15 Best Things to Do in Basye, VA

Basye, VA
Kristi Blokhin / shutterstock.com

Basye, a census-designated place (CDP), lies ten miles west of Mount Jackson in Shenandoah County, Virginia.

Basye used to belong to the Orkney Springs neighborhood.

Martha Basye, who was married to resort founder William Brice, named the CDP.

The area’s name took inspiration from a family that resided in the region.

Home to Bryce Resort, Basye provides the best four-season outdoor activities.

Its golf course is the primary summer draw, but the resort offers more activities year-round.

Regardless of the season, Basye provides everything you need for a memorable vacation, whether an adventure-filled getaway or a tranquil retreat.

Discover more about this picturesque area with this list of the best things to do in Basye, Virginia.

Have a Blast at Bryce Resort

Signage of Bryce Resort
Kristi Blokhin / Shutterstock.com

Are you looking for the best outdoor destination you can enjoy any season?

Bring your kids to Bryce Resort to learn to ski or snowboard.

Their excellent ski and snowboard school operates all winter long.

Spend the day tubing down one of eight tracks served by a high-speed quad lift, then go inside the resort’s restaurant or Copper Kettle for dinner and weekend entertainment.

The summer season is the busiest at Bryce Resort due to the popularity of the resort’s Championship Golf Course.

Nonetheless, the resort has plenty to offer throughout the year.

Restaurant at Bryce Resort
Kristi Blokhin / Shutterstock.com

Bryce has everything a family might want in a vacation, from Summer Tubing to Disc Golf.

You will also enjoy the first mountain biking park in Virginia with a lift at Bryce Bike Park.

The Lake Laura Beach and Boating Center offers a wide range of recreational activities, including paddle boats, swimming, and fishing.

The Copper Kettle Bar & Lounge is the perfect place to unwind after a long work day.

There are daily specials, seasonal ingredients, and daily specials on the menu at the Restaurant at Bryce Resort.

During the winter ski season and on spring, summer, and fall dates, the pub features live performances from local musicians.

Before you head out to the bar, check the schedule to see the up-and-coming bands, DJs, and other activities that will take place.

Landscape of Bryce Resort
Kristi Blokhin / Shutterstock.com

Go Fishing at Lake Laura

Located in southwest Shenandoah County, not far from the state boundary with West Virginia, is the 44-acre impoundment known as Lake Laura.

In 1991, Bryce Mountain Resort handed over the lake’s fisheries management to the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.

The dam impounds the upper section of Big Stony Creek, producing a rectangular pool with a maximum depth of 30 feet.

Both nuisance algal blooms and an excess of aquatic vegetation occurred in Lake Laura.

Bryce Mountain Resort excavated the impoundment’s upper end to fix the problem.

The excavation reduced the availability of nutrients by burying more silt and facilitating plant growth.

This summer, bring the kids to Lake Laura and spend the day reclining on the grassy beach while they swim and play.

In addition, the lake has a small hiking trail that circles its entire area.

Anglers can try to catch largemouth bass, pumpkinseed sunfish, bluegill, crappie, channel catfish, northern pike, and walleye

Enjoy Lakeside Activities at Lake Carroll

Another lake you may enjoy in Basye is Lake Carroll.

It is perfect for swimming, kayaking, or just floating with friends.

It also has a signposted trail large enough for two individuals to walk side by side.

The trail is flat or has mild inclines, making it ideal for families and the elderly.

You may spot ducks, birds, turtles, and fish at Lake Carroll.

Feel free to bring your lunch or stop by the snack counter.

Stroll through Orkney Springs Trail

Orkney Springs Trail is an 11.6-mile loop trail in Basye.

Hikers typically take around four hours to complete the challenging trail.

From the trailhead, follow the purple paint on the trees.

The first half-mile of the ascent is steep, and it only gets steeper.

When you reach the top, you’ll see the most incredible view.

