Leesburg, Virginia is a charming city situated at the base of Catoctin Mountain and next to the Potomac River.
The town of Leesburg was named after an ancestor of Robert E. Lee, a Confederate general who led his army against the United States during the Civil War.
During the Civil War, the town changed hands several times and has many well-preserved historical buildings that chronicle its history. It’s also close to Dulles International Airport and within commuting distance of Washington D.C., America’s capital—which is an added bonus!
The region is known for its award-winning wines, many of which are produced by local vineyards.
We suggest that you call the attractions and restaurants ahead of your visit to confirm their current hours.
Things to do in leesburg va
1- Oatlands Historic House and Garden
The beautiful facade of the Oatlands Historic House & Garden makes it hard to believe that this splendid home was built in 1810.
The estate itself is composed of various historical structures, including carriage houses and barns.
But the grandest of all is the proud house; you’ll find yourself drawn to it, even when you’re busy exploring elsewhere on the grounds.
Visitors to the cathedral can enjoy its tall columns, elegant windows, and precise architecture from March through December.
You can join an equally regal tour and see all the furniture, artifacts, and photographs displayed in the rooms.
Leesburg offers a wide variety of things to do and see, but it might be worth taking the time to check out some nearby spots as well.
2- Thomas Balch Library
The library was established in 1822 as a memorial to historian Thomas Balch. It remained in private hands until 1974 when it became part of the town’s municipal government.
The building is now used for genealogy research and has been designated an official Underground Railroad archive center by the National Historic Landmark Program.
The center focuses on Virginia, Civil War history, and the families whose lives were forever altered by that conflict. In 2012, it published a work connecting slaves to their modern-day descendants.
The library is a reference center that offers Internet and reproduction services. Each year, the Loudoun History Awards recognize local historians for their contributions to our community. The library is open all year round—seven days a week!
The library was built to honor Thomas Balch, a local historian. It remained in private hands until 1974 and is now run by town authorities. The library specializes in local history and genealogy—and has been designated an Underground Railroad research center (also called the freedom trail).
The center’s focus is on Virginia and Civil War history. It published a work in 2012 that connected slaves to their modern-day descendants.
The library acts as a reference center, offering internet and reproduction services. The Loudoun History Awards recognize the contribution of local historians each year. The library is open all year round, seven days a week.
3- Morven park
The 1,000-acre Morven Park offers glimpses into Leesburg’s colorful history.
Besides having an abundance of majestic forests and stately mansions, Morven Park has the Winmill Carriage Museum and the Museum of Hounds & Hunting.
These structures offer a glimpse into the lifestyles of our ancestors, with practices such as foxhunting and carriage riding alongside more mundane tasks like horse rearing.
There are many trails, horseback riding areas, and playing fields in the park.
The famous Morven Park International Equestrian Center is often the venue for horse trials, dressage, and other equestrian competitions.
This park offers something for everyone, whether you’re interested in the past or simply want to enjoy nature.
You should visit this town early in your trip so you can see everything it has to offer.
4- Ball’s Bluff Battlefield Regional Park
This park commemorates a small but significant battle that resulted in the first Union Army defeat north of the capital.
Senator Edward D. Baker, a close friend of Abraham Lincoln’s, was killed in battle on that day—the only senator ever to die during wartime service.
Battlefield Park has been restored to the time of the battle. The seven miles of marked trails include a mile-long loop to Bluff Road and are open daily from dawn until dusk for guided tours in spring, summer, and fall.
5- Leesburg animal park
If you love animals or are traveling with children, then Leesburg Animal Park should be on your itinerary.
This zoo, which was first built for the purpose of breeding rare species, now also provides a comfortable home for many exotic animals from around the world.
You can see majestic zebras, curious lemurs, colorful parrots, and tropical iguanas at the zoo.
If you want to play with, feed, and interact with animals, head to the zoo’s petting area.
On the trip, you’ll have a chance to touch and feed animals such as tortoises, camels, llamas, and goats.
The Pumpkin Village is a popular fall destination for families because of its many attractions.
Horseback rides, haystacks, and field tours are available at the park—as well as numerous varieties of pumpkins: orange ones with smooth skin; green ones with bumpy flesh; unusually shaped vegetables.
