Skyline Drive in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley Is the Perfect Summer Trip

Want to take a weekend jaunt in the car? Here's where to go (and what to drive)

Bentley’s Continental GT Speed coupe is a smooth ride for Skyline Drive.

Bentley’s Continental GT Speed coupe is a smooth ride for Skyline Drive.

Photographer: Kevin Kunstadt/Bloomberg Pursuits

Virginia's Skyline Drive, a 76-year-old national scenic byway that runs along the Blue Ridge Mountains, is traditionally driven during autumn, when it’s popular with foliage seekers. But the warmer months offer their own pleasures. Azaleas bloom in June, trillium and bluebells in July, black-eyed Susans and goldenrod in August. The 105-mile road runs the entire length of Shenandoah National Park, hitting an elevation of 3,400 feet. There are 75 overlooks along the route, which winds through forests that are home to hawks, wild turkey, deer, and black bears. Enter the park from I-66 in the north, from I-81 in the west, or from I-64 in the south. For the best driving experience, pick something smooth, such as Bentley’s Continental GT Speed coupe (pictured), or something sporty, like the Porsche 911. Both handle the turns athletically and cruise easily along the straight stretches. Don’t expect to blow your way through, as the speed limit tops out at 35 mph. It’s just as well—you’ll get a better look at the wildflowers along the way. $15 park entrance fee

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