If you’re looking to get in a quick leaf-peeping trip in Virginia before the leaves lose their gorgeous colors, you’re in luck. The beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains run the length of the western part of the Old Dominion, so they’re easily accessible and a fairly short drive from just about anywhere in the state.
Skyline Drive is one of the most well-known destinations (or journeys!) for a reason: it offers amazing views of the Blue Ridge Mountains in any season, but particularly in autumn when the mountains are on fire with reds, yellows, and oranges. Skyline Drive covers a 105 mile stretch along the crest of the Blue Ridge, right through Shenandoah National Park, from Front Royal all the way to Rockfish Gap. The speed limit is just 35 miles per hour for the length of the Drive, in part because of the wildlife that inhabit the area. Of course, you probably won’t want to drive any faster – this is a trip to be savored. While you’re looking at the leaves, just remember to keep your eyes opened for deer and other animals.
If you can’t make it as far as Skyline Drive, a trip to Charlottesville and the surrounding area might be just the thing. Barely over an hour west of downtown Richmond, VA on I-64, the Charlottesville area has enough elevation changes to make for beautiful views. And of course there are plenty of things to see. The area is home to many wineries that offer tours and tastings, such as Barboursville Winery, Horton Vineyards, and Jefferson Vineyards. And speaking of Thomas Jefferson, the University of Virginia – founded by Mr. Jefferson himself, and featuring his architectural masterpiece, The Rotunda – is here as well. And Jefferson’s historic home, Monticello, is a 10 minute drive away.
So get out there while you still can and enjoy this gorgeous Virginia fall weather!