Day Trips from DC – Shenandoah National Park

I haven’t been to D.C. since I was in High School. Back then, I went on a week-long trip learning about our government, while also taking in the sights. (You can check out that blog here.) Recently, my work offered me the chance to go to D.C. for a marketing conference. While this trip was shorter – two nights and three days – we still managed to see a few “must-see’s”.

Once our conference had wrapped, my team and I went on a night tour. This was different from my high school trip, as we did most of our touring during the day. Our tour bus took us to a few stops where we could get out and explore.

DC buildings

The three-hour tour included:

  • Lincoln Memorial
  • Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial
  • U.S. Capital building
  • Martin Luther King Jr Memorial

It was fun to see the monuments at night all lit-up. It was also nice to see the Capital building without construction, as it was under-going renovations when I went the first time.

Now onto the main reason I wanted to write this blog! If you’ve spent a few days in the city and are craving some peace and quiet – you’re in good luck! Shenandoah is only an hour drive away, in nearby Virginia.

shenahdoah entrance

Since I didn’t have a car as I was there for a work trip, and I knew I wanted to explore the park my way, aka not rely on Ubers the whole time, I knew I needed to rent a car. Renting a car can be expensive and the last time I rented a car, I had to wait in a seriously long line. I looked into Turo for this trip and was pleasantly surprised.

The best way to describe Turo is to compare it to Airbnb. You’re renting real peoples’ cars and … similar to how Airbnb allows self-check-in, you can set your own time and drop off place with your Turo host. I simply went to where I was told the car was parked, got the keys that were left for me and off I went.

In my rented convertible, I left the busy city behind and made my way to the Front Royal Entrance of the park and drove along Skyline Drive. At the entrance, I made sure to use my America the Beautiful pass (the one I got at Yellowstone) and also a map of the park, just in case I got lost (even though it’s a pretty straight drive, lol).

I was hoping the trees would have been turning to yellow and red by the time I went. They weren’t, but the greens were still just as beautiful.


The park was peaceful and at times, it seemed like I was the only one driving through it. It was a quick glance at the area, but I’m glad I went! I wish I had giving myself a little more time to explore, but that just means I need to go back one day.

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