Posts Tagged ‘fall foliage getaways’

Fall Foliage Getaway in Williamsburg, Virginia

September 25, 2021
Kingsmill Resort, Williamsburg VA (Photo by Kim Kiely Photography)

People typically think of New England for fall foliage, but the fall colors usually come early (as in September) whereas in Virginia, where the climates are more temperate, the leaves turn later, peaking in late October.  Here are favorite ways to enjoy fall in Williamsburg:

Go Leaf Peeping: From the Colonial Parkway to Waller Mill Park to the Island Loop around Jamestown Island, there’s a plethora of places to admire fall foliage. From ash, poplar, and maple to wildflowers such as goldenrod, asters, tickseeds, and thoroughworts, the pageant of blazing reds and brilliant yellows is dazzling. Late October through early November is usually the best time, but it depends on the weather so check Virginia’s fall foliage updates. 

Take a Hike: Take in the season’s majesty while hiking on one of many trails through forests, wetlands, and fields. Start on the scenic four-mile walking path that winds its way through Kingsmill itself. Then head to The Greensprings Greenway Interpretative Trail, which links history and nature over more than five miles (with several loop options) in Jamestown Settlement. Explore a different landscape on the dozen short trails of the coastal estuary at York River State Park.

Sample the Bounty of the Season: Feast on produce, prepared foods, and farm products grown or made in Virginia by some 40 vendors at the Williamsburg Farmers Market in Merchants’ Square every Saturday morning (8 a.m.- noon) through December. Or shop for produce, baked goods, and arts and crafts at Yorktown Market Days, another Saturday morning option, at Riverwalk Landing. Special themed markets in historic Yorktown include Harvest Market (Nov. 20) with log-carving demonstrations, bluegrass music, hayrides; Virginia Living Museum’s 9th annual Oyster Roast on Nov. 13, where you can enjoy all-you-can-eat local Virginia oysters, fried seafood, chowder, craft beers, live music, raffles. Explore colonial cooking techniques of 17th- and 18th-century America during Foods & Feasts of Colonial Virginia, Nov. 26-28 and at the Yorktown Victory Center learn about the typical grub served to soldiers during the Revolution. 

Go for Halloween Thrills and Chills:

Haunted houses and ghost walks, and creepy carriage rides, oh my! Get your spook on in Greater Williamsburg. Take a one-hour candlelit Haunted Williamsburg tour at 7:00 each night, with exclusive access to historic outdoor spaces and costumed storytellers who share their unnerving tales. 

Screaming is an Olympic sport during Halloween and the blood-curdling horror happens at Busch Gardens Howl-O-Scream. On Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from Sept. 10 to Oct. 31, five haunted houses, four terror-tories, four sinister shows, two party zones, and surprise horrors await at every turn. Go ahead, start shaking in your boots now. Little ones can celebrate not-so-spooky fun with a costume party and trick-or-treating at The Count’s Spooktacular.

Listen to tales of paranormal activities on a guided tour through the 1726 Berkeley Plantation mansion in Charles City followed by a lantern-led walk through the gardens, grounds, cemetery, and corn maze. The Twilight Ghost Tour of one of Virginia’s most historic plantations takes place Oct. 9 and 22.

Jamestown Settlement hosts Family Frights, a Halloween-themed program for the whole family on Oct. 23 and 24 featuring trick-or-treating, ghostly tales, haunted houses and ships, and grisly games.  

Dig Into Thanksgiving

The nation’s first Thanksgiving? It’s not what you think. It took place at Berkeley Plantation when the first settlers celebrated “a day of thanksgiving to Almighty God,” but without a grand meal. In fact, they likely fasted. On Nov. 7, you can celebrate the event with a living history program, tribal dancers, arts and crafts, choral music, and a reenactment of the landing of 38 British settlers on Dec. 4, 1619 — two years before the more famous festivities in Plymouth, Mass. But because fasting isn’t fun, the celebration features smoked turkey legs, Brunswick stew, BBQ, Virginia ham biscuits, hot dogs, kettle corn, and funnel cakes throughout the day.

Get a Jump on Christmas Shopping at Williamsburg Premium Outlets, with 120 stores including Ann Taylor, Banana Republic, Michael Kors, Calvin Klein, and Nautica.

For a luxurious resort stay, look to  Kingsmill Resort, the only AAA Four Diamond resort in Williamsburg, and the only resort on the majestic James River.

