Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Summer Road Trip to the Shenandoah Valley and Hocking Hills

Blue Ridge Mountains of the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia
Blue Ridge Mountains of the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia
Our first road trip this summer was to the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia and the Hocking Hills in Ohio. We spent four days in the Shenandoah Valley and two in the Hocking Hills. The weather was amazing, so we spent plenty of time in nature enjoying the landscapes. Over the next week, I will be sharing our discoveries with you. Our base for the Shenandoah Valley was lovely Winchester, Virginia. The historic town is charming and we benefited from a hotel near the downtown area full of eateries and not far from museums.


Historic Winchester, Virginia
Historic Winchester, Virginia
We spent a healthy chunk of our time exploring Shenandoah National Park both by car and by hiking. Many incredible views and landscapes within the park really entranced us.

Many overlooks in Shenandoah National Park yield to incredible views.
Many overlooks in Shenandoah National Park yield to incredible views.
We also visited Shenandoah Caverns and were delighted by magical underground creations. Plus, the coolness of the caverns was very much welcomed on a warm, summer day!

Formations at Shenandoah Caverns
Formations at Shenandoah Caverns
If you are a Civil War buff, Virginia is full of places to explore. There are definitely plenty of sites in and around Winchester to check out. One reason we chose to stay in Winchester is its proximity to Cedar Creek Battlefield where one of my ancestors fought. Visiting the battlefield was quite a learning experience and tie in to family history.

Cedar Creek Battlefield in Virginia
Cedar Creek Battlefield 

We also took one day to head to Annapolis on a spur of the moment adventure. The colonial city perched on the Chesapeake Bay is a great mix of water views and history. After our brief visit, I know we will visit again!

Annapolis waterfront
Annapolis waterfront
After four days in Virginia, we headed to the Hocking Hills in Ohio. We opted to stay in a cabin which gave us a couple days totally away from it all -- something we really need to do more often! The Hocking Hills are full of carved out canyons and waterfalls, so quite a different landscape than where we hiked in Shenandoah. The landscape was just as breathtaking as Shenandoah -- another incredible natural escape!

Outcrops in Hocking Hills, Ohio.
Outcrops in Hocking Hills, Ohio.

Both Shenandoah and the Hocking Hills provide incredible hiking experiences. Pairing the two on this road trip worked very well and gave us the escape we needed! Over the next week, I will share our adventure more in depth.

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