Winchester has long been known as the “Apple Capital” surrounded as it is by vast orchards and constituting one of the largest apple export markets of the nation and the largest producing area in Virginia. Downtown Winchester hosts an expansive historic district as well as over 30 places to eat and 50 retail shops. Festivals, live music and patio seating enliven the Old Town Walking Mall throughout the year.
Each spring Winchester plays host for four days to over 250,000 visitors who converge upon the town to witness the famous Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival, usually held the first few days in May. Winchester also hosts the world’s largest Fireman’s parade the Friday before the main event.
In Winchester, the visitor will see many relics of the area’s history: the tomb of Lord Fairfax in the yard of Christ Episcopal Church; the home and grave of General Daniel Morgan, hero of the Revolutionary War; George Washington’s headquarters: the headquarters of “Stonewall” Jackson: the headquarters of the Union General Philip Sheridan, from which he started his 12 mile ride on October 19, 1864, to rally his retreating army at Cedar Creek- the ride made famous by Thomas Buchanon Read’s poem, “Sheridan’s Ride”; the Hollingsworth house, Abram’s Delight, built in 1754 and now completely furnished with relics of the 18th century; houses of the Revolutionary era; the National Cemetery and the Confederate Cemetery with thousands of heroes graves; the ruins of an old church used as barracks during the Revolutionary War and many others. Located in a working-class neighborhood in the City of Winchester, a few blocks from the downtown is the modest house which was the residence of country music legend Patsy Cline (1932-63), who lived here from the ages of 16 to 21, when she married Gerald Cline. Patsy resided here from 1948-53, longer than at any other house associated with her in the Winchester and Nashville areas, and she returned to it intermittently until her singing career began in 1957.