Virginia Journals

Trip to Virginia

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A June 2013 trip to Virginia by Muchmor

Hampton Inn and Suites Woodstock, VA Photo, Woodstock, Virginia More Photos
Quote: We spent a week in Virginia, travelling round the Shenandoah region. We used Harrisonburg as our base and visited attractions around the area including the famous Skyline Drive. This was a fantastic trip and one I would highly recommend.

Gathering Grounds

Restaurant | "Delicious cakes and great coffee"

Gathering Grounds Photo, Luray, Virginia
Quote:
Gathering Grounds coffee shop Is located along Main Street in Luray. We popped in one afternoon whilst in the town. You can order direct from the counter or they will serve you from your seat. My husband ordered coffee and a pastry and I had a smoothie and a brownie. There are lots of choices for pastries and cakes, all of which looked really lovely. All are also obviously home made, making them even better. The brownie was one of the best I have had - topped with cream cheese and very delicious. My husband loved his pastry too. My smoothie was great, althougth there was a lot of it. This is a lovely little place to grab a bite to eat. They also do sandwiches and ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 8, 2013

Gathering Grounds
55 E. Main St.
Luray, virginia
540 743 1121

Quote:
When deciding on where to stay during our recent rip to Shenandoah National park, we did consider staying at either the top or bottom of the Skyline Drive, allowing for easy access. However, after consideration we decided to stay in Harrisonburg which is located towards the bottom-middle of the drive, but only 20 miles form one of the four entrances to the Skyline at Swift Run Gap.It turned out that this was an excellent choice as Harrisonburg is a very nice city to stay in and offered all the amenities we needed during our stay. The city has lots of hotels to choose from and many restaurants. The city is located right off the I81, so is easy to access. The downtown area offers...Read More

Shenandoah National Park & Skyline Drive

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "Skyline Drive is truly amazing"

Shenandoah National Park & Skyline Drive Photo, Shenandoah National Park, Virginia
Quote:
Our main reason for visiting this area was the Skyline Drive. We had read and heard a lot about it so it had a lot to live up to and it truly did. First there are the breathtaking scenic outlooks over valleys and mountains, then there are the numerous trails through woodland, fields and rugged areas, then there are the birds and animals that wander into the road in front of you. We saw stunning sunsets, amazing vistas, spectacular thunderstorms and the main reason we went - animals.There are only four entrances to the 105-mile long drive. The north entrance at Front Royal, the south entrance at Rockfish Gap and then two further entrances, one at Thornton Gap, towards the north and Sw...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on June 25, 2013

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

Outback Steakhouse

Restaurant | "Excellent meals"

Quote:
This Outback Steakhouse was located close to our hotel and we visited twice whilst in the city. On the first occasion my husband ordered lamb and I had BBQ chicken. Both meals were really nice and very tasty. We then had cheesecake for dessert that did not have a crumble base, which is unusual, but it was nice all the same.

On our second visit we arrived shortly after they opened at 4pm along with several others. We had to wait a while to be served and then one of my choices was not available so I ended up choosing the BBQ chicken again. My husband had pork chop. Once again the meals were great.

We had not been to an Outback in some years, but would definitely go back.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 25, 2013

Outback Steakhouse
261 University Boulevard
Harrisonburg, Virginia 22801
5404380190

Luray Reptile Center, Dinosaur Park & Petting Zoo

Attraction | "Reptiles good, animals poor"

Luray Reptile Center, Dinosaur Park & Petting Zoo Photo, Luray, Virginia
Quote:
This zoo is a rescue zoo and seemed to get lots of good reviews so we popped in for a visit. It was $10 each to enter and the first part is a reptile area. There they have lots of glass tanks full of snakes, lizards and other reptiles. This part was pretty good as there were lots of snakes and many of them were quite active. Next you go outside to the animal area where they have alligators, lemurs, monkeys and a tiger. They also have a several birds such as peacocks and parrots. We found this area to be very depressing. The animals were in small cages and did not look happy. The tiger had an information board, which said she liked to play in her pool, but there was no pool in her cage. The...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on June 25, 2013

Luray Reptile Center, Dinosaur Park & Petting Zoo
1087 US Hwy 211 West
Luray, Virginia
(540) 743-4113

Edith J Carrier Arboretum

Attraction | "Great place to spot birds"

Edith J Carrier Arboretum Photo, Harrisonburg, Virginia
Quote:
The Edith J Carrier Arboretum is located in the grounds of the James Madison University in Harrisonburg. There are a few parking areas to chose from and information stands with maps are at each. There are a number of trails through woodland, which was nice on the hot day we visited, as it was much cooler under the trees. However we did not spot many birds of wildlife whilst in the woodlands, although we could hear lots of birdcalls. There were plenty of squirrels though.There is a small lake near one of the parking areas and it was here that we spotted two piliated woodpeckers, red-breasted woodpeckers, grackles, swifts and lots of ducks. There are also lots of turtles in the l...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 25, 2013

Edith J Carrier Arboretum
James Madison University
Harrisonburg 22801

Luray Hawksbill Greenway

Attraction | "A pleasant way to spot some wildlife"

Luray Hawksbill Greenway Photo, Virginia, United States
Quote:
We decided to walk this greenway as we heard it was a good place to spot birds. It is located in Luray and follows the route along the Hawksbill Creek for approximately 2 miles. There are several parking areas along the route and as it passes through the centre of town there are plenty of amenities too, including restrooms along the trail.The trail is marked on the ground by coloured paint markers. The only thing we found wrong with this is that the map you can pick up at the information stands does not relate to these colours for some reason. But it is pretty straightforward, so should not be too much of an issue.We managed to see quite a few birds as we walked along including...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 25, 2013

Luray Hawksbill Greenway
Route 340
Luray

American Celebration On Parade

Attraction | "Huge parade floats on show"

American Celebration On Parade Photo, Virginia, United States
Quote:
Whilst visiting Shenandoah Caverns you may as well pop into the American Celebration on Parade, which is just down the road and included in your ticket price.

