Places to stay in shenandoah national park (top 3 areas in 2022)

Nestled between the Shenandoah River and the Blue Ridge Mountains, Shenandoah National Park is a beautiful area of natural beauty in Virginia.

The park is a worthwhile destination year-round, but is especially popular in the fall for its beautiful foliage.Not only are there fewer crowds here, but there are breathtaking hikes through the summer and adrenaline-pumping ski slopes in the winter.

There aren’t many lodging options in Shenandoah National Park itself, but the surrounding cities offer plenty of choices.Every place has something different to offer, so it’s really important to check before you arrive.This way you can maximize your time in the national park and have the best stay possible.

That’s where we come in!Combining our personal experience with advice from locals and travel experts, we’ve found the best places to stay in and around Shenandoah National Park.Whether you’re on a tight budget, looking for a quiet place for a family vacation, or just want to stay as close to the scenery as possible, we’ve got you covered.

Places to stay in Shenandoah National Park

Luxury vacation rental near Shenandoah National Park – Snug Harbor

AirBnB Plus accommodations are carefully selected for their stylish interiors, superior guest service and unbeatable location.This lodging in the heart of Charlottesville is well connected to major area attractions.

Inside you’ll find traditional design and fine antique furniture.The accommodation is also right next to three different hiking trails, all of which are suitable for novice hikers.

Rustic villa near Shenandoah National Park – Tree Top Home

Nestled in the trees, this cute little house is the perfect getaway in rural Virginia.You’ll have breathtaking views in the summer, and the wood stove in the living room makes this a cozy retreat in the winter.

Massanutten Ski Lodge is right next door, so you’ll have plenty to do during your stay.Inside, you’ll find rustic decor and everything you need for a comfortable stay.

Elegant hotel in Shenandoah National Park – Hotel Laurance

Enjoy a luxurious getaway at this 5-star hotel in Luray!The lavish interiors and spacious rooms offer breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside.

Right in the heart of Luray, all the main attractions in Shenandoah National Park are within easy driving distance.

Our Airbnbs in Virginia guide has even more accommodation options!

Neighborhood Guide to Shenandoah National Park




Luray is a sleepy town just north of Shenandoah National Park.It’s just a few minutes away by car, making it a great choice for those who want to stay right next to the park.


Harrisonburg is about 30 minutes west of Shenandoah National Park and is the largest city in the Shenandoah Valley region.This makes it a great choice for those on a tight budget.Many of the accommodations and restaurants in town are among the most affordable in the entire region.


Charlottesville is south of Shenandoah National Park and is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the area, especially among families.The relaxed atmosphere, leafy streets, and friendly attractions make this a great place to visit if you’re bringing the kids along.

The 3 best places to stay in Shenandoah National Park

With serene nature at every turn and all the amazing hikes in Shenandoah National Park, this park is undoubtedly a must-visit for nature lovers.

However, if you don’t want to camp in Shenandoah, there aren’t many lodging options in the park itself.We recommend bringing a car to get around so you can get a deeper look at everything this region has to offer.

Luray is just north of Shenandoah National Park and is a great place to stay if you want instant access to beautiful hiking and biking trails.For first-time visitors, Luray gives a good overview of everything the area has to offer and isn’t as busy as some of the more popular cities.

Shenandoah National Park is generally an affordable destination, but budget travelers might be a bit wary given the lack of available hostels.Fortunately, Harrisonburg is just a short drive away and offers some of the most affordable accommodations in the area.Because of the great ski slopes nearby, it is also our first choice for visitors in winter.

Alternatively, Charlottesville is a wonderful summer destination with vineyards and horseback riding among the most popular activities.It’s a family-friendly destination and also quite affordable.

Still not safe?No stress – read on for our top accommodations and activities in each area ..

Do you want a good offer?Be sure to get an “America, The Beautiful Pass,” it costs $80 and gives you access to all the national parks in the U.S. for 12 months, plus a whole lot more!

1.Luray – Best place to stay in Shenandoah National Park on your first visit

Luray is a quiet town.It’s just a few minutes drive from Shenandoah National Park, making it a great choice for those who want to stay close by.Luray’s relaxed nature makes it a great place to soak up everything that makes Shenandoah one of the best national parks in the U.S.There are many great outing providers within the city as well.

Most hikes, photo spots and bike trails are just a short drive from here.Don’t kid yourself: If the national park is your main reason for visiting the region, you’ve come to the right place.

Picturesque hut in Luray – Breccia hut

Breccia Cabin can accommodate up to two guests and is the perfect accommodation for a romantic getaway. Enjoy the breathtaking view from the hot tub on the deck while recovering from a long day of exploring.

Inside, you’ll find rustic furniture and plenty of natural light, and hiking trails are right outside the front door.You will never want to leave again!

Breathtaking views near Luray – Cresta Blava

In the heart of Shenandoah National Park, this Virginia cabin connects you to the beautiful nature of the region.The large window in the living room lets in a lot of natural light and is a great place to watch the sunset over the mountains.

With three bedrooms and two private bathrooms, this is a fantastic choice for large families traveling to the area.

Luxury hotel in Luray – Hotel Laurance

As one of the few 5-star hotels in the area, Hotel Laurance is truly the height of luxury.Rooms are spacious, modern and stylish with cozy furnishings and decadent extras to make you feel like a true VIP.It’s a great place to return to after exploring the many trails nearby.

