Often confused with the national park of the same name, Shenandoah County lies in the valley between the Blue Ridge and Appalachian Mountains, with the Shenandoah River running along the eastern side.
With more than 178 miles of trails—many of them running through the George Washington National Forest — it’s a hikers’ paradise and if you’re near the river, there are several access points where you and your pooch can hop in for a cooling dip. Seven Bends State Park is a day use park in the Seven Bends are of the North Fork of the river and also offers hiking trails for you and your pal, although dogs are not permitted in designated swim areas and must be on a 6-foot leash per state park regulations.
For an entirely different way to cool off, grab a cold brew or glass of wine while exploring the Shenandoah Spirits Trail, featuring more than 45 vineyards, craft breweries, distilleries and cideries throughout the Northern Shenandoah Valley. Several of these are located in Shenandoah County including Swover Creek Farms & Brewery, where you can quench your thirst in the beer garden, let Fido enjoy the dog park, enjoy a wood-fired pizza or pick up some smoked sausages or jams from the farm store.
Oenophiles and dog lovers should head for award-winning Muse Vineyards, inspired by the small domain wineries of France and Italy. This beautiful property offers spacious lawns and outdoor spaces, as well as a lovely tasting room, and well-behaved, leashed dogs are welcome in both. The property—which offers spectacular views of the mountains— has its own 1.8 mile hiking trail and is just a 5-minute drive from Seven Bends State Park.
Take a relaxing stroll through the charming towns of Strasburg—a mecca for antique lovers—and Woodstock. Both offer plenty of options for outdoor dining! The local visitor’s bureau features a sample pet friendly itinerary, which includes suggestions for accommodations and activities.