Embarking on a quest to uncover the best things to do in Loudoun County, VA?
In this comprehensive guide, we've melded insights from locals and travelers to present you with a mosaic of experiences that define this remarkable place. While we've highlighted some must-visit spots, it's imperative to understand that these recommendations are shaped by personal opinions and experiences.
There are countless other wonderful places awaiting your discovery. Our goal isn't just to point you to the well-trodden paths, but to inspire you to explore and truly immerse yourself in the city's essence.
Strolls through Beaverdam Reservoir
Where else can you take a wrong turn and still end up somewhere beautiful?
I've had my fair share of misadventures on the trails around the Beaverdam Reservoir.
It's a place where I often lose my way, but never regret it.
Each outing there is an opportunity for discovery.
I've walked the reservoir trails countless times, and they never cease to amaze me.
However, it's the blue trail markers you want to keep an eye out for if you're aiming to complete the loop around the reservoir.
The reservoir parking is conveniently near the church and rarely crowded during weekdays.
The authorities are currently installing a new boat ramp and parking area near the Nova Parks building.
It promises to be a fantastic addition once completed.
Living so close to the Beaverdam Reservoir, I've grown to love its beauty, the serene walks, and the abundance of deer.
Despite the minor inconveniences, it's a place I'm sure you'll grow to love as well.
Get Inspired with Loudoun Art Tours
It was a beautiful summer afternoon when I decided to explore my own backyard and booked a day with Loudoun Art Tours.
It's all too easy to forget the splendor of your surroundings when you live here year-round, but Amy Bobchek, the tour guide, certainly reignited that spark.
The guide is a woman who knows how to tell a story.
Her love and passion for Loudoun and Leesburg's history and art scene are simply contagious.
As she guided us through the streets, each detail of our town's history and artistic endeavors was laid bare before our eyes in a captivating manner.
By the end of the tour, I was so enthralled that I found myself dreaming of living here all over again.
One thing that really stood out was how accommodating the guide was.
During our tour, my elderly father was with us, and his mobility is quite limited.
But the guide was so considerate, guiding him towards comfortable spots to rest, and maintaining a pace that was perfect for him.
I was truly touched by her thoughtfulness.
And the cherry on top?
Our town's mayor happened to be passing by on her way home and stopped to say hello!
It's moments like these that remind you of the charm of small-town life.
Keep Your Little Ones Active at Hal and Berni Hanson Regional Park
Every summer, the sizzling heat has us all looking for ways to cool off.
I've found my summer haven right here in my town, at the Hal and Berni Hanson Regional Park.
The park, in all its green and serene glory, stands out as a perfect place for both adults and kids to escape the summer heat.
I've enjoyed numerous sunny days at this park, which is always buzzing with happy faces.
The park, found here, is a local treasure.
The expansive playgrounds are every kid's dream.
They are huge, clean, and filled with interactive play structures that keep the little ones busy for hours.
It's always a joy to see children running around, exploring every corner, their laughter echoing across the park.
But the crowning jewel of Hal and Berni Hanson Regional Park is the adorable splash pad.
Its innovative design never fails to keep the kids entertained, splashing around and cooling off in the water.
I've seen many kids, their faces beaming with joy, enjoying the splash pads under the summer sky.
It brings back my own childhood memories, and sometimes, I wish I could join in the fun.
The park does get busy during peak times, but the early bird definitely catches the worm here.
Arriving early not only helps secure a good spot but also allows for a peaceful experience before the crowds set in.
There's ample parking available, which makes visiting the park a breeze.
It's heartening to see our tax dollars being put to such good use.
Have an Artistic Retreat at the National Sporting Library & Museum
I'm lucky enough to have the National Sporting Library & Museum just a stone's throw away from my home.
It's my quiet retreat from the hustle and bustle of daily life.
Right now, they have reduced the admission price by half and kids can enjoy the exhibits for free.
The artwork is always a feast for the eyes.
The exhibits change, yet their charm and magnetic appeal remain constant.
I found the plaques extremely informative and learned a lot about the pieces on display.
The current special exhibit of the Secretariat in the library downstairs piqued my interest.
They've got horseshoes illustrating the length of his stride, which is quite fascinating.
There's some modern art as well, adding a contemporary touch to the historical narrative.
