Seasonal September 22, 2020
19 Of The Most Beautiful Fall Destinations In Virginia
Call us biased, but we believe there’s no state more beautiful than Virginia in the fall. The splendor of the fall foliage, the crispness in the air, the bountiful fall harvest — what’s not to love about autumn? Now that fall is officially underway, we’d like to showcase some of the most beautiful fall destinations in Virginia. From orchards to hardwood forests, coastal trails, and mountain tops, these destinations will elevate your appreciation for Virginia’s most colorful season.
During these uncertain times, please keep safety in mind and consider adding destinations to your bucket list to visit at a later date.
1. Blue Ridge Parkway
For breathtaking scenery at every turn, countless overlooks to admire, and miles upon miles of Blue Ridge Mountain beauty, look no further than the Parkway. It's beautiful in any season, but fall is perhaps the most impressive time to drive this famed 469-mile route.
2. Skyline Drive
Similar to the Blue Ridge Parkway, Skyline Drive offers some of the best mountain views on the East Coast. This scenic drive cuts through Shenandoah National Park, offering plenty of opportunities for hiking, camping, and wildlife viewing along the way. Skyline Drive is especially popular during the fall, so you might consider visiting during a weekday or early in the morning.
3. Mabry Mill
Mabry Mill is the most photographed place along the Blue Ridge Parkway, and it's no mystery why. This historic mill can be found at Milepost 176.2 of the Blue Ridge Parkway and makes for the perfect place to stretch your legs and grab a quick bite at the adjacent restaurant.
4. Humpback Rocks
Some of the most famous Virginia hikes to enjoy in the fall are Old Rag and McAfee Knob, but we would argue that Humpback Rocks is every bit as epic. This short yet intense hike packs a mean punch yet offers some truly stunning views from the top. That's especially true in the fall.
5. The Edith J. Carrier Arboretum
If you love the idea of soaking in nature's beauty but aren't necessarily looking for an intense hike, the Edith J. Carrier Arboretum makes for a lovely day trip destination. Located on the JMU campus, this woodland sanctuary and botanical garden is a wonderful place to learn about Virginia's flora while also finding a few moments of solitude.
6. Great Falls Park
There's something positively mystical about Great Falls Park in the autumn. Shared between Virginia and Maryland, this stretch of property along the famous Potomac River has attracted naturalists, kayakers, and hikers for decades. No matter your choice of adventure, you'll love spending your time on -- or at least near -- the water.
7. Sherando Lake
The only thing more beautiful than abundant fall foliage is abundant fall foliage reflected right back at you. Walking along the banks of Sherando Lake, that's the exact experience you can look forward to. Located in Lyndhurst, Virginia, this recreation area is often referred to as the jewel of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Spend a beautiful afternoon admiring the foliage here or opt for a night or two of camping.
8. The Yankee Horse Ridge Trail
If you're traveling the Blue Ridge Parkway and craving a place to stretch your legs, it doesn't get much better than the Yankee Horse Ridge Trail. This short-and-sweet pathway follows an old logging railroad route and leads to a dazzling waterfall. There's even a picnic area where you can enjoy a packed lunch in the woods.
9. The Virginia Creeper Trail
This 35-mile multi-purpose trail stretches between Abingdon and Whitetop, traversing the Mount Rogers Wilderness. Along the way, bikers and hikers alike will enjoy splendid scenery. During the fall, the added allure of foliage and perhaps even a pumpkin patch or two will truly put you in the spirit of the season.
10. Crabtree Falls
If you've yet to hike the tallest cascading waterfall east of the Mississippi River, now's the time! Crabtree Falls is one of the most popular waterfalls in Virginia, and there's no time like fall to enjoy its stunning beauty. Hike all the way to the top of the falls and admire the view from above. Or, continue on and conquer some of the Appalachian Trail. Either way, it's an epic way to send the day.
11. Westmoreland State Park
Like Great Falls Park, Westmoreland State Park is also situated on the Potomac River, although it's located in Virginia's Northern Neck. Offering 1.5 miles of waterfront property, this beautiful park is famous for its Horsehead Cliffs and recreational opportunities. Hike, fish, bike, camp...there's no wrong way to enjoy the beauty of Westmoreland State Park.