You won’t run into too many other hikers or explorers on this path, making it ideal for a day out in the fresh air.

Have a Retreat at Senedo Springs Resort

Senedo Springs is in the North Mountain range of the Appalachians, not far from the state line with West Virginia.

The resort serves as a home base for day trips to historical landmarks, wineries, local activities, and Washington, DC.

You can try snow tubing, skiing, and ice skating during winter.

Lake Laura is a popular summertime destination for swimming, fishing, mountain biking, golfing, and driving ranges.

It also has a professional golf course.

Upon your arrival, you’ll have access to further activity details.

Senedo Springs’ business office and the Basye library are open during regular business hours to provide Wi-Fi.

Drive carefully at night because the roads to the resort are narrow and winding.

Likewise, pay extra caution while driving in the highlands, especially when it’s cloudy, damp, or snowy.

Cruise Orkney Grade

Aerial view of Orkney Grade
Famartin, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

One of Virginia’s significant thoroughfares is State Route 263 (SR 263), also known as Orkney Grade.

A 12.63-mile (20.33-kilometer) stretch of state roadway known as Orkney Grade connects SR 659 in Orkney Springs with US 11 in Mount Jackson.

The highway passes through Basye and ends at Orkney Springs.

The resort built around the mineral springs thrived because of this road.

Several farms and historic mills dot the six-mile mountain stream beside the route.

Scenic view of Orkney Grade with buildings on both the sides
Famartin, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Breathtaking, expansive, and ever-changing vistas surround you.

As a mountain grade, the road itself is unparalleled anywhere else on the planet.

Orkney Grade is flawless and well-engineered, making it both romantic and safe.

Long road at Orkney Grade
Famartin, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Chalet High Activity Center

The Chalet High Activity Center treats you to the tranquility of a gorgeous mountain retreat.

Skiers, hikers, and those interested in local history will find something to appreciate at Chalet High.

Chalet High Activity Center is less than two miles away from Bryce Resort.

Guests may fish, kayak, or float along the Shenandoah River within 20 minutes of the property.

Its strategic location makes day visits from Basye to neighboring cities convenient.

Spend the Night at Mills Family Lodge

The Mills Family Lodge is open all year.

The cabin’s top-tier premium suite combines a natural ambiance with stunning views and luxurious amenities.

The new designer kitchen has granite counters, under-cabinet lighting, slow-close cabinets, and a stone-toed bar.

It also has high-end stainless steel equipment such as a refrigerator, stove, microwave, farm sink, and dishwasher.

You can see fireworks from the resort in the summer.

Likewise, you can skiers schussing down the mountain from the big private octagonal balcony.

Entertain yourself with the 60-inch Samsung LED Smart TV installed over the stone fireplace, giving guests wireless access to several apps.

Mills Family Lodge is close to Lake Laura where you may enjoy various outdoor activities.

Sip Wine and Enjoy the Vibe at RHouse Wine & Café

Enjoy the mountain air and sample a bottle of wine at RHouse Wine & Cafe.

The cafe offers food, wine, and beer.

RHouse Wine & Cafe offers a dining experience unlike any other to the local community as one of the few restaurants in the area.

The restaurant features a special Signature Menu with a mouthwatering entree and a carefully paired wine one night every week.

Plus, it has friendly staff.

Cool Down at Smiley’s

For over a decade, Smiley’s has offered Basye residents the tastiest soft serve ice cream.

Come by whenever you like and grab a banana split, milkshake, or ice cream cone!

You can also choose from a wide variety of toppings and serving options.

Bring your family for some ice cream (custard) during the summer.

Smiley’s also features putt-putt and gem mining for kids!

Grab Your Food Supplies from the Community Store

Community Store is your friendly neighborhood supermarket in Basye.

It’s the only grocery store in the area, but it offers all the food, drink, and household necessities you need.

Stock up on ingredients, snacks, cleaning products, and even a massive beer cooler.

