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  • Writer's pictureAlyson Krings

Ultimate Guide for a Family-Friendly Trip to Shenandoah National Park

Updated: Mar 16

Embark on a memorable family journey from Omaha, Nebraska, to the majestic Shenandoah National Park in Virginia! With its scenic beauty, diverse wildlife, and endless outdoor activities, Shenandoah offers a kid-friendly getaway filled with wonder and adventure. Let's dive into the ultimate guide for planning your family-friendly trip from Omaha to Shenandoah National Park.

Best Time to Go:

The best time to visit Shenandoah National Park is during the spring (April to May) and fall (September to October) when the weather is mild, and the foliage is vibrant. Avoid the summer months (June to August) when temperatures can be hot and crowds are at their peak.

Waterfall at Shenandoah National Park

Where to Fly Into:

Fly into Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD) or Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA), both of which are convenient gateways to Shenandoah National Park. From there, you can rent a car and begin your scenic drive to the park.

Drive Time Itinerary from the Airport to the National Park:

Here's a suggested itinerary for your drive from Washington Dulles International Airport to Shenandoah National Park:

1. Skyline Drive: Enter Shenandoah National Park via Skyline Drive, a picturesque roadway that traverses the length of the park. Enjoy stunning views of the Blue Ridge Mountains and keep an eye out for wildlife along the way.

Recommended Attractions Along the Drive:

1. Luray Caverns: Explore the fascinating underground world of Luray Caverns, featuring stunning limestone formations and underground pools.

2. Shenandoah Valley: Take a scenic detour through the charming towns and rolling hills of the Shenandoah Valley, known for its picturesque landscapes and rich history.

Things to Do at Shenandoah National Park:

1. Scenic Hiking Trails: Lace up your hiking boots and hit the trails! Shenandoah National Park offers a variety of family-friendly hikes, ranging from easy strolls to challenging climbs. Don't miss the breathtaking views from popular trails like Old Rag Mountain and Hawksbill Summit.

Overlook at Shenandoah National Park

2. Wildlife Watching: Keep your eyes peeled for wildlife as you explore the park. Shenandoah is home to black bears, deer, foxes, and a variety of bird species, providing ample opportunities for wildlife viewing and photography.

3. Junior Ranger Program: Enroll your kids in the Junior Ranger program, where they can complete fun and educational activities to earn a badge and become official Shenandoah Junior Rangers. It's a great way for kids to learn about conservation and stewardship while exploring the park.

Where to Stay:

1. Skyland Resort: Stay in one of the rustic cabins or lodge rooms at Skyland Resort, located within Shenandoah National Park. Enjoy stunning views, comfortable accommodations, and easy access to hiking trails and scenic overlooks.

2. Big Meadows Lodge: Experience the charm of a historic mountain lodge at Big Meadows Lodge, offering cozy accommodations and family-friendly amenities in the heart of the park.

Where to Eat:

1. Skyland Dining Room: Enjoy delicious, locally sourced cuisine with panoramic views of the Blue Ridge Mountains at Skyland Dining Room. Don't miss the famous blackberry ice cream pie for dessert!

2. Big Meadows Wayside: Grab a quick bite at Big Meadows Wayside, a casual eatery serving up burgers, sandwiches, and other classic American fare. Perfect for a family picnic or a post-hike meal.

Embark on an unforgettable family adventure from Omaha to Shenandoah National Park, where stunning vistas, outdoor adventures, and wildlife encounters await. With its scenic beauty and family-friendly activities, Shenandoah offers a memorable getaway that will inspire and delight kids of all ages. So, pack your bags, hit the road, and get ready for an unforgettable journey through the heart of Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountains!

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