Did you know that October is National Work and Family Month? (We can’t make this stuff up.) In true celebratory fashion, we decided to give you a few reasons to break out of work early and spend some quality time with the family. So, grab some hiking boots, bug spray, and all your camp-out necessities for an autumn adventure without crossing Virginia state lines! Here are some of the best family-friendly vacation spots near Roanoke that you should check out this fall.
Shenandoah National Park
Just northeast of Staunton and our Roanoke Jaguar dealership, nestled in a quiet stretch of the Blue Ridge Mountains, is Shenandoah National Park and its 200,000 acres of protected land. Early autumn is the best time to visit, as the leaves begin to glow red before finally dropping and littering the vine-ridden hiking trails (all 500 miles of them). Along the way up the trails, you’ll have one snapshot-worthy opportunity after another to take in the majestic cascading waterfalls, natural streams, swimming holes, and wildlife such as white-tailed deer, wild turkeys, and more than 200 bird species.
The best part about this gorgeous forested landscape is taking the 105-mile trek up Skyline Drive; drive slowly and stop at a lookout post—visitors frequently cite Old Rag, Hawksbill, and Moorman River as go-to spots—to take some photos. Just save room on your phone for the spectacular sunsets, because it’s as close to magic as you’ll ever see.
Must-Visits: The Skyland Resort offers a quaint dining area with exceptional views of the Shenandoah Valley. For a true camping experience, pitch a family-sized tent at Big Meadows Campground, cuddle up with the family, and set your gaze up toward the star-speckled night sky.
Blue Ridge Parkway
This 469-mile stretch of road cuts up from the Cherokee National Forest, splits through Roanoke and Blacksburg, and ends north at Shenandoah. Although it’s beautiful any time of year, Blue Ridge Parkway is a true spectacle during the early October months when the fall foliage has its last hurrah. But the turning of the leaves is but one reason to take “America’s Favorite Drive” in the fall; a horizon that is blanketed by mountain ranges, historic 19th-century bridges connected to even older rural roads, and 360-degree views of canopied ravines are also plentiful.
Must-Visits: Primland Resort in Meadows of Dan, VA is the ultimate relaxation destination; your kids will love the treehouse outposts that overlook Kibler Valley in all directions. Before you head back home, check out the old-timey Mabry Mill—yes, it really works—grab a nibble at the local restaurant, and buy a souvenir from the charming little gift shop.
Natural Bridge State Park
The 215-foot limestone gorge towers over the entirety of Cedar Creek and serves as the perfect site-seeing spot. Mountains and the James River valley branch out along the south, while meadows and forests extend northward as far as the eyes can see. Take a family hike on Cedar Creek Trail to discover Lace Falls, a 30-foot waterfall that sounds as heavenly as it looks. Park trail guides are also available, so book early for an early-morning expedition through Natural Bridge State Park.
Must-Visits: The Caverns at Natural Bridge makes for an informative yet exhilarating afternoon activity. Descend 34 stories of natural rock formations, stopping along your journey to gasp at the Colossal Dome Room—the term “colossal” is an understatement—and Canyon Room. Don’t leave the area without venturing up to Virginia Safari Park, which features 180 acres of animal-feeding, wildlife-watching, scare-the-pants-off-your-toddler fun. (Just wash your Jaguar when you get home.)
Jaguar: The Ultimate Relaxation
A tranquil weekend excursion with the family will be fun; but before setting out, come test drive a brand-new Jaguar at our Roanoke car dealership. In addition to having the newest Jaguar models, we’ve also just recently welcomed the 2018 Jaguar F-PACE onto our showroom floor, and it’s the perfect SUV to bring along on your next fall family vacation—or any vacation, for that matter. Contact us at (540) 344-6284 or swing into Jaguar Roanoke at 5000 Franklin Road SW to view our new and used car inventory or learn more about our fantastic Jaguar lease offers.
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