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More That What You’d Expect: The Best Things To Do In Loudoun County

Aisyah
Posted Aug 11, 2016

Loudoun County is located in the northern part of the state of Virginia, USA and is the third-most populous county in Virginia. Its population grew drastically from the 1980s, partly due to the newly-built Dulles International Airport, which attracted new businesses, workers, and families to settle in this county.

It was also originally a rural county. In the 1990s, Loudoun underwent major suburbanisation and today, it is home to numerous international IT headquarters, more than 40 wineries, and 25 farms. Their wineries also produce some of the world’s best recognised wines.

This charming county is known by many for its stunning scenery, variety of business opportunities, vibrant history, and amazing people. Loudoun has so much to offer in almost every aspect. From what to eat to where to shop, here’s your complete guide to the best things to do in Loudoun County:

Have a taste of internationally-acclaimed spirits at the Catoctin Creek Distillery

The Catoctin Creek Distilling Company started in 2009 and became the first legal distillery in Loudoun County. It is located in Purcellville, in the centre of Loudoun Valley. This distillery got its name from the Indian tribal name, “Kittocton”, which means “place of many deer”. Catoctin depicts a variety of mountains and creeks that fit perfectly with the Potomac River and Chesapeake Watershed.

The Catoctin Creek Distilling Company produces organic wine and food, free of pesticides and chemical additives. Their grain and fruit are also mostly sourced locally. Their spirits have been acknowledged with a wide variety of international awards and accolades, including awards from the American Distilling Institute and Fox News. It was also named as Virginia’s Most Awarded Whisky by Virginia’s Finest.

The Catoctin Creek Distilling Company also holds regular events such as dinner and culinary presentations that are open to public, such as the Dinner and Whiskey at Historic Aldie Mill event. This has been running for 6 years, and you’ll enjoy whiskey-tasting and delicious food. They also organise tours and tastings, for free!

The Catoctin Creek Distilling Company

Address: 120 W Main St Purcellville, VA 20132

Opening Hours: 1 pm - 7 pm. Closed on Mondays

Contact: (540) 751-8404

Website: The Catoctin Creek Distilling Company

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Shop till you drop at Leesburg Corner Premium Outlets

Boasting over 110 designers and name-brand outlet stores, The Leesburg Corner Premium Outlets is the main shopping destination for tourists and locals in the area. The place has an outdoor village-like setting that not only proves to be inviting, but also makes people shop in ease and convenience, especially when it’s situated just 17 miles (27.4 kilometres) from Dulles International Airport.

With internationally-famous stores such as Coach, Juicy Couture, Kate Spade, and outlet stores Pottery Barn Outlet and Williams-Sonoma Outlet, The Leesburg Corner Premium Outlets will be every shopper’s paradise. This place is also located near multiple attractions such as the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Airt and Space Museum and other historic attractions.

Leesburg Corner Premium Outlets

Address: 241 Fort Evans Rd NE Leesburg, VA 20176

Opening Hours: 10 am - 9 pm daily. Closes at 7 pm on Sundays

Contact: (703) 737-3071

Website: Leesburg Corner Premium Outlets

See our full list of recommended hotels in Leesburg's Old and Historic District and also compare the prices with vacation rentals in Leesburg's Old and Historic District

Get a taste of history at Movern Park

Movern Park is actually a Leesburg estate that consists of the Westmoreland Davis Mansion, the Winmill Carriage Museum, and the Museum of Hounds and Hunting. The latter is known for its amazing displays of art, artefacts, and memorabilia about the sport of fox hunting. It is located in the north wing of the Westmoreland Davis Mansion, which was owned by Westmoreland Davis, the Governor of Virginia between the years of 1918 to 1922. The mansion is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places and considered a Virginia Historic Landmark.

Movern Park’s gardens and grounds were first opened to the public in 1967 by Westmoreland Davis, who established the Westmoreland Davis Memorial Foundation to benefit the public of the home that she and her husband had purchased in 1903.

