It’s a new year – and possibly a new you. After a few weeks of recovery, you’re going to want to go out and explore again. Here’s our suggestions for the 10 best things to do in Loudoun in 2023.
Conquer the LoCo Ale Trail: Participate in Visit Loudoun's popular LoCo Ale Trail Passport program to collect prizes while exploring the 35-plus breweries and tap rooms in the county. Several breweries in Ashburn and Sterling can be accessed by bicycle on the Washington & Old Dominion Trail while the cozy beerhalls of downtown Leesburg are all in walking distance of each other. The western part of the trail is known for its scenic farm breweries and panoramic beer gardens. Cheers!
Explore the Wineries: In 2022, Loudoun welcomed its 50th winery. Pick up a copy of Visit Loudoun’s new Wine Trail Guide and start exploring. Don’t miss experiences such as Winemaker for a Day (Sunset Hills Vineyard), the county-wide Barrel Tasting event (April 22), music in the vines at numerous vineyards or tasting the Governor’s Cup award-winning wines of Cana Vineyards, 868 Estate Vineyards and Barns at Hamilton Station. The prestigious awards take place each February – keep an eye out for a possible new Loudoun winner then.
Take an Art Tour: Loudoun is known for its wine, beer and food, but did you know we have a thriving art scene too? Loudoun Art Tours offers guided tours of downtown Leesburg’s exciting public art, from the contemporary pieces in Raflo Park Sculpture Garden to the murals capturing the region’s rich Black history. June 2-4 meanwhile is the Western Loudoun Art & Studio Tour – your chance to meet some 40 local painters, potters, photographers, fiber artists and artisans living and working in western Loudoun.
Attend a Concert: Loudoun is a burgeoning music destination. Catch a live show at cinema-turned-concert venue Tally Ho in downtown Leesburg, which hosts retro rock acts, cover bands and rising indie stars such as Leesburg’s own My Kid Brother. The Tarara Summer Concert Series – live bands on successive Saturdays from May through September at the pastoral Potomac River venue – is a summer music staple. In September, 868 Estate Vineyards hosts its annual LoCo Fest: some 20 local artists perform at the winery to raise money to buy musical equipment for artists in need. No excuse not to see live music in 2023!
Visit a New Park: There are parks galore in Loudoun, but make sure to check out the new Hal & Berni Hanson Regional Park, which opened in October 2022. The 257-acre park near Brambleton features 17 athletic fields, a skate park, over 75 acres of recreational space and an events venue. Perfect for a winter hike or, in summer, a leisurely picnic. Built on the land bequeathed to the county by writer Hal Hanson and his wife Berni, the park is owned and operated by Loudoun County PRCS.
Watch Pro Sports at Segra Field: Leesburg’s Segra Field is Loudoun’s premier sports stadium, home ground to soccer stars Loudoun United (feeder team to DC United) and to Major League Rugby giant Old Glory DC. Old Glory starts its season with a home game against Chicago on Feb 18 (the season runs until May), while Loudoun United face defending USL Champions San Antonio in a home opener on March 19. The soccer season runs until October – plenty of time to catch a game.
Visit a Spa: Loudoun has its share of spas to help support healthy lifestyle goals in 2023. OmFLOAT in Ashburn specializes in therapeutic flotation therapy that assists with sleep and relaxation, while King Spa in Chantilly is a luxurious three-story complex (with heated rooftop pool) modeled on the traditional Jjim-Jil Bang spas of South Korea. Salamander Resort & Spa in Middleburg offers a unique range of treatments from water therapy to basalt steam rooms and hot stone massages. Then, there’s Lansdowne Resort Spa Minérale, which offers therapeutic massages and bodywork including acupuncture and cupping.
Take Loudoun Home: Everyone loves going out in Loudoun but go one step further this year and purchase a piece of Loudoun – local produce and crafts – to take home with you. Where to start? Fortunately, we’re blessed with an abundance of farm stores. Check out Farmer John’s Market and Brossman’s Farm – both on Route 15 – for fresh greens, mushrooms, fruits, vegetables and homemade baked goods. In Middleburg, the artisanal camembert and gouda at Locksley Farmstead Cheese are as good as any European fromage. Want something hyper local to wear or gift? Fiber artists Rebecca Brouwer of Shepherds Corner Farm, Purcellville and Susan Trask of Lovettsville, raise Gotland goats and alpacas respectively, shaping and coloring the wool into majestically beautiful fleeces, gloves, shawls and scarves.
Hike “The Rollercoaster” on the Appalachian Trail: With so many parks in Loudoun, sometimes we forget we also have a section of the greatest hiking trail in the world: the Appalachian Trail. Make your way to Bears Den Overlook off Route 7 in the Blue Ridge above Bluemont and hike the strenuous Loudoun stretch known as “The Rollercoaster”. The rugged, swooping trail runs for 13 miles in Loudoun, taking you up and over rocky outcrops and boulders, pine trees overhead, stunning views all around. On June 10 you can even meet adventurous thru-hikers at the Round Hill Appalachian Trail Festival – a family friendly festival featuring live music, food trucks, trail talks and kids' activities.
Dine Around the World in Loudoun: Loudoun is a happening foodie destination and superb ethnic eateries, many run by immigrant chefs, are opening across the county. Expand your palate during the year by tasting flavors from all corners of the globe. Try authentic Lebanese fare (grape leaves, lamb kabob - and belly dancing) at Sahara Restaurant & Hookah Lounge in Sterling, classy Indian cuisine (butter chicken, paneer tikka masala) at the superb 5 Tara in the Village at Leesburg and sublime Thai cuisine at a range of locales including Thaiverse in Middleburg, Daughter Thai in Lovettsville and Thai Pan in Leesburg, the latter also known as Gas Station Thai for its location in the Liberty gas station downtown.