The town of Purcellville, Virginia is about 50 miles from D.C. and makes for a great day trip – it’s packed with quirky stores for shopping, access to wineries and breweries, trails for hiking, and no dearth of places to eat and drink, and some LOVE.
We’ve rounded up some of the best that Purcellville has to offer, whether on a day trip from the District, a stop on a longer Virginia road trip, or a getaway to Loudoun County.
A slice of Paris in Purcellville, Petite LouLou is a charming creperie and wine bar that offers a huge selection of savory and sweet crepes (vegan and gluten free available), decadent French pastries and eclaris, a curated wine list, and all day service. My suggestion is to grab a cup of coffee, a crepe (the figm prosciutto and brie is delish!), take a few fresh croissants to go, and make sure to get some picture of the super cute retro style interiors.
If you like barbecue, beer, and bourbon, Monk’s is the place for you. This family owned business is a Purcellville stalwart and is popular for ribs, brisket, an extensive beer list with lots of local brews, and a large selection of bourbons. Oh, and I should mention the cornbread is stuffed with custard. Yes, you read that right – sweet and filled with custard. Plus, live music every Friday and Saturday!
This upscale but unpretentious restaurant is situated in a restored grist mill, and the interiors with the exposed beams, tons of wood, and soaring ceiling still reflects the mill’s rustic charm. The refined menu highlights local ingredients and offers a variety of dighes ranging from fried green tomatoes, brick oevn pizzas, salads, and pastas. This is also a great spot to try a long list of local Virginia wines. It’s close to the W&OD trail, and makes for a perfect stop after a hike on the trail.
There's a reason this simple, counter style establishment is popular. Don't let the crowds discourage you because burgers and shakes here are truly worth the wait. Made with locally sourced ingredients and their own unique flair, burgers include the standard toppings but also some not so common options like goat cheese from a local farm. The locals also swear by their thick cut sweet potato fries and maple mustard.
Set in a historic mansion that has been transformed into an upscale dining experience, West End is a lovely spot to spend an evening. The manor home has the restaurant and wine bar in the main level, banquet rooms upstairs, and an English style pub in the cellar. The inventive new American menu changes seasonally, but keeps things interesting with twists on classic flavors.
Take a picture with the LOVEWorks artwork
You’ve probably spotted the giant LOVE artwork somewhere around Virginia (there’s almost 100 of these pieces!). The piece in Purcellville is conveniently located in the city center, and always makes for a fun photo!
Ride or Walk the Washington & Old Dominion Bike Trail
The W&OD trail ends conveniently at the old Purcellville train station and is a great way to get some exercise hiking or biking. The rail to bike converted trail is paved and shaded, and makes for an easy hike or flat bike ride.
There are plenty of eclectic stores in Purcellville and is worth strolling around. Nichols Hardware has been a downtown staple for decades, and are known for their customer service and the variety of knick knacks you didn’t know you needed. Hunt Country Jewelers makes handmade jewelry with gem stones and silver, so if you have a custom piece you’ve been wanting to make, this would be a great place to do it. Otherwise, just pop in to see if anything catches your fancy!
Taste some local spirits at Catoctin Creek
Visit the Tasting Room at Catoctin Creek Distillery, and taste a flight of their signature spirits, whisky, brandy, or cocktails. If you are interested, you can also schedule a tour of the distillery. Reservations are recommended for both the tour and the tasting, so make sure to do that beforehand. There’s also a nice selection of distillery related merchandise, tonic syrups, and other local products.
Of course, any trip to this part of Virginia is not complete without a stop a winery or two. Wineries 8 Chains North, Sunset Hills, and Doukenie are nearby. Purcellville is also home to some excellent craft breweries – try the tap room at Adroit Theory for their unique flavors, Belly Love Brewing for phenomenal beers and giant pretzels, or some of the small batch craft brews at Jack’s Run Brewing in the center of town.