Virginia isn’t just about summer vacations to the Virginia Beach oceanfront, Williamsburg, or Kings Dominion. Fall in Virginia means heading to the mountains to see the spectacular fall foliage, a trip to a local corn maze or pumpkin patch, a visit to a local winery or wine festival, or picking apples off the trees from one of Virginia’s apple orchards.
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Fall is Festival Time in Virginia
Below you will find some great fall drives, exciting fall events from around the state, and various places to visit during Virginia’s Fall season. Pack your bags, a picnic lunch, or grab your camera and immerse yourself in one or more of the activities below.
With nearly 300 wineries across Virginia, there is plenty of local wine to sample, and many of them offer views of the beautiful fall foliage. There is also a variety of Wine Festivals during the Fall season where you can try various wineries’ seasonal best.
Virginia Wine Festival
Ashburn, Virginia, hosts the annual Virginia Wine Festival at the beginning of October. It is a two-day festival that includes a chance to taste over 200 Virginia wines and ciders. You can sit back and listen to some of the top Virginia entertainers, choose great local gourmet food from the food truck vendors, head over to the Virginia Oyster Pavilion, and shuck a few of Virginia’s Chesapeake Regional oysters.
Cork and Craft Festival
The Chincoteague KOA hosts the Cork and Craft Festival on a Saturday afternoon in late September. The festival features fine wines and craft beers, local entertainment, and a variety of food trucks which helps supports the local Special Olympics.
Festival of the Grapes
Powhatan’s Festival of the Grapes is held on a Saturday in early October. During this event which has taken place for nearly 20 years, vineyards, breweries, distilleries, and cider mills bring their best for you to sample. There are almost 60 vendors and about a dozen food trucks and restaurants to choose from at the festival.
Town Point Virginia Fall Wine Festival
The Fall Town Point Virginia Wine Festival, held in mid-October at Norfolk’s Town Point Park, showcases over 30 wineries and 200 varieties of Virginia’s finest wine. This weekend festival along the Elizabeth River offers live music, gourmet food, along with the chance to sample and purchase premier vintages of wine.
Fall Wine Festival
Each year in mid-September, take park in Virginia Beach’s annual Fall Wine Festival at the oceanfront’s Neptune Park at 31st Street. Virginia’s leading vineyards host the afternoon event where you can taste more than 60 wines, talk to the winemakers, listen to live entertainment, and enjoy tasty food.
Mount Vernon Fall Wine Festival and Sunset Tour
Join George and Martha Washington at Mount Vernon each evening to sample some of Virginia’s finest wines at the Mount Vernon Fall Wine Festival during the second weekend of October. While sipping your wine, stroll through Mount Vernon, or throw down a blanket on the East Lawn and enjoy the fall foliage as you look across the Potomac River.
Along with the wine, there will be a fantastic assortment of hot and cold foods to purchase as well as live music to enjoy.
On a Saturday afternoon in early October, head to the Fredericksburg Brewfest at the Fredericksburg Fairgrounds for an incredible day of not only a wide selection of award-winning craft beer but loads of fun, food, and music.
Fall Festivals Not to Be Missed
Join in the fun of hayrides, pumpkin patches, pumpkin chucking, live music, and bake-offs at some of the best Fall Festivals in Virginia. Many of these events have been going on for decades and have become family traditions to attend.
Cox Farms Fall Festival
The Fall Festival at Cox Farms begins in mid-September. It runs through the week after Halloween, giving you plenty of time to get to Centreville to enjoy their 90 acres of fun, including a trip down the giant slides, weaving your way through the corn maze, and bounce along on the hayride.
Be sure to stay until after dark and get scared at one or more of the four Fields of Fear attractions.
Come hungry for some of your favorite festival food like caramel apples, kettle corn, root beer barrels, and a drink at the apple and cider station.
