October 27th, 2011 by

By Michelle Werts

While apple and pumpkin picking happen to be my favorite fall activities, I must admit that the experience wouldn’t be the same without the green, red, orange and yellow color palette that accompanies it. Virginia’s spectacular fall foliage definitely makes the most routine excursion outdoors more enjoyable this time of year.

Skyline Drive, Shenandoah National Park, Virginia. Credit: Via Tsuji

In Virginia, though, if you want to go the extra mile — more specifically 105 miles — to experience some of the state’s best fall foliage, it’s all about Skyline Drive.

Visitors flock to Skyline to traverse Shenandoah National Park — it’s the only roadway through the park — and explore the Blue Ridge Mountains. The maximum speed limit on the drive is a leisurely 35 mph, offering plenty of time to unwind and spot the deer, black bear, wild turkey and other critters that roam the park.

I made my first pilgrimage to Skyline three years ago and am eager to find a chance to go back to this national scenic byway.

Fun fact break: America’s Byways® are 150 roads designated as such by the U.S. Secretary of Transportation. National scenic byways are special classifications within America’s Byways that represent roads that contain one or more archeological, cultural, historic, natural, recreational or scenic quality.

Of course, Virginia is not the only part of the country experiencing this annual autumn tradition, as leaves are putting on brilliant displays across the country.

Looking for superb foliage in your area?

Jamie Moore on Yahoo! Travel has compiled a list of “Seven Sensational Scenic Drives for Autumn,” which features favorites from New Hampshire to California.

If towns are more your scene, Yahoo! Travel’s Christine Sarkis has a list of “10 Fantastic Towns for Fall,” featuring gems like Munising, Michigan, and Sedona, Arizona.

The Weather Channel outlines ideal times to witness fall foliage across the country.

Finally, our friends at the U.S. Forest Service have a comprehensive fall foliage map, gallery and other resources for your enjoyment.

Now, go! Enjoy the trees! And don’t forget to share your adventures with us!