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Tips for the Massanutten area please

Discussion in 'US - Eastern States Timesharing' started by sfwilshire, Aug 3, 2019.

  1. sfwilshire

    sfwilshire TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    I had more RCI Points than I realized that I couldn't extend any further with my Platinum membership, so i just booked Labor Day week at Regal Vista at Massanutten. I had trouble finding anything within easy driving distance that we could make work with our schedule. I looked for something beachy, but nothing appealing showed up, especially in hurricane season.

    I've never even considered this area for a vacation, but I'm getting sort of excited about it. I've always wanted to drive the Blue Ridge Parkway instead of speeding up I-81 on a long drive north or south, so I will probably take the slow road north to Massanutten. Hopefully it won't be too painful on Labor Day weekend.

    I'll be reading all of the resort reviews for the area and researching a couple of travel websites, but please share any tips for the area. We aren't very active, but love scenic drives, looking at pretty towns, eating in local restaurants, attending local events such as fairs, etc. We'll be there Sunday to Sunday.

    Thanks for any suggestions.

    Sheila
     
  2. Free2Roam

    Free2Roam TUG Member

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    You didn't specify ages... specifically if kids will be with you. But there is a waterpark on-site. It's not free, or cheap in my opinion, but the kids love it... also a few pools in the various sections of Massanutten. I'm not sure how many, we usually go to the one at the activity center. The activity center has board games you can borrow. Also a small arcade with air hockey, ping pong and pool tables. There is also an Escape Room (there are plans for a 2nd, but I'm not sure if it's open yet.)

    I think they also offer a day trip to Washington DC. I've never done that because I live in the DC suburbs.

    There is horseback riding on-site, but, personally I found it a bit scary riding a horse thru the mountains. Also a petting zoo where pony rides are available.

    In the area off-site... there are a few caverns (Shenandoah, Luray, Endless), the Virginia Safari Park (my family LOVED it) and a few vineyards.
     
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  3. Grammarhero

    Grammarhero Official TUGBBS Rescission Master TUG Lifetime Member

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    Williamsburg Plant 4L/4
    DRI South Bend 1/1

    Been to:
    Intl: Aruba, Aus, Bah, China, Jpn, HK, Macau, Mex
    US: AZ, CA, DC, DE, IL, IN, KY, MD, NC, NJ, NV, NY, OH, OR, PA, SC, TN, TX, VA, WA, WV
    Saturday nights have fun, free karaoke nights.

    When going to the water park, Don’t pay the stupid $15 locker fee. Just bring swim stuff with you, leave important stuff in your room, and put your stuff on the chairs.

    Don’t eat at the resort restaurants. They are overpriced and not very good. Check yelp for good area restaurants. There are good burger, bbq, and ice cream (reasonably priced) joints near the entrance.

    Don’t do the resort’s all you can arcade for $30. It’s just a crappier version of Dave and Busters.
     
  4. missyrcrews

    missyrcrews TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    It's not a far drive to Thomas Jefferson's Monticello from there...my kids are still talking about that! We also went to the Virginia Museum of the Civil War. It was interesting for these New England "Yankees" to see the Civil War from another perspective. Luray Caverns was interesting...pretty drive into there off the highway. My husband and oldest daughter took the bus trip from Massanutten to Washington DC. Both gave it high marks.

    It was not a cheap trip, due to the resort fees and such, but we did have fun, and would consider going again in a few years.
     
  5. sfwilshire

    sfwilshire TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    Thanks for the suggestions so far. My grand-daughters ages 2 and 3 will be there for from Sunday check-in until early afternoon Monday. That's all the time they could spare. My son, who has a disability, is 20. None of us are pool or water park people. The little girls would go, but would be just as happy with any other pool.

    I think it will still be too hot for us to be interested in any DC tourist stuff. I thought about trying to get into National Harbor, but we found our last trip there exhausting walking from the Metro to the museums and monuments. None of the three of us get around that well, particularly my son.

    I'm claustrophobic, so not too anxious to go in any caverns. I did, however, pick up my local paper today and see an interesting review of Shenandoah Caverns. The most appealing thing to me mentioned in the article was the American Celebration on Parade, which displays various parade floats. The admission looks a pretty steep, but I thought I'd search for a discount of some sort.

    We're not huge history buffs. I enjoy historic houses more than the men of the family. We visited Monticello many years ago and I enjoyed it, but my son would not.

