Revision as of 11:47, 22 June 2012
Historic Leesburg , with an old town feel, is at the heart of one of the fastest growing sections of the country. Loudoun County, Virginia is the second fastest growing county in the United States in 2005. Leesburg is the County Seat of Loudoun County. With several Virginia wineries, outlet malls and lots of open space a short drive from the center of Leesburg, there is much to draw visitors there.
Up until only a few years ago, Leesburg was quite rural. Recently, large tracts of housing developments quickly replaced many of the historic horse farms in the area.
Leesburg is less than an hour drive from downtown Washington, D.C., the nation's capital. During the War of 1812, Leesburg was used as a temporary capital of the United States when the British occupied Washington.
From the North (Maryland, Pennsylvania):
- US Highway 15 south across the Potomac.
From the East (Washington, DC):
- Virginia Route 267 provides tolled access to Leesburg. Two tolls are required - one near I-495, which is 75 cents, and another just after the airport, which is $3.20 for 2-axle vehicles. The toll booths after the airport accept credit cards and EZ-Pass.
- Alternatively, Route 7 (Leesburg Pike) is a 55mph highway with several stoplights.
From the South (Warrenton):
From the West:
The other way into Leesburg is via small aircraft into Leesburg Municipal Airport, which does not host commercial flights, but does have a small landing strip that is used by private and charter aircraft.
Leesburg is only twenty minutes from Washington Dulles International Airport, as well. It is possible to fly nearly any commercial airline into Dulles.
The only real redeeming and truly worthwhile (i.e. unique) travel experience to be had is to visit downtown/old Leesburg. The center of Leesburg is relatively small, walkable area near the courthouse (at the crossing of King Street and Market Street). There are a number of shops and restaurants, as well as the town buildings, within about a quarter of a mile.
- White's Ferry, 24801 White's Ferry Rd. Dickerson, MD 20842, ☎ 301-349-5200, . Ferry runs daily, 5AM-11PM. In operation since 1786, White's Ferry is the last working ferry on the Potomac River. A widely used means of crossing the river (and a shortcut) between Maryland and Virginia since its inception. Today, commuters use the ferry daily, where 24 vehicles can be transported at a time. Located off Rt. 15, just north of Leesburg at the White's Ferry Road intersection. Fee to cross river.
- Historic Morven Park, 17263 Southern Planter Ln, ☎ 703-777-2414, . Apr-Nov F-M 11AM–4PM, and by advanced appointment. This 1,000-acre estate, home of World War I-era Virginia Governor Westmoreland Davis, includes history spanning over 200 years. Tours change frequently, highlighting the Confederate camp located here during the Civil War, Davis’ contributions during World War I, the 19th century Winmill Carriage Collection of horse-drawn carriages, and Marguerite Davis’ boxwood gardens. The historic mansion and Museum of Hounds & Hunting are currently closed to the public for extensive interior and exterior restoration. Meet at the Coach House Visitors Center for the tour. Tours on the hour from 11AM–4PM, and by advanced appointment. $5/adult, $1/child.
- Oatlands Plantation, 20850 Oatlands Plantation Ln, ☎ 703-777-3174, . Open Apr-Dec; M-Sa 10AM-5PM, Sun 1-5PM.. Oatlands, a National Trust site, encompasses 360 acres in scenic easements and features a Greek Revival mansion, circa 1804, rare 19th century brick dependencies including America's oldest restored propagation greenhouse, circa 1810, and a magnificent four acre English terraced garden. Oatlands offers guided tours of the mansion, grounds, and gardens. Oatlands also offers two gift shops featuring unique gift and gardening items. Guided house tours on the hour; last tour at 4PM. $10 adults, $9 seniors(60+)/students(6-16). $7 garden & grounds only.
- Balls Bluff Battlefield Regional Park, Balls Bluff Road, ☎ 703-737-7800, . Open daily, dawn to dusk. This park preserves the site of the Battle of Ball's Bluff. This 1861 clash was the largest to take place in the county during the Civil War. It occurred along the banks of the Potomac River, where the Union fell backward into the river in a defeat that merited the first congressional investigation on war. The national cemetery here is one of the smallest in the country, where 54 Union soldiers are buried (only one of whose identity is known). A one mile loop hiking trail offers interpretive signs. No public restrooms. free.
- Dodona Manor, 217 Edwards Ferry Road, ☎ 703-777-1880, . Sa 10AM-5PM, Sun 1-5PM. The George C. Marshall International Center at Dodona Manor offers tours of the restored former home of General George C. Marshall, Architect of Allied Victory for World War II, Special Ambassador to China, Secretary of State, Secretary of Defense, and Nobel Peace Laureate. Ninety percent of the furnishings and memorabilia are original to the Marshall period of residency, from 1941-1959. The home is situated on four acres of land in downtown Leesburg, and is currently under garden restoration. $10/adults, $8/seniors, $5/students.
- Leesburg's First Friday, . The first Friday of each month(except January), downtown shops stay open late, providing a chance to shop and explore downtown. Each month, different live performances and special events are planned.
