Forming the western border of Virginia's Shenandoah Valley, the Shenandoah Mountain Range offers its visitors a less-traveled alternative to the busy eastern side of the valley, where Shenandoah National Park and the Blue Ridge Parkway are found. The Shenandoah Mountains are 75 miles long, so hotels in this rustic highland are spread out over a wide area.
The Shenandoah Mountains pass through four different counties in the western fringe of Virginia, as well as two counties on the other side of the border in West Virginia. Much of the mountain range sits inside George Washington National Forest. It is a region of small highland towns and windy roads passing over rugged country, and this should be accounted for when choosing a hotel. Visitors who stay in a place such as Augusta should be aware that although the spas of towns like Hot Springs and Warm Springs may only be 40 miles south, the driving time to reach them is well over an hour.
The Buckhorn Inn
Located at the northern end of the Shenandoah Mountains area, the Buckhorn Inn offers bed-and-breakfast accommodations, and was featured as a budget lodgings option for visiting the Shenandoah Valley in The Washington Post. The five rooms and suites are decorated in a fashion in keeping with the rustic appearance of the inn, which is set in an old farmhouse with an expansive, covered front porch. The inn also offers packages for romantic and spa getaways.
As the top picks of both Frommer's and Fodor's for Bath County, the Homestead is the best place to stay for travelers on a spa trip in the Shenandoah Mountains. The Homestead's history as a resort for mineral springs bathing dates back to the mid-18th century, and the Homestead preserves something of that legacy in its Great Hall, decorated with Corinthian columns, fireplaces and Chippendale furniture. The rooms also have a manor-like atmosphere, rich with mahogany furniture and old-fashioned, understated charm.
The Inn at Gristmill Square
This inn occupies a set of 19th-century buildings, creating the atmosphere of a living history village. The rooms are found in the Steel House, the Miller's House and the old grain silo, and are furnished with period pieces such as four-poster beds, marble-topped tables and brass chandeliers. The location in Warm Springs is centrally located for visitors interested in area spas, as well as for scenic backwoods drives, hiking and other pursuits in George Washington National Forest.
- shenandoah image by John Keith from Fotolia.com