Shenandoah, Virginia in Fall | Adventures at Natural Bridge & the Tipi Glamping Experience
Fall is such a perfect time to visit the Shenandoah region. We love taking drives along the Blue Ridge Parkway, grabbing a beer at Devil’s Backbone or hiking a new trail, especially when the leaves are starting to change! This particular weekend was Sam’s birthday and mountain lover that he is, we decided to drive out and explore somewhere new out west. I had booked Sam a surprise stay in the mountains and mentioned nothing about what it was we were staying in until we arrived right in front of it! But before I get to that part of the adventure…
We went looking for something to do near our mystery destination and the closest town to it happened to be Lexington, VA. Neither of us had spent much time in this area so we proceeded to “Yelp” attractions nearby. Natural Bridge was just a short drive from where we would be for the night so we decided to pay it a visit. I had visited Natural Bridge in 4th grade on a field trip and hardly remembered it. Sam had never been but always wanted to go. We were both in awe when we first saw it, after following the stone path from the visitor’s center. The bridge was way bigger than I remember and so majestic! It is amazing to think that it was carved out by a river for so many millions of years! It is truly a natural wonder! After spending some time gawking at every angle of the bridge, we continued along a 3/4 mile hike that leads under the bridge to Lace Falls, stopping to check out a bit of the Monacan Indian Village along the path. After spending a few hours in the park, we headed on to our mystery destination!
When Sam asked me how he should pack for the weekend, I told him to bring the kinds of things he would bring for a camping trip, minus the tent, stove or sleeping bag. I guess that basically just left clothes and a headlamp! We made it up a steep hill and winded down a gravel road to the property of the Airbnb. Up ahead you could see a little blue triangle sitting in a field. Sam busted out laughing when he saw it, having no idea that this was what the surprise was. We were staying in a tipi! This was no ordinary tipi either, my friends. I soon learned the definition of “glamping” or “glamorous camping”. The tipi was complete with a Sleep Number bed, a writing desk, Keurig coffee maker, snacks, hanging candles and lots of extra blankets for hanging out by the fire pit. Right outside was a picnic table with a lantern and two hammocks for enjoying the view of the mountains. Our hosts had even built the cutest little patio with a seating area to sit around the fire and take in the absolutely epic view! There was an out house behind the tipi as well, which was also very unique! It had a moon shaped cut in the door, to make it authentic, and string lights strung inside with everything you needed for comfortable stay. If you have never taken a shower while being semi-outside, I highly recommend it and this is the place to do it!
Sam and I got up to enjoy the sunrise the next morning before we headed out. It was so nice to be able to take some time and relax outside. We had to pry ourselves out of the hammock at check out time because it was just so pretty. We regretted not booking more than one night and definitely plan to visit again! Both of us are into the more traditional forms of camping as well but this was by far an experience you should try! If you’re a little nervous to try real camping for the first time, maybe try out “glamping” first. It’s a little less intimidating I guarantee you’ll fall in love!