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“Amazing Collection of Gardens” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Museum of the Shenandoah Valley

Museum of the Shenandoah Valley
901 Amherst Street, Winchester, VA 22601
+1 540-662-1473
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Ranked #2 of 16 Attractions in Winchester
Type: Historic Sites, History Museums, Museums
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Attraction details
Owner description: The Museum of the Shenandoah Valley (MSV) is dedicated to preserving and enriching the cultural life and heritage of the Valley. This regional history complex includes a house dating to the eighteenth century, six acres of spectacular gardens, and a 50,000-square-foot museum featuring changing exhibitions, a permanent display of miniature houses, and an expansive gallery exploring the history and decorative arts of the Shenandoah Valley. The MSV also includes a Museum Store and café (admission not required). The galleries are open year-round; the house and gardens April through October. The MSV sits on land originally claimed by Winchester founder James Wood in 1735. The property was passed through generations of Wood and Glass families until being acquired by Wood descendant and MSV benefactor Julian Wood Glass Jr. (1910–1992) between 1952 and 1955. Glass and his partner at the time, R. Lee Taylor (1924–2000), worked together to transform the site and its Glen Burnie House—built in 1794 by James Wood’s son Robert—into a country retreat where the couple entertained in high style. 
Senior Contributor
48 reviews 48 reviews
11 attraction reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
“Amazing Collection of Gardens”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 4, 2012

While currently under renovation, the Glen Burnie House is closed until 2014. But that doesn't lessen the wonderful experience of the touring the vast and diverse gardens surrounding the house. From the amazing water garden and Chinese garden to the statuary garden and the Grand Alle', Glen Burnie's gardens are an incredible place to spend a few hours or even a day wondering about the extensive grounds. If your fortunate enough to be able to attend the "Gardens at Night" events during the warmer months, don't miss the opportunity. Imagine lovely gardens under the stars, with subtle lighting and fantastic live music. If you're in the Winchester area, the gardens at Glen Burnie are a must see.

Visited September 2012
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185 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Fairfax, Virginia
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“Beautiful Gardens”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 22, 2012

Lovely to walk around the gardens. Summer outdoor concerts are great with food and wine. Museum is interesting for area history.

Visited July 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Concord, North Carolina
Top Contributor
118 reviews 118 reviews
16 attraction reviews
Reviews in 58 cities Reviews in 58 cities
93 helpful votes 93 helpful votes
“A Must Visit! And it was FREE!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 20, 2012

We drove over an hour to see this place, having heard about the fantastic miniature houses here particularly. It was well worth the drive, and imagine our surprise when we tried to pay and were told on Wednesdays before noon, everyone was admitten FREE! The interactive displays, the very friendly guides, the excellent little cafe, and the interesting gardens and grounds, were all better than we could have hoped for. Historic Winchester is a place to see, and this beautiful, new, and welcoming museum is simply a MUST VISIT while there.

Visited September 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Richmond, Virginia
Top Contributor
82 reviews 82 reviews
12 attraction reviews
Reviews in 45 cities Reviews in 45 cities
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
“AAA is right, it's a gem!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 9, 2012

The AAA book for Virginia rates this museum as "a gem". As we have found in the past that AAA is typically right on the money with this rating, we decided to check this attraction out. My husband and I ended up spending 4 hours here. We wandered around the many gardens, viewed the minature of the historic home as it is closed until 2014 for renovation, and enjoyed the items in the museum. A big bonus, as we came by motorcycle, is that there are free large lockers. One locker fit both of our helmets and jackets.

There are elaborate gardens (rose garden, pink pavilion, Chinese garden, water garden, etc.) with a self-guided audio tour (free) which we found interesting. We had fun envisioning what it was like to be a gentleman of wealth and leisure who could construct all these gardens.

At the museum, we attended a half hour fine arts tour that focused on the portraits in the museum done by such noted American and English artists as Gilbert Stuart, John Singleton Copley, and Thomas Gainsborough. I learned a lot from our knowledgeable guide. I also enjoyed the Civil War special exhibit but felt it was a little cramped. Apparently, the museum will be changing around all of its displays in the coming months so maybe more room will be given to the special exhibits.

Finally, we had a nice lunch at the cafe in the museum. The food was veyr good, and I believe it was the chef herself that brought it to our table. My husband also liked that his glass of iced tea was kept full.

Visited September 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Top Contributor
74 reviews 74 reviews
27 attraction reviews
Reviews in 40 cities Reviews in 40 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
“Visually stunning”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 31, 2012

The grounds that surround this museum are beautiful. They are well kept, with lovely gardens. The foliage in the autumn will be spectacular. The exhibits in the museum have many artifacts from the regions history. If you are a history buff, especially of the Civil War era, you'll love it here. I found the museum, though beautifully kept, is a bit sterile. I felt like I was walking through a library, and I was afraid to make any kind of noise, even to discuss the exhibits with my spouse and child. The atmosphere was, dare I say, pompous, maybe even snooty.

The admission price is moderate, and you can spend a couple hours wandering the exhibits. And I will say there are some really beautiful pieces here. I guess it's just not my cup of tea. It's a nice place to visit, but I don't think I'll be going back there.

Visited February 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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