(Guest post by Sarah Cunningham).
Last Monday my fiance and I played hookie and took a day trip to lovely (Historic) Leesburg in still lovelier Loudoun County. I’m not sure what exactly I expected, but I definitely had not foreseen the magnitude of charm that we encountered.
Only 45 minutes west of the city, Historic Leesburg feels hours away. Driving in, I felt I had arrived in a quaint, sea-side town, circa 1870. The main street, East Market Street, was dotted with souvenir shops, many of them bearing the British flag (perhaps a remnant from the Revolutionary War??), selling hand-made crafts and sweet treats. Restaurants bore slogans such as “18th century cuisine served here!” on their hand-painted, wooden signs. (Of course there was also the China King and the new Mexican restaurant, but they both managed to completely fit in–and smell delicious!) Bakeries boasted beautiful hand-made treasures covered in pastel frostings, and afternoon teas seemed the norm.
Really, it was quite an idyllic day in Leesburg. After window shopping along Market Street, we hopped back in the car and found a lovely green space– Ida Lee Park & Recreation Center–where we set up shop. We uncorked our wine, brought our sandwiches, and laid out the lemon bars. The sun was perfect that day, and we took our time munching through our meal and sipping through our wine. Because it was a Monday, we shared the park with only ourselves, a peaceful pause in our otherwise fast-paced District lives.
On the way home, we scooted down Market Street once again, taking in the quaint calm of this charming little down, and then scooted onto the highway–back to home, sure we would be back to Historic Leesburg again quite soon.
For anyone who wants to take a day-trip to lovely Leesburg, you can get there quite easily in the car and through public transit.
Take 495 South
Take Exit 45 A, and merge onto VA 267 W, towards Dulles Airport
Take Exit 1 A, which will put you on US 15
Take US 15 BUS Exit Towards Leesburg (you’re almost done!)
Turn right at US BUS 15 N/S King Street
Turn right at E. Market Street–You made it!