Eats, Places & Experiences We Love

Missy
Eats, Places & Experiences We Love

Restaurants, Coffee, Bakeries

Casual, Fine, Dive, Joint, Cafe, Diner, Classic, International, Dessert -- something for every palate! Many of these spots are now 'menu-less,' so go prepared by checking out their online menus beforehand. Always CALL first, too, as hours change, and online is not always updated.
Really good 'burger (but pricey; they have the meat-free BeyondBurger, too). Fun people-watching at base of slopes and chairlift. In season, there's a great barbecue buffet offering on Monday evenings.
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Base Camp
4614 Massanutten Dr
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Really good 'burger (but pricey; they have the meat-free BeyondBurger, too). Fun people-watching at base of slopes and chairlift. In season, there's a great barbecue buffet offering on Monday evenings.
Had a lovely hot cocoa here once -- but not the second time (very young barista, I think was the issue); my friend loved her dark coffee, and the barista said they only have dark-roasted. I went in hoping to find a fresh croissant, too, but they had just a couple of other fresh daily offerings, and really do focus on coffee. Had some great ginger cookies! They also make their own ice cream, made daily so a limited offering (some days it's coffee-based; some days they don't have it 'cuz the younger folks don't do it). This quaint shop is a nice option to going into Harrisonburg for Starbuck's -- and much less expensive! Eat-ins can draw on their smooth chalkboard tables.
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The Blue Elk Coffee Shop & Roastery
315 W Spotswood Trail
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Had a lovely hot cocoa here once -- but not the second time (very young barista, I think was the issue); my friend loved her dark coffee, and the barista said they only have dark-roasted. I went in hoping to find a fresh croissant, too, but they had just a couple of other fresh daily offerings, and really do focus on coffee. Had some great ginger cookies! They also make their own ice cream, made daily so a limited offering (some days it's coffee-based; some days they don't have it 'cuz the younger folks don't do it). This quaint shop is a nice option to going into Harrisonburg for Starbuck's -- and much less expensive! Eat-ins can draw on their smooth chalkboard tables.
PERMANENTLY CLOSED (but will be coming back as some other incarnation in late 2022). We just want to let you know of this so-close-by buffet option, practically in our backyard, across Rt. 33, inside the Waterpark. We like buffets, and if we are really craving one... we'll go. When the indoor Waterpark is open, you can watch all the antics from the restaurant above.
Blue Ridge Buffet
1200 Adventure Dr
PERMANENTLY CLOSED (but will be coming back as some other incarnation in late 2022). We just want to let you know of this so-close-by buffet option, practically in our backyard, across Rt. 33, inside the Waterpark. We like buffets, and if we are really craving one... we'll go. When the indoor Waterpark is open, you can watch all the antics from the restaurant above.
The tiny 'historic railroad district' in the town of Shenandoah is about a blink long but within a couple of blocks are this deli (which is paired with the very cute Four Seasons Decor shop), Karen's Frozen Treats, the Shenandoah General Store, and Shenandoah River Adventures. We loved eating here before a tubing excursion, and my C&O (a classic Reuben) hot sandwich was... delicious, and others enjoyed the Santa Fe Hotdog, and the BLT. Nice menu, and there's salads, burgers, and the desserts looked phenomenal. We will return here (and it's just a 15 minutes drive)!
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Boxcar Deli & Subs
502 1st St
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The tiny 'historic railroad district' in the town of Shenandoah is about a blink long but within a couple of blocks are this deli (which is paired with the very cute Four Seasons Decor shop), Karen's Frozen Treats, the Shenandoah General Store, and Shenandoah River Adventures. We loved eating here before a tubing excursion, and my C&O (a classic Reuben) hot sandwich was... delicious, and others enjoyed the Santa Fe Hotdog, and the BLT. Nice menu, and there's salads, burgers, and the desserts looked phenomenal. We will return here (and it's just a 15 minutes drive)!
Really enjoyed lunch inside at this casual, fireside-style restaurant, but there are outside 'fires' at individual tables on the decks. There's a weekend breakfast buffet that looks good. Do try the 'Campfire Potatoes' side: creamy, cheesy, redskin -- delicious. Onion soup great. Salads fresh, cornbread moist, and s'mores dessert with dark chocolate was also wonderful. I am anxious to try dinner -- as they have prime rib on their evening menu, and there's a specific fire to make your own s'mores! A very nice surprise, as we weren't expecting very much.
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Campfire Grill
4156 Delwebb Dr
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Really enjoyed lunch inside at this casual, fireside-style restaurant, but there are outside 'fires' at individual tables on the decks. There's a weekend breakfast buffet that looks good. Do try the 'Campfire Potatoes' side: creamy, cheesy, redskin -- delicious. Onion soup great. Salads fresh, cornbread moist, and s'mores dessert with dark chocolate was also wonderful. I am anxious to try dinner -- as they have prime rib on their evening menu, and there's a specific fire to make your own s'mores! A very nice surprise, as we weren't expecting very much.
Great salads, entrees, and desserts! Cool vibe! And, it's right next to the local art house and stage, the Court Square Theatre, which shows classic, foreign. or independent films and produces plays -- so make a night of it!
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Capital Ale House
41-A Court Square
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Great salads, entrees, and desserts! Cool vibe! And, it's right next to the local art house and stage, the Court Square Theatre, which shows classic, foreign. or independent films and produces plays -- so make a night of it!
Excellent food, and family friendly. Part of a small family-owned chain of restaurants in the Valley. The pizza is delicious, salads always fresh, and the fettuccine Alfredo is...perfection.
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Ciro's Italian Eatery
101 Downey Knolls Dr
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Excellent food, and family friendly. Part of a small family-owned chain of restaurants in the Valley. The pizza is delicious, salads always fresh, and the fettuccine Alfredo is...perfection.
Great, fairly new little eatery next to Valley Jump. I enjoyed the chicken, tomato, mozzarella, and balsamic/pesto on ciabatta, and the chocolate mousse and brownie parfait but I saw lots of great-looking housemade sandwiches, salads, soups, quiche, and dessert flying out of the kitchen for a steady stream of locals.
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Crossroads Cafe & Catering
4549 Spotswood Trail
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Great, fairly new little eatery next to Valley Jump. I enjoyed the chicken, tomato, mozzarella, and balsamic/pesto on ciabatta, and the chocolate mousse and brownie parfait but I saw lots of great-looking housemade sandwiches, salads, soups, quiche, and dessert flying out of the kitchen for a steady stream of locals.
There's no other way to say it: We love local dives, and this is one: Sticky tables, stained carpet, crusty-owner-chef, friendly waitress, suspicious looks from craggy regulars -- and some pretty darn good, classic diner grub. The small place is jam-packed with bachelor farmers by 6a.m., so sleep-in if you want a seat. Open for breakfast and lunch only. We prefer C & S to the Elkton Grub & Gab Diner, and Terri's Cafe; all three spots are favorites of locals.
C & S Diner
440 W Spotswood Trail
There's no other way to say it: We love local dives, and this is one: Sticky tables, stained carpet, crusty-owner-chef, friendly waitress, suspicious looks from craggy regulars -- and some pretty darn good, classic diner grub. The small place is jam-packed with bachelor farmers by 6a.m., so sleep-in if you want a seat. Open for breakfast and lunch only. We prefer C & S to the Elkton Grub & Gab Diner, and Terri's Cafe; all three spots are favorites of locals.
Part of the Ciro's local family-owned series of restaurants. Small, casual, family-friendly, pretty quick service, with subs, Italian favorites, and Mediterranean dishes.
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Elkton Goodfellas
100 S Stuart Ave
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Part of the Ciro's local family-owned series of restaurants. Small, casual, family-friendly, pretty quick service, with subs, Italian favorites, and Mediterranean dishes.
Love the lunch chicken fajitas but there's a lot of lunch specials. The shrimp chimichangas are another favorite. Perfectly adequate if you have a craving for fajitas, burritos, tacos.... Sister restaurant to Santa Fe Mexican Grill with a similar menu.
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El Paso Mexican Grille
245 S Stuart Ave
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Love the lunch chicken fajitas but there's a lot of lunch specials. The shrimp chimichangas are another favorite. Perfectly adequate if you have a craving for fajitas, burritos, tacos.... Sister restaurant to Santa Fe Mexican Grill with a similar menu.
"Chinese buffets"...love 'em or not, this one opened in October 2020. We enjoyed it (it's hit or miss at every such buffet, with different tskes on each item every visit but always several things to please any palate). Worth a try if you like these types of buffets. Not unexpected, masks with provided sanitizer and gloves are required at each trip to the buffet.
