On the first Saturday in December, some 10,000 spectators clutching hot chocolate descend on Middleburg’s picturesque main street for the Christmas parade. In this equestrian-obsessed village, the event features high-stepping horses, red-coated riders, and cute hounds along with floats and antique fire trucks. After the last horse—and Santa—has gone by, slip into the Christmas Sleigh to buy ornaments, warm up with samples of craft cider and rum at Mt. Defiance Cidery & Distillery (207 W. Washington St.; 540-687-8100), or hunker down with a burger beside a cozy fireplace at the Red Fox Inn and Tavern (2 E. Washington St.; 540-687-6301).
Distance from DC: 45 miles.
While there: Really in the holiday spirit? Sign up for a gingerbread-house lesson or book a magical carriage ride at Salamander Resort.