A Sunday Drive for Your Squad

A Sunday Drive for Your Squad

Grab your friends, hop in the car, and drive far away from all thoughts of the week ahead without going that far from home. This week’s Sunday Drive itinerary is for the squad.

Roll down the windows, turn up the music, and head for Page County.

Come for the Afternoon

You don’t need to stay overnight to enjoy a relaxing visit. 

D R’s Quick Stop, Stanley

Happy Mini Mart and Deli, Luray

Your first stop is to fuel up, both literally and figuratively. Pull up to the gas station, fill up your tank so that you’re ready to explore, then pop inside to satisfy your craving for Indian food. “Seriously?” you may be thinking. Yes, seriously. Really good Indian food at that. The very friendly folks at Happy Mini Mart and Deli prepare an ever changing menu of familiar favorites, from momos to chicken tikka masala, samosas to chana masala. Check their Facebook page daily to see what’s fresh.

Now that you’re fully fueled, it’s time to walk off some of that spicy goodness in downtown Luray. 

Mural Trail, Luray

Along the Hawksbill Greenway, more than 30 works of large format art cover historic buildings, walls, overpasses and other structures. Local artists depict nature and heritage-influenced scenes that provide a unique sense of place, laid out in perfect harmony with the historic surroundings. You’ll make influencers jealous of your Instagram.

If all of this art wandering has you in the mood for some art shopping (or if you just want to pick up a quaint souvenir), you’re just a short walk to the…

Warehouse Art Gallery, Luray

This reclaimed warehouse boasts more than 1,000 works of art by more than 90 regional artists. You’ll find works of every kind in every medium, from painting to sculpture, photography to blown glass, jewelry to bone sighs. If you’re in the buying mood, some pieces are as affordable as $10, ranging all the way up to works valued at more than $10,000.  If you just want to browse, this bright, airy space welcomes you to explore its more than 10,000 square feet.

Ready to go from Sunday relaxation to full Sunday fun day? 

West Main Market, Luray

First, head over to West Main Market and grab picnic sandwiches and salads from this gourmet deli. The asiago chicken grilled panini with prosciutto and jerk-mango mayo on sourdough bread is a personal favorite, and the antipasto platter never disappoints. The deli also boasts plenty of vegan and vegetarian options and is sure to please everyone in the group. Grab a sandwich, salad, or deli nibbles and take them to the winery.

Wisteria Vineyard, Stanley

Next, get in your car and head to the western slope of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Stanley where this family-owned farm and vineyard is perched. Dedicated to sustainable farming practices, husband and wife team Sue and Mousa Ishak produce an impressive variety of wines exclusively from grapes grown on the farm. They offer everything from Pinot Gris to Viognier, Chardonnay to Petit Verdot, and more. Once you’ve enjoyed the tasting, select a bottle and spread out your picnic on the tasting room deck or out by the fire pit – a perfect dinner spot to enjoy the setting sun with friends.

Purchase a case of your favorite and hop back in the car and back to reality, or extend that Sunday feel and…stay longer!

Spend the Night 

Big Meadows Lodge, Shenandoah National Park

Rest your head right in the heart of Shenandoah National Park. Big Meadows Lodge offers a variety of accommodations, from regular rooms to suites and even cabins so it can easily accommodate your squad, no matter how large or small. Some rooms even welcome pets! The lodge is named for an expansive nearby meadow that’s perfect for stargazing on a clear night, and your location inside Shenandoah National Park makes it the perfect home base as you head off on hiking adventures. Circle back for lunch on the terrace where you’ll be treated to an expansive view of the Shenandoah Valley below and mountains beyond. Feast on southern favorites like fried green tomatoes and peanut soup, but make sure you save room for dessert. The famous blackberry ice cream pie is not to be missed. 

Hawksbill Diner, Stanley

Wake up in the morning refreshed (or hungover, we’re not judging) and head to Hawksbill Diner for a delicious breakfast. This family-owned Page County institution serves a classic menu in an old school setting that is the epitome of hickster chic. You can’t go wrong with an order – everything on the menu is cooked to perfection. You’ll feel like part of the family with the friendly service and among the local clientele.