Flaming Grill Buffet
125 S Carlton St
"Chinese buffets"...love 'em or not, this one opened in October 2020. We enjoyed it (it's hit or miss at every such buffet, with different tskes on each item every visit but always several things to please any palate). Worth a try if you like these types of buffets. Not unexpected, masks with provided sanitizer and gloves are required at each trip to the buffet.
Outside seating or takeaway only. I was 2nd customer on opening day (March 2021)! The menu is very limited (maybe 12 items), with photos, which does make it easy. Order from the inside wall menu, not the A-frame sign outside (the meal numbers don't match up). I enjoyed the Bulgogi Beef Bop bowl (I do not know Korean cuisine well; except..."red" Kimchi is spicy). Big portions. GrubHub delivery is available. No phone calls, only online pre-ordering for pick up. Nice couple. Open Wed-Sun, 11-2:30 & 5-8:30. Try it!
Gogiwa
11702 Spotswood Trail
Outside seating or takeaway only. I was 2nd customer on opening day (March 2021)! The menu is very limited (maybe 12 items), with photos, which does make it easy. Order from the inside wall menu, not the A-frame sign outside (the meal numbers don't match up). I enjoyed the Bulgogi Beef Bop bowl (I do not know Korean cuisine well; except..."red" Kimchi is spicy). Big portions. GrubHub delivery is available. No phone calls, only online pre-ordering for pick up. Nice couple. Open Wed-Sun, 11-2:30 & 5-8:30. Try it!
We have been here, once, and didn't love it, but include it as many of our local friends do... love it. From one: 'Hank's has amazing all you can eat beef brisket, and pork bbq, after 4pm for $15.99.' We will give it another chance soon.
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Hank's Grille & Catering
49 Bloomer Springs Rd
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We have been here, once, and didn't love it, but include it as many of our local friends do... love it. From one: 'Hank's has amazing all you can eat beef brisket, and pork bbq, after 4pm for $15.99.' We will give it another chance soon.
This tiny, cozy spot is in the historic building in downtown Harrisonburg that houses the Harrisonburg Visitors Center, the Hardesty-Higgins House. While you're stopping by for up-to-date Valley brochures, maps, and ideas, enjoy breakfast all day, or home-made tasting sandwiches, salads, and soups -- for reasonable prices. And, wonderful daily baked offerings. Good food!'
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Heritage Bakery & Café
212 S Main St
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This tiny, cozy spot is in the historic building in downtown Harrisonburg that houses the Harrisonburg Visitors Center, the Hardesty-Higgins House. While you're stopping by for up-to-date Valley brochures, maps, and ideas, enjoy breakfast all day, or home-made tasting sandwiches, salads, and soups -- for reasonable prices. And, wonderful daily baked offerings. Good food!'
This is the local go-to spot for special occasion dining, in a Victorian mansion setting (for some reason the building photo that appears here is the local library, down the street); the decor isn't impressive but the structure and original detailing is. And, we love historic houses. The menu is elegant and French-inspired, limited though they now offer casual fare (we love the French onion soup, lamb burger, quiche, duck, and desserts), but they are literally only open for dinner. TIPS: Call for the day's offerings, and make a reservation! Their sister restaurant is the Local Chop House & Grill, also a good choice. The only dress code is... no ballcaps. LOL
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Joshua Wilton House
412 S Main St
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This is the local go-to spot for special occasion dining, in a Victorian mansion setting (for some reason the building photo that appears here is the local library, down the street); the decor isn't impressive but the structure and original detailing is. And, we love historic houses. The menu is elegant and French-inspired, limited though they now offer casual fare (we love the French onion soup, lamb burger, quiche, duck, and desserts), but they are literally only open for dinner. TIPS: Call for the day's offerings, and make a reservation! Their sister restaurant is the Local Chop House & Grill, also a good choice. The only dress code is... no ballcaps. LOL
Seriously. In the Valley since 2017. We are so happy. Show your vaccination card and receive one free doughnut! You know if you show your ID on your actual birthday, you will receive ONE DOZEN glazed -- FREE -- right?!
Krispy Kreme
35 Burgess Rd
Seriously. In the Valley since 2017. We are so happy. Show your vaccination card and receive one free doughnut! You know if you show your ID on your actual birthday, you will receive ONE DOZEN glazed -- FREE -- right?!
Very hip spot with a nice 'dining out' vibe that features fresh local meats and produce -- and housed in a very cool historic building. You'll love it.
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Local Chop & Grill House
56 W Gay St
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Very hip spot with a nice 'dining out' vibe that features fresh local meats and produce -- and housed in a very cool historic building. You'll love it.
CURRENTLY NOT OPEN DUE TO MAY 2022 KITCHEN FIRE: Recent name change to "The 1835 Smokehouse"! We hate the re-branding but it's the same ownership and basic menu. Best, most tender, fall-off-the-bone ribs ever! Sweet but tangy barbecue sauce, our favorite but they offer North Carolina-style, too.
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Log Cabin Barbecue
11672 Spotswood Trail
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CURRENTLY NOT OPEN DUE TO MAY 2022 KITCHEN FIRE: Recent name change to "The 1835 Smokehouse"! We hate the re-branding but it's the same ownership and basic menu. Best, most tender, fall-off-the-bone ribs ever! Sweet but tangy barbecue sauce, our favorite but they offer North Carolina-style, too.
Just opened July 2020, a plain, crisp and cool-looking 'Diner. Bakery. Coffee.' In an old beloved 1950’s tire service station, now a modern corner diner, I enjoyed their breakfast-all-day option with the Egg Sammy, fresh-squeezed o.j., and loved their Vanilla Braided Twist. Get there early for best choice of their great baked goods!
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Magpie Diner
85 W Gay St
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Just opened July 2020, a plain, crisp and cool-looking 'Diner. Bakery. Coffee.' In an old beloved 1950’s tire service station, now a modern corner diner, I enjoyed their breakfast-all-day option with the Egg Sammy, fresh-squeezed o.j., and loved their Vanilla Braided Twist. Get there early for best choice of their great baked goods!
So...I don't drink coffee, and this new shop doesn't offer cocoa but the interior intrigues me, nonetheless. They feature a cold brew coffee brand called "Snowing in Space" -- and have a bunch of Star Wars memorabilia in their space, along with some indoor and outdoor seating, and a lot of other coffee options -- including cold coffees. It's a quirky spot, so if you want to try something beyond the Keurig selection...do it! FYI: The "Nutts" likely refers to locals who live at MassaNUTTen -- sometimes referred to as "Nutters," with the mountain, Resort being referred to as "the Nutt."
Nutt’s About Coffee LLC
11702 Spotswood Trail
So...I don't drink coffee, and this new shop doesn't offer cocoa but the interior intrigues me, nonetheless. They feature a cold brew coffee brand called "Snowing in Space" -- and have a bunch of Star Wars memorabilia in their space, along with some indoor and outdoor seating, and a lot of other coffee options -- including cold coffees. It's a quirky spot, so if you want to try something beyond the Keurig selection...do it! FYI: The "Nutts" likely refers to locals who live at MassaNUTTen -- sometimes referred to as "Nutters," with the mountain, Resort being referred to as "the Nutt."
Old is in the name but it's brand NEW! Had a GREAT beef hamburger ('The Shenandoah'). I suggest asking for the brioche bun as the usual potato bun appeared to be a lot more bread. I loved their non-housemade fries. Expensive but... not more so than Jack Brown's Single Wide -- and a lot more flexible (you can order an a la carte burger with just about any fixings; can't do that at Jack Brown's). Friendly staff. I was hoping for some old Route 33 antique flare in the rather plain renovated space but... a photo of NYC's Flat Iron Bldg is the only wall decor so far.
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Old 33 Beer & Burger Grill, Inc.
159 W Rockingham St
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Old is in the name but it's brand NEW! Had a GREAT beef hamburger ('The Shenandoah'). I suggest asking for the brioche bun as the usual potato bun appeared to be a lot more bread. I loved their non-housemade fries. Expensive but... not more so than Jack Brown's Single Wide -- and a lot more flexible (you can order an a la carte burger with just about any fixings; can't do that at Jack Brown's). Friendly staff. I was hoping for some old Route 33 antique flare in the rather plain renovated space but... a photo of NYC's Flat Iron Bldg is the only wall decor so far.
If you want *real* (authentic) Chinese dishes, choose this. They have two menus, one that is oxtail, duck, flounder, pig intestines, etc., things that are very authentic -- and not very palatable to the typical American palate, for which the other menu is designed, sweet & sour pork, General Tso's, Kung Pao chicken, etc., ... We like it. We are not sushi lovers so can't speak to that (but if we were... we would go to a Japanese restaurant for that...). Too far for delivery, unfortunately.
