Shenandoah + The Blue Ridge Mountains

Shenandoah + The Blue Ridge Mountains Travel Guide

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.

The shop sells John Robshaw quilts and Blissliving bedsheets.

Cross Country International, which plans deluxe horseback adventures in Ireland, Peru, and beyond, recently introduced its first trip in Virginia: the three- to four-day Hunt Country Trail Ride.

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

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

On summer Saturdays, take in concerts at the outdoor amphitheater.

For more than 40 years, folks have flocked here for hand-rubbed, air-cured meats. Sandwiches are piled high with silky slices; pick up a bone-in whole ham to bring home.

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

Where wartime homesteads and fighting trenches remain intact.

Patricia Kluge, an heiress and philanthropist, entered Virginia's wine game in 1999, and the estate was initially dismissed by many critics as a lark until its wines—sparkling ones, in particular—began consistently garnering ratings in the mid-90's from wine writers.

The music scene was fertile here B.D.M.B.—that is, before the Dave Matthews Band, which formed in Charlottesville in the early 1990s. These days, alternative rock, country, and reggae acts—as well as, of course, jam bands—get crowds moving at the Paramount Theater.

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).

Follow in George Washington’s footsteps with a visit to the grounds where his boyhood home once stood.

Pamper your palate tasting the award-winning wines at this winery and hotel, owned by northern Italians; then take in the views of the Blue Ridge Mountains from the lawn, and check out the on-property ruins of the Thomas-Jefferson-designed Barbour Mansion.