Looking for the best things to do in Leesburg VA? Leesburg, Virginia, is a captivating gem nestled along the picturesque banks of the Potomac River in Loudoun County. Despite its close proximity to Washington, D.C., this town has retained its small and rural charm, preserving a rich historical legacy since its establishment. Leesburg offers an array of engaging activities and attractions that cater to diverse interests.
Over the past few decades, Leesburg has undergone significant growth and development, emerging as the largest town in Virginia. Consequently, the region now presents a unique blend of historical allure and contemporary offerings. Visitors, both young and old, can explore a myriad of captivating destinations, such as historic residences, scenic parks, and recreational areas by the water.
Discovering the best things to do in Leesburg VA is an exciting journey that encompasses various experiences. The downtown area, brimming with charming restaurants and shops, invites exploration. The surrounding countryside boasts scenic wineries, parks, and historic sites, providing a delightful escape. Regardless of age or interest, Leesburg offers a plethora of enjoyable and captivating activities.
For history enthusiasts, the quaint town is an absolute must-visit destination in Northern Virginia, offering a fascinating glimpse into the past. Shoppers can indulge in the diverse retail options available, while beer and wine lovers can savor the region’s exquisite beverages. Families can delight in the town’s attractions, and foodies can relish the culinary delights on offer.
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Here are the 20 best things to do in Leesburg VA:
1. Make Use of the Picnic Area at White’s Ferry
One of the best things to do in Leesburg VA is to experience the historic White’s Ferry, which has been operating since 1786 and serves as a vital transit route between Maryland and Virginia. With approximately 800 daily passengers during operation, this ferry offers a unique and memorable journey.
Named in honor of Confederate Civil War General Jubal A. Early, the white ferry operates from 5 am to 11 pm, except during floods and freezing conditions. It caters to various groups, providing a pavilion for larger gatherings, and offers vehicle transportation for trucks, cars, and passengers. In addition to the ferry ride, there are other exciting activities available.
Visitors can rent boats, canoes, and enjoy picnic areas, making it an ideal destination for outdoor enthusiasts. If you’re in need of provisions, the on-site store offers groceries, snacks, and beverages, including beer. Whether you’re looking for a scenic adventure or planning a special event, White’s Ferry in Leesburg, VA is a must-visit attraction.
2. Relax Your Mind, Body, and Spirit at Lansdowne Resort and Spa
When it comes to the best things to do in Leesburg VA, Lansdowne Resort and Spa offers an exceptional experience centered around the joy of lifelong learning. This resort is a paradise for golf enthusiasts, a serene setting for meetings, and an idyllic escape for families and couples alike.
Immerse yourself in a world of wellness opportunities and find true relaxation at Lansdowne Resort and Spa. Whether you’re seeking an invigorating workout or a friendly round of golf, this resort has you covered. Indulge in a range of traditional spa services, innovative therapies, and salon treatments offered by Lansdowne Resort and Spa.
Their facilities, furnishings, and amenities are designed to provide a tranquil retreat for your journey, complemented by breathtaking views. Take advantage of this haven, where you can rejuvenate your mind, body, and soul in a peaceful and luxurious environment. Lansdowne Resort and Spa is the ultimate destination to embrace relaxation and discover the pleasures of life.
3. Soak in the Environment at Casanel Vineyards & Winery
In Leesburg, Virginia, the family-operated Casanel Vineyards & Winery is supported by a dedicated and close-knit team who are wholeheartedly committed to delivering the finest wines and an exceptional experience to their patrons. At Casanel Vineyards & Winery, their main objective is to pursue their passion for cultivating high-quality grapes. Located in the heart of the Middleburg AVA, their vineyards benefit from a unique terroir that allows them to craft wines with their distinct style and flavors.
In their cellar, Casanel Vineyards & Winery upholds the values of harmony, grace, and discipline. Their aim is to highlight the unique characteristics of each wine they produce, while showcasing the full potential of their grapes in every bottle. With an ideal environment and a deep appreciation for winemaking, Casanel Vineyards & Winery strives to create wines that exemplify their commitment to excellence.
