Local lore says Shenandoah was named for a Native American word meaning 'Daughter of the Stars.' True or not, there's no question this is God's country, and one of the most beautiful places in America. The 200-mile-long valley and its Blue Ridge Mountains are packed with picturesque small towns, wineries, microbreweries, preserved battlefields and caverns. This was once the western border of colonial America, settled by Scots-Irish frontiersmen who were Highland Clearance refugees. Outdoor activities such as hiking, cycling, camping, fishing, horseback riding and canoeing abound, and hitting the road on the famed Skyline Drive is an unforgettable experience, particularly in the fall when the palette of the forest canopy ranges from russet red to copper-tinged orange.