Things to see and do in Luray

  • Skyline Drive is a stunning road that winds around the most beautiful spots in Shenandoah National Park.It can get pretty crowded in the fall, but the drive is nice to visit year-round.
  • Hiking is the most popular activity in the area.Here are parts of the Appalachian Trail; Stony Man and Little Stony Man are great for beginners.
  • Luray Caverns and Garden Maze is a great activity for the whole family in the middle of town.
  • Skyland complex offers some of the best views in the country.We recommend dinner at Skyland restaurant for an extra breathtaking experience.

2.Harrisonburg – Cheap places to stay near Shenandoah National Park

Harrisonburg is located about 30 minutes west of Shenandoah National Park and is the largest city in the Shenandoah Valley region.Many of the accommodations and restaurants in town are among the most affordable in the entire region, making Harrisonburg a great choice for travelers on a budget.

However, it is not only cheap accommodation.For those who travel in the winter, there are some great ski resorts around Harrisonburg.Harrisonburg is a vibrant place, and you will find a variety of events and festivals throughout the year.

Affordable Tiny House in Harrisonburg – Stardust Meadows

Tiny houses are perfect options for affordable lodging.This cute little house is just outside Harrisonburg and has great reviews from solo travelers and couples alike.

The tiny house is located on a working farm, giving you a unique glimpse of rural Virginia during your stay.There are also numerous hiking trails and breweries right on the doorstep.

Charming Villa in Harrisonburg – Tree Top Home

This cute little cabin is located next to Harrisonburg.With Massanutten Ski Lodge on your doorstep, it’s an idyllic retreat for a winter holiday.Inside you can warm up with the wood stove, cozy furniture and homey decor.

With room for up to eight people, this is a super affordable option for families or large groups traveling to the Shenandoah area.

Modern hotel in Harrisonburg – Hotel Madison

If you want to stay right in the heart of Harrisonburg, the Hotel Madison is the place for you.This 4-star hotel is very reasonably priced and perfect for those who prefer the extra comforts.There is also a free breakfast!

Things to see and do in Harrisonburg

  • Downtown Harrisonburg has been named Virginia’s first culinary district – a must-see for foodies traveling to the Shenandoah Valley.
  • Massanutten Ski Lodge is just a short drive outside of town and is one of the most popular winter sports destinations in Virginia.
  • The Harrisonburg Farmers Market is a great place to buy fresh produce and mingle with the locals.It takes place every Saturday throughout the year and on Tuesdays during the summer.
  • Funky’s Skate Center is a fun attraction where you can participate in one of their roller disco events or watch the Rocktown Rollers.

3.Charlottesville – Best city near Shenandoah National Park for families

Charlottesville is just south of Shenandoah National Park and is one of the most popular destinations in the region.The relaxed atmosphere and friendly attractions make this a great place to visit if you bring the family along.There are also some great farms in the area that offer visitors a unique insight into local life.

Charlottesville is also an ideal place for couples traveling to Shenandoah National Park.The city is known for its breweries and vineyards and is a good choice if you’re just staying for the weekend.Many of the restaurants in the city center are cozy and inviting and offer affordable prices thanks to the large student population.

Beautiful single family home in Charlottesville – Snug Harbor

If you’re ready to treat yourself, this is the perfect family home for a short vacation in the Shenandoah area.Outdoor space includes a full size soccer goal, a small wooded path, and even a small creek.You have everything you need to connect with nature.

Perfect home for small families in Charlottesville – Artful House

It’s not often we have two AirBnB-plus accommodations in the same area, but this one is surprisingly affordable.It’s a great option for small families visiting the area.

Interior design feels like stepping into a Wes Anderson movie, with carefully placed splashes of color and unique patterns.

Hip hotel in Charlottesville – Graduate Charlottesville

This uber-cool hotel in the heart of Charlottesville is a firm favorite with young couples and even backpackers who prefer the added privacy of a hotel.

Larger rooms accommodate up to six guests, making them perfect for groups.The outdoor restaurant and bar area offers panoramic views of Charlottesville and the Blue Ridge Mountains that you can enjoy over your complimentary breakfast.

Things to see and do in Charlottesville

  • Travel with young children?This nature walk with llamas is a fantastic way to enjoy the area’s stunning nature at a relaxed pace
  • Speaking of great animal attractions: You can get up close and personal with goats and horses at this super fun experience at a local farm
  • Take the drive along Garth Road, where you can visit some great vineyards and horse stables that offer tourist experiences
  • The Downtown Mall is a great place for shopping addicts with wide streets and public art

Don’t forget travel insurance for Shenandoah National Park

It’s good to get lost sometimes, but it’s also good not to get lost too much.There are people who want you to come home in one piece.

There’s one travel insurance provider that The Broke Backpacker trusts with all of its wildest shenanigans … World Nomads!

Click the button below to get a quote for your insurance, or read our in-depth review of World Nomads’ coverage.And then … let the shenanigans begin. 😉

Final thoughts on staying overnight in Shenandoah National Park

Shenandoah National Park is absolutely worth considering for a vacation in the U.S.Whether you visit the ski resorts in the winter or winter hikes in the summer, there’s something for everyone year-round.

If we had to pick one place as our favorite, we would choose Charlottesville because it has a little bit of everything to offer in the Shenandoah region.The dining establishments are super affordable and the area welcomes any style of traveler.

Other than that, all the places mentioned in this guide have their own charm.Whether you want to stay in the countryside or closer to city amenities, there are some truly fantastic destinations.We hope we’ve helped you narrow down your options for your upcoming trip.

Did we miss anything?Let us know in the comments below!

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