intend to attend the re-enactment (May 19-20), make your reservations now for next year! 

Our last stop on our daytrip was in Mt Jackson, VA. If you happen to day-trippin’ on a hot summer day, you must take a tour of Shenandoah Caverns there! This is the only cavern tour in Virginia with elevator service.

Photo of RT 11 "Chips"Our hunger urged us to visit Route 11 Potato Chips! We watched potato chip production through their “fry windows” and learned a lot about one of our favorite snack foods. One thing we learned: 100 pounds of potatoes makes just 25 pounds of potato chips! During the frying process, most of the water evaporates out leaving a crispy treat that even freezes well (due to the lack of moisture)!  We tasted a several of these varieties of chips:  lightly salted, barbeque, dill pickle, sour cream n chive, salt n vinegar, Chesapeake crab, Mama Zuma’s revenge, sweet potato, and Yukon gold. They are all available for purchase at the outlet store after your chip tasting.Rt 11 Chips Varieties

If you were to simply drive up US Route 11 straight to Mt Jackson, it would take about two hours for the 70 miles. This old road has so much to offer for sight seeing, fun experiences, historical attractions, and great food, that we suggest that you plan most of your day for this trip – and stop all along the way.  After your chip-tasting experience, jump on I-81 south so you can arrive back at the B&B for our social hour. Perhaps you will bring a bag of your favorite chips to share with other guests too. Make your reservation for a spring getaway (and add a daytrip) to the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.

Innkeepers/Day-trippers – Melissa & Ray

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