Erin Gifford

I am a Washington, DC-based travel & outdoor writer. My writing has appeared in USA Today's GoEscape, Chicago Tribune,,, The Washington Post,, Parents, Family Circle,,, AAA Traveler Worldwise, Northern Virginia Magazine, and AAA World. I also write about hiking in Virginia at and have written two hiking guidebooks for Falcon Guides, which are due out in 2022. When not seeking out new adventures, I'm crossing off the next state in my quest to run a half-marathon in all 50 states (so far, I've run in 29 states).

A restless Virginia resident finds sights that evoke the West within driving distance

Like many travel lovers, I’ve had no desire to go anywhere by plane — mask on, eyes darting anxiously from one passenger to the next, ears open for coughs and sneezes. Over the summer, I hiked, biked, kayaked and camped within an hour or two of my home in Virginia’s Loudoun County, an area of rolling hills and green countryside outside D.C. But by September, I ached to untether from my safe space in the suburbs. I fiercely desired a bona fide change of scenery.

Fall for Virginia's Skyline Drive

Revel in the foliage-filled scenic route but unclick your seatbelt to explore the historic attractions and natural wonders across Shenandoah National Park. A carefree drive along the gently curving 105-mile Skyline Drive in Virginia’s Shenandoah National Park is for many a bucket list-worthy experience. This is especially true in fall as the dramatic foliage display gets underway with vibrant bursts of gold and fiery orange leaves. Motoring along at 35 mph, it can take as little as three hours
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