One of the hidden gems of Northern Virginia lies just off Interstate 66 is the Shenandoah Valley National Park. Residents and visitors come to experience this special place of natural forest, breathtaking views, and never ending landscapes. Whether you plan to explore the museums or take a lazy afternoon drive, you won’t want to forget to bring these along.
1. Camera – If you decide to tour Shenandoah Skyline Drive, bring along your camera or have your phone fully charged and ready to go. These 105 miles of amazing views offer great shots and peaceful wonder. You can see endless forest tops, white-tail deer grazing, roadsides of wildflowers, black bears with their cubs crossing the street, rock summits, wild turkey and even cascading waterfalls. The drive also offers 75 overlooks giving you a chance to get out the car and experience nature at its best.
2. Debit Card – You may think this is just a place to drive and take hikes but this is also a great place to SHOP. Museums along the drive include Dickey Ridge (mile 4.6) and Byrd Visitor Centers (mile 51). You can talk to rangers, watch videos and see the many exhibits. You can also tour gift shops at Elkwallow, Syland, Big Meadows and Loft Mountain. They also have a wonderful array of books, souvenir, post cards, apparel and even gourmet food and wines to choose from. Bring something back for family and friends. Also be reminded that there is an entrance fee at the toll booths when entering the park.
3. Overnight Bag – Once you get here, you won’t want to leave. Decide between lodging at Skyland, Big Meadows and Lewis Mountain. There are also campgrounds along the drive for the more adventures. For the true nature lovers, be sure to know the regulations, get your back country permit, and be prepared for camping out in nature.
Shenandoah Valley National Park is an collection of picturesque views to capture, crisp clean air to breath, nature’s creatures to enjoy and magnificent renewal to behold. Whatever your interests, be sure to leave your home and come explore this stunning area in Northern Virginia.
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