    I read that the views are not as nice from Regal Vista as some of the other resorts, but maybe there will be a pleasant deck to sit on with a book. A relaxing week is fine as long as we find a few things to explore.

    Thanks again

    Sheila
     
  6. bluehende

    bluehende TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    I know you said you are not very active, but the hiking off the scenic overlook is very rewarding. The view from the overlook is great. And either way on the ridge has beautiful views with only a very small walk. The scenic chairlift ride could be fun. Also the evening shows are usually very good.

    I think they call it a welcome party or something now. It is a craft fair and has food. Beer and wine tasting for a small fee is available. I always do the beer and the selection is quite nice. I believe that is Monday afternoon. If you are into beer tourism let me know. I know the beer culture in the area well.

    We will be there to Mountain Bike the week after you.
     
  7. Free2Roam

    Free2Roam TUG Member

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    If you plan on going to karaoke, get there early to get a seat. The restaurant/bar is small. There's a glass wall that overlooks the indoor portion of the waterpark and parents often park themselves at a table to keep an eye on the kids in the waterpark while they grab a bite and relax. But we usually go in the winter when the indoor section is crowded because the outdoor section is closed. So this may not be an issue during the summer.
     
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  8. Big Matt

    Big Matt TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    You need to go to Lurray Caverns. It isn't like you are spelunking. It is wide open with paths and guard rails. Great place to visit and neat history. Also go to Charlottesville and see Monticello. It's an hour and 15 minute drive. You are in farm/dairy country also. I don't have a lot of knowledge of the area, but you would expect that some may have tours, etc. Lot's of wineries within an hour also.
     
  9. quhines

    quhines TUG Member

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    We went to Massanutten during Spring Break, and we had a blast. We decided to go Grand Caverns http://www.grandcaverns.com/ and it was a good trip for us. We only did the Water Park, once during the week. We also did the Zip Lining, Summer Tubing, and the Kid's Playland at the Family Adventure Park. We did take a drive up at the Shenandoah National Park to take in the view.
     
  10. Tamaradarann

    Tamaradarann TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    There are a lot of things in the area some walking some not.

    Since you are driving the Blue Ridge Parkway to get there already you may not find the Sky Line Drive of the Shenandoah National Park as spectacular as we did. However, in the center part of the drive north of Massanutten is an interesting Museum that you can spend a few hours going through that addressing the building of the park and drive.

    Luray Caverns is about an hour away and is one of the best in the United States and is worth a visit. The Caverns are in general very large so that Claustrophobia may not be a threat. For the price of admission there is also a vintage car Museum that we found one of the best we have seen also.

    Jefferson's Monticello Home is definitely a good museum and is about an hour away. Charlottesville which is nearby is a nice little town with some great shops and places to eat dinner outside when it is not so warm. You can park relatively close to the main pedestrian mall which is easy to walk up and down.

    If you like Water Park Slides the resorts indoor water park would be great.

    If you are a Civil War History type person there are some in the area. We didn't visit them since most of our group did not appreciate history museums as much as others.
     
  11. RonB

    RonB TUG Member

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    If you go to Monticello, you might want to go to Michie Tavern. It opened in the late 1700s. It currently is a buffet with a menu from that time. It's a bit pricey, but not terrible, and they do have actors portraying people from that time.
     
  12. Ricci

    Ricci Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    Please reconsider Luray Caverns. I don't believe you would have any problem....the caverns are very large with high ceilings. It is quite spectacular.
    Also the animal Safari Park is great fun!!
     
  13. chapjim

    chapjim TUG Member

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    Shoot back down I-81 to Natural Bridge. It's just an hour south of Harrisonburg.

    Reddish Nob is a nice drive from Harrisonburg. It's one of the higher points on the WVA-VA border. Great views if you catch a clear day. Don't recall how to get there -- my son drove when he was attending James Madison U. in Harrisonburg and that was maybe fifteen year ago.
     
  14. Miss Marty

    Miss Marty TUG Member

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    For anyone traveling along Interstate I-81 to or from Massanutten
    The Museum of the Shenandoah Valley in Winchester is a must see.
     
  15. Miss Marty

    Miss Marty TUG Member

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    RE: maybe there will be a pleasant deck to sit on with a book.
    A relaxing week is fine as long as we find a few things to explore.

    Sheila - Check out the Green Valley Book Fair (Aug 17- Sept 8) Off I-81 Mount Crawford,
    Located just south of Harrisonburg, Virginia in the heart of the beautiful Shenandoah Valley.
     
