Staycation in the Shenandoah Valley {Things to Do on a Budget}


Shenandoah National Park / Skyline Drive

Shenandoah National Park consists of more than 200,000 acres of protected land, offering the perfect location for a day of hiking, a scenic drive, overnight camping or a picnic.

Luray Caverns

Luray Caverns were discovered in 1878 by a tinsmith and local photographer and have become the most well known caverns on the East Coast. Take a one hour tour through the caverns, and then explore the other attractions, such as the on-site Luray Valley museum, garden maze, and Car and Carriage museum.

Harpers Ferry

At the entrance to the Shenandoah Valley, Harpers Ferry is located at the junction of the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers, where the states of West Virginia, Maryland, and Virginia meet.  Built along the river and on the side of the mountains, this historical town also offers easy access to both the Appalachian Trail and the C&O Canal Trail. Camp nearby, enjoy the river with white water rafting, canoeing or inner tubing or explore the town and its museums and historical sites.

Natural Bridge

Virginia’s Natural Bridge is a historic landmark that has been shaped over hundreds of years from twenty stories of solid limestone rock. In addition, you can explore the deepest caverns on the East Coast (more than 34 stories below ground) and see colorful, exotic butterflies flutter in Virginia’s largest indoor butterfly garden!


Of course, there’s tons to explore right in the heart of Winchester as well, including:

Loudon Street Walking Mall
In the heart of downtown Wincheseter, the Loudon Street Walking Mall features stores, restaurants, coffee shops and more. And each week throughout the summer they’re hosting a FREE Outdoor Family Movie Event, featuring a variety of family favorites.

Shenandoah Valley Discovery Museum
This little children’s museum (located on the walking mall) is one of our favorites because it is little and not nearly as crowded or overwhelming as some of the larger museums we’ve visited. Spend the afternoon exploring the hands-on exhibits which are focused on the sciences, mathematics, the humanities and the arts for a cool break from the summer heat for kids of any age!

Museum of the Shenandoah Valley
Located just outside of old town Winchester, the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley features an impressive gallery of objects to help the history of the Shenandoah Valley come alive. Outside, you can tour the Glen Burnie Gardens, six acres of beautifully cultivated flowers, trees, vegetables and sculptures. Visit on a Wednesday morning between 10 a.m. and 12 p.m. without paying admissions fees.

Winchester National Cemetery
We’ve always loved to explore old cemeteries, reading the grave markers and seeing the history of the area, and the Winchester National Cemetery is beautiful and rich with history, offering a final resting place for hundreds of union soldiers.

Dinosaur Land
If you have dinosaur-obsessed kids, Dinosaur Land is the place to go, with huge reproductions of more than 20 dinosaur species!

Thumpers Day Lily Farm
Our family loves visiting Thumpers Daylily Farm to taste the lilies (we have a slight obsession with edible plants) and explore the hundreds of beautiful variations they. We’re slowly adding more lilies to our back hill, and we love to buy them directly from this local farm.

Marker Miller Orchard
Pick your own strawberries, peaches, red raspberries, blackberries, tomatoes, green beans, apples, pumpkins or winter squash (in season) at Marker Miller Orchard, or purchase already picked produce from the farm market while the kids play on the large playground, and then enjoy a picnic together afterward.

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