Skyline Drive, Shenandoah National Park 

Hop in the car and take in the scenery as you cruise Skyline Drive through Shenandoah National Park. Pull off to take in the view from any one of the 75 overlooks on this scenic byway. Keep your eyes peeled for black bears, deer, bobcats and birds as you wind towards your next stop.

Hawksbill Summit, Shenandoah National Park

This easy hike is suitable for all–novices, casual hikers, and those more experienced. But don’t let the ease fool you, this 2.2 mile in-and-out hike leads to the highest point in the Shenandoah National Park. When you reach the summit, you’ll be standing 4,050 feet above sea level and take in the 270-degree view of the valley and surrounding peaks. 

If you’re ready, head back to the city full on beauty as much as your delicious lunch. If you’re not, tell your bosses that you’re working remote this week and really settle into your cabin, because this is a choice you won’t regret…

Stay the Week

Rent a Cabin

Called the “Cabin Capital of Virginia,” Page County offers cabins of all sizes and styles so that your full crew can get a good night’s rest. Some are perched high in the mountains, offering spectacular views, others are right along the river so that you can fall asleep to the sound of the flowing water. All offer places to cozy up inside, to relax and enjoy the fresh air outside, and to spend time together whether you want to watch a movie, play a game, or just talk all night over a glass of wine.

Shenandoah National Park

A true gem of Virginia and indeed the nation, Shenandoah National Park boasts more than 200,000 acres of protected land containing mountains, waterfalls, wildflower fields, and wooded hollows. Enjoy thousands of miles of hiking trails and encounter hundreds of species of birds, deer, and black bears. A pass to the park costs $30 for all passengers in a single vehicle and is good for seven consecutive days. But with so much to see, we expect you’ll want to come back. If you visit even twice in a year – and we certainly recommend that you do, and even more – you’ll save by opting for the annual pass at $55.

Mary’s Rock Summit

Want to hike but without the fees? Mary’s Rock is the eighth highest peak in Shenandoah National Park and is accessible by two trails of varying difficulty, depending on your mood, and better yet, it does not require an entry fee to access the trail. For an easier hike, begin at the Meadow Spring Parking Area. If you’re in the mood for something steeper and longer, start at the Panorama Visitor Center and follow the white blazes of the Appalachian Trail. No matter which you choose, you’ll be treated to a spectacular view of the park and surrounding area with all of its changing leaves when you reach the summit. For a little fun afterwards, Google how the mountain got its name.

Bear Mountain Zipline, Luray

Tired of climbing up mountains and instead ready to fly through the air with the greatest of ease? Grab the crew and head over to Bear Mountain Zipline for a little adventure. Their Mama Bear course features 7 ziplines totaling 2,700 feet of flight at up to 35 miles per hour. The final zipline is the longest, stretching 1,000 feet across a meadow and landing you on top of the park’s 3-story Bear Scramble climbing wall. If you haven’t gotten enough, you can also book half hour increments on the climbing wall. Up to two people can climb at a time, so go ahead, race each other to the top.

Farm Markets

First thing: you’ll want to outfit the cabin’s kitchen with some essentials and in Page County, you can get almost all of them fresh from the surrounding farms at our local markets. Stop by the Massanutten Country Corner, the Page Co-Op Farm Bureau, Hawksbill Trading Company, Taste: The Southern Market and Willow Grove Farm Market to stock up on fresh local produce or local arts, crafts and antiques if you’re looking for a souvenir. Need something a little more on the everyday side of things? Head to downtown Stanley for all your basic needs from an ATM to toilet paper.

Hawksbill Brewing Company, Luray

The motto at Hawksbill Brewing Company is “we brew community.” Depending on your order, you may find yourself drinking beer with local honey, blackberries, or other ingredients from the bounty of Page County’s agriculture. Grab a pint or a flight and post up at one of the communal tables inside or, if the weather is nice, grab a picnic table in the sun-soaked beer garden. Locals particularly recommend Thursday nights here when the crowd is buzzy and there’s often a local food truck or restaurant “pop up” like Main Street Bakery serving great grab and go grub.

