This article is written by Geoff Lawson, the Vice President and General Manager of The National Conference Center, the largest meetings and events facility in Loudoun.
I’ve been working at The National Conference Center in Loudoun County for the past three years and when not in the office, my family and I love exploring Loudoun’s beautiful countryside. Like many families, mine includes a four-legged friend, Buddy! One of the reasons I love Loudoun is because there are so many opportunities to get Buddy, a 10-year-old rescue mini Golden Retriever, out to explore. From dog-friendly restaurants and historic sites to countless trails, there are endless opportunities for Buddy to get out of the house and enjoy the fresh air.
Here are my five favorite dog-friendly activities in Loudoun:
Morven Park: This 1,000-acre estate offers a variety of hiking trails, beautiful gardens and a historic mansion, which was once home to former Virginia Governor Westmoreland Davis. Access to the trails is free, but be sure to return and tour the mansion.
W&OD Trail: This easy-to-access trail offers some of the best scenery and spans 45 miles from Shirlington to Purcellville. Along the trail, meet other dog owners, bikers, runners and even an occasional horse! On the way, stop in Leesburg for coffee at South Street Under where your dog can also get a drink at the outdoor water bowls.
Dog-Friendly Restaurants in Loudoun: I love to check out the local farm-to-table scene and nobody does it better than Loudoun County. There’s a variety of dog-friendly restaurants that allow dogs on their patios; Lightfoot Restaurant, Shoe’s Cup and Cork and Fire Works are just a few to check out.
Banshee Reeks Nature Preserve: This 700+ acre private nature preserve is so quiet and peaceful. Due to the size and tranquility, you will experience a variety of wildlife like rabbits, deer, geese and more. One of the various trails runs parallel with Goose Creek, making this another great dog walking spot.
Beer or Wine: A stop for a glass of wine or a cold beer is just the ticket to learn about micro brewing or winemaking in Loudoun County. Luckily, many wineries and breweries are dog-friendly, allowing your pup to take in the fresh air and beautiful scenery. With 40 wineries and 25 breweries in Loudoun, you’ll have a hard time selecting which one to visit!
Next time you’re looking for a spot to take your dog, check out these amazing (and delicious!) beauties right here in Loudoun County.