I have always wanted to go ‘glamping‘. It just sounds so fun and magical. I’ve seen awe-inspiring pictures of Bohemian-styled yurts on my Instagram feed, but I never thought that I would be able to afford such a luxury…until I stumbled upon Shenandoah Crossing.
Back in January, we purchased a time-share sampler package from Blue Green Vacations. They offer tons of different resorts and accommodations. But we were most excited to ‘spend’ our points by staying in a yurt at Shenandoah Crossing. Thus, ‘glamping in Shenandoah Valley’ was added to our Fort Bragg Bucket List.
You can check out our 8 Tips for Glamping at Shenandoah Crossing for more info about the resort and lessons we learned while glamping for the first time.
Shenandoah Crossing is located in Gordonsville – a small town in historic central Virginia. We planned our visit during the kids’ spring break in early April. Unfortunately, the weather was still cold and a little snowy. I Googled and Pinterest-ed things to do near the resort, but I didn’t come up with much that I thought would keep us busy for the whole weekend.
Most of what I found to do online was to hang out in the pool, ride horses, go boating, and hike. However, the snowy weather made most of these options impossible. And I was afraid that the kids were going to be bored.
But that fear quickly dissipated as soon as we arrived at Shenandoah Crossing. In fact, there wasn’t enough time to do everything that we wanted to do!
Here is what we did during our long weekend at Shenandoah Crossing:
We drove the little over 4 hours from our home near Fort Bragg, North Carolina to Shenandoah Crossing in Virginia.
After we checked in and unpacked our things, it was time to find something to eat. We were tired of being cooped up in the car and the snow was coming down, so we weren’t up for a drive into Gordonsville. We decided to eat at Izac’s Tavern, a casual restaurant (and bar) in the resort’s Lodge. The food was okay, a little over-priced in my opinion, but worth a few extra bucks not to have to drive in the bad weather.
After dinner, we took the kids downstairs to the arcade. (The arcade is also at the Lodge, on the bottom floor.) Though the arcade is small, the kids didn’t seem to mind at all. They loved it! It kept them entertained for more than an hour with only $20 worth of tokens.
They played air hockey, pinball, racing games, and won a gazillion toy dinosaurs, bouncy balls, and stuffed animals from the claw machines. By the time they were finally done playing, it was too late to get into the pool. So, we headed back to the yurt and stayed up late playing games before going to bed.
My original plan for Sunday was to go hiking at Shenandoah National Park. However, Saturday’s snow closed down Skyline Drive, making the hikes I planned impossible. And I was left scrambling for something else to do.
The kids couldn’t wait to ride the horses at the Equestrian Center (on-site at the resort), but when we got there they were on a break for lunch. So, we spent a little time at the playground. (There are several playgrounds sprinkled throughout Shenandoah.)
After the playground, we hit up the mini-golf course. This mini-golf course is also on-site at the resort and is absolutely free for guests. The kids loved it!
After completing all 18 holes, we headed back over to the Equestrian Center. The pony rides (for kids 8 and under) were perfect for my girls! But the center also offers trail rides for older kids and adults. This service is not free for guests, but each pony ride was only $8, plus a tip for our guide.
Our guide, a sweet gentleman named Sam, was great with our kids and the horses. He also gave us advice about things to do at the resort and where to find the best BBQ in Virginia! (Spoiler: It’s right down the road in Gordonsville!)
Unlike our first day at Shenandoah Crossing, the weather was beautiful, so we decided to drive to Monticello in Charlottesville (a 45 minute drive). Monticello is the historic home of our founding father, Thomas Jefferson.
We were unsure of this excursion, considering we have 2 young kids (5 and 7), who are not interested in history at all. Nonetheless, we are SO glad that we decided to go. It was so much more interesting than we ever expected! (The only downside was that it was also more expensive than we expected. Make sure to check out the pricing before you go.)
After our tour of Monticello, we skipped dinner at Michie Tavern. Instead, we opted to drive back to Gordonsville to have dinner at the Barbeque Exchange. This BBQ restaurant was featured on Food Network’s show Man Fire Food and it’s easy to see why. Our food was de-lish-us and worth every penny!
With full bellies, we headed straight back to the resort to change into our swimsuits and FINALLY hit the indoor pool and hot tub. (Our kids had only been begging us the entire time we were here.) We spent 3 hours alternating between soaking our tired muscles in a hot tub and playing Marco Polo in the pool, before heading back to the yurt to watch some cartoons and get some sleep.
It was our check-out day and we were sad to say goodbye to our first glamping experience. It was definitely the coolest camping we had ever done.
After checking out we had to go to the preview center for a ‘meeting’ with the Blue Green staff. This was the only negative experience of our entire trip.
We didn’t have any plans to buy into a timeshare. (Not because Blue Green isn’t great – because both of our experiences with them have been wonderful, but simply because we are not in a place, financially, where vacations are a priority.) Even though we told them this up front, they told us that we HAD to stay for an hour.
So, we did
We politely listened to the entire sales pitch…and still told them no. But even that was not enough. The sales guy had to go get his manager, who gave us her spiel…so that we could tell her no also.
It was a colossal waste of time and we ended up being there much longer than an hour. However, they did give us a $25 gift card before we left, so I can’t complain too much.
Our first glamping experience was truly one of a kind. There was so much to do at Shenandoah Crossing that we didn’t even need to leave the resort to have a good time. If I could change anything, I would have scheduled our trip during the summer months, so that we could hike and enjoy the lake and the outdoor pools.
I highly recommend this resort and Blue Green Vacations if you’re looking to buy a timeshare. Both of our experiences with them have been wonderful…despite their pushy salespeople
Don’t forget to check out our 8 Tips for Glamping at Shenandoah for ideas for your glamping trip!