FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.
app promo

Two Days in Shenandoah National Park

by Angelique Platas

Oct 19, 2020

Photo: Angelique Platas

Travel Tips

Hiking in Shenandoah National Park. Photo: Angelique Platas

With a couple coinciding days off and a full tank of gas, my sister and I made an impromptu decision to head to Shenandoah National Park for some fall hiking. Shenandoah is a 4.5-hour drive from New Jersey, and one of the closest national parks within driving distance that I could think of, so we hit the road for Luray, Virginia, our chosen gateway to the park.


Settling into town a little later than expected, we still had a couple hours of daylight to burn and headed for the park’s Thornton Gap Entrance. Just a 15-minute drive from Hotel Laurance, our home for the weekend, Thornton Gap was the closest entrance to the park and, coincidentally, a great starting point for hikers on day one with limited time.


We opted for the South trail exit once inside Shenandoah and parked at the first parking lot we found, Panorama parking grounds. Our eagerness to get on the trails paid off, as we happened to park at the gateway to Mary’s Rock trail, a challenging but short trail with jaw-dropping views at the peak and a downhill return.


Hiking in Shenandoah National Park. Photo: Angelique Platas

The steep, winding and beautiful trail opened up after several miles to sweeping views of Shenandoah.


We opted for Mary’s Rock with limited time before impending rain and darkness, but a better-planned timeline would give wise hikers the option for several other connecting trails, including Skyland, another seven-mile trek from Mary’s Rock.


The hike back to the car was all downhill and much faster than we anticipated, so we caught the gorgeous full sunset at the car and on the road to the hotel — and the rain we feared never came, a gift and curse of the Valley region.


Mary’s Rock landing, Shenandoah National Park. Photo: Angelique Platas

We utilized the map we were given at the park entrance (a real paper map, who knew) and made plans for a full day of hiking the next day, with trails lined up between sunrise and sunset.


Pro tip: Like many trips into a national park, the drive to the Thornton Gap entrance is a steep, winding road. Try to travel during the day, and in high-visibility/pleasant weather to avoid any undue stress weaving along the mountainside.


Insta Feed
Mar 23, 2023

7 Montevideo, Uruguay, Destinations for Family Travel

It’s time to start dreaming of your next family trip. Here’s some destination inspiration for you. Take a visual journey through Montevideo, Uruguay, with us.

United Airlines Celebrates its First Class of United Aviate Graduates

As the only major U.S. airline to own a flight school, United Airlines already hit a major milestone, and now the carrier celebrates another important — and historic — step as the inaugural class of United Aviate Academy pilots graduates, leading the next generation of aviators. The 51 students in the graduating class were majority, at 80 percent, women and people of color — another stride toward United’s goal of training 5,000 new pilots by 2030 with half women or POC.

Destinations / North America
Mar 23, 2023

Easter Celebrations at Blue Mountain Resort

Take your family travels to Blue Mountain Resort this Easter for delicious brunch and dinner buffets at Slopeside Pub & Grill. Stunning views of the scenic Pocono Mountains and delicious food will have your family coming back for Easter year after year.

Destinations / Europe
Mar 23, 2023

Where to Eat, Stay and Play in Crete

With summer vacation season on the horizon, the Greek island of Crete is undoubtedly on the radar for many family travelers. As a hotbed of culture, history, mythology and outdoor adventure, travelers flock to this beautiful destination year after year. But as the largest island in Greece, it can be hard to narrow down the best places to eat, stay and play on the island.

Destinations / North America
Mar 22, 2023

Family-Friendly Travel at Sun Outdoors RV Resorts

Family travelers looking for a fun-filled vacation can enjoy a stay at one of more than 170 Sun Outdoors resorts and campgrounds across the United States and Canada. Choosing just one of these sites can be challenging, however. Here are some Sun Outdoors spots to create unforgettable memories for families of all ages.

Destinations / North America
Mar 22, 2023

Cape Resorts Properties Open for the Season

Family-run and perfect for family travelers, here’s a closer look at the collection of properties from Cape Resorts.