Sep 17, 2023 - Things to Do

Small town fall festivals worth the trek from D.C.

Pumpkins sit on a wall behind a house

Middleburg, Virginia. Sarah L. Voisin/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Nothing says fall fun like a road trip, and these small town fall festivals are worth a drive.

Between the lines: Small towns = fewer accommodations. If you're going overnight, book yesterday.

📽️ Middleburg Film Festival (Oct. 19-22): Hollywood (actually) comes to Virginia wine country for this star-studded film fest. Last year's 45-film blockbuster included Oscar winners and indie hits, plus filmmaker talks and lots of backstage partying.

  • While you're there: Book a spa appointment (well in advance) at the Salamander, and snag a meal at the stellar wine bar Tremolo.

⛰️ Blue Ridge Folklife Festival (Oct. 28): Now in its 50th year, the family friendly festival celebrates Virginia folk traditions with musicians, crafts, moonshine, country cooking, horse pulling, and more mountain fun.

  • While you're there: Visit the Blue Ridge Museum where the festival takes place or plan a hike.

🦆 Easton Waterfowl Festival (Nov. 10-12): Whether you're an avian enthusiast, duck hunter, or just like oysters and beer, this Eastern Shore festival has it all. Don't miss the dock dog competition where pups compete to jump high and far into an outdoor pool, or food tents dishing out Maryland delicacies including oyster stew and goose gumbo.

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