There is nothing better than hopping into the car with the sun shining on your face and the wind combing your hair and taking a scenic drive through Loudoun County, VA.
The Loudoun County CVA has put together three, day itineraries to help you get the full Loudoun experience.
Uniquely Loudoun (3-day)
Day 1 - Loudoun's Suburban Experiences Begin the day with a visit to the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Dulles. Plan to spend most of the day here to best enjoy what the museum has to offer, including free docent-led tours, an IMAX Theater, the Donald D. Engen Observation Tower, and flight simulators.
Following your visit to the museum, enjoy a little outdoor recreation at the Dulles Golf Center and Sports Park. This complex features miniature golf, a driving range, batting cages, and beach volleyball.
If you would rather exercise your need to shop, this part of Loudoun County, VA offers a variety of shopping experiences ranging from the new and sleek shops found at the Dulles Town Center and the Cascades Marketplace to the popular furniture shop, Old Mill Furniture Company.
End the day with dinner at Sweetwater Tavern in Sterling.
Leesburg and the Loudoun Valleys (2-day)
Day 1 Begin with a stop in Leesburg at the Loudoun County Visitors Center. We'll provide you with a map, driving directions, and the following brochures and guidebooks: an Official Visitors Guide to Loudoun County, the Loudoun Food and Wine Guide, the Virginia Civil War Trail Guide, the Mosby Heritage Area Quaker Site Guide, and the "Walk With Us Through Waterford" book. These are free and will be useful tools for interpreting sites along the way.
Next, head south of Leesburg to Oatlands Plantation. Plan to arrive in time for the on-the-hour tour and allow about two hours at this National Trust property to see the 1804 mansion, formal gardens, and 1810 greenhouse. Be sure to save time for shopping in the museum gift shop!
After leaving Oatlands, take scenic Harmony Church Road (Route 704) west toward Hamilton, Lincoln, and Purcellville. Note the unique Victorian homes in Hamilton. Watch for cyclists along the Washington & Old Dominion Railroad Regional Park as you enter Purcellville, and enjoy a little lunch and shopping there. Don't miss two landmark shops, the Purcellville Marketplace and Nichols Hardware, as well as the 21st Street antique shops. Purcellville is also in the heart of the Loudoun Valleys where you can find u-pick farms, nurseries, and wineries.
End the day with a wine tasting at any of the nearby Loudoun County wineries found in the Loudoun Food and Wine Guide.
Loudoun's Countryside in a Day (1-day)
If you are interested in Civil War history you might want to pick up a Mosby Heritage Area driving tour brochure, audiotape, or CD at the Loudoun County Visitors Center in Leesburg since much of this tour follows these same routes.
Begin the morning in the village of Aldie with coffee and a pastry at the Little Apple Pastry Shop. Walk next door and tour Aldie Mill, Virginia's only remaining gristmill powered by twin-overshot water wheels. Afterward, check out the many great craft, antique, and home accent shops.
After leaving Aldie, travel west for a short distance and take Snickersville Turnpike (Route 734) north. This is a famous 19th century road that was used by both Union and Confederate troops. Don't miss the Philomont General Store along the way. Snickersville Turnpike ends in Bluemont, Loudoun's westernmost village, featuring a pre-Civil War era country store and Great Country Farms, a 200 acre working farm offering pick-your-own produce, fishing ponds, a picnic area, friendly animals, open skies, and plenty of hospitality.
If you decide not to travel all the way to Bluemont, turn left onto Route 611 and head south toward Middleburg, the "heart of horse country". Upon entering the town, you will immediately see evidence of the horse culture reflected in the names of the many shops and restaurants, such as Cuppa Giddy Up and Coach Stop Restaurant. Stop at the Pink Box Information Center for a copy of the "Destination Middleburg" guidebook and admire the adjacent garden and gazebo dedicated to famous Middleburg resident, Jackie Kennedy. End the day with an enjoyable dinner at the famous Red Fox Inn and Tavern.