Although the pandemic this year might have slightly altered your family’s travel plans, rest assured that there are still plenty of ways to have fun this summer despite the coronavirus. From the mountains and camping sites to gorgeous beaches, Virginia is the travel destination for family fun! We’ve put together a list of the area’s best activities so you and your family have a memorable summer. Best of all, everything is close enough to DC, so you can go for a week or a long weekend getaway.
STONY MAN MOUNTAIN HIKE, LURAY, VA
Scenic and challenging – but easy enough for your youngest family members, this trail is full of cool twists and turns. Parking is right at the Skyland Resort so there is easy access and the opportunity for a pit stop before heading off to the trails. Follow along the guideposts to discover new paths and learn a little bit about nature along the way. The older kids will love the lookout path, and everyone will enjoy lunch at Skyland when you’re done.
LURAY CAVERNS, LURAY, VA
Now open only on the weekends, this exciting experience is 4,000,000 centuries in the making. Known as one of Eastern America’s largest and most popular caverns, it’s an absolute ‘must see’ this summer. The stunning, natural color and plethora of formations are all seen on hourly tours upon paved, well-lit paths. You’ll discover tremendous chambers filled with crystal-clear pools, towering stone columns, and shimmering draperies. Kids will enjoy the Garden Maze, which is available as an add-on ticket.
STONE TOWER WINERY, MIDDLEBURY, VA
Just 45 minutes outside of , you’ll find Middlebury, VA - an ideal destination offering the perfect mix of relaxation and luxury. Leave the kids with the grandparents for the day and take in sweeping mountain views and a bottle of sparkling rosé (their specialty) at the Stone Tower Winery. This massive, family-owned vineyard is 75 acres of views and vines. Enjoy a picnic lunch complete with cheese plates, charcuterie, and baguettes.
LUCKETTS VINTAGE AND ANTIQUE SHOPPING, MIDDLEBURY, VA
Before heading to the local wineries, spend the morning shopping in the unique and lovely stores in downtown Middlebury. Lucketts is a local favorite offering vintage and antique items for your home and wardrobe. From artwork to chandeliers, this hot spot has everything you need to decorate your DC home.
CASTLE STRASBURG, MIDDLEBURY, VA
No trip to Middlebury would be complete without horseback riding! Whether it’s your first time on a horse or you’re a pro, you’ll enjoy the beautiful trail rides. There are plenty of paths to casually stroll or go a little faster and test your limits. Apprehensive riders will be put at ease by the assistance of the accommodating staff and the selection of gentle horses. Once you get off the trails enjoy a little fishing or kayaking to round out the day.
MOUNTAIN LAKE CAMPGROUND, PARIS, VA
Paris, VA has been social distancing for centuries in all the best ways. Loaded with campgrounds and hiking trails, you’ll want to make this your new norm. Mountain Lake Campground, located near the head of the Shenandoah Valley, is family owned and tranquil. Just 1.5 miles west of the Appalachian Trail and 1.5 miles east of the Shenandoah River, the campground has two small lakes of their own. There are plenty of safe outdoor activities the whole family will love including visiting Civil War battlefields, nearby Long Branch Farm, and plenty of historical sites and caverns. Enjoy RV hookup sites or go more primitive with tent camping. Either way, it’s a great weekend trip your family will remember for years to come.
SCOTTS RUN WATERFALL, MCLEAN, VA
If you want to add a little thrill to your next hike, then head over to Scotts Run Waterfall. This 400-acre park offers stunning views at every turn. See the Potomac from the Stubblefield Falls Overlook, where the Potomac crashes amid boulders and islands. Bring your camera to capture the spectacular images of the additional spur trails all over the park.
Although the pandemic may have shut down major attractions, live events, and kept us inside for months, warmer temperatures mean plenty of outdoor adventures. Stay safe and enjoy all that the local destinations in beautiful Virginia. Have you visited any of the places we listed? What’s your favorite long weekend trip? Let us know in the comments below!