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Shenandoah National Park & Skyline Drive

Blue Ridge Mountains | Official website
Shenandoah National Park & Skyline Drive Photo info
Shenandoah National Park
  • Type: Natural Wonders, Sightseeing, Neighborhood/Area
  • Time to Spend: 2 hours to Half Day
Overall Rating: 4.5 (4.5)
Value: 4.0 (4.0)
Food Scene: 3.0 (3.0)
Atmosphere: 5.0 (5.0)
About these ratings

Just ask any recent, frequent or long-time-ago visitor, and they'll tell you the same: Taking the leisurely Skyline Drive through Shenandoah National Park and the Blue Ridge Mountains is nothing short of divine. "From beginning to end this was one of the most scenic places we have ever been," writes a TripAdvisor traveler. "Skyline Drive is packed with overlooks, gaps, and picnic areas announced with fanciful names such as Bearfence Mountain, Little Stony Man, and Hogwallow," says a Virtual Tourist reviewer. "You will be hard pressed to find a 1/4 mile stretch with no pull-off areas." An IgoUgo.com user rounds out the praise: "The views are absolutely beautiful," they write. "There are many places to stop along the drive with hiking trails differing in length and difficulty, including 101 miles of the Appalachian Trail. We saw numerous deer and a black bear!"

The scores of fans do offer words of caution, however. For one, you'll have a more relaxing trip if you visit on a weekday. Fill your tank before you enter the park, because gas stations are few and far between. And if you want to hike some of the Shenandoah trails, they suggest you visit in fall when the air is crisp and less muggy. Lastly, there is food in the park, but it's park food in every sense. You'll save your taste buds (and your spare change) if you pack your own goodies.

Shenandoah is located about 40 miles northwest of Charlottesville. It's always open, but various visitor centers, campsites and picnic grounds have different hours of operation. Go to the National Park Service's page on Shenandoah for detailed information. Entrance costs $10 per car from December to February, and $15 per car from March to November. Also visit Shenandoah's site for details on Skyline Drive's closures during inclement weather.

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