The Shenandoah Valley stretches for some 200 miles between the Blue Ridge and Allegheny mountain ranges in the northwestern part of Virginia. The mountains and valleys make this region one of the most beautiful in the east. Shenandoah is believed to mean either “daughter of the stars” or “river of high mountains.” Whatever the real meaning, the area’s beauty is legendary, and it is best preserved in Shenandoah National Park, whose 195,000 acres contain forests, mountains, rivers, and streams. The Shenandoah National Park offers families miles of hiking trails, many of which lead to waterfalls and sweeping views.
With young children it’s easy to sample the park’s beauty by driving along scenic routes, taking quick stops for easy strolls to dramatic overlooks. The renowned Skyline Drive snakes for 105 miles along the mountain crests of Shenandoah National Park, offering pastoral views of ridges and hollows. In the valley towns enjoy an array of country culture that is as down-home as apple-blossom festivals, bluegrass concerts, and square dances and as unique as Staunton’s living-history farmsteads.
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