The Perfect Fall Getaway is Only 2.5 Hours from Charlotte

Go leaf-peeping on the Blue Ridge Parkway, hike a state park, and hit a few wineries and orchards in this adorable autumn destination.

Fall is finally, officially here in Charlotte. Leaves crunching beneath boots inspire even the least fall-obsessed to partake in seasonal activities. Something about the autumn air makes you want to indulge in pumpkin flavors, marvel at the leaf changes, and perhaps even cozy up next to a bonfire.

For a few essential fall activities—leaf-peeping in the mountains, hiking, and winery and orchard hopping—head a couple hours north of Charlotte for a new point-of-view and an amazing autumn experience. Patrick County, Virginia, is only two-and-a-half hours from the Queen City, and it's the ideal mountain destination for folks wanting festive fun this season.


Go leaf-peeping on the Blue Ridge Parkway


Consider yourself a fanatic of fall foliage? Who doesn't? Because Patrick Country is lesser-known than other fall destinations near Charlotte, you miss all the crowds during prime leaf-peeping times. In this quaint, outdoorsy destination, you get the beauty of the Blue Ridge Parkway without the stress of crowds. The Blue Ridge Parkway in Patrick County runs through the heart of the mountains, near the Meadows of Dan. Bring your nice camera, your favorite fall vest, and enjoy unparalleled access to the gorgeous fall leaves and their mesmerizing colors in Patrick County. Outdoor enthusiasts can sleep under the stars at the Meadows of Dan campground, or choose from a variety of lodging types in the Patrick County area.


Hike a picture-perfect state park this fall

Leaf-peeping meets serenity at Fairy Stone State Park in Patrick County, Virginia.

When winding through the Blue Ridge Parkway roads, marveling at Mother Nature's seasonal style, it's common to want more and get closer to the action. If you've got that itch to be among the leaves, up-close-and-personal, go where the signature colors abound: a state park. Fairy Stone State Park is simply picture-perfect in the fall, and it's a prime hiking spot for leaf lovers.

It's also got fascinating features. You can find Fairy Stones anywhere in Virginia—from state park gift shops to souvenir stands along the Blue Ridge—but to find these small, pinkish-brown stones naturally, you must visit Fairy Stone State Park. It's here, in this park, among the white pines and yellow poplars, just behind the relaxing Philpott Lake, that the Fairy Stones were first found.

In addition to its unique natural landscape, Fairy Stone State Park boasts a mix of wildlife from the western mountains and the Central Piedmont region. Bird-watchers will be delighted to spot brown-headed nuthatches and yellow-throated warblers in the pine trees, and they can uncover unusual waterfowl as they scan the reservoir.

Fairy Stone Loop is just one of the many trails you can tackle in Patrick County. See all of the hiking and biking trails here.


Hop from winery to orchard (or vice versa)

Drink in the gorgeous fall scenery at Stanburn Winery.

More fall fun awaits within Patrick County's impressive winery scene. Patrick County's own award-winning Stanburn Winery and Villa Appalaccia Winery are along the Virginia wine trail. Try sipping local wine among its vines while basking in incredible fall weather—all your worries will melt away.

If you're not into wine or you're looking for an activity that the kids will enjoy too, check some autumn festivities off your list by visiting an orchard and a corn maze. Patrick County is full of charm and farmland, so you'll get the full fall experience in an authentic atmosphere. Head to Doe Run Farm for a maize maze, or pick fresh apples at Wade’s Orchard, Learn more here.

Patrick County is the place to be this fall, and with it so close to Charlotte, it's a no-brainer. Consider planning your trip around the Woolwine October Festival if you're a bluegrass music fan, or click here to start planning your unique autumn experience in Patrick County.