Viewing the fall foliage in the Metro DC Area

Fall is a wonderful time to visit the Washington, DC area. Not only can visitors enjoy the pleasant weather and beautiful fall foliage of the city, but they can take advantage of numerous festivals, museum programs and cultural events that are held in the fall each year.

The National Mall, the monuments, and other public areas are places to start any fall walking tour in Washington, DC. The famous cherry trees of the National Mall and the Tidal Basin put on a spectacular fall leaf display. Other good places to visit are Rock Creek Park and the National Arboretum. Special note should be taken of the Arboretum’s dogwoods, willows, and special collections. This area of Washington, DC is rife with museum and cultural points of interest too.

Additionally, the National Book Festival is held on the National Mall every September. The festival celebrates reading and many award-winning authors, illustrators, and poets attend and talk about their work. Pavilions containing books in every genre are available for browsers. Library representatives from every state share information and resources about library programs in their state and their local authors. It is a great way to enjoy the city and a truly one of a kind festival.

Several neighborhoods boast festivals within the city in September too. The Adams Morgan Day Festival features international food, music, cultural demonstrations and crafts set in the historic neighborhood. The Penn Quarter Arts on Foot Festival features theater productions, workshops, art exhibits, demonstrations, films, concerts, children’s activities and more. They are great opportunities to experience the cultural variety of the nation’s Capital.

Traveling up and down the Potomac is another popular way to see the beautiful fall sights. River Cruises leave from Washington Harbor in Georgetown and travel down the river. Travelers can see all the sights of the Capital framed in fall colors. These cruises are inexpensive and frequent. Visitors can also rent kayaks and canoes in front of Kennedy Center and explore the river and the coves of Theodore Roosevelt Island. The Island boasts 2.5 miles of hiking trails through a woodland refuge. Theodore Roosevelt Island can also be accessed from the George Washington Memorial Parkway in Virginia.

Traveling south to Alexandria and Mt. Vernon, Virginia, sightseers can visit the historic buildings and cobblestone streets of the area dressed in its fall glory. Mount Vernon is the home of George Washington’s Oak, Holly and Laurel forest. Potomac River cruises leave from the site regularly and are another way to see the fall finery.

Maryland is not far away and a road trip towards Camp David and Catoctin Mountain Park is an excellent way to see fall foliage. Panoramic mountain views and waterfalls are the highlights of this trip.

The Washington, DC area boasts many “Oktoberfest” style festivals every fall. Modeled after the famous Oktoberfest of Munich, Germany the festivals feature music, beer and great German food. The Annual Charity Classic: “Oktoberfest” is held right in Washington, DC but there are numerous others in surrounding Virginia and Maryland.

Another area highlight is the yearly Taste of Georgetown festival. This is Washington, DC’s premier wine and food tasting festival held every October. The festival features select dishes from thirty of DC’s finest restaurants paired with many great wines for a truly memorable eating experience. There is also plenty of music and beautiful fall scenery.

Washington, DC in any season is always worth the trip, but in fall it becomes a must-do experience. The beautiful fall scenery and weather coupled with the many available activities should not be missed.