Escape to the Shenandoah Valley for a Romantic Getaway
Surrounded by the lush rolling slopes of the Blue Ridge Mountains and Appalachian Mountain Range, the Shenandoah Valley is one of the most beautiful places to relax. A top destination for honeymoons and weddings, Harrisonburg and the surrounding areas are full of exciting things to do with your significant other. Plan a romantic getaway to the Shenandoah Valley and stay in one of the many charming romantic cottages in Virginia.
- Shenandoah Valley Romantic Getaway Accommodations
- Special Packages for Couples Taking Weekend Getaways to Virginia
- Horseback Riding in Harrisonburg, VA
- Hiking Reddish Knob
- Shenandoah National Park Hiking Trails
- Skyline Drive in the Shenandoah Valley
- Shenandoah Valley Wineries
- Apple Picking in Virginia
- Other Exciting Things to Do in the Shenandoah Valley
- Nightlife in Harrisonburg, VA
- Spas in Harrisonburg, VA
There’s no shortage of year-round adventurous activities when staying in the mountains! To explore some of our favorite things to do during a romantic getaway to the Shenandoah Valley, request a customized Romantic Itinerary. When you answer just a few simple questions about your trip, we’ll provide an informative guide that includes the best local recommendations based on your interests.
Shenandoah Valley Romantic Getaway Accommodations
When you choose to stay in the Shenandoah Valley for a romantic getaway, By the Side of the Road Inn & Cottages has cozy accommodations with excellent amenities. Our property offers three different types of lodging, but for the ultimate romantic experience, we suggest staying in one of our Romantic Luxury Cottages. Nothing makes a weekend away more special than staying in one of these romantic cottages in Virginia.
A mere few steps from the Main House, the Quill Cottage stands alone, offering guests plenty of privacy. The 16-foot vaulted ceilings make the 500 square-foot structure feel spacious and compliment the chic decor. Beside the comfortable queen-size bed, you’ll discover a cozy in-room gas fireplace. On the other side, an oversized whirlpool tub awaits you. In the mornings, enjoy your complimentary, homemade breakfast, which is delivered right to your door, in the en-suite dining area.
One of our most popular accommodations, the Fitzgerald Cottage is a beautiful, two-story building composed of limestone, which dates back to the 1840s. On the first floor, you’ll have a king-size bed, leather chairs for relaxing, and a small dining table for breakfast. Venture up the spiral staircase to a large private bathroom with another oversized whirlpool tub and wood-burning fireplace.
Similar to the Quill Cottage, the Bergey Cottage is a 500 square-foot space beautifully decorated in a neutral color scheme. Couples can enjoy the privacy of their own cottage, which also features a queen-size bed and in-room gas fireplace. You can enjoy the fireplace from the bedroom and the large whirlpool tub.
Special Packages for Couples Taking Weekend Getaways to Virginia
With so many people traveling to the Shenandoah Valley looking for romantic getaways in the Virginia mountains, By the Side of the Road wants to make each couples’ getaway extraordinary. The unparalleled natural beauty of the area provides a memorable backdrop to a special trip. But, you can make your stay even more unforgettable with one of our all-inclusive romantic packages.
Are you and your special someone looking into weekend getaways to Virginia for couples? Search no further—our all-inclusive Romance package is the perfect way to celebrate a special occasion. As you enter your room, you will be greeted with a chilled bottle of champagne and a bed covered in silk rose petals. A $50 dinner certificate to a local restaurant is also included in the package.
Shenandoah Wine Trail Package
What could be more romantic than exploring the rolling hills of Shenandoah wine country? With this package, you can receive discounts at nearby wineries, including Bluestone Vineyard, Shenandoah Vineyards, and Cave Ridge Vineyard. Also, upon arrival guests will receive:
- A Romantic Dinner for two at a nearby, local restaurant ($50 Value)
- Complimentary Red or White Virginia Wine
- A Light Picnic including gourmet cheeses, French bread, fresh fruits, and a dessert)
- Our Hot Gourmet Breakfast Basket delivered to your door each morning.
