So many people dread the colder months, but that’s because they don’t know what they’re missing out on! The fall season is the perfect time to step away from the schoolwork, get out of the house, and enjoy the activities that wouldn’t be nearly as fun any other time of the year. Weekend getaways are such an ideal way to leave reality behind while experiencing a mix of relaxation and adventure with that special someone! Here are some recommendations for you and yours so that you can get out to see the college football games, hiking trails, scenic drives through the colorful foliage, and even check out the local wineries, breweries, and distilleries.
Home to James Madison University, the town of Harrisonburg, Virginia is one wonderful spot to hit for a weekend adventure. Grab your favorite person in the world, jump in the car, and take the drive to Harrisonburg. On Saturday, October 8th, the JMU Dukes are playing at their Bridgeforth Stadium against William & Mary. You can buy tickets online or once you get there, but don’t forget to wear your JMU colors so that you can have an awesome experience alongside the students and community members who will be filling the stands. Trust me, even if you don’t know much about football, you’ll still have a great time! Being in the lively stadium and cheering for the Dukes with a warm cup of hot cocoa in your hands will be tons of fun!
Since you’re going to need a place to stay while you’re there, check out Bryce Resort. It’s about 45 minutes from JMU, located in Mount Jackson, Virginia. The game might wear you out on Saturday, but on Sunday you can awake recharged and ready for your next adventure. Bryce Resort features nature and hiking trails along Lake Laura, as well as biking trails, which will get you breathing the crisp, fresh, fall air and walking among the beautiful changing leaves! Bryce Resort offers several different lodging options that you and your loved one can explore and decide on together! If you’re looking for some extra fun, the resort is hosting their Oktberfest on October 22nd and it’s open to the public! A German Beer Garden, pumpkin painting, corn hole, and so much more are available to you at this event.
Massanutten Resort in Virginia is a location that has it all and then some, making it a great place to relax, have fun, and enjoy your special time together without even leaving! With different rooms and styles to choose from, the two of you can pick out exactly the right place for spending your weekend. For some outdoor adventure, the bike park and adventure park are two options that will get you active and maybe even a little competitive! To relax and unwind, head to the spa where you can rest peacefully to a couple’s massage. There are bars and restaurants to choose from as well, such as Fareways, so that you can top off a perfect day with dinner and drinks! On Saturday, October 8th, they are hosting a Fall Festival, which is sure to get you both into that fall spirit!
If you head North East about two hours, you will end up in Shepherdstown, West Virginia. This is such a charming, historical town that offers a Main Street lined with coffee shops and boutiques – I love just walking around, checking out what the shops are selling and exploring these places for the first time with my boyfriend! But instead of booking a room at a basic hotel, make your reservations for the Bavarian Inn, which is right in Shepherdstown. The rooms here emulate a European, alpine-style charm, and you can even get a room with a view overlooking the Potomac River, which makes for a nice and cozy evening together.
Stay for the whole weekend because there is plenty to do! In the heart of town is Shepherd University, and their homecoming weekend is coming up! The Rams will play on Saturday, October 22nd, and the Homecoming football game means it’s definitely going to be tons of excitement! They are already 4-0 this year, so Concord better be ready for a good fight, and you better be ready to watch a great game unfold all while enjoying food from so many of the awesome vendors that will be there. The atmosphere created by both the families and the students in attendance makes it a community event that everyone can have fun at.
If the football game was awesome, but you’re still looking for more adventure, check out Harpers Ferry, West Virginia. It’s only about 20 minutes from Shepherdstown, and there are a few different hiking options here that you and your lover can decide on together. The hike up to Jefferson Rock is an all uphill, tons-of-steps, type of hike, but overall it’s relatively short in distance. At the top sits Jefferson Rock, and beyond that is such an incredible view! Mountains, rivers and the beautiful orange and red leaves can be seen in every direction.
But maybe you want something more challenging, or something that will take you a little bit longer so that you can spend extra time together! Try the Maryland Heights trail, situated on the opposite side of Harpers Ferry. Once you make it to the top, you are absolutely rewarded with the view – you can see the town of Harpers Ferry down below, the Shenandoah and Potomac Rivers meeting point, the train tracks running across the landscape, and the mountains stretching for miles. The Harpers Ferry Adventure Center is another awesome place to experience the changing leaves and try something new. They offer zip lining, kayaking, and other outdoor adventures that would introduce some new, unique fun into the weekend!
Not too far from Harpers Ferry, the Loudoun County area in Virginia offers so many wineries and vineyards, you can go to a new one each time! At the end of a weekend full of adventure and fall activities, Sunday is the day of rest and relaxation. Spending a day tasting wines at a place like Hillsborough Vineyards in Purcellville, VA, is a really great way to relax with the one you love. On October 7th, Hillsborough Vineyards is hosting their October Wine Club Pickup Party from 5:00 pm-8:00 pm. It is free and will have live music and lite fare to make for a fun evening!
There is so much to do in the Shenandoah Valley region that is best to do this time of year! The crisp, autumn air, the brightly colored leaves, the smell of a bonfire – these are the ingredients of a romantic, yet lively and delightful weekend. So don’t forget to plan a weekend of college football games, hiking, and hitting a winery or two, before the weather gets too cold to do so!