Article by Jennifer Sigal
Love is always in the air in Loudoun. While thousands of couples come to tie the knot here in wine country, Loudoun is also the perfect country escape during this season of romance. Loudoun’s bucolic landscape dotted with vineyards, horse farms and historic mansions takes people back to a simpler time. It is a four-season destination where activities and events are plentiful year-round. After savoring s’mores by the fire pit at Lansdowne Resort and Spa or relaxing at the onsite Spa Minerale, create lasting memories by exploring the many sides of Loudoun.
Filled with 18th century architecture, boutiques and locally owned restaurants, the historic towns of Middleburg and Leesburg exude charm and romance. Stroll through town and visit local artists at shops like the Cooley Gal lery, which was started in Leesburg by former Washington Redskin Chris Cooley, or relax with some coffee and a treat at Common Grounds in Middleburg. While in Middleburg, don’t miss The National Sporting Library and Museum’s beautiful collection of equestrian artwork.
LOVE THE WINE YOU’RE WITH
Loudoun’s 40 wineries are just as inviting in the winter months as they are in the warm weather. Enjoy a chocolate and wine pairing at North Gate Vineyard, bundle up and bring some vino to the outdoor fire pit at Fabbioli Cellars or try Tarara Winery’s Happy Hour special, which features penny tastings from 11 a.m. to noon on Saturdays and Sundays. Most of Loudoun’s wineries stay open year-round, inviting guests to try bold reds, unique varietals, surprising blends and Virginia’s signature grape, the Viognier.
While some of Loudoun’s outdoor activities like whitewater rafting will require a returnvisit in the spring, there is plenty for thrill seekers to enjoy now. Try indoor skydiving at iFly, located just minutes from Lansd owne Resort and Spa. Or, challenge your partner to a game at TopGolf. This entertainment center features a unique twist on the classic game as guests hit microchipped golf balls fromheated bays onto large targets. TopGolf also has a full bar and restaurant menu, rooftop experience and more.
HAPPILY EVER AFTER
Loudoun is at the forefront of the Virginia beer industry, where visitors can get a distinct local taste at 25 breweries creating more than 200 unique brews at any given time. Stop by Old Ox Brewery on January 27 for the annual chili and beer fundraiser supporting the local volunteer fire department. Besides wine and beer, Loudoun has an emerging cider and spirits scene. Visit the new tasting room for Mt. Defiance Cidery and Distillery or take a trip to Purcellville to Catoctin Creek Distillery- Loudoun’s first distillery since prohibition.
Want to add a terrifying twist to your date? Try Shocktober’s My Bloody Valentine event on February 9th and 10th. Take a tour of the 140-year-old Paxton Manor, Northern Virginia’s only REAL haunted home, where the Carver family has returned to entertain you at their former house. This date is not for the faint of heart as it is rated PG-13 scary fun. Doors open at 7 p.m. For chocolate lovers, the 31st Chocolates Galore and More on February 23rd is a must! Enjoy free-flowing champagne, delectable sweets and savory dishes at this event, which takes place right at Lansdowne Resort and Spa. Spend the night indulging in conversation with DC area chefs while enjoying small bites, desserts and dancing in the beautiful ballroom
Be sure to check out The Conche, which will be offering snowmen chocolate sculpting classes throughout January. In February, become a mixologist at one of their cocktail making classes, where guests learn how to make syrups from scratch.
To discover more great attractions and ways to celebrate the season of romance in Loudoun, check out Visit Loudoun’s website. Don’t forget to share your experience on social using #loveloudoun.