The Shenandoah Valley is one of the state’s most scenic regions, offering visitors incredible views any time of the year. But while the Blue Ridge Parkway and Skyline Drive will give you a glimpse of the area, there’s nothing like taking the time to further explore it on your own. Whether you want to escape to the hiking trails or sip a glass of locally produced wine, you’ll find plenty of ways to fill your days—and unique options on where to spend the night. Choose from cabins, B&Bs, on-farm lodging, treehouses, modern hotels, and luxurious retreats—the area has something for every taste and budget. Here’s just a few of the can’t-miss lodging options to make your home away from home on a trip to the Shenandoah Valley.
1. A Romantic Bed & Breakfast
The Inn at Vaucluse Spring is a romantic bed & breakfast in Stephens City, Va., (just outside of Winchester and about 90 minutes from Washington, D.C.) that features six different guest houses on the 44-acre property. The Inn’s unique location places it near the large Vaucluse Spring, which produces more than a million gallons of water each day. You can choose from six different rooms in the main Manor House or get a bit more privacy at one of the stand-alone buildings, like the two-story cottage known as the Mill House Studio or the Cabin by the Pond, a former tobacco barn that’s been turned into a luxuriously rustic retreat. No matter where you stay, you’re in for a treat with the three-course breakfast that includes house-made bread and delectable creations based on local, seasonal items.
2. A Unique Farm and Brewery
There’s a lot going on at Hermitage Hill Farm and Stables. Even if you aren’t spending the night, the Stable Craft Brewery, located at Hermitage Hill, is an excellent place to hang out and enjoy award-winning beer. The farm is a popular spot for weddings and other large gatherings that take advantage of the scenic rural setting with all the amenities you need for a big event. Plus it’s a working farm and stables. For those looking for a unique experience, take advantage of the two lodging options at Hermitage Hill: The Allegheny Suite is located inside the renovated horse barn, but it has all the luxury you’d expect at a high-end cabin, including two bedrooms, a living area and kitchenette, and flat screen TVs. The Farmhand Suite once accommodated workers on the horse farm, but it has now been turned into a spacious one-bedroom (with a living area and kitchenette) located beside the brewery. Enjoy your time on the farm in comfort—and you’re just 20 minutes from Shenandoah National Park and Skyline Drive.
3. A Getaway Steps off the Appalachian Trail
Owned by a husband and wife team, the Mountain Home greets all guests with ginger snap cookies and lemonade. Yum. Each stay includes a fresh breakfast cooked to order, featuring homemade jams, cider, and juices. Touches like that make Mountain Home a welcome retreat. Located just five minutes from downtown Front Royal and 100 yards off the Appalachian Trail, you’ll find yourself in an ideal spot to start your explorations. And they “get” hikers: co-owner Scott Jenkins thru-hiked the AT—southbound—in 2012. The property includes a fully renovated main estate with B&B style rooms, and the “Cabbin." That’s not a typo. Mountain Home spells it with two “b"s due to the discovery of a little girl's diary during the renovations where she refers to soldiers occupying the “Cabbin.”
4. A Hilltop Perch at MayneView Bed & Breakfast
Fancy watching the sunset over the mountains as you relax in a hot tub? The MayneView Bed & Breakfast delivers. Located in Luray, this recently renovated B&B is perched slightly above the town, giving you great views of Shenandoah Valley and surrounding mountains. MayneView is an excellent launching pad for your adventures, whether it is exploring nearby hiking trails or checking out Luray Caverns. Plus, you’ll start the day with a hearty breakfast with meat, potatoes, fresh fruit, and homemade pastries. Larger groups can take advantage of the cottage—which can accommodate up to six people—that is located on the grounds.
5. A Scenic Escape at Papa Bear’s River Cabin
Nested along the Shenandoah River just outside of Luray, Papa Bear’s River Cabin offers a welcome escape for those seeking to get away and escape into the woods. This handcrafted cabin has three bedrooms and two bathrooms, allowing you to accommodate sleeping arrangements for up to eight people if you have a crowd or enjoy a comfortable retreat for a romantic getaway. Anglers can test out the local fishing while riverside trails give hikers a chance to stretch their legs. You’re also well-positioned to check out the Blue Ridge Whiskey Wine Loop and other nearby attractions.
6. A Luxury Treat in Lexington at The Georges
Enjoying a bit of luxury after a day spent outdoors is quite the treat. You can find at that at The Georges, a boutique inn located in the heart of Lexington. The two recently renovated buildings that comprise the inn are more than 200 years old, with the Washington Building being one of the oldest structures in town—dating back to 1789. The Marshall Building, is just a bit younger, dating back to 1809. If you want to explore Lexington, the Georges is located right on Main Street, giving you a good base for a night on the town. But you don’t have to venture outside if you’re looking to enjoy local fare. TAPS, the lounge, and Haywood’s, the piano bar, both serve food and drink local to the Shenandoah Valley.
7. A Way to Beat the Crowds in Shenandoah River State Park
Let the crowds have Skyline Drive: You’ll be enjoying the views in a quieter setting at Shenandoah River State Park. Enjoy your walk along the Shenandoah River while gazing at the Massanutten Mountains to the west and Shenandoah National Park to the east. After your walk, you can retreat to one of the cabins available to rent in the Park—ranging in size from a large six-bedroom lodge that can sleep up to 16 people to a smaller two-bedroom rustic cabin that makes for a cozier retreat. With river access and a car-top boat launch, canoeists and anglers will find this state park an excellent spot to check out the Shenandoah River—and you’re also an easy drive from Shenandoah Caverns or Shenandoah National Park if you want to explore the nearby sights.
8. Incredible Views atop the Blue Ridge
Located in Waynesboro, Va., the Iris Inn offers a wide variety of luxurious accommodations overlooking the Shenandoah Valley. Choose from six secluded cabins, three cottages, or six spacious king-sized rooms in the main bed & breakfast with an impressive deck that highlights the incredible views. Wine lovers will enjoy the access to 28 wineries within a 30-minute drive of the inn, as well as the casual wine tastings available each night. When you’re ready to start exploring the outdoors, Skyline Drive and the Blue Ridge Parkway are only three miles away. When you’re back, grab a treat from the “bottomless” cookie jar and relax in the comfortable accommodations. ## 9. An Elegantly Restored Victorian
The Joshua Wilton House in the Old Town historic district of Harrisonburg, Va., was built in 1890, and beautifully invites guests to enjoy Victorian charm with modern comfort. The bed & breakfast features five different rooms, all of which include a private bath and a full gourmet breakfast. The Inn also features a fine-dining restaurant that serves dinner nightly, focusing on refined Virginia cuisine. You are also, of course, within walking distance of downtown Harrisonburg and the city’s farmers market, historic sites, bars, and restaurants.
10. A Taste of Provence
Located in Boyce, Va., just southeast of Winchester, L’Auberge Provencale is a taste of France in the Shenandoah Valley. The luxurious bed & breakfast is the quintessential French Country Inn, providing an authentic Provençale experience ranging from the beautiful setting, interior decor, graceful and elegant service, and fine dining. The inn’s award-winning restaurant (La Table Provençale) draws visitors from all over the country to sample the chef’s four- or five-course tasting menu that changes with the seasons. When you’re staying overnight, choose from seven rooms and seven suites, each expertly decorated. While there, tour the huge gardens and orchards on the property (the source for much of the food on the menu), take a cooking class, or book a massage.
Originally written by RootsRated Media for Shenandoah Valley.