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Oriental Café
563 University Blvd
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If you want *real* (authentic) Chinese dishes, choose this. They have two menus, one that is oxtail, duck, flounder, pig intestines, etc., things that are very authentic -- and not very palatable to the typical American palate, for which the other menu is designed, sweet & sour pork, General Tso's, Kung Pao chicken, etc., ... We like it. We are not sushi lovers so can't speak to that (but if we were... we would go to a Japanese restaurant for that...). Too far for delivery, unfortunately.
Closest to us Chinese food takeout, and that's why we like it. It's a family-owned restaurant, has been around a long while, but is a bit hit or miss in its consistency. Their Sunday lunch buffet is a local 'after church' favorite.
Peking China Restaurant
14819 Spotswood Trail
Closest to us Chinese food takeout, and that's why we like it. It's a family-owned restaurant, has been around a long while, but is a bit hit or miss in its consistency. Their Sunday lunch buffet is a local 'after church' favorite.
A worthwhile stop at the Skyland Lodge while you are cruising Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park. Okay views (big trees blocking). Limited menu, not a bad thing, as they specialize in some things. Dinner menu expands to include pot roast. The turkey dinner didn't bowl us over, but is popular. Next time, I'll go for the fried chicken. Outstanding desserts including their famous BlackBerry ice cream pie. After, walk the close-by 1.3 mile Limberlost Trail (easy with gentle ups and downs, lots if benches).
Pollock Dining Room at Skyland
400 Skyland Upper Loop
A worthwhile stop at the Skyland Lodge while you are cruising Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park. Okay views (big trees blocking). Limited menu, not a bad thing, as they specialize in some things. Dinner menu expands to include pot roast. The turkey dinner didn't bowl us over, but is popular. Next time, I'll go for the fried chicken. Outstanding desserts including their famous BlackBerry ice cream pie. After, walk the close-by 1.3 mile Limberlost Trail (easy with gentle ups and downs, lots if benches).
Not our most favorite local Italian, but in the neighborhood for a long time now in a new location. We have liked their steak & cheese sandwich for takeout -- it's just a 5-minute drive from us. Mixed online reviews, and their own responses, make us... hesitant to recommend this place. In a brand-new building, kitty-corner to, and across the highway from Hank's.
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Romano's Italian Bistro
40 New Hope Rd
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Not our most favorite local Italian, but in the neighborhood for a long time now in a new location. We have liked their steak & cheese sandwich for takeout -- it's just a 5-minute drive from us. Mixed online reviews, and their own responses, make us... hesitant to recommend this place. In a brand-new building, kitty-corner to, and across the highway from Hank's.
Love the lunch chicken fajitas but there's a lot of lunch specials. The shrimp chimichangas are another favorite. Perfectly adequate if you have a craving for fajitas, burritos, tacos.... Sister restaurant to El Paso Mexican Restaurant with a similar menu
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Santa Fe Mexican Grille
42 Island Ford Road
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Love the lunch chicken fajitas but there's a lot of lunch specials. The shrimp chimichangas are another favorite. Perfectly adequate if you have a craving for fajitas, burritos, tacos.... Sister restaurant to El Paso Mexican Restaurant with a similar menu
We are picky about Thai food, which we love -- and we did love our recent takeout from here. Delicious Tom Kha Gai (coconut, lemongrass, chicken soup)!
Thai Cafe
182 Neff Avenue
We are picky about Thai food, which we love -- and we did love our recent takeout from here. Delicious Tom Kha Gai (coconut, lemongrass, chicken soup)!
Recent name change from Log Cabin to "The 1835 Smokehouse"! We hate the re-branding but it's the same ownership and basic menu. Best, most tender, fall-off-the-bone ribs ever! Sweet but tangy barbecue sauce, our favorite but they offer North Carolina-style, too.
The 1835 Smokehouse
11672 Spotswood Trail
Recent name change from Log Cabin to "The 1835 Smokehouse"! We hate the re-branding but it's the same ownership and basic menu. Best, most tender, fall-off-the-bone ribs ever! Sweet but tangy barbecue sauce, our favorite but they offer North Carolina-style, too.
So, if you are in charming Dayton already, you may enjoy this quirky local favorite. A limited, housemade menu with some diner-like staples (chicken, ham, spaghetti, meat loaf...) but... kind of plain and hearty. The wait staff are not great, not real personable. Price is right.
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Thomas House Restaurant
222 Main St
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So, if you are in charming Dayton already, you may enjoy this quirky local favorite. A limited, housemade menu with some diner-like staples (chicken, ham, spaghetti, meat loaf...) but... kind of plain and hearty. The wait staff are not great, not real personable. Price is right.
Updated classic diner with counter, booths, or tables. Unique breakfast options all day. Good burgers (don't miss the "bacon jam when it's on their specials!)." The "Garbage Plate" is my favorite anytime meal!
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Thunderbird Cafe
42-A Island Ford Rd
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Updated classic diner with counter, booths, or tables. Unique breakfast options all day. Good burgers (don't miss the "bacon jam when it's on their specials!)." The "Garbage Plate" is my favorite anytime meal!
This is a small local "chain" of restaurants owned by a family who immigrated from Naples, Italy, not too many years ago, and have had great success due to their good food, pizza, and pastas. A favorite with locals. We love the real gelato made by real Italian chefs!
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Vito's Pizza Pie
4741 Spotswood Trail
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This is a small local "chain" of restaurants owned by a family who immigrated from Naples, Italy, not too many years ago, and have had great success due to their good food, pizza, and pastas. A favorite with locals. We love the real gelato made by real Italian chefs!
We admire a plentiful buffet and this is a local popular one that we like. Many items for every palate or craving. Worth a try if you like buffets. Not unexpected, masks with provided sanitizer and gloves are required at each trip to the buffet.
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Wood Grill Buffet
1711 Reservoir St
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We admire a plentiful buffet and this is a local popular one that we like. Many items for every palate or craving. Worth a try if you like buffets. Not unexpected, masks with provided sanitizer and gloves are required at each trip to the buffet.

Farms, Factories, Produce Stands, Dairies, Ice Cream

Off Rt. 340, behind the Bear Lithia Spring cistern. Great seasonal produce, such as 'peaches & cream' unshucked corn (sometimes baked goods), and fresh eggs, can be found here, all prized by locals. You can also dip your feet in shallow Bear Lithia Springs, one of seven underground springs in our county. Park by the huge cistern -- where you can collect and try the fresh spring water (AT YOUR OWN RISK signs are posted) -- or, drive to the right of the cistern to see the exterior of the cool historic home of the Stand's owner.
Bear Lithia Farm Stand
Off Rt. 340, behind the Bear Lithia Spring cistern. Great seasonal produce, such as 'peaches & cream' unshucked corn (sometimes baked goods), and fresh eggs, can be found here, all prized by locals. You can also dip your feet in shallow Bear Lithia Springs, one of seven underground springs in our county. Park by the huge cistern -- where you can collect and try the fresh spring water (AT YOUR OWN RISK signs are posted) -- or, drive to the right of the cistern to see the exterior of the cool historic home of the Stand's owner.
Our favorite frozen treat in the Valley so far. Delicious, creamy selection of 40+ varieties of ice creams! These delicacies are made at an Amish dairy in Pennsylvania but we are so happy to have them in Virginia! Seasonal opening (unfortunately) in Dayton, VA (cute little town just south of Harrisonburg).
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Grammie's Ice Cream
11702 Spotswood Trail
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Our favorite frozen treat in the Valley so far. Delicious, creamy selection of 40+ varieties of ice creams! These delicacies are made at an Amish dairy in Pennsylvania but we are so happy to have them in Virginia! Seasonal opening (unfortunately) in Dayton, VA (cute little town just south of Harrisonburg).
PYO = Pick Your Own! Blueberries in June-July. Call to make sure there is still availability as late freezes, rain, can limit the crop!
Hickory Hill Farm
3034 Fruit Farm Ln
PYO = Pick Your Own! Blueberries in June-July. Call to make sure there is still availability as late freezes, rain, can limit the crop!
Pretty darn great cookies can be found here -- *almost* 24 hours a day! There's Jack & Jill ice cream available, too. In a tiny shopping "corner strip," along with Oriental Cafe, and Mercy House Boutique. Well worth a visit if you have a craving.
Insomnia Cookies
563 University Blvd
Pretty darn great cookies can be found here -- *almost* 24 hours a day! There's Jack & Jill ice cream available, too. In a tiny shopping "corner strip," along with Oriental Cafe, and Mercy House Boutique. Well worth a visit if you have a craving.
Soft-serve ice cream bar, banana splits their specialty. Next door to the Shenandoah General Store. A little pricey but... who can resist on a hot, hot day!
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Karen's Frozen Favorites
115 Maryland Ave
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Soft-serve ice cream bar, banana splits their specialty. Next door to the Shenandoah General Store. A little pricey but... who can resist on a hot, hot day!
