National Parks Weekend & Short Getaways

Shenandoah National Park

Over the past couple of years our family has developed a love of visiting National Park sites. This has taken us to Shenandoah National Park three times in the last three years. Our first time we went in November as a family of four. The next summer we went with my in-laws in a group of thirteen.  My husband had two siblings. This past summer, each of the spouses’ parents were invited, so we were a group of nineteen!

We stayed our three nights at the Skyland resort in the Bushytop row of rooms.  This worked out very well since it’s a row of six rooms. We had the whole row of rooms to ourselves. The balconies of four of these rooms are accessible from one another. This meant all the cousins could get from room to room to play without needing to go out the main doors (where the parking lot is).

The Bushytop rooms are considered premium. They have been renovated the most recently and televisions and updated bathrooms. The Bushytop row has a great location. It’s a short (but steep) walk to the Skyland dining room and has a beautiful, unobstructed view of the valley. It’s also about a two-minute walk to the Massanutten Lodge (the original Skyland building). It’s the only place I’ve ever stayed in the Shenandoah park, but I don’t feel any need to stay elsewhere.

Since we needed seven rooms, one pair stayed up in the Franklin building. This was right behind the Bushytop building and very close. It wasn’t a premium room like the Bushytop rooms. This meant it wasn’t as updated as the other rooms. While it had a TV, there was a fee to connect it.

One of the many beautiful shots my husband took in the park.

The July weather in the mountains was pleasant and comfortable. I was able to do all the hikes with capri pants or jeans and at times needed a sweatshirt. Over the three days, we:

Visited Luray Caverns

Completed the Limberlost, Stonyman, Miller’s Head, Upper Hawksbill, Blackrock viewpoint and Passamaquoddy hikes

Enjoyed the Shenandoah Valley Cloggers’ performance

Dined at the Skyland Dining room, Skyland Taproom and Big Meadows Wayside cafe

The bears were very active during our stay and we saw them several times. They were mainly smaller bears and did not seem too aggressive.

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