If you opted for an early morning drive (a mere hour and 40 minutes minutes from the Washington metro area), or enjoyed a local inn or b&b the night before, you won’t want to miss Strasburg’s Pancake Underground — cooking up sweet and savory pancakes with fresh local ingredients. Twenty-five minutes north of Seven Bends State Park on 81, this establishment offers waffles, breakfast bowls, sweet treats, and yes pancakes to fuel up for a day on the water. (If you’re arriving from DC you’ll pass right by it on the way to Seven Bends.)
While the river is beautiful from its banks, we highly recommend exploring by boat. Bring your own kayak, canoe or tube to enjoy a leisurely 90-minute float through Seven Bends State Park. Boat ramps are available at either end of the park. Refuel with lunch at the nearby Woodstock Cafe before ascending Massanutten Mountain for a view of the unique, bird’s eye view of the unique geologic formation of the “Seven Bends” from above at the Woodstock Tower. Just a short .15 mile walk from the parking area, the observation tower offers stunning 360 degree views of the snake-like bends and on a clear day, visitors can peer east to see Shenandoah National Park in the distance. If you’re lucky, you’ll catch hang gliders taking off from the popular launch site just below the tower on the adjacent Massanutten Trail.
Post hike, dine and unwind at Edinburg Mill Restaurant, merely a 15 minute drive from Seven Bends State Park. The restaurant features rustic American style cuisine and they’re known for dishing up the freshest local ingredients or grab a pint at the nearby Woodstock Brewhouse.
Looking for a place to stay, check out these unique local options — Stickley Hall, River Bluff Bed & Breakfast, The Cottage on Seven Bends (for glampers), or Hopewell House Bike & Bed.