Get an authentic taste of the region with this Absolutely Local package. A romantic getaway to the Shenandoah Valley wouldn’t be complete without trying the bounty of local goods and products. This package includes:
- Gourmet breakfast delivered to your door
- $10 Voucher to spend on Central Shenandoah Valley produce, flowers, meat, jewelry and more at the local Downtown Harrisonburg Farmers Market
- Tasting for two and discounts at Bluestone Vineyard
- A light picnic of bread, local cheeses, fruit, and homemade dessert from the inn’s kitchen
- $40 Dinner Certificate to a local restaurant, where menus include local products from the Central Shenandoah Valley
- $5 Certificate to the best local ice cream in town, made on the premises at Kline’s Dairy BarThings to Do in the Shenandoah Valley
Horseback Riding in Harrisonburg, VA
With an array of mountainous trails and gorgeous, wide-open spaces, the options for horseback riding in Harrisonburg, VA, are plentiful. Whether you’re a first-time rider or a seasoned pro, these guided horseback trail adventures will give you insight into the region and allow you to connect with nature on a whole different level.
The perfect romantic activity, horseback riding can be done as a sunset ride or a wilderness trek. Sign up for lessons in Harrisonburg or gallop along scenic mountain trails for one day outside the town. Below, we’ve compiled a list of the most popular places that offer horseback riding in Harrisonburg, VA.
In the nearby town of Elkton, experience Mountaintop Ranch wilderness trail rides year-round. Sitting high in the Blue Ridge Mountains, this ranch features trails with incredible views of the Shenandoah Valley and Shenandoah National Park. What’s more romantic than a sunset tour? Choose this option and ride one of the well-mannered horses to a lookout point just in time to watch the sun retreat behind the Blue Ridge Mountains. Be sure to bring your camera along as you’ll want to snap pictures of this adventure! Reservations are required for guided tours. Check the website to book tickets and experience horseback riding in Harrisonburg, VA!
Fort Valley Ranch
Drive about 45 minutes south of Harrisonburg to go horseback riding through the George Washington National Forest. At Fort Valley Ranch, choose from one hour, one and a half hour, half day, and whole day guided tours. Whatever your experience level, let these skilled guides teach you horseback riding etiquette and witness sweeping, panoramic views of the Massanutten Mountains.
Jordan Hollow Stables
When looking for a place to go horseback riding in Harrisonburg, VA, Jordan Hollow Stables should not be overlooked. To get to the property, you must head 35 miles from Harrisonburg, but the short drive is worth the trip. The stables are extremely clean and well-kept, and the knowledgeable, friendly staff makes the experience all the more enjoyable. Trek through forest trails on a private or group tour.
Hiking Reddish Knob
One of the tallest peaks in Virginia, Reddish Knob stands at 4,397 feet amid the George Washington National Forest. Most travelers in Harrisonburg are interested in visiting this site to experience the unparalleled 360-degree views from the summit. Whether you’re a hiker, biker, or just looking to take the Reddish Knob drive, you’ll be amazed by this part of the Shenandoah Valley.
Getting to the Summit
Depending on the type of outdoor adventure you prefer, you can reach the top of Reddish Knob several ways. This route is a prominent mountain biking course with a paved road leading directly to the summit. The climb to the top is very steep, so inexperienced bikers may not possess the skills to handle the physical exertion of this 11-mile ride. While it is possible to ride directly to the top of Reddish Knob, there are several other trails and loops nearby that you can test out, including California Ridge, Timber Ridge, and Hone Quarry.
Driving is the number one way people reach the top of this beloved mountain because the hike is long and can be strenuous. Follow the road to the top where you’ll discover a paved parking lot and an old lookout tower. From here, you’ll have a breathtaking view of neighboring West Virginia and the surrounding mountains.
Those who choose to hike need to prepare for a long, difficult climb. The trek to the top is just over nine miles, but you’ll have the unique experience of crossing the border into West Virginia just before re-entered Virginia at the summit. Check out this trail map before planning your hike.
Best Time to Visit Reddish Knob
Spring is a favorite time to visit this natural wonder as the weather is usually ideal and the vegetation has sprung back to life. However, autumn in another excellent time to make the trek. During this season, you can witness some truly amazing Virginia fall foliage. Though summer can be hot, it’s still a good time to visit Reddish Knob as well.
If you don’t mind waking up before the sun, watching a Reddish Knob sunrise is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Many people also head to Reddish Knob for sunset. Pack a picnic and enjoy your meal from more than 4,000 feet in the air as you watch the crimson sun dip below the horizon.