The gallery is a peaceful sanctuary, spacious enough to let you roam freely and admire the artwork without interruption.
The library is the real gem, though.
It's home to a treasure trove of rare, old books.
I once found an 1897 copy of a book and spent an afternoon lost in its pages.
One of the more interesting exhibits is Identity Restraint: Art of the Dog Collar.
It's a unique showcase that sheds light on the intricate art of dog collar making – I never knew there was so much to learn about it!
The National Sporting Library & Museum is a must-visit if you're staying at the nearby Salamander Resort and Spa or just visiting Middleburg.
I particularly recommend it if you're looking for a serene and educational outing with your kids.
Savor the Delights at Eagletree Farm Winery & Restaurant
Eagletree Farm Winery & Restaurant has become my go-to retreat in the bustling rhythm of life.
It's not just another eatery; it's a place where I find solace, comfort, and an exquisite culinary experience.
I remember my first visit, mesmerized by the breathtaking view of the vineyard, the serenity enveloping me instantly.
Over time, I've come to cherish the subtle nuances of the wines they produce.
Each glass resonates with the passion and dedication the owners pour into their vineyard.
The flavor profiles are diverse yet harmoniously blended, making almost any choice a great one.
The food, oh, the food!
I've lost count of the number of times I've dined here, yet I've never been disappointed.
Each dish is cooked to perfection, brimming with high-quality ingredients that celebrate the culinary craft.
The Margherita pizza, a personal favorite, is a delightful affair of crispy crust and vibrant flavors, always leaving me longing for more.
Over the years, I've shared this haven with friends and family.
Our gatherings have been accentuated by the tranquil ambiance of the place.
The staff, led by Lori and her husband, offer warm hospitality that amplifies the overall enjoyment.
They've created an atmosphere so relaxing that hours feel like minutes.
Eagletree Farm Winery & Restaurant also hosts blueberry-picking events, adding yet another layer to the enchanting experience.
Not only do you get to participate in the fun activity, but you also get to savor the fruits of your labor.
The joy of picking your own blueberries and then tasting them in the dishes is unparalleled.
Every visit to Eagletree Farm Winery & Restaurant feels like a mini-vacation, a tranquil escape amid the natural beauty of the vineyards.
It's more than just an eatery; it's a dining experience that resonates with the heart.
Walk through History at Mt. Defiance Historic Park
Whenever I feel the need to take a breather from the daily grind, I head over to the Mt. Defiance Historic Park, just off the J.S. Mosby Highway.
It's a compact site but packed with history and a sense of tranquility that's unmatched.
One of the things that I appreciate most about the park is how well laid out everything is.
The walking tour is a simple, easy stroll that almost anyone can undertake.
You won't break a sweat, but your mind gets a workout from the fascinating information offered at each stop.
I always find myself learning something new about our history each time I visit Mt. Defiance Historic Park.
The signage throughout the park is first-rate, offering clear and engaging descriptions of how the area fits into the larger scheme of the Civil War.
Step back in Time at Morven Park
Just around the corner from my home lies a historical gem worth exploring - Morven Park.
A short drive from my house, the park is a haven of tranquillity, steeped in rich history and surrounded by natural beauty.
Walking through the park, the 18th-century mansion transports me back in time.
The mansion, once the home of a former governor, now serves as a museum.
I often lose myself in the meticulously restored rooms, each telling a tale of a bygone era.
The boxwood gardens that surround the mansion are beautifully manicured, providing the perfect scenery for afternoon strolls.
Being an equestrian lover, the park's equestrian center is where I spend most of my time.
I remember the excitement of my first ride here, galloping through the open fields, the wind in my hair.
The park offers plenty of opportunities to saddle up, with well-maintained riding arenas and horses for all skill levels.
It's not uncommon to see a dressage event taking place, and the quality of the footing in the arenas is always top-notch, providing just the right balance of give and support.
My daughter recently took part in a dressage event here.
The park's staff were friendly and went above and beyond to ensure a first-class experience for all participants.
I was impressed with the well-lit arenas, which allowed us to watch the evening performances without a hitch.
Plus, the ample parking, restrooms, and concessions made it an ideal venue for such an event.
Morven Park is more than just a historical site or an equestrian center, it's a place for community gatherings, too.
With picnic areas and plenty of grounds to explore, it's a perfect spot for family outings.
