Discovered by men that set out in the late 1800’s to find a cave in the hopes of developing a tourist attraction, people even back then came by the hundreds to see what was called the “Discovery of the Century.” Today, half a million people per year take hour-long tours of the caverns where stalactites and stalagmites abound. The dripping water in the cavern continues to form these natural wonders at a rate of one cubic inch every 120 years.
Distance from Camp-Resort: 5.3 miles
Shenandoah National Park has something for everyone. The most popular hike leads to the area’s 14 waterfalls. Other hikes lead to places of historical interest within the Park. The most popular of these are old, pioneer homes, churches and cemeteries. Many of these homes are in ruins, but enough remain intact that hikers are treated to a bit of early Americana, and a taste of days gone by when they come across these relics of the past. You can even retrace the path that Confederate General Stonewall Jackson and his troops used to cross the mountain from west to east, on his way to Fredericksburg. Some of the trails are easy enough to hike through with most family members. They’ll be amazed at the panoramic views, the deep canyons, the amazing sights, and general beauty of the area.
Distance from Camp-Resort: 5.5 miles
Photo by Matthew Benson is licensed under CC BY 2.0
The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center is the perfect destination for a family fun day trip! The Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia features two huge hangars — the Boeing Aviation Hangar and the James S. McDonnell Space Hangar which display thousands of aviation and space artifacts, including a Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird, a Concorde, and the Space Shuttle Discovery. The Center also offers the Airbus IMAX® Theater and the Donald D. Engen Observation Tower, which gives you a 360-degree bird’s-eye view of Washington Dulles International Airport and the surrounding area!
Distance from Camp-Resort: 89.3 miles
Photo by David Bennehag is licensed under CC BY 2.0
Through the Shenandoah National Park runs the 105-mile-long Skyline Drive. It is a magnificent, scenic two-lane highway that winds its way through a true camper’s paradise. Enjoy the breathtaking views and amazing wildlife. Skyline Drive roughly parallels about 101 miles of the Appalachian Trail, the 2,100-mile-long footpath that stretches from Maine to Georgia. Hikers say that the portion running through Shenandoah is one of the most beautiful sections of the Appalachian Trail.
Distance from Camp-Resort: 30.5 miles
Photo by Stefan Serena is licensed under CC BY 2.0
Luray Zoo is home to over 250 animals, and is the only true rescue zoo in Virginia! The zoo is privately owned and operated by Mark and Christine Kilby. Luray Zoo receives no government funding. All admission, gift shop sales, donations, and outreach programs fees goes directly to help support and care for all the animals at Luray Zoo. The Zoo receives animals that are retired zoo animals, unwanted pets, confiscations, and sadly occasionally abused animals.
Distance from Camp-Resort: 6.2 miles
Traveling from the south? Discover Colonial Williamsburg and become a citizen of the Revolutionary City! Engage with the local community and experience firsthand the daily struggles of wartime. Explore art museums, unleash your kids’ inner colonists, tee off a game of golf, or relax and unwind at the Spa.
Distance from Camp-Resort: 165 miles
Photo by C Watts is licensed under CC BY 2.0
Check out the new Cooter’s in Luray, VA! Features include Daisy’s Diner, Dukes of Hazzard Museum and Replica Cooter’s Garage with General Lee, Cooter’s Tow Truck, Boss Hogg Caddy, “Cooter’s Garage Band” and appearances from the man himself, Ol’ Cooter, and much more!
Distance from Camp-Resort: 9.1 miles
Photo by CJ Sorg is licensed under CC BY 2.0
Spend the day floating down the Shenandoah River! Downriver Canoe Company offers canoe, kayak, raft, and tube float river trips down a gently flowing section of the Shenandoah River. You’ll love the spectacular scenery, great swimming, and amazing fishing. Bonus—there’s a shuttle which will pick you up and drop you off at Jellystone Park™!
To reserve your spot, call Downriver Canoe Company the day before at (540) 635-5526.
Distance from Camp-Resort: 17.9 miles
Photo compliments of Down River Canoe Company.
During the Civil War, Shenandoah Valley was a critical location that determined the state of Virginia and the Confederacy. Today, the Valley’s historic towns and preserved landscapes offer tons of opportunities to explore and learn about the area’s dramatic Civil War story. You can also explore the spectacular natural beauty of Shenandoah Valley along historic roadways, causal walking tours, or challenging hikes to spectacular overlooks.
Distance from Camp-Resort: 17.8 miles
Founded in 1976 and the second oldest active vineyard in Virginia, Shenandoah Vineyards is the perfect spot to unwind while enjoying some delicious vino! Bonus, the tasting room is located in a Civil War era barn. Cool!
Distance from Camp-Resort: 24.7 miles
Photo courtesy of Shenandoah Vineyards.
Looking for a delicious bite to eat? Maybe you want to shop or peruse local artist galleries? Whichever you choose, Sperryville is a great spot to visit! From dining and site seeing, to shopping for antiques or art made locally, you’ll love this gem of a town. It’s also located just down the road from Shenandoah National Park and Skyline Drive making for a great post-hike meet up location.
Distance from Camp-Resort: 12.5 miles
Photo courtesy of Arlington Magazine.