The Best Time to Visit Virginia (According to a Local)

Just south of Washington DC on the East Coast, Virginia is full of great adventures for solo female travelers. You’ll find scenic beauty and outdoor recreation in the Blue Ridge Mountains, several presidential homes and important Black history sites,  blossoming wine regions and a mouthwatering farm-to-table dining scene. So how do you decide when to go? What is the best time to visit Virginia? I’m a lifelong resident of the Old Dominion — read on for my take.

Shenandoah National Park | Best Time to Visit Virginia
Mabry Mill in Blue Ridge | Best Time to Visit Virginia

Fall in Virginia

Personally, I think October is the best time to visit Virginia, hands down. You can see gorgeous fall foliage in the Blue Ridge Mountains and the weather is the most comfortable with mild to warm temperatures and less rain than springtime. It’s the perfect time to enjoy a hike in Shenandoah National Park or tour vineyards for tastings. If you have the budget for a hot air balloon ride, go for it! You’ll get great views and fall has the best weather for ballooning. Apple picking is very popular in many parts of the state, and there’s ample local produce being harvested for farm-to-table dining.

Chincoteague Ponies | Best Time to Visit Virginia

Summer in Virginia

Summer is one of the most popular times to visit Virginia, especially if you’re bound for the Eastern Shore’s beaches. If seeing Chincoteague’s wild ponies is at the top of your bucket list, plan your visit for July when Saltwater Cowboys round the ponies up and swim them across the island channel for auction. Summers in Virginia can get very hot and humid, so pack lots of sunscreen and the coolest clothing you have.

Tidal Basin cherry blossoms in Washington DC | Best Time to Visit Virginia

Spring in Virginia

Late March and early April is a good time to visit Northern Virginia so you have easy access to Washington DC for the National Cherry Blossom Festival. Temperatures can be warm or chilly, so packing layers and a good rain jacket is a must.

Monticello in winter | Best Time to Visit Virginia

Winter in Virginia

If you want the lowest prices and fewest crowds, the best time to visit Virginia is the off season from December to February. Alexandria in Northern Virginia has lovely Christmas decorations, and skiers and snowboarders can book stays at Massanutten or Wintergreen Resort. Winters in Virginia are fairly mild and you’re more likely to see icy conditions than snow.

While in my book, the best time to visit Virginia is the fall, the state has plenty to offer year-round. Time your visit for whatever season best fits your preferences!

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