Many people know the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia as a peaceful and scenic destination for a weekend getaway. It’s all of that and more.
With world-class outdoor adventures, scenic roads that connect authentic mountain towns, underground caverns, fascinating historic sites and more, Today’s Shenandoah Valley is a premier vacation spot for families.
The Shenandoah Valley begins at the top of Virginia and is approximately 140 miles long with the Blue Ridge to the east and the Alleghenies to the west. Before the rest of the continent was explored, the Shenandoah Valley was considered the American frontier. Many years later, the region would play a crucial role in the American Civil War. The turmoil and triumphs of the region’s rich history have been preserved in many museums and sites all across the Shenandoah Valley. It can also be seen in the character and architecture of the cities and towns. The unique history of the Shenandoah Valley makes it the authentic and amazing place that it is today.
The Shenandoah Valley will forever be associated with Shenandoah National Park. Opened in 1935, the park encompasses nearly 200,000 acres along the Blue Ridge Mountains. A prominent feature of the park is Skyline Drive, which becomes the Blue Ridge Parkway at the southern end of the park. The park can be accessed through the quaint Shenandoah Valley towns of Waynesboro, Luray and Front Royal.
Skyline Drive and the Blue Ridge Parkway are recognized as two of the most popular scenic drives in America. They both offer stunning views and a peaceful experience, as commercial trucks are not allowed on either road. While they are certainly the most famous byways in the Shenandoah Valley, they are certainly not the only scenic drives. Quiet back roads meander throughout the valley connecting towns, farms, wineries and more. Scenic drives through the Shenandoah Valley are very popular with bikers and motorcyclists.
Keep in mind that scenic roads are not the only way to get around the Shenandoah Valley. There are hiking trails that range from an easy stroll in the woods to multi-day excursions. The famous Appalachian Trail winds through the region, including a long stretch within Shenandoah National Park. There are also plenty of options to float through the Shenandoah Valley. Canoes and kayaks offer a refreshing way to experience the beauty of the valley and possibly spot local wildlife on the James, Maury, Middle and Shenandoah Rivers, just to name a few.