Things to Do Near the 4 Shenandoah National Park Entrances

by Patricia Keppel | Posted: Apr 7, 2016 | Updated: Aug 26, 2019

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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Kat Imhoff says:

Please add information about James Madison’s Montpelier to the Swift Run entrance attractions options!

RowdyHoo says:

It is 4 miles and a 10 minute drive to down town Waynesboro with half a dozen good restaurants. How does that miss the list?

Allan says:

No mention of Rappahannock Cellars? The Element listed at Thornton Gap entrance?

Research #fail

Hey Allan,
There are dozens of things to do near each entrance. We try to include a good selection in our articles but often can’t include everything. We appreciate hearing about other businesses in Virginia and will definitely check these places out. Thanks for sharing!

Barb Polin says:

Less than 10 minutes from the Swift Run park entrance is another fun adventure, a visit to SoLace Studios in Elkton featuring Virginia artisans, fine handcrafts and unique gifts. This award winning shop has over 250 American artists and we are celebrating 25 years of bringing color to life.

Marilyn Kirtley says:

See you next week….the weather man says rain….I want to see the stars.

Margie says:

Great and helpful information! Nice idea!

Francey Burke says:

Great info, LOVE the Lafayette Inn. We look forward to next our visit to Virginia. I will especially be seeking out a good cycling network.
PS grammar correction in your article, it is biased, not bias.

Marilyn Kirtley says:

Will soon be there and looking for Kirtley Mountain on the east side of the park.

Carol Biery says:

You left off Mrs. Rowe’s Restaurant & Bakery at Staunton. A great place to eat & the best butterscotch pie on the planet.

Eugenia says:

Amen on Mrs. Rowe’s pie. Also great place for breakfast.

Davecleveand says:

Perfect info…just what we needed!