Middleburg Guide: Outings & Activites

Where to go if you love antiques, history, or horseback riding with the kids

By: Lydia Strohl

GIRLS' DAY OUT
Grab a cup of coffee at Cuppa Giddy Up (8 E. Washington St.; 540-687-8122) before a day of antiquing. A few good stores to try: Hastening Antiques (7 E. Washington St.; 540-687-5664), Middleburg Antique Emporium (107 W. Washington St.; 540-687-8680), and the upscale furniture consignment store Four O’Clock Fox (15 E. Federal St.; 540-687-6160). After lunch at airy Market Salamander (200 W. Washington St.; 540-687-8011), stop in for an organic pumpkin peel at Middleburg Skin Care (5 N. Hamilton St.; 540-758-7546), a salon that specializes in facials.

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FOR HISTORY LOVERS
In the aftermath of the Civil War, many of Middleburg’s farms were laid waste by Union troops. They were rebuilt about 50 years later when sporting gentry took an interest in the land. The National Sporting Library & Museum (102 The Plains Rd.; 540-687-6542) pays homage to this life—an era epitomized by weekenders JFK and Jackie, who fox-hunted here—with more than 17,000 books, paintings, prints, and other works of art. Stop for a bite at the historic Red Fox Inn (2 E. Washington St.; 540-687-6301), built in 1728. Then pick up a brochure ($5) for a self-guided historical walking tour at Middleburg’s visitor center, the Pink Box (12 N. Madison St.; 540-687-8888). If you prefer driving, download a map from the Mosby Heritage Area Association and follow in the hoofprints of legendary Civil War officer John S. Mosby.

KIDS' DAY
Put together a picnic hamper at Home Farm Store (1 E. Washington St.; 540-687-8882), an organic market selling cheeses, meats, and produce, much of it from the owner’s Ayrshire Farm in neighboring Upperville. (Make sure to check out the authentic soda fountain upstairs.) Take it to Middleburg Polo Academy, nearby in The Plains (5403 O’Bannon Rd.; 571-438-3440), where kids and their parents can learn the sport of princes—no riding experience necessary—and picnic afterward on the grounds; reservations are required. Finish the day with a cone at Scruffy’s Ice Cream Parlor (6 W. Washington St.; 540-687-3766).

This article appears in the June 2011 issue of The Washingtonian. 

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