Loudoun’s eastern-most residential and commercial region sprung up in 1962 with the development of planned community Sterling Park around Dulles International Airport. Fast forward 60 years and Sterling – also sometimes referred to as Dulles – is a bustling area, famous for its nightlife, restaurants, modern shopping malls, suburban residential communities and hi-tech data centers. Some of the old Sterling still remains, notably the Washington & Old Dominion Trail, Claude Moore Park and Algonkian Regional Park.
Day at the Museum
Visit the Loudoun Heritage Farm Museum in Claude Moore Park, which tells the story of Loudoun’s rich agricultural heritage. Learn about “Bull of the Century”, Round Oak Apple Rag Elevation, and have your kids buy fresh produce at the farm store.
For all the urban development, Sterling is home to multiple historic sites. Claude Moore Park is part of the Lanesville Historic District and includes a section of Vestals Gap Road, which George Washington once traveled. Broad Run Bridge and Tollhouse near the W&OD Trail is on the National Register of Historic Places.
Enjoy Potomac River views with a hike along the paved trails at Algonkian Regional Park, which also features the popular Volcano Island Water Park. Summit Ropes on Old Ox Road is the largest indoor ropes course in the U.S. - perfect for everything from a family outing to a team building activity post meeting.
Drink & Dine
Sterling has multiple bar and restaurant options but make it easy on yourself by trying a selection all under one roof. Located off Davis Drive is a complex that houses the taproom of beloved local brewery Crooked Run Fermentation, an outpost of spicy New-Mexican Senor Ramon Taqueria, trendy craft-focused cocktail bar Nectar and cozy brunch spot Daybreak Kitchen & Biscuit Co. (Try the nourishing Nova Avocado Toast, which comes with fried egg, burrata and truffle oil.)
Sterling has a vibrant brewery scene, with several taprooms on or close to the W&OD Trail. Bike to your beer at Beltway Brewing Company, Rocket Frog or the above-mentioned Crooked Run Fermentation.
Not to Miss Events
Loudoun Heritage Farm Museum Autumn Apple Festival, September
Explore more than 250 years of Loudoun County Agricultural history throughout the Loudoun Heritage Farm Museum, while celebrating the start of fall at this fruit forward event on September 25. Bring the kids to see farm machinery demonstrations, music, activities and best of all…apple tastings.
Sterlingfest takes over the streets of Sterling for a massive block party each October. This family-friendly event brings together local businesses, artisans and food vendors for a taste of everything Sterling has to offer. Kids can enjoy face painting and animal petting, while parents can relax and sample local beer and wine in the Beer Garden. Don’t miss this years’ event October 9.