Last Updated August 25, 2015.
Virginia cities and towns show off when falls color shows up. Seasonal flavors grace downtown menus while festivals celebrate the harvest, too.
We asked our Facebook followers which Virginia destinations they love most during the autumn season and their picks are included here. Chime in with your favorite by posting a comment!
—– CHARLOTTESVILLE —–
Photo by John Hulburt
The Charlottesville area is the home of the University of Virginia Cavaliers, Monticello, Ash-Lawn Highland, a plethora of wineries, and a growing craft beer scene.
“There is nothing more fun that when my husband and I grab our friends, jump in the car, hit all of the wineries, taste, buy, have dinner and end up at Burnley Vineyard …” – Karen G.
“I love driving along Rt. 231 between Charlottesville and Madison, a beautiful winding road with lots of farms.” – Melissa M.
“Love the mountains and vineyards!” – Sally W.
“… Sitting outside at any of the vineyards enjoying great wine and breathtaking views.” – Nevin H.
“… Beauty, history, vineyards, great food and really nice people!” – Shirley H.
—– SALEM and ROANOKE —–
Salem and Roanoke are beautiful gems that teeter-totter between the southern Shenandoah Valley and the northern Blue Ridge Highlands. Tucked between the Blue Ridge Parkway and Allegheny Mountains, you’ll enjoy plenty of outdoor recreation and amazing views. In July 2014 Roanoke was acknowledged by USAToday.com as one of the “Ten Best Cities for Biking.”
“Just got back from Salem … home away from home (Germany). We love the area, close to [the] Appalachian Trail, Carvins Cove, horses, hiking, fishing and so many more outdoor activities! We got to meet deer, snakes and black bears and most important an awesome kind of people – our friends! And one day, we are going to live there for good! Just love it! ‘Cause Virginia is for Lovers!” – Carmen M.
“Roanoke I love, but pretty much would enjoy the entire state.” – Connie G.
—– BLACKSBURG —–
Blacksburg is home to the Virginia Tech Hokies and it’s a sweet little mountain town (one of the best, according to Blue Ridge Country) tucked into Virginia’s Blue Ridge Highlands. In fact, Outside Magazine included Blacksburg as a “Top Ten Dream Town for Outdoor Enthusiasts” in 2001.
—– SOUTH BOSTON —–
South Boston Harvest Festival. Photo by David Hungate.
South Boston boasts beautiful views and outdoor recreation with three rivers: the Dan, the Staunton and the Banister, collectively, Southern Virginia Wild Blueway. Paddle along foliage-lined shores, of which 80 miles of the 100+ are designated Virginia Scenic River.
—– WILLIAMSBURG and YORKTOWN —–
Williamsburg and Yorktown are two points of the Historic Triangle. The third is Jamestown. In 1607, Jamestown was the site of the first English-speaking settlement. Williamsburg was the first Virginia capital, and Yorktown is where America claimed Revolutionary War victory.
“Colonial Parkway is charming and then Howl-O-Scream in the evening. So fun!” – Laura M.
“… Driving along the Colonial Parkway and opening the windows and smelling the salt marsh and looking at all of the leaves changing colors …” – Bonnie P.
“I even have a favorite tree in Williamsburg.” – Donna R.
“Yorktown and the amazing views of the Coleman Bridge, the ships, and gorgeous walkway and sunsets!” – Terri C.
“Williamsburg! Crisp and gorgeous!” -Kimberly M.
—– NEWPORT NEWS —–
The James River Bridge from Newport News.
Newport News is minutes from America’s historic beginnings. Get to know this gem bounded by the James River and Hampton Roads harbor. Livability.com called Newport News one of the “Top 100 Best Places to Live,” so for sure it’s also a great place to visit.
—– CULPEPER —–
Culpeper is a beautiful destination at the crossroads of Routes 15, 29 and 522. Visit for yourself to see why earlier this year Virginia Living magazine called Culpeper “One of Virginia’s Friendliest Towns.”
“Culpeper, Virginia is a beautiful town full of festivities and the Main Street is always decorated for each season and holiday. Next door to Culpeper is the Graves Mountain Lodge where the ‘Harvest Apple Fest’ is held. I never miss this event!” – Tracy C.
—– NORTON —–
Norton is another great destination for outdoor recreation. Just climb to to the top of Flag Rock for a 1,000′ view down into the city! The vantage point is absolutely perfect for foliage photography, as panoramic views allow you to take in both Virginia and Kentucky mountain scenery.
– Stay – Holiday Inn
—– WACHAPREAGUE —–
Wachapreague is right around the mid-way point of Virginia’s Eastern Shore, on the Atlantic Ocean side, but protected by barrier islands. The pace of life is slow and the wildlife is majestic. Fall is a migratory season and the birds love the Shore as a stopover point.
“Rte 13 … my visit to my grandma’s house on the Eastern Shore (Jenkins Bridge). I remember crossing the Chesapeake on a ferry … love the Eastern Shore … the wild horses … untouched land …” -Rhonda D.
—– MIDDLESEX COUNTY —–
Norton’s Sailboat Charters. Photo by Mark Atkinson.
Middlesex County is a great place to enjoy the bounty of the Chesapeake Bay. Bring your appetite for seafood and beautiful water views when you venture this way.
—– LOUDOUN COUNTY —–
Breaux Vineyards. Photo by Steven Morris.