This is a local favorite, soft-serve ice cream only... and it's just 4 minutes away, and in the same little complex as Stump's Antiques, the McGaheysville Car Wash, Valley Olive & Leaf, and the Thunderbird Cafe -- so why not stop?
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Kline's Dairy Bar
10020 Spotswood Trail
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This is a local favorite, soft-serve ice cream only... and it's just 4 minutes away, and in the same little complex as Stump's Antiques, the McGaheysville Car Wash, Valley Olive & Leaf, and the Thunderbird Cafe -- so why not stop?
Toys, gadgets, candy, and Hershey's Ice Cream. just a two-minute drive from our house, if you are having a craving -- or trying to find non-nature entertainment for your kids.
Massanutten Fun Factory
11441 Spotswood Trail
Toys, gadgets, candy, and Hershey's Ice Cream. just a two-minute drive from our house, if you are having a craving -- or trying to find non-nature entertainment for your kids.
Call to arrange their very interesting 75+/- minute walking tour! Right there in the same parking lot is popular Smiley's Ice Cream shop, their own brand
Mt Crawford Creamery
795 Old Bridgewater Rd
Call to arrange their very interesting 75+/- minute walking tour! Right there in the same parking lot is popular Smiley's Ice Cream shop, their own brand
Right down the road from Smiley's Ice Cream and Mt. Crawford Creamery, is this great farmer's market featuring seasonal vegetables, fruits, eggs, and meets. Seasonal PYO (Pick Your Own) strawberries, pumpkins, and wildflowers, and a fall Corn Maze supply the Adventure. Call for seasonal offerings: 540-421-6913
Overlook Produce and Farm Adventures
609 Friedens Church Road
Right down the road from Smiley's Ice Cream and Mt. Crawford Creamery, is this great farmer's market featuring seasonal vegetables, fruits, eggs, and meets. Seasonal PYO (Pick Your Own) strawberries, pumpkins, and wildflowers, and a fall Corn Maze supply the Adventure. Call for seasonal offerings: 540-421-6913
Open May 1-Oct 1, this lovely "floral farm" has a small nature museum and an 1800s house (open to the public only on special occasions). Honor system payment of $5.00 fee per adult (16 & older), which from their website, 'includes a small bouquet and all the time you want to spend walking the grounds (there's a perimeter path that will give you approximately a mile walk if done twice) or spend time picnicking, reading, checking the very cool tiny nature museum and greenhouse. Larger bouquet pricing explained in the flower shop.'
Pebble Hall Wildflowers
11 Pebble Hall Ln
Open May 1-Oct 1, this lovely "floral farm" has a small nature museum and an 1800s house (open to the public only on special occasions). Honor system payment of $5.00 fee per adult (16 & older), which from their website, 'includes a small bouquet and all the time you want to spend walking the grounds (there's a perimeter path that will give you approximately a mile walk if done twice) or spend time picnicking, reading, checking the very cool tiny nature museum and greenhouse. Larger bouquet pricing explained in the flower shop.'
Famous chips factory. Tours only on certain days but the gift shop (and tastings of their multiple flavors) is open Mon-Sat. Just to the south is Shenandoah Caverns, and a but north and east, find the historic Meems Bottoms Covered Bridge to drive through.
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Route 11 Potato Chips
7815 Main St
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Famous chips factory. Tours only on certain days but the gift shop (and tastings of their multiple flavors) is open Mon-Sat. Just to the south is Shenandoah Caverns, and a but north and east, find the historic Meems Bottoms Covered Bridge to drive through.
Made by the local Mt. Crawford Creamery (where you can take a pre-arranged walking tour). Fresh and local! A bit expensive, but made *fresh right there*; lots of their regular flavors available daily but they have monthly, and weekly, special additions.
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Smiley's Ice Cream
205 Don Litten Pkwy
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Made by the local Mt. Crawford Creamery (where you can take a pre-arranged walking tour). Fresh and local! A bit expensive, but made *fresh right there*; lots of their regular flavors available daily but they have monthly, and weekly, special additions.
It's hard to complain about an ice cream store that offers 36 flavors of pretty decent dairy treats from Windy Knolls Farm. We always like to try a new flavor!
Squirrleys Ice Cream
11702 Spotswood Trail
It's hard to complain about an ice cream store that offers 36 flavors of pretty decent dairy treats from Windy Knolls Farm. We always like to try a new flavor!
New in 2019, this little shop earned a fast reputation for a yummy variety of seasonal ice cream selections (they change monthly), year-round opening, and great pricing. I enjoyed my first foray there, and learned the ice cream is housemade on-site, as are their waffle cones. And...the shop has an interior door open right into Valley Jump -- so...a perfect activity + treat combo for families with kids! Behind this little strip of shops is Rockingham Park -- with a fun, new playground.
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Tots Ice Cream
4549 Spotswood Trail
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New in 2019, this little shop earned a fast reputation for a yummy variety of seasonal ice cream selections (they change monthly), year-round opening, and great pricing. I enjoyed my first foray there, and learned the ice cream is housemade on-site, as are their waffle cones. And...the shop has an interior door open right into Valley Jump -- so...a perfect activity + treat combo for families with kids! Behind this little strip of shops is Rockingham Park -- with a fun, new playground.
Love this little Mennonite gem! A real old-fashioned market with great "homemade" items, from candy to specialty baking ingredients. Fresh produce is limited. Don't miss the frozen items.
The Valley Pantry & Deli
15451 Old Spotswood Trail
Love this little Mennonite gem! A real old-fashioned market with great "homemade" items, from candy to specialty baking ingredients. Fresh produce is limited. Don't miss the frozen items.
On the west side of I-81, this "modern" farm market is full of great, old- and new-fashioned foods, beverages, confiments, candies, and treats for sale. The Train Depot serves as the new food service location, with burgers, bbq, ice cream, bakery, fudge cases, and eat-in deli and tables available. Sometimes there's a couple of food trucks in the parking lot. You will find lots of foodie gift options here. Plenty of parking.
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Valley Pike Farm Market
3494 Lee Hwy
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On the west side of I-81, this "modern" farm market is full of great, old- and new-fashioned foods, beverages, confiments, candies, and treats for sale. The Train Depot serves as the new food service location, with burgers, bbq, ice cream, bakery, fudge cases, and eat-in deli and tables available. Sometimes there's a couple of food trucks in the parking lot. You will find lots of foodie gift options here. Plenty of parking.
Fun farm visit and lavender-themed gift shop (including lavender ice cream!). Year-round special events. Friends enjoyed their wine selections tasting.
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Purple Wolf Vineyard
2644 Cross Keys Rd
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Fun farm visit and lavender-themed gift shop (including lavender ice cream!). Year-round special events. Friends enjoyed their wine selections tasting.

Wineries, Vineyards, Breweries, Distilleries, After-Hours, Bars

So... we are tee-totalers, and while we have been to some of these spots, we rely on our friends to give us the "thumbs up" in this category. Be sure to call, or check the website of each destination, to insure open status, times, restrictions!
Years ago, I managed an annual wine festival that featured the top 16 wineries in Virginia -- and Barboursville was consistently among them! The vineyard is in a pretty spot east of the Blue Ridge, just a short drive from James Madison's Montpelier.
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Barboursville Vineyards
17655 Winery Rd
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Years ago, I managed an annual wine festival that featured the top 16 wineries in Virginia -- and Barboursville was consistently among them! The vineyard is in a pretty spot east of the Blue Ridge, just a short drive from James Madison's Montpelier.
Lovely view, patio, and tastings. They have snack cheeses, salami, and treats for sale -- a plus if you like to linger and taste!
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Bluestone Vineyard
4828 Spring Creek Rd
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Lovely view, patio, and tastings. They have snack cheeses, salami, and treats for sale -- a plus if you like to linger and taste!
We have enjoyed the setting and atmosphere of this so-close venue on several occasions. From spring (Mar) and into fall (Nov), the site hosts lovely outdoor concerts and events on their stunning landscape almost every Friday, weather permitting; $5 cover charge comes with cold bottle of water). Bring your own food (sometimes there's guest food vendors available on-site but you can't bring your own alcohol. Bring chairs or blankets to assure yourselves a seat -- and bring bug spray as you are on a massive lawn. Don't feed Wyatt, the Great Dane wandering around.
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Brix and Columns Vineyards
1501 Dave Berry Rd
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We have enjoyed the setting and atmosphere of this so-close venue on several occasions. From spring (Mar) and into fall (Nov), the site hosts lovely outdoor concerts and events on their stunning landscape almost every Friday, weather permitting; $5 cover charge comes with cold bottle of water). Bring your own food (sometimes there's guest food vendors available on-site but you can't bring your own alcohol. Bring chairs or blankets to assure yourselves a seat -- and bring bug spray as you are on a massive lawn. Don't feed Wyatt, the Great Dane wandering around.
