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How to spend a day in Leesburg, Virginia’s arty, indie and historic hangout


Our microguides series is inspired by the slow travel movement, encouraging travellers to relax their pace and take a deep dive into one particular neighbourhood in a well-loved city. Rather than a whirlwind itinerary which aims to hit up every must-see attraction, these compact, close-up guides encourage you to zone in, take your time and truly explore like a local.

Though it was established in 1758, and is regularly cited as one of the best preserved and most picturesque downtowns in the US state of Virginia, Loudon’s county seat of Leesburg continues to fly a little under the radar.

Hugging the Maryland border, and with the famous, part-recreational Potomac River snaking around its eastern edge, this petite burg houses a cute downtown area packed with quaint independent stores, historic buildings and more art than you can shake a selfie stick at. And given its size, with a modest population of less than 50,000, it’s one of Virginia’s most walkable towns, too.

From the freedom-fighting Leesburg Stockade women commemorated on an intriguing art tour, to the taprooms, breweries and coffee shops worth spending a pretty dime at, here’s the best of what to do in Leesburg, Virginia.


Visit a manor

The only man to serve as both secretary of state and secretary of defence, George C Marshall led the US to victory in World War Two, later devising the blueprint for the economic recovery of a devastated western Europe, known as the Marshall Plan. After a fruitful career where he was the first American Army general to be promoted to the five-star General of the Army, and where he was named as Time’s Man of the Year twice, he retired to Leesburg’s Dodona Manor and gardens. Guided tours of the beautiful 19th-century manor and gardens offer fascinating insights into the man behind it all.

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Take a tour

Colourful street art can be found across the town

(Visit Loudoun)

Led by Amy Bobchek, the Loudoun Art Tour digs into the town’s notable trade, music, locomotives and women’s civil rights history through an informative downtown saunter around its public art installations and murals. Highlights on the tour include the King Street Bridge Mural, a steam train mural on the site of its former active railroad, now Washington and Old Dominion recreational trail; and the Lassiter Way Murals, which highlight…

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