12. Breaks Interstate Park
Did you know that the Grand Canyon of the South was right here in Virginia? It's located on the Kentucky border and promises to impress just about anyone. Admire stunning fall foliage for as far as the eye can see as you peer out over the 1,000-foot gorge.
13. Grayson Highlands State Park
If it's high-altitude and panoramic mountain views you're after, head straight to Grayson Highlands State Park. The crown jewel of the Virginia Highlands region, this sprawling state park is truly magical. From Mount Rogers -- the tallest of Virginia's peaks -- to the roaming wild ponies, there's so much to love about this state park. You might even consider camping here, but be sure to bundle up as temperatures are much colder here than other parts of the state.
14. High Bridge Trail State Park
What better a way to admire fall foliage than to view it from above? The breathtaking bridge, once part of a railway, stretches over the Appomattox River at 2,400 feet long and 125 feet tall. The trail continues for 31 miles, but the bridge is the most magnificent stretch.
15. Veritas Vineyard
Nothing celebrates fall like a taste of local wine. That's exactly what you'll find at Veritas Vineyard, a beautiful property located in Afton, Virginia. This time of year, sit outdoors while sampling a flight of wine and a charcuterie plate while taking in the beautiful surroundings.
16. The Omni Homestead Resort
Looking for a stunning fall getaway? Look no further than the Omni Homestead Resort, which has been welcoming travelers since 1766. Nestled in the Allegheny Mountains, this beautiful resort is famous for its use of healing and naturally heated mineral water. Whether you're soaking in the pool or you opt for a spa treatment, you'll feel completely rejuvenated by your visit.
17. Hungry Mother State Park
Hungry Mother State Park is a popular summer destination. Visit during the fall, though, and you can look forward to a lesser-crowded park with breathtaking fall color. This park offers miles upon miles of hiking trails as well as cabin rentals for families looking for a longer stay.
18. Buchanan Swinging Bridge
At 366 feet long, the Buchanan Swinging Bridge is one of the longest and most famous of its kind in Virginia. There's something thrilling about crossing this historic structure and peering out over the water below. The landmark is especially dramatic in the fall when you can enjoy cooler weather and a stroll through the charming downtown Buchanan.
19. Carter Mountain Orchard
Last, but not least, we arrive at Carter Mountain Orchard near Charlottesville. It's perhaps the quintessential fall destination, with apple picking, cider donuts, and an array of fall beverages to sample. You can take a seat at an outdoor picnic area, enjoy the scenery, and fill up all of your favorite seasonal treats.
How many of these picturesque fall destinations in Virginia have you visited? Which are you adding to your bucket list? We’d love to hear from you — join in on the conversation by leaving a comment below!
Looking for more fall fun? Check out our list of the
best apple cider donuts you can find in Virginia. You won’t be disappointed! Address: Shenandoah National Park, Virginia, USA Address: Mabry Mill, VA 24120, USA Address: Humpback Rock, Rockfish, VA 22920, USA Address: 780 University Blvd, Harrisonburg, VA 22807, USA Address: Great Falls, VA, USA Address: Sherando Lake, South River, VA 22952, USA Address: Yankee Horse Ridge, South River, VA 24483, USA Address: Virginia Creeper National Recreation Trail, Damascus, VA, USA Address: Crabtree Falls, Virginia 22976, USA Address: State Park Rd, Montross, VA 22520, USA Address: Breaks Interstate Park, 627 Commission Cir, Breaks, VA 24607, USA Address: Grayson Highlands State Park, 829 Grayson Highland Ln, Mouth of Wilson, VA 24363, USA Address: High Bridge Trail, Farmville, VA, USA Address: 151 Veritas Ln, Afton, VA 22920, USA Address: The Omni Homestead Resort, 7696 Sam Snead Hwy, Hot Springs, VA 24445, USA Address: 2854 Park Blvd, Marion, VA 24354, USA Address: Buchanan Swinging Bridge, Buchanan, VA 24066, USA Address: 1435 Carters Mountain Trail, Charlottesville, VA 22902, USA