August 17, 2016

Blue Ridge Mountains Road Trip

Way back in April, we received a card in the mail inviting us to go on a birthday weekend adventure with our friends who share similar birthdays. We couldn't resist an adventure with those two, so we did some planning and decided on visiting Shenandoah National Park and the Blue Ridge Mountains. None of us had been there to explore before, plus who doesn't want to explore a national park?

Caroline and Tony flew into Philadelphia and we met them there with a rented minivan. We spent the night in Philly. We took them to Geno's and Pat's to see which one they would choose and I drooled over their sandwiches a little bit. 




In the morning, we walked the dogs and the humans to make sure we were all good to be in the car for a few hours. We grabbed coffee and Federal Donuts and hit the road south. Aside from some crazy drivers, it was an easy drive and we reached the National Park in the early afternoon. Skyline Drive is the most amazing introduction to the park. We entered on the north end and were staying on the south end, so we just cruised along with a few stops along the way.






After our beautiful cruise through the park, we grabbed some groceries and headed to our VRBO to check out our weekend home. It was about 4 times bigger than we needed, but in the most beautiful area. We made pizzas, enjoyed a few beers and lots of laughs. We spent some time with a park map plotting out our next few days.

The next morning, we had agreed to hike a few paths in the park. The first one was shorter and fairly easy. Since we all still had energy and the heat hadn't quite hit for the day yet, we decided to stop at another trail head. It's always the unplanned adventures that end up being the best. The views at the end of that second trail were incredible. It was just our group of four sitting on rocks looking out over the most beautiful blue mountains.







Once we finished that second hike, we were ready for so much food. We found the closest town to the park and found a good Mexican restaurant. After a Sangria and so much food, we were ready for our afternoon adventure. We had heard that the caves in that area were pretty awesome. Some of them are giant and have really advertised their tours. We opted for something a little smaller and were so happy with our decision.




If you are in that area, Grand Caverns was about half the price of the others and our tour guide was AWESOME. This is the perfect way to get out of the heat for a little bit. The history was incredibly interesting. 

We headed back to the house after the caves for dinner and more games and fun. I'll post the rest of the trip photos soon so stay tuned. Things got especially interesting the next day.

Have you been to Shenandoah? What's your favorite National Park?

7 comments:

  1. Skyline Drive is amazing. I've been on that quite a few times making various stops when my brother was going to college in the middle of nowhere, NC, but not really gotten out and explored in Shenandoah.

    I love the name alone.

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  2. You know I love this post, except for the fact that you were so close to me and I didn't get to see you. So happy you got to see more of our beautiful state :)

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  3. oh my goodness - the park and the drive and the caves all look absolutely amazing. i don't think i have been to any national parks.. no i lie, i have been to zion and the grand canyon, if that counts? but nothing like this!

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  4. Wow, the Blue Ridge mountains look GORGEOUS! I would love to visit someday!

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  5. Looks like a beautiful trip! I've never been, but any National park is worth a visit!

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  6. The caves look so cool, but I don't think I could go in, so I enjoy the pictures a lot, haha. What a fun way to celebrate your birthdays with friends.

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