Fall colors near DC by public transportation?
November 10, 2016 8:23 AM   Subscribe

I'd like to get out of DC for a day this weekend to see the last of the fall leaves. Difficulty: no car. Any suggestions?

My initial plan was to spend the weekend in New York and take a train up to Beacon or somewhere else in the Hudson, but that's looking like it will fall through. I do have a driver's licence, but am not at all a confident driver and would find something like Skyline Drive in Shenandoah pretty stressful. Is there anywhere within a couple of hours by train or bus that would be worth the trip to see the last of the colors? I don't want/need serious hiking, just somewhere I can enjoy the view. Or should I just spend the day in Rock Creek Park?
posted by une_heure_pleine to Travel & Transportation around Washington, DC (10 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Perhaps a Gettysburg or Mount Vernon/Arlington tour? Foliage plus historical perspective on divided America?
posted by DrAstroZoom at 8:33 AM on November 10, 2016

Best answer: Does it have to be out outside of DC? I almost always make the National Arboretum visit in the Fall and Spring. Plenty to see in a couple hours, and lots of public transit.
posted by Karaage at 8:37 AM on November 10, 2016 [1 favorite]

One of the MARC trains has a stop in Harper's Ferry--that'd be a nice option if you've never been there. Nice fall colors/Potomac River, neat historical site.
posted by drlith at 8:42 AM on November 10, 2016 [4 favorites]

Best answer: I was going to suggest the National Arboretum as well - I went for the first time last weekend and it was STUNNING. There were a decent number of people there picnicking and things but it was a large enough area that it still felt really peaceful. Not as much of a trip as you were describing, but hey, maybe that's a good thing.
posted by R a c h e l at 8:43 AM on November 10, 2016 [2 favorites]

Best answer: If you're willing to supplement transit with rideshare, Great Falls is absolutely stunning right now and is only 5 mi. from the Spring Hill silver line station in VA.

Within DC, don't miss the views of Rock Creek from above. Taft, Klingle Valley, and Ellington Bridges all have some breathtaking views to offer.
posted by capricorn at 11:00 AM on November 10, 2016

Oh! For an answer that isn't a non-answer, Alexandria VA's waterfront should be pretty lovely this time of year too. It's a 20-25 minute walk from the King St metro or you can take the free trolley.
posted by capricorn at 11:02 AM on November 10, 2016

How do you feel about biking? A friend has been on the W&OD Trail and his pictures look great.
posted by kat518 at 11:54 AM on November 10, 2016

I visited Mount Vernon by public transport - it was a very easy trip. The bus stops right out the door and there is info on the Mount Vernon website here
posted by kitten magic at 3:09 PM on November 10, 2016

The Patuxent Wildlife Research Refuge would be a great place for you to visit. You would have to drive, but it's a short drive distance-wise, and if you went on a weekend it would be an easy drive. Just take 95N or the BW Parkway to MD 212W (Powder Mill Road) to Scarlet Tanager Loop.
posted by Rob Rockets at 7:26 PM on November 10, 2016

Response by poster: Thanks for all suggestions, folks. The National Arboretum sounds perfect - I've had many people tell me it's lovely, but have never actually been there, so this is a great excuse. (Capricorn, the view from Ellington Bridge is what inspired the question!)
posted by une_heure_pleine at 8:54 PM on November 11, 2016

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