Hey, DC metro region dwellers, the summer heat has finally ended!  It's FALL!

Here at the Residential Elite Team we love the crisp air, colorful foliage and cheerful decorative gourds that signal the change of seasons. If you haven't already pulled your boots and cardigans from the recesses of your closets, go ahead and dig them out. It's time to hit the great outdoors and enjoy some pumpkin and apple picking fun. Here are a few of our favorite places to take in all that the season has to offer.

                                           (Photo Courtesy of Butler's Orchard Facebook page)

First on our list is one of the most popular fall destinations for residents in and around the city, Butler’s Orchard. Located in Germantown, Maryland, it’s not too far and it can keep you and/or your little ones busy for most of a day. Their “You Pick” season is seemingly endless with pumpkins, apples, raspberries, tomatoes, flowers and herbs currently ready to be harvested.

Butler’s Pumpkin Festival runs from 10am-5pm every weekend in October, as well as Columbus Day. For $12 a person you can enjoy hayrides, a corn maze, straw maze, corn box, playground, pumpkin patch, hayloft, picnic area, nature trials, giant slides and their farm park animals. They sell snacks to keep you going while exploring, but be sure to swing by their market full of baked goods, produce and local honey on your way out!

                                                    (Photo Courtesy of Cox Farms Facebook page)

For folks who would prefer to travel to Virginia for their share of scenic drives and autumnal adventures, another one of our favorite destinations is Cox Farms. Less than an hour outside the city in Centreville, Virginia, this sprawling festival is open daily in October from 10am-6pm. With a full stage of live music happening most weekend days, there is definitely a party going on amidst the slides, tunnels, swings, haybale mountains and farm animals. Their nature trail and hayride were our overall favorite amongst all the places we visited. Prices vary depending upon when you visit, but are between $10 and $17 for admission.

If this sounds a little too “kid-centric” for you, head to the Cox Farms “Fields of Fear” every Friday and Saturday night in October from 7:30-11pm. Everything that seemed so innocent and fun during the day gets a spooktacular twist at night. Let loose at the dance party and bonfire after you dare to explore the “Cornightmare” and “Dark Side Hay Ride.”

(Insider tip: The pie at their festival market is from Mom’s Apple Pie Co. and it is darned delicious.)

                                       (Photo Courtesy of Bluemont Vineyard Facebook page)

If you’re willing to drive just a little bit deeper into farm country, stop when you hit Bluemont, Virginia. As far as weekend outings go, this place can’t be beat. Thanks to the Zurschmeide family there are two amazing stops to make in this tiny town. The first is Great Country Farms.

                                   (Photo Courtesy of Great Country Farms Facebook page)

The Great Country Fall Pumpkin Harvest Festival has many of the same features as the above mentioned. It is open 9am-6pm most days and costs $10 or $12 depending upon your age. Slides, swings, a corn maze, live music, hayrides and animals are all part of the experience. They do, however, have some additional attractions like their “pumpkin pillow,” a giant inflated mountain of jumping fun, and their “cow train.” If you have kids that need entertaining, Great Country Farms has you covered. If you are an adult that would prefer more relaxation in your weekend, go ahead and cross the street where you will find…

                                            (Photo Courtesy of Bluemont Vineyard Facebook page)

Bluemont Vineyard, the brainchild of the farmers growing pumpkins and apples across the way. They gazed at the nearby mountain and couldn’t shake their vision of grape vines covering the land. They made that vision a reality, and their vines came into full production in 2007. Ever since then they’ve been making wine that you won’t believe comes from Virginia.

A tasting of 5 seasonally rotated wines costs $9. When you find a vintage you like, settle in and stay for a while. They’ve got a beautiful view from the tasting room and a field just begging to be picnicked on. With a variety of snacks and the occasional food truck, you can spend the rest of your day sipping some wine and enjoying some Fall sunshine.

This is a season of more than just pumpkin spice lattes, so get out there and enjoy it!  Drop us a line to tell us some of your favorite spots or what you think of our recommendations. We’d love to hear about your Fall traditions!

                                               (Photo Courtesy of Butler's Orchard Facebook page)

Blog post written by: Melissa Sapio