Wetlands Trading Company is hard to describe and it is definitely one of a kind. Essentially, it is a small landscaping business with lots of gardening, landscaping, and pond supplies and accessories. Check out the piles and piles of interesting rock and stone that will have you thinking yard projects. There is also a tiny, unique shop full of funny gift items including some outrageous bumper stickers. Its a great place to just stop and browse or chat with the friendly owner. It is located not far from Bryce Resort and Orkney Springs, VA which is a lovely area to visit, perfect for a getaway weekend.
My husband and I were recently guests of friends who took us to Piccolo Mondo before a symphony performance. The restaurant was very quiet at first, but warmed up as more patrons arrived. The menu is Italian-American and the food preparation is refined and classic. The wine list was impressive. Our server was pleasant and impeccably professional and all our selections were delicious. I still dream of the tarragon vinegar-dressed crab lumps (hint: don't share!). I also had the salmon entree which was very good. My meal was a bit light as there was no rice or pasta included and I was hungry later. Unfortunately, there was no time for dessert, but the list was extensive and it looked GOOD. This restaurant would be equally good for a business dinner as for a special evening out with a loved one.
My husband is usually able to repair most things mechanical, but when our riding mower died, he visited SRS and got great, free advice. The small, owner-operated shop was very busy during our visit which speaks for itself. Rather than give bad advice or sell us something we didn't need, they made suggestions for us to try. We found the problems and they can order the necessary parts. Their location is a little west of Woodstock yet they are easy to find and worth a visit for their excellent service.
I have been patronizing Shenandoah Fine Chocolates since their beginnings a few short years ago and it has been no surptise to see the business thrive. The store is very often packed. It is located on Route 11 South of Winchester in the upscale Creekside Station shopping center at Kernstown. There is a variety of offerings, including fudge, ice cream, cute novelty items for kids and holidays. I've never gotten past the truffles which are available in just about any conceivable flavor. They are delicious and make a nice hostess gift if you need something fast. They are a bit expensive and seem to have shrunk (maybe it's just my eyesight), but as a recipient told me, "Those were the best d*** chocolates I've ever had!"
Wymer's is no longer at the Mt. Hebron Road location. They have expanded to a brand new shop on Route 11 North at Tom's Brook and the service is as reliable as ever. They handle both domestic and foreign diagnostics and repairs. We have had state inspections done and the belts and hoses replaced in our truck and Wymer's has handled the work quickly and professionally. They are car mechanics that don't abuse your trust.
The owners of the Irish Isle in Middletown, VA don't have a lot of competition nearby to keep them on their toes, but they set their own high standard with a warm atmosphere, live music, and absolutely delicious traditional food with a few American mainstays thrown in. It would be difficult to name a favorite dish, but I've enjoyed the fish and chips and lamb especially. The desserts are heavenly. My only complaint is that the place gets a bit hectic and service slips when patrons attending productions at the nearby Wayside Theatre are catered to and we're neglected. Visit at a less-crowded time or enjoy the peace while the Wayside is undergoing renovations and expansion.
Open since 1975, this small bookshop located in downtown Front Royal offers the best of nearly new used books. The store is well-lit and well-organized and it's impossible to escape without an armload of books you had been planning to read. They all seem to be here--lots and lots of good titles. The store also buys books so you can turn your purchases over and spend the money on some new ones later. Unfortunately little places like these are a dying breed, so if you enjoy browsing and get excited over some great deals, stop in. There are children's books, too, to start the next generation on a love of good reading.
This busy shop in downtown Strasburg is your typical well-run little coffee shop with all the assorted baked goods and a nice selection of unique foods and gifts to tempt you. It is right next door to the Great Strasburg Emporium so you can conveniently revive yourself after your antique shopping. The service is friendly and the prices are good. It's my favorite place to treat myself without breaking the bank.
The Spring House Tavern is one of the few non-chain restaurants that has held on for any length of time in Shenandoah County. I've enjoyed the food overall and some of it has been outstanding. I don't go there as often as I'd like because the place looks like a dump inside and out. I hate to say it, but it's just not the kind of place you could take visitors. The service is pleasant, though casual. The chairs are uncomfortable and wobbly. For the prices charged you should at least not be physically miserable while you enjoy your meal. It's a shame because the Spring House wants to be a nice restaurant, but it has a case of myopia. Maybe it's time for a decorating upgrade so the decor doesn't detract from the good food.
Perhaps they've been around long enough to take their business for granted. Though one can't say much negative about Stone House Floors, it is disappointing to see them fall short of how good they could be if they tried. If you know what you want, the selection is very good. Otherwise, it's a maze. The staff seems indifferent but aren't rude. The installation is average. I am very happy with the carpet I chose (kind of by chance), but would I go back? Probably not. I spent a pretty good chunk of change. The crew at Lowe's was very informative and helpful and that in itself would make me feel more confident of my selection next time. I like to support local businesses over chain stores, but they have to give me a reason to go back. Stone House isn't a bad choice, but it isn't as good as it should be either.