Combining the beauty of the changing of the leaves with culinary and music festivals with an adventuresome road trip is a great way to take a 48 hour break from work. Check out Go Blue Ridge Travel’s top ten picks combining the arts with great food and wine, adventure, and relaxation.
Describing the changing of the leaves includes stunning, breathtaking, amazing, vibrant, crisp and that there must be at least one hundred more adjectives that can describe the immense beauty of the season. This fall promises to be especially incredible, as Virginia’s summer was wetter and cooler than usual – the perfect scenario for amazing foliage. From Virginia’s apples, civil war and quilts, bicylist adventure, to our culinary and music festivals, the Valley features something for all ages and interests.
#1 Great Country Farms Apple Gala and Cider Festival – Bluemont, VA
Apple Gala and Cider Festival – September may mean back to school for many, but at Great Country it means back to the farm for freshly pressed cider and apples! We will celebrate the start of the cider-pressing season with tastings of this season’s best sparkling cider blends including peach, cherry and raspberry. Take home some freshly pressed cider. Don’t worry, we didn’t forget about the parents! For our very first year we are excited to announce that Showalter’s Orchard will be offering hard cider. Come watch the members and friends of Catoctin Presbyterian Church in Waterford, VA who have been making apple butter for more than twenty-five years.
#2 FAMILY DRIVE IN CIVIL WAR CELEBRATION – Stephens City, VA
Family Drive In –Celebrate the Civil War with an Encampment Movie Marathon to benefit the Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation. From live Civil War encampments to the firing of the canon to appearances by Patrick O. Gorman, the actor playing General John Bell Hood in both Gettysburg and Gods and Generals will showcase the three day Civil War movie event. The Family Drive-In Theatre, 5890 Valley Pike (US Rt 11) in Stephens City, Virginia is Virginia’s largest drive-in. On September 12, 13, and14th, the theater will host a Civil War movie marathon. The event celebrates the Battle of Cedar Creek by showcasing four classic Civil War movies.
#3 QUILT SYMPOSIUM Winchester Frederick County Historic Society – Winchester, VA
Quilt Symposium – The Winchester-Frederick County Historical Society is very excited to host “A Focus on Quilts from the Lower Shenandoah Valley” September 19 and 20, 2014. A wonderful group of quilt experts have agreed to come and share their knowledge. The symposium will begin at the Hollingsworth Mill on Friday, September 19 with a quilt documentation led by quilt appraiser and historian, Neva Hart. This project is sponsored by the Virginia Consortium of Quilters, which archives all the information. Attendees are invited to bring up to three undocumented quilts to be measured, photographed, dated, and patterns identified.
Brews and Blues Festival – Warm Sunshine…Fall Colors…Laughter fills the air… These are all signs that the Brew & Blues Festival is just around the corner. Join us on Saturday, September 27, 2014 in historic downtown Front Royal, Virginia for a day of shopping, blues music and of course, beer tasting . The festival gates open at Noon with activities and musical entertainment all day until 8 p.m.
#5 INTERNATIONAL FAMILY FUN FESTIVAL OF CULTURES – Harrisonburg, VA
International Family Fun Festival of Cultures – Celebrating our community’s rich intercultural diversity, the Harrisonburg International Festival invites you to join us for our 17th Annual event Saturday, September 27, 2014 from 12:00PM – 6:00PM at Hillandale Park. This unusual event brings together an extravaganza of performing, visual, and culinary arts and a world of beautiful people offering a remarkable smorgasbord of mouth-watering delicacies, musical talent and dance, creative folk art, language and intercultural learning opportunities, a World Bazaar of exquisite hand-made and imported art and souvenirs, and a world of stories waiting to be shared!
#6 ALPINE LOOP GRAND FONDO – Harrisonburg, VA
Alpine Grand Fondo –September 28th – This magnificent scenery is the backdrop for the most challenging and adventurous Gran Fondo in the United States. The route begins in Harrisonburg, Virginia and covers 105 miles featuring over 11,000 feet of climbing and two dirt road climbs – the toughest Gran Fondo in the States!The Alpine Loop Gran Fondo provides the opportunity and inspiration for individuals and teams to take on great challenges in support of worthy causes. The event directly supports community charities and cycling infrastructure.
#7 0’HURLEY’S MUSIC JAM SESSIONS – Shepherdstown, WV
O’Hurley’s Music Jam Sessions –On any Thursday night, musicians arrive at O’Hurley’s and start tuning up with a dozen or more musicians playing their dulcimer, banjo, guitar, fiddle, Celtic harp, flute, etc.Visitors can have a seat in a rocking chair and listen in and experience what has been a timeless tradition. What makes the jam sessions even more interesting is that visitors fill the rocking chairs, and listen in, with everything free and open to those entering the large room. There is no such thing as a reservation, as observers are seated first come, first served. Often there is standing room only.
#8 ALL MOUNTAIN BIKE FEST AND RACE – Bryce, V
Bryce Resort is the only Bike Park in Virginia, has decided to offer up a weekend of racing on September 26th to highlight just how awesome its trails are. We are happy to present you with official runs on all of your favorite trails at Bryce Resort’s Bike Park, plus a few runs that are a special mix of whats on the ground.
#9 MASSANUTTEN RESORT FALL MUSIC FESTIVAL – Massanutten, VA
Massanutten Fall Music Festival –On October 11th, join us for the annual Fall Festival featuring over 60 arts and crafts vendors, live music, food vendors, chairlift rides, kids’ activities, wine tasting, and more! Massanutten Resort is on Route 33 outside of Harrisonburg, Virginia in the middle of a mountain range. Not only will one enjoy being in the mountains but one will also be treated to a wonderful family festival celebrating music, food, and fun kid activities.
#10 AUTUMN FEST – Woodstock, VA
Autumn Fest – At The Shenandoah County Fairgrounds – An annual event designed to give YOU a lip lickin’, banjo pickin’, wine sippin’ good time! This event will feature a Kansas City Sanctioned BBQ contest, bluegrass bands, a business expo, arts and crafts, wineries, and brews. Come early and enter the cornhole tournament, belt sander contest, and the cow plop bingo game.
The Shenandoah Valley Fall Season offers something for everyone. A road trip to Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains will not disappoint!