"Wilderness (or not) close to eastern cities" Shenandoah National Park by PR-7
Shenandoah National Park Travel Guide: 163 reviews and 534 photos
Shenandoah was created explicitly to appeal to those in Washington DC who wondered why the US government was supporting national parks so far from the populations centers of the eastern seaboard. The area that became a national park was chosen for its (1) potential for mountain beauty, (2) closeness to Washington, and (3) low cost to acquire -- the only residents were (literally) dirt poor, and thus would be easy to buy out. If you are on the east coast but want a taste of the national parks of the USA, this would probably be your best choice.
Even before it was considered for a national park, entrepreneurs recognized that its beauty and isolation would draw visitors. As such, resorts such as Skyland and Panorama were built to make visits to the region as effortless as possible. Although Panorama has been reduced to a rest stop, Skyland Lodge and Big Meadows Lodge remain places where you can enjoy comfortable rooms, meals prepared by a chef using local food, a sports bar with cable TV, and nightly entertainment.
OR you could spend a week backpacking in the 40% of the Park that is designated wilderness, during which you could camp at a different place each night and not meet another soul the entire week.
OR you could do anything in between. Wake up to breakfast in Skyland, hike all day away from the crowds, and then have dinner, live entertainment, and a comfy bed at Big Meadows.
The choice is entirely yours.
If you don't need daily maid service and a quilt on your bed, you can wake up to deer at your picnic table.
- Pros:Wilderness or luxury, you make the choice
- Cons:Not a resort for pools or parties (which to me is a PLUS)
In the entire history of Shenandoah National Park, no visitor has been seriously injured by a bear attack. As in all... more travel advice
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