The Hummingbird Inn
5 Reasons to Visit the Shenandoah Valley in the Fall & Winter 14 Sep 2016, 7:00 am
Photo credit: Jeffry N. Curtis https://www.flickr.com/photos/jcurtis4082/3036619009
#1 Leaf season unlike any other. Fall foliage viewing is SPECTACULAR, and there are scenic drives all around the Hummingbird Inn to take in all of Mother Nature’s splendor. Here are some tips and routes for planning a great “Leaf Peeping” adventure.
#2 Outdoor recreation bonanza. Whatever your outdoor passion, the Shenandoah Valley has something for you! Opportunities for hiking, biking, fishing, climbing, paddle sports and motorcycle touring for any level participant are at your fingertips. Check out the ideas on Rockbridge Outdoors to plan your outdoor adventure.
#3 Farm, vineyard, brewery festivals & events. Fancy some apple or pumpkin picking, corn maze shenanigans, stomping of the grapes or craft brewery tours? There are tons of agritourism activities to choose from near the Hummingbird Inn, and the fall and early winter are great times to experience the rich agricultural heritage of the Shenandoah Valley. Holiday markets abound as well, and there’s nothing like doing your shopping with local farmers and artisans. Plan your own special adventure on the interactive Fields of Gold Farm Trail website.
#4 Opportunities to experience history and culture. In addition to soaking up the natural beauty of the Valley, there are tons of fascinating museums and cultural destinations to make a fall/winter visit delightful. If you’re a train buff, check out our Rails-to-Trails itinerary for exploring old rail lines, museums dedicated to the railroad history of the area and railroad-themed dining. Here are a just few more varied choices!
Belle Grove Plantation
Frontier Culture Museum
George C. Marshall Museum and Library
Museum of the Shenandoah Valley
Patsy Cline Historic House
The Heritage Museum
The Newtown History Center
Plains District Memorial Museum
Virginia Museum of the Civil War
Virginia Quilt Museum
Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library & Museum
#5 A great place for just the two of you or to gather the family. If you’re looking for a cool place for just the two of you to have a romantic holiday or for the entire family to gather, we can help you plan a stupendous holiday getaway. Call us for details!
Special Event Calendars for more ideas!
Fields of Gold Farm
Trail, Shenandoah Valley
American Shakespeare Center, Staunton
Garth Newell, Hot Springs
Virginia Horse Center, Lexington
Shenandoah Valley Travel Association, Valley happenings
Staunton Tourism, Staunton
Buena Vista, Lexington & Rockbridge Area Tourism
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Cabins on Mill Creek: Serenity Cabin is Waiting for You! 7 Sep 2016, 6:41 am
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Cabin 1 on Mill Creek Construction – Interior finishes July 2016 20 Aug 2016, 5:36 pm
Interior progresses…a natural stone wall, finally we paint, kitchen next and ELECTRICITY is always exciting, working in air conditioning now. The maple floor is in and we start doing the stuff Sandra likes…installing bathroom chandelier and flat screen TV! Moving on with music and Wi-Fi, the kitchen counters go in, bathroom fixtures and plumbing… Next deadline August 15 we shoot video for the website…let the decorating begin!!
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Cabin 1 on Mill Creek Construction – Septic goes in July 2016 20 Aug 2016, 1:38 pm
Not sure if people care about Septic Systems but we did and it was cool to watch the installation.
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Rails-to-Trails Adventure Sound Cool? We’ve Got a Doozie 16 Jul 2016, 11:11 am
The Central Shenandoah Valley is the perfect spot to experience a full range of rails-to-trails activities, all within easy access to spectacular outdoor recreation, a thriving local food movement and rich small town cultural offerings.
Historic Hummingbird Inn Bed & Breakfast, circa 1780, is positioned between working train tracks and Mill Creek, a fast moving stream that joins the Cowpasture River to form the Maury River. While ruby-throated hummingbirds do frequent the lush gardens of the establishment, the Inn was actually named after the Humming Bird Limited, a passenger train that ran on the Louisville & Nashville line. Eleanor Roosevelt stayed at the Hummingbird Inn during a visit to a local factory.
The Chessie Nature Trail is a seven-mile stretch of disused rail line that follows the Maury River from Lexington to Buena Vista along mile markers left behind by the Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad. Proximity to the river and alternating open and forested habitats provides the opportunity to view varied wildlife.
Chesapeake & Ohio Heritage Center, located in the important railroad town of Clifton Forge, is a railway heritage museum, interpretive, educational, and visitor’s center that tells the story of the C&O Railway, its people, the places it serviced and the technology that made it possible. The collection, which is curated by the Chesapeake & Ohio Historical Society, is one of the largest held in the United States pertaining to the technological development of a single railroad.
Ghosts of Staunton Walking Tours. The Staunton Train Depot is arguably one of the most haunted spots in Staunton, VA, and visitors can learn all about the importance and tragedy surrounding the station’s 150-year history during a narrated walking tour offered by Black Raven Paranormal, April-October.
American Shakespeare Center’s Blackfriars Playhouse in Staunton is a re-creation of The Bard’s original indoor theater. Shows run year-round, featuring a world-class troupe of seasoned actors.
Jackson River Scenic Trail This serene 10.7-mile rail-trail is nestled in the Allegheny Highlands of western Virginia and traces the route of what was once the Hot Springs Branch of the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway. It features waterfalls, rock formations and seasonal foliage.
