Virginia is for fall lovers, and the pumpkin spice season is upon us. For all of you who can’t wait to feel a nip in the air, bite into a freshly picked apple, or savor the nostalgic flavors of fall, we’ve got a list of the top fall festivals across the state just for you:
42nd Annual Virginia Wine Festival - Alexandria
Tip your glass at the Virginia Wine Festival in Alexandria, where you can sample over 200+ Virginia wines from local vineyards. This wine festival is the oldest wine festival on the East Coast, and each year the festival features many of the state's craft exhibitors, seminars, and incredible music. Cheers, y'all!
When: October 14-15
Virginia Wine & Garlic Festival - Amherst
Love wine? Can’t get enough garlic? Amherst’s 27th annual Wine and Garlic Festival is coming up October 14-15, and it promises to be “A stinking good time.” Check out wines from nine Virginia vineyards and pair these with of the state’s tastiest and stinkiest garlic-themed foods.
When: October 14-15
Can't get enough pumpkin spice and Halloween
Goblins and Gourds - Richmond
If gourd season gets you going, you HAVE to make your way to Goblins and Gourds in Richmond. This Harvest celebration at the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden will get you in the spirit of the spooky season with pumpkin painting, live music, storytelling, and gourds of all shapes and sizes.
When: October 22
Staunton’s Queen City Potter Party - Staunton
Wizards and muggles from near and far descend upon Staunton, Virginia for the annual Queen City Mischief & Magic (formerly Potter Party). With a touch of wizardry, the historic downtown is transformed into the village of Hogsmeade. Local businesses get in on the fun, complete with Harry Potter-themed food and drink specials. Potter-heads should not miss out on this crazy community fun.
When: September 22-24
Skeleton Festival - Harrisonburg
This event blends aspects of Halloween and Dia de los Muertos in a big, community celebration. Activities kick off with trick-or-treating at downtown businesses and culminate with a fun, all-ages party at the Turner Pavilion & Park. The festival features costume contests, fire dancing, food trucks, live music, wacky shacks, goober blobs and whisker biscuits – perfect for that die-hard Halloween lover.
When: October 21
Hill High Farm Pumpkin Patch - Winchester
Get your pumpkin fix at Hill High Farm in Winchester. Virginia’s “Century Farm” has been owned and operated by the same family for the past 100 years, and they know how to throw a harvest festival. Pick pumpkins, wander corn mazes, or relax on a nostalgic hay ride across the farm. And no trip is complete without a stroll through The Packing Shed to pick up some baked pumpkin goods, apple cider, pumpkins, and other Pinterest-worthy autumnal decor.
When: September 24-October 31
Got a sweet tooth
Shenandoah Valley Apple Harvest Festival - Winchester
There’s no better way to kick off the autumn season than to head to an orchard and fill a bucket to the brim with awesome local apples. The Shenandoah Valley Apple Harvest Festival in Winchester is an ideal destination to get your apple fix as you pick ripe fruit straight from the orchard, sip apple cider, sample slices of apple pie, peruse artisan products, watch as the staff cook kettles full of bubbling apple butter, and listen to live music.
When: September 16-17
18th Annual Apple Butter Celebration - SKYLAND
Enjoy and take home some fresh-from-the-kettle jars of apple butter at the 18th Annual Apple Butter Celebration. Watch live apple boiling, drink cider, and eat from a wide menu of BBQ and apples!
When: September 23
Graves Apple Harvest Festival - syria
Head to the 48th annual Graves Mountain Apple Harvest Festival for your apple fix: Apple picking, apple cinnamon ice cream, apple butter donuts, fried apple slices, apple wine, apple pies, apple slices with caramel sauce, and freshly made apple butter. With the sweet smell of apples in the air and the sound of live bluegrass music in your ears, you’ll almost certainly be in the mood for a good old-fashioned hayride to complete your autumnal experience.
When: the first three weekends in October (7-22)
Thirsty for some brews & music
Devil's Backbone Hoopla – Nelson County
Hoopla is all about creating adventures right in the Blue Ridge Mountains. This festival invites you to camp out, enjoy workshops & outdoor activities alongside an incredible lineup of live music, award-winning craft beer and great eats.
When: September 29-Oct. 1
Brews & Blues Festival - Front Royal
Bring the whole family to Downtown Front Royal and enjoy a day of fun, delicious food, great live entertainment, and of course, beer tasting. With 50+ different beers from all over Virginia, you won’t go thirsty, and the food trucks, activities (including corn hole and yard games) and live entertainment will keep you busy.
When: September 23
Tomtober Fest - Charlottesville
2 days, 11 bands, and hundreds of entrepreneurs and artists - Tomtomber Fest is massive fall block party that celebrates local founders with two days of concerts, food trucks, entrepreneurs, and art in downtown Charlottesville’s Emancipation Park.
When: September 22-23
Chincoteague Oyster Festival - CHIncoteague
Toast to the end of another successful summer while welcoming the start of autumn - and more importantly - the beginning of oyster season at the 45th annual Chincoteague Oyster Festival. Throw on a scarf and head to the island for a full day of all-you-can-eat oysters. Try them on the half shell, fried, frittered, steamed, and stewed. And when you’re all oystered-out (if such a state exists), you can move on to other southern staples like hush puppies, clam fritters, and clam chowder.
When: October 7
Stratford Hall Wine & Oyster Festival - stratford
If you can’t get enough of the #saltlife, put the Stratford Hall Wine & Oyster Festival on your fall calendar. This two-day event is a gathering of Chesapeake Bay and Tidewater Virginia’s best wineries and oyster growers. Sip and slurp your way to seafood heaven at historic Stratford Hall.
When: September 16-17
Virginia is a fall lover's dream. From the changing leaves across the Shenandoah Valley to the orchards that erupt with apples every October. If you're the type of foodie who breaks out the pumpkin decor at the first sign of a nip in the air, then we feel confident you'll enjoy these fall festivals. For more suggestions on where to find the best fall flavors in Virginia, check out our Instagram or follow along for updates on Twitter.