4. Have Fun at the Potomac River
Discover the best things to do in Leesburg VA and immerse yourself in the rich history and breathtaking riverbank landscapes of the Potomac. Experience thrilling escapades by engaging in kayaking and paddle boarding along the tranquil sections nestled alongside Leesburg. Indulge in the art of fishing, where you may encounter impressive catches like catfish, perch, and largemouth bass, making for an unforgettable angling experience.
5. Visit the Wonders Hidden in Rust Nature Sanctuary
Explore Leesburg VA and discover the best things to do in this charming town. Among its numerous attractions, Rust Nature Sanctuary stands out as a must-visit. This expansive 68-acre sanctuary offers a delightful combination of natural beauty and historic architecture. Immerse yourself in the serene ambiance as you traverse shaded trails, encounter a picturesque pond enveloped by tall reeds, and explore wooded areas teeming with local flora and fauna.
A true gem within this sanctuary is Rust Manor, an awe-inspiring home that regularly hosts photoshoots, weddings, and special events. With its immaculate facade and timeless design harmonizing effortlessly with the lush surroundings, this enchanting destination unveils a hidden paradise you simply cannot afford to overlook.
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6. Marvel at the Majestic Structures of Oatlands Historic House & Garden
One of the best things to do in Leesburg VA is to visit Oatlands Historic House & Garden. The remarkable mansion’s flawless facade leaves you in awe of how such a stunning home was built back in 1810. This expansive estate encompasses various historical structures such as carriage houses, barns, and cottages, but the focal point remains the proud house itself.
As you explore the grounds, your eyes will be drawn to the mansion’s tall columns, elegant windows, and meticulous architecture, which have earned it the status of a captivating National Historic Landmark. From March to December, the doors are open to visitors who can appreciate the regal interiors by joining a guided tour.
Inside, you’ll find a wealth of old furniture, artifacts, and photographs displayed throughout the rooms. If you have the luxury of extra time to explore beyond Leesburg’s town center, Oatlands Historic House & Garden offers a perfect destination to immerse yourself in history and beauty.
7. Play With Adorable Creatures at Leesburg Animal Park
When planning your itinerary, be sure to include a visit to Leesburg Animal Park, especially if you’re bringing kids or have a fondness for animals. This small zoo is home to a diverse collection of exotic wildlife from around the world and offers a range of habitats that ensure the residents’ comfort and enjoyment. Among the fascinating creatures you’ll encounter are majestic zebras, inquisitive lemurs, vibrant parrots, and tropical iguanas.
For those who relish the opportunity to interact with animals, the park features a petting zoo where you can play, feed, and get up close to various creatures. Imagine the delight of touching aged tortoises, camels, llamas, and friendly goats. Additionally, the Pumpkin Village, which opens during the fall season, is a beloved attraction, particularly for children.
Here, you’ll find horseback rides, haystacks, field tours, and an abundance of pumpkins in all their colorful variations—orange, green, smooth-skinned, bumpy-fleshed, and uniquely shaped—scattered throughout different areas of the park.
8. Explore All the Attractions of Morven Park
Discover the best things to do in Leesburg VA by starting your itinerary at Morven Park. Spanning 1,000 acres, this expansive park is a treasure trove of Leesburg’s rich history. Immerse yourself in the captivating tales as you explore the picturesque forests and verdant grounds.
Within the park, you’ll encounter the Morven Park Mansion, Winmill Carriage Museum, and the Museum of Hounds and Hunting, each providing captivating insights into bygone eras. Delve into centuries-old traditions such as foxhunting, carriage riding, and horse rearing as you wander through these remarkable structures.
For nature enthusiasts, Morven Park offers an extensive network of scenic nature trails, perfect for leisurely walks or invigorating hikes. Equestrian lovers will be thrilled by the renowned Morven Park International Equestrian Center, which frequently hosts prestigious horse trials, dressage events, and national-level equestrian competitions.
Additionally, the park boasts horse-riding routes and athletic fields, catering to those who enjoy sports and outdoor activities. Whether you’re a history buff, nature lover, or sports enthusiast, Morven Park has something to captivate your interests. Begin your Leesburg adventure here to ensure ample time to immerse yourself in the park’s diverse attractions and create lasting memories.
