When traveling, it’s easy to stop at gas stations and quick-stops off the highway, because they’re the most convenient. But, if you’re looking to really discover the area you’re traveling in, an insider’s guide is a go-to resource. From the best eats, to unique shopping off the beaten path, there’s so much to discover in Virginia. Whether you’re traveling to or from Jellystone Park™ in Luray, Virginia, or just want to take a day trip, we have some “must visit” spots for you! Check out our top 5 insider recommendations below and get ready to discover Virginia!

1) SCENIC ADVENTURES

Hikers and sightseers will love a day trip over to Kennedy Peak (17 minutes from Jellystone Park™). Offering a quick access trailhead and a reasonably easy hike, Kennedy Peak has some of the best vistas in the region. The hike ends with a spectacular 360° view from the fire tower viewing platform at the summit of Kennedy Peak! Before the hike, check out the paragliding launch area with easterly views of the Shenandoah River and Luray Valley.

2) THE BEST CAFE

Bypass the gas station drinks and snacks for a unique and local cafe experience. Gathering Grounds in Luray (6 minutes from Jellystone Park™) offers all day dining options like a delicious assortment of morning beverages and homemade pastries, lunch salads and sandwiches, and entrees for dinner like a Bourbon BBQ Grilled Half Chicken. Yum! Your family will love this gem of a cafe!

3) UNIQUE SHOPPING

Want to pick up a souvenir of your Virginia travels? Maybe you’d like to take home some handcrafted art? Downtown Luray’s shopping district (6 minutes from Jellystone Park™) has a variety of unique shops perfect for that! Visit in the spring for their Festival of Spring, a street festival with tons of local purveyors selling handcrafted art, food, and more!

4) GREAT MUSIC

Want to discover the best live music in the area? Plan your weekend to Shenandoah Music Festival in Orkney Springs (50 mins from Jellystone Park™)! This annual summer music fest offers various genres of live music including Americana/roots, pop/rock, country, folk, and bluegrass!

5) THE BEST GARDEN MAZE

Perfect for family-fun, the Garden Maze (8 minutes from Jellystone Park™) is the largest garden maze in the Mid-Atlantic states, and is a “must visit” for the whole family! Bonus, it’s located at Luray Caverns so once you’re done with the maze, you can head over to check out the amazing natural wonder of the caverns!

There’s so much more to discover in Virginia, you’ll never want to leave! Start planning your vacation today to Jellystone Park™ for a trip of a lifetime!