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“Nice way to start the trip”

Museum of the Shenandoah Valley
Ranked #4 of 53 things to do in Winchester
Certificate of Excellence
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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.
Useful Information: Wheelchair access, Activities for older children
Reviewed July 1, 2014

We met our friends here before continuing down the valley to our condo. It was a nice museum. They had exhibits on Patsy Cline and pie safes, as well as the more general permanent exhibit on the Shenandoah Valley itself and its history (from colonial times through to the present).

We ate lunch in the attached café and were very pleased. Pulled pork BBQ all-around and it was great. Blueberry-lemon cake for dessert was excellent.

There is a nice formal garden attached as well.

We had no trouble spending 3-4 hours here. I recommend stopping here if you're coming from I-81 or I-70.

Thank spivonious
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"glen burnie"
in 67 reviews
"shenandoah valley"
in 125 reviews
"rotating exhibits"
in 14 reviews
"free admission"
in 13 reviews
"doll houses"
in 12 reviews
"on wednesdays"
in 11 reviews
"special exhibit"
in 10 reviews
"traveling exhibits"
in 8 reviews
"folk art"
in 8 reviews
"michael graves"
in 7 reviews
"historic house"
in 16 reviews
"lego sculptures"
in 5 reviews
"decorative arts"
in 5 reviews
"permanent collection"
in 6 reviews
"historical home"
in 5 reviews
"local history"
in 12 reviews
"grounds are beautiful"
in 5 reviews
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324 - 328 of 471 reviews

Reviewed June 25, 2014

This was nice if you wanted an overview of local history but we thought there would be more about the Civil War and there simply wasn;t. I thought the $10 fee per adult was too much for what we got . I would not recommend it UNLESS you want a review of the local history.

Thank Amy M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 22, 2014

Finding this museum was a pleasant surprise. I ran across it while researching online for pie safes. The museum has excellent exhibition of some forty forms of Shenandoah Valley food safes, which runs into 2015. There is also a very good exhibition on the life of Winchester local Patsy Cline. We were fortunate to see it before it closes on July 6th.

The permanent exhibits on the ethnic and folkway history of the Valley are interesting and well-presented. The museum's calendar shows numerous special events over the coming months.

The nearby Bonnie Blue restaurant runs the museum's café concession, where we had an excellent lunch. The café's hours are limited, so take care if you plan to eat there.

Admission to the museum includes admission to the adjoining Glen Burnie home and gardens. The house is a bit of a disappointment. There is really not much to see. Only the first floor is open and it is sparsely furnished. The core of the home dates from 1794, but there have been so many renovations over the ensuing 200+ years, that there is little of the original character left and it is unremarkable. The gardens are extensive, but equally unremarkable.

That being said, the museum itself is well worth a visit. We plan to return.

1  Thank 167Traveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 20, 2014

Having driven past the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley numerous times we decided to finally check it out. We were not disappointed! It is a well-organized, spacious museum with numerous and varied displays focusing on the Shenandoah Valley, including such areas as ancient inhabitants, early commerce, the Civil War, evolving agriculture, and miniature houses highlighting historical architecture and furnishings. The only downside was that for a museum of the “Shenandoah Valley” the Civil War section was extremely limited; otherwise it was a positive experience throughout. The large floor space contains a mixture of permanent and changing displays. Beyond the museum itself are six acres of gardens and the Glen Burnie House which dates back to late 1700s. All displays were interesting and the variety assures that there is something for everyone. We spent about two hours in the museum itself which wasn’t enough; we’ll definitely go back.

1  Thank VT68
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed June 8, 2014

My children love the interactive exhibits!! It's a gem tucked away in Winchester!! They are always rotating exhibits, so even though you might go one time, take an opportunity to go again at a later date. They also offer events like music and other entertainment on the weekends.

Thank Jennifer S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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