Sedalia Center Country Fair
On the Saturday before Labor Day, head to Big Island, Virginia, and join the local gardeners and farmers at The Country Fair. While there, learn a bit about the area’s arts, culture, and agriculture.
Throughout the day, experience the rural life as you watch the Southwest Virginia Drat Horse, Mule, and Donkey Show, sheep herding demos, and live bluegrass music. This is a day to enjoy the outdoors and have some fun.
State Fair of Virginia
For ten days from the late-September through early October, head to Meadows Event Park in Doswell and have a blast at the State Fair of Virginia.
Not only can you enjoy the rodeo and animal racing events, but you can feel like a kid again and jump on those amusement park rides. Then watch the wire walkers, jugglers, alligator wrestlers, and snake handlers before grabbing a deep-fried PBJ sandwich, a pumpkin funnel cake, or a chocolate-covered corn dog.
Each evening means nightly concerts that feature headline musicians.
Great Country Farms Harvest Festival
Head to Bluemont, Virginia, to Great Country Farm’s month-long Fall Pumpkin Harvest Festival that begins at the end of September and runs through Halloween. At the festival, you can take your Instagram picture with the Pumpkin Princess, cheer on your favorite pig during the Pig Race, or test your skill at the pumpkin cannon.
The family fun continues at Great Country Farms with a fun corn maze, marshmallow roasting, P-Rex the Pumpkin Eating Dino Shows, and a field of pumpkins where you can find the perfect jack-o-lantern to decorate your home for Fall.
Military and Veteran Families can get complementary Harvest Festival admission with the military family ticket and Veteran or Active Duty military ID.
During the first weekend of October, peruse through more than 150 artisans’ booths and live demonstrations at the Waterford Fair in Waterford, VA. This annual traditional American Craft Fair includes re-enactments from the Colonial and Civil Wars, parades, live music, and plenty of kid-friendly activities.
Mount Vernon Fall Harvest Festival
Each year during the weekend before Halloween, head to George Washington’s Mount Vernon on the banks of the Potomac to take part in the 18th-century fall festival. During this two-day festival at the Farm, you can enjoy horse-drawn carriage rides, a straw bale maze, wheat threading, musical performances, and blacksmith demonstrations.
The Mount Vernon admission price includes the festival.
Manassas Fall Jubilee
The annual Manassas Fall Jubilee in Historica Downtown Manassas is the place to be during the first Saturday of October. Stroll through the 100+ community and craft booths, enjoy an afternoon of live music and dance performances while eating some of your favorite “fair” foods.
Stockley Gardens Fall Arts Festival
When looking for an art festival to stroll through, head to Norfolk, VA, to the Stockley Gardens Fall Arts Festival, which has been named one of the top eastern VA art festivals repeatedly by the Virginia Living Magazine mid-October.
Throughout the weekend, there will be live entertainment, children’s activities, and an Artists’ Reception that is open to the public on Saturday. This festival is outdoors and free.
Virginia Children’s Festival
For kids ten and younger, a day at the Virginia Children’s Festival will be a blast. This festival takes place in Norfolk at Town Point Park on the first Saturday of October. It will be five hours of non-stop storytelling, arts and crafts, police K-9 demonstrations, photos with costumed characters, and visit the Touch-A-Truck and Vehicle Exhibit.
Neptune Festival and Sandcastle Contest
Enjoy the three-day Neptune Festival, which has been going on for nearly 50 years in Virginia Beach, along 30 blocks of the oceanfront boardwalk on the last weekend of September.
Here you can watch professionals and amateurs build impressive sandcastles. Then enjoy over 20 performances by both local and national artists, mosey past 200+ artisan booths, cheer on the sailors in the Atlantic Regatta, a runner in the Neptune’s 8K Race, or your favorite volleyball player in the Beach Volleyball Tournament.
If you can’t make it for this weekend, there are various festivals at the oceanfront on many weekends throughout the year. Check their schedule to see what you might be able to enjoy. Many of the events are free.
