12 Ways to Celebrate Fall in Virginia

September 14, 2023
fall colors on the water

Virginia is a picturesque spot for a fall getaway, whether you’re seeking some solo time or you’re traveling as a family. From the vibrant autumn colors to the quaint coastal plains, visitors coming to the Tides Inn can enjoy all of the iconic fall activities that Virginia has to offer.

Nestled in the Northern Neck region, the warm fall colors are typically on display on our grounds from mid to late October. If you’re planning a trip on the western side of the state, be aware that the foliage season starts earlier in the month.

With a special crispness to the air, traditional fall activities in Virginia will leave you with core memories that will last a lifetime. From pumpkin patches to picnic baskets, road trips and cozy cider tastings, you will find all of this and more near the Tides this fall. Here are 13 ways to celebrate during your stay.

Urbanna Oyster Festival

Hosted November 3 and 4, the iconic Urbanna Oyster Festival is a buzz-worthy event for tourists and locals alike. Venture just across the Rappahannock to indulge in the flavors of Virginia’s beloved shellfish. The occasion also boasts a parade, live music, food and an oyster shucking competition.

This year, you may catch a round-trip ride across the Rappahannock River on the Tides Inn Water Taxi. This exclusive offer for guests of the Tides Inn allows you to avoid the traffic, parking fees and stress of driving. The cost for a roundtrip ticket is $40 per person. To reserve, please contact our Concierge Team at 804.438.5000 or Concierge@TidesInn.com.

Colors of Fall Helicopter Tour

This season is for new experiences and exploration. For the fall lovers who can’t get enough of the fiery foliage, consider a helicopter tour to take in nature’s most vibrant time of the year. From the bright colors of the mountains to the yellow hues near the bay, a helicopter tour is sure to leave you in awe of all Virginia has to offer.

Dameron Marsh Natural Area Preserve

Searching for a tranquil excursion that will take you to one of the most significant wetlands along the Chesapeake Bay? Your drive will showcase Virginia’s fall foliage if you didn’t get enough from the Tide’s new nature trail.

The preserve is known for its vast wildlife and marsh-bird communities. Enjoy the fresh air and keep your eyes peeled for a variety of critters. If you enjoyed the peaceful marsh walk, consider stopping by Hickory Hollow Natural Area Preserve, Rappahannock River Valley National Wildlife Refuge or Belle Isle State Park next.

The Spa

A new season offers a new reason to prioritize yourself. The fall represents a shift in direction—the days get shorter and darker, and the air gets crisper and cooler. We slowly shift into cozy weather and say goodbye to long summer nights. Unwind and fall into this new season with a self-care day by booking a service at the Tides Inn Spa. Detoxify and hydrate your skin with a body scrub or treat yourself to a Himalayan Salt Stone Massage.

Live Music at Camp Irvington

The warmth of the fire pits underneath the glow of string lights creates the perfect setting to enjoy a fall sunset and live music. A new addition to our town of Irvington, Camp is casual yet inviting—the ideal spot to unwind on your getaway. As far as entertainment goes, a variety of musicians play every Saturday and Sunday. Grab a blanket and get cozy as you relax under the stars.

Carter's Creek Sunset Cruise

After exploring all that Irvington and the surrounding area has to offer on foot, take in the stunning coastline views by setting sail on a cruise at the Tides. Rich with history, our Sunset Cruise will educate you on the background of Carter’s Creek as you take in the sweeping waterfront views, of course complete with a glass of wine.

8 Shires Colonial Distillery

Located in the Triangle of Williamsburg, Virginia, 8 Shires Distillery embodies the history of distillation from the Colonial American Period. 8 Shires is known for using historic recipes and ingredients for their small craft batches. Stop by for a sip or partake in a behind-the-scenes tour to experience the production up close and personal. After all, nothing says fall quite like bourbon.

Garden Tour

Bike to the Tides Inn Farm and enjoy a tour of the pollinator gardens, vegetable garden and Bee Meadow with our horticulturist, Matt Little. A seasoned expert on all things trees and plants, Matt can comment on the changing leaves, the growth of pumpkins and gourds and how the shift in weather impacts our beloved bee population. This 30-minute experience is the perfect afternoon activity for adults and kids alike.

Saude Creek Vineyards

Virginia is home to nearly 300 wineries, so there is certainly no shortage of local varieties to explore. Several wine festivals take place throughout the fall months, offering visitors and locals a chance to sample the seasonal best.

Saude Creek Vineyards is only a 40 minute drive from the Tides Inn, and once you arrive, the hillside tables will surround you with beautiful foliage. Head to the vineyard on the weekend and you can enjoy bites from The Scottish Pig, a local food truck favorite.

Ditchley Cider Works

Ditchley produces more than 50 varieties of ciders from apples grown directly on the property. In addition to cider, this small, veteran-owned and operated farm produces pork, beef and poultry products. Set on a picturesque property that includes orchards, pastures, wooded areas and over two miles of natural shoreline, this is a hidden gem located just under ten miles from the Tides. On your way back to the Inn, indulge in the fall flavors that come to life in the freshly made ciders.

Holly Fork Farms

Family-friendly activities that will transport you to your youth can be found at Holly Fork Farm. From hay rides and scavenger hunts to harvest vendors and fresh veggies, this is the perfect pumpkin patch and picnic pavilion for your whole crew to enjoy.

Visit a Historic Site

Virginia is home to several historic sites, one being Historic Christ Church and Museum, which is just a 5 minute drive from our property. The 1735 church is a landmark that is in near-original condition and is considered as one of America’s greatest buildings. Two other spots to check out include the Steamboat Era Museum and Mary Ball Washington Museum where you can discover, learn and explore more about the history of the area surrounding the Tides.