The 2900-acre gated resort features a massive indoor pool, a million dollar spa, two championship golf courses and miles of hiking/biking trails make it the perfect getaway base camp for all the area has to offer in the fall months. It also boasts a plethora of one and three-bedroom condo style accommodations with separate bathrooms, large living rooms, kitchens, dining areas, washer and dryer and even working fireplaces.  It’s ideal for families and friends traveling together.

Located on the James River off I-64 between Richmond and Norfolk the property is within minutes from Williamsburg’s numerous destinations including Busch Gardens, Colonial Williamsburg, The College of William & Mary, Jamestown Settlement and Yorktown Victory Center. To plan your trip to Kingsmill, visit www.kingsmill.com.

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Come to Atlantic Canada for Foliage, Flavor and Festivals This Fall

September 29, 2017

Canada-PEI fall e2

Prince Edward Island’s red clay roads are delightful for biking in fall.

ATLANTIC CANADA  – The Canadian provinces of New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island offer more than breathtaking horizons of gold, crimson and amber leaves in autumn.  This fall, travelers to Atlantic Canada’s coastal region will find fewer crowds, lower rates and a variety of festivals, culinary indulgences and experiences that deliver more than simply peeping at leaves from a car.

Prince Edward Island

Throughout September, the Fall Flavours Festival takes foodies on a culinary journey across Prince Edward Island.  From mussel and lobster shore boils and grilled cheese chef challenges, to made in Canada food tours, the festival also features signature events hosted by popular celebrity chefs including PEI’s own Chef Michael Smith. Pricing for individual events vary.

For leaf peepers, the red clay roads on Prince Edward Island(http://www.tourismpei.com) are lined with trees full of apricot orange, fiery red and bright yellow and showcase best between mid-September and mid-October.  Bicycling on the Confederation Trail, which is built on old railroad tracks and spans about 270 miles (435 kilometers), offers spectacular views of colorful foliage with sections that lead through wooded areas and along the coastline.

Nova Scotia

With a famed heritage for its giant pumpkins, Windsor in  Nova Scotia ( http://www.novascotia.com) hosts the annual Pumpkin Festival and Regatta, where people paddle in hollowed out oversized pumpkins and race across Lake Pezaquid. With a backdrop of autumn leaves, spectators can cheer on the pumpkin racers, children can participate in scavenger hunts and so much more during the festivities on October 9.  For more information, visit http://worldsbiggestpumpkins.com

For nine days in October, Cape Breton Island is alive with music, activities and events celebrating the community’s rich culture during the annual Celtic Colours International Festival.  Held from October 6-14 when the leaves of Cape Breton are vibrant in red, yellow and orange hues, Celtic Colours has grown to become one of Canada’s premier musical events. At one of the many concerts, guests will be entertained by musicians from around the world sharing the stage with Cape Breton’s best singers, dancers, players, story-tellers and culture bearers in venues that range from community halls and churches to modern schools and theatres. For more information, visit http://celtic-colours.com/.

Newfoundland and Labrador

Foliage enthusiasts looking for an offbeat way to view fall colors can head to Newfoundland and Labrador (http://www.newfoundlandlabrador.com)and hop on an ATV.  In Western Newfoundland, Mount Musgrave ATV Tours travels along Marble Mountain’s jaw-dropping vistas of Humber Valley. The one and half hour tour brings ATVing guests beyond the chairlift to the summit of Mount Musgrave to spot wildlife such as moose, caribou, black bear, and of course, the vibrant hues of changing leaves. Available through October 31, price is $55 CAD per person.

From October 6-8, Fogo Island celebrates the partridgeberry, the tart red berry that grows in abundance in Newfoundland and Labrador.  The Fogo Island Partridgeberry Harvest Festival showcases local produce of Fogo Island and Change Islands through farmer’s market, crafts, bake-offs, harvest competitions, demonstration of traditional woodworking and quilting, music, jam sessions and much more.

New Brunswick

Indulge, New Brunswick’s annual food and wine festival in St. Andrews by-the-Sea, features three days of food experiences and more from October 13 to 15. From a walking tour and tasting of top chefs’ wares along shorefront Water Street to a farmer’s market, tasting dinners and wine trails, guests enjoy local culinary delights.  On October 14, adventurists can race the tide across the ocean floor on bike during Cyclocross the Tide on Ministers Island.  Pricing for individual events vary.

In Miramichi, New Brunswick (http://www.tourismnewbrunswick.ca), the newly opened Over the Cove Zipline stretches more than 980 feet (300 meters). Adventurers can zip over water and through the changing colored leaves in two directions at French Fort Cove, which also offers walking, hiking and biking trails. Over the Cove Zipline is open weekends through October 9. Price is $20 CAD per person.

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