Fall is my favorite season of all. Apple picking, wine tasting, pumpkin craving, sweaters, duck boots, road trips … I am just excited for the days ahead as the rest of the world is discovering this “Farm to Table” phenomenon inspiring restaurants and celebrity chefs, but also fashion, magazines and even facial hair (beard bonanza).
Whether you love scenic drives, wine or outdoor explorations, here’s a 48-hour fall getaway from DC for you.
Meandering 469 miles from Shenandoah National Park in the northern Shenandoah Valley of Virginia to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina, the Parkway follows the Appalachian Mountains and boasts some of the most spectacular scenery in the world.
Skyline Drive connects to the northernmost section of the Parkway, winding along the crest of the mountains from Waynesboro northward 105 miles to Front Royal.
Developed sites along the Parkway make it easy to stop, park, stretch, visit exhibits, hike and get a bite to eat. Lodging and campgrounds are available with opportunities to fish and view wildlife.
Autumn is the best time of the year for road trips visiting local farms for organic and fresh products. Go for apple picking at The Plains and then do some serious apple-themed cooking and baking! It will be like Iron Chef where the key ingredient is delicious apples of many varieties …
Many local farmer’s markets can be found throughout this region which serve Middleburg, Warrenton and The Plains. Check out the Virginia is for Lovers webpage for photogenic foliage opportunities, great eats, and other hidden treasures.
It takes a lot of ingredients to make a farm dinner. Some of the more important ingredients are people. Farmers work hard throughout the growing season, reap the harvest and take it to market for all of us to enjoy. Food artisans and chefs transform the harvest with creativity, respect for ingredients, attention to their craft and a desire to give nourishment.
This is how Virginia has been living for quite sometime, as you can see from my journey to this all-American countryside while residing in Washington, DC. Hey, you can take the boy out of the farm, but you can’t take the farm out from this boy’s soul.