6- Pond in Olde Izaak Walton Park
Olde Izaak Walton Park is a 21-acre outdoor attraction that makes for an enjoyable day spent with family.
Aside from its expansive grounds and patches of forest, the most prominent attraction here is a large pond with scenic views.
It’s home to many species of birds and waterfowl, so you may see ducks swimming or hunting for food on the smooth surface of the pond.
If you want to join in on the hunt and catch your own, then head to the fishing pier and bring your own large-mouth bass hooks or line for black crappies swimming at depths.
The facility’s dog park allows visitors to bring their furry friends and is a great place for the pets to play with each other.
But if you’re looking for a peaceful afternoon, then you can walk the trails that crisscross this park and check out the local wildlife.
7- White’s Ferry
White’s Ferry is the last remaining cable ferry in operation on the Potomac River.
The Jubal A. Early ferry transports people, vehicles, and cargo on a daily basis except in extreme weather or flood conditions. Groups of all sorts make regular use of the ferry for outings and celebrations.
Boats, canoes, and picnic facilities are available for rent from White’s. The store sells groceries as well as beer; a pavilion is also available for larger parties or functions. An annual event honors the soldiers who were wounded in battle while recuperating there.
8- Wonders Hidden in Rust Nature Sanctuary
Leesburg is home to a number of natural attractions, including Grand and Historic Buildings Rust Nature Sanctuary.
The attraction contains wooded areas, shaded trails, and a pond surrounded by tall reeds.
One of the most striking features of this destination is a majestic home called Rust Manor, which has been used for photoshoots and weddings.
The graceful lines and classic architecture of this property create an atmosphere that is perfect for relaxation, making it a true oasis in the heart of nature.
9- Leesburg Premium Outlets
Leesburg Premier Outlets in Northern Virginia is a large shopping center with more than 100 different stores.
Visitors may browse a variety of luxury products.
The shopping center recently renovated its pedestrian areas, the food court, and all of its restrooms.
The courtyard and lounge have been updated, the dining halls on each wing of the residence now boast a fire pit sculpture, and children’s play areas have popped up all over.
Visit Leesburg Premier Outlets to find an incredible selection of clothing and shoes, as well as travel accessories for every occasion.
10- Museum of Hounds and Hunting
The museum is located in the north wing of Morven Park mansion, and it focuses on preserving mounted hunting.
The museum exhibits the costumes, taxidermy, and trophies from different eras of South African cricket. In addition to this material are books, magazines, photographs, and videos that document the sport’s history.
The museum has a magnificent collection of fine art paintings, prints, note cards, and posters featuring hounds, horses, and hunting scenes. The museum shop sells art reproductions of the same genre.
11- Ball’s Bluff Battlefield and National Cemetery
In late October 1861, 54 Union troops were killed in a battle with Confederate forces near the National Capital. Both sides miscommunicated about the plan for battle.
Throughout the day, Confederate soldiers continued to fight for control of the river bluff. But finally, a fresh contingent chased down and overtook a group of Union soldiers who were trying to escape into boats on one bank and swim across another part.
That night there was nowhere near enough room in all their rafts, so some men drowned with their full kit while others tried frantically (and futilely) to save them.
Of the 25 men buried in this cemetery, only one has been identified. This is the country’s third-smallest national cemetery; it measures less than 50 square feet.
12- Marshall House
Marshall House is the former home of George Marshall, who served as U.S. Secretary of State and Defense in the post-World War II era, as well as authored the famed Marshall Plan for rebuilding Europe after World War 2.
The house was built by a wealthy farmer named Clark Dodona around 1800; evidence inside suggests that it may have been used at one point during its history to store grain or feed
The house has been restored to a 1950s version of itself, with original furniture and household items that were owned by the Marshall family.
The former Secretary’s vegetable garden offered him a place of refuge from his stressful responsibilities, and for 75 minutes on Saturdays or Sundays, you can take a tour that will show you around the rose bushes.
13- Loudoun county
The Association’s meetings are open to the public, and they take place on the second Tuesday of each month at 7:30 p.m. at North County Governmental Center in Reston, Virginia.
The club’s meeting is a chance for members to share their experiences and techniques. The flying venue is at the Loudoun County Banshee Cree Nature Reserve.
The club organizes regular events, such as competitions and parties, that provide opportunities for fun. Food is usually provided at these events by the club.
