Southern Living: Va.'s best parkway towns in the fall

Southern Living: Va.'s best parkway towns in the fall

Photo by Andriy Blokhin on Shutterstock.

With peak fall foliage coming, it's time for just one thing — leaf peeping on the Blue Ridge Parkway and checking out cool towns along the way.

As crisp autumn air starts settling in on late-September afternoons, leaf peepers begin hitting Virginia's stretch of the Blue Ridge Parkway. Cloudless skies set an ethereal backdrop for clusters of crimson, burnt orange, and golden leaves lining the curvy two-lane highway, a bright runway for the smoky blue mountains peeking over the horizon. Carloads of tourists embark on the scenic drive every fall to take in Virginia's striking foliage. This year, escape the crowds, and pull off the parkway to explore a few mountain towns with their own front-row seats to the seasonal show. Hot Springs, with the historic Omni Homestead Resort surrounded by the Allegheny Mountains; Lexington, a charming college town in the Shenandoah Valley; and Roanoke, a buzzy city for both foodies and outdoor enthusiasts in the eponymous valley.


Story by Grace Haynes