It is basically a room full of enormous parade floats from over the years. They are huge and intricately decorated. Some are interactive so you can press a button and get them to move. Some you can sit on, so fun for kids.

You get the choice of a guided or self-guided tour, we chose self-guided as each float has an information board so it is easy to know what everything is about.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 25, 2013

American Celebration On Parade
397 Caverns Road
Shenandoah Caverns
(540) 477-4300

Shenandoah Caverns

Attraction | "Excellent caverns"

Shenandoah Caverns Photo, Quicksburg, Virginia
Quote:
This is the second cavern we visited, along with Luray Caverns and it was worth the visit. Luray is bigger and better, but this one has its own unique offerings. Be warned however, that it does require some stooping due to low ceilings as well as tight passages. So if you have a bad neck or back or not keen on confined spaces, then you best stick with Luray which is much more open. This place has some amazing rock formations and prides itself on some called bacon strips, which do actually look like strips of bacon. A young boy on our tour actually asked if this was where bacon came from!The tour lasts about an hour and our guide was a young girl who was very good and fun and in...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on June 25, 2013

Shenandoah Caverns
261 Caverns Road, Quicksburg
Shenandoah Caverns, Virginia 22847
(540) 477-3115

The Car and Carriage Caravan Museum

Attraction | "Lots of old cars and carriages to see"

Quote:
This museum is located on the site of Luray Caverns and is included in the ticket price.

There are many cars and carriages on show dating back several hundred years – well the carriages at any rate. The cars are slightly newer, but go back to the Ford Model T era to just a few years ago.

Worth a visit especially as it comes free with the caverns ticket.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on June 25, 2013

The Car and Carriage Caravan Museum
Luray Caverns
Luray, Virginia 22835
540 743 6551

Luray Caverns

Attraction | "Truly amazing"

Luray Caverns Photo, Luray, Virginia
Quote:
There are many caverns in the Shenandoah region and after looking at other reviews we decided to visit this one. We are so glad we did, it is amazing.

The guided tour is one hour long and our guide was very good. We were escorted in and out of stunning areas with stalagmites and stalactites in abundance. The structures and formations were stunning. It is hard to put into words, so please look at the photos.

On this site there is also a car museum, café, gift shop and some kids exhibits.

If you only have time to visit one cavern in the area, make it this one.

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on June 25, 2013

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

Wood Grill Buffet

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Restaurant | "Excellent food choice, excellent value"

Wood Grill Buffet Photo, Virginia, United States
Quote:
I came across this restaurant when looking online for place to eat in Harrisonburg. It came with good reviews and was just down the road from the hotel, so we tried it out.We arrive about 3:45 pm and were seated at a table. The server then came to ask what drinks we wanted and advised us to go to the buffet to help ourselves.We went over to see what was on offer and there was so much stuff it was hard to decide where to start. There were meats, fish, Chinese, salad, fruits, desserts. Just about everything you can think of.I like buffets as they give you the opportunity to try tings you perhaps wouldn’t normally. If you like them, great go back for more, if not then ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on June 25, 2013

Wood Grill Buffet
1711 Reservoir Street
Harrisonburg 22801
(540) 432-9303

Residence Inn Harrisonburg

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Hotel | "Beautiful hotel spoilt by excessive noise"

Residence Inn Harrisonburg Photo, Harrisonburg, Virginia
Quote:
This hotel is both one of the best and one of the worst hotels we have stayed in. I want to give it excellent ratings, as the actual hotel and room are wonderful, however I cannot as other things let it down so much. First what we loved: The hotel is well located in Harrisonburg in a quiet area but easily accessibly from the interstate. There are lots of amenities within a short distance of the hotel such as restaurants, shopping, banks and it is only 20 miles from the Skyline Drive entrance. The hotel is fairly new, so everything looks nice both inside and out and the hotel staff is friendly and accommodating.The king suite we had was beautifully decorated and had lots of amen...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on June 25, 2013

Residence Inn Harrisonburg
1945 Deyerle Avenue
Harrisonburg, Virginia 22801
866-539-8117

Hampton Inn and Suites Woodstock, VA

Best Of IgoUgo

Hotel | "Disappointing Hampton Inn hotel"

Hampton Inn and Suites Woodstock, VA Photo, Woodstock, Virginia
Quote:
We stopped at this hotel for an overnight stop on our way to South Carolina. The registration was okay although the guy registering us was a little surly and didn’t seem interested in anything other than sending us on our way. We had booked a no-smoking king room which had, other than the bed, side tables, sofa, chest of drawers, desk and of course a bathroom which was a good size.The room was clean and the bed comfortable, although the tiny single pillows on a king size bed baffled us. Why do hotels continue to offer a king bed but only give guest tiny pillows that you need three or four to fit across the bed and your head is constantly falling off them in the night leading to...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on June 23, 2013

Hampton Inn and Suites Woodstock, VA
1150 Motel Drive
Woodstock, Virginia 22664
866-539-0036