For Reddish Knob directions from Harrisonburg, click here.
Shenandoah National Park Hiking Trails
With so many beautiful trails leading to unparalleled views of the region’s mountains and valleys, hiking through the Shenandoah National Park is one of the most romantic activities to do as a couple. The network of trails extends through the park for hundreds of miles with trails for all skill levels, providing hikers with plenty of opportunities for adventures. If you’re interested in exploring the Shenandoah National Park hiking trails during your romantic getaway, learn about our top three favorite routes.
The Shenandoah National Park has a whopping 500 miles of trails, about 30 percent of which are in designated wilderness areas. When exploring these trails, you’ll also find nearly 100 miles that also belong to the Appalachian Trail. When staying at By the Side of the Road, you can easily access the park from the Swift Run Gap entrance just 20 miles from the inn. Once you’ve arrived at the park, you’ll find plenty of parking at various trailheads. The closest routes to Swift Run Gap are Bearfence, Hawksbill, and Doyles River Falls. Every hike offers unique whether it’s seasonal wildflowers, a beautiful waterfall, or a lush forest.
Bearfence offers two trail options: Bearfence Rock Scramble and Bearfence Viewpoint. The Rock Scramble trail is a moderate, one-mile loop with an elevation gain of 311 feet. The viewpoint is an easy trail with a roundtrip distance of 1.1 miles and an elevation gain of 305 feet.
Follow the 2.2-mile moderate Upper Hawksbill Trail for the easiest route to the Hawksbill summit, the peak of the tallest mountain in the Shenandoah National Park.
Doyles River Falls
Doyles River Falls also has several trail options: Upper Doyles River Falls is a moderate, 3.3-mile hike that passes a beautiful waterfall. You can choose to hike for longer by picking up the Jones Run Falls trail. This strenuous hike is 7.7 miles with an elevation gain of 2,233 feet.
Which Trail is Right for Me?
While it might seem daunting that the park offers 500 miles of trails, hikers of all skill levels can locate the perfect trail for them. There are five different ratings for the hiking trails, beginning with “easiest,” which means the trail is mostly level or might have a slight incline and that it’s generally less than three miles long. At the other end of the spectrum are the “very strenuous” trails, which are steep, including challenging terrain and are usually eight miles or longer. Take a look at this Hiking Difficulty Key to familiarize yourself with the different levels so you can select a hike that’s right for you!
Important Reminders & Tips
While you’re on your amazing adventure, don’t forget to:
- Take plenty of water with you on your hike. You’ll need at least one quart of water per hour to stay hydrated.
- Don’t forget a map! You can print a map from the park website, or pick up a free copy at the entrance station.
- Leave what you find along the trails. You might discover some interesting artifacts along the way; however, they are protected by law, so you can look but don’t touch. In addition, you can help keep the park clean and in pristine condition for others to enjoy by storing your trash in your backpack while you’re on the trail and throwing it away when you return to the park entrance.
Skyline Drive in the Shenandoah Valley
Winding through the midst of Virginia’s most famous valley is the breathtaking Skyline Drive in Shenandoah Valley. This road transports visitors through a leisurely path along the ridge of the gorgeous Blue Ridge Mountains with dozens of scenic outlooks along the way. Covered with untouched wildflowers year-round, the region’s the pristine wilderness promises glimpses of deer, black bears, and wild turkeys. And, Skyline Drive is the perfect way to experience Shenandoah National Park.
An epic route, Skyline Drive is the Shenandoah National Park’s only public road, extending 105 miles. Roadside makers guide travelers to the many wonderful places to stop along the way. Aside from the 75 different scenic overlooks strategically placed along the way, there are many other places to stop and take in the view. While exploring this route, you can also stop to hike the various Shenandoah National Park hiking trails, have a picnic, or marvel at the power of a waterfall. You can pick up a map of Shenandoah Skyline Drive at any of the visitor centers throughout the park. With a speed limit of 35 mph, the road allows travelers time to pass through while enjoying the stunning scenery.
