The Shenandoah is a beautiful area about two hours from Washington D.C., with a national park, award-winning wineries, and rich Civil War history.
There are tons of things to do in the Shenandoah, and everyone will find something they’re interested in, whether it’s camping in the woods or enjoying local wine at a bed and breakfast.
And with only a two-hour drive, if you live in the Washington, D.C., area, it’s the perfect summer weekend getaway.
Hike one of the trails at Shenandoah National Park.
There’s a hiking trail for you in Shenandoah National Park, whether you’ve never hiked before or you’re a professional.
First, a little bit about the park. It’s a national park, which means it’s protected by the national government and was established for people to come and enjoy nature, views, and getting away from it all. There is lodging located inside the park, so if you wanted to stay overnight, you could stay at a lodge or rent a campsite. Make sure you visit the visitor’s center to learn more about the history of the park, as well as activities you can do.
Okay, back to hiking. Depending on what you want, you can find a hike that both challenges you and gives you those beautiful views. Dark Hollow Falls trail is one of the most popular trails in the park. It’s a short and relatively moderate hike, and you’ll be able to experience the Dark Hollow Waterfall. You can learn more about hiking in the Shenandoah here
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Drive through the park, and take many photos at the beautiful overlooks.
After a good hike, drive down Skyline Drive (the main road in the park) and enjoy the gorgeous overlooks. During a good day, the visibility is incredible, and you can see up to three ranges of mountains! There are many points along the drive where you can park the car and get out to enjoy the views. Some overlooks even have brick steps that lead to a rock overlooking the scene. Make sure you take a seat and snap a few artistic shots.
Learn more about Skyline Drive here
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Do a wine tasting (or five)!
Shenandoah has some of the best wineries in the country, and it’s growing in popularity every day. There are over 100 local wineries to visit, so you’re sure to find something that you like. Usually, wine tastings will feature a selection of seasonal wines, ranging from white to red, and will cost you anywhere from $5 to $20, depending on the winery.
Wine tastings are a great, low-cost way to learn about how wine is made and find a new favorite among the different kinds of wine Shenandoah offers. You can then enjoy a glass of wine at the winery (many even have outdoor terraces for guests to enjoy) or buy a bottle or two (or a case!) to take home.
Many wineries are also part of a bed and breakfast, so you can spend the whole weekend there. If you want to visit multiple wineries, but don’t want to drive (which is the safe choice), there are tour buses available that will pick you up and take you around the popular spots.
Learn more about the different wineries you may choose to visit here
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Visit Luray Caverns
You may have heard of Luray Caverns
, as it’s been getting a lot of positive buzz, either from their television commercials or people raving about it. These are the largest caverns on the East Coast! Set up a tour or go on your own ...
“lighted, paved walkways lead visitors through cathedral-sized rooms with ceilings 10-stories high, towering stone formations, and natural wonders at every turn.”
Learn more about how to get tickets, the history of the caverns, and any and all special events here
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Have you ever been to the Shenandoah? What was your favorite thing to see and do? Tell us in the comments below!