FX Excursions

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

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.

#WhereverFamily

Insta Feed
Destinations / North America
Apr 15, 2024

Where to Celebrate Mother’s Day in Hawai’i

Take family travel to Hawai’i this May to celebrate Mother’s Day. Two of Hawai’i’s most luxurious hotels, The Westin Hapuna Beach Resort and ESPACIO The Jewel of Waikiki, shower moms with the spirit of aloha with celebrations all weekend long.

Make the Most of Hamad International Airport When Transferring

Making travel plans can be exciting; did you know planning on how to spend time at the airport the right way can enrich the overall trip experience? As a transfer hub, traveling through Doha's Hamad International Airport is a unique experience, as waiting never feels like waiting at one of the best airports in the world.

Multigenerational
Apr 15, 2024

Enjoy Multigenerational Travel in New York with Motto by Hilton

Family Travel Agent recently found family travel will continue to grow this year, as 81 percent of families expressed their likelihood of traveling in 2024. Of that group, more than 50 percent plan to take part in multigenerational travel. If that multigen travel is taking place in New York City, two hotels, Motto Times Square and Motto Chelsea, prove ideal options.

Destinations / Europe
Apr 12, 2024

Learn About Bavarian Kings at Museum of Bavarian Kings in Germany

If your family travel happens to take you to Schwangau, Germany, to tour Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau castles, you might want to also visit Museum of Bavarian Kings before to learn a little more about the Bavarian kings who once lived there.

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 / Caribbean
Apr 12, 2024

Vacation Like James Bond in Jamaica

James Bond has entertained movie-goers for decades, earning legions of fans of all ages. For the next month, family travelers can book a stay at a Sandals or Beaches resort that lets you pay homage to the world’s favorite spy with a new deal, the Love and Let Fly package.