Blue Ridge Parkway/Shenandoah Valley
Two top Virginia destinations beckon travelers to the Old Dominion. Add the Blue Ridge Parkway and Shenandoah Valley to your travel itinerary on your next trip to the Old Dominion.
Back on the Blue Ridge
Known as “America’s Favorite Drive,” the Blue Ridge Parkway has been the most popular destination in the National Park System nearly every year since 1946, and it’s easy to see why. Free of truck traffic and tracing the Appalachian Mountain ridgeline for hundreds of miles, the scenic route is brimming with mesmerizing vistas that stretch as far as the eye can see, equally photogenic his-toric sites and charming small towns that are home to some of America’s most unique arts and crafts traditions.
See the Rocks
Just six miles from the northern entrance to the parkway, near the town of Waynesboro, a hike to Humpback Rocks offers the perfect introduction to the spectacular landscape. The two-mile hike to the mountain’s rocky peak, though steep, is short and accessible for beginning hikers. Along the trail, you’ll pass historic 1890s’ farmhouses that have been repurposed as open-air exhibits of life in the Virginia mountains. The hike culminates with an outcropping that provides 360-degree views of the hazy, azure skyline that gives the Blue Ridge Mountains their name.
Once lauded as America’s first frontier, the Shenandoah Valley is home to distinctive small towns, expansive vistas and some of the country’s most revered historic sites. From museums to music festivals to marathon hikes, the “Big Valley” is a four-season destination that encompasses nearly 200 miles of unmatched beauty and rural charm.
The Shenandoah River, which meanders the length of the valley floor, is a popular paddling and recreation corridor that boasts smooth water and grassy banks. Outfitters in Luray and other points along the river are on hand to help arrange kayaks, canoes, inner tubes and rafting trips along different stretches of the waterway. Anglers, too, can try their hand at the trout and bass that call the river home.
The Wisteria Farm and Vineyard in Stanley uses only Virginia-grown grapes to produce whites and reds that are quickly becoming favorites of the region’s wine lovers. In addition to tours and tastings, you can bring a picnic and wander the grounds of the scenic farm at your leisure. Barren Ridge Vineyards and Peaks of Otter Winery are also favorite vineyard visits that offer tours and tastings.
For More Information
Blue Ridge Parkway Association