If you’re a birdwatching hobbyist, there are few places as ideal as the Shenandoah Skyline Drive. The Big Meadows Amphitheater, in the picnic grounds near milepost 51, is home to the Birds of Prey program, which hosts educational shows throughout the summer season. Knowledgeable rangers help guests meet these majestic birds up close and show you some of their natural wonders. If you are looking to see these creatures in their natural habitats, ask a park ranger to suggest trails or mountaintops where peregrine falcons nest, and you may catch some of their astounding acrobatics along the way. You can also learn more about the park biologists’ efforts to help relocate coastal peregrine falcons chicks to mountaintops in the park.
The Historic Rapidan Camp
One of the national park’s historic gems is the country retreat of President and First Lady Hoover, known as Rapidan Camp. This cabin, built in 1929, has been beautifully restored so visitors can enjoy not only its historic significance as a representation of mountain life in that era but also of the president himself. Tours are led by rangers throughout the summer months, leaving from the Harry F. Byrd Visitor Center in the park. While driving along Skyline Drive, make a pit stop at the visitors center for a peek inside this unique landmark of US history.
Shenandoah Valley Wineries
With accolades in top food and wine publications including Saveur and Food & Wine, Shenandoah Valley wineries are quickly becoming some of the most highly respected in the country. The products from throughout the Shenandoah Valley Wine Trail are now sought after by some of the finest establishments in the nation, showcasing the area as a new leader in wine production. While planning your Shenandoah Valley romantic getaway, be sure to explore the gorgeous landscape of this wineries and experience the top-notch products. Whether you’re a wine connoisseur or just appreciate the winemaking culture of the region, touring the vineyards is one of the best things to do in the Shenandoah Valley.
Doubling as both a beautiful winery and historical location in the area, the Shenandoah Vineyard was first planted in 1976 when founders Jim and Emma Randel become pioneers in the Virginia wine industry. The winery is housed in a historic barn that was built in the years around the Civil War. Featuring more than 5,000 vines, the Shenandoah Vineyards produce a number of French hybrid varietals.
Cave Ridge Vineyards
This family-owned estate vineyard and winery sits in the foothills overlooking the Shenandoah Valley. Soon after opening the tasting room in 2005, Randy and Karen Phillips’ wines developed a loyal following. One of their signature blends, the Fossil Hill Reserve, is named after the very land it was grown on, where many ammonite fossils have been found over the years.
Be sure to head to Rockridge when in the area for an authentic rural Virginia experience amidst beautiful scenery. The casual and relaxing tasting room offers a complimentary sampling of their award-winning wines while you enjoy the breathtaking views of the Shenandoah Valley.
Created by local lovers of the land, Bluestone Vineyard began when the Hartman family planted a personal vineyard in 2003 before deciding to convert it into a commercial business of in 2007. Since then, it has steadily grown with the help of the many wine experts in the area. Tasting and tours of this beautiful land and its delicious wines are available every day except Sundays. Come experience the familial and small-town vibes of this quaint vineyard.
This breathtaking 125-acre estate produces a wide array of Shenandoah Valley wines. On a tour and tasting trip to CrossKey, you’ll learn about growing and making wines while surrounded by beautiful views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Spend a day relaxing on the vineyard or come by for a romantic meal at the CrossKey Bistro.
Barren Ridge Vineyards
Founded in 2007, this Harrisonburg winery produces a number of white, red, dessert, and sparkling wines available to taste or take home, including a 2013 Merlot and a 2013 Port. Wines available for tasting are updated often, so be sure to check out Barren Ridge’s website for a current list. The winery is also a popular wedding venue.
North Mountain Vineyard and Winery
One of the older wineries in the Shenandoah Valley, North Mountain Vineyard and Winery is also one of the most beautiful. Surrounded by the breathtaking scenery, the vineyard offers a rotating wine selection including everything from Virginia Apple Wine to a Gruner Veltliner (an Austrian wine). The Sonnenberg Wine Club is a great option for wine enthusiasts and is reasonably priced. Be sure to check out the website before going as the vineyard often hosts exciting events!
Wolf Gap Vineyard and Winery
Wolf Gap Vineyard and Winery, a short drive away in Edinburg, is both inviting and beautiful, making it ideal for a tasting, tour or wedding! One of the more popular wines they bottle is the highly-requested Yummy Blueberry Wine as well as the fruit-scented Lobo Loco. Contact Wolf Gap for more information about tastings and events.
