Ride The Sky — Skyline Drive

Ride The Sky

Front Royal

Start your trip in Front Royal, Virginia, the northernmost point of Skyline Drive. Grab some breakfast from Down Home Comfort Bakery in the heart of the town (the cinnamon rolls are heavenly!) and get your coffee from Main Street Daily Grind before you start your trip. Swing by the Virginia Beer Museum and grab a six-pack of new or interesting beers to try at the end of the day.

Start making your way south, allowing plenty of time for stops, to your next destination: Thornton Gap. Stretch your legs at one of the many hiking areas, including Fox Hollow Interpretive Trail, where old homesites dot the trail. Stop for some snacks or lunch at Elkwallow Wayside, then get your camera ready for one or all of the 15 overlook spots, like Thornton Hollow Overlook, before rolling into Thornton Gap and Page Valley. There is no shortage of cozy accommodations in Page Valley, known by many as Virginia’s Cabin Capital, and that six-pack will go down quickly as you gaze at the stars from your porch.

Thornton Gap

Luray & Sperryville

After a restful night, head into Luray for breakfast at Broad Porch Coffee Company and check out the expansive not-to-be-missed caverns. Shop at the charming Jon Henry General Store in New Market or Hawksbill Trading Company in Luray. Enjoy an early and lovely dinner in the historic Mimslyn Inn in Luray at one of their two excellent restaurants or swing over to Sperryville to sample locally made whiskey at the scenic Copper Fox Distillery. Let the horses do the walking at one of the many stables peppering this part of Skyline Drive as you make your way south to Swift Run Gap.

The stretch of road from Thornton Gap to Swift Run Gap has the proverbial checklist of sightseeing: highest park elevation, highest point on Skyline Drive, most land mass, two lodges, two campgrounds, historic cabins, trails aplenty and two visitor centers. Spend the night up in the park in a historic lodge, or stay a second night in your Page Valley cabin, and revel in the peace you found watching fireflies and stargazing.


Swift Run Gap


Harrisonburg, Virginia boasts a welcoming atmosphere infused with a serious passion for local food and libations. This bike-friendly community is surrounded by some of the state’s most dynamic cycling routes and mountain bike terrains. Harrisonburg is home to James Madison University, Eastern Mennonite University and an awarding winning downtown. It’s home to Virginia’s First Culinary District and five microbreweries. A wide selection of lodging (branded hotels and independent options) is available at almost every price point.


Rockfish Gap

Waynesboro & Staunton

End your trip deep in the valley with the charming cities of Waynesboro and Staunton. With three waterfalls in one day, you’ll need to quench your thirst at Basic City Brewery in Waynesboro. Award-winning beer, brick-fired pizza, outdoor seating, and an arcade will please travelers of all ages. Book at room one of the historic hotels in Staunton, the Blackburn Inn or Hotel 24 South. A stroll down Staunton’s Beverley Street will show you why the city has accolades like Best Main Street in America and One of the South’s Most Charming Small Towns.

Breathe in the crisp mountain air, congratulate yourself on a trip well done, and start planning your next visit.

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.