Leesburg, VA is the picturesque county seat of Loudoun County. It lies at the foothills of the Catoctin Mountains and is adjacent to the Potomac River. Leesburg was home to many of the county's famous families and was named after an ancestor of Robert E. Lee, a general in the Confederate army. The town changed hands several times during the Civil War and has many well-preserved historical buildings and heritage sites that chronicle its history. It is close to Dulles International airport and within commuting distance of Washington D.C., the nation's capital. The area is rich with vineyards and wineries where award-winning wines are cultivated.
© Mr Doomits/stock.adobe.com
White's Ferry operates the last of 100 cable ferries that were active on the Potomac between Maryland and Virginia. The ferry is named after a Confederate Civil War General, Jubal. A. Early. The ferry transports pedestrians, cars and trucks daily from 5 am to 11 pm, except in floods and icy conditions. Groups make use of the ferry for functions. Boats, canoes and picnic facilities can be hired from White's. The store sells groceries, snacks and beverages, including beer. A pavilion is available for larger parties and functions. An annual event honors the wounded soldiers that were housed in the area.
24801 Whites Ferry Rd, 20842 Dickerson, Maryland, Phone: 301-349-5200
© Morven Park
The first structures were erected in Morven Park around 1780. Morven Mansion, Winmill Carriage Museum and the Museum of Hounds and Hunting in North America can be found within the 1000 acre historic estate and horse park. International equestrian events, such as horse trials, dressage, gymkhana and carriage driving, are held at Morven Park, which is known as the Central Park of Loudoun County. There is ample space for horse riding, hiking, athletics and playing polo for the 200 000 visitors to the park, each year. The Center for Civic Impact, which prepare high school students for civic engagement is based at the park.
17195 Southern Planter Ln, Phone: 703-777-2414
3.Oatlands Historic House and Gardens
The buildings and gardens on this National Trust property are more than 200 years old. The formal gardens were constructed near the house. The land was terraced in order to create level spaces. The garden wall and walkways are original but containers, statues and garden structures were added in the 1900s, along with a bowling green, rose and herb gardens and a reflection pool. There is a teahouse, a shop and an inn on the property. Tours of the house are conducted daily from April to December. As a wedding venue, the property is very popular and is booked up years in advance. Education programs reach out to schools and scouts.
20850 Oatlands Plantation Lane · Leesburg, VA 20175, Phone: 703-777-3174
© Marshall House
Marshall House was the home of George Marshall, former Secretary and State and Defense, and author of the Marshall Plan after World War 2. It was formerly known as Dodona Manor and evidence suggested that it was built in the early 1800s. It has been restored to the Marshall era, circa 1950. It is unique in that more than 90% of the furniture and household contents were owned and used by the Marshall family. Outside is a large vegetable garden where the former Secretary sought refuge from his stressful responsibilities while his wife tended to her roses. Guided tours operate on Saturdays and Sundays and last 75 minutes.
310-312 East Market Street in Leesburg, Virginia 20176
© Fabbioli Cellars
The Fabbioli vineyard was first planted in 2001 on the 25 acre property. Since then, the cellar's wines have won several awards. A large clapboard, silo-like structure houses the wine-tasting venue which opens daily, except for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year. Wines and light, gourmet snacks are on sale. Events, such as a 'wool and wine gathering', are held throughout the year. The Speakeasy, which can accommodate 20-50 people is available for hire. Fabbioli wines are also available through a number of retail outlets and can be shipped to a number of states.
15669 Limestone School Road Leesburg, VA 20176, Phone: 703-771-1197
6.Ball's Bluff Battlefield and National Cemetery
In late 1861, 54 Union force soldiers were defeated and killed north of the then National Capital. The day in late October was characterized by miscommunications on both sides. Fighting continued throughout the day but finally a fresh contingent of Confederate soldiers chased the Union soldiers down the bluff, onto a narrow beach and into the river. There were too few boats for the beleaguered men and many drowned with their full kit on, trying to escape enemy fire. Only one of the men buried in the 25 graves in the cemetery could be identified. This national cemetery is the country's 3rd smallest, being less than 50 square feet.
7.Lost Creek Vineyard and Winery
Aimeé and Todd Henkle knew from the time of their honeymoon in Bordeaux that they would one day own a vineyard and winery. It took 20 years to realize that dream which they did at Lost Creek in 2012. Sixteen of the property's 50 acres are planted to grapes. The premises can host multiple weddings and private, corporate and winery functions simultaneously. Tours, tasting and food pairing are offered Thursdays to Mondays. The chef's raised garden supplies many of the ingredients for the farm-to-fork cuisine on offer. Wines can be purchased online or via subscription to the Wine Club.
