A Natural High at Skyland Resort in Shenandoah National Park

Hospitality center and Pollock dining room exterior.Looking for soaring views of the Blue Ridge Mountains, unbridled nature, and a comfortable abode? Skyland Resort in Virginia’s Shenandoah National Park is calling.

This resort is not a fancy, all-inclusive type of place. Instead, it is an outdoorsy heaven. The combination of breathtaking observation points, a variety of cozy accommodations, and a forest setting, makes it a winner for those who are not inclined to camp.

Take the Skyline Drive to Skyland Resort

To get to Skyland Resort, you must make your way along the jaw-droppingly gorgeous Skyline Drive. This road was completed at the beginning of the Second World War.

After you enter the 200,000-acre park, you’ll start ascending the 105-mile-long route. It climbs to 3,680 feet above sea level.

There are 69 scenic lookouts where you can stop, breathe in the fresh air, and take in the majestic mountains and valleys.

Jaw dropping views from Skyline Drive.

Skyland Resort is about halfway along the Skyline Parkway at Mile Marker 41 and 42. The woodsy layout is spread over 27 acres, with plenty of parking.

A Variety of Accommodation at Skyland Resort

There are 28 separate buildings along the ridge and in the wooded areas. A total of 178 guest rooms and cabins gives you lots to choose from. These include premium rooms, detached small cabins, traditional rooms, and pet-friendly rooms.

The guest rooms located along the ridge are newly renovated and feature a mini fridge, coffee maker, microwave, and balconies with mountain views. The buildings are two stories high, with stairs leading to the second level. There are no elevators. But they do have air conditioning and some have ceiling fans.

A cute traditional, two-bedroom cabin.

Cabins are located in wooded areas.

They feature a living room, dining area, and small kitchen space with a fridge, coffee maker, and microwave.

Kitchen in a cabin.

Cabins do not have TVs.

Some have two bedrooms and two bathrooms, while some are studios.

A bedroom in a Skyland Resort cabin.

Many have fireplaces that are currently being restored. While currently out of service, the restorations should be completed by 2024.

DIning and living room in cabin.

Be warned, there is limited cell phone service, depending on your provider. There are no telephones in the accommodations and no Wi-Fi service in rooms. The newer premium rooms do, however, have 46”-flat screen TVs.

Also, it is a non-smoking property.

Skyland Resort Welcomes Pets

Skyland Resort is welcoming to pets, but there are some rules.

No more than two dogs or cats per room. They aren’t permitted in public buildings and must be accompanied and leashed at all times in common areas. You must bring your pet bed. And food and treats have to be stored in airtight containers so they don’t attract other critters.

Getting Back to Nature

This resort is all about getting back to nature. Hike some of the 500 miles of trails and you’ll see frothy waterfalls, fields of wildflowers, and quiet, shady hollows. Wildlife includes deer, songbirds, and black bears.

There are lots of choices for outdoor activities including hiking, biking, horseback riding, and rock climbing.

You can take part in organized events such as astronomy nights, and culinary demonstrations. National Park Service Programs include Birds of Prey, Wild Side of Shenandoah (connecting with the park’s wildlife), and Junior Ranger programs. 

Dining Options 

A hospitality center features Pollock Dining Room with floor-to-ceiling glass windows and is a great place for breakfast. The buffet has hot items such as eggs and sausages, as well as lots of fruit, cereal, breads, coffee, and tea.

Enjoy breakfast in the Pollock Ining room.

Mountain Taproom offers beers and other beverages, while at the Gran ‘N’ Go counter you can pick up quick snacks and hot beverages.

There is also a gift shop and an outdoor terrace with views that go on for miles.

If you need Wi-Fi, connectivity is sometimes available in the dining room lobby, depending on the weather.

However, if you don’t, this is an opportunity for a digital disconnect. Rather than a deprivation, look at it as a chance to be in the moment with nature and your traveling partners.

A Little Historic Background of Skyland Resort

The legacy of Skyland Resort begins in the 1800s when the area was bought as a potential copper mine site. The principal stockholders were Stephen M. Allen and George H. Pollock.

It wasn’t commercially viable, though, and after they died Pollock’s son, also a George, promoted the area as a rustic resort. He developed cabins on almost 50 lots and was known for hosting elaborate balls and parties.

Shenandoah National Park was established in 1935, and Skyland Resort became part of it in 1937. A handful of historic structures from those early days still remain on the property.

Pollock Dining Room view.

The resort is open from April to November.

Rates start at $195 per night, a Premium room with two double beds is around $295. Cabins range from around $200 to $500 per night. Rates vary depending on the season. If you want to bring Rover, pet-friendly rooms are available for an additional cost of $30 per pet, per night. You can also check Expedia or Hotels.com to see if you can find a better deal and make your reservations there if you do.

Hotel feature by Toronto-based travel writer Maureen Littlejohn. Photos by Maureen Littlejohn. Virginia Tourism arranged for her stay as she researched a larger piece. As always, her thoughts and opinions are her own.

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