In the DC/NoVa area, it has taken a while to feel like fall. But after an especially long, sweltering summer, we’ve finally arrived! The air has a crisp autumn chill, the leaves are starting to turn and we’re dreaming up ways to take full advantage of the season. So where should you head out with your families and loved ones this month? We’ve got you covered. Check out our list of day trips and getaways for fall food, fun, and foliage–all in or nearby Northern Virginia.  

For wine

October is Virginia wine month! And with a couple of weeks left, you have more than enough time for a quick October wine weekender or day trip (with a designated driver, of course). But be warned - there are about 280 wineries to choose from. So if it helps to narrow down your choices, here are 3 quick recommendations to get you started on your wine tour.  

Sunset Hills Vineyard

Sunset Hills Vineyard boasts award-winning wines and gorgeous scenery on a historic farm with sustainable farming practices. Try their 2010 Mosaic red wine, a Gold medal winner in Virginia Governor’s Cup wine competition for two years in a row.  

Breaux Vineyards

Described by the Washington Post as “Loudoun County’s most impressive wine undertaking”, Breaux Vineyards is a family owned and operated winery on a 404-acre estate, surrounded by more than 100 acres of vineyards.  

Bluemont Vineyard

Since 2007, this small-run winery has carefully crafted an average of 6,000 cases of wine each year. Bluemont Vineyard boasts a broad spectrum of wines with an equal emphasis on product quality and artistry. And as a bonus: Bluemont was named one of the wineries with the best views; on a clear day, you can see the Washington monument in the distance!  

For family fun

Looking for a more family-friendly destination? Explore local Virginia farms for hayrides, corn mazes, pumpkin patches, and seasonal activities that the whole family will enjoy.  

Doe Run Farm

Nestled in the valley of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Doe Run Farm offers hayrides, corn mazes, apple launchers, pumpkin decorating and fresh produce, with lots of room for kids to run and play. Their corn maze days run from September 27 through November 1 on Saturdays and Sundays, or on the weekday with a reservation.  

Sinkland Farms Pumpkin Festival

Named “Best Farm” to visit by Blue Ridge Country Magazine, Sinkland Farms hosts a Pumpkin Festival each year with lots of family-friendly activities throughout the month of October. Highlights include hayrides to pick your own pumpkin, a corn maze,local arts and crafts and live music every weekend afternoon. Check out the full calendar of events here.  

For leafy, scenic drives

Virginia is for Lovers does a great job of mapping out scenic tours to take in culture, country roads, and historical sites. About Travel also plans out some seasonal scenic routes to help you start planning your fall foliage drives. Here are some quick highlights to get you started:

 

Skyline Drive

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.  

23-mile Colonial National Parkway

This national scenic byway connects historic Jamestown and Yorktown and passes through Colonial Williamsburg, a great family destination.  

Blue Ridge Parkway

With its gorgeous views, hiking trails and historical demonstrations, generations of visitors have made the Blue Ridge Parkway an annual fall tradition.   Check out Mabry Mill, the most photographed site on the Parkway.   Ready to head out and take in some autumn splendor? Grab your pumpkin spice lattes, hit the road, and share your experience with us on Facebook and Twitter!