Drive a little, save a lot. Sherando Lake is near Waynesboro, about 45 minutes from Charlottesville. Summer passes are still just $30.00, for as many people as you can load in one vehicle for the whole summer! Compare that price to the family passes at Charlottesville area lakes savings are significant.
Sherando is a wonderful place where you feel as if you are at the beach in the mountains, with sunny as well as shady spots. There are no lifeguards, but this suits us fine as we watch our own. There are no "breaks," "teen only" times, nonsense rules, etc. There is lots of clean sand and shallow water for the smaller kids, and there is an island you can swim to. You might even see a snake or two. The gift shop has a great selection of books, especially the nature ID books. There are plenty of trails, easy and strenuous, to satisfy all types of hikers.
Sherando Lake was our favorite local place for tent camping. Loop A has the larger, more private sites, Loops B and C now have electric hook-ups and new bath houses. Camping in Loop A is $15 per night; loops B and C are $20 per night. I find it to be most unfortunate that electricity was added to both the B and C loops because they are the sites along the creek. My kids loved tent camping on the C loop because of the creek. Now, tent camping during the summer on the B or C loop usually means you get to hear the hum of the RV running to maintain the air conditioning. Yuck!
There is large group camping available at the end of the main road. Large group camping is the only type of reservation you can make at Sherando Lake. Loops A, B, and C are first-come, first-served.
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