It's the closest, and newest, local brewery, just minutes from us. The Brewery is back further than the first buildings you come to (just follow the signs). Hours are inconsistent, so watch their FB page for most-current info.
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Cave Hill Farms Brewery
1001 Jacob Burner Dr
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It's the closest, and newest, local brewery, just minutes from us. The Brewery is back further than the first buildings you come to (just follow the signs). Hours are inconsistent, so watch their FB page for most-current info.
Highly-rated bar in Harrisonburg. Again, we don't drink so rely on our local friends to say, "this is a great spot!"
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Clementine
153 S Main St
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Highly-rated bar in Harrisonburg. Again, we don't drink so rely on our local friends to say, "this is a great spot!"
Excellent reputation for views and wines! One of the most popular, and largest producers, in the Valley. Has a most excellent cafe, too, so enjoy that while you are there!
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CrossKeys Vineyards
6011 E Timber Ridge Rd
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Excellent reputation for views and wines! One of the most popular, and largest producers, in the Valley. Has a most excellent cafe, too, so enjoy that while you are there!
We recently had some guests report that this spot has 'a great atmosphere and brews!' No food is served here but outside food is welcome so grab takeaway from El Paso, Good Guys, or Route 33 Burgers, and... hang out, inside or outside of this cool, old town train depot.
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Elkton Brewing Co. / Elkton Brewing Company
100 5th St
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We recently had some guests report that this spot has 'a great atmosphere and brews!' No food is served here but outside food is welcome so grab takeaway from El Paso, Good Guys, or Route 33 Burgers, and... hang out, inside or outside of this cool, old town train depot.
Inside the Waterpark, this sports bar overlooks all the Waterpark activities below. Just a couple minutes' drive from us.
Hideaway Lounge
1200 Adventure Dr
Inside the Waterpark, this sports bar overlooks all the Waterpark activities below. Just a couple minutes' drive from us.
Second-highest-rated night spot in Harrisonburg, and it appears to be a pleasant after-hours ambiance. We don't drink, and haven't been here yet with friends.
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Jimmy Madison's
121 S Main St
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Second-highest-rated night spot in Harrisonburg, and it appears to be a pleasant after-hours ambiance. We don't drink, and haven't been here yet with friends.
Enjoyed a lovely chocolate tasting here while friends enjoyed the wines! A nice patio area.
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Marceline Vineyards
5887 Cross Keys Rd
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Enjoyed a lovely chocolate tasting here while friends enjoyed the wines! A nice patio area.
We are putting this in the 'after hours' bar section because we have enjoyed Friday evenings here when they have live music in their lounge.
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Massanutten Ski Lodge
4620 Massanutten Dr
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We are putting this in the 'after hours' bar section because we have enjoyed Friday evenings here when they have live music in their lounge.
Highly-rated bar in Harrisonburg
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O'Neill's Grill
221 University Blvd
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Highly-rated bar in Harrisonburg
Really great atmosphere!
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Pale Fire Brewing Co
217 S Liberty St
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Really great atmosphere!
One of many local breweries in the Valley -- set up in Harrisonburg's historic downtown, in an old garage.
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Restless Moons Brewing
120 W Wolfe St
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One of many local breweries in the Valley -- set up in Harrisonburg's historic downtown, in an old garage.
I spent an entertaining evening at this watering hole, not drinking ('cuz I don't) and playing a variety of board games with my gal-pals! They enjoyed sampling the beers, and playing the games (and were happy to have a designated driver). Fun, casual spot -- and I understand the beer selection is...excellent.
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Three Notch'd Brewing Company
241 E Market St
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I spent an entertaining evening at this watering hole, not drinking ('cuz I don't) and playing a variety of board games with my gal-pals! They enjoyed sampling the beers, and playing the games (and were happy to have a designated driver). Fun, casual spot -- and I understand the beer selection is...excellent.

Outdoors and Active

Be sure to call, or check the website of each destination, to insure open status, times, restrictions!
Fun outdoor playground for children of all ages. Great for special needs play-seekers.
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A Dream Come True Playground
1050 Neff Ave
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Fun outdoor playground for children of all ages. Great for special needs play-seekers.
About an hour's drive from us but worth it for a spectacular Shenandoah Valley sunRISE view! Very close to the north entrance of the Blue Ridge Parkway, just south of I-64.
Afton Overlook
About an hour's drive from us but worth it for a spectacular Shenandoah Valley sunRISE view! Very close to the north entrance of the Blue Ridge Parkway, just south of I-64.
Our favorite hiking trail in Shenandoah National Park, easy for us older folks with some optional, challenging scrambles for younger folks. Lovely views.
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Bearfence Mountain Trailhead
Skyline Drive
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Our favorite hiking trail in Shenandoah National Park, easy for us older folks with some optional, challenging scrambles for younger folks. Lovely views.
In Augusta County. Forested mountain terrain with sweeping winter views, some picnic facilities & hiking/biking trails. Don't try the gravel, dirt, not-well-graded road unless your vehicle has a high carriage.
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Betsy Bell Wilderness Park
525 Betsy Bell Rd
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In Augusta County. Forested mountain terrain with sweeping winter views, some picnic facilities & hiking/biking trails. Don't try the gravel, dirt, not-well-graded road unless your vehicle has a high carriage.
This outdoor recreation spot -- with its playground, several hiking trails, big pond with fountain, pavilions, random sculptures, and seasonal concerts -- is a BIG Gem, an under-used treasure.
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Big Gem Park
736 4th St
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This outdoor recreation spot -- with its playground, several hiking trails, big pond with fountain, pavilions, random sculptures, and seasonal concerts -- is a BIG Gem, an under-used treasure.
Naturally. One of our favorite places on earth.... We are 50+ minutes drive to the Parkway's north entrance.
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Blue Ridge Parkway North Entrance
Blue Ridge Parkway
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Naturally. One of our favorite places on earth.... We are 50+ minutes drive to the Parkway's north entrance.
Great, classic swimming hole with a little waterfall and a rope swing! It's unmarked by a sign so after the pavement ends on Runkles Gap Rd, slow down on the gravel road to look for the path down, on the left (between two rough parking spots on the left; you could go ahead 1/4 mile to turn around but... we don't until we are done at the hole). The path is clear and has a fork -- right to waterfall and swing; left for best view and more ease if pool entry/exit. Do both! Trail is short but rocky and steep; be extra careful if muddy). You will want good shoes to go down (up is much easier), and you will want water shoes to use the pool. Fyi, driving ahead to the turn-around spot, you will see the sign for the official Trail, which crosses the creek; it's a really lovely hike but a very rocky, long uphill one to 'the other side of the mountain' and has another locals-favorite waterfall (see Fridley Gap listing for longer drive, short hike). No facilities either spot. Bug spray!
Boone Run East Parking Area
Cub Run Road
Great, classic swimming hole with a little waterfall and a rope swing! It's unmarked by a sign so after the pavement ends on Runkles Gap Rd, slow down on the gravel road to look for the path down, on the left (between two rough parking spots on the left; you could go ahead 1/4 mile to turn around but... we don't until we are done at the hole). The path is clear and has a fork -- right to waterfall and swing; left for best view and more ease if pool entry/exit. Do both! Trail is short but rocky and steep; be extra careful if muddy). You will want good shoes to go down (up is much easier), and you will want water shoes to use the pool. Fyi, driving ahead to the turn-around spot, you will see the sign for the official Trail, which crosses the creek; it's a really lovely hike but a very rocky, long uphill one to 'the other side of the mountain' and has another locals-favorite waterfall (see Fridley Gap listing for longer drive, short hike). No facilities either spot. Bug spray!
Nope, never done this as I'm old and it will make me nauseous -- but I *wish* I could! Looks like such fun!
Bungy Dome
4030 Massanutten Dr
Nope, never done this as I'm old and it will make me nauseous -- but I *wish* I could! Looks like such fun!
A short drive into the George Washington National Forest, this Confederate historic site (found on the 'short way' to Emerald Pond; see separate listing), is next to a picturesque wading spot, and Forest hiking trails.
Catherine Furnace (Pig Iron Furnace)
A short drive into the George Washington National Forest, this Confederate historic site (found on the 'short way' to Emerald Pond; see separate listing), is next to a picturesque wading spot, and Forest hiking trails.
You can arrange a carriage ride from the Massanutten Overlook on the Western Slope! We haven't done this yet but... plan to soon! Neighbors have reported that 'It was a great experience and the two Percheron draft horses pulling the carriage, named Fred and Frank, were awesome in both size and intelligence. Their owner, Shannon, provided a very interesting and energetic narrated tour of the Western Slope... probably the best way to see the Western Slope from a new perspective.'
