The author Albert Camus said, “Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.” Unfortunately, in Florida we don’t experience many seasons, other than hot, really hot and really, really hot. So when September rolls around, many residents are thinking of a trip to escape the heat and perhaps even see some colorful fall foliage. If you’ve been thinking of making your escape this year, read on to discover the perfect scenic drive and a country getaway you’ll want to return to again and again.

The Skyline Drive in Virginia is a 105-mile scenic stretch meandering through Northern Virginia’s Shenandoah National Park. The drive features nearly 75 overlooks with mountain views. October is the perfect time when sumac, locust and sas- safras trees turn buttery yellow and scarlet oak, red maple and sweet gum trees explode into jeweled reds. Amid the spectacular colors run wildlife like black bears and white-tailed deer.

Where to Stay:

The Inn at Little Washington

A comfy, cozy country cottage like you’ve never seen before. This five-star hotel has only 18 guest rooms and suites with an Old English and Victorian style. The rooms are impressively appointed but comfortable. The Inn is known for its high level of service and luxurious décor, as much as the five-star res- taurant, also called The Inn at Little Washington, where you can sample seasonal fare.

The historic town of Washington was founded in 1769 and is considered the quintessential American small town, serving as the seat of government for Rappahannock County. Many of the buildings date back to the late 1700s. The surround- ing area provides opportuni- ties for hiking, fly-fishing, hot air ballooning, antiquing and wine tasting. In addition there are art galleries, sophisticated shops and theatres to visit.

What to Know Before You Go:

The brilliant fall foliage usually peaks between the second and third week of October. Keep in mind that temperatures on the mountain are usually 10 degrees cooler than in the valley below.

Connecting from the south, the Blue Ridge Parkway offers another 100 miles of dramatic scenery through the southern gateway communities, down to Roanoke. Skyline Drive is the national scenic byway that takes you through the national park; there are four entrances (and exits).

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