9. Learn the County’s History at Loudoun Museum
If you’re looking for the best things to do in Leesburg VA, a must-visit is the Loudoun Museum. Situated in Loudoun County, this charming museum is a hub of culture and heritage, showcasing the region’s rich history.
Recently renovated, the museum’s log cabin-style structure immerses you in the county’s past as you explore its permanent and changing exhibits. Inside, you’ll find an array of fascinating collections, including ancient maps, well-preserved textiles, and furniture once used by past inhabitants.
The museum also highlights the county’s significant role in the Civil War through various artifacts and displays. Although the museum itself is small, the extensive range of items on exhibit will captivate your curiosity for hours. If you’re eager to delve into the vibrant history of the state and county, the Loudoun Museum is an absolute must-see.
10. Tour the Halls of George C. Marshall’s Dodona Manor
Dodona Manor, named after the ancient Delphic shrine renowned for its oak trees, was the residence of General George Catlett Marshall, a former Secretary of Defense who served in President Truman’s administration. Today, the George C. Marshall International Center has meticulously restored the house to reflect its Marshall-era appearance, transforming it into a captivating attraction.
The home’s clean, cream-colored facade, expansive grounds, and tiled patios make it truly distinctive. Step inside, and you’ll discover solemn rooms adorned with the personal belongings of Marshall and his family, providing a glimpse into the lives of these notable individuals. This visit offers a unique opportunity to explore the halls and gain insights into the life of a man whose influence played a pivotal role during the Second World War.
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11. Smell Fragrant Blooms During the Flower and Garden Festival
One of the best things to do in Leesburg VA is to attend the annual Flower and Garden Festival. This highly anticipated event draws crowds from across the state and nearby Maryland, serving as a delightful celebration of spring’s arrival. With over 150 vendors participating, the festival offers a vibrant gathering of locals and visitors alike.
Explore the stalls and you’ll discover a treasure trove of beautiful blooms, rare plants, gardening tools, artisanal pots, outdoor furniture, and unique landscaping products that are sure to entice gardeners and today’s “plant parents.”
In addition to the array of gardening merchandise, the festival features live music and a range of family-oriented activities for everyone to enjoy. To satisfy your appetite, numerous food concessionaires offer local favorites, ensuring you have plenty of strength to explore the stalls and make the most of this wonderful event.
12. Immerse in History at Ball’s Bluff Battlefield Regional Park
If you’re looking for the best things to do in Leesburg VA, a visit to Ball’s Bluff Battlefield Regional Park is a must. Situated alongside the Potomac River, this park holds great significance as it was the site of a notable battle during the Civil War. It stands out from other locations because it is the only place north of the capital where the Union forces experienced a defeat.
At Ball’s Bluff Battlefield, you’ll find a meticulously restored battlefield where you can catch a glimpse of how warfare was conducted during that time. The park’s serene atmosphere is enhanced by the presence of various war artifacts, such as cannons, tombs, and markers. You can enhance your experience by joining a guided tour that provides in-depth knowledge about these historical remnants.
However, the park offers more than just a historical perspective. Its lush green grounds and picturesque riverside scenery make it a popular spot for relaxation and enjoyment. Feel free to immerse yourself in the peaceful ambiance, take leisurely walks along the park’s trails, and explore everything it has to offer.
13. Run for Your Life at Shocktober
If you’re looking for the best things to do in Leesburg VA, and crave an adrenaline rush, make sure to visit Shocktober. This Halloween destination, located at the Arc of Loudoun, offers an unforgettable experience of exploring a haunted location and being pursued by monsters.
Prepare yourself for an exhilarating adventure with terrifying scenes, otherworldly creatures, and horrifying monsters lurking in every corner. Whether you find yourself in the dimly lit corridors of the mansion or the eerie grounds surrounding it, you’ll encounter plenty of spine-chilling sights and ghostly apparitions. Grab your friends, as this is an opportunity to have a blast while being chased by zombies and bloodthirsty beasts.
What makes it even better is that your ticket purchase supports the Arc of Loudoun, a nonprofit organization dedicated to assisting individuals with disabilities in Leesburg. By enjoying this terrifying experience, you’re also making a positive impact on the underserved members of the community.