Goshen Pass is Virginia’s oldest state-managed natural area. Located in Rockbridge County, about 10 miles north of Lexington, the Commonwealth first acquired the property in 1954 to help protect the spectacular views of the 3.7-mile long gorge along the Maury River. Public access to Goshen Pass Natural Area Preserve is only available via a parking area off Route 39 and swinging bridge across the Maury River.
Where to Dine
Base camp at the Hummingbird Inn Bed & Breakfast in Goshen, VA for the perfect rails-to-trail adventure in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. The lovingly restored five room inn represents the heyday of the railroad era in Virginia, where vacation trips to the mountains and “healing waters” of nearby Cold Sulphur and Warm/Hot Springs were made by rail. Eleanor Roosevelt was the inn’s most famous guest to date.
After check-in, a short drive to Staunton for dinner at The Depot Grille, a full-service restaurant located in the historic Staunton Train Station, will set the stage for this unique getaway. A bustling passenger and freight area until the 1960’s, the Station now has limited Amtrak service and features shopping, nearby wine tasting and brewery offerings, as well as a recently restored pedestrian bridge that has connected the downtown to residential parts of the city for more than a century.
April through October, brave travelers can meet up with the Ghosts of Staunton Historical Walking Tours for a reconnoiter of Staunton’s more elusive residents. The 90-minute adventure covers stories from a train derailment at the Staunton Station, tales of Civil War soldiers and many more sagas laced with the rich history of Staunton’s days gone-by.
If tamer entertainment is in order, the lights are always on at the American Shakespeare Center’s Blackfriars Playhouse in Staunton, a re-creation of The Bard’s original indoor theater. Shows run year-round, featuring a world-class troupe of seasoned actors. Train station and cultural offerings are all within walking distance in Staunton’s picturesque downtown.
Following a restful sleep and two-course breakfast to fuel day 2, get moving with a trail hike/ride along the Chessie Nature Trail, a seven-mile stretch of disused rail line that follows the Maury River. Proximity to the river and alternating open and forested habitats provides the opportunity to view varied wildlife.
Grab a quick lunch at one of Lexington’s diverse dining offerings or take-out a picnic for a leisurely meander to Goshen Pass, Virginia’s oldest state-managed natural area. where you can dip your toes (more) in the cool Maury River, take in another hike or venture across a swinging bridge.
Regroup back at the Hummingbird Inn with a cup of tea in the sun room or garden, then mosey back to Lexington’s The Red Hen for a farm-to-table meal sourced from the area’s vibrant local food scene. Save a little room for home-baked goodies waiting back at the Hummingbird, or a bottle of wine to share while watching fireflies.
Awake on Day 3 refreshed and ready to explore nearby Clifton Forge, home of the Chesapeake & Ohio Heritage Center. The extensive collection is one of the largest held in the United States pertaining to the technological development of a single railroad.
Enjoy lunch at The Club Car Shop & Deli, then finish off this rails-to-trails trip with a hike or ride along the Jackson River Scenic Trail, a serene 10.7-mile rail-trail is nestled in the Allegheny Highlands of western Virginia.
Ideas to extend the stay:
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Cabin 1 on Mill Creek Construction–Interior Progressing! June 2016 15 Jun 2016, 10:20 am
Cutting the Cedar Ceiling
Cedar Ceiling getting installed in Cabin 1
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Cabin 1 on Mill Creek Siding & Interior – Mar 2016 28 Mar 2016, 12:08 pm
Cabin 1 on Mill Creek siding day was BEAUTIFUL and interior is taking shape! Come on in and take a peak inside…
Jeff at the saw.
Kitchen area backs up to bathroom
The bathroom will also have high ceilings.
Jeff looking at the lighting in the bathroom.
A nice shot before the windows and door went in.
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Cabin 1 on Mill Creek Construction – Feb 2016 28 Mar 2016, 9:45 am
Cabin 1 on Mill Creek construction days were marked by blue skies and tempertures in the teens! Jeff can work in all temps, the crazy heat and humidity back in Houston and now winter in Goshen. Thankfully the bitter cold and gusty winds are short lived. We are very happy to report our winter is mild with most days not having to wear multiple layers. When it snows, it doesn’t last.
Warm temps are always just around the corner. Then, we have another beautiful snowfall here in the Shenandoah Valley and we are delighted again! Another cold spell and back to layers for a day or two, maybe three…all for the sake of getting it done! See more pictures here on the progress of Cabin 1.
A view of cabin 1 at Mill Creek from the Hummingbird Inn.
“When this old world starts a getting me down…”
Windows in, prepping for siding.
Sandra & Jeff and the view from the bedroom.
A view of Mill Creek from cabin 1 on a cold winter day.
Cabin 1 on Mill Creek Framing – Feb 2016 28 Mar 2016, 8:13 am
Cabin 1 on Mill Creek framing got off to a good start in February with some days not so cold, sweatshirt weather!
View of the creek from the back deck.
Making great progress.
Cabins on Mill Creek 2016 – New Year, New Plans 27 Mar 2016, 11:30 am
Cabins on Mill Creek 2016 got off to a great start! Exciting to see the Concrete Truck pull up at the Hummingbird Inn. New Year, New Plans to add cabins creekside on our lot adjacent to the Hummingbird Inn. We started with Cabin 1 in hopes to finish by July 2016. Our proximity to Mill Creek requires the cabins to be raised 5 feet and so we began by pouring concrete for the footings. Just in time! After the concrete was set, we received our first major snowfall (as new Inn owners), a beautiful 20+ inches of snow. By the way, it’s glorious to enjoy a snow storm with no driving commutes now that we work at home. Living the dream…
And the snow storm begins….