  16. Miss Marty

    Miss Marty TUG Member

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    Traveling - Skyline Drive - The Blue Ridge Parkway


    Skyline Drive is the scenic highway that takes you through Shenandoah National Park The miles begin at 0 at Front Royal and continue to 105 at the southern end of the park. The speed limit is 35 mph. It takes about three hours to travel the entire length of the park on a clear day. There are no entrance fees with The America the Beautiful The National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass. (Access Pass: Free) The entrance fee without a pass is $30 per vehicle.

    The Blue Ridge Parkway is a National Parkway and All American Road in the United States noted for its scenic beauty. The parkway, which is America's longest linear park runs 469 miles through 29 Virginia and North Carolina counties linking Shenandoah National Park to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. There are no entrance fees. blueridgeparkway .org
     
  17. rapmarks

    rapmarks TUG Review Crew: Elite TUG Member

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    We went north on this one day, played nine holes of golf, then headed back. The next day we went south, played nine holes and headed back. We visited Monticello, university of virginia, new market, luray caverns, Staunton, Woodrow wilsons home, Madison’s home, drove to Fredericksburg and did several neighboring civil war sites, so much to see and do in that area.
     
  18. Miss Marty

    Miss Marty TUG Member

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  19. sfwilshire

    sfwilshire TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    I need to read the notes before I confirm an RCI reservation. The fee is a disappointment, since it doesn't list anything we are likely to use.

    The thread has wonderful tips for visiting the area. Thank you all for the input. My to do list is growing every time I log in.

    Sheila
     
  20. Railman83

    Railman83 TUG Member

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    Check out Mass resort website. They have an astonishing number of things to do on the 6000 acres that make up the resort.
     
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  21. KathyOnOBX

    KathyOnOBX Guest

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    Hi! We spent a wonderful week at Massanutten last September. First visit there. Weather was predicted to be very bad (we'd been evacuated from the Outer Banks of NC, so went to Massanutten). Drive to get there and back was very scenic and pretty. Weather warnings in the area proved to be unneeded as no storm blew in after all. My tips for the area:
    1. Prepare for and enjoy most of your time on the deck of your condo. Not a lot else to do but it's beautiful with lots of deer and wild animals to watch.
    2. Check unit immediately for bed bugs! We didn't see any but got badly bitten. Common complaint for the condos there I found out afterward.
    3. Drove most of the beautiful Shenandoah Parkway. Takes much longer than one might expect so allow plenty of time. Problem: Fog. Most of the way on Skyline Drive there was thick fog, which meant nothing could be seen from the scenic pullover areas looking down into the valleys below.
    4. Blue Ridge Parkway was closed due to anticipated bad weather (which didn't materialize).
    5. Good italian restaurant about 2 miles straight west on the highway at the bottom of the hill. One of the few restaurants in the area other than the ones in the resort (which we wouldn't recommend). Some pretty little towns in that area too for scenic drives.

    Not normally a "negative Nancy" but sharing our actual experience there...

    Kathy

    Kathy
     
  22. Free2Roam

    Free2Roam TUG Member

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    We go every year and have never had a bedbug problem... nor have I heard any reports of bedbugs.

    We stay in Woodstone... group trip with 15-20 units, sometimes more.

    What section were you in?
     
  23. sfwilshire

    sfwilshire TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    Thanks for the tips. The bed bug possibility is pretty scary.

    One reason we more typically take beach vacations is that we live in the woods. You can hardly go in our driveway at night or early morning without seeing deer. They eat the apples right outside our front door. My husband talks to them like most people talk to their dogs or cats. We are over-run by all sorts of wild animals. So seeing wildlife doesn't have a lot of appeal, but I plan to take a couple of books, so sitting on the deck may be the best place for reading.

    I appreciate the information.

    Sheila
     
  24. Miss Marty

    Miss Marty TUG Member

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    How was the drive from Tennessee to VA? Did your family enjoy their vacation?
    Where you able to get a Regal Vista unit with a deck to relax on and a nice view?
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2019
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  25. sfwilshire

    sfwilshire TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    The drive would have been almost all interstate had we not taken a scenic detour on part of the Blue Ridge Parkway. We got a late start that day, though, and didn't stay on the Parkway too long because it was getting to be late afternoon.

    We had a deck, but the view was mostly of other houses with mountains behind them. There was no roof over the deck for shade, so it was still too hot to use the deck during most of the day.

    Sheila
     

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