This summer, I have been lucky enough to spend some time back home and visit with my family, friends and enjoy the scenery I grew up around as a kid. One of my favorite places to explore each year was the Shenandoah Valley.
From summer camping trips to fall drives though the mountains, you could always find me in the Shenandoah. With COVID-19 threats still raging on in current times, here are some ways you can enjoy these amazing views safely.
There are TONS of hiking trails all over the Shenandoah Valley, so you can easily find some great options to escape into nature and avoid people. I've had no issues social distancing on these local trails and I've loveddd hiking in the woods again!
Every summer growing up we went camping and I can't imagine a summer trip without it! Pitching tents and building campfires were some of my favorite memories growing up. Even though things have changed in the recent climate, it doesn't mean you can't start new traditions and enjoy a camping trip this summer. Although some campgrounds are open in present day, I highly recommend calling ahead to make sure you know all of the rules surrounding COVID protocols and to make sure no closures have come up.
Once you stumbled your way into nature, spend the day cooling off in the Shenandoah River. Some companies may still be offering tubing, but you can also find a place along the river and post up like we did. I went with a few people and spent the day cooling off at a spot on the river and it was sooo refreshing. It was such a relaxing experience and it's a great way to spend time with friends or family.
The Shenandoah Valley is home some of the best offroading spots in Virginia. You can even find a Badge of Honor trail around here. If you're looking for a fun Jeep trip, taking a ride through the mountains certainly won't disappoint.
One of the most famous parts of the Shenandoah region is Skyline Drive. Any time of year you visit, you will be in awe of the amazing views. Fall is one of the most popular times to go to see the leaves changing, so you may want to avoid peak season to better socially distance, especially if you are high-risk. However, you can choose to stay in your vehicle and enjoy the views safely from there as well.
During the winter, I used to love hitting the slopes at the Massanutten Resort. Since I can't predict the future, I'm not sure how COVID will affect the resort this winter, but when it's safe and you're in the area, give this place a visit! Check out my brother and I years ago ready to hit the black diamond in the picture above 🤙🤪😜
The Shenandoah is filled with tons of wineries and breweries. Many of them are offering curbside and to-go orders, so you can still try some local favorites during your visit. I've visited quite a few vineyards around here and they all are located among such stunning views that even the drive there is a trip in itself.
Another experience I always treasured growing up was exploring the local caverns. I used to go all the time, even spending my birthday at Luray Caverns over a decade ago! (Don't judge the picture above, I had a lot going on in my teens 😂) Both Skyline and Luray offer incredible tours of the caves. Although they are in inclosed spaces, you can get a guided tour with less people than normal, as long as you're wearing a face mask and remain 6 feet apart from other tourists.
The last place on my list is Lake Anna. Located outside of Richmond, Virginia, this lake is a hotspot for summer vacations and recreational activities. I spent every family reunion on this lake for as long as I can remember. Although renting a house for a week isn't as exciting in the COVID era, you can still head to Lake Anna for the day and enjoy fishing, jet skiing, or whatever fun activities you have planned.
Virginia will always be near and dear to my heart. I hope you also see it's beauty during these troubling times. Thanks so much for reading my blog. Stay safe and have fun out there!