Today, Movern Park is a top choice of venue for weddings and events, including equestrian events, which occur almost every weekend. These events are free to spectators as well. There are also tours held of the mansion and museums.

Movern Park

Address: 17195 Southern Planter Lane Leesburg, VA 20176

Contact: 703 777 2414

Website: Movern Park

See our full list of recommended hotels in Leesburg's Old and Historic District and also compare the prices with vacation rentals in Leesburg's Old and Historic District

Visit the Loudoun vineyards, one of the county's top attractions

Loudoun has been referred to as the area’s Wine Country, especially for the fact that it is home to over 40 wineries that are Virginia’s leading producers of grape wines. This could be the result of favourable soil conditions, the temperate climate, and technical experts. These wineries produce internationally-acclaimed wines, and most of them feature stunning mountain views and tours. With 6 different clusters of wineries, you’ll be spoilt for choice.

One of the vineyards is 868 Estate Vineyards, a family-run business situated on 120 acres (48.6 hectares) of forests, orchards, and gardens. Their tasting room features Pinot Grigio, Rose, Chardonnay, Merlot, and more. They also have a fine-dining restaurant that offers amazing delicacies with a culinary approach to the farm-to-table concept, and also hosts events. They have a wide range of tasting packages, some paired with food and sweets while others cater to groups. The Truffle Tasting, for example, will have you tasting 6 different red and white wines paired with chocolate truffles such as White Chocolate and Apricot Truffle, Calebeaut Ganache Truffle, and more.

868 Estate Vineyards

Address: 14001 Harpers Ferry Rd Purcellville, VA 20132

Opening Hours: 11 am - 5 pm. Mondays and Tuesdays are by appointment only

Contact: (540) 668-7008

Website: 868 Estate Vineyards

Another vineyard in the area is Breaux Vineyards, located in Purcellville. It is a Cajun-owned winery that started in 1997 and was named in the book “250 Best Wines 2012” by Oz Clarke. It is considered to be one of Virginia’s largest grape-growers and suppliers, with 17 different grape varieties planted. Breaux Vineyards produces a whopping 144,000 bottles of wine annually. They were also voted in 1st place as “Virginia’s Favorite Winery” for four consecutive years from 2008. Breaux Vineyards offer tasting tours that start from as low as 5 USD. Visitors can also enjoy live music at the end of each month.

Breaux Vineyards

Address: 36888 Breaux Vineyards Ln, Purcellville, VA 20132

Opening Hours: 11 am - 5 pm. Closed on public holidays

Contact: 1-800-492-9961

Website: Breaux Vineyards

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Visit Ball's Bluff Battlefield Regional Park and National Cemetery

Source: wikipedia

Ball’s Bluff Battlefield Regional Park and National Cemetery is the third-smallest national cemetery in the US and consists of the graves of 54 members of the Union Army that were killed during the Battle of Ball’s Bluff. These men are interred in 25 graves and the identity of all, except for one, is unknown. There are also monuments to fallen Confederate Sergeant Clinton Hatcher and Union Brigade Commander Edward Dickinson Baker, not buried here, located next to the cemetery.

The battlefield area of the park was named as a National Historic Landmark in 1984. The regional park consists of marked trails that stretch for over 7 miles (11.3 kilometres), including a trail along the Potomac riverbank. There are guided tours held every weekend from the months of April to November, including volunteer and history events.

Ball’s Bluff Battlefield Regional Park

Address: Ball’s Bluff Road Leesburg, VA 21076

Contact: 703-737-7800

Website: Ball’s Bluff Battlefield Regional Park

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Visit Aldie Mill Historic Park

Aldie Mill Historic Park is a water mill that was built between 1807 and 1809, and it was once referred to as the largest factory of its kind in Loudoun County. It is powered by twin waterwheels, making it Virginia’s only known grist mill of this kind. Its current president, James Monroe, was actually a customer who lived at the nearby Oak Hill. The mill has ground grain using the waters of the Little River for over 150 years. The mill is named in the National Register of Historic Places.

