Autumn has arrived once again and with it some of the most delightful sights, smells, and sounds of the year. After the oppressive heat of summer, autumn brings crisp, cool air, stunning foliage, the rustle of fallen leaves under our feet, and the delicious scents of pumpkin spice and apple cider that make us all feel like we are right at home. Home is absolutely a wonderful place to be, but when it is time to go out in all that crisp autumn air and explore some fall fun, why not try visiting a pumpkin patch, corn maze, farmer’s market, or one of the Shenandoah Valley’s outstanding breweries featuring harvest beers?
Without a doubt, the Valley’s most spectacular fall attraction is the stunning display of the leaves turning on Skyline Drive. People come from all over the world to see this wonder of Nature, and the lines to get onto the Drive often extend for miles! As a local resident, you are in a perfect position to avoid the crowds by traveling early on a weekday or at other off-peak times. A second advantage is that we who live right here in the middle of all of this natural beauty can wait and see, day by day when the leaves will be at their peak and then catch them at their best. For updates on the timing tv3 out of Harrisonburg is always up-to-the-minute and gives excellent traffic reports about the ‘leaf peepers.’
Heard’s Cedar Hill Farm Market
Once you have spent your morning on ‘The Drive,’ come to the North Entrance in Front Royal, make a left on US 340 (Stonewall Jackson Highway), go just past Bentonville, and turn into Heard’s Cedar Hill Farm Market on your right. This new business is one of the best-kept secrets in the Valley, featuring fresh locally grown produce, fresh-pressed apple cider, a moonshine jelly that will quite literally knock your socks off, and a wide array of gorgeous handcrafts by local artisans, available just in time for a bit of early holiday shopping.
The Apple House
If you are coming to the Drive from Washington and points east, the Apple House in Linden, famous for its apple donuts and cider, also offers some of the best pork barbeque on the planet. You will also find a generous selection of local brews and wines in the eclectic (and enormous) bar, and the gift shop has items not found anywhere else, including several hundred varieties of hot sauce to chase the evening autumn chill.
Pumpkin Patches and Corn Mazes
If your tastes run more toward mystery and adventure, how about a corn maze? The Shenandoah Valley is lucky to have several near at hand, with varying degrees of difficulty. On the north end of the I-81 corridor, Hill High Farm in Winchester is open through the end of October with a corn maze and many other farm-related fun activities. Further south, Maize Quest Corn Maze in New Market is a favorite destination for fun lovers. On the south side, Valley Star Farm and the Fairview Fun Farm (both in Luray, near the Thornton Gap entrance to the Skyline Drive) offer pumpkin painting, corn mazes, farm playgrounds, and a host of other family-friendly fall activities sure to please.
For outstanding local harvest beers, try the Box Office Brewery in Strasburg or the Woodstock Brew House. An added plus: both feature hearty and delicious pub fare for adults and children alike. Each location also offers live music on a regular schedule. You might catch a rising star on their way to the top!
One last great adventure, not for the faint of heart: DarkWood Manor in Luray is Virginia’s premier interactive haunted house attraction. If your idea of fun is a good scare, it is a must-do. There is a good chance it will cure hiccups, too!
The Shenandoah Valley
Once you have spent a day or a weekend in the autumn splendor of the Shenandoah Valley, you may never want to leave, and that would be fine with us. The Valley is beautiful in every season, and those who make their home here are richly rewarded all year long.
Preslee Real Estate
When the allure of the Valley calls to you, call Preslee Real Estate! Abby Walters and her expert team have become the Valley’s top-selling realtors through solid customer service, an impeccable work ethic, sharp market analysis, fast response, and a special talent for listening to your needs and finding you the one place that will truly be your home in the Valley. Preslee Real Estate is a family-owned business eager to help your family become part of our growing family of satisfied home and vacation home buyers and sellers!
Contact us by phone at (540) 227-4416 or by e-mail at [email protected].
See you in the pumpkin patch!