Friday, June 10, 2016

Best of the East Coast: Leesburg, VA

I live in Loudoun County, Virginia, very close to the town of Leesburg.  In Leesburg, they have a quaint little downtown area, with shops and restaurants.  On the first Friday of every month, musicians play at many businesses and sometimes there are special events going on.  This weekend event is creatively called "First Friday."  

There's a little garden hidden away right by the parking garage in downtown.  I think these girls taking pictures are destined to be future bloggers, especially with their matching outfits! 

There are so many unique stores and restaurants that I could probably do a post on each one, but for this post, I wanted to give a general overview of the entire downtown area. While I mainly took pictures of retail establishments, there are many other businesses downtown.  Law firms, banks, plumbers, media companies, hair salons, and more, all have offices downtown.  Most of my pictures were of the main street, but if you go down side streets you'll also find dozens and dozens of beautiful and historic homes.

The restaurant, Lightfoot, is one of the nicest in Leesburg.  Last year, my boyfriend surprised me with reservations there for my birthday!  A very long time ago it used to be The People's National Bank of Leesburg, it even still has the original vault in it.

Directly across from the Courthouse there's a biker bar.  The best thing about that place is the neon sign that says, "Better off here than across the street," which I think is hilarious.

The Tally Ho used to be a movie theatre, but now it's a concert venue.  It's a little small for the likes of say, Justin Bieber or Taylor Swift, but it's a nice place for tribute bands and comedy acts.  It also doesn't hurt that they have tacos right next door. 

Over winter break I went to Shoes with Lauren (which you can read about, here).  I remember it was so freezing that day!  Now that it's summer time, Shoes has opened up their outdoor dining, and it is even more gorgeous than I had remembered. 

Many people from Virginia, particularly northern Virginia, refer to the area outside of D.C. as "NOVA."  At JMU when people ask where you're from, many people will respond with "NOVA." Even though Leesburg is one of the most northern parts of Virginia, most people associate the term NOVA with how close in proximity you are to D.C.  Because of this, I like to say I'm from the "outskirts" of NOVA.  Leesburg is outside of the beltway, about 45 minutes from D.C.

In Leesburg there are things typical of northern Virginia, like a large outlet mall, a competitive and busy atmosphere, and plenty of traffic.  But historic downtown Leesburg sets it apart as a true gem.  While 47,500+ people live in Leesburg, the downtown area makes it feel much smaller.  Having somewhat of a picturesque, small town feel while still being close to D.C. is one of the best things about this area.  

When I was younger and I saw people walking around with cameras, I wondered why they were traveling here.  Since I live in the area, I didn't see anything that special about it.  Now that I'm older, I understand how valuable this location really is. 

A lot of people travel to D.C., but I guarantee that making a stop to the outskirts for a day would be a relaxing, fun, and unique experience you'd never forget.  For character, history, and charm, come to Leesburg.  

This post is a link-up with Gal Pal Girl Gang bloggers. I'd like to give a huge shout-out and many thanks to Savannah Ward for coming up with this idea and making the link-up a reality! 

Happy traveling,

Bloglovin' | Instagram | Pinterest | Twitter | Tumblr | Snapchat: @the_michellem