Raise your hand if you've ever desperately needed a girls trip? Are all my ladies' hands raised? Thought so. There's just something to be said for quality time with the gals.
Every once in a way, we deserve a bit of pampering, relaxation, reminiscing and indulgence. Enter Leesburg, Virginia. Just an hour’s drive away from D.C., this quaint town is perfect for that weekend of R&R complete with food, wine, craft beer, shopping and rejuvenation. Sp grab a group of your friends, because we've got the perfect itinerary for an overnight stay in Leesburg.
Make your way out of the city and head straight to Shoe’s Cup and Cork for breakfast or brunch. This adorable little café focuses on sustainable and local products with a large selection of Virginia wines and beer. They have an extensive menu, but the biscuit Benedict is literally everything I love about breakfast: biscuit, sausage and poached eggs! Also, the parmesan truffle fries are a must get.
After fueling up, walk around the beautiful brick-lined streets to try and burn off some of those fries. King Street is the main drag with a variety of shopping, but the side streets must be explored as well. There are a number of vintage boutiques, furniture and home décor stores. Don't miss The Cottage for unique vintage furniture, Madisonbelle for clothing and accessories, Old Lucketts Store for hip vintage finds and Urban Pickers for repurposed knick knacks, plus a whole section of baubles and bling!
If you need a little caffeine boost, stop by King Street Coffee for a cup with locally roasted beans. Want a little snack? Make that coffee to go and stop by B Doughnut to grab one of their many delicious offerings.
Make a reservation at Be Beauty, a custom make up boutique, for a fun afternoon with the girls. You can make your own lip color or custom blend foundation. Whether you have a signature color or want to make something totally different, work with the in house artists to make something your own. Be Beauty’s lip colors are made from natural waxes, pure pigments and crushed minerals, so they not only look great, you can feel great about using them. Be Beauty also has a number of off-the-shelf products, so if it’s time to change out that make up kit, here’s your chance. Check out Be Beauty’s full range of services here.
By now it’s time for happy hour, and King Street oyster bar is where you should go. No girls’ trip is complete without oysters and champagne, right?
After drinks, make your way over to The Wine Kitchen for a relaxed dinner. You can choose from one of many wine flights before settling into a bottle. They have a large list of Virginia wines, and are happy to guide you if you are unsure what you want. The seasonal American menu is heavy on local ingredients, and the menu is creative, but familiar and solid. On a recent visit, I loved the red curry mussels, roasted Brussels sprouts with XO sauce, loaded tots, a decadent grilled cheese and delicious gnocchi. This is a great spot to spend the evening with live music on many nights.
Explore the beers of Belgium
For a night cap, the Delirium Café is a must stop. The only U.S. location of this famed Belgium café is right here in Leesburg, and whether you are a beer lover or not, it warrants a visit. There are over 300 beers, and some wines and spirits. There’s a karge selection of Belgian beers, from Trappist and abbey ales to lambics, fruit lambics and more. Plus, the iconic pink elephants of the brand adorn the walls, so it’s a really cute and chill space too.
You could opt to head back to D.C. at this point (with a designated driver, of course), but if you are staying the night, there are plenty of options in downtown Leesburg. Rent out the entire cottage at Idyll Time Farm and Bed, which sleeps five, or the historic Leesburg Colonial Inn, which is conveniently located smack in the middle of downtown. For something fancier, the Lansdowne Resort and Spa is about six miles from downtown.
If you had your fill of shopping the first day, head to Morven Park for some outdoor activities. The sprawling grounds have a number of walking trails, extensive gardens, picture perfect landscaping and even some tours of this old Governor’s Mansion. In the summer they host a number of equestrian events, which are an event in and of themselves.
A final stop at The Conche would be perfect for a late brunch or lunch, before making your way back to D.C. This chocolate-themed boutique restaurant, by the folks behind Co Co Sala has a Sunday brunch that features a number of savory and sweet dishes ranging from a brunch Flatbread topped with bacon, eggs, sausage and hash browns, to a banana French toast and milk chocolate Dulce De Leche, and a decadent brunch burger with braised short ribs and chocolate barbecue sauce. It's great stop if you need to pick up some chocolates for anyone waiting at home ,too! Keep an eye out for their chocolate making classes as well.
If you have a full weekend to spend in Leesburg, definitely factor in a visit to one of the may wineries -- Casanel, Stone Tower, and Doukénie are all close by. Grab a treat from Mom’s Apple Pie Company before you leave town, or check out the Leesburg Farmers Market.