Circle M Carriages
4204 Happy Yalley Road
You can arrange a carriage ride from the Massanutten Overlook on the Western Slope! We haven't done this yet but... plan to soon! Neighbors have reported that 'It was a great experience and the two Percheron draft horses pulling the carriage, named Fred and Frank, were awesome in both size and intelligence. Their owner, Shannon, provided a very interesting and energetic narrated tour of the Western Slope... probably the best way to see the Western Slope from a new perspective.'
Drag racing on a summer evening?! Complete and total fun entertainment!
Eastside Speedway
134 Al Gore Ln
Drag racing on a summer evening?! Complete and total fun entertainment!
A lovely year-round walking experience on the James Madison University campus. Amus lots of easy walking trails, there's tiny indoor visitor center. On a beautiful spring or fall day, parking can be a challenge in one of three lots, all off of University Drive.
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Edith J. Carrier Arboretum
780 University Blvd
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A lovely year-round walking experience on the James Madison University campus. Amus lots of easy walking trails, there's tiny indoor visitor center. On a beautiful spring or fall day, parking can be a challenge in one of three lots, all off of University Drive.
Great little classic fishing and swimming hole loved by locals! Not a too-far walk off the road (.2 mile took us 10 mins) but there's no sign so rely on GPS. Reached via either a long, windy, gravel scenic drive through the George Washington National Forest, or a shorter, paved road option (which will take you by Catherine's Furnace historic site with marker; see separate entry). From the fork joining these two routes the correct road is marked as Mountain Run. Through the Forest, heading up the mountain, there are a few possible stops to see pretty and usable little waterfalls and swimming or wading spots, and a couple very interesting geological features such as a mountainside of rounded boulders.
Emerald Pond
Great little classic fishing and swimming hole loved by locals! Not a too-far walk off the road (.2 mile took us 10 mins) but there's no sign so rely on GPS. Reached via either a long, windy, gravel scenic drive through the George Washington National Forest, or a shorter, paved road option (which will take you by Catherine's Furnace historic site with marker; see separate entry). From the fork joining these two routes the correct road is marked as Mountain Run. Through the Forest, heading up the mountain, there are a few possible stops to see pretty and usable little waterfalls and swimming or wading spots, and a couple very interesting geological features such as a mountainside of rounded boulders.
Year-round tubing park, zipline, climbing tower, gem-panning chute. Lots of fun activities to be found here for every family member!
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Family Adventure Park
3827 Massanutten Dr
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Year-round tubing park, zipline, climbing tower, gem-panning chute. Lots of fun activities to be found here for every family member!
Haven't been here, yet, but skeet shooting looks really fun! Instruction is available.
Flying Rabbit Sporting Clays
5537 S Valley Pike
Haven't been here, yet, but skeet shooting looks really fun! Instruction is available.
NOT Active due to Covid. This specialty tour gives you a tiny taste of what it's like to be a real spelunker a.k.a. cave explorer via the exploration of caves that have been closed to public tours for over 100 years. Not an experience for you if you are claustrophobic.
Fountain Cave Adventure Tours
5 Grand Caverns Dr
NOT Active due to Covid. This specialty tour gives you a tiny taste of what it's like to be a real spelunker a.k.a. cave explorer via the exploration of caves that have been closed to public tours for over 100 years. Not an experience for you if you are claustrophobic.
A 30-min drive along Massanutten's western slope, there's a parking area for the 6.2 mile Fridley Gap Trail (4.5 hrs r/t) in the George Washington National Forest. BUT, less than 1/2 mile from parking (take the right at the fork, then right at the "T" and you will find the Mountain View swimming hole -- cold water, but great on a hot summer day! Uou can take the entire loop by going either way at the "T." No facilities.
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Fridley Gap
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A 30-min drive along Massanutten's western slope, there's a parking area for the 6.2 mile Fridley Gap Trail (4.5 hrs r/t) in the George Washington National Forest. BUT, less than 1/2 mile from parking (take the right at the fork, then right at the "T" and you will find the Mountain View swimming hole -- cold water, but great on a hot summer day! Uou can take the entire loop by going either way at the "T." No facilities.
Don't under-appreciate and overlook this treasure (in favor of the more popular Shenandoah National Park). Our neighborhood, and the Massanutten Resort, abuts the Lee District of the Forest, and there are many drives, hikes, fishing, historical, water and geologic features to discover and explore in all its districts in the Valley.
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George Washington National Forest
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Don't under-appreciate and overlook this treasure (in favor of the more popular Shenandoah National Park). Our neighborhood, and the Massanutten Resort, abuts the Lee District of the Forest, and there are many drives, hikes, fishing, historical, water and geologic features to discover and explore in all its districts in the Valley.
So...Luray Caverns is much flashier and commercial, but these are also impressive, and it was an excellent tour by a local student of geology; an interesting little museum, too, is on-site, and the entry is a seasonal park that features a public outdoor pool and mini-golf course. Caverns are open year-round; some holiday closings. Located 20 minutes from our Airbnb private suite.
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Grand Caverns
5 Grand Cavern Rd
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So...Luray Caverns is much flashier and commercial, but these are also impressive, and it was an excellent tour by a local student of geology; an interesting little museum, too, is on-site, and the entry is a seasonal park that features a public outdoor pool and mini-golf course. Caverns are open year-round; some holiday closings. Located 20 minutes from our Airbnb private suite.
There's NO SIGN pointing out the High Knob Trail from the parking area on Rt. 33. But, the trail is to the far-left of the parking, left of the big rules & regs signboard. First bit is steel and rocky downhill but it evens out then climbs. Just 1.3 miles one-way to the Tower where you will have the most spectacular views available in the Forest. Don't go on a hazy day, or foggy day. Make noise to scare the bears. No services.
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High Knob Fire Tower Lookout
High Knob Trail
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There's NO SIGN pointing out the High Knob Trail from the parking area on Rt. 33. But, the trail is to the far-left of the parking, left of the big rules & regs signboard. First bit is steel and rocky downhill but it evens out then climbs. Just 1.3 miles one-way to the Tower where you will have the most spectacular views available in the Forest. Don't go on a hazy day, or foggy day. Make noise to scare the bears. No services.
Just 5 minutes from our home, this is the prime return spot for the Massanutten River Adventures for tubing on the Shenandoah River to the towns of Elkton (3-5 hrs) or Shenandoah (3-5hrs further). But, you can park here to wade, swim, boat, or fish.
Island Ford Bridge
State Route 649
Just 5 minutes from our home, this is the prime return spot for the Massanutten River Adventures for tubing on the Shenandoah River to the towns of Elkton (3-5 hrs) or Shenandoah (3-5hrs further). But, you can park here to wade, swim, boat, or fish.
Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources manages this lovely lake, known as a good fishing spot. It's parking area is scenic for a picnic but to to use the boat ramp (non-motorized only), or take the wildflower, marsh walk, it's fee-based; that just means you have to have a current Virginia fishingnor hunting license. It seems they have boat rentals but not every day, all day. Seek info online.
Lake Shenandoah
Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources manages this lovely lake, known as a good fishing spot. It's parking area is scenic for a picnic but to to use the boat ramp (non-motorized only), or take the wildflower, marsh walk, it's fee-based; that just means you have to have a current Virginia fishingnor hunting license. It seems they have boat rentals but not every day, all day. Seek info online.
Really nice public course with reasonable fees. There is a driving range here, too, fairly narrow (there's a sign requesting that golfers not hit balls over the safety nets). Less expensive than the Massanutten Resort.
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Lakeview Golf Club
4101 Shen Lake Dr
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Really nice public course with reasonable fees. There is a driving range here, too, fairly narrow (there's a sign requesting that golfers not hit balls over the safety nets). Less expensive than the Massanutten Resort.
Largest commercial caverns, in the eastern USA, open to the public, and it's recently been made 'step free' so great for any and all visitors. On sites there's also a car and carriage museum, and a 'frontier village of historic structures to tour.'
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Luray Caverns
101 Cave Hill Rd
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Largest commercial caverns, in the eastern USA, open to the public, and it's recently been made 'step free' so great for any and all visitors. On sites there's also a car and carriage museum, and a 'frontier village of historic structures to tour.'
Summer fun! Close to a soft-serve, slushie, and snow-cone stand!
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Massanutten Go Karts
4030 Massanutten Dr
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Summer fun! Close to a soft-serve, slushie, and snow-cone stand!
During Virginia's Phase III, the outdoor pools are now open (but not the newly-built outdoor tubes nor slides). The indoor water facilities are not yet open. When open, impressive water features like three adult chutes, an adults-only hot tub, a family hot tub, toddlers-only section, waverider "surfing," slides, waterfalls, and a lazy river. In season, lots of great outdoor features, too!