When fall rolls into the Shenandoah Valley, the crisp autumn colors transform the region into a vibrant sight. The cooler temperatures make for the perfect time to be outdoors admiring the foliage, hiking through the mountains, and participating in fall activities like apple picking in Virginia! The perfect activity for a romantic outing, apple picking abounds near Harrisonburg. To learn more about some of the best places to enjoy this autumn activity, check out our list of favorite places to go.
When planning your romantic getaway to the Shenandoah Valley, be sure to request one of our personalized Romantic Itineraries. We’ll give you dozens of excellent suggestions on romantic activities like apple picking in Virginia to help you have an unforgettable trip together.
Carter Mountain Orchard
Charlottesville, VA 22902
You can visit Carter Mountain Orchard all year long with the apple picking season running through the MONTH, and strawberries in the spring, Summertime welcomes peaches, vegetables, and flowers, while pumpkins can also be picking in the fall. If you’re not interested in picking fruit yourself, but you’d like to try some local product, the orchard sells pre-picked fruit like cherries, apricots, plums, nectarines, and gourds.
Showalter’s Orchard & Greenhouse
Timberville, VA 22853
Originally opened in 1965, Showalter’s Orchard & Greenhouse offers apple picking from early August through October. Even if you can’t make it during that time, there’s still plenty to do on the farm like explore the grounds, pack a picnic, visit the cidery, and shop the fruit stand.
Crozet, VA 22932
Visit Henley’s Orchard, a family-run operation in Crozet, for delicious peaches and apples. If you’re planning a romantic getaway to the Shenandoah Valley in October, be sure to get tickets for the HenleyFest, an annual event featuring hayrides, cider making, live music, food trucks, apple cider donuts, and of course, apple picking.
Quicksburg, VA 22847
A small, family-owned orchard, Paugh’s Orchard offers a variety of seasonal fruits and vegetable. Though their specialty is apples, they also grow peaches, berries, squash, sweet corn, cucumbers, cherries throughout the year. Stop by the store to purchase some farm-raised eggs or homemade jams, pies, and baked goods.
Other Exciting Things to Do in the Shenandoah Valley
Just minutes away from By the Side of the Road, you’ll discover dozens of exciting activities from hiking and biking through the mountains to exploring the underground depths of caverns. Aside from the activities mentioned above like apple picking and horseback riding, there are so many additional things to do. Read about a few of our other favorite activities while on a romantic getaway to the Shenandoah Valley.
If you’re looking for more information about the area, be sure to request a copy of our complimentary Shenandoah Valley Vacation Guide! Curated by locals, this planner is full of insightful details on other things to do, places to eat, and more.
No matter what season you take your romantic getaway to the Shenandoah Valley, the region is filled with beauty. With hiking, canoeing, cycling, rafting, freshwater fishing, horseback riding, skiing, golfing, and so much more, the Valley has something for everyone to enjoy. The Shenandoah River is a popular place to frequent during the warmer months, and many nearby companies offer guided trips and equipment rentals for whatever activity you’re looking to try.
Hikers should check out the fantastic trails located along Skyline Drive in the Shenandoah Valley National Park along the Blue Ridge Parkway. If you’re craving a little more speed, you can rent mountain bikes and speed through the lush green forest on the trails in the George Washington National Forest.
Belle Grove Plantation
Located in the northern Shenandoah Valley near Middletown, VA, Belle Grove Plantation is a gorgeous 1797 manor house built by Major Isaac Hite and his wife, Nelly Madison Hite. Originally, the plantation was built on 483 acres, but Major Hite later purchased more property, expanding the property to 7,500 acres, which he used to grow wheat, raise cattle and Merion sheep, and operate a large distillery and mills. Take a guided tour of the stunning plantation and learn about the history of the area! The tour will take visitors through the manor house, but make sure to save time to explore the spectacular landscaping after the indoor tour.
A National Natural Landmark, the Grand Caverns are America’s oldest continuously operating show caves. Delve into the depths of the earth to explore these fascinating natural formations. After you’ve experienced the guided tour, you can take advantage of the other activities in the park, including mini golf, a hiking trail, and river access for fishing.
