Featured Route: Skyline Drive, Virginia
Skyline Drive is a National Scenic Byway that rides through the heart of Shenandoah National Park, along the crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The 105-mile stretch has 69 scenic overlooks and an array of activities which include hiking, horseback riding, rock climbing and wine tasting. Skyline Drive is famous for bursting into a colorful array of foliage during the fall season, but is a beautiful drive any time of year. Let AAA Travel plan your route when you are ready to experience this beautiful drive.
You can enter Shenandoah National Park at Front Royal near Rt. 66 and 340, Thornton Gap at Rt. 211, Swift Run Gap at Rt. 33 or Rockfish Gap at Rt. 64 and Rt. 250, which is also the entrance to the Blue Rige Parkway. It takes about three hours to travel the entire length of the park on a clear day. As you travel along Skyline Drive, you'll notice mileposts on the west side of the road that will help you make your way through the park and locate areas of interest. The mileposts begin with 0.0 at Front Royal and continue to 105 at the southern end of the park. Big Meadows, the largest developed area, is near the center of the park, at milepost 51, so plan accordingly.
The speed limit on the byway is 35 mph, so you can roll down your windows, feel the breeze, and enjoy every turn on this beautiful drive. The overlooks offer stunning views of the Shenandoah Valley to the west or the rolling Piedmont to the east. Keep your eyes open for many of the woodland animals that call Shenandoah home. Deer, black bear, and wild turkey may cross Skyline Drive without warning, so pay attention and stay in your vehicle. Feeding the wildlife is unsafe and unlawful.
You can pack a picnic lunch and enjoy the panoramic views, or get something to eat at one of the stops along the way. Then, take a dinner break at Skyland or Big Meadows Lodge, which offer regional cuisine with local farm fresh ingredients before heading home. If you want to stay over, you can choose from moutaintop lodging, inns, or cabin getaways in or near the park.
At AAA Travel, we can help you plan the perfect road trip to Skyline Drive with TripTiks. Our TripTik Travel Planner will provide you with directions to and from the Shenandoah National Park, with detailed maps, rest areas, and scenic attractions along the way. Call 1-800-463-8646 or stop into a local AAA Travel branch for more information.