Virginia has its share of stunning vistas. Scenic drives are a great way to take in the glory of nature just a tank of gas ride away from Richmond. As the weather warms up and we inch closer to spring, exploring country roads, visiting vineyards and hiking through national parks is a great way to take in Virginia’s sweeping topography and grandeur.
🍁 The route of the Blue Ridge Parkway follows mountain and valley landscapes to link Shenandoah and Great Smoky Mountains National Parks. Its location was selected to provide the best in a variety of scenic, historic, and natural features that evoke the regional image of the central and southern Appalachian Mountains. To maximize scenic views and give visitors the impression that they are in a park with boundaries to the horizon, the Parkway was located in mountainous terrain that roads would normally have avoided. The Parkway extends 469 miles through the Blue Ridge, Black, Great Craggy, Great Balsam, and Plot Balsam Mountains. It is known for spectacular mountain and valley vistas, quiet pastoral scenes, sparkling waterfalls, colorful flowers and foliage displays, and interpretation of mountain history and culture.
🍁 Blue Ridge Parkway officials are increasing recreational access to sections of the motor road previously closed to motor vehicle traffic in Virginia. The National Park Service is working with federal, state, and local public health authorities to closely monitor current health issues and use a phased approach to increase access to the Parkway and park sites across the country. All Parkway trails, and all other sections of the motor route in Virginia previously accessible to motor vehicle traffic are now open.
Some parkway facilities are closed due to COVID-19, including visitor centers, and several campgrounds. Most restrooms, trails, and sections of the roadway are open. Many concession operations have resumed, including lodges, restaurants, and park stores. Check the Blue Ridge Parkway for updates and information about road closures.
🍁 Shenandoah National Park is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. For important information about what’s open and what’s closed and what you need to know, visit: https://www.nps.gov/shen/phase-three.htm
🍁 You can enjoy views right here in the city at that James River Park or go for a drive out to and around Waynesboro. There are two scenic overlooks on 64 between Charlottesville and Waynesboro that offer sweeping vistas of Virginia’s mountain views.
🍁 The National Forests, also known as the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests, stretch along the beautiful Appalachian Mountains of Virginia and even cross into parts of West Virginia and Kentucky offering access to the Appalachian and Creeper Trails.
🍁 Closer to Richmond, Virginia State Route 6 is a lovely, meandering route from Richmond to Scottsville with numerous vineyards and cideries along the way.
🍁 The Montpelier Wine Trail in Orange and Greene Counties offer beautiful vistas and a way to experience the agricultural bounty.
🍁 If you like to combine foliage watching with visits to towns around Virginia, there are numerous places around the Charlottesville, Lexington, Staunton, Lynchburg and Roanoke area to enjoy. Here are a few more more scenic drive ideas.
In the fall, you should check out Virginia tourism’s best spots to see brilliant foliage in the state. You can gauge where are the best places to see bright colors by this Fall Foliage Prediction Map. The Virginia Department of Forestry also tracks foliage for precise connections to pinpoint places with stunning colors. Seeking out these natural spaces during the fall foliage season is a great way to enjoy the reds, yellows and oranges of nature with very comfortable temperatures.
More things to do in and around Richmond:
- The Ultimate List of RVA Parks and Playgrounds
- 🌸 Seven Spots to See Cherry Blossoms in the Richmond Area
- Nature walks and scenic hikes for all ages around Richmond
- Pumpkin patches, corn mazes and fun farms around Richmond
- Bicycling routes around Richmond
- Visit Richmond MetroZoo
- Richmond area farmers markets
- RVA Dog-Friendly Parks
- Orchards and Berry Farms
- Special Resources
- Richmond boat launches and marinas
- Richmond Historic Cemeteries offer quiet solace of nature, window to the past and notable art