Nightlife in Harrisonburg, VA
When the sun goes down, some people start to head home and settle in for the evening. But for others, when the streetlights turn on, the fun is only just beginning. Harrisonburg might not be an ever-awake metropolis, but this Shenandoah Valley city holds its own when it comes to after-hours fun. Live music, late night eats, and great drinks are all a part of nightlife in Harrisonburg, VA.
As you’re planning your romantic getaway to the Shenandoah Valley, be sure to download our complimentary Vacation Guide! Inside, you’ll find even more fantastic suggestions on where to eat and explore. Read on to learn about some of our favorite aspects of the nightlife in Harrisonburg, VA.
Breweries and Bars
Start your evening off with a trip to one any of the excellent breweries in Harrisonburg. Brothers Craft Brewing, Pale Fire Brewing Co., Three Notch’d Brewing, and Wolfe Street Brewing Co. are all located in Harrisonburg. Most of these taprooms offer live music and each location is open until at least 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.
Capital Ale House in Harrisonburg serves over 100 beers on tap, features a rooftop deck, and a menu that will meet anyone’s tastes. Monday through Friday, the bar remains open until midnight and on Saturdays until 1:30 a.m.
Ruby’s Lounge (located in Clementine Cafe) is open Tuesday through Saturday, from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. Weekly events include Team Trivia and music from DJ Barkley. Hungry?
Are you looking for a more upscale option among Harrisonburg bars? Try Jack’s Hideaway, the only speakeasy in town. Locate the tan door behind 92 South Main St, and give it a knock (that’s what the website says!). Once inside, sit down and order an Old Fashioned, a Mint Julep, or a glass of Scotch.
By day, The Artful Dodger is a great place for breakfast and lunch, serving up delicious morning fare, coffee, salads, and more. At night, it’s one of the best places to experience nightlife in Harrisonburg, VA. DJs, drinks, and late-night fun are all routine.
Clementine (home to Ruby’s Lounge and The Patio) caters to the creative crowd, but you don’t have to be an artist to enjoy their brunch, lunch, and dinner menus. Order your meal, and then stick around for live music at Ruby’s!
The Golden Pony brings a lot of great things to nightlife in Harrisonburg, VA, and among those are drinks, food, and live music. Where else can you order breakfast until 4 a.m. on a Friday while watching a band play?
Spas in Harrisonburg, VA
When taking a romantic getaway to the Shenandoah Valley, visiting one of the many spas in Harrisonburg, VA, is the perfect way to relax with your sweetheart. While you’ll like want to spend time exploring the hiking trails and vineyards, be sure to make time for a personal day to unwind. After your experience, you’ll find yourself rejuvenated and ready to enjoy all the fantastic things to do in our area! Read on to find out about some of our favorites spas in the area.
After you’ve enjoyed the peaceful serenity of a spa visit, you’ll want to explore the idea. For great ideas on things to do during a romantic getaway, request one of our Romantic Itineraries tailored to your interests!
When you book a service at this spa, you’re guaranteed to leave feeling relaxed, rejuvenated, and revitalized. The perfect fix for stress relief and pain management, the treatments range from couples massages and facials to exfoliating body and energy wor. Each of their treatment rooms represents one of five elements: water, fire, earth, wood, and metal. They also offer a hydrotherapy room, a couples’ room, and a relaxation area.
Cedar Stone A Wellness Spa
Located in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley, Cedar Stone offers services like spa parties, spa day packages, couples massage, manicures, pedicures, waxing, facial skin care, and much more. At Cedar Stone, their mission is to help you relax, feel better, and get healthy.
The Beauty Spa
Enjoy a cup of comforting tea while you wait at The Beauty Spa. Located on East Market Street, this spa offers everything from rejuvenating facials to body massage and spa treatments. They also focus on giving you the best spa experience and using only top-of-the-line products.
Tangles Day Spa
This locally owned and operated day spa is exactly what you need after enjoying all the activities and excursions Harrisonburg has to offer. At Tangles Day Spa, they put the customer’s needs first, striving to be the best in their industry with their vast selection of services. From hair treatments to spa packages, the services will leave you walking out of this spa feeling ready to take on the world.
Skin and Zen
Skin and Zen offers the knowledge and ability to help with many different ailments. You’ll enjoy holistic wellness treatments and can trust that they want their clients to receive the service they deserve. From reflexology to age defense, there’s something for every need.