Virginia Journals

Fun in Virginia... Despite the Timeshare Pitch

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A June 2005 trip to Virginia by brianestadt

Luray Caverns Photo, Luray, Virginia More Photos
Quote: We took advantage of a Massanutten timeshare offer to see the beautiful state of Virginia.

Fun in Virginia... Despite the Timeshare Pitch

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Overview

Luray Caverns Photo, Virginia, United States
Quote:
For a short trip (3 nights), our first journey to Virginia was a pretty good one. If you forget all the timeshare crap and some of the annoyances at the resort itself, it was actually a very good trip.Among the highlights for us were:* Hiking downhill to scenic Dark Hollow Falls in Shenandoah National Park. Hiking back up? Not such a highlight.* The wildlife and scenery along Shenandoah's Skyline Drive.* The dramatic stalactites, stalagmites, and other mineral fomations, and the mirror-smooth underground lake/pond in Luray Caverns.* The wonderful offerings of Rockbridge winery, which were definitely worth driving out of our way for.* The scen...Read More

Massanutten Resort

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Hotel | "Massanutten: nondescript resort hotel"

Quote:
People who visit Massanutten on a time share promo package are lodged in the resort hotel facilities, not actual timeshare units. Though these hotels look nice at first glance, they have a cheap feel to them. The carpeting in ours was thin and worn, like felt on an old pool table. The floors and walls are thin (the floors felt like they were made of plywood) and the rooms, though appointed well enough, are bland.During our stay the fire alarms in our building went off a minimum of five times at night, and during the very early morning hours. The response from the front desk was blasé. The response of the firetrucks sent to investigate was even less enthusiastic. It would take 10 minutes for a ...Read More

Member Rating 1 out of 5 on March 27, 2006

Massanutten Resort
1822 Resort Drive
McGaheysville, Virginia 22840
(540) 289-9441

Winemaker's Dinner

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Restaurant | "Winemaker's Dinner at Massanutten"

Quote:
The best thing about Massanutten Resort, itself, is the winemaker's dinner. If you have a chance to attend this, do it. It's certainly worth the $50 per person.Each winemaker's dinner is an unique experience. The chefs come up with the five courses they intend to serve, and then invite a Virginia winery to pair wines with each course. We were there on a night when the folks at Rockbridge Winery (of Raphine, Va.) were involved.The food was very good from start to finish. Personal tastes prompted my wife and I to disagree on the soup and the salad, but we disagree about food on occasion, so no big deal. We agreed that the appetizer and the dessert were delicious.As fo...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on March 24, 2006

Winemaker's Dinner
Massanutten Virginia's Four Season Mountain Resort
Massanutten, Virginia 22840
(540) 289-4954

Luray Caverns

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Attraction

Luray Caverns Photo, Luray, Virginia
Quote:
A venerable roadside attraction, Luray Caverns is a true piece of Americana. Few of my travel experiences have seemed so, well, American as standing in line for 15 to 20 minutes in a gift shop that exists only to sell you any and every kitschy items that can fit the words "Luray Caverns" on it. I loved it. Even before we descended into the caves below, I was digging the feel of this place. I could imagine people in the 1950s standing in line waiting to get a peak at the wonders below. Of course, I imagined this scene in black-and-white, like an episode of "The Andy Griffin Show." I may be a sentimentalist, but only in gray scale.Anyway, I loved that the stairs were well worn by a c...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on March 24, 2006

Luray Caverns
101 Cave Hill Road
Luray, Virginia 22835
(540) 743-6551

Rockbridge Vineyard

Attraction

Quote:
Very friendly staff and really nice wines. The Rockbridge folks will give you a tour of the property and explain the winemaking process from the vines to the barrels. It was a real education for us since we didn't know the steps involved in producing wine. This small winery was a nice discovery. Located a little less than an hour's drive south of our accommodation at Massanutten, it was a nice little road trip... definitely worth it when you drive home with a good selection of their wines. It's amazing that this rural, idyllic location with its green, rolling hills that are so good for wine production is so close to Interstate Route 81. We recommend the 2003 Traminette (we love riesling; th...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 24, 2006

Rockbridge Vineyard
35 Hill View Ln.
Raphine, Virginia 24472
(888) 511-9463

Shenandoah National Park & Skyline Drive

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Attraction | "Shenandoah National Park"

Shenandoah National Park & Skyline Drive Photo, Shenandoah National Park, Virginia
Quote:
The Grand Canyon has its dramatic oranges and reds. Yosemite has El Capitan, Half Dome, and the sheer, impressive mountains surrounding its valley. Yellowstone has Old Faithful.Shenandoah National Park doesn't have the dramatic scenery of the National Park System's Big Three. Instead, it offers views of mountains that—far older than the Rockies—have been gentle rounded by time and erosion. You won't find dramatic peaks here, but you will find beautiful undulating mountains of vibrant green trees that go on for as far as the eye can see.One slight disappointment was the haze that hung over the mountains. But that was no surprise, since these are called the Great Smokey Mountains....Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 24, 2006

Shenandoah National Park & Skyline Drive
3655 Us Highway 211 East
Shenandoah N.P., Virginia 22835
(540) 999-3500

Dark Hollow Falls

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Attraction

Dark Hollow Falls Photo, Shenandoah National Park, Virginia
Quote:
For us, keep in mind that we are by no means Shenandoah experts and we only spent a day along Skyline Drive, Dark Hollow Falls was the highlight of our trip through Shenandoah National Park.From the parking lot, it's about a 0.7-mile hike downhill to the falls. The walk is pleasant and there are some pretty moments along the way, but we all know you're here for the falls, right? Well, we'll get to that in a second. Heading downhill you are likely to see deer and other wildlife. There also is a nice scenic terraced timber stair (two thin tree trunks laid along the path, and wooden "steps" to create a terrace-style sequence of steps).Know that saying, "what goes up must come down?"...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 25, 2006

Dark Hollow Falls
Mile 50.7 At Skyline Drive
Shenandoah National Park, Virginia 22835-9036
(540) 999-3500