Virginia offers one of the best scenic drives in the country. The Skyland, Virgina Drive is a 105 mile National Scenic Byway that starts north of the Shenandoah Valley in a small town called Front Royal. It runs along the tops of the Blue Ridge Mountains through the Shenandoah National Park to Waynesboro where it merges with the Blue Ridge Parkway. This drive welcomes recreational vehicles but they have to be able to get through Mary’s Rock Tunnel which is only 12 feet 8 inches high in one area near the route 211 entrance. To experience the full beauty of the colorful foliage plan your trip between September through mid-November. A spring drive is also a good time because of the show of wildflowers that can be seen along the drive.
The northernmost entrance to the this drive is located at Front Royal where maps and other information can be obtained at the visitor center. While here visit the Skyline Caverns which is the closest natural wonder to Washington D.C. and will be an opportunity to see a very rare form of crystal called “anthodites.” Since these anthodites are some of the only ones in the world to be discovered they are protected by the Virginia State Law. To see these rare crystals a tour guide must be present. The caverns are open year round.
Another popular tourist attraction near Skyland, Virginia is the Luray Caverns located in Luray, VA. These are America’s largest caverns. While there experience the large cathedral-sized rooms and enjoy the symphony of the world’s only Stalacpipe Organ where music is created by stone formations.
Take in the beauty of the colorful foliage, singing birds and the sounds of streams trickling through the forest while driving through the Shenandoah National Park. If looking to take a serious hike the Appalachian Trail runs parallel to the drive with 101 miles of its trail winding through the park along with 500 miles of other hiking trails. Camping sites are available and modern facilities are located within the park itself.
The drive ends in Waynesboro, Virginia where abundant restaurants and lodging is available. Enjoy the Artisans Center of Virginia as works of the local artisans are displayed or enjoy the views of the South River as it runs through the downtown area. Waynesboro also offers Heritage Museum or tour the streets where the battle of Waynesboro took place. The Plumb House Museum offers maps and story of the battle.