Monday, October 12, 2009

Shenandoah in Virginia

We stayed at the Big Meadows Lodge in Shenandoah during the beginning of September. The drive is about 2 hours and the vacation offers a variety of relaxing and fun activities for the family. Even the drive is scenic as your car winds up the mountains to your destination. There are a few other lodging areas that you can stay at in the Shenandoah, I can only comment on the Big Meadows.
The Big Meadows offers a few different room options, all pretty basic - no heating/ac but the community lodge area is enjoyable and is always open for families to gather, play games, etc. Things to do in Shenandoah are primarily hikes and nature walks. The hikes and nature walks aren't great for small children, but we managed and were able to take our kids to a waterfall and to the top of a few short peaks. About 45 minutes from the park are a variety of activities for kids of all ages in Luray Caverns. Luray Caverns is beautiful (not cheap) and offers a self-guided tour that is fun for almost all ages. Next to Luray is an automotive museum (free if you have your Luray ticket) and a large Garden Maze which was also a fun time. Luray seems to offer a few other sites but we didn't have time to explore them.

Overall, I would recommend Shenandoah for longer periods with older kids and shorter periods with younger kids. Older kids will have more tolerance for all that nature has to offer.
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