Whether it's hiking on the scenic trails or just relaxing on the large grassy area, there's something for everyone.
Living so close to Morven Park, I consider myself fortunate to have such a treasure in my backyard.
Whether you're a history buff, an equestrian enthusiast, or someone looking for a relaxing day out in nature, Morven Park is a must-visit.
Peruse the Fresh Products of Loudounberry Farm
Living here, I've found that nothing beats the freshness of the local produce at Londonderry Farm.
It's practically part of my family's routine to indulge in their dairy products like milk and the most delectable ice cream.
And let me tell you, their pies?
Absolutely worth every penny.
I can't resist the allure of their blueberry pie, it's so good that I keep finding myself going back for more despite the high price tag.
Even beyond the food, the farm is also our closest spot for plants and vegetables.
It feels good to know we're supporting a small business and also eating fresh.
Moreover, the variety they offer in plants is impressive.
The staff at Loudounberry Farm are always kind and helpful, especially when it comes to any queries about my plants.
The charm of this little market is its modest yet high-quality selection.
Go Wine Tasting at Sunset Hills Vineyard
Every time I visit Sunset Hills Vineyard, I fall in love with the place all over again.
Nestled within the picturesque countryside, the Vineyard, with its huge restored barn, offers the perfect setting for a relaxed wine-tasting experience.
The white flight wines are exquisite and hard to resist.
I often find myself carrying home two bottles, one to enjoy immediately and the other saved for a special occasion - yes, they are that good!
The cheese sampler is another favorite of mine.
Each piece of cheese is carefully paired with a wine sample - the blend of flavors is simply divine.
I recall a particularly memorable visit to the vineyard for my daughter’s birthday.
The service, as always, was top-notch, and the knowledgeable guide made the wine tour all the more interesting.
My daughter loved the wine and cheese pairings, and we both had a wonderful time.
But Sunset Hills Vineyard is not just about the wines.
It’s also about the ambiance.
Imagine sipping a glass of great wine, sitting by a romantic bonfire with your favorite person by your side - pure bliss!
I have been a member of the vineyard for about six months now and had a chance to attend one of their events recently.
Despite the crowd, everything was well-organized and efficient, thanks to the dedicated staff.
And the best part?
The fire never got low, thanks to the solo stoves placed everywhere.
It's evident that a lot of thought is put into organizing these events.
Unearth History at Oatlands Historic House & Gardens
The sheer beauty of the Oatlands Historic House & Gardens never ceases to amaze me, no matter how many times I visit.
Nestled in our own Northern Virginia landscape, its historical opulence is just a stone's throw away from Leesburg.
And if you're curious about the place, you can always learn more here.
Upon stepping into the grounds, I am always immediately transported to the 1800s, a time when this grand mansion was maintained by the diligent hands of numerous slaves.
It's important to understand this context - the beauty of this place was made possible by the lives and efforts of these individuals.
The mansion exterior and the lush gardens are testaments to their untold stories, which always leave me with a profound sense of reverence.
But Oatlands isn't just about history.
It's a place that continues to breathe life with its vibrant gardens full of aromatic flowers.
Each bloom carries a distinctive scent, stirring up cherished memories.
The radiant cherry blossom tree in spring, for example, is a sight to behold.
Its delicate petals are reminiscent of a quintessential "DC" feel, creating a picture-perfect backdrop for any occasion.
In contrast to the tranquility of watching the cherry blossoms, there's always a thrill in discovering the little nooks and crannies of the garden.
The tiny gazebo and hedge-lined tunnel hidden behind the main ceremony space always make for an unexpected discovery.
Savor Wine and Dine at Breaux Vineyards
If there's a place I always go back to, it's Breaux Vineyards.
With one glance at the place, you'll understand why.
Overlooking a scenic hillside, this popular winery offers not only an extensive collection of fine wines but also an incredible atmosphere with patio dining and live music.
My next visit is already planned before the colder months set in.
It's the perfect place to enjoy the transition of the seasons.
One of my most memorable visits was during a Key West festival.
The vineyard was buzzing with a lively crowd, everyone dressed up and adding to the festive atmosphere.
The bands playing were the cherry on top – they were truly amazing.
What sets Breaux Vineyards apart is not only their fantastic wines but also their commitment to creating a welcoming environment.
