Autumn leaves reflected in a sunny lake.

Experience of the Month: Leaf Peeping in Roanoke Virginia

As the days shorten and autumn sets in, we’re looking for ways to get out and enjoy the nice weather and see some of the country’s most beautiful landscapes. So this month, we’re featuring Roanoke, Virginia, a must-see for leaf peepers and fall enthusiasts and the perfect destination for an all-around excellent family weekend. Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Roanoke’s views are dazzling, particularly in the peak of fall when the leaves are changing.

Drive the Blue Ridge Parkway

To begin your leaf-peeping adventure, it’s best to take the Blue Ridge Parkway just east of downtown. Once you touchdown at Roanoke Airport, Jet It’s concierge services will help you find the perfect luxury rental car for a smooth and beautiful drive.

Aerial view of Blue Ridge Parkway in autumn.

Photo by Nathan Anderson on Unsplash

Your first stop should be Explore Park at milepost 115. This 1100-acre recreation area has numerous trails, facilities, and activities for you and your family to enjoy. It’s perfect for a short pit stop or a weekend camping stay.

Next, you’ll want to stop at Smith Mountain Lake. If you happen to be in town for the first weekend of November, be sure to check out the Chili Festival and have a taste of one of fall’s best comfort foods: chili! Even if you don’t make it in time for the festival, you’ll multiple scenic trails on the shores of stunning lakes. The changing trees on the mountainsides reflect in the water giving you a stunning vista awash in color.

Enjoy a Three-Hour Food and Walking Tour

Once you’ve worked up an appetite from leaf-peeping, explore Roanoke’s food, history, and architecture with a small walking tour. You’ll get the chance to try up to seven different restaurants. Food tastings range from international cuisine from Cedars Lebanese Restaurant to more traditional fare from the famed Texas Tavern. Along the way, you’ll visit notable landmarks and historic buildings in one of the first colonial settlements in the United States. Whether you’re a foodie, a historian, or just plain hungry, this tour should not be missed.

Stay in the Historic Hotel Roanoke

Now that you’ve had your fill of scenic hiking and food tasting, it’s time to relax in one of the U.S.’s most impressive and historic hotels, the Hotel Roanoke. This Tudor-style hotel, built in 1882, and officially opened on Christmas Day of that year, sits in the middle of downtown Roanoke, near the Taubman Museum of Art. Although the hotel was completely transformed in 1938 and has been updated with modern amenities and luxury comforts, it maintains the historic character and charm of the original building. The hotel has had many famous guests including numerous presidents, Jerry Seinfeld, Shaina Twain, George Takei, and countless others. Onsite you’ll find all the amenities you’d expect, as well as the AAA Four Diamond-Rated Regency Room featuring seasonal French-inspired Southern cuisine and the Pine Room Pub for lighter fare.


Peep the Leaves in Style

Leaf peeping has never been easier than with Jet It. As you touchdown into Roanoke, you’ll get a spectacular view of the season’s last burst of color. Our concierge services will help you get the perfect vehicle for exploring the mountain roads and have transportation ready on your arrival. We can even help coordinate your stay at the Hotel Roanoke. What are you waiting for?

Hand holding bright red and gold leaf.

Photo by Renee Fisher on Unsplash