14. Fish at the Pond in Olde Izaak Walton Park
If you’re seeking a fantastic outdoor adventure with your family, look no further than Olde Izaak Walton Park. This 21-acre attraction offers a plethora of enjoyable activities. With its expansive grounds and patches of forests, it provides an ideal setting for a fun-filled day. The park’s main highlight is its large pond, boasting breathtaking scenic views.
This serene body of water attracts a variety of local birds and waterfowl, including ducks gracefully gliding and foraging for food on its smooth, reflective surface. If you’re eager to try your hand at fishing and join the hunt, make your way to the fishing pier equipped with your own hook and line. Dive into the depths of the pond to encounter largemouth bass and black crappies.
If you have furry companions accompanying you, the park even features a dedicated dog park where dogs of all breeds and sizes can play and socialize. However, if you simply desire a peaceful afternoon, take a leisurely stroll along the park’s intertwining trails and discover the local wildlife that inhabits this enchanting place.
15. Work Up a Sweat at Ida Lee Park Recreation Center
One of the best things to do in Leesburg VA is to visit the Ida Lee Park Recreation Center, which offers a wide range of sport and athletic activities. This premier destination spans 71,000 square feet and provides numerous opportunities for physical recreation. Whether you’re a fan of tennis, baseball, or other sports, there are plenty of facilities here to engage in and enjoy.
Additionally, the center boasts two indoor pools with vigilant lifeguards and modern amenities for those looking to swim laps. If you’re inclined towards fitness, the fitness center offers a chance to utilize gym equipment for cardio workouts or resistance training. To unwind after an intense session, consider taking a moment to relax at the gazebo, which provides a serene view of the park’s lush grounds. It’s the perfect spot to cool down and find tranquility following hours of vigorous activity.
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16. Sample Delicious Beverages at Stone Tower Winery
The region in Virginia where Leesburg is located offers an ideal climate for cultivating thriving grapevines. As a result, numerous vineyards and wineries are spread across the less densely populated areas nearby. Among the notable establishments in this area is Stone Tower Winery, which is a must-visit destination for wine enthusiasts.
The extensive grounds and impressive structures in themselves are captivating, providing breathtaking views that captivate every visitor upon arrival. However, the primary attraction for most people is the wine itself. By participating in a wine tasting tour, you have the opportunity to sample some of their distinctive beverages.
The wines available here are renowned for their full-bodied, fruity, and aromatic characteristics, meeting the highest standards. You will undoubtedly experience the additional layers of flavor imparted by the Virginia Soil, further enhancing the enjoyment of these beverages. Before you depart, consider purchasing a bottle or two to bring home and open during special occasions.
17. Book a Tee Time at Raspberry Falls Golf & Hunt Club
When exploring the best things to do in Leesburg VA, be sure to include a visit to Raspberry Falls Golf & Hunt Club. Whether you’re a novice or an experienced golfer, this facility provides an exceptional setting to enhance your skills and achieve that elusive hole in one. The 18-hole course is meticulously maintained and surrounded by lush greenery, featuring meandering streams, charming stone walls, and picturesque yet challenging rolling terrain.
Against the backdrop of the Catoctin Mountains, the course offers breathtaking views that elevate the overall experience, allowing you to appreciate the scenery as much as your gameplay. Conclude your round by stopping at Hunter’s Grill, the club’s on-site restaurant, where you can indulge in a selection of satisfying comfort foods such as wraps, sandwiches, and wings, perfect for those seeking a delicious meal after their game.
18. See the Potomac From Red Rock Wilderness Overlook Regional Park
Discover the top attractions in Leesburg, VA by exploring the best things to do in the area. If you prefer staying dry while enjoying breathtaking vistas of the Potomac River, make your way to Red Rock Wilderness Overlook Regional Park. This park offers a serene escape with its meandering nature trails and forested sections, making it an excellent choice for leisurely family outings.
However, the park’s main highlight lies in its unobstructed views of the river, making it a photographer’s paradise. Capture stunning landscape photographs to share with your friends or showcase on your social media platform of choice. The scenery is particularly enchanting during the fall season when vibrant hues of orange, yellow, and brown adorn the surroundings, elevating the beauty of your snapshots.
