Where in Virginia should I go if I want to see the best foliage? Stop right there! We have the best statewide guide to the best spots to see the fall colors.
You can enjoy the splendor of autumn in the state in a variety of ways, from leisurely drives to exciting water activities to breathtaking mountain vistas. We’ve put together a comprehensive list of the best places to visit in Virginia in the fall, covering everything from outdoor recreation to historical sites discovered in the state’s beautiful scenery.
Best Places to Visit in Virginia in the Fall
Choose one, or sample them all! Visit any of the places on our list, and you won’t be disappointed, as they all have something unique to offer in addition to the beautiful fall foliage.
1. The Blue Ridge Parkway
One needs to travel no further than the Parkway to experience the breathtaking beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains. This famous 469-mile route is stunning at any time of year, but autumn in Virginia may be the most breathtaking. For motivation, peruse these stunning images of the Blue Ridge Parkway.
2. Skyline Drive
Skyline Drive is another East Coast drive that rivals the Blue Ridge Parkway in terms of its breathtaking vistas of the surrounding mountains. This beautiful route traverses Shenandoah National Park, where visitors can go hiking, camping, and wildlife watching.
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Skyline Drive is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Virginia, so if you want to avoid the crowds, the best time to go is on a weekday or first thing in the morning. Find out more about Skyline Drive and the stunning views it offers.
3. Mabry Mill
It’s no surprise that Mabry Mill is the most photographed spot along Virginia’s Blue Ridge Parkway in the fall. Located at Milepost 176.2 along the Blue Ridge Parkway, this historic mill is a great place to stop and enjoy some fresh air and a bite to eat. Discover the culinary delights that await you at Mabry Mill.
4. The Humpback Stones
Although Old Rag and McAfee Knob are two of Virginia’s most well-known autumn hikes, we think Humpback Rocks is just as impressive. This relatively short hike packs quite a punch and rewards hikers with breathtaking panoramas at the peak.
Virginia is beautiful in the fall, and this spot is a must-see. Find out more about this path and other scenic walks in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
5. Edith J. Carrier Arboretum
The Edith J. Carrier Arboretum is a beautiful day trip destination if you’re looking for things to do in Virginia in the fall but aren’t in the mood for a strenuous hike.
Located on the James Madison University campus, this botanical garden and wooded sanctuary is a great place to study the flora of Virginia and relax. Find out what other stunning gardens can be found in the Commonwealth of Virginia, including this arboretum.
6. The Great Falls Park
Great Falls Park in the fall is positively otherworldly. This land along the Potomac River in Virginia and Maryland is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts like kayakers and hikers. This is one of the top destinations in Virginia, and you’ll have a blast on the water or in the surrounding area. Researching Great Falls is a good idea.
7. The Sherando Lake
Virginia’s fall foliage is stunning on its own, but seeing it reflected back at you is almost as good. You can expect exactly that as you stroll along the shores of Sherando Lake.
This park in Lyndhurst, Virginia is considered the crown jewel of the Blue Ridge Mountains because of its stunning scenery. You can camp out for a few nights or just enjoy the beautiful scenery for an afternoon. Find out more about tenting at Sherando Lake here.
8. The Path Along Yankee Horse Ridge
The Yankee Horse Ridge Trail is the best place to get some fresh air and exercise along the Blue Ridge Parkway. This short but sweet trail travels along an abandoned logging railroad to a beautiful waterfall.
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A picnic in the woods during the autumn in Virginia? It’s possible at this park, which features a designated picnic area. Find out more about the Yankee Horse Ridge Trail here.
9. Virginia’s Creeper Trail
This multi-use path spans the Mount Rogers Wilderness for a total of 35 miles, connecting Abingdon and Whitetop. Bicyclists and hikers alike can take in the beautiful vistas along the route.
Visiting a pumpkin patch and taking in the Virginia fall foliage is a fantastic way to get into the holiday spirit. Explore the Virginia Creeper Trail more thoroughly.
10. The Crabtree Falls
This is your chance to hike to the tallest waterfall east of the Mississippi. The fall is the best time to visit Crabtree Falls, one of the most visited waterfalls in Virginia. Climb to the top of the falls for a birds-eye view.
You could also keep going and hike some of the Appalachian Trail. It’s one of the most beautiful places in Virginia to visit during the autumn season. Find out everything you need to know before setting out on the trail to Crabtree Falls.
Need recommendations for great autumn getaways in Virginia? You’re in luck because Virginia is one of the most stunning states in the fall.
What’s not to love about autumn? The splendor of the changing leaves, the freshness of the air, and the abundance of the fall harvest. Your appreciation for Virginia’s most colorful season will be enhanced by visits to these orchards, hardwood forests, coastal trails, and mountain peaks.