Leaves are changing, Pumpkin Spice is back on the menu, you have probably unpacked your sweaters from the storage, and football season is in full swing. That’s right you guessed it! It’s officially Fall! With that, we went around the office to catch Jim and Elizabeth’s favorite fall activities to participate in. We hope you enjoy it and can share some of your favorites as well!
Q: What are the top 3 things to do with a family?
Elizabeth: I LOVE taking my family up to Carter Mountain Orchard to go apple picking. From mid-August through November, you can take your family to the orchard and have a day full of fun. From apple picking to the country store to capping off the day with a hayride, there is no shortage of fun, especially for little kids.
Next, I would have to say the Liberty Mills Corn Maze is great. According to their website, Liberty Mills has the largest corn maze in the United States. They split it into 4 separate mazes so you can continue to go back throughout the season and have new experiences to discover. Besides the mazes, Liberty Mills has plenty of fun-filled activities including a farm market, playground for the kids, and hay wagon rides. Like Carter Mountain, there is no excuse to be bored.
Lastly, and this is for families with kids who are older and for families who are into this, the Busch Gardens Howl-O-Scream is a lot of terrorizing fun. With five haunted houses, four “terror-tories”, four sinister shows, and two party zones, it is hard to experience everything in one visit. I put this last on my list because it is on the fringe of being in Central Virginia and haunted houses are not for everyone, but if you are a fan and don't mind the couple-hour drive, then the Howl-O-Scream is a great place to be.
Q: If you want to soak in some beautiful scenery, where might you go?
Jim: There are endless amounts of places in the area to go and take in the great outdoors so, I won't be doing it justice by just giving you a few, but for the sake of the blog, I have three places to go. Starting just east of Waynesboro and running 105 miles north to Front Royal is Skyline Drive. This is the only public road through the Shenandoah National Park and is filled with stops that overlook the Blue Ridge Mountains and Shenandoah Valley that are breathtaking. Something that I find to be overlooked sometimes is taking it slow through the windy roads with the windows down on a crisp fall afternoon as the leaves are a million different colors and whipping every which way making that euphonious crackle as you drive through them. Keep your eyes peeled for wildlife too. I have seen plenty of deer and turkey as well as a few black bears on my trips. I will give you a fair warning though, you have to time it right during the fall season as the small two-lane road tends to get congested during the peak times, but if you can get the full experience, there is nothing like it!
Also, if you are a hiker, there are plenty of trails in the area, but one that I enjoy is the Humpback Rocks Trail in the Shenandoah National Park. With three different stopping points (1 mile, 2 miles, and 3.9 miles) and plenty of gorgeous views along the way, the trail is for all hikers. This is another that can experience a lot of traffic during peak hours, but if you want to catch a sunrise hike, there are usually fewer people early in the morning.
For the mountain bikers in the area, Observatory Hill (O-Hill) is a great spot for any difficulty of mountain biking. O-Hill offers something for every mood: flow, rocks, jumps, hills, technical sections, and features. One of the biggest perks of choosing O-Hill is that it can connect to other awesome trails like the Rivanna Trail, Song Mt., Heyward Mt., and Ragged Mt. Moreover, it's adjacent to Charlottesville so it is easily accessible from in town.
Q: Two major universities in Virginia, the University of Virginia and Virginia Tech, have produced a large number of alumni that call Central Virginia home. Are there any activities centered around the two universities that people can partake in?
Jim: Of course! I’ll do you one better. This event involves both schools. The Virginia-Virginia Tech Rivalry Game is a big one for people all over Virginia, and even bigger for those living in the central region. UVA and Virginia Tech have gotten together annually dating back to the early ‘70s and the first time the two met was in 1895 so there is a lot of history in this rivalry. Since 1990 the game has been played during the week of Thanksgiving, and whether it is in Blacksburg or Charlottesville, it is always a good time. From the tailgates to the pageantry to the actual game, there is nothing like it. Many people have this game circled on their calendars every year.
Well, that is all we have to share at the MFG Office, but as we said earlier, if you have any favorites that weren't mentioned, or are partaking in any of the activities that we touched on, please share them with us on our socials!
LPL Financial not affiliated with any of the named entities.