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The heart of Winchester's historic area is the Old Town Mall, a 4-block-long pedestrian-only stretch of Loudon Street between Piccadilly and Cork streets. I enjoy strolling the mall, exploring a number of boutiques, and enjoying refreshment at coffeehouses, pastry shops, and several restaurants, some of which offer outdoor seating under shade trees in warm weather. Facing the mall, the imposing Frederick County Court House was built in 1840 and is home to the Old Court House Civil War Museum.

While walking between the George Washington and Stonewall Jackson museums, you can't miss the elaborate, Beaux Arts-style Handley Regional Library, at the corner of Braddock and Piccadilly streets (tel. 540/662-9041; www.hrl.lib.state.va.us/handley). Built between 1907 and 1912, it's adorned with a full panoply of Classic Revival statues. A copper-covered dome covers the rotunda, which symbolizes the spine of a book, with the two flanking wings representing its open pages.

Across the street from the library is the white-columned Elks Building, headquarters of Union Gen. Philip Sheridan from 1864 to 1865.

Any doubt that this northern end of the valley was fought over during the Civil War will be dispelled at Mt. Hebron Cemetery, on Woodstock Lane, east of downtown (tel. 540/662-4868; www.mthebroncemetery.org). Some 8,000 men killed in the battles are buried here -- the Rebels in Stonewall Confederate Cemetery on the south side of the street, the Yankees in the National Cemetery on the north side.

Saving with a Block Ticket -- You can buy a block ticket to visit Abram's Delight, Washington's Office Museum, and Stonewall Jackson's Headquarters for $20 for a family, $10 adults, $9 seniors, and $4 students 7 to 18 (free for children 6 and younger). Tickets are available at the museums or at the Winchester/Frederick County Visitors Center.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.