They've even made arrangements for man's best friend with semi-dog-friendly areas inside.
Despite the room being a little warm in July, it's definitely a better option than leaving your furry friend outside in the heat.
They also serve tasty food options.
I can vouch for the quality of their chocolates – they are simply divine.
There's nothing quite like sipping on a glass of their delightful wine, enjoying good food, and soaking in the stunning views.
It's an experience that never gets old, even for someone like me who visits repeatedly.
You just can't get enough of Breaux Vineyards.
Have a Fun Weekend at Harpers Ferry Adventure Center
Every time I want to break free from my daily routine and embrace some adventure, I head to the Harpers Ferry Adventure Center.
Safety is one of their top priorities, and they're incredibly organized, which gives me peace of mind when attempting their thrilling activities.
Before rushing into water activities, I always make sure to wear proper footwear and carry essential items in waterproof pouches that can attach to me.
It's surprisingly easy to lose things in the excitement of it all!
One of the fondest memories I have at the center is when I spent an entire day there with my family.
We challenged ourselves with the ropes course and went rafting.
Patrick, one of the staff members, was exceptional at the ropes course, helping us out and encouraging my 10-year-old to conquer his fears.
What really sets the experience apart at Harpers Ferry Adventure Center is the added bonus of having the Harpers Ferry Brewery just next door.
It's the perfect place to unwind after a day filled with adrenaline.
We would stroll over for a quick break and even after our day at the center.
One particular tip I'd love to share is to wait for a day after it has rained.
The whitewater tubing experience becomes absolutely exhilarating!
The water moves faster, and it's like you're on a different course altogether!
It's not just about the adventure though, the facilities at the center are well-thought-out too.
They have a bathhouse where you can shower and change afterwards, which is incredibly convenient.
Have a Family Day Out at the Heritage Farm Museum
There's something about the simplicity and charm of the Heritage Farm Museum that keeps drawing me back.
Perhaps it's the antique farm equipment that evokes a sense of nostalgia.
Or maybe it's their unique play areas, such as the general store, barn, school, and Grandma’s kitchen, that immerse you in a different time.
On a typical rainy day, when the weather is too gloomy for outdoor activities, I would often take my young kids to the museum so they can play and burn off some of their never-ending energy.
It's always a joy to see them lost in their imagination, pretending to be farmers or shop owners.
The museum also has classes that are worth checking out.
I remember one time I paid for a class and had my youngest one, who was too small to join, explore Heritage Farm Museum with me.
She was particularly fond of the interactive exhibits and had a blast "shopping" and "checking out" at the general store.
It was a day well spent, and I'm sure any history buff would find the place just as fascinating.
But there's also a different side to the Heritage Farm Museum that I love.
During weekdays, when the flurry of visitors is absent, it becomes one of the best places for some peace and quiet.
It's like having your own personal sanctuary, a place where you can just sit and enjoy the tranquility.
Play a Round of Golf at Bazil Newman Riverfront Park
My frequent trips to Bazil Newman Riverfront Park have given me an intimate familiarity with this lovely riverside gem.
It's not just a park, it's a sanctuary where I can escape the hustle and bustle of daily life.
From the moment I step into the park, the welcoming embrace of nature is felt.
The walk from the parking lot down a paved path through a tranquil golf course is roughly a quarter of a mile.
It's a small journey that always prepares me for the calming sight of the riverfront.
I've noticed that if you're thinking of bringing a kayak along, you'll need to carry it through, as there isn't a specific launch site available.
But I promise, the effort is worth the experience.
One of my favorite spots has got to be the rocky shore.
It's where the river whispers its secrets to you, unwind, and truly immerse yourself in the beauty of the surroundings.
I've seen anglers making the most of the easy water access, casting their lines in hopes of a good catch.
It’s all part of the park’s unique charm.
Another thing that I adore about Bazil Newman Riverfront Park is the trails.
Whether you're an experienced hiker or a casual stroller, these trails are a blessing.
They're easy to traverse, and the boardwalk sections add an element of variety to your walk.
Not to mention, the friendly faces you meet along the way make the experience even more enjoyable.
Lastly, I can't fail to mention the shaded areas peppered throughout the park.
During those hot summer days, these areas are a lifesaver.
I often find myself taking a break under the shade of the trees, enjoying the cool breeze as I watch the world go by.