43285 Spinks Ferry Road, Leesburg, VA, Phone: 703-443-9836
8.Casanel Vineyards and Winery
© Casanel Vineyards and Winery
The Casanel family bought their 42 acre property in the winter of 2006. They planted 10000 vines by hand on seven of the acres. Then they renovated the historic buildings on the property. In 2010, their first Estate harvest was ready for picking. Since then their wines have won numerous awards. They offer tasting and production tours around the farm. Wines can be bought at the venue, via the Wine Club or through the online shop. Visitors can use the picnic facilities on the farm. Bring your own food and pets. Two barns are available for hire for private functions.
17956 Canby Road, Leesburg, VA 20175, Phone: 540-751-1776
9.Ball's Bluff Battlefield Regional Park
This park commemorates a small but significant battle that took place on the Potomac. This battle was unusual in that is was a Union Army defeat north of the capital. A great friend of President Lincoln, Col. Edward D. Baker, a U.S. Senator from Oregon, was killed on that day. He was the only senator to die in the war. The battlefield has been restored to the time of the battle. There are 7 miles of marked trails in the 223 acre property, including a mile-long loop to the bluff. Guided tours are conducted on weekends in spring, summer and fall. It is open daily from dawn to dusk.
Balls Bluff Rd, NE, Leesburg, VA 20175, Phone: 703-737-780
© Tarara Winery
Retired property developer, Whitie Hubert, purchased this 475 acre property on the Potomac River with the intention of pioneering the Virginia wine industry. The wines are produced from grapes grown on the estate and sourced from local farmers. The maturing process takes place in a cave on the property. The single vineyard and blended wines have received much acclaim. They can be tasted year round on site and bought at the shop, online or via the Wine Club. The Summer Concert Series held at Tarara, features many music genres. Color runs and painting parties are also on the schedule. Tarara is closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
13648 Tarara Lane, Leesburg, VA 20176, Phone: 703-771-7100
11.Thomas Balch Library
© Thomas Balch Library
The library was constructed in 1822 as a memorial to the historian, Thomas Balch. It remained in private hands until 1974 and is now run by the town authorities. It is a history and genealogy library and has been designated an Underground Railroad research center. The focus is on Virginia and Civil War history. In 2012, the center published a work connecting slaves to their modern day descendants. The library is a reference center that offers Internet and reproduction services. Annually, the Loudoun History Awards recognize the contribution of local historians. The library is open all year round, seven days a week.
208 West Market Street, Leesburg, Virginia, Phone: 703-737-7195
Willowcroft's owner, Lew Parker planted the first acre of grapes in 1981. Since then the wines produced on the property have received countless national and international awards. The Historic red barn houses the tasting room and winery. Tasting and gourmet snacks are available from Friday to Monday, year round. There are also guided tours and regular events hosted of the property. Two large entertainment spaces can be hired for private functions. Patrons of the picnic facilities can look down over the Loudoun Valley and see as far as the Blue Ridge Mountains. They need to bring their own food. Pets on leashes are allowed.
38906 Mt Gilead Road, Leesburg, VA, 20175, Phone: 703-777-8161
13.The Museum of Hounds and Hunting, North America
© The Museum of Hounds and Hunting, North America
This museum is housed in the north wing of the mansion in Morven Park. It is dedicated to the research, preservation and display of the sport of mounted hunting. The historical, cultural and sociological significance of the sport are seen in the costumes, taxidermy, papers and trophies on display. The reading room contains books, magazines, letter, maps and audiovisual material. There is a magnificent collection of fine art paintings of hounds, horses and hunting scenes. The museum shop sells prints, note cards and posters of the same genre. The museum is open fro 12-5pm on Saturdays and Sundays, in the fall and winter only.
17263 Southern Plantation Lane, Leesburg, VA 20178-7433, Phone: 703-777-2414
14.Loudoun County Areomodelers Association
© Alexander Kazharski/stock.adobe.com
The Association members meet on the 2nd Tuesday of each month at 7:30 pm at the North County Governmental Center in Reston, Virginia. The public are welcome to attend. The meeting takes the form of a show and tell, with members sharing experiences and techniques. The club flying venue is at the Loudoun County Banshee Cree Nature Reserve. Regular events, for fun and competition, are organized by the club. Usually, food is provided by the club. A pilot qualification program is part of the club's activities. Young members pay a much reduced membership fee.
Veron Ennis was born and raised in Virginia. She is a contemporary landscape artist. Her style is minimalist. Multiple canvases are presented in the shape of a cube that folds out into a much larger canvas. Thus the painting is also a sculpture. An exhibition of works is held at her studio on the first Friday of each month, sometimes in collaboration with other artists in the same genre. Works change as they are sold or loaned out. Her work has been exhibited internationally and profiled in several magazines. It can also be found in private collections.
