Month One: Shenandoah National Park & Front Royal, VA

Skyline Ranch Resort

Front Royal, VA

Site: 2 stars. While other spots looked like 3 or 4’s, ours was a kind of a dud so we gave it a 2. Very unlevel, broken picnic table, couldn’t open up our awning. Aside from the spot itself, the campground itself was pretty great!

Price: With Passport America discount, $30/night

Bathrooms: 3 stars

Customer Service: 4 stars

Amenities: 4.5 stars. Awesome pool that the kids never wanted to leave. (Go look at the pics on their site and you will see why). Petting zoo, horeseback riding, playground, hot tub, little cafe next to the pool. What more do you need with a two and four year old?

WiFi: They charged $3 a day for WiFi and one day it was completely down, so keep that in mind if you need WiFi because we had ZERO cell signal with Verizon while we were here.

Proximity: 4 stars. Within 10 minutes to the Front Royal entrance of Shenandoah National, which was the main reason we were there. However, the town of Front Royal was like something straight out of Gilmore Girls–really cute, quaint little downtown that is worth taking a stroll through.

Website: 5 stars


Shenandoah National Park

Let’s first talk about the America the Beautiful Pass. If you plan to go to 2-3 National Parks during the year, you need this in your life. This pass gets you into more than 2,000 federal recreation sites. It covers your entrance fees, any amenity fees at national forests, grasslands and lakeshores for a driver and all passengers in a personal vehicle. It is $80 and more than paid for itself within our first three months of travel.

Shenandoah was the first National Park we hit during our travels. The weather wasn’t fantastic while we were there, so we extended our stay by a day so we could make sure to see as much as we could in between the rain. We hiked Fox Hollow Loop and the first part of Rose River. Both are very short and pretty easy (especially Fox Hollow); Rose River we only hiked in long enough to see the top of a waterfall as the rest of the trail was going to be a bit much for the kids (and let’s be honest, us adults too).  Definitely check out the Suggested Hikes at Shenandoah in advance if you are planning to go and hit some trails. The park is huge (Skyline Drive that runs the length of the park is 105 miles long) so you’ll want to plan where you want to go before you get there.

If hiking isn’t your thing, the scenic drive along Skyline is beautiful with 75 different spots to stop and take pictures. We went to one of the Ranger Programs about birds of prey, which was incredibly informative. Rowan joined the Junior Rangers here, which was probably a little over her head at 4, but she was stoked about getting sworn in and receiving her Junior Ranger pin.

PaveMint Taphouse & Grill


Because after a hike, you need a patio beer and a burger.

C&C Frozen Treats

Cute little spot in downtown Front Royal with some out-there flavors (kale ice cream anyone)? There is a great town square right across the street where you can sit outside and enjoy. Check out their FB page here.


(Follow us on Instagram for more pictures and video of what we’re currently doing and where we are at)!

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