Article by Jen Sigal
As the warm weather begins to embrace the region, Loudoun’s countryside transforms into a beautiful Spring wonderland. The buds on the vines at Loudoun’s 40 wineries begin to emerge, the trees along winding country roads come alive and the thousands of beautiful horses that call Loudoun home can be seen roaming the farms and pastures.
Spring is the perfect time to explore not only wine country, but to connect with Loudoun’s rich equestrian history, attend seasonal events and unleash your adventurous side with outdoor activities. Activities span from kayaking and whitewater rafting to hiking and biking between some of the breweries on the LoCo Ale Trail.
Start with picking up a picnic at a local Loudoun restaurant in Leesburg like South Street Under before heading into wine country. Enjoy lunch outdoors on a blanket overlooking the vineyards at Stone Tower Winery or near the pond at Doukenie Winery. Relax while listening to live music at Creek’s Edge Winery or head south into Middleburg for a carriage ride through the vines at Greenhill Winery & Vineyard. 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.
Long before it became known as DC’s Wine Country, Loudoun was known as the horse and hunt capital of Virginia. It’s a place where thoroughbreds are raised, derby riders are born and Olympians are trained. This Spring, experience some of Loudoun’s equestrian activities.
On April 15, bring the family to Oatlands Historic House and Gardens to participate in one of Loudoun’s long-standing traditions- the Loudoun Hunt Point to Point Races. For more than 20 years this National Trust for Historic Preservation site has hosted these thrilling races that feature some of the most challenging timber and hurdle courses available in Virginia. During the event, experience the side saddle race, which debuted in the U.S. for the first time since the 1930s in Loudoun in 2015.
Break out the Jackie O. sunglasses and your most fashionable chapeaux for a jaunt to Middleburg and the 98th Middleburg Spring Races on April 21. A longtime Middleburg tradition, the races have drawn notables such as President Kennedy and his wife. Watch the horses as they jump fences, hurdles and timber and cheer on a favorite to win the grand prize.
Leap into Spring
Help kick off the new farming season and celebrate Virginia’s rich agricultural history with a trip to Great Country Farms March 24 and 25 for the Egg Hunt and Marshmallow Harvest. Join Farmer Bob for the first "crop" of the Spring-- Marshmallow picking! Gather marshmallows and roast them on the fire before looking for some of the 20,000 eggs hidden on site. The farm also has pick-your-own fruits and vegetables, a variety of farm animals to visit and a country store, complete with homemade jams and apple cider donuts.
One of the best signs Spring is around the corner are all the budding flowers. Visit the 28th Annual Leesburg Flower and Garden Festival April 21 and 22. Historic Leesburg will once again be in full bloom as lush landscapes and gorgeous gardens fill the streets. More than 150 vendors will be on display featuring landscape designs, gardening supplies, plants, flowers, herbs, and so much more! Stroll the streets and take in the sights and sounds of springtime. Enjoy food, music, children’s entertainment and crafts during this two day event.
Outdoor adventures and the LoCo Ale Trail
What better way to experience Loudoun’s rich craft beer scene than by bike! Take a journey on two wheels down the car-free Washington & Old Dominion Trail, making stops at places like Old Ox Brewery in Ashburn, Black Walnut Brewery in Leesburg and Adroit Theory Brewing in Purcellville, all just minutes from the trail.
Situated between the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers, Loudoun is also the perfect place to get out on the water kayaking or rafting. For hikers, connect with the Appalachian Trail on Loudoun’s western border or take a scenic hike through Red Rock Wilderness Overlook Regional Park.
To discover more great attractions and ways to celebrate Spring in Loudoun, check out Visit Loudoun’s website. Don’t forget to share your experience on social using #loveloudoun.