The Scenic and Historic Shenandoah Valley of Virginia
The Autumn Color Carpet Rolls Out

Autumn foliage on Skyline Drive, Shenandoah National Park


It is no secret that much of the scenic allure of the Shenandoah Valley has to do with how its landscape and environment changes are so dramatically visual from season to season – but most so whenever Autumn arrives.

As days get shorter and cooler, you can always count on seeing more and more out-of-state plates on scenic byways and up on Skyline Drive, the world-famous Shenandoah National Park highway that meanders for miles and miles among spectacular Valley vistas and Blue Ridge Mountain peaks.

In fact, about 23 percent of the yearly number of Shenandoah National Park visitors arrive during the month of October, the same month that the annual fall foliage colors tend to be the brightest.  

A portion of Skyline Drive traffic comes from the nearby Washington, D.C. - Baltimore area. And as increasing numbers of cars, motorcycles, campers, bicycles and joggers converge on a two-lane, limited access ribbon of winding road with a 35 m.p.h. speed limit, city escapees can often find themselves in the middle of the one thing they were trying to get away from back home: gridlock!

Autumn traffic congestion does exist on peak foliage days, but with a little bit of planning it's also something that can be avoided. First and foremost: Avoid the weekend crowds and plan to come during the week.

Then try heading in a direction from south to north on Skyline drive, instead of entering via the northernmost gateway, just off I-66 at Front Royal, Va.

Autumn in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley!

Virginia's scenic Shenandoah Valley is a great place to visit during any season, but Autumn is extra special. World renown mountaintop vistas, countless Valley backroads with a myriad of visual experices. It's also a time for flavorful festivals, thrilling live performances and inspiring living history ... all set against a flaming backdrop of Fall colors and natural beauty.

  Happening today

Old Time Music Jam at the Virginia Horse Center in Lexington, Va.

Anderson Coliseum Work Horse Cafe. Mountain music jam session honoring mountain heritage. Musicians welcome to play and audience encouraged to dance and sing along. Concessions available. Sessions held second Tuesday of each month, starting at 6 p.m. More information at 540-464-2950.

Virginia Military Institute Full Dress Cadet Parade in Lexington, Va.

VMI Parade Grounds. Come watch as the full Corps of Cadets marches in formation on the parade ground as part of this VMI tradition. Free admission. For more information, call 540-464-7313.

Celtic music concert at James Madison University

Concert Hall, Forbes Center for the Performing Arts. Julie Fowlis: Music of the Scottish Isles. For more information, visit

Adult art workshop at Museum of the Shenandoah Valley in Winchester, Va.

901 Amherst St. Fall Landscape Photography. Beauty in Botany exhibition closes on Oct. 31. Meet the artists, light refreshments served. Exhibition works available for purchase. Registration required by Oct. 26. Seating is limited. Museum members: $10. General admission: $15. For more information, call 540-662-1473, extension 240 or visit

Art exhibition in Charles Town, W.Va.

Fire Hall Gallery JC Visitors Ctr 108 N. George St. Light Dark Fire. Ginny Fite, Words and Color, Martha LeRoi, Clay, Carol Slovikosky, Glass. Runs through Oct. 27. Works in words and color, clay, and glass. Free admission. For more information, call 304-724-2090 or visit

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The Miller-Kite House in Elkton, Virginia

Built in 1827, during the American Civil War it was the headquarters of Confederate Gen. Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson. The house is now a museum and is regularly open to the public.

About Hank Zimmerman

Hank Zimmerman owns and operates Shenandoah Valley Productions LLC, publisher of by Hank Zimmerman