Trip Report – Shenandoah Valley, VA: Part 2
It’s time for Part 2 of my trip report for the Shenandoah Valley, VA. If you missed Part 1, you can find it here!
Rain and Fog
We awoke on Sunday to a light drizzle and cloudy skies. After partaking in the free hotel breakfast (which was awful, the “scrambled” eggs were rubbery and tasteless and the cinnamon bun I tried seemed to contain no cinnamon), we stopped at the convenience store next door to pick up sandwiches for lunch. It was a Boar’s Head deli and we got huge cold-cut sandwiches for around $8.
Shenandoah National Park has a $20 per car entrance fee which allows access for 7 consecutive days. We had purchased our ticket the night before, so we drove right in this morning. I researched the hiking options available in the southern section of the park and found two trails to try. The first was an easy 1 mile hike to a rocky outlook. It was neat climbing up the rocks and looking out over the valley. We made it just before the fog rolled in.
The second trail was a moderate level of difficulty since it covered 3.2 miles roundtrip and an elevation change of 1,000 feet. The halfway point brought you to two waterfalls : ) It was brutal on the way back, though. The entire second half was uphill and we were exhausted by the end. It was also drizzling the entire way so we were covered in a lovely combo of rain and sweat haha. Luckily we had our sandwiches awaiting us in the car…always a good motivator! We stopped at an overlook to eat and watched the fog slowly envelope the mountains and our car. Definitely an eerie situation…and not a fun drive through the rest of the mountains.
Dinner in Harrisonburg
Unfortunately, we had over an hour to drive to get to our Bed and Breakfast in Harrisonburg. It would have been neat to see more of views, but the fog completely obliterated any chance of that happening. By the time we reached Silver Lake B&B, we were ready to shower and relax for a while. In a stroke of good luck, we caught the second half of the Purdue basketball game!
After the game ended, we ventured into downtown Harrisonburg for dinner at Union Station Restaurant & Bar. Yelp told us that happy hour was offered all day at the bar on Sundays, so we took full advantage. The happy hour menu was excellent – we each got dinner for $5 (pork bbq sandwich for me and a cheeseburger for him). We also ordered fried pickles and got $1 off our draft beers. Quite the steal!
The Best Bed and Breakfast
Back to the B&B! When we originally checked in we were greeted by Katie, one of the owners. She was young and friendly and basically told us we could make ourselves at home in the house. The log cabin was gorgeous. It had been completely renovated inside but still kept it’s cozy, rustic feel. Our room was on the first floor and featured a stunning stone fireplace and access to the wraparound porch.
There were also two small sitting rooms and a dining room lined with windows. After dinner, we took advantage of their selection of board games and played at the large wooden table while enjoying the complimentary beer, tea, and bottles of water. I think there was only one other couple staying that night, but they were nowhere to be found so we had the place to ourselves!
We were told breakfast would be served at 9am, so we wandered into the dining room the next morning and were greeted by Ryan, Katie’s husband, with hot tea and coffee. He brought out a fruit plate and orange juice for our first course. Next up was a plate of pancakes with syrup and bacon. Ryan stayed and chatted with us for a bit which gave us the opportunity to find out more about running a B&B and how they got into the business. Weirdly, the other couple never showed up, so it was just us at breakfast : )
We decided to head out soon after breakfast in order to get home in time to go grocery shopping and unpack (exciting stuff…I know). Fortunately, it was an uneventful drive back and we arrived home before dinner with plenty of time to relax before it was back to reality the next day.
Overall, this part of the country was beautiful and provided the perfect weekend getaway.