Visitors to Loudoun love our beautiful wineries, craft breweries, stunning scenery and historic towns but there’s so much more to this destination.
We’re talking about the hip, dynamic, fast-paced side to the county – cool bars, trendy restaurants, pro-sports teams, adrenaline adventures and fashionable stores and boutiques – that many might not even know exists.
From July through September, follow Visit Loudoun on social media for a glimpse into the Loudoun you don’t know. To get you started, here are six exciting experiences to try.
Oh, and make sure to use #LoveLoudoun to share your journey with us.
Segra Field in Leesburg is home to local soccer stars Loudoun United, feeder team to MLS giants DC United. The squad includes young international hopefuls Michael Gamble from England and Abdoul Zanne from the Ivory Coast as well as rising US stars such as Jalen Robinson and Griffin Yowe. The 5,000-seat stadium also doubles as home ground to Major League Rugby’s Old Glory DC. Loudoun is establishing itself as a major professional sports destination. Who knew?
Axe Throwing Destination
Did you know that Loudoun has an axe throwing bar that hosts international pro tournaments? The venue in question, Axes & Os in Sterling, is a spacious, warehouse-style complex with 16 targets, skilled staff on hand to lend instruction and a restaurant-bar to the side selling wine, cocktails, local beer and great bar food. Opened by former nurse Tara Hampton in 2021, the facility hosted the prestigious Capitol City Classic in 2022 and is home venue to the world’s number one female axe thrower, Loudoun resident Suzie Bassett.
Adrenaline Adventure Playground
Leisurely activities like a morning hike or cycle ride have their appeal but sometimes you need to get the heart racing. From east to west, Loudoun has you covered. Autobahn Indoor Speedway Complex in Sterling is a Formula 1-inspired, go-kart racing facility where the electric-powered vehicles reach speeds of up to 50mph on Grand Prix-style tracks. That’s faster than you can cycle the Washington & Old Dominion Trail! Meanwhile, out in the west, zipline through trees and above a forest canopy at Harpers Ferry Adventure Center, the seven-line course featuring a heart-in-mouth descent from a 100-foot sky bridge – experienced guides on hand to keep you safe. The excursion takes about two hours; after which it’s time for that leisurely drink.
Cocktails and Palm Fronds
There’s more to Loudoun’s dynamic craft beverage scene than wine and beer. Innovative young mixologists are leading a craft cocktail revolution in Loudoun, muddling their own creations and mixing classics. Leesburg’s King Street is home to a slate of these new style bars, among them Nightshift and The Docket, part of the SideBar empire, and speakeasy Tarbenders with its “secret” entrance and perfectly poured tiki drinks. A short walk away, channel the Key West scene at urban beach bar MacDowell’s, with its white sand, palm trees, live music and perfectly poured margaritas and dark and stormies.
Loudoun Dine Around
Loudoun has its classic dining establishments, but a slate of new restaurants are bringing urban style and cosmopolitan tastes to the scene. At industrial-chic Bourbon Bayou Kitchen, with its live piano music and elevated cellar room, enjoy modish twists on French-Louisiana cooking, while at newly opened Bia Kitchen in Purcellville, Irish-born chef-owner Shane O’Connor presents hearty Irish and Scandinavian fare in winter and lighter Mediterranean small plates in spring and summer, many of the ingredients sourced from surrounding farms. Completing the triumvirate, La Prensa in Sterling is the new global gourmet “tapas and tacos” outpost of Indian-born chef Santosh Tiptur. If you’ve ever wanted to try ginger infused Korean Beef Bulgogi in a taco, this is your chance.
Shop in Style
New boutiques selling tasteful home décor, retro-chic furniture, trendy fashion finds and upscale urban goods are attracting a young and discerning clientele to Loudoun’s buzzing retail scene. Try Brick & Mortar in Leesburg for accessories (including designer cowboy hats), national fashion brands and books, or visit Chloe’s of Middleburg for feminine classics and artfully curated items such as fragrant cotton wick candles and whimsical iridescent no-drip design umbrellas.
Where to Stay
Loudoun has its share of upscale resorts and historic B&Bs, but we have a boutique hotel now, too. The newly opened Tru by Hilton in Ashburn is a minimalist-style property with a spacious lobby featuring a unique wall mural that captures local Loudoun highlights. The property is right on the doorstep of the One Loudoun lifestyle precinct with its restaurants, bars, designer shops and cinema. Stay tru!