Immerse Yourself in Wine at The Vineyards & Winery at Lost Creek
What a charming place to sip wine and enjoy a good meal!
It's always a delight to visit the Vineyards & Winery at Lost Creek.
The boutique vineyard is a hidden gem nestled in the heart of our town.
I’ve been a frequent visitor here for years, and every time I go, it’s a new experience.
I can't say enough about the outdoor tastings that offer a serene ambiance amidst a lovely green setting.
The meticulously crafted wine pairings and sumptuous brunch at their restaurant are a must-try.
The last time I was there, it was my birthday, and my boyfriend decided to treat me to a special day at Lost Creek.
As the sun set, the view was mesmerizing, with the vineyard bathed in golden hues.
Of course, a visit to Vineyards & Winery at Lost Creek isn't complete without tasting their wines.
The Trinity, a personal favorite, was as exquisite as ever.
The barrel tasting, where we got to sample multiple wines, is something that any wine lover shouldn't miss.
Have a Retreat to Bluemont Vineyard
It's not every day you find a place as charming as Bluemont Vineyard.
This gem has become my regular spot for a soothing Sunday afternoon.
The instant you set foot into the vineyard, you're transported to a serene paradise where time seems to slow down.
What caught my eye first were the stunning views.
The terrace restaurant offers a vantage point that commands far-reaching vistas, making each visit a visual treat.
The cherry trees and vines lining the drive up to the building add a touch of enchanting rural charm.
The relaxed yet sophisticated atmosphere is a unique blend that never ceases to amaze me.
The tastings are always delightful.
It's not just sipping these superb wines, it's an educational journey.
The knowledgeable staff does an excellent job explaining the nuances of each wine, making the experience even more enjoyable.
The thoughtfully designed food pairings enhance every sip, and the Chardonnay has become a personal favorite of mine.
And whenever I'm with friends, we make sure to get a delectable meat and cheese board to share.
It's a peaceful, gastronomic indulgence that I look forward to every time.
What I also appreciate about Bluemont Vineyard is its efficiency.
Whether it's the tastings, food orders, or parking, everything runs smoothly.
This, coupled with the friendly staff, makes each visit a delight.
Bluemont Vineyard has become more than just a vineyard to me.
It's a haven, a place of tranquility, and an essential part of my unwinding ritual.
I always end up leaving with a rejuvenated spirit and a bottle of their finest wine.
I wouldn't miss it for the world!
Exercise at Chapman DeMary Trail
Every day, I wake up to the birds chirping and the sun renewing its promise of a bright day.
My favorite part of the day, however, is my daily walk through the picturesque Chapman DeMary Trail.
Despite being located in the heart of Purcellville, it feels like a sweet escape into the serenity of nature.
The trail is a delightful mix of bridges, steps, and signages about wildlife and trees.
A recent rain had transformed the trail into a little river, adding to its charm.
Even though a couple of bridges need a bit of TLC, the beauty of the place overshadows these tiny flaws.
However, a word of caution for first-timers - the parking isn't very convenient.
The only spot I've been able to find is next to a bank and a Taco Bell, which isn't ideal.
But trust me, the experience of the trail makes up for this little hassle.
So if you're planning to soak in nature's beauty, be prepared to figure out alternative parking or the property manager might have your car towed.
The Chapman DeMary Trail is a hidden gem in our little town. Its soothing tranquility and rich diversity make it a perfect place to unwind.
So, next time you're looking to escape the hustle and bustle, consider taking a stroll here.
After all, what better way to enjoy nature than walking through a trail filled with the symphony of chirping birds and rustling leaves?
Tee Off at Brambleton Regional Park and Golf Course
There's a certain charm about the Brambleton Regional Park and Golf Course that keeps me coming back.
The place offers a level of challenge that I find incredibly fun, especially during the first game of the season.
The winds can be a bit overwhelming at times, reminiscent of my experiences in Chicago, but with the right gear, the golfing experience is nothing short of exhilarating!
If you're interested in finding more about it, you can check it here.
I consider Brambleton as my favorite local golf course for a multitude of reasons.
The affordability, well-maintained facilities, and the friendly staff stand out.
What makes it even more appealing is the recent upgrades they've made on their greens, particularly with their new mower, making the golfing experience faster and more genuine.
