Shenandoah + The Blue Ridge Mountains

Things to do in Shenandoah + The Blue Ridge Mountains

Whether you’re nature-inclined or not, there are plenty of great things to do in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Outdoorsmen and women will find that the mountain range is home to some of the highest peaks in the eastern United States, so rock climbing types and mountaineers will have no problem finding adventure. Alternatively, those who prefer to leave the ropes and carabiners at home, but still want to explore the area, will find that Blue Ridge Mountains are teeming with well-maintained hiking and walking trails, many of which feature unrivaled views of the region. If you’re more interested in learning about the culture of the area, why not visit places like the Taubman Museum in Roanoke, VA, which houses a wonderful collection of Appalachian art or the Galax, VA’s Blue Ridge Music Center, which is committed to cataloguing and preserving the work of the region’s many homegrown musician. During the summer, the Music Center also hosts concert series featuring local musicians. And finally, those looking for things to do in the Blue Ridge Mountains should consider packing gear and spending a few days camping out in the Shenandoah National Park. While there drive along the park’s famous Skyline Drive and see the many waterfalls, wildlife and natural structures that make the Blue Ridge Mountains so unique.

Slumber in good conscience at the certified-green B&B, tucked in the hills near Floyd. The homey farmhouse has views of the garden and the rolling landscape beyond.

Park and walk this 1.8-mile round trip path, a wildlife-rich hike with educational signs along the way.

Artisanal cheese from nearby farms

Small children will love visiting for a 20-minute paddock ride on a friendly pony ($10).

Sustainability guru Joel Salatin leads Intensive Discovery Seminars—where you’ll learn about raising poultry and eco-friendly farming.

A network of self guided tours takes in four key Civil War battlefields.

The shop spikes its ganache bonbons with ancho chile and candied ginger.

The outfitter has everything you need to paddle into the wilderness. For a lazier way to keep cool, try a three-to-five-hour tubing trip. Chow down on char-grilled steaks over an open campfire after your day on the river (part of a dinner-and-canoe package).

L.A. architect, Randall Stout's new building for the Art Museum of Western Virginia sits in the center of Roanoke's revitalized downtown district like a postmodern Noah's Ark washed up on top of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

The Warehouse District shop sells flirty silk tops and Frye boots.

Luxuriate in the 98-degree waters of the hot spring–fueled Jefferson Pools, established in 1761.

Floyd might have a lunch counter, but it’s best known for its music: Friday nights at the Floyd Country Store, a “jamboree” of bluegrass starts at 6:30 and ends around 10:30. The performers are mostly up-and-comers from the surrounding hills.

The shop stocks dresses by Alice + Olivia and 3.1 Phillip Lim.

Join WBRF radio Friday evenings for live bluegrass broadcast from the historic theater.

The red-roofed log-cabin store sits on the crest of a steep hill. Its porch (in the Fall) is strewn with pumpkins and features a cider press. Elsewhere on the property apple butter boils in a copper kettle hung over a wood fire.