The Aldie Mill organises tours and demonstrations for the public during the weekends of April to November.

Aldie Mill Historic Park

Address: 39401 John Mosby Highway Aldie, VA 20105

Opening Hours: Saturdays - Sundays: 12 noon - 5 pm

Contact: 703-327-9777

Website: Aldie Mill Historic Park

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Visit the National Sporting Library and Museum

Source: wikipedia

Located in Middleburg and founded in 1954, the National Sporting Library Museum is situated on a 6-acre (2.4-hectare) campus and consists of a research library and and fine arts museum that showcases the heritage and traditions of the country’s angling, horsemanship, shooting, and more. The abundance of archives and the art collection offers extensive information on everything you need to know about the country’s sporting history.

The National Sporting Library Museum also holds regular educational programs, exhibitions, and family activities all year round. An example of one of the popular events is the Open Late concert, where visitors can enjoy great music paired with local wine and Virginian craft beer. These concerts are free and open to the public. Museum tour costs are included with the admission ticket, although advance reservation is required.

National Sporting Library Museum

Address: 102 The Plains Road, Middleburg, VA 20117

Opening Hours: 10 am - 5 pm. Closed on Mondays and Tuesdays

Contact: (540) 687-6542

Website: National Sporting Library Museum

See our full list of recommended hotels in Leesburg's Old and Historic District and also compare the prices with vacation rentals in Leesburg's Old and Historic District

Eat your heart out at some of Loudon's best restaurants

And you thought we forgot about the food! Loudon is home to a wide variety of restaurants and eateries serving the best savoury and sweet dishes. Indeed, the food is so great that it has seen patrons leaving with contented stomachs and coming back for more! There are just so many great eating places in Loudoun that it is impossible to name them all. So, here are two of our top picks: Tuscarora Mill and Lola’s Cupcakes.

Tuscarora Mill is located in Leesburg and serves as a restaurant, cafe, bar, and bakery. Started in 1985, this independent and locally-owned business offers food that is mostly made from local produce, including cheese and wine from local cheese-makers and wineries. They also cater for banquets, wedding receptions, and other special events. Tuscarora Mill boasts 11 different menus, including a separate menu for allergies and special dietary requirements, and another for beer, cocktails, and wine!

Tuscarora Mill

Address: 203 Harrison St., Leesburg, VA 20175

Opening Hours: 11 am - 11 pm

Contact: 703-771-9300

Website: Tuscarora Mill

Lola’s Cupcakes is known for amazing and very famous bakes and sweets. Lola initially started selling cookies at the farmer’s market back in 2002. In 2006, she rented a few rooms in a Victorian building located in Leesburg for her bakery. She was also featured on The Rachel Ray Show and Fox 5 TV, as well as in a few magazines. Her bakery had to close in 2013 to make way for office spaces. In 2015, Lola started selling her bakes again in Leesburg, but only on the weekends at the Very Virginia Shop in downtown Leesburg. From Friday afternoons up until Sunday, customers swarm the place to get their hands on Lola’s trademark Ginger Chocolate Cookies and M&M Cookies. Lola’s goodies also contain no preservatives or artificial flavours, to ensure great taste.

Lola's Cupcakes

Address: 16 S King St Leesburg, VA

Opening Hours: Friday afternoons - Sundays

Contact: +1 703-973-6400

Website: Lola’s Cupcakes

See our full list of recommended hotels in Leesburg's Old and Historic District and also compare the prices with vacation rentals in Leesburg's Old and Historic District

So much more to offer than just wineries and vineyards

As you can see, Loudoun County isn’t just about its wineries and vineyards, although they are incredibly popular with visitors. This county in Virginia has a wide history, heritage, and culture, with so much picturesque scenery to marvel at too!

Aisyah is obsessed with the written word. She just loves reading and writing. It’s almost as if that’s her daily mantra. When not writing, she can be found watching Netflix with her three cats at...Read more

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