Baby Moons, Luray 

If you’re staying the week in a cabin, nothing beats waking up to a fresh pastry, or enjoying a delicious dessert on your porch after a fantastic day of activities. Make sure your cabin is stocked by calling ahead and placing an order at Baby Moons. They have breakfast treats like breakfast pies, homemade scones and creme puffs, and delectable desserts from brownies to cupcakes to cheesecakes. 

Mimslyn Inn, Luray

This historic inn dates back to 1931 and offers a variety of dining options, all boasting southern flavors and fresh ingredients alongside fresh baked bread. When the weather’s nice, nothing beats dinner among the columns on the front porch from Circa ‘31, or in cooler months enjoy their famous pan-fried chicken or reserve a wine dinner in the stately formal dining room. If you’re looking for a more casual vibe, the inn’s Speakeasy serves southern classics like chicken pot pie or the best hamburgers in town in a causal setting. Don’t miss the homemade desserts.

Moonshadows Restaurant, Luray

This beautiful restaurant in a restored home offers two charming dining rooms adorned with cozy fireplaces as well as seating on its wraparound porch where you can watch Main Street go by. The cuisine is seasonal and continental – always changing to stay fresh, interesting and delicious. No matter the season, perfectly cooked meats and seafood always satisfy, and the restaurant offers mouthwatering vegetarian options as well. Always leave room for dessert – we’re on a personal quest to try the seasonal bread pudding in every season. 

Dan’s Steak House, Luray

Whose heart doesn’t hold a special place for a classic steakhouse? Get nostalgic for birthday meals and celebratory dinners in the classic atmosphere at Dan’s, while enjoying tender steak cooked to perfection. You’ll have your pick of classic cuts, from a porterhouse to a T-bone and everything in between, and of course don’t forget the sides. Mashed potatoes with gravy always make the meal for me. Not a fan of red meat? Not to worry! Dan’s also offers fresh seafood (attention surf and turf lovers), chicken, and vegetarian sides and salads, so there’s something on the menu for everyone.

The Valley Cork, Luray

Step into this beautiful, dark wood-adorned wine bar, small plates restaurant and wine shop and you’ll swear you’re in DC or Manhattan. The expert team will help you select the perfect glasses for your taste (plus a bottle or two to take home) while you delight on flatbreads, charcuterie boards, or the decadent cookie skillet.

Old Rag Mountain Trail, Shenandoah National Park

Ready for a more challenging hike with equally beautiful views? Old Rag Mountain is for you. Boulder and scramble your way along the 9-mile moderately difficult trail. Pack a lunch and plenty of water and stop at one of the many scenic false summits to rest and refuel against the backdrop of breathtaking views. Then reach the summit and enjoy an unparalleled view of the Shenandoah Valley.

Lake Arrowhead, Luray

Swim, boat, fish or hike – Lake Arrowhead has it all. Start on the lakeside beach to swim and picnic. Then circumnavigate the lake on a quiet, 1-mile trail that’s a local secret spot–a great place if Shenandoah Park starts to feel a bit crowded for you. You can grab a fishing or boating license at the grocery store or Walmart, or simply rent kayaks or canoes on site. Take in the beautiful mountains rising above the lake, and stick around for sunset and a little stargazing.

Shenandoah River

The southern fork of the Shenandoah River flows the entirety of Page County and boasts a gentle, lazy flow whose rapids rarely hitting class II. There are 20 public access points, so you can plan your float down the river in a tube or canoe. Shenandoah River Outfitters is the local destination to rent tubes, kayaks and canoes or join an organized river trip including lunch or a steak dinner. If you’re more the splash around type, the south fork is also great for swimming and wading. You can also try your hand at fishing – the south fork has one of the greatest concentrations of smallmouth bass.

Nothing brings a squad together like a great road trip.

The PLAYList

Come for the Afternoon

Spend the Night

Stay the Week