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Photo By WomanInTravel
Just a short drive beyond the traffic of the beltway and the crowds of tourists in Washington D.C., families can find great local food and drink in Northern Virginia’s Wine Country. While the area continues to grow and develop to meet the demands of the Capital Region, there are still plenty of pockets of historic charm and wide open views to be enjoyed by people of all ages. Locals know that Loudoun County is the place to get away from it all!
Relax at Lansdowne Resort and Spa
Photo by: Nicole Jamieson
Lansdowne Resort and Spa is centrally located and the perfect place to stay and explore the historic charm, fresh food, and local wine of Loudoun County. The resort sits on 476 acres of property and offers a wide variety of activities from sunrise yoga and spa treatments to golf and multiple swimming pools. Foot golf is the perfect activity for the whole family to do together; both kids and adults alike enjoy the challenge of using their feet instead of a golf club to play this trendy new game.
After a day out hiking or playing foot golf on the greens, parents can kick back next to the outdoor pool with a beverage from the Poolside Café while the kids splash in the pop up fountains or zip down the water slide. As night falls, grab a s’mores kit from the front desk and enjoy some laughs with the family around the fire pit.
Wine and Dine Like Locals
Photo by: Nicole Jamieson
Not too far down the road from Lansdowne Resort and Spa, Stone Tower Winery and Quattro Goombas Winery are two of the most kid-friendly places in Loudoun County to sample some local wines. Stone Tower Winery has a great amount of outdoor space for the little ones to run around while parents can sit back and take in the views from the shady outdoor seating area. Quattro Goombas is known by locals as the place to go for wine slushies and pizza. On hot summer days families love sitting under the large trees covering the outdoor seating area as they enjoy their food. As a bonus, Quattro Goombas has craft beer on tap too!
Every vacation should include a stop at a local restaurant for some good food. In Purcellville, try out a great burger that uses only locally sourced ingredients at Market Burger; their always-changing chalkboard menu lists the exact farm each ingredient comes from. Plus, the kids will be excited to hop next door after their meal for a delicious soft serve ice cream cone from Gruto’s. Gruto’s has all your basic flavors and an abundance of toppings from which to choose. In Leesburg’s charming historic district a yummy, family-friendly dining choice is Shoe’s Cup and Cork. Like Market Burger, they use locally sourced ingredients, and families love their Secret Garden in the back featuring outdoor seating and a full bocce ball court.
Enjoy the Outdoors
Photo by: Melissa Moore
Just up the street from Leesburg Corner Premium Outlets is Red Rock Overlook Regional Park. The 67-acre park has six trails and is the perfect place for bird watching and splashing on the banks of the Potomac River. The trails are just long enough for a quick nature walk so the kids can get some energy out without tiring little legs. Or, for a quick history lesson, head just a few miles around the corner to Ball’s Bluff Battlefield Regional Park; there are guided tours available on weekends, or the self-guided walking tour brochure is always available right at the parking area. The short trails at Ball’s Bluff offer both great views and interesting tidbits of history for the kids.
Animals and Airplanes
Photo by: Melissa Moore
Little ones will squeal with delight at the opportunity to get up close and personal with some cute animals at Leesburg Animal Park. After picking up tickets inside, make sure to check out when the daily animal encounters are in the theater room. Head outside to feed animals, take a wagon ride or pony ride, and play on the numerous playgrounds. In case of a rain shower, hop back inside for the indoor playground or their great creativity space with toys and art supplies for some self-guided fun.
Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum’s Annex at Dulles International Airport, is another amazing place in Loudoun County to bring the little ones. The museum is free and if you visit during the last hour of the day after 4pm, parking is free as well. Aside from the numerous aviation and space exhibits on display, there are a ton of programs going on as well. Take a guided tour, visit the observation tower to watch planes take off and land from Dulles, catch a movie in the IMAX theater, or check out the Restoration Hangar to see what specialists are working on to reconstruct, preserve, and repair for future exhibits.
Looking for more day trip ideas? Check out Trekaroo’s Top 10 Day Trips from Washington DC for Families.
Disclosure: The author’s family was hosted by Lansdowne Resort and Spa. All opinions are her own.
Featured photo by: Bigstock/Andriy Blokhin