Kings Dominion’s Halloween Haunt
Head to Kings Dominion of a Friday through Sunday from the end of September through October for a night of frights, scares, and spooky shows.
In the park, you will find an outdoor maze where you will meet the Big Bad Wolf and Little Red Riding Hood, the witch and Hansel and Gretel, and many more of your Grimm’s fairy tale favorites.
Check out more Virginia Christmas Events
Busch Gardens’ Howl-o-Scream
Throughout much of September and October, head to Busch Gardens Williamsburg on a Thursday – Sunday to enjoy their Halloween-themed shows, test your nerves walking through the scare zones, and stroll through the haunted houses and haunted mazes.
When you need a break, check out some of your favorite rides and roller coasters.
Pick a Pumpkin
The fall season is the perfect time to explore some of our favorite pumpkin patches scattered across Virginia. Many farms offer family-friendly mazes, Halloween scare zone, free hayrides, and play areas for the little ones.
Sweet treats of hot apple cider and pumpkin-spiced lattes may also entice you to head out for that perfect orange gourd.
More Virginia Pumpkin Patches
Apple Picking and Apple Festivals
Fall means plenty of pumpkins and apple picking, apple pies, apple, butter, and apple cider. Have a great time and head to one of the Virginia apple orchards, and have an apple-picking great time. Below are a few you may want to check out.
- Silver Creek Orchards – 3679 Pharsalia Rd Tyro, VA 22976
- Marker-Miller Orchard – 3035 Cedar Creek Grade, Winchester, VA 22602
- Drumheller’s Orchard – 1130 Drumheller Orchard Ln, Lovingston, VA 22949
- Great Country Farms– 34345 Snickersville Turnpike, Bluemount, VA
- Showalter’s Orchard and Greenhouse – 17768 Honeyville Road, Timberville, VA
Take a Fall Hike, Drive, or Stroll
As the temperature begins to drop and the leaves change colors, Virginia has some Instagram-worthy beautiful places to explore.
Enjoy looking out across the Blue Ridge Parkway at Mabry Mill, where you will be able to see the fantastic fall foliage and even get a delicious meal.
If you love the outdoors, a few days along the 110-mile Skyline Drive will be a match made in heaven for you. The sightseeing never ends with over 70 overlooks with panoramic views, 513 miles of hiking trails, including 101 miles of the Appalachian Trail, and gushing waterfalls.
One of the most popular times in the park is during the fall foliage, where you can enjoy hiking through the colorful forests or take in the beauty from the overlooks.
Choose to extend your stay overnight within the Shenandoah National Park boundaries at the various campgrounds, cabins, or lodges.
3-Day Easy Itinerary along Virginia’s Shenandoah Skyline Drive
Blue Ridge Parkway
For 469 miles, you can meander through the Appalachian Mountains from near Waynesboro, Virginia, south to the Great Smoky Mountain National Park in North Carolina. During your drive, you can take in the majestic views, stop and explore 360 miles of trails, fish, visit the exhibits, or spend the night.
The parkway is abundant with colors during the Fall and offers terrific photo opts; however, it is its busiest time.
Crabtree Falls offers visitors snapshots of five large cascades as it flows down 1,200 feet.
You will not find any other U.S. waterfall on the east side of the Mississippi River with a higher vertical drop.
The 700-feet path to the bottom cascade is wheelchair accessible. However, after that, the trail becomes dirt and rocks and rises1,072 ft in elevation.
Continue up the trail 2.5 miles to four additional overlooks of the falls. For those adventurous people, continue another mile up the trail. An overlook above the falls gives you a fantastic view of the area’s fall foliage.
Here you have a beautiful view of the mountains and the Tye River Valley, but you cannot see the falls from here.
Allow 2-3-hours to complete this hike.
25 Epic Trails that Take You to Waterfalls in Virginia
Other Great Fall Destinations
- High Bridge Trail State Park
- Big Walker Lookout