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Massanutten Indoor WaterPark
1200 Adventure Dr
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During Virginia's Phase III, the outdoor pools are now open (but not the newly-built outdoor tubes nor slides). The indoor water facilities are not yet open. When open, impressive water features like three adult chutes, an adults-only hot tub, a family hot tub, toddlers-only section, waverider "surfing," slides, waterfalls, and a lazy river. In season, lots of great outdoor features, too!
While we are not bikers, visiting relatives and guests have reported absolutely loving the summer bike trails. Non-bikers, as well, have opportunity to ride the chairlifts up/down the mountain on certain days. And, for the extensive trail system on the Western Slopes, get your trail passes through the Shenandoah Valley Biking Coalition, westernslopestrails.org, a Resort partner.
Massanutten Mountain Bike Park
4091 Massanutten Dr
While we are not bikers, visiting relatives and guests have reported absolutely loving the summer bike trails. Non-bikers, as well, have opportunity to ride the chairlifts up/down the mountain on certain days. And, for the extensive trail system on the Western Slopes, get your trail passes through the Shenandoah Valley Biking Coalition, westernslopestrails.org, a Resort partner.
Lovely view of the Resort's 'kettle' and slopes. From this parking area you can choose one of two hikes, Massanutten Ridge Trail (difficult), or Kaylor's Knob (moderate). Take water, and watch out for bears!
Massanutten Overlook
Lovely view of the Resort's 'kettle' and slopes. From this parking area you can choose one of two hikes, Massanutten Ridge Trail (difficult), or Kaylor's Knob (moderate). Take water, and watch out for bears!
Rated difficult. Rocky. But some great views as you walk the ridge around the Resort's bowl or 'kettle' as locals call it! Parking is at the Massanutten Overlook (follow signs for this). Closed Nov 1-Jan 30 for hunting. Opposite the Ridge Trail, north, is the Kaylors Knob Trail, rated as "moderate" with Blue Blazes, 1.5 miles each way. Both trails closed Nov1 – Jan 7 except on Sundays due to hunting season.
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Massanutten Ridge Trail
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Rated difficult. Rocky. But some great views as you walk the ridge around the Resort's bowl or 'kettle' as locals call it! Parking is at the Massanutten Overlook (follow signs for this). Closed Nov 1-Jan 30 for hunting. Opposite the Ridge Trail, north, is the Kaylors Knob Trail, rated as "moderate" with Blue Blazes, 1.5 miles each way. Both trails closed Nov1 – Jan 7 except on Sundays due to hunting season.
We haven't done a trip with this Resort partner company for years but they have been in business forever, and we regularly see their buses, in season, on the road to start or end a trip -- pulling canoes, kayaks, or big yellow tubes. The headquarters is just a few minutes drive from us. Tubing is a 2.5 mile run; that's twice as far as the 'other' local river company but costs only a bit more -- but it also takes twice as long, 3-5 hours (which might be two times more than you wish!)
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Massanutten Adventures
1850 Meadow Vista Ln
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We haven't done a trip with this Resort partner company for years but they have been in business forever, and we regularly see their buses, in season, on the road to start or end a trip -- pulling canoes, kayaks, or big yellow tubes. The headquarters is just a few minutes drive from us. Tubing is a 2.5 mile run; that's twice as far as the 'other' local river company but costs only a bit more -- but it also takes twice as long, 3-5 hours (which might be two times more than you wish!)
A short quarter-mile walk on a paved trail, with interpretive signage along it, to a great view to the east! On the same jaunt be sure to find and do the short hike to the Woodstock Tower for a great view to the west and east.
Massanutten Storybook Trail Overlook
Massanutten Storybook Trail
A short quarter-mile walk on a paved trail, with interpretive signage along it, to a great view to the east! On the same jaunt be sure to find and do the short hike to the Woodstock Tower for a great view to the west and east.
Private property of Mole Hill Bikes! But it's possible to receive permission to bike or hike (contact 540-879-2011). From Wiki: "Mole Hill is a rounded hill composed of basalt, a volcanic rock, formed during the Eocene epoch of the Paleogene period. It is the eroded remnant of what was an active volcano approximately 47 million years ago, making it one of the youngest volcanoes on the east coast of North America."
Mole Hill Peak
602-640 Dale Enterprise Road
Private property of Mole Hill Bikes! But it's possible to receive permission to bike or hike (contact 540-879-2011). From Wiki: "Mole Hill is a rounded hill composed of basalt, a volcanic rock, formed during the Eocene epoch of the Paleogene period. It is the eroded remnant of what was an active volcano approximately 47 million years ago, making it one of the youngest volcanoes on the east coast of North America."
An 8-minute drive up the mountain from us, extremely well-maintained -- and considered very challenging. One of two 18-hole courses in the Massanutten Resort. Open to the public. The stunning par 72/73 course measures in at 6,443 yards from the blue tees, 6,087 yards from the white tees, 5,608 yards from the gold tees, and 4,846 yards from the ladies tees. There's also a 9-hole course, called Mountain Greens 2 that features 6,408 yards of golf from the longest tees for a par of 73. The course rating is 70.5 and it has a slope rating of 128.
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Mountain Greens Golf Course
1822 Resort Dr
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An 8-minute drive up the mountain from us, extremely well-maintained -- and considered very challenging. One of two 18-hole courses in the Massanutten Resort. Open to the public. The stunning par 72/73 course measures in at 6,443 yards from the blue tees, 6,087 yards from the white tees, 5,608 yards from the gold tees, and 4,846 yards from the ladies tees. There's also a 9-hole course, called Mountain Greens 2 that features 6,408 yards of golf from the longest tees for a par of 73. The course rating is 70.5 and it has a slope rating of 128.
Open year-round, weather permitting, the MPOA (Massanutten Property Owners Association) hosts two 18-hole mini-courses in a lovely setting with lots of water features.
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MPOA Mini Golf Course
3977 Massanutten Dr
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Open year-round, weather permitting, the MPOA (Massanutten Property Owners Association) hosts two 18-hole mini-courses in a lovely setting with lots of water features.
Stunning and popular geological feature, well-worth a stop at this state park. There's a funky zoo close by.
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Natural Bridge
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Stunning and popular geological feature, well-worth a stop at this state park. There's a funky zoo close by.
We wandered around the Park during winter, and had it all to ourselves. In season, there's an outdoor pool, picnic tables, an outdoor stage for concerts, and a jousting run. It's worth a quick visit to see the ancient "chimney" formations. Mt. Solon is a tiny historic town with some beautiful, historic buildings, most needing some TLC -- gorgeous country drives to and from....
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Natural Chimneys Park
94 Natural Chimneys Ln
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We wandered around the Park during winter, and had it all to ourselves. In season, there's an outdoor pool, picnic tables, an outdoor stage for concerts, and a jousting run. It's worth a quick visit to see the ancient "chimney" formations. Mt. Solon is a tiny historic town with some beautiful, historic buildings, most needing some TLC -- gorgeous country drives to and from....
Classic view of the distant south end of The Massanutten Mountain Range, that divides the Shenandoah Valley, known as The Peak. A 30-minute drive from our house.
The Oaks Overlook
Classic view of the distant south end of The Massanutten Mountain Range, that divides the Shenandoah Valley, known as The Peak. A 30-minute drive from our house.
Beautiful course on the western front of Massanutten. Reasonable fees. No driving range here.
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Packsaddle Ridge Golf Club
3067 Pack Saddle Trail
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Beautiful course on the western front of Massanutten. Reasonable fees. No driving range here.
173 acres of stunningly-maintained hardwoods. No services.
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Paul State Forest
Ottobine Road
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173 acres of stunningly-maintained hardwoods. No services.
Why not? It's a classic spot... and just a 5-minute drive away. Open evenings, Fridays and Saturdays only. $5 skate; $1 rental.
Rainbow Roller Rink
13222 Spotswood Trail
Why not? It's a classic spot... and just a 5-minute drive away. Open evenings, Fridays and Saturdays only. $5 skate; $1 rental.
Awesome day-use park on the North Fork of the Shenandoah River. Stop here with your picnic before heading up the mountain to the Woodstock Tower. There is a ramp for hand-carried kayaks and canoes. Take your shoes off to wade -- or go all in for a swim. A lovely spot. There's 8 miles of hiking trails, too.
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Seven Bends State Park
2111 S Hollingsworth Rd
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Awesome day-use park on the North Fork of the Shenandoah River. Stop here with your picnic before heading up the mountain to the Woodstock Tower. There is a ramp for hand-carried kayaks and canoes. Take your shoes off to wade -- or go all in for a swim. A lovely spot. There's 8 miles of hiking trails, too.
