The Perfect Road Trip through Northern Virginia

Northern Virginia is home to a spirited mix of history, culture, dining, and shopping – all of which you can experience on your next epic road trip adventure. Learn about the events and places that helped shape the United States while discovering quaint downtown neighborhoods where locals treat visitors like family. Stroll tree-lined streets and tour charming boutique wineries. Hop on bikes to ride along the banks of the Potomac River for some of the most stunning views of Washington, DC. Browse the home of America’s first president, hoist a pint at a historic brewery, dine at a celebrity chef’s restaurant or treat yourself to a little retail therapy. It’s all waiting for you in Northern Virginia.

Leesburg

Loudoun’s county seat is a picturesque little burg with a historic downtown bustling with restaurants, breweries, boutiques and chic home décor stores. Dine on oysters, tacos and farm-to-table fare on King Street (our restaurant row) and soak up the storied ambience of a town that’s been home to icons such as President James Monroe.

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Photo Credit: Jen Sigal

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Middleburg

America’s horse and hunt country capital, and Loudoun’s second largest town, Middleburg is a gorgeous settlement dating back to 1728. The historic downtown is lined with chic boutiques, raffish men’s stores and superb cafés and restaurants, while the surrounding countryside is straight out of an Edith Wharton novel: handsome mansions at the end of oak shaded driveways, thoroughbred horses frolicking in the fields.

Photo Credit: Visit Loudoun County

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Gainesville

Gainesville, which once serving as a path for Civil War soldiers, is now a vibrant suburban district home to major shopping, dining, and entertainment choices. Visitors can enjoy a fun night on the town at several bars and nightclubs, world-class PGA golf courses, and even find time for a hike at the Conway Robinson State Forest.

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Woodbridge

Woodbridge is probably the most renowned area in Prince William, Virginia due to its location adjacent Interstate 95, the giant Potomac Mills Sign, IKEA, and other roadside views. Visitors can find a wide assortment of destination shopping, dining, outdoor recreation and entertainment choices and of course it is also home to Virginia’s largest outlet mall, Potomac Mills Mall.

Photo Credit: Visit Prince William

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Mount Vernon/Lorton

This historic area of southern Fairfax County is home to an exceptional number of historic homes and attractions, including George Washington’s beloved estate. Explore a Frank Lloyd Wright home, an arts haven that exists in a former prison tied to the suffragist movement or find a peaceful oasis on the Mason Neck peninsula. You’ll never believe you’re just a few miles from the nation’s capital.

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Photo Credit: Cameron Davidson, IG account: @cameron.davidson.usa

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Old Town Alexandria

On the Potomac River waterfront, Old Town is the heart of Alexandria and the city’s downtown, filled with architecture dating back to the 1700s alongside picturesque cobblestone streets and alleys, independent shops and restaurants and a vibrant waterfront.

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Photo Credit: Kristian Summerer

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  • Vola’s Dockside Grill
  • Fontaine
  • On the Potomac River waterfront, and named the nation’s Ice Cream Cone Capital, Old Town is the heart of Alexandria and the city’s downtown, filled with architecture dating back to the 1700s alongside picturesque cobblestone streets, independent shops and restaurants and a vibrant waterfront.

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Del Ray

Centered around made-for-strolling Mount Vernon Avenue, Del Ray is lined with locally owned eateries, eclectic shops, wellness businesses, Art Deco architecture and murals. Come for the relaxed vibe, casual eats and signature festivals and events.

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Photo Credit: Kristian Summerer

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Crystal City/Pentagon City

A walkable, urban district, Crystal City has great restaurants, cafes, specialty stores and the region’s premier physical theater, Synetic Theater. In addition to the dining options along Restaurant Row, 23rd Street between South Eads and South Fern streets has an eclectic, independent dining scene and active nightlife.

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Photo Credit: Jake McGuire

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Rosslyn

Spectacular views of the D.C. skyline, myriad dining options and an urban vibe make this section of Arlington County an ideal home base for exploring the capital region. Right across Key Bridge from Georgetown, Rosslyn’s tall buildings are surrounded by natural beauty and historic landmarks.

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Photo Credit: Jake McGuire

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Tysons/Merrifield

Tysons is the urban center of Fairfax County and has been called “America’s Next Great City” as the growth and development of this former unassuming rural crossroads takes the thriving city into a booming business and tech hub near Washington, DC. Around the corner, Merrifield has become a vibrant community that is home to the ever-expanding urban village called Mosaic, which has been attracting some of the region’s best chefs, retailers, and boutiques.

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Photo Credit: April Greer

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For more ideas for your Northern Virginia vacation, visit www.NorthernVA.org.

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