A pilot qualification program is part of the school’s aviation department activities—young members pay a special reduced fee to join it
14- Halls of George C. Marshall’s Dodona Manor
General George Catlett Marshall lived in Dodona Manor, the home of the former Secretary of Defense who served during Truman’s administration.
The name of the house itself comes from the ancient Delphic shrine, which shared the same abundance of oak trees on its grounds.
In an effort to bring the home to its Marshall-era appearance, the George C. Marshall International Center restored it and turned it into the attraction that it is today.
The sprawling grounds, tiled patios, and clean, cream-colored facade make this home stand out.
And within the interiors, the belongings and Marshall and his family are displayed in solemn rooms, serving as markers of the lives these prominent people had.
Visit the halls to see a glimpse of the life of a man who had a major influence during the Second World War.
The Conche is a chocolate-themed restaurant where celebrity chef Santosh Tiptur first dreamed of making candy as a young boy in India.
After traveling around the world for two decades, he has finally settled in one place: his own restaurant where he serves up a feast of chocolate sculptures and delectable dishes to delighted customers.
Chef Tiptur is teaching his culinary skills to the next generation by hosting cooking classes and candy-making camps. The restaurant is open seven days a week.
Lew Parker planted the first acre of grapes at Willowcroft in 1981. Since then, Willowcroft wines have been awarded countless national and international accolades.
The Historic Red Barn, located on the Ranch itself and renovated to house a tasting room and wine-making facilities, is open year-round Friday through Monday for tastings.
The property is also available for guided tours and regular events. Two large entertainment spaces can be hired for private functions.
Picnickers at the Loudoun Valley overlook can see as far as the Blue Ridge Mountains. They need to bring their own food, and pets on leashes are allowed.
17- Loudoun County Areomodelers Association
The Association’s meetings are held the second Tuesday of each month at 7:30 p.m. at the North County Governmental Center in Reston, Virginia.
Members of the public are welcome to attend. The meeting takes place as a kind of show-and-tell, with members sharing their experiences and techniques.
The club’s flying venue is a nature reserve in Loudoun County, Virginia. The club organizes regular events for fun and competition; food is often provided at these gatherings. It also offers an aeronautics program that certifies new pilots as they learn to fly—younger members get steeply discounted rates on membership dues since this helps develop the next generation of aviators!
18- Veron Ennis
Veron Ennis was born and raised in Virginia. She is a contemporary landscape artist whose work has been described as minimalist because of the shape—multiple canvases presented as cubes that fold out into much larger paintings, which are also sculptures.
Every first Friday of the month, an exhibition featuring her works is held in her studio. Sometimes she collaborates with other artists of the same genre for these informal shows.
Because her work is constantly being sold and loaned, it changes hands frequently. Her paintings have been exhibited around the world and featured in many magazines. They can also be found in private collections.
19- Shoes, Cup, and Cork
The building in which the restaurant is housed has had a colorful history. It was once used as a post office and car showroom; then for shoe repair, hat cleaning, and other various businesses.
The current owner found the restaurant vacant with a “For Lease” sign still intact, which gave him the idea to open his own shoe repair business. During renovations, he preserved many of this building’s original features and furnishings.
When the restaurant needed to expand, its upstairs apartment was transformed into a Prohibition-era speakeasy. The space houses two dining areas and three decks for private functions—all of which are open seven days a week.
Is Leesburg worth visiting?
Try anything in Historic Downtown Leesburg Tourist visitors come from all around the world to historic Downtown Leesburg for its eclectic mix of tourist sites. Leesburg has become a favorite city in the city because of its historic center and its best-preserved buildings surrounded by beautiful scenery.
What is Leesburg Virginia famous for?
In 1920 the town of Leesburg hosted a host family of World War I general George C. Marshall, architect of the famous plan for rebuilding America.
Does Leesburg have a downtown?
Historic downtown in Leesburg provides the cultural center of the neighborhood. Leesburg’s county seat in the fastest growing county in the United States is currently undergoing considerable pressure due to demand.
Is Leesburg in the Blue Ridge Mountains?
Located in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Leesburg’s charm has developed over the last 20 years.
In Leesburg, history, and nature come together to form a town filled with hidden wonders—from storied buildings to gorgeous attractions.
This list will help you make the most of your trip to this charming city!