Top 9 Northern VA Fall Family Portrait Locations

The leaves are changing, the weather is cooling down, and pumpkin spice everything is back in season! That means it's time for family portraits! If you're looking for a beautiful location to take your fall family portraits, look no further. We've compiled a list of 9 of the best locations in Northern Virginia. From parks to farms to wineries, we've got you covered!




In Northern Virginia, close to Washington, DC, you'll find stunning fall leaf watching places immersed in the russets, golds, reds, and greens of the area's most triumphant season. Ride your bike through Fairfax County's fall foliage for a beautiful route.




Here in Northern Virginia, the fall foliage usually begins to change between the end of October and the beginning of November. Every year, the Virginia Department of Forestry updates its website with the most recent data, and with this handy tool, you can know when the leaves will change week by week across America.


These are the best spots in Northern Virginia to watch fall foliage that locals like to keep under wraps, allowing only insiders like you to discover why they're so special!


So without further ado, here are the top fall family portrait locations in Northern Virginia.


For even more scenic views, check out this blog post of surprisingly scenic attractions to visit during the fall season.



The National Park Service is responsible for maintaining the George Washington Memorial Parkway, which was really created exclusively for leisure driving. So take advantage by enjoying a leisurely stroll along its picturesque turns and bends, and enjoy fantastic views of the Potomac River and DC skyline as well as the autumnal hues of the trees bordering the road. There are many chances to stop along the trip because the parkway connects over two dozen locations that protect habitat for regional species and honor significant moments in American history.




Great Falls is a "pocket park" that is a part of the George Washington Memorial Parkway and is maintained by the National Park Service. When the leaves start to turn their autumnal colors, Great Falls is without a doubt one of the most popular tourist spots in the entire area. Many photographers and families flock to this lovely 800-acre park in order to capture the splendor of the autumnal colors with the mighty Potomac cascading down in the background. On lovely fall days, especially on the weekends, the park can get crowded and there may be a wait to get in. Therefore, arrive early; the wait will be well worth it. To save time, purchase your NPS pass online in advance.




Burke Lake Park is filled with wonderful paths, and its 218-acre lake serves as the park's undisputed focal point. Arriving at one of the many interesting leaf watching vantage points along the park's paths will allow you to admire the lake's serene beauty while the vibrant leaves all around you serve as the ideal backdrop to the water. Feeling unmotivated to walk? That's great. Take in the views of the water by renting a small boat on the property. Burke Lake has been named as being one of the top ten fitness paths in the country by the American Hiking Society! Therefore, if the spirit of autumn inspires you when you're on a trail, don't hesitate to begin jogging.



The 493 acres of Lake Accotink Park have a 55-acre lake, marshes, and streams, all of which provide distinctive vistas of waterfowl, marsh life, and autumnal foliage. Visitors have the option of walking or biking around the lake on the well-maintained trail. Bicycle rentals, canoe and pedal boat rentals, a boat launch, tour boat rides, fishing, a nine-green, two-hole miniature golf course, and an antique carousel are some of the facilities and activities available, which change depending on the season. The majority of these activities, however, are only accessible in the fall on weekends and only until mid-October.



Over 1,500 acres of Huntley Meadows Park make up a rich, natural, and historical island amid the Northern Virginia suburbia. Here, one may enjoy some of the best leaf-peeping and wildlife-watching in the Washington metropolitan region. When you go, you'll see grand forests, meadows covered in wildflowers, and large wetlands with an observation tower and a half-mile wetland boardwalk trail. With over 200 kinds of birds identified in the park, Huntley Meadows is well renowned as a top birding location. All of this makes for a very unique autumn foliage journey, so don't forget your binoculars.


Riverbend Park is a 400-acre park with ponds, meadows, and forests that is tucked away in a secluded river setting. Over 10 miles of hiking paths may be found in the park, most of which are close to the Potomac River. Several loop pathways in Riverbend Park highlight the park's natural beauty and history. For a trail map and to plan your route, first stop by the visitor center. Then, embark on your chosen trail and immerse yourself in the splendor of autumn as you scan the tranquil Potomac and take in the reds and golds of the changing leaves that appear to be all about you.


Due to its hiking paths, three miles of paved multi-use pathways, and ideal position for guided canoe trips of Kane's Creek and Belmont Bay, Mason Neck State Park is a local favorite (which are favorites with park visitors during the warmer months). The park is a great place to study the environment and observe wildlife because it has wetlands, forests, open water, ponds, and open fields.You can get a variety of views of the Bay and the leaf-draped shoreline by coming here. One of the greatest spots in the area to see bald eagles is Mason Neck State Park. The Elizabeth Hartwell National Wildlife Refuge, which is located on nearby territory, was the first of its kind because it was the first federal refuge established especially for the purpose of bald eagle protection.




Visitors to Fountainhead Regional Park will enjoy the breathtaking vista of the Occoquan Reservoir's widest point. Aside from the stunning views of the surrounding foliage provided by the reservoir, one can choose to hike on the 2.25-mile looped Nature Trail (White Blazes), the trailhead for the Bull Run Occoquan Trail (Blue Blazes), or the shared-use Equestrian/Hiking Trails to immerse themselves in the fall foliage (Horse-Shoe Blazes). For those cycling aficionados, Fountainhead also offers one of the Mid-most Atlantic's well-known mountain bike paths. At the marina, you can find maps for every path.




Autumn at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens brings out the best in the 95-acre complex's expnsive decorative display gardens and distinctive native plant collections. Since Meadowlark has plants that are native to all of Virginia's climatic zones, visiting here would be similar to witnessing the entire state's brilliant fall foliage in just one lovely garden. You may walk around the park on an easy-to-follow paved walkway and get up close and personal with its well-kept ponds and vegetation. Make sure to include a stop to Meadowlark, which is home to the only open-air Korean Bell Garden in the Western Hemisphere, on your tour of the park.


We hope you enjoy taking your fall family portraits at one of these beautiful locations! Happy Fall! 


12923 Fitzwater Dr. Nokesville, VA 20155 

(703) 594-3800 |

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