Central Loop

Central Loop




Exit Interstate 81 in New Market onto highway 211 where, within minutes, you’ll have your choice of picturesque hikes like Massanutten Storybrook Trail or Yellow Cliffs Mountain Overlook. Head south into Stanley for some downhome country cooking at Hawksbill Diner. Drink your dessert at Wisteria Farm & Vineyard before hopping to Jordan Hollow Stables for some horseback riding. 


Enjoy an early and lovely dinner in the historic Mimslyn Inn in Luray at one of their two excellent restaurants (one of which is a speakeasy – shhh!). Enjoy drinks and dinner at The Valley Cork, locally brewed beer at the Hawksbill Brewing Co., or rye whiskey from River Hill Distillery. 


There’s no shortage of lodging in Luray; the surrounding area, Page Valley, is known as the Cabin Capital of Virginia. From rustic log cabins to luxury homes to unusual ones like the Shenandoah Yurt or the Hobbit Hole, you can find the perfect place to rest your head. 



After a restful night, head to Broad Porch Coffee Company for breakfast then straight to Luray Caverns, the largest and most visited caverns in the east. The caverns property also provides opportunities to learn about local history, see an antique car museum, have fun in a toy and train museum, hear rocks sing on the Great Stalacpipe Organ, and even play a round of golf on their manicured 18-hole course.


On Route 211 from Luray, you’ll run right into Skyline drive, and the site of the historic Panorama Resort. Built in 1924, the Panorama predates Skyline Drive and was a key reason travelers demanded more access in the 20th century. Though the building was demolished in 2008, its impact is lasting, including the nearby site of the pre-Camp David presidential retreat: Rapidan Camp. A moderate 4-mile hike will take you to the cabin nestled in Madison County, used by Herber Hoover and his wife. 


Head south on Skyline Drive to check some sightseeing boxes: highest park elevation, highest point on Skyline Drive, most land mass, two lodges, two campgrounds, historic cabins, trails aplenty, and two visitor centers. For an easy hike with rewarding views, we recommend the 3.5-mile Stony Man Summits and Lower Cliffs. If you’re up for a challenge, the moderate 3-mile Hawksbill hike puts you on the highest peak in the park and offers outstanding views. Eat dinner and treat yourself to a night at Massanutten Resort, a sprawling and breathtaking property with 6000 acres of mountain fun at its very best. If you’re more in the mood for solitude, check out the peaceful and quiet lodge offerings in Shenandoah National Park.



In the morning, explore Massanutten’s offerings of skiing, golfing, water parks, and more. Head to Elkton to check out local history at the Miller-Kite House Museum and Knights of the Golden Horseshoe Monument, a remembrance of those who opened up the Shenandoah Mountains to travelers like you. Grab a coffee at The Blue Elk Coffee Shop & Roastery in Elkton and some souvenirs and snacks for the road at Jon Henry General Store in New Market before taking a moment to reflect and learn at the Virginia Museum of the Civil War. Don’t miss the the film, “Field Of Lost Shoes,” which is shown daily on the hour.

Back where you started, it may be tempting to turn around and do it again. To that, we say… why not?  

There’s so much to see!

So,  what should I do first?

We know there is a lot to see and do in the Park.  So we decided to create a seasonal top 10 lists for those who have only limited time. We asked park rangers to give us their best recommendations. Learn more about what they suggested: the Top 10 Things to Do in Shenandoah National Park.