|Historic Leesburg, with an old town feel, is at the heart of one of the fastest growing sections of the country. Loudoun County, Virginia is the second fastest growing county in the United States in 2005. Leesburg is the County Seat of Loudoun County. |
Rural Leesburg is only a few years ago, with large tracts of housing development quickly replacing many of the history horse farms in the area. With several Virginia wineries, outlet malls and lots of open space a short drive from the center of Leesburg, there is much to draw visitors there.
Leesburg is less than an hour drive from downtown Washington DC, the nation's capitol.
The center of Leesburg is relatively small, walkable area near the courthouse (at the crossing of King Street and Market Street). There are a number of shops and restaurants, as well as the town buildings, within about a quarter of a mile.
• First Fridays -- the first Friday of every month shops stay open late providing a chance to shop and explore downtown stores in a street festival-like atmosphere.
• Flower and Garden Festival -- downtown streets are closed while local vendors provide insight into gardening and landscaping products and ideas.
• Leesburg Court Days -- one weekend in August, Leesburg goes back in time more than two hundred years to provide visitors with the flavor of the beginning of our country. During this weekend, colonial re-enactors, street musicians, militia and frontiersmen walk the streets of Leesburg in an attempt to bring back the mid-1770's.
There are a number of new and slightly older motels in town. Here are some of them:
• Best Western Inn, tel. 703-777-9400
• Comfort Suites, tel. 703-669-1650
• Hampton Inn, tel. 703-669-8640
• Holiday Inn, tel. 703-771-9200
• Leesburg Colonial Inn, tel 703-777-5000
• Norris House Inn, tel. 703-777-1806
• Olive Branch Lodge, tel. 703-777-3039
A very well-organized and heavily armed street-gang known as Mara Salvatrucha aka "MS-13" operates in (among other places in the U.S.) the Northern Virginia suburbs of D.C. Perhaps there is some irony that the gang developed out of para-military and actual military organizations which were involved in the wars and revolutions of the 1980's and 1990's in Central America. As if this isn't scary enough, MS-13 seems to have actively sought to locate itself in the very communities such as Herndon and Leesburg in which many of the F.B.I. agents tasked with hunting them live.
Not so long ago, a freshman at the Herndon High school was shot because he belonged to a rival gang.
So, given the above how does one stay safe in Leesburg? Probably it won't affect you at all, however you might want to take the usual precautions that a traveler takes in big cities in the U.S.: Try not to look like a gang member. Treat very-slow moving automobiles with caution. Avoid groups of adolescents on the street, even if you are a teenager yourself. If you are in town to visit the high school then talk with some of the teachers first about what to look out for.
• Great Falls Park, McLean, Virginia. Gorgeous national park with waterfalls and hiking trails, minutes from the beltway. Kayaking and rock climbing. Going to the park after a large rain storm provides different views as the water levels can change drastically.
• Harpers Ferry National Historical Park, Harpers Ferry, West Virginia
• Manassas National Battlefield Park, Manassas, Virginia
• Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center - National Air and Space Museum, 14390 Air & Space Museum Pkwy. Chantilly, VA 20151 (202) 357-2200 Located near Dulles International Airport, this museum houses many air/spacecraft, including the SR-71 "Blackbird" spy plane, the Concorde supersonic jet and the space shuttle "Enterprise". Parking is available for $12/vehicle. Additionally, a shuttle is available from the Air and Space Museum downtown. Prices range from $5 to $7 depending on number of tickets bought.
• Tarara Winery, tel. 703-771-71000 . Wine tasting and other events on this 475 acre farm devoted to producing fine wines.
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The main ways into Leesburg are by car, via Interstate route 15, Virginia route 7, and the Dulles Greenway (private toll road).
The other way into Leesburg is via small aircraft into Leesburg Municipal Airport, which does not host commercial flights, but does have a small landing strip that is used by private and charter aircraft.
Leesburg is only twenty minutes from Washington Dulles International Airport, as well. It is possible to fly nearly any commercial airline into Dulles.
Outlet malls, outside of downtown, good source of decent deals.
Downtown shops are an excellent source of antiques, wine and food.
• Bella Luna, tel. 703-777-5001
• Blue Ridge Grill, tel. 703-609-5505, good food, next to a McDonalds on route 15
• Eiffel Tower Cafe - good food, starting at $20, downtown
• Johnson's Charcoal Beef House, tel. 703-777-1116
• The Lightfoot - excellent food, starting at $25, downtown
• South Street Under - good sandwiches, downtown
• Thoroughbreds - new brew pub - entrees starting at $15, downtown
• Tuscarora Mill - excellent - meals starting at $20, downtown
• Downtown Saloon
• Kings Court Tavern
• Spanky's Shenanigans