To say that Middleburg, Va., is a one-of-a-kind town would be an understatement. Steeped in history and surrounded by horse farms, Middleburg offers something for everyone.
And I do mean something for everyone!
For the history buff, Middleburg, Va. features buildings that pre-date the American Revolution and the entire town and surrounding area played a key role in the Civil War.
Shoppers will find everything from unique boutiques and antique shops to upscale clothing, fine art galleries and equestrian stores.
For the foodie, Middleburg, Va. offers a wide range of restaurants from fine cuisine and lunch eateries to bakeries and coffee shops.
And when you’re done with a fun-filled day, you will have no shortage of wineries to explore. Middleburg boasts more than 20 wineries within a 30 minute drive, making it one of the top 10 wine destinations in the world. There’s nothing like sipping a glass of wine while enjoying spectacular views of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Small Town Charm In Middleburg, Va.
Located in western Loudoun County, Middleburg, Va. feels like it’s a lot farther away from Washington, D.C. than just an hour. But this charming historical town is an easy and scenic drive that is definitely worth your time.
If you’re like me, as the congestion and noise of the city begin to fade, your stress level will diminish as well. It’s like being transported to another world where time has stood still. The farther west you drive, the more you will find yourself surrounded by bucolic bliss.
Another plus for those seeking to get away from it all, is that this quaint colonial village has no fast-food restaurants and no stoplights!
Hard to believe, but its only traffic signal is a blinking yellow light in the center of town.
That’s not say it doesn’t get crowded with shoppers and out-of-town visitors on the weekends. But even when it’s crowded Middleburg retains its small-town character and offers plenty of fun experiences.
Read on to discover what’s so special about Middleburg, Va.
For The Horse Enthusiast
You can hardly drive anywhere around Middleburg, Va. without running into someone on horseback or a pack of hounds, so its not hard to figure out why it’s known as the nation’s Horse and Hunt Capital.
The equestrian community is a huge part of the culture of this charming Southern town. Located within Middleburg is the National Sporting Library and Museum, which offers a world-class research library and fine art Museum highlighting the rich horse heritage of the area.
Founded in 1954, the National Sporting Library & Museum covers every aspect of horsemanship including shooting, steeplechasing, foxhunting, flat racing, polo, coaching, and wildlife. It’s located on a six-acre campus and has a vast collection of rare book holdings, archives and art collection.
History of Middleburg, Va.
Of course, I’m drawn to Middleburg, Va. for both its horses AND its history. Middleburg was established in 1787 by American Revolutionary War Lieutenant Colonel and Virginia statesman John Leven Powell. Powell purchased the property from Joseph Chinn, a cousin of George Washington. Powell changed the name from “Chinn’s Crossroads” to Middleburg because of its location halfway between Arlington and Winchester on the Ashby Gap trading route (now Route 50).
Rolling hills and eighteenth-century architectural treasures are a definite draw to the unique village that exudes small-town charm. With more than 160 buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Middleburg, Va. is known for its natural beauty, historic ambiance and Southern hospitality.
One of the most historic — and well known — buildings in the town is the Red Fox Inn. Established in 1728, the Inn & Tavern rests in the heart of the historic village.
General J.E.B. Stuart and Colonel John Mosby were known to frequent the tavern during the Civil War, but other notables have visited the Inn as well.
Some of these include President John F. Kennedy, who held a press conference in the upper Tavern, and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis who often overnighted at the Inn while on fall foxhunting holidays.
Still others include Elizabeth Taylor and U.S. Senator John Warner, who often dined in the tavern during their courtship and after their marriage. Hollywood notables who regularly entertain friends there, include Joann Woodward, Paul Newman, Tom Cruise, and Robert Duvall.
Of course, in addition to its small town ambience, I love its Civil War and Revolutionary War history. The Battle of Middleburg took place in around the town in 1863.
If you’re looking for a place to stay in Middleburg, I highly recommend the Welbourne Inn. This historic bed and breakfast has been in the same family for eight generations and is a working farm for retired horses.
Home To The Rich And Famous
The Middleburg area is well known for attracting wealthy celebrities and the wealthy. The list of notables who have or had) homes in the Middleburg and Upperville areas include: Washington Redskins owner Jack Kent Cooke, Sen. John Warner (R-Va.), a smattering of du Ponts, the Bertram Firestones (she’s a Johnson & Johnson heir), Paul Mellon and Washington Post publisher Donald E. Graham.
Others include actor Robert Duvall and comedian Dick Smothers.
Shopping in Middleburg, Va.
Shopping in Middleburg, Va., is an adventure. Window shopping and hunting for the perfect treasure is all part of the fun. No matter what you’re looking for, there are numerous shops, boutiques, high-end clothing stores and even tack shops. If you’re looking for toys, clothes, farm items, riding apparel, real estate or anything in between, you’ll find it in Middleburg, Va.
Christmas Parade in Middleburg, Va.
Oh my, Christmas in Middleburg, Va. is an event not to be missed. The historic village takes on all the charm of a wintery postcard and exudes Christmas charm at every turn.
Thousands line the streets for this family tradition that includes local hunt clubs, horses, hounds–and of course, Santa!
Christmas in Middleburg, Va. includes a tree lighting, a Christmas parade, shopping, caroling, and much more.
Mark your calendar for the first Saturday in December and plan to get into the Christmas spirit.
Getting To Middleburg, Va.
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