Fall Foliage in the DMV

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Image credit McEnearney Associates

No matter how long you live in the Washington D.C., Maryland or Virginia area, you can never get tired of gorgeous fall foliage. The reds and yellows and oranges are so intense, and driving through the countryside and mountains gives you the pleasure of watching the most stunning season change ever.

There are plenty of places in the area and nearby to experience the colors up close and personal, especially if you’re looking for a beautiful place to escape to for a weekend getaway. Some of the most popular places are: Skyline Drive, Shenandoah National Park, Blue Ridge Parkway, the Appalachian Trail, George Washington & Jefferson National Forests and Deep Creek Lake.

On these getaways, you can enjoy experiences like apple trails, cabins, Civil War trails and more. Your scenic drives can include vineyards, jazz music and tasty seafood. Eastern Shore, Chesapeake Bay, Appalachia … they’ve each got something wonderful to offer as you explore it all.

But if you don’t want to go too far, you can find some excellent views right here in the area. Great Falls Park is one such place, and is hailed as one of the most spectacular natural landmarks in the Washington, D.C. metro area — which you can take in from multiple views all over the 800-acre park. The park offers a variety of activities including hiking, picnicking, kayaking, rock climbing, bicycling and horseback riding. And all of this is topped by 20-foot waterfalls that display the steepest fall line rapids of any eastern river.

In D.C., there are quite a few places as well. The first one we must mention is the U.S. National Arboretum. The living museum displays 446 acres of trees, shrubs and herbaceous plants. You can tour the gardens on your own by foot, car or bike, or you can take the 35 minute tram ride and hear an informative narrative about the Arboretum, its history and the display gardens and collection.

There is also Rock Creek Park, D.C.’s largest park that stretches 30 miles from Montgomery County in Maryland to downtown D.C. You can enjoy some leaf peeping and a picnic, hike, bike ride, horseback ride or participate in a park ranger program. You can also explore the Rock Creek Park Nature Center, the historic Pierce Mill or the Old Stone House.

For more places to visit this fall, check out these sites:

—McEnearney Associates, “Fantastic Fall Foliage

November Events

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Image credit McEnearney Associates

The next two months will be jam-packed with festivals, holidays, and parades. Here are some fun things to do in DC, Maryland and Northern Virginia leading up to the holiday season.

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Veterans Day: Honoring all who serve

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Veterans Day is celebrated on Nov. 11, the same day that World War I ended in 1918. It was originally established as a way to honor the Americans who had served in that war. Today, the holiday serves to honor veterans of all wars who have displayed patriotism and willingness to serve and sacrifice for this country. To recognize and celebrate these brave men and women, there will be plenty of events around the country, especially right here in the nation’s capital. We’re proud to say that our nation’s first responders are among the honorees.

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Michelin Releases DC’s Red Guide and Bib Gourmand List

DC Foodies rejoice: The district has now joined the list of places on the Michelin map and celebrates Bib Gourmand, which is fine dining at a moderate price. Keywords: “At a moderate price.” We’d cheer but we’re already focused on all the amazingness we plan on devouring ASAP.

In our opinion, DC has long been feeding the masses international, world-class deliciousness, but it’s possible that fabulous innovations such as the oh-so-popular Restaurant Weeks that take place seasonally gave a few eateries a leg up on the affordability ladder. And that affordability has been acknowledged with the release of the city’s first ever Michelin Guide (The Red Guide) and with that, the Bib Gourmand list, a rating of the best cheap-eats in the city.

Basically, Bib Gourmand restaurants have been deemed a good value by Michelin inspectors, who frequent them “when dining off the clock,” said a press release. These are restaurants where you can get two courses and a glass of wine or a dessert for $40 or less, not including tax and tip. The inspectors are anonymous, and they handpicked 19 restaurants featuring flavors from Ethiopian to Filipino.

Jose Andres has plenty to be proud of, as four of his restaurants — China Chilcano, Jaleo, Oyamel and Zaytinya — made the cut, as well as district faves Red Hen, Maketto, and Doi Moi. Red Hen seemed thrilled, tweeting @RedHenDC: “Never in our wildest dreams! So thrilled for the many deserving #dcrestaurants recognized by @MichelinGuideDC.”

The popular eatery Bad Saint was also honored, topping off a fantastic year that also included being named the second-best restaurant in the country by Bon Appetit just two months ago in August. “Oh my God! How exciting!” said co-owner Genevieve Villamora of the news. “It’s just really thrilling to be among the recognized restaurants.” Don’t expect much celebrating, though: “I think we’ll just prepare for service as we usually do, maybe have an extra hurrah before we open the door.”

See the full list here, including the restaurants that earned the double honor of also receiving stars!

— McEnearney Associates

Home Advice: Make sure your home is ready for winter

In addition to raking leaves and winterizing your lawn, this is a great time to go through your home maintenance checklist. Minor repairs and preparations can keep your home safe and warm for the upcoming winter months.

Outside

  • Close and drain hose bibs.
  • Rake debris away from side of house and other structures.
  • Clean out gutters, downspout elbows, and check for roof leaks.
  • Check foundation and repair any cracks.
  • Clean around air conditioner compressor.
  • Trim any trees or shrubs that touch house.
  • Inspect and replace weatherstripping; re-caulk if needed.
  • Repair torn screens; inspect and clean storm windows.
  • Clean under decks and porches.
  • Inspect seals and clean out basement window wells.
  • Check external lights, especially by stairs; replace burnt out bulbs.
  • Run all gas-powered lawn equipment until the fuel is gone.
  • Check the dryer vent to make sure it is clear.

Inside

  • Clean and reverse the ceiling fans so the blades push air up instead of down.
  • Replace batteries in the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
  • Test alarms to be sure they are working properly.
  • Replace air filters in furnace.
  • Adjust thermostat settings for fall/winter temperatures.
  • Stock emergency supplies in case the power (and heat) goes out.

Please let me know if you need any contractor referrals for maintenance or other household “To Do” list items. I am there when it counts.

House Advice: 5 Curb Appeal Tips for Fall

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Image credit McEnearney Associates

Fall is here, and as the trees begin shedding their leaves your home becomes more exposed, making its exterior appearance extra important. Whether or not you are thinking of buying or selling a home, these simple tips are sure to make your home look its best this fall season.

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What veterans, active-military home buyers and sellers want

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Veterans and active-service members made up 21 percent of all home buyers in 2015. We also learned this year that veterans move a median of 75 miles from the home they previously sold to their new home purchased, whereas that active-duty military most often purchase a home due to a job relocation.

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