And, of course, the setting is spectacular - no gimmicky holes, just a well laid-out course that's equally beautiful and challenging, though some might find the No 5 dogleg left a bit tricky.
I can't help but appreciate the cleanliness of the facilities. Brambleton takes pride in its clean carts, full water stations, and well-maintained porta potties - a feature that's incredibly important, especially for lady golfers.
However, there have been instances when the fairways were quite wet, making it somewhat hazardous to move around.
The course management could improve on their cart rules to ensure the golf course is maintained.
I also want to mention a specific incident where we were asked to pick up the pace at the women's tee box on hole 17.
It felt a bit unfair, considering we could see the group ahead of us at every hole, and there were no groups behind us waiting.
Yet, we complied, even though it did make the last two holes feel a bit rushed.
Despite these minor inconveniences, I still find Brambleton to be a place of joy and challenge.
My only wish is for a beverage cart to be available on hot days for some ice-cold refreshments.
But all in all, Brambleton Regional Park and Golf Course earns its place as my favorite local golfing spot.
Have Animal Encounters at Leesburg Animal Park
Ever since I moved to this neighborhood, one of my favorite weekend spots has been Leesburg Animal Park.
There's just something about the charming small zoo's atmosphere that never fails to put a smile on my face.
Right from the zebras to lemurs and even exotic species, the diversity of animals is truly a delight.
And let's not forget about the petting zoo, where you can get up close with camels and llamas.
It's not every day you get to feed a llama or even pet a camel, is it?
One of the things I look forward to every fall is their Halloween moon bounce.
It's a wonderful setup that kids absolutely love.
The animals, too, seem to enjoy the festive atmosphere and are quite friendly, especially when they know you've got some food for them.
Leesburg Animal Park also has a fantastic indoor play area, which can come in handy on rainy days or when the little ones need a break from the excitement outside.
It's a great space for toddlers to let out their energy while the adults take a breather.
One of the highlights of Leesburg Animal Park is their thoughtful animal interaction.
The park offers a variety of animals, including sheep, pigs, goats, camels, ponies, sloths, and even squirrel monkeys for guests to interact with.
It's truly an experience, both for kids and adults.
And let's not forget about their birthday party options.
If you're looking for a unique party idea for your little one, this is definitely it.
Nothing beats celebrating amidst friendly animals and the great outdoors.
Stop Over Hill High Marketplace
Every town has its own special gem that locals adore, and for us, it's the Hill High Marketplace.
What was once a simple stop on Route 7 for a quick drink or snack, this place has evolved into a hub of culinary delight and a treasure trove of local produce.
My visits to Hill High Marketplace are always an adventure. You can find anything from a wide variety of beers and wines to a delightful array of pies.
Memories of the best pie I ever tasted still make my mouth water. Crispy crust with a sweet and tangy filling that felt like a warm hug on a cold winter's day.
The staff at Hill High Marketplace, especially Maddie and Jessie, are always friendly, attentive, and gracious.
No matter how busy the place is, they always take time to help and make you feel at home.
Their exceptional service is one of the many reasons why I keep coming back.
However, like any other place, Hill High Marketplace has seen changes over the years.
The once subdued and cozy establishment has turned into a bustling marketplace.
The space that was once ample enough for a quiet coffee conversation has now been filled with an eclectic mix of art, confectioneries, and even a restaurant.
While this new vibrancy attracts a crowd, it has become less conducive to peaceful visits, especially for the older folks in our community.
Moreover, the quality of products seems to have taken a hit. A recent experience with a rubbery strawberry rhubarb pie was quite disappointing.
It felt like the Marketplace has forgotten its roots in its pursuit of expansion.
Despite these changes, the love for Hill High Marketplace amongst locals remains.
We keep reminiscing the golden days, but we also look forward to what the future holds.
Yes, the Marketplace has evolved, but the core of what made it special still exists.
And we hope to see Hill High Marketplace continue to serve as our beloved local gem for years to come.
Loudoun County is truly an inviting place for lovers of art, history, nature, and wine.
The captivating charm of the Oatlands Historic House & Gardens and the intriguing history of the Mt. Defiance Historic Park has always been reminiscent of the rich past of this area.
Loudoun County, with its unique blend of modern amenities and historic charm, remains my favorite place, full of enriching experiences waiting to be discovered.