Results 1-10of 19 Reviews
June 25, 2013
From journal Trip to Virginia
Great Falls, Virginia
April 11, 2011
From journal Living as an Expat in the Washington Area
Front Royal, Virginia
November 21, 2010
by Chris & Carinne
July 26, 2010
St. Louis, Missouri
April 15, 2009
From journal Insight from a 4-Year Visitor to Washington, D.C.
Belmar, New Jersey
December 7, 2006
One of the first stops on our journey was to Shenandoah National Park in Virginia. One of the most impressive parts of our drive across this beautiful country was the stretch along Shenandoah's Skyline Drive. Running north/south along the Blue Ridge Mountains, this 105 mile roadway is one of the most amazing sights in the country. There are 75 overlooks that offer views of the Shenandoah valley, and it seems like you can see for miles! Along the way you will drive through mountain tunnels (long stretches through mountains that will remind you of your days watching Looney Toons!); the wildlife is aplenty along this road too.
We made our trip in early summer and saw large black bears, cubs in tow, walking along the road, as well as hundreds of deer and other wildlife. We had a great camping experience at Big Meadows Camp Ground, which is both tent and camper friendly. If you aren't much for sleeping under canvas, don't worry, that doesn't mean you can't enjoy the park. For those who aren't so rustic that they want to sleep on the ground, but would like to be a little more outdoor-sy than a hotel room, can opt for the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club, which has several primitive cabins in the park. Each cabin comes equipped with mattresses, blankets, and cookware... a pit toilet and spring water are nearby.
You can make lodging reservations online at www.nps.gov/shen/planyourvisit/lodging.htm. Entrance to the park is not very expensive, ranging from $10-$20 per non-commercial vehicle, depending on the season, which is valid for 7 consecutive days. As you make your way along Skyline Drive, make sure you have time to stop at one of the many caverns. We recommend Luray Caverns (although we didn't get there this time around). The Luray Caverns are among the most impressive underground caverns in the country, and definitely worth your time. Although we visited the park in summer, temperatures still got a little cold at night. I would recommend bringing extra layers and blankets, particularly if you are planning to sleep outside. If there is one thing that is consistent from campsite to campsite, it's the bugs. Stock up on your bug spray and citronella candles, you won't be sorry! The biggest piece of advice that I can offer is this: for goodness sake, go to the bathroom before you start on Skyline Drive! The restrooms are few and far between, and you could be squatting next to a deer before you know it!
For this park, the best way to travel is definitely by car. The speed limit is 35 mph, which is for your safety as well as the safety of the resident wildlife. Don't be surprised to come around a bend and see a bear in the middle of the road, unsure of which way he was intending to go. For his sake and yours (hey, nobody wants the imprint of a large mountain animal in their bumper), please drive carefully!
From journal The Cross Country Road Trip of a Lifetime
May 23, 2006
There is so much to do here. Before planning your visit, go to http://www.nps.gov/shen/pphtml/planyourvisit.html. We enjoyed stopping along the way and taking a few short hikes along the Appalachian Trail system.
In addition, be sure to watch for deer! We saw deer everywhere. Be cautious as they are quite tame, and are very curious. Unfortunately, people have started feeding them over the years. We had a couple come right over to our car window and want us to feed them.
From journal Virginia in the Fall
March 24, 2006
From journal Fun in Virginia... Despite the Timeshare Pitch
long beach, New York
September 14, 2005
Take the self-guided hiking book, but make sure to leave $1 for its use. You will find interesting facts, like, for example, the tree that has formed within a rock and over time has split the rock. See photo.
When you reach the top of Stoneyman, beware not to go to the edge. The rocks can be dangerous. I saw flowers left at the edge. The person we met at the summit said that they were left for someone who fell off the mountain. My wife, upon hearing this, refused to climb out. To her chagrin, there are lovely views of the Shenandoah Valley and a unique view of Skyline Drive (see attached photos).
From journal Summer Vacation at the Summitt2005
August 30, 2005
Skyline Drive is a 105-mile-long winding road that runs along the Blue Ridge Mountains through the length of the park. There are many overlooks, a total of 75 altogether - which provide outstanding vistas of spectacular scenery. We were very glad we had film along, as we got some great shots of wildflowers and various types of foliage.
It also provides far off views of the Blue Ridge Mountains -- which also provides some great photo shoots!
We stopped at the Byrd Visitor Center where we caught a young park ranger telling an audience all kinds of things about the animals in the park, and she was having the time of her life--we could tell she really and truly enjoys her job!
There are trails that take you into the "forests of Shenandoah", where you can see many plants and animals. These trails total more than 500 miles, and many of the trailheads are located on Skyline Drive and in developed areas. Much of the park, therefore, is accessible to hikers.
We found Skyline Drive to be a truly awesome driving experience! It is one of the "must-dos" of your vacation!
From journal A Fantastic Massanutten Vacation!