10 S King St, Suite G Leesburg, VA 20175, Phone: 703-229-7822
16.The Wine Kitchen
© The Wine Kitchen
There are five menus to choose from at the Wine Kitchen in Leesburg – brunch, lunch, dinner, happy hour and dessert. The seasonal bistro fare comes with a range of wine pairings. Meat, seafood and vegetarian tastes are catered for. During Happy Hour patrons can order an assortment of bar snacks and baskets. Daily specials are advertised. On Tuesday Wine Flight Nights, drinks such as Medicine man and Stirred Bird can be sampled. Coffee and a cheese platter can round off any meal. The venue is closed on Mondays.
7 South King St., Leesburg, VA 20175, Phone: 703-777-9463
17.King Street Oyster Bar
© King Street Oyster Bar
Oysters are the star attractions at the King Street restaurant. 12 varieties are brought in fresh on a daily basis, from the west and east coasts of the USA and Canada. These can be ordered from the raw bar menu. Seafood features prominently on the various other menus but cheese and vegetarian options are available. A combination lobster, mac and cheese is an example of the side dishes. Cocktails, wines, beers and snacks are on the Happy Hour menu. KOSB t-shirts and caps can be purchased at the restaurant. Pizza and oyster trucks are used for outside events. The restaurant is open 7 days a week.
12 South King St, Leesburg, VA 20175, Phone: 571-442-8068
18.Shoes, Cup and Cork
© Shoes, Cup and Cork
The building in which the restaurant is housed has had an interesting and varied history. It was a post office and car showroom before it became a shoe repair and hat cleaning endeavor. The present owner found it vacant with the 'shoe repair' sign still intact and that is how the restaurant got its name. During the conversion, much of the history was recreated. When the restaurant needed to expand, the upstairs apartment was refurbished to reflect the prohibition era. There are two inside dining spaces and three outside, allowing ample space for private functions. Shoes is open seven days a week.
17 North King St. Leesburg, VA 20176, Phone: 703-771-7463
© The Conche
The Conche is a chocolate themed boutique restaurant. When celebrity chef, Santosh Tiptur was a small boy in India, he dreamed of being able to make chocolates and other candy treats. After traveling the world for two decades, he is finally the executive chef and owner of his own restaurant. His chocolate sculptures are legendary and the presentation of the dishes in his restaurant are a feast for the eyes. Chef Tiptur is passing on his skills to the next generation through his cooking classes and confectionery camps. The restaurant is open seven days a week.
1605 Village Market Blvd SE, #J108 Leesburg, VA 20175, Phone: 703-779-1800
20.Red, Hot and Blue
© Red, Hot and Blue
The dancing pig logo and the 1950s décor are features of the Red, Hot and Blue franchise chain of barbecue restaurants. The main event on the menu is meat cooked on a hickory log fire and it comes in many forms. Pulled pork, ribs, sausage and even seafood are standard fare. The southern side dishes and homemade desserts are also not to be missed. These can all be enjoyed in the restaurant, as take-outs or catered.
541 E Market St, Leesburg, VA 20176, Phone: 703-669-4242
20 Best Things to Do in Leesburg, VA
- White's Ferry, Photo: Mr Doomits/stock.adobe.com
- Morven Park, Photo: Morven Park
- Oatlands Historic House and Gardens, Photo: cindygoff/stock.adobe.com
- Marshall House, Photo: Marshall House
- Fabbioli Cellars, Photo: Fabbioli Cellars
- Ball's Bluff Battlefield and National Cemetery, Photo: Dallas/stock.adobe.com
- Lost Creek Vineyard and Winery, Photo: Floydine/stock.adobe.com
- Casanel Vineyards and Winery, Photo: Casanel Vineyards and Winery
- Ball's Bluff Battlefield Regional Park, Photo: robertuzhbt89/stock.adobe.com
- Tarara Winery, Photo: Tarara Winery
- Thomas Balch Library, Photo: Thomas Balch Library
- Willowcroft, Photo: Willowcroft
- The Museum of Hounds and Hunting, North America, Photo: The Museum of Hounds and Hunting, North America
- Loudoun County Areomodelers Association, Photo: Alexander Kazharski/stock.adobe.com
- Veron Ennis, Photo: stock.adobe.com
- The Wine Kitchen, Photo: The Wine Kitchen
- King Street Oyster Bar, Photo: King Street Oyster Bar
- Shoes, Cup and Cork, Photo: Shoes, Cup and Cork
- The Conche, Photo: The Conche
- Red, Hot and Blue, Photo: Red, Hot and Blue
- Cover Photo: cindygoff/stock.adobe.com