Why are we suggesting a campground? We are not... we are suggesting you may enjoy The Lake -- a large, cool, natural spring-fed one, with sandy beaches! It's a 50-minute drive to this scenic spot set below the mountain at Stuarts Draft. Day passes available for non-campers!
Shenandoah Acres Family Campground
348 Lake Rd
Why are we suggesting a campground? We are not... we are suggesting you may enjoy The Lake -- a large, cool, natural spring-fed one, with sandy beaches! It's a 50-minute drive to this scenic spot set below the mountain at Stuarts Draft. Day passes available for non-campers!
Virginia's got caves! This is one, about 30 minutes drive. Not too far north and east you can visit the Route 11 Potato Chips factory, and don't miss finding and driving through the historic Meems Bottom Covered Bridge!
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Shenandoah Caverns
261 Caverns Rd
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Virginia's got caves! This is one, about 30 minutes drive. Not too far north and east you can visit the Route 11 Potato Chips factory, and don't miss finding and driving through the historic Meems Bottom Covered Bridge!
Naturally. Another one of our favorite places on earth. Endless views, trails, waterfalls, hikes.... We are 15 minutes drive to the Park's mid-point, so mosey up to Front Royal slong the Skyline Drive or down to the north entrance of the Blue Ridge Parkway.
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Shenandoah National Park
Skyline Drive
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Naturally. Another one of our favorite places on earth. Endless views, trails, waterfalls, hikes.... We are 15 minutes drive to the Park's mid-point, so mosey up to Front Royal slong the Skyline Drive or down to the north entrance of the Blue Ridge Parkway.
All self-guided rentals for tubing, canoeing, kayaking, and/or fishing. We did the tubing adventure just today (Aug 2020), and it was... serene and fun, just a couple of tiny rapids; if the winds are working against you, you will enjoy a much more seven-yard trip as you'll have to paddle with your hands. A really fun half- or full-day, as you choose! Tubing trip we took was just 1.5.mile, and it took us about 90 minutes -- but you can take 2 trips, if you wish, for the price of one.
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Shenandoah River Adventures L.L.C.
415 Long Ave
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All self-guided rentals for tubing, canoeing, kayaking, and/or fishing. We did the tubing adventure just today (Aug 2020), and it was... serene and fun, just a couple of tiny rapids; if the winds are working against you, you will enjoy a much more seven-yard trip as you'll have to paddle with your hands. A really fun half- or full-day, as you choose! Tubing trip we took was just 1.5.mile, and it took us about 90 minutes -- but you can take 2 trips, if you wish, for the price of one.
Shenandoah Landing and River Park is the official name. Nice little park right on the river by the E. Point Road bridge. Close to historic Elkton.
Shenandoah Riverside Boat Ramp
Morrison Road
Shenandoah Landing and River Park is the official name. Nice little park right on the river by the E. Point Road bridge. Close to historic Elkton.
Sanctioning bodies: and VMCRA. Late Models Bandoleros, Legends, Mini Cups, UCARs, Va Sprint Cars, Sportsman (Old Street Stock Class-just renamed). The track features a 3/8 mile track with compound banking of 12, 10, 8, and 6 degrees in turns 60 feet wide. Straights are 375 feet long with 6 degrees of banking.
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Shenandoah Speedway
301 Precision Rd
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Sanctioning bodies: and VMCRA. Late Models Bandoleros, Legends, Mini Cups, UCARs, Va Sprint Cars, Sportsman (Old Street Stock Class-just renamed). The track features a 3/8 mile track with compound banking of 12, 10, 8, and 6 degrees in turns 60 feet wide. Straights are 375 feet long with 6 degrees of banking.
Closest waterfall to us that is in Shenandoah National Park (23 minutes drive). 1.2 miles to the top of the falls; .3 mile further to a great overlook view. Pretty hardy walk UP to return to your car. Rated as a moderate hike, 90-120 minutes roundtrip. Not great for little kids or older folks.
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South River Falls Trail
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Closest waterfall to us that is in Shenandoah National Park (23 minutes drive). 1.2 miles to the top of the falls; .3 mile further to a great overlook view. Pretty hardy walk UP to return to your car. Rated as a moderate hike, 90-120 minutes roundtrip. Not great for little kids or older folks.
Great hike to to waterfall and swimming hole! Depending upon the season, may have to cross over, wade, through two streams (but there's a couple of small swimming spots to pause at) -- and the waterfall is less impressive during dry times.
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Sugar Hollow Trail to Blue Hole
6796 Sugar Hollow Rd
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Great hike to to waterfall and swimming hole! Depending upon the season, may have to cross over, wade, through two streams (but there's a couple of small swimming spots to pause at) -- and the waterfall is less impressive during dry times.
Just 15 minutes drive from our door, a lovely entree to the stunning Shenandoah National Park's mid-point, and access to hiking trails, Skyline Drive, waterfalls, views, wildlife....
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Swift Run Gap Entrance Station
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Just 15 minutes drive from our door, a lovely entree to the stunning Shenandoah National Park's mid-point, and access to hiking trails, Skyline Drive, waterfalls, views, wildlife....
A great summer swimming option! For 2020, entry is $10 p/p with a cap of 50 swimmers allowed in.
Swift Run Pool
A great summer swimming option! For 2020, entry is $10 p/p with a cap of 50 swimmers allowed in.
We happened upon "Switzer Lake Rd" while traveling from the High Knob Fire Tower Trail in the George Washington National Forest -- and were treated to this hidden stunning spot (there is NO Sign for it on Rt. 33 -- the road name is the only clue). The old Lake was made into the Skidmore Reservoir (it's a natural feature that was dammed to provide water to Harrisonburg), where you can fish (trout, bass, catfish, crappie, sunfish...), canoe, and kayak -- but NO SWIMMING. Pavement ends quickly, and it's a rocky, one-lane, curvy, downhill road. Past the Skidmore Lake sign, you can drive a further mile fairly comfortably; past that, you will want a reliable SUV (the road ends up somewhere just west of Dayton, VA).
Switzer Lake
We happened upon "Switzer Lake Rd" while traveling from the High Knob Fire Tower Trail in the George Washington National Forest -- and were treated to this hidden stunning spot (there is NO Sign for it on Rt. 33 -- the road name is the only clue). The old Lake was made into the Skidmore Reservoir (it's a natural feature that was dammed to provide water to Harrisonburg), where you can fish (trout, bass, catfish, crappie, sunfish...), canoe, and kayak -- but NO SWIMMING. Pavement ends quickly, and it's a rocky, one-lane, curvy, downhill road. Past the Skidmore Lake sign, you can drive a further mile fairly comfortably; past that, you will want a reliable SUV (the road ends up somewhere just west of Dayton, VA).
We are old folks, but enjoyed stopping to watch children having a ball in this huge indoor trampoline park with a wide variety of games and activities.
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Valley Jump Park
4549 Spotswood Trail
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We are old folks, but enjoyed stopping to watch children having a ball in this huge indoor trampoline park with a wide variety of games and activities.
A very popular drive-through park. Who wouldn't want a giraffe's massive head popping inside your car window dripping saliva into your lap? Thrilling!
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Virginia Safari Park
229 Safari Ln
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A very popular drive-through park. Who wouldn't want a giraffe's massive head popping inside your car window dripping saliva into your lap? Thrilling!
Just up the street from us, extremely well-maintained -- and it has a 1.4 mile driving range. One of two 18-hole courses in the Massanutten Resort. Open to the public. The 'executive course' offers 5,065 yards of golf with a par of 65.
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Woodstone Meadows Golf Course
300 Silverstone Ln
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Just up the street from us, extremely well-maintained -- and it has a 1.4 mile driving range. One of two 18-hole courses in the Massanutten Resort. Open to the public. The 'executive course' offers 5,065 yards of golf with a par of 65.
Best view of the Valley, seriously! Nice 8-minute hike from parking but not difficult or long (there are rough stone steps in several places and some rocks to avoid on the path). The tower is sturdy, just 3 levels to climb but metal stairs are open. We went through the town of New Market then Woodstock so entered the GW National Forest from the west, then drove home via the Ft. Valley way (east side); lovely views both way. On the Woodstock side, don't miss the Seven Bends State Park -- great spot to pause for lunch and some wading!
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Woodstock Tower
Woodstock Tower Trail
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Best view of the Valley, seriously! Nice 8-minute hike from parking but not difficult or long (there are rough stone steps in several places and some rocks to avoid on the path). The tower is sturdy, just 3 levels to climb but metal stairs are open. We went through the town of New Market then Woodstock so entered the GW National Forest from the west, then drove home via the Ft. Valley way (east side); lovely views both way. On the Woodstock side, don't miss the Seven Bends State Park -- great spot to pause for lunch and some wading!