Sunday, March 2, 2008
Post travel writer Cindy Loose drove to the Shenandoah Valley last month to check out the historic, recently renovated Mimslyn Inn.
Luray, Va., is about 90 miles from Washington. Take Route 66 west toward Front Royal, and take Exit 13 to Route 79 (Apple Mountain Road). Turn right on Route 55 and continue 5 miles. Turn left on Route 340, and head south for 23 miles. The road becomes Broad Street when you hit downtown Luray. To reach the Mimslyn Inn, turn right on West Main.
WHERE TO STAY
* The Mimslyn Inn (401 W. Main St., 800-296-5105, http://www.mimslyninn.com) has 45 rooms and suites. Double rooms begin at $145; suites range from $195 to $275. Some suites are two rooms, some a single room. By summer, the Mimslyn plans to have built an indoor-outdoor heated pool. An exercise room and small spa are expected to open in about a week.
* Other lodging options include a variety of hotels, B&Bs, cabins and houses. The Chamber of Commerce (see below) provides a full list. For romance, consider the Victorian Inn (138 E. Main St., 866-937-3466, http://www.woodruffinns.com), which has three suites that start at about $200 and include an afternoon tea and breakfast. The inn, built in the 1800s, is also open to the public for dinner; entrees are $15 to $30.
* For seclusion: Magic River (703-380-8789, http://www.River-Cabins.com) is a two-bedroom cabin, pets allowed, on 10 acres with a picnic area along 1,200 feet of riverfront. Rate is $375 for two nights, with occasional discounts. There are also cabins, campgrounds, a resort and a lodge in Shenandoah National Park (800-999-4714, http://www.nps.gov/shen).
* The Luray Caverns, right, (540-743-6551, http://www.luraycaverns.com) are less than a mile outside downtown Luray. Admission to both the caverns and a car and carriage museum is $19 for adults, $9 for kids 6 to 12.
* More than 500 miles of hiking trails wind through Shenandoah National Park. The entrance fee is $15 per car through November.
* The last weekend in March, Shenandoah River Outfitters (6502 S. Page Valley Rd., 800-622-6632, http://www.shenandoahriver.com) will begin offering canoe, kayak and rafting trips. For watersports, horseback riding and ATV rentals, try Appalachian Adventures (3095 Route 211 East, 540-743-7311, http://www.appalachian-adventures.com.)
Page County Chamber of Commerce,46 E. Main St., 888-743-3915, http://www.luraypage.com.