Get out and into the heart of the Shenandoah National Park. Just 33 miles from the Inn – a beautiful drive in itself – you’ll cross into a world that takes you into the woods, along the mountains, and bestows a greater appreciation for the beauty of nature and the Valley’s pristine surroundings. Whether you choose to stay in the car, strap on your hiking boots, or unload your bike, the park is a wonderland for every kind of nature enthusiast (more here).
Click the image below for a detailed map of the Skyline Drive route. PLANNING TIP: Miles are designated in increments of five along the red line.
PLAN YOUR TRIP
If you’re not in a big rush, plan for a detour on your way out to the park. About 15 minutes into your drive, you’ll see signs for White Oak Lavender Farm and CrossKeys Vineyards off the right – both are wonderful stops.
As you’re making your way through the park, Big Meadows and Skyland are both stop-worthy. At Big Meadows, you’ll find a beautiful, sparkling clean visitor’s center complete with a walk-through information center on the history and creation of Skyline Drive. On location: restrooms, a gift shop, great views — and it’s the only place in the park where you can fill up on gas.
Skyland is another great stop-off, and boasts breathtaking views from their formal dining room. Food is served throughout the day, making it a great place to grab a bite to eat.
If you’ve had your fill by this point, go ahead and exit off Thornton Gap (~mile 32) and head towards Luray. You may decide to take in the Luray Caverns, or simply wander around their downtown area and grab some dinner. From the caverns, it’s a 40-minute drive back to the Inn.
For more information on driving through the Park, click here.