Leesburg – Where Art and History Go Hand-in-Hand
As one of Virginia’s most charming towns, Leesburg faithfully preserves its heritage while it steps up to the 21st century with a modern mix of stylish boutiques, fine art galleries, and fresh dining.
Start your day exploring Leesburg’s historic downtown along its narrow streets and brick sidewalks. Art galleries are plentiful here, and Gleedsville, Cooley, and Medlin, to name a few, each feature local and national talent. Between them are many one-of-a-kind shops that offer collectibles and keepsakes that make great gifts for yourself or for others.
Enjoy lunch at one of Leesburg’s many distinctive restaurants that showcase the town’s history and the area’s bounty. Three of Loudoun’s Destination Restaurants are located in the historic district, including Tuscarora Mill, Lightfoot, and the Wine Kitchen. Tuscarora Mill Restaurant, or “Tuskies” as it is known to the locals, is housed in a restored grain mill and offers a contemporary menu. Lightfoot Restaurant sits across from the stately county courthouse in a renovated turn-of-the-century bank building and has a “modern American seasonal menu with an international twist.” The Wine Kitchen is known for its seasonal American bistro dishes, and of course, its focus on wine, which can be ordered by the taste, glass, flight, or bottle. More relaxed dining can be found at Fireworks (wood-fired pizza) in the old train depot, or at Doner Bistro (German fare), which sits alongside a small building made out of parts of a B-29 Bomber.
Just outside the historic district, open your eyes to a world of art at ArtSquare, the center of Loudoun’s visual arts. ArtSquare offers two fine art galleries showcasing original artwork by the area’s leading artists, 14 working artist studios and a full range of fine art classes and workshops, all under one creative roof.
Then, take a short drive just north of town to Morven Park, the historic home and gardens of World War I-era Governor Westmoreland Davis. Tour the Greek Revival Mansion that recently underwent 4 years of extensive renovation. Hear the history of the 1,000 acre estate and see artifacts that the Governor Davis collected from his trips around the world. Don’t miss the Museum of Hounds and Hunting there, which houses the art, artifacts, and memorabilia of the centuries-old tradition of foxhunting, and the Winmill Carriage Collection, which displays restored 19th century horse-drawn carriages.
After your tour at Morven Park, return downtown for another relaxing and memorable meal, and to soak up a little more of Leesburg’s history and charm before heading back to your hotel or bed & breakfast.