Things to Do Near the 4 Shenandoah National Park Entrances

by Patricia Keppel | Posted: Apr 7, 2016 | Updated: Mar 23, 2020

Comments: 31 Comments


Timer Hollow Overlook in Shenandoah National Park


We may be biased, but we think Virginia’s parks are some of the most awe-inspiring in the entire country. One of our favorites? Shenandoah National Park. It is only a little over 100 miles long, but in that narrow strip of Virginia wilderness, you’ll discover abundant examples of Virginia wildlife, nature, and magnificent mountain views.

Shenandoah National Park has plenty of outdoor activities for visitors in the way of hiking trails, biking parts of Skyline Drive, and traversing the waterways that wind through the park, but there are many destinations right outside the park’s four entrances that add to the beauty and excitement of the area.

We asked Virginia Visitor Centers in the surrounding areas what they suggested for additional entertainment dining, and lodging options. Here are just a few of the hundreds of activities and destinations to keep your Shenandoah National Park trip packed with fun activities, whether you come for a day or a week. To find out which of the four Shenandoah National Park entrances along Skyline Drive is closest to you, use the map at the bottom to plan your trip.



The Skyline Drive Rockfish Gap entrance is located near the intersection of I-64 and U.S. 250. There are many towns and cities within a short drive of the entrance, including Crozet, Charlottesville, Waynesboro, Afton, and Staunton.


Eat At:


Wineries & Breweries:


Things to Do:

King Family Vineyards Polo

Polo match at King Family Vineyards




Stay At:

sugar hollow farm
The Inn at Sugar Hollow Farm




Moving North from the Rockfish Gap Entrance, the next entry point for the park is the Swift Run Gap Entrance at U.S. 33. This entrance is closest to places like Stanardsville, Elkton, Shenandoah, and Harrisonburg.


Eat At:


Wineries & Breweries:

Early Mountain Vineyards

Early Mountain Vineyards Patio



Things to Do:

Massanutten Resort
Massanutten Indoor/Outdoor Waterpark


Stay At:



Continuing North, you’ll get to the Thornton Gap at the intersection of Skyline Drive and U.S. 211. The entrance is close to towns like Luray, Washington, Sperryville, and New Market.


Eat At:




Wineries & Breweries:


Things to Do:


Luray Caverns



Stay At:



The furthest North entrance, the Front Royal Entrance intersects with U.S. 340 a few miles south of I-66. Only a little over an hour and a half from Washington, D.C. and the Northern Virginia Metro areas, the entrance is nearest to Front Royal, Linden, Winchester, and Middleburg.


Eat At:

Girasole’s Mussel dish, Cozze Gratinate O Marinara           


Wineries & Breweries:


Things to Do:

blue ridge shadows golf

Blue Ridge Shadows Golf Club

Stay At:

inn at vaucluse spring

The Inn at Vaucluse Spring


If you plan to drive from end to end, it takes about 3 hours total to drive the entire length of the park on a clear day. In addition to hiking, you can fill the rest of your time in Shenandoah National Park with a few of these suggestions to ensure you get the most out of your getaway.


Got any more suggestions for things to do around the park entrances? Let us know and share any pictures through our social media channels using #FindYourPark and #LoveVA!





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Avatar Jason says:

Pen Druid Brewery in Sperryville, across the parking lot of Copper Fox should be on everyone’s radar when in the area.

Avatar Scott says:

DuCard Vineyards literally borders the Park and is around the corner from Old Rag and White Oak Canyon hikes. Top rated on Trip Advisor, great views, award winning wines

Avatar Laura says:

There is another winery that is closer to the swift run gap entrance than I think anything else listed. Brix & Columns Vineyards is about 5 mins from the base of Massanutten and just about 2 minutes off of 33.

Avatar Andy says:

Shenandoah Mountain Guides….

Avatar Terry says:

We enjoy astronomy and wanted to find a place to stay that we could set up our telescope at night. Any suggestions of cabins or other accommodations?

Avatar jaime wade says:

Pebble creek cabin in Shenandoah, va. They have a website. Fantastic place!

Avatar Val says:

From Big Meadows Lodge on Skyline Drive, you can cross over the road to the large meadow area and set up your telescope. They also host an annual night sky festival in August – awesome star gazing!