You may still get pizza, sandwiches, and deli goods until half an hour before they close.

Community Store also has a coffee bar and a gas pump.

Other Things to Do Nearby

After treating yourself to the best things to do in Basye, Virginia, learn, enjoy, and make memories in other nearby attractions you may reach just within 30 minutes.

Look Back at a Turbulent History at Virginia Museum of the Civil War

Unique architecture of Virginia Museum of the Civil War
Barbara Barbour / Shutterstock.com

The Virginia Museum of the Civil War is in New Market, Virginia, 3o minutes from Basye.

It commemorates the May 1864 Battle of New Market, which took place on the museum grounds.

Teenagers as young as 15 from Virginia Military Institute joined the battle.

The site includes a 300-acre battlefield park that preserves the critical parts of the battlefield and the historic Bushong Farm and museum display galleries.

The Virginia Museum of the Civil War is a great place to start your battlefield exploration.

Artifacts and dioramas bring to life Virginia’s Civil War experience.

The museum is home to the Robert Raeburn Civil War Art Gallery and the Kaminsky Gallery of Civil War Firearms.

You can also find a slab glass mural wall from artist Ami Shamir.

From the museum’s outdoor observation deck, you may spot the Shenandoah Valley and the North Fork of the Shenandoah River.

Give yourself two hours to check out the grounds and amenities of the Virginia Museum of the Civil War.

Spot the Apple Basket Water Tower

The Apple Basket Water Tower is in Mount Jackson, Virginia, 20 minutes from Basye.

It’s a great place to stop and take some pictures.

This charming water tower comes in the shape of an apple basket, hence the name.

In 2015, the City of Mount Jackson repainted the building, giving it a fresh look.

While you can’t climb the water tower, you may enjoy the Apple Basket Water Tower while driving along an otherwise dull stretch of highway.

Tour the Shenandoah Caverns

Colorfully lit up Shenandoah Caverns
Hulan / Shutterstock.com

Since 1922, the Shenandoah Caverns have become a popular tourist attraction in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.

You can find the caves in Quicksburg, Virginia, 22 minutes from Basye.

Awe-inspiring natural wonders, fantastic geology, and unique crystalline formations 200 feet below the ground draw tourists worldwide.

Learn about the strange “Breakfast Bacon” formations that earned a National Geographic feature.

The Long View Hall will astound you with its sheer scale.

See the Diamond Cascade and its incredible crystalline formations.

You should also check out other exciting landmarks like Capital Dome, Rainbow Lake, and Beyond the Veil.

Join the guided tours and listen to the stories and history of the Shenandoah Caverns.

Tours go around an hour and a half and cover a distance of about a half-mile.

Discover Local History at Shenandoah Valley Cultural Heritage Museum

You can find the Shenandoah Valley Cultural Heritage Museum in Edinburg, Virginia, 28 minutes from Basye.

It is open year-round.

The structure is a Virginia Historic Landmark.

It features the Great Valley Pike, the Shenandoah River, passenger and freight railroads, and the Dinkey train that serviced the Valley’s furnaces.

Throughout its lifetime, the museum has occupied no fewer than three locations inside the city limits.

The second level features apparel, textiles, Boy Scout memorabilia, and displays on the American Red Cross and Scouting.

The first level features a Visitor’s Center, vintage kitchenware, broom manufacturing, glassware, a homespun garment, and a farm cart.

It also has a vast display of military uniforms, telephone equipment, and two large gift stores.

Likewise, you can still see many of the Mill’s massive driving wheels and chutes in the Shenandoah Valley Cultural Heritage Museum.

Final Thoughts

Basye is a fantastic getaway destination because of its many attractions, including its mountains, trails, lakes, rivers, and more.

Since there is so much to see and do, visitors should look forward to discovering something new or revisiting a holiday staple.

Book your trip today and discover the best things to do in Basye, Virginia!