Virginia is a favorite destination for scenic drives and weekend getaways, especially during the fall and spring seasons. Here are five scenic destinations that offer gorgeous views and a peaceful retreat from the city.
This Virginia roadway is the main artery of Shenandoah National Park and one of America's best fall foliage destinations. At dusk, herds of deer come out to graze in meadows and along roadsides. The eastern black bear can be seen along with a large variety of songbirds. Stay overnight at Skyland Lodge, Big Meadow or the rustic cabins at Lewis Mountain.
One of the best scenic drives to enjoy late leaves in the fall - the 23-mile Colonial National Parkway, a National Scenic Byway - connects historic Jamestown and Yorktown and passes through Williamsburg The Parkway is a peaceful and beautiful meander. Colonial Williamsburg is one of America's best family destinations. Historic Yorktown has a vibrant waterfront and historic homes. Jamestown's attractions detail the history of the earliest permanent English settlement in the New World along with the Virginia Indians who lived here long before
Generations of visitors have made annual drives along the Parkway to view its natural splendor and breathtaking views. Along the way are restaurants and stores, hiking trails and diverse overnight accommodations. Learn about the life of early mountain settlers and watch living history demonstrations at Humpback Rocks Visitor Center. Visit Mabry Mill, the most photographed site on the Parkway. Join a nature hike led by friendly park rangers. Enjoy a romantic dinner at Chateau Morrisette Winery. Watch luthiers crafting fiddles and mandolins at the Blue Ridge Music Center.
Virginia's Heritage Music Trail winds through the mountains and valleys of Southwest Virginia, a major wellspring of American roots music and one of Virginia's best scenic drives. Country music traces its beginnings here and the area is still a hotbed of bluegrass and Old Time music. Live music venues, museums and cultural centers lie along the trail. Some of bluegrass music's top acts perform at the Carter Family Fold, the Floyd Country Store and the Rex Theater in Galax and impromptu jam sessions pop up in barber shops and ice cream stands in small communities throughout the region.
The 180-mile National Scenic Byway and National Heritage Area runs from Gettysburg, PA through Hagerstown, Carrol and Washington Counties in Maryland and enters Virginia in Loudoun County, where it winds its way south along Highways 15 and 29 through 9 more historic counties to its terminus at Thomas Jefferson's Monticello in Charlottesville. This is some of America's most historic and most beautiful landscapes. Look for farmers markets, wineries, outdoor recreation sites, historic homes and towns, Civil War battlefields, antebellum estates and honored establishments such as the Inn at Little Washington and Keswick Hall.