Trip to Shenandoah?

Old Jul 9th, 2006, 08:40 AM
  #1  
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Trip to Shenandoah?

Hi, from NY/LI-
When asked what he wanted for his 70th birthday, my dad replied, I want to go to the shenandoah valley...I don't think he knows what it really is, just heard about it somewhere. He wants entire family (total 3 families with 3 each kids range 2-13 plus two adult couples-we are a big family! ) to go there for a long weekend.
I am totally unfamiliar with the area. Is it worth a trip with all those young kids(6under5) IF we drive I believe it is 8hrs.

Is there much to do? Any resorts? I cant imagine it being much different than upstate NY(much closer) Catskill or Adirondack Mts.Lake george...

Any suggestions greatly appreciated.
Im not sure if I should try to talk him out of it..maybe it would be worth it.?
Thanks
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Old Jul 9th, 2006, 08:54 AM
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Does your Dad mean the Shenandoah National Park? This park consists of the Skyline Drive from Front Royal, VA to the start of the Blue Ridge Parkway, about 105 miles of scenic overlooks, hiking trails and that is about it. There are two "resorts" within the park. Skyland, which can have spectacular views if the air is not too hazy, and Big Meadows. Both have cottages and standard motel-type rooms available. Nothing special but might be fun for families who like to hike. The Appalachian Trail goes along near the Skyline Drive and can be walked also.

I am not sure that it is worth the trip from NY with young kids. Their attention span for driving is about 1 hour as I recall! But Shenandoah NP is a nice get-away for us in the Washington, DC area (about 2 hours drive)
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Old Jul 9th, 2006, 10:40 AM
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amaclise
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We drove the Blue Ridge Parkway and Skyline Drive down from Connecticut when I was about 10. I remember it vividly.

Yes long car trips can be hard but these two parkways have beautiful views so you stop every 20 miles or so to see things and take pictures. It is especially nice to camp (trailer not tent IMHO!)

There are lots of places to see, National Park exhibits, Appalachian crafts and toys, Indian goods, and best of all no trailer trucks or commercial traffic! (Kind of like the Merrit and Hudson Parkways but higher up with nice views.)

I have always wanted to do it again. It is perfect for a 70 year old and kids. I highly recommend it.
 
Old Jul 9th, 2006, 02:15 PM
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If a long weekend means three days, you don't leave yourself much time to do anything but ride along Skyline Drive, making some stops along the way.

Figure 5 1/2-6 hours from Freeport to Front Royal. Longer with kids. You might have time to get on the Drive and go as far as route 211, visit the Luray Caverns and stay over in Luray the first day . The next day get back on Skyline Drive and continue south onto the Blue Ridge Parkway. If you go as far as the Lexington area, that should give you about an 8 hour drive back to Long Island using I-81 and I-78 through PA and NJ on the third day.

In 1964 we moved from LI to northern Virginia outside of Washington. At that time the area was still rural. We were here one day when my wife said "I don't ever want to go back to NY." We have since retired in the Shenandoah Valley and we are still in awe of its beauty. So yes, do the trip, and enjoy it.
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Old Jul 9th, 2006, 06:20 PM
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What time of year would you be going? Skyline drive can get pretty busy/backed up when the turning leaves are at their peak in October. Going in May is gorgeous because of so many plants in bloom and waterfalls but can be a little chilly on top of the mountain at times. September is nice because it isn't too busy and the weather is normally decent. There is a good variety of hikes there in ranging levels of difficulty and even a stretch of the Applachian trail isn't too difficult in one section of the park if I remember correctly. The accomodations are pretty basic but would be good for a family to hang out for a few days. There are cabins along the edges of the mountains with gorgeous views and clustered lodging in other areas that might be convenient for multiple families.
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Old Jul 11th, 2006, 08:37 AM
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Please do the trip. From LI, go east to Rte. 78W to 81S.I would try to call daily for cabins at Lewis Mt. in Shenandoah National Park. A map will ID where to enter Skyline Drive to minimize drive time.Decent restaurants are available for a memorable B-day dinner.My only advice is to never have any food of any kind in any of the rooms or cabins-leave it in the car!If you want more sightseeing-Charlottesville/Monticello is in the closest; don't miss category.The Rte. 81 corridor is a beautiful, open valley where you can almost feel the Civil War history.
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Old Jul 11th, 2006, 10:11 AM
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sorry, from LI, go west to Rte. 78W.
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Old Jul 11th, 2006, 03:33 PM
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You do have some other alternatives for that area of the country if you are looking for more of a family reunion-type vacation. Wintergreen Resort isn't far from the valley and has a variety of condos and houses for rent. The Homestead is on the other side of the valley but is a fabulous destination in itself.
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