Day Tripping - DC Metro
Leesburg, Virginia
Site Links
Items of Interest: Antiques, Restaurants, Pie Store
(Located 35 miles northwest of Washington, D.C. on Route 7
Less than a 1-hour drive from DC Area)

Established in 1758, Leesburg is the seat of government for Loudoun County. The towns rich history spans three centuries. Originally a settlement called George Town in honor of the reigning monarch of Great Britain, Leesburg was renamed to honor the influential Lee family of Virginia.

Everyone in the D.C. metropolitan area knows full well of the tremendous growth which Loudoun County has experienced in the last decade making it one of the top three fastest growing areas in America. Few can even remember what Leesburg and its surrounding area were like before this growth.

To capture a glimpse of what this area was like "way back when," spend a few hours in the "downtown" Leesburg away from the sprawl and shopping malls.

Here you will find interesting shops and art galleries, a garden shop, a good Virginia wine store, several quality antique shops, and fine restaurants.

Leesburg Street Scene
(Photo by Ron Patterson)
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All are located within a few blocks of the Loudoun Museum.

The Museum is in two buildings: the large brick building at 16 Loudoun St., SW houses their displays and exhibits. The second is a restored log cabin at 14 Loudoun St., SW. This is a "don't miss stop" while in Leesburg.

The Historic District was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1970 and cited as one of the best preserved and most picturesque downtowns in Virginia.

Today Leesburg continues to serve as the center of government and commerce for Loudoun County.

Leesburg Antique Emporium

Our favorite spot to stop for antiques is the very classy Leesburg Antique Emporium. We have made a number of purchases here and have always been pleased.

The Leesburg Antique Emporium is housed in an old department store in the heart of historic old-town Leesburg, at the corner of Loudoun and South King.

It is a market forum for more than 50 independent dealers.

If nothing else, browsing is more than just a purchasing opportunity, especially if you like antique "eye candy." The quality and variety of the collections keep customers coming back.

Tuscarora Mill Restaurant

When we previously experienced a great meal at Magnolias at the Mill Restaurant in Purcellville, we had no idea that there was a "sister restaurant" not too far away in Leesburg. I (Ron) first heard about Tuscarora Mill at my barber's in the Bradlee Shopping Center (Alexandria along King Street).

A friend and neighbor, who was also there for a trim, mentioned that he had checked out this web site and wanted to eat at Magnolias after reading our review.

He then asked if I had tried Tuscarora in Leesburg and I said no.

At least two others in the shop, including one of the barbers, chimed in that Tuscarora was absolutely wonderful and insisted that I try it. Well, that's all it takes to make an addition to the web site following another day trip.

On Saturday, January 7, 2005 (a day that started with drizzle, fog and a cold air, but ended sunny and warmer), we attended the Hunt County Winter Antiques Show in Leesburg and spent enough time there to consider making it a day in Leesburg. We visited the antique stores downtown and then decided to have a late lunch before heading home. Tom remembered hearing about Tuscarora and I recalled my barber shop experience, so we walked from our parked car in downtown Leesburg to the restaurant at 203 Harrison Street.

We had a feeling from the start that our visit to Tuscarora was going to be memorable. There was the friendly greeting, being seated at a window table, and enjoying the comfortable ambience of a well-designed restaurant. The service throughout was easy-going and efficient - one person brought us water, a second took our drinks order, a third handled the meal order (Jeff D., according to the receipt), and a fourth brought the food to the table; whew!! - even we were inpressed with all that. All were very good at their jobs; Jeff made us feel very welcome and was delightfully pleasant without being overbearingly so.

The food was simply wonderful. For starters, Tom selected the corn chowder with smoked bacon and potatoes (he couldn't find enough words to praise it, even though he tried) and I had their house salad, which comprised mixed greens, asiago, tomatoes, bacon, champagne vinaigrette and toasted pine nuts (I love salads and this was one of the best I've ever had). Tom's entree was grilled meatloaf with provolone, mushroom sauce, whipped potatoes, and roasted tomato - superb!! I had the smoked chicken pasta with penne, romano cream, spinach, peas, and bacon - I can still taste it (Yum).

Even though we were quite full after that, we decided to go with dessert to complete our evaluation of their overall presentation. Tom went with a "Berry Napoleon" and I had their bread pudding. We were not disappointed. The berries were fresh and tasty and the bread pudding was perfect! We'll be back, for sure.

Our Rating (Five Chefs is Highest)


Going west from Leesburg on Rt. 7 and onto west Rt. 9, you can easily find the small, Quaker town of Waterford. Unfortunately the approach to the community has been marred by the construction of several new "estates." Once inside this protected village, you can feel what it was like to live in this part of the county in the nineteenth century.

The entire village has an historic designation. Waterford is primarily a residential community with few businesses; the post office is its town center.

In spite of its lack of commercialism (a real plus in this modern age), walking the streets and noting the variety of architectural styles is a pleasant way to imagine what life was like before cell phones and video games.

During the first week end in October, Waterford sponsors a three day crafts fair with special events, crafts people, food, and open houses.

It is interesting to contrast the Waterford of it "fair" days with the "everyday" Waterford which gives a good look at an intact nineteenth century village.

A stroll through this village is a good antidote to the sprawl that is increasingly becoming America.

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Arch House Row
(Click on Photo for Larger Image
And More Photos)

George C. Marshall International Center

Mrs. Katherine Marshall purchased Dodona Manor when her husband, General George C. Marshall, was U.S. Army Chief of Staff. Dodona Manor served as a place of repose for General Marshall and his family. It was the backdrop to quiet conversations of international importance. This historic home is now "The George C. Marshall International Center."

Dodona Manor
217 Edwards Ferry Road
(Photo by Ron Patterson)

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and More Photos

By the time of his death in 1959, Marshall had served as Secretary of State, head of the American Red Cross, Secretary of Defense, and special presidential emissary to China. On June 5, 1947, he delivered his now famous Harvard speech outlining the European Recovery Program, known as the Marshall Plan.

The Marshall home, while now open to the public, is undergoing major renovation and restoration. The exterior phase has been completed and the interior phase is well underway.

Once completed, Dodona Manor will give future visitors the opportunity to see an early 19th structure, interpreted to the mid 20th century lifestyle of a man with a remarkable legacy, and walk around the grounds that Marshall loved.

It will serve as a strong visual model for teaching 20th century history from the perspective of Marshall's life in Leesburg, Virginia.

Please visit the George C. Marshall Foundation for more information concerning the life of this great American. The mission, in part, of the Foundation is:

The mission of the George C. Marshall Foundation is to promote the values of selfless service, dedicated effort and strength of character exemplified by Marshall's life and leadership in war and peace, and to inspire new generations to follow his example as they face the challenges of the future.

Courtesy National Portrait Gallery

Moms Apple Pie Store
Here's is what the folks at Moms say about their pies
and you'll get no argument from us:

"We still peel fresh, Shenandoah Valley apples and
hand mix only premium fresh and frozen fruits for
making Mom's pies. We add sugar sparingly, so you
can savor the fruits of Mom's labor in all their naturally
potent splendor. And Mom's crust? This is one crust
that won't be left on the plate. Mom's crust is super-
flaky and very tasty."

Our personal favorites are their bourbon walnut pie, their chocolate pecan pie and their wonderful quiches - oh my, they are just great, unbelievably great!!
Click Here for Moms Apple Pie Store
220 Loudoun Street, SE, Leesburg, VA 20175

Our Rating (Five Chefs is Highest)

Loudoun County Road Map
Click here for a printable road map of Loudoun County.
This map requires Adobe Reader. Click here for free software.