Washington DC – Day Trip Resources N. Virginia

These several towns have resources for day-trippers, but first let’s find out a bit more about 2 of them.

Leesburg

Leesburg is the largest town in the Hunt and Wine Country and it was founded in 1758. It is a good base for exploring the region. Although it is not as picturesque as Middleburg, it has considerable charm, with architecture ranging from pre-Revolutionary to late 19th century.

The center of Leesburg and its historic district is at the intersection of Market Street (Va. Hwy. 7 Business) and King Street (U.S. Hwy. 15 Business). There you will find the brick Loudoun County Courthouse, built in 1895. Most of what you will want to see in town is within 2 blocks of this key crossroads. Leesburg has one of the largest collections of antiques dealers in Virginia. And, the charming village of Waterford is nearby. Be sure to visit there.

Middleburg

Middleburg is included on the National Register of Historic Villages, and it has about 600 residents —about the same size today as when it was settled in 1731.

You can’t get lost here because the village occupies just 6 blocks along Washington Street (U.S. Hwy. 50). It has just two streets — Federal and Marshall — running parallel on either side.

Start your village tour at the Pink Box Visitor Information Center (information below). The public pavilion next door is dedicated to the late Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, an avid and accomplished horse-woman, in honor of the contributions she made “during her happy years in the village.”

The village of Middleburg is home to those who can afford to indulge in horses, horse breeding, steeplechase racing, and fox hunting. Yes, I am not kidding. You will see people walking around in jodhpurs and riding boots, although locals complain they are often on “paddock princesses”who seldom ride but who like to look the part. You may also see famous politicians, movie royalty or other wealthy, influential people in town as this is the most-exclusive enclave near Washington and it has been since Colonial times.

This village is so unusual that the weekly paper calls itself the “Middleburg Eccentric”. It’s an interesting read. In the real estate notices, see ads for farms selling for multimillions.

A polo shirt and khaki trousers are quite appropriate attire here. Check out high-end shops with names like Crème de la Crème, for home decor, and Starbarks Cafe, which purveys gourmet treats for your thoroughbred pooch. For humans, stop at Scruffy’s Ice Cream Parlor, and grab a shot of caffeine at Cuppa Giddyup.

While in town, be sure to consider visiting the unique National Sporting Library & Museum,
102 The Plains Road, Middleburg, Virginia
540-687-6542
Open: Tuesday to Friday 10am – 4pm, Saturday 1 – 4pm.

The institution is dedicated to preserving and sharing the literature, art and culture of horse and field sports, like fishing. There are over 17,000 volumes in its collections and some of them date from the 17th century. It’s about .13 miles from the center of town.

Official Visitor Centers:
For advance information, contact the Loudon County Visitor Info.

Loudoun Convention & Visitor Association,
222 Catoctin Circle SE,
Suite 100, Leesburg, VA 20175
phone: 800-752-6118 or 703-771-2170
open daily: 9am to 5pm — except New Year’s Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas

Its offices and the Leesburg Visitor Center are about a half-mile east of downtown on the first floor of the Jewell Building on Catoctin Circle, just south of Market Street (Va. Hwy 7 Business).

There, you can pick up a visitor guide, a Leesburg map, a list of antiques dealers, and a guide to the county’s wine trail. Also ask for a copy of the walking-tour guide to Waterford Village and a copy of “Towns & Villages of Loudoun County, Virginia,” which will guide you to and through Leesburg, Middleburg, Purcellville, Lovettsville, Hamilton, Round Hill, Hillsboro, and several other small hamlets.

The Town Hall Visitors Center, 25 W. Market St., Leesburg, VA 20178
Lobby of the Leesburg Town Hall
Open Saturday 9am to 5pm, Sunday noon to 5pm.

Middleburg Visitor Informationhas an center in the Pink Box,
12 Madison St., Middleburg, VA 22117
phone: 540-687-8888
Open Monday to Friday 11am – 3pm, Saturday and Sunday 11am – 4pm.

For Manassas Battlefield, contact:
Prince William County/Manassas Conference and Visitors Bureau,
8609 Sudley Rd., Suite 105,
Manassas, VA 20112
phone: 800-432-1792 or 703-396-7130

The town of Manassas has a visitor center:
Railroad Depot,
9431 West St.
Phone: 703-361-6599,
Open daily from 9am – 5pm.

Visit the Warrenton-Faquier County Chamber of Commerce,
183A Keith St., Warrenton, VA 20186
Phone: 540-347-4414; fax 540-347-7510
Open daily 9am – 5pm.

Getting There from Dulles Airport:

If you arrive by plane — Washington Dulles International Airport is on the eastern edge of the Virginia Hunt and Wine Country It is 14 miles southeast of Leesburg and 21 miles east of Middleburg. All the rental companies are available there to hire a car for your journey.

If you arrive by car — you’ll have a vehicle to explore the beautiful back roads of the Hunt and Wine Country.

Directions for Leesburg:
Leesburg: 35 miles NW of Washington, D.C.

There are two routes from the Capital Beltway (I-495) to Leesburg. The free but slower way is VA. Hwy. 7.

The significantly faster route is via the Dulles Greenway Toll Road between I-495 and Washington Dulles Airport; it feeds into the Dulles Greenway from (Va. Hwy. 267). Questions? Phone: 888-707-8870.

It is a privately financed toll expressway connecting the Dulles airport to Leesburg. The toll from Hwy. I-495 to Leesburg is about $3.75. Note: The booths accept only credit cards after 9pm.

Once in downtown Leesburg, scout around for an on-street space or leave your car in the municipal parking garage on Loudoun Street between King and Wirt streets. Parking is free there on weekends. During the week you’ll pay about 50¢ an hour for the first 4 hours, $1 per hour thereafter, but there’s a maximum of about $5 a day.

Directions for Middleburg:
Middleburg is 45 miles west of Washington, D.C.

You can take U.S. Hwy 50 west all the way into town or follow I-66 west to VA. Hwy. 28 and then north to U.S. Hwy. 50 west. U.S. Hwy. 15 south from Leesburg also intersects with U.S. Hwy. 50 westbound 10 miles east of Middleburg. For parking in town, find any on-street space.

Warrenton is on the main highway south of Washington DC Metro.

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©2011 mystic at Travel Vacation Review

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