Virginia’s Shenandoah County is nestled between three mountain ranges, lapped by the winding bends of the North Fork of the Shenandoah River, and blanketed by lush forests. The natural wonderland is packed with pristine woods, bubbling streams, gushing waterfalls, open valleys, bold rocks and steep mountainsides—it’s beautiful from every angle! Whether you come for adventure, relaxation, or a bit of both, the stunning views impress. Though picturesque in every season, fall offers a kaleidoscope of warm colors that mingle with the various shades of blue and green that linger here all year. It’s too pretty to look away. You don’t have to miss a moment of “wow” when you book overnight accommodations that offer a mouth-dropping, eye-popping, Instagram-ready view. These five accommodations boast views to take your breath away.
Cabin on the Seven Bends Watch the sunset over the North Fork of the Shenandoah River while staying at this secluded cabin set on two acres near Woodstock. Protected forest lands hug each side of the river. “The view is absolutely beautiful,” says owner Steve Shaffer. “The river is just glowing at sunset; it’s one of the neatest things, just a beautiful little spot in the valley.” The sky is more visible from the river than the woods, so kayaks and canoes are provided to use during your stay. Paddle out onto the water at sunset to bask in the memory-making view. Peace and quiet are key amenities at this off-the-grid retreat with convenient river access but no electricity (battery-operated lighting is available). The eight- by 16-foot cabin includes a small loft with a futon plus hammocks to sleep up to four. Clean up at the rain barrel shower, gravity sink, and composting toilet. Relax on the cabin deck, on the dock, or in the screened porch to enjoy the cool breeze coming off the river. After sunset, roast marshmallows over flames in the fire pit. For more information and to book a stay, visit https://www.hipcamp.com/virginia/cabin-on-the-seven-bends/cottage-on-the-seven-bends.
Jacob Swartz House Bed & Breakfast Cottage Choose your own view in this quaint cottage: From the screened porch, gaze upon the Massanutten Mountain near the West Virginia state line. From the backyard see the easternmost portion of the Allegheny Mountains. Snuggle in to feel immersed in the woods most of the year or come when leaves fall for the view that opens up to reveal the North Fork of the Shenandoah River. “You can see the sunrise from the master bedroom,” says owner Robin Gilbert. “Lie in bed to watch it, or wander out to the screened porch.” Later, watch the sunset from the backyard, the big deck, or the new rec room above the garage that houses a pool table. Savor privacy as the only guest in this cozy, historic 1852 farmhouse in New Market that sits on a bluff above the North Fork of the Shenandoah River. Log on to the Wi-Fi or nod off in a queen-sized bed in either of the two bedrooms. Canoodle in front of the electric fireplace, under skylights, on the private screened porch overlooking the river, or river-view sun room. Cook in the kitchen or on the stone terrace’s charcoal grill. Head out to find adventure at one of the nearby hiking trails, wineries or museums or stay on-site to savor a slower pace and simply appreciate the surrounding vistas. Learn more at https://www.jacobswartz.com/ or call 540-740-9208.
River Bluff Farm Bed and Breakfast Sunrise, sunset and all the hours in between are attractive here and burst with color each fall. Look east at Massanutten Mountain or west to the Allegheny Mountains from this log and timber retreat on 20 private acres above the banks of the Shenandoah River’s North Fork between New Market and Mount Jackson.
The three-bedroom log cabin house “sits high up from the river,” says innkeeper and owner Donna Griffin. “It’s up a steep little hill from the riverfront with views of both mountain ranges and the river bluff.” Linger at picnic tables, in adirondack chairs, on the deck, or around the fire circle. Paddle the river in a provided inner tube or personal floatation device. Rent the whole house or any of the three bedrooms, each of which offers a view worth lingering to admire. Savor a fresh farm breakfast in the log cabin’s charming dining room or on the deck overlooking the river, mountains and farmland. Relax and unwind breathing deep crisp air so fresh it that makes you say, ahhhh. Find out more at https://www.riverbluffbnb.com/ or call 540-454-9751.
Shenandoah River Lodge Watch a parade of deer, turkey and other wild birds, plus even the occasional black bear at Shenandoah River Lodge in Woodstock. Relax on the front porch overlooking an expansive field where wildlife roam against a backdrop of Massanutten Mountain. From the ease of an adirondack chair, see the morning mist hover above the rolling meadows. “You can watch hang gliders take off from the mountain,” says owner Doug French. “You get a wide view of the mountain.” Sunsets are routinely spectacular with rich hues. Located on a 160-acre working farm hugged by the Shenandoah River, the three-bedroom vacation rental house sleeps 12. Enjoy all the comforts of a modern home in the quiet countryside. Canoes are available so you can make the most of the secluded access to Shenandoah River. Relax while floating on the river or in front of two fireplaces, in two Jacuzzi bathtubs, a seven-person Jacuzzi hot tub, while sipping on a drink you prepared at the large wet bar, or in any of the four bedrooms (two of which are master suites). For fun play ping pong, horseshoes, or tour the farm. For more information visit http://www.shenandoahriverlodge.com/.
Slate Hill School House Sleep with history, wake to breathtaking views at Slate Hill School House in Fort Valley, Shenandoah County’s valley within a valley. “It’s really special, it really is,” says property owner Keith Stephens. For starters, privacy is built in: “You can’t get in without going through miles of George Washington National Forest.” Grab a seat on the wrap-around porch for singular views of Passage Creek or sit around the custom outdoor fire pit for unobstructed views of Massanutten Mountain. Ring the school bell from inside this pet-friendly retreat. Built in 1871, the current schoolhouse building served the local community until 1939. “Some of the initials from early students who attended the school are carved into the walls and are still visible,” says Stephens. Renovated in 2013, the structure is now thoroughly modern (including Wi-Fi) with three bedrooms and two baths; up to seven people can sleep comfortably in the two-story retreat that also offers a formal dining room, living room/library and den. The property offers direct access to the Mudhole Gap Trail, which connects to Signal Knob, Bear Wallow and Massanutten trails…if you can tear yourself away from the view. For more information, visit https://www.vrbo.com/3815230ha. ##