Journeys Around the U.S.

Weekend in Shenandoah National Park

For Labor Day weekend, we wanted to do something nature-y, Covid-safe, and use Marie’s annual National Park pass. We landed in Shenandoah! Emma has a go-pro (I’m totally going to hop on the bandwagon soon) and videoed our trip. Here’s a 2-minute clip!

Emma’s Go Pro in Shenandoah National Park

We drove straight from Bmore to Old Rag where we did the 10-mile hike! The park ranger wasn’t kidding when she said to make sure we had lots of water, food/snacks, and to be ready to climb rocks. This trail has a 1-mile boulder playground for adults and took us about 6 hours for the entire hike.

We stayed in Luray, Virginia. What a cute, quaint town! Our motel was The Cardinal Inn. It wasn’t the most luxurious of places, but it hit the mark for being clean and staying away from other humans. The first night, we ate at Rancho Viejo which had pretty decent Mexican food. The second night we ate at a fancier place called Moonshadows Restaurant. This place was REALLY nice and super cute. We missed that they had homemade mimosas, so we just got straight up Prosecco 😉 The food was top notch. We got the sweet potato soup of the day, creole red bean rosti, grilled jumbo shrimp, and adobo-brined chicken half.

Sunday morning we drove on Skyline Drive (bucket list item of mine). We first hiked the Dark Hollow Falls trail. This is a must-see – it is a straight up/straight down there-and-back trail and is slippery (so be careful), but the falls are stunning. The next hike we accomplished was the Hawksbill Trail. We enjoyed this looped-hike and portion of the Appalachian Trail. The directions are tricky so we recommend going counter-clockwise – you would rather go down this steep decline than up the steep incline. Pay attention to the markers for the Appalachian Trail, we got lost at one point haha! You should follow Ducky the Parrot on Insta, he left Emma with a kiss 😉

We continued along to Wisteria Winery which was about 15 minutes from Luray. Our favorite wines were the Adonis and the Sweet Daisy (the only sweet wines). It was such a cute winery. It even had a “secret garden” type of atmosphere in the back – the paths led to a creek! Would definitely recommend this place. They were good with their Covid restrictions. We also went to this soft serve ice cream shack called Flotzie’s. It was a cool place with great views of the mountains.

During the trip, one of Emma’s friends messaged her that we HAD to do the Bearfence Mountain Trail. This would mean we would have to south along Skyline Drive for an hour before heading back north to Bmore. I cannot tell you how glad we were that we drove that extra hour or two; this was BY FAR the best hike I’ve ever done, and it was only a mile! There is a rock scramble (albeit shorter than Old Rag). Not only was it fun, but THE VIEWS… We had a 360-degree view at the top that took my breath away. Here’s my video and pictures of the trail. This is a must-do trail. Before we went hiking, we got our last breakfast in Luray at Gathering Grounds Pâtisserie & Café. Such a cute place! Food was good and fresh.

Bearfence Mountain Trail 360-degree view

I hope you get to do this vacation someday! Let me know if you need any advice!

*Click the numbered boxes below to toggle between my different journeys around the U.S. 🙂

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