19. Go Crazy and Shop Endlessly at Leesburg Premium Outlets
Discover the best things to do in Leesburg VA by exploring Leesburg Premier Outlets, a top-notch shopping destination located in Northern Virginia. Boasting over 100 diverse stores, this shopping center offers a delightful experience for visitors. Immerse yourself in a wide array of premium products and luxury retail stores. The shopping center has recently undergone renovations to enhance the overall ambiance and convenience.
You’ll find beautifully renovated pedestrian areas, an upgraded food court, and improved bathroom facilities. Take pleasure in the contemporary courtyard, relaxing lounges, spacious dining halls, captivating fire pit sculpture, engaging kids’ play area, and convenient digital directories. Make your way to Leesburg Premier Outlets, where you’ll discover the finest selection of high-quality goods, footwear, travel accessories, and clothing for every occasion!
20. Try Everything at Historic Downtown Leesburg
Experience the best things to do in Leesburg VA by immersing yourself in the vibrant ambiance of Historic Downtown Leesburg. This beloved tourist destination attracts visitors from all corners of the globe with its unique blend of attractions. Every day in Downtown Leesburg promises excitement, as it stands as one of the most beautifully preserved and picturesque downtown areas in the state.
Explore a treasure trove of historical monuments, captivating museums, a thriving culinary scene, an array of breweries to suit any taste, and acclaimed vineyards that have garnered numerous awards. Additionally, indulge in the charm of boutique shops, antique stores, and a diverse range of businesses, ranging from small start-ups to well-established corporations.
These quaint architectural town centers have been welcoming guests for over 250 years, embodying a true spirit of hospitality and rich history. In Leesburg’s downtown historic area, you’ll find a tight-knit community bustling with independent stores, restaurants, and businesses that possess a unique allure unmatched by any shopping center.
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Frequently Asked Questions
What are some popular attractions in Leesburg VA?
Leesburg offers a range of popular attractions, including historic residences, scenic parks, wineries, and charming shops and restaurants in the downtown area.
Are there any historical sites to visit in Leesburg VA?
Yes, Leesburg is known for its rich historical legacy. Visitors can explore historical sites such as historic residences and learn about the town’s past.
What outdoor activities can I enjoy in Leesburg VA?
Leesburg provides several outdoor activities for nature enthusiasts. You can visit scenic parks, enjoy recreational areas by the water, or explore the beautiful countryside surrounding the town.
Can I find wineries in Leesburg VA?
Absolutely! Leesburg is home to a variety of wineries where you can indulge in exquisite wines and enjoy the picturesque vineyard landscapes.
Is there a vibrant dining scene in Leesburg VA?
Yes, Leesburg offers a diverse culinary scene with charming restaurants. Foodies can relish in the town’s culinary delights, ranging from local flavors to international cuisine.
Is Leesburg VA suitable for a family vacation?
Yes, Leesburg has attractions that cater to families. From historical sites to parks and recreational areas, there are plenty of activities for family enjoyment.
Can I shop for unique items in Leesburg VA?
Absolutely! Leesburg’s downtown area is filled with charming shops offering a variety of unique and local products, making it a great place for shopping enthusiasts.
What makes Leesburg VA unique compared to other towns in Virginia?
Leesburg stands out for its combination of small-town charm, rich history, and contemporary offerings. It offers a unique blend of attractions, making it a captivating destination in Northern Virginia.
How can I plan a visit to Leesburg VA?
To plan your visit to Leesburg VA, you can research popular attractions, check for upcoming events, make accommodation arrangements, and create an itinerary based on your interests and preferences.
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Leesburg, VA truly stands out as a destination that effortlessly combines its rich history with modern attractions, making it a captivating place to visit. Whether you’re seeking historical immersion, outdoor adventures, or simply a delightful culinary experience, Leesburg has something to offer everyone.
From strolling through its charming downtown to exploring the scenic countryside and enjoying the local flavors, the best things to do in Leesburg VA are a testament to its diverse and enchanting offerings. So, pack your bags, embark on a journey of discovery, and prepare to create unforgettable memories in this hidden gem along the Potomac River. Leesburg awaits, ready to captivate and charm visitors with its unique blend of old-world allure and contemporary delights.