Coined DC’s Wine Country, Loudoun County must have the greatest number of wineries of any Virginia county. At last count, there were more than 40!
– Eat –
– Stay –
– Play –
“Loudoun County … for the wineries, farm tour in Oct., restaurants, views … also Bluemont Winery and Great Country Farms right across from it.” – Barbara R.
—– MORE TO LOVE —–
Giles County — Giles is the home of Mountain Lake Lodge, the filming site of the beloved Dirty Dancing, starring Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey. “Giles County. I love the mountains and everything about Virginia.” – Clayford E.
Staunton — National Trust for Historic Preservation calls Staunton “One of a Dozen Distinctive Destinations in the United States.” “Staunton. You can see it all from there!” – Richard R.
Fredericksburg — Stroll through history and great boutique shopping where George Washington’s boyhood home is just a stone’s throw across the river. “Fredericksburg downtown because [it] is full of festivities and the Main Street is always decorated for every holiday. It’s beautiful.” -Yilena I.
Nelson County — From “The Walton’s” and the Appalachian Trail to craft beer, wine, and orchards, Nelson County is a fun place for fall. “Got to hit wine country in Nelson County!” – Gary L. “Crabtree Falls … the drive through the Blue Ridge Mountains is absolutely one to remember. Amazing sunrises and sunsets.” – Anttravese S.
Richmond — In case you’ve missed what travel resource Frommer’s has said about Richmond … “While you weren’t looking, Richmond got cool.” Visit and see for yourself why it’s a top destination for 2014. “I like visiting Richmond in the fall, it’s so pretty and the temps are comfortable. I like hiking in Shenandoah before the crowds. come.” -Filiz R.
Monument Avenue, Richmond. Photo by John Henley.
Damascus — This outdoor paradise has one of America’s rails-to-trails gems — the Virginia Creeper Trail. Bring your bike or rent one for a leisurely ride through the foliage. “I live in Damascus … We plan a drive to a new destination every weekend. A day trip and we can go to White Top, The Breaks, Grindstone, Bear Tree, Backbone, Hungry Mother and so on.” -Susan P.
Front Royal — If you enjoy fall’s beauty from the water, head to the Canoe Capital of Virginia and paddle the Shenandoah River. “Front Royal. Always beautiful and close to the Shennandoa [sic].” -Sally R.
Dickenson County — Home to the “Grand Canyon of the South,” the Russell Fork River, which divides Pine Mountain to create the largest canyon east of the Mississippi. “Breaks Interstate Park is breathtaking in the fall with all the mountain views of the awesome fall foliage at the many overlooks.” – Marsha W.
Breaks Interstate Park
Harrisonburg — Virginia’s first Culinary District is found in downtown Harrisonburg. Discover something tasty while enjoying the colors of fall. “Harrisonburg, Virginia! Stay in town for the dining and fun fall festivals and drive up to the Swift Run Gap entrance to Skyline Drive …” – Anna B.
Massanutten — Situated between the Alleghenies and Shenandoah National Park is Massanutten Mountain, home of Massanutten Resort. “Massanutten Resort! Perfect location to enjoy Shenandoah National Park … zip lines, chairlift rides …” -Sarah E.
Danville — Danville is called the “Last Capital of the Confederacy” as Confederate President Jefferson Davis occupied a bedroom at Sutherlin Mansion for a week prior to Confederate surrender at Appomattox. “Danville … peaceful place … moved here from New York … just love Virginia.” -Sassee L.
Millionaire’s Row in Danville. Photo by David Hungate.
Floyd — Home of the most photographed site on the Blue Ridge Parkway — Mabry Mill. “Floyd, VA and apple picking.” – Liz B.
Woodstock — Recognized by the Arbor Day Foundation as a Tree City USA, you can count on fall’s colors to really shine in Woodstock. “Woodstock Virginia. Most quaint little town with sweet people and beautiful mountains to hike or just sit and look at.” – Karen H.
Virginia Beach — Virginia Beach as 38 miles of shoreline, 28 miles of public beaches, and three miles of one of America’s best boardwalks, as proclaimed by Travel + Leisure, National Geographic, Budget Travel, and others. “I always liked the Cape Henry Lights … the beach is secluded enough that you can chase crab around, have a picnic, read, have your own little private view, all just minutes from the strip.” – Jason A.
Pleasure House Oysters: Chef’s Table Tour, Virginia Beach.
Reedville — An historic 1860s fishing village, Reedville was actually the wealthiest town per capita in the U.S. into the early 1900s thanks to its commercial fishing industry.
“There’s not a bad view, not a bad sunset, not a bad anything in this waterside community. I love the view from the Crazy Crab, and their fried green tomatoes are awesome!” – Leigh H.
Shenandoah National Park — Encompassing nearly 198,000 acres, SNP has four entrances into it via Skyline Drive. Pick one (or all!) of the 75 overlooks for a beautiful photo opp. “Just love Shenandoah National Park in general. Love those mountains.” -Holly D.
Shenandoah Valley — “The Big Valley,” “The Great Valley,” “The Breadbasket of the Confederacy,” … the Shenandoah Valley has been known by many names. I just call it home. “Shenandoah Valley: The winding roads with cider stands and harvest season goodies and crafts and of course the changing of the leaves.” – Rhoda F.
Which part of Virginia is your favorite for fall weekends? Leave a comment and let your voice be heard!