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Skyline Drive Scenic Highway
Exploring Shenandoah National Park
Coursing through the eminent Shenandoah National Park, the famed Skyline Drive Scenic Highway is a 110-mile route connecting Rockfish Gap to Front Royal. One of Virginia’s National Scenic Byways, the Skyline Drive Historic District is one of the better ways to explore the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Set in the Shenandoah Valley, Waynesboro is located in western Virginia along Interstate 64. Found southeast of Staunton and west of Zion Crossroads, Waynesboro serves as a gateway to the southern entrance to the illustrious Skyline Drive.
This is the Old Dominion, which means historic sites surround you. See Monticello, the home of Thomas Jefferson, within minutes of Waynesboro – or stick around town for stops like Plumb House, the Augusta County Railroad Museum, and the Waynesboro African-American Heritage Museum. Read up on the Battle of Waynesborough at the Waynesboro Heritage Museum, or stroll around for historical markers throughout town.
The Waynesboro area is also in the middle of Virginia Wine Country. Dozens of wineries and vineyards are but a short drive away, including Veritas Vineyard & Winery in Afton, Pollak Vineyards in Greenwood, Queen City Brewing in Staunton, Montfair in Crozet, and so many more.
Though Waynesboro is surrounded by the Blue Ridge Mountains and Shenandoah Valley, the city itself is also teeming with outdoor adventure. Check out the Urban Trout Fishery, Waynesboro Arboretum, and the Waynesboro’s Farmers Market in Constitution Park – or explore the 300-acre Coyner Springs, the 14-acre North Park, and 85-acre Ridgeview Park. And be sure to explore the Serenity Garden and Ridgeview Park Botanical Garden.
Skyline Drive Scenic Highway
From Waynesboro, head southeast on US Route 25 for five miles to Rockfish Gap – the southern entrance to Skyline Drive Scenic Highway. The full, 110-mile drive tour links Rockfish Gap to Front Royal, but visitors may jump on Skyline Drive from neighboring gateway cities like Harrisonburg, Ruckersville, and Culpeper.
The Skyline Drive Historic District is a U.S. National Historic Landmark District, and listed on the Virginia Landmarks Register and the U.S. National Register of Historic Places. Connecting to the Appalachian Trail and Blue Ridge Parkway, the drive is a 35-mile-per-hour cruise through the Shenandoah National Park offering over 75 scenic overlooks, great little towns, must-see attractions, and more.
Found roughly halfway along Skyline Drive, Luray is bustling Shenandoah Valley city set approximately 90 miles northeast of Waynesboro. Located on US Route 211, Luray neighbors the Thornton Gap entrance to Skyline Drive.
Be sure to explore the famed Luray Caverns – a National Natural Landmark set in western Luray. Be sure to see the legendary Great Stalacpipe Organ, try a lantern tour, or hit the gifts shop.
Spend a day in Luray for even more to see and do. Discover the Luray Downtown Historic District, or take the kids to Luray Zoo or Lake Arrowhead Recreation Park. Enjoy a round of golf at the Caverns Country Club, or browse the exhibits of the Luray Valley Museum.
Luray hosts the Shenandoah National Park headquarters, and offers plenty of entrances into the park. The Shenandoah NP is a 200,000-acre playground offering nature, outdoor adventure, and nature programs. Stop at mile 50 of Skyline drive for a hike down Dark Hollow Falls Trail, or search out Overall Run – the park’s tallest waterfall at 93 feet. Other scenic falls along hiking trails include Cedar Run, Jones Run Falls, and several at Whiteoak Canyon.
The Skyline Drive Scenic Highway ends in Front Royal – just 20 miles south of Winchester along US Route 522. Extend your Virginia road trip by 30 minutes and check out Winchester – a historic and picturesque city home to Shenandoah University, the Stonewall Jackson's Headquarters Museum, and much more.
For everything else you need to know about your trek of Skyline Drive, spend a day at the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley. The museum showcases artwork, historic artifacts, and heritage exhibits. Be sure to see the Glen Burnie Historic House, the Japanese Water Gardens, and MSV displays like the Julian Wood Glass Jr. Gallery, the R. Lee Taylor Miniatures Gallery, and of course the Shenandoah Valley Gallery.
Try to plan your trip for May; when Winchester hosts the annual Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival. This historic celebration offers a parade, bustling carnival, competitions, and more. The six-day event also offers the Fire Truck Rodeo, the Thursday Night Fever Disco Dance Party, and the Apple Pie Baking Contest.
As if you haven’t had enough outdoor fun, Winchester offers great parks like Jim Barnett Park – neighboring the Winchester Country Club – plus Friendship Park, Overlook Park, and the Shawnee Springs Preserve.