Fall foliage is plentiful in the Shennandoah Mountains beginning in September and lasting for several weeks. A day trip along Skyline Drive, which spans the entire length of the mountains in Central Virginia will be an experience to remember for some time. The view is spectacular, with a blanket of red, orange and yellow leaves covering the entire area. This is the perfect opportunity for a family drive that will lead you to mountain peaks surrounded by beautifully colored trees, flowing rivers and waterfalls, and a variety of wildlife.
Skyline Drive offers numerous overlooks and pull-offs to view the valleys and mountains on the horizon. The drive is relatively slow, with a speed limit of 35 m.p.h. and one lane in each direction. Rest areas and lodging facilities are scattered throughout the drive, affording the opportunity to get out and take in the clean mountain air, sight-see and meet others enjoying the serenity of the mountains. Hundreds of miles of hiking trails offers walkers and campers the opportunity to experience nature up close. An occasional sighting of a black bear is common along the trails, especially when the weather begins to cool down.
For an extended stay there are several attractions and historical sites in the surrounding area that can easily fill an entire weekend. Monticello is a must visit to really appreciate the history of the area. While on the grounds of this historical site, the views of surrounding mountains are plentiful. A walk of the grounds will take you through the garden, and quarters of the servants who attended to Thomas Jefferson. A quided tour of the mansion is also available and very informative.
Charlottesville, Virginia is a beautiful city that is on the outskirts of the Shennandoah mountains and the University of Virginia. The downtown walking mall offers several retail and specialty shops along with numerous restaurants. A stay in the city provides easy access to to many wineries and vineyards of Central Virginia. The mountains, valleys, and temperature provide an excellent environment to grow grapes and produce high qulaity wines.
For the perfect romantic getaway, you may want to consider staying in one the the many beautiful bed and breakfast inns in Charlottesville or surrounding area. The inns offer outstanding personal service, usually offer breakfast,lunch, and some kind of light snack, and have far less tourists than the local hotels. The romance of the inns and the beauty of the fall foliage alond Skyline Drive will leave you with the feeling that you ar living in a dream.