Puppy LOVE in The Shenandoah Valley
This LOVEwork road trip will take you through the beautiful Shenandoah Valley - one of the most popular getaway destinations in Virginia - alive with history, culture, farms, wineries, and exceptional opportunities for hiking, biking, fishing, viewing wildlife or taking scenic drives.
Surrounded by Blue Ridge Mountains to the east and the Alleghenies to the west, you’ll find there is so much to LOVE about this popular Virginia destination as you travel along the treasured Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park and explore authentic and picturesque cities and small towns like Staunton, Luray, and Waynesboro.
Even better, you can bring your fur babies with you as many Valley destinations welcome pets!
Begin your journey with neighboring mountain towns of Waynesboro and Staunton, Virginia. First, stop for a fun photo op at the downtown Waynesboro LOVEwork, which reflects the love of the river and fishing (the L represents wading boots. The O is a reel. The V is two trout and the E is made out of oars) in this quaint small town at the southern entrance of Shenandoah National Park.
Next, make the quick drive over to picturesque downtown Staunton and check out dozens of art galleries, coffee houses, and a wide range of locally owned shops and restaurants. It won’t take you long to realize why Staunton has been named one of “America’s Favorite Mountain Towns” by Travel+Leisure, and one of “Most Beautiful Main Streets in America” by Architectural Digest.
Visit breweries along the Shenandoah Beerwerks Trail (please drink responsibly), stroll the Staunton Farmers Market (pet-friendly), watch live glassblowing at Sunspots Studios, enjoy the lovely historic gardens and at the birthplace of President Woodrow Wilson and explore the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library (outside grounds are pet friendly), experience history at The Frontier Culture Museum, an open-air living history museum that tells the story of thousands of people who migrated to colonial America. (Dogs are not allowed inside the exhibit areas due to the potential for negative interactions with museum animals, but there are lockable covered kennels at the museum for pups).
- Stable Craft Brewing
- Yelping Dog
- The By & By coffee shop
- Table 44’s special dog friendly outdoor dining patio called the “Dogio”
- Stay at Stonewall Jackson Hotel *pet-friendly
Day two takes you through Harrisonburg to Shenandoah National Park (park is pet-friendly). Travel along Skyline Drive, stop at your choice of the scenic overlooks, enjoy sightings of wildlife and wildflowers, take a hike (ask ranger at park entrance for best nearby pet-friendly hikes), and say hello the Appalachian Trail thru-hikers crisscrossing the Drive. On the way, visit Harrisonburg’s LOVEwork which represents the community’s diversity of ethnic backgrounds, a rich agricultural heritage, an abundance of outdoor recreation opportunities, and a vibrant and growing arts scene. Also, stop by Massanutten Resort’s LOVEwork and snap a photo with this BIG love which stands over 11 feet tall and 35 feet wide!
Enjoy a seated wine tasting, outside on the patio at Cross Keys Vineyard (Harrisonburg; pet-friendly). See local blooms in full display at White Oak Lavender Farm (Harrisonburg), Enjoy hikes for mountain summits and waterfalls in the mid-section of Shenandoah National Park (All park trails are pet-friendly; pets must be on leash).
- Dinner at Skyland Resort’s Pollock Dining Room
- Big Meadow Lodge’s outdoor terrace seating featuring pet-friendly dining on the terrace with a special "Yappy Menu"
- Skyland Resort (pet-friendly)
- Multiple camping options in the park
After a leisurely morning at Shenandoah National Park, exit the park and make your way to the small town of Luray, home to the largest caverns east of the Mississippi. Head to Luray Caverns, a US Natural Landmark noted for the profuse variety of formation and unsurpassed natural color and home to the world's only Stalacpipe Organ. While there, stop at the LOVEworks which is aptly named “Logs of Love,” because the LOVEwork at Luray Caverns is constructed from wooden logs to accentuate the fact that Luray-Page County is designated as the Cabin Capital of Virginia.
Depart the park to experience some river paddling by canoe with Shenandoah River Outfitters. Enjoy the scenic lower stretch paddle (pets welcome). For lunch, plan ahead and call Main Street Deli for a pick-up lunch order that you can bring on the river.
- Gathering Grounds
- Moon Shadows
- Valley Cork
Check out our map of places where you can add more LOVE to your vacation. Be sure to share your pictures on social media by tagging @VisitVirginia using the hashtag #LOVEVA.