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9 best places to see the fall foliage around the DMV

Hop in the car and see some beautiful fall foliage right in and around D.C.
A view of the fall colors October 24, 2015 along Skyline drive in Shenandoah National Park in Virginia. (AFP PHOTO/KAREN BLEIER / AFP / KAREN BLEIER)

WASHINGTON -- There’s a chill in the air, so it’s time to put on your favorite flannel and head out to see the fall foliage. Here are the best places in and around D.C. where you can watch the colors change.

FALL FOLIAGE REPORT: Where & When to See Fall Colors

Shenandoah National Park


Right through Shenandoah National Park is Skyline Drive, which is 105 miles of fall foliage along the Blue Crest Mountains. Along the way are several lookouts and hiking trails to keep your entertained. Keep an eye on this map to predict when the perfect time to go is.

Rock Creek Park


Take a hike – and see some amazing foliage. Start your hike at the Nature Center or Boundary Bridge and go for as long as or short as you’d like. Just don’t forget to take pictures.

Harper's Ferry, West Virginia. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Harper’s Ferry

West Virginia

Take a drive to West Virginia and head to the B&O Railroad Potomac Crossing for the best views. Afterwards, head into the charming historic town for lunch with the family.

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Fort Ward Park

Alexandria, Virginia

At Ford Ward Park in Alexandria, you can spend the afternoon picnicking as you enjoy the fall foliage or learn a thing or two. The Fort Ward Museum is devoted to the history of Alexandria during the Civil War.

The U.S. National Arboretum. (EVA HAMBACH/AFP/Getty Images)

U.S. Arboretum


It’s like leaving the city without really going anywhere. The National Arboretum is home to a variety of flora that are ready to show off their colors. Parking is free.

WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 25: Colorful fall leaves are seen near the Washington Monument, October 25, 2016 in Washington, DC. The fall foliage in the Washington area will soon be at full peak. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Tidal Basin


The Tidal Basin isn’t just for the cherry blossoms. Walk around to the Jefferson Memorial and take in the gorgeous view of the changed leaves around the National Mall.

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Meridian Hill Park/Malcolm X Park


Not only does this park make a great backdrop for photos, but it’s also chock full of great community events, like the drum circle every Sunday. There’s also a volunteer clean-up every third Saturday.

Tourists gather at George Washington's Mount Vernon estate on October 6, 2019 in Mount Vernon, Virginia. (Photo by Daniel SLIM / AFP)

Mount Vernon

Mount Vernon, Virginia

The sprawling estate of President George Washington includes trees and foliage galore. Fall is a great time to visit because the estate holds special events, such as a fall harvest, trick-or-treating, and a horse and hounds day. See their website for details.

C & O Canal National Historical Park

Potomac River

The nearly 185-mile hike alongside the Potomac River gives you a ton of chances to see some beautiful scenery. In addition to picnicking, you can also hike or go horseback riding, making seeing fall foliage fun for everyone.