Let's put those boots and vests to good use and head to the mountains of Virginia to see some breathtaking fall foliage before we turn into some sort of sweatpants wearing version of a hibernating bear for winter. Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park, Virginia, is listed as one of Buzzfeed's top destinations to enjoy the scenery. It's easy to see why. A 105 mile stretch of road will provide some amazing mountain views at top speeds of 35 miles an hour. Just in case that is too fast for you, the path provides 75 overlooks for you to stop and breathe in the fresh air. This will give you plenty of time to Snap/Insta your heart out. Look at how outdoorsy you are!
The park sits on over 200,000 acres of protected land. Feel free to get out of your car and wander around for a bit. Leaves not your thing? The park also boasts 6 waterfall hikes.
Shenandoah park lists mid-October as peak season for color change, so we're going to look to spend a long weekend at the park from Friday October 6th - Monday the 9th.
We chose to stay at the Sheraton Roanoke Hotel for two reasons. 1. Roanoke is creepy and we like that. 2. As of writing this, there are award nights available for 3,333 points, bringing the trip total to 9,999 points. The nightly rate is $161, which gives us a point value of 4.5 cents each. That's pretty solid. We have a bank of 30,000 Starwood points from the American Express Starwood card, so this is a good way to use them. Pro Tip - if you redeem points for 4 consecutive nights, your fifth night on the reservation is free. That's right, a free room for your free room. Inception free room.
Honestly, we cant imagine flying to see foliage. This trip would be better suited for a road trip. However, if you must, United does offer some direct flights into Roanoke Regional Airport. American also provides service, but you'll be hard-pressed to find a convenient route. Looking at awards for this weekend, we found some round trip options on United from Chicago for 20,000 miles. Raleigh and Richmond airports are probably going to be better for your schedule and award wallet depending on your location. Both would set you back a 3 hour drive, so keep that in mind. Award Finder is a great tool to help you find flight awards to your home airport.
There you have it. A trip to kick off the fall season. When you're done taking in all that mother nature has to offer, head on over to Big Lick Brewing Company. Just make sure they are open before you go. We always say the best way to know a city is to know it's beer. Cheers.