- Flower and Garden Festival, . Leesburg's annual Flower and Garden Festival is held in the Historic Downtown on the third weekend of April each year. Walk through award-winning landscape displays and shop for fresh flowers, plants, garden furniture, gifts and more. Enjoy live music and a variety of food vendors. Children's activities include hands-on art projects, puppet shows and storytelling.
- Court and Markets Days of Leesburg, . An annual, heritage-based special event in the historic downtown, centered on the Loudoun County Courthouse lawn, Court and Market Days celebrates the period in the Town’s early history during which the Circuit Court was in session only once a year. During these Court Days, the Town of Leesburg took on a festive atmosphere as people from around the countryside. The event features reenactments of actual court cases from the period 1750 to 1825, street scenes in which historical interpreters discuss the events of the time period, artisan demonstrations, traders selling their merchandise, a farmers market and period entertainment. would converge upon Leesburg to conduct business and to socialize. Held on the third Saturday of October each year.
- DC's Wine Country, . Loudoun County's wine country is now home to twelve wineries, featuring rolling hillsides dotted with vines and unique tasting rooms located in historic barns, Mediterranean-like villas, and caves. The best way to experience Loudoun's wine country is along the Wine Trail. Pick up a copy of the brochure at the Loudoun County Visitors Center and spend a day or more traveling along scenic byways as you visit each winery. Look for the grape cluster signs along the roadways to assist you on your wine tour.
- The National Conference Center, . Host an event near DC at one of the largest and most comprehensive conference centers in the nation. Previously Xerox University, NCC is the perfect space for productive meetings, business conferences and other special events. NCC serves all type of clients including corporate Fortune 500 companies, government agencies, religious retreats, associations, weddings and galas. NCC has 917 guest rooms, more than 250 meetings rooms and is on 110 wooded-acres. The property is environmentally friendly and meets the standards of the Green Seal by reducing energy consumption and increasing the use of biodegradable products. From the beginning of the planning process to the end of your stay, our team is dedicated to ensuring you have the most professional and successful experience at the National Conference Center.
- Leesburg Corner Premium Outlets Outside of downtown on Route 15. A good source of good deals on designer and name brands including Barneys New York, Lacoste, Theory, J.Crew, Polo Ralph Lauren, Banana Republic, Gap, and Adidas.
Downtown shops are an excellent source of antiques, wine and food.
- Fireworks Wood Fired Pizza, 201 Harrison Street SE, ☎ 703-779-8400, . Su-Th 11:30AM-9PM, F-Sa 11:30AM-10PM. Supreme ingredients, thoughtful cooking, and full flavored food. Pizzas $11-$17.
- Bella Luna, tel. 703-777-5001
- Blue Ridge Grill, tel. 703-669-5505, great food, next to a McDonalds on route 15
- Eiffel Tower Cafe  - good food, starting at $20, downtown
- The Leesburg Restaurant - good food, great lunch specials, starting at $6, downtown
- The Lightfoot  - excellent food, starting at $25, downtown
- South Street Under - good sandwiches, downtown
- Tuscarora Mill Restaurant, (downtown). Meals starting at $20.
- Downtown Saloon - a biker bar
- Kings Court Tavern - great dixieland jazz band on Tuesdays
- Bunker - sports bar
- Spanky's Shenanigans
- Vintage 50 brew pub
- Tuscarora Mills or Tuskies - Great choice of Micros and Belgian beers.
- Black Olive Sports Bar - over 15 flat screen TVs, pool tables and a Wii Lounge.
- Hop 'N Vine - features local Virginia wine, seasonally paired with Mediterranean and Asian entrees.
There are a number of new and slightly older motels in town. Here are some of them:
- Best Western Inn, tel. 703-777-9400.
- Comfort Suites, tel. 703-669-1650.
- Hampton Inn, tel. 703-669-8640.
- Holiday Inn, tel. 703-771-9200.
- Leesburg Colonial Inn, tel 703-777-5000.
- Norris House Inn, tel. 703-777-1806.
- Olive Branch Lodge, tel. 703-777-3039.
- Leesburg Colonial Inn, tel. 703-777-5000, . A small unique bread and breakfast with reasonable rates.
The town of Leesburg is a reasonably safe place to live and visit. Take normal precautions but in reality there is little street crime. You are more likely to be licked by a overly friendly dog than experience any crime.
- Great Falls Park, McLean, Virginia. Gorgeous national park with waterfalls and hiking trails, minutes from the beltway. Kayaking and rock climbing.  Going to the park after a large rain storm provides different views as the water levels can change drastically.
- Harpers Ferry National Historical Park, Harpers Ferry, West Virginia
- Manassas National Battlefield Park, Manassas, Virginia
- Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center - National Air and Space Museum in Chantilly (Virginia)
- Tarara Winery, tel. 703-771-71000 . Wine tasting and other events on this 475 acre farm devoted to producing fine wines.
- Middleburg, Virginia - great shops, wineries and horse country.