<ro>Go Back in Time
20850 Oatlands Plantation Lane
Leesburg, VA 20175
<bt>This national historic landmark saw its genesis in 1804 and is centered around a 22-room, Greek revival house that was once the heart of a 3,400-acre plantation. Visitors can stroll through Oatlands' four acres of gardens and grounds, including a greenhouse erected in 1810 — the second oldest greenhouse of its type in the country.
Oatlands is open April through December and offers daily tours and special events. The site is open Mondays-Saturdays, from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sunday, from 1 to 5 p.m. Admission is $10 for adults, $9 for seniors and children ages 6-16. Admission is $7 for garden and grounds only.
More information can be found online at www.oatlands.org.
<ro>Enjoy a Pint
<lst>Old Dominion Brewery Company
44633 Guilford Drive
Ashburn, VA 20147
<bt>This small, privately-owned brewery was established in 1989 and serves 31 types of beers — a majority of which are available throughout Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C.
In 2004, Old Dominion produced more than 26,000 barrels of its beer, which ranges from ales to lagers to stouts and more.
Specialties include an Octoberfest Lager and an Oak Barrel Stout, a brew conditioned in oak bourbon barrels.
In addition to its annual festival in June, the brewery also offers tours Saturdays, at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. The main pub is also open seven days a week and offers lunch and dinner along with the brew. Visit the Web site, www.olddominion.com.
<ro>Learn Local History
16 Loudoun St.
Leesburg, VA 20175
<bt>Loudoun Museum offers a thorough glimpse at the county's history and heritage. From learning about the original 1759 layout of the Town of Leesburg to discovering why Loudoun was divided among Confederate and Union lines during the Civil War to exploring maps, relics and artifacts from the past 200 years and beyond, the museum is a must-see for history buffs and local residents alike.
Guiding walking tours are available and various exhibits are open throughout the year. The museum is open Mondays, Wednesdays through Saturdays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sundays, 1-5 p.m., and by appointment only Tuesdays.
Visit the Web site, www.loudounmuseum.org.
<ro>Go Milling Around
39401 John Mosby Highway
P.O. Box 322
Aldie, VA 20105
<bt>At Aldie Mill — a working mill first built in the early 1800s and now owned by the Virginia Outdoors Foundation — the heritage of water-powered mills is preserved.
Demonstration grinding and tours of the site take place on weekend afternoons. Forming the core of the mill's mission is historic research, archaeological investigations, preservation and restoration work and educational programs.
An annual art show and sale is held every June and the mill also participates in the Aldie Harvest Festival, held annually in October.
The mill is open from late April to late October, Sundays, from 12-5 p.m. The Aldie Mill Web site is located at www.aldiemill.org.
<ro>Get Hands On
<lst>The Smithsonian Naturalist Center
741 Miller Drive, S.E.
Leesburg, VA 20175
<bt>The Naturalist Center — an extension of the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. — invites visitors ages 10 and older to view its collection of more than 36,000 objects of natural history, books and scientific equipment. The center features a full range of services, special events and school programs.
Open Tuesdays-Saturdays, the center's hours of operation are 10:30 a.m.-4 p.m.
<ro>Relive a Civil War Battle
<lst>Ball's Bluff Battlefield Regional Park
Ball's Bluff Road
Leesburg, VA 20175
<bt>The regional park is the site of the Battle of Ball's Bluff, the largest Civil War engagement to take place in the county.
The park includes a one-mile hiking trail and interpretive signs, Ball's Bluff National Cemetery and picnic tables.
Free guided tours on held Saturdays and Sundays, from early May through October, 11 a.m.-2 p.m., while the park itself is open from dawn to dusk throughout the year. In addition, the park is home to a Living History camp, each November.
For more information on Ball's Bluff or other Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority locations or other park programs, go online to www.nvrpa.org
<ro>Take in a Show
<lst>Franklin Park Performing and Visual Arts Center
17501 Franklin Park Drive
Purcellville, VA 20132
<bt>This center is a second home to many Loudoun musicians, actors, dancers, artists and art enthusiasts. A full summer schedule of professional, youth and community performances includes "The Merchant of Venice," "Charlottes Web," "Into the Woods Jr." — Act I only and a touring show of "Babe the Sheep Pig."
Ticket prices vary. Performance dates and directions can
be found at www.franklinparkartscenter.org.
<lst>Historic Leesburg/Antique Shops
Intersection of Business Route 7/Business Route 15
<bt>The Leesburg Antiques and Collectibles Dealers Association represents more than 120 dealers in the Leesburg area. Member businesses include the Black Shutter Antique Center, Cobblestones Ltd., Greener Pastures Antiques and Collectibles, the Leesburg Antique Emporium and the Leesburg Court of Shoppes. Leesburg's Many business have Web sites online.
For an extensive list of shop names, hours and antique
descriptions, go to www.leesburgantiques.com and follow
the various links. First Friday takes place the first Friday of the month, February through December, 6-9 p.m. Many of the shops offer extended shopping hours and there is live entertainment.
<ro>Experience Early Living
<lst>Waterford Homes Tour/Crafts Exhibit
The Waterford Foundation
P.O. Box 142
Waterford, VA 20197
<bt>Since 1943, the Waterford Foundation has held this annual autumn fair, which draws artisans and craftsmen from around the country. Along with exhibits, there is also music and dancing, Civil War re-enactments, citizens in historical dress and food — from apple cider to Loudoun sausage.
Visitors will discover how early furniture, tools and housewives were made and see historic homes and American life 200 years ago.
This year, the fair will be held Oct. 6-8, from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tickets in advance are $13 per person, per day and $15 at the gate. Children under 12 are free.
To visit the Waterford Foundation Web site, go to www.waterfordva-wca.org.
Sterling Community Center
120 Enterprise St.
Sterling, VA 20164
<bt>This communitywide event involves arts and crafts, vendors, nonprofit organizations, children's marketplace and game area, an open house at the local fire station and two stages of entertainment. Food and treats will also be available.
The event — held this fall Oct. 7, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at the Sterling Community Center — is sponsored by the Sterling Foundation, which will use proceeds for the beautification of the community.
More information on Sterlingfest can be found at www.sterlingfoundation.org.
<ro>Root for the Home Team
<lst>PONY Fastpitch Softball
Lower Loudoun Girls Softball League
P.O. Box 651330
Sterling, VA 20165
<b>An annual summer event for the past decade, this year's PONY National Tournament will bring 230 travel softball teams into the county, from June 28 to Aug. 4. Play will be in the 14-and-under and 18-and-under age groups and games will be played on 41 different fields throughout Loudoun, including Claude Moore Park and Potomack Lakes Sportsplex in Sterling.
Food, drinks and souvenirs are available for spectators, who can purchase daily or weekly passes for games.
For more information on game schedules, teams and locations, go to the Web site at www.llgsl.com. LLGSL is co-hosting the tournament along with Loudoun County Parks, Recreation and Community Services.
<ro>Find a Bargain
<lst>Leesburg Corner Premium Outlets
241 Fort Evans Road, N.E.
Leesburg, VA 20176
<bt>This conglomeration of 110 outlet stores offers bargain shopping in an outdoor village setting. Stores include Ann Taylor, Nike, Barneys New York Outlet, Burberry, Crate & Barrel, Kenneth Cole, Liz Claiborne, Polo, Ralph Lauren, Williams-Sonoma and much more.
Hours of operation are Mondays-Saturdays, from 10 a.m.-9 p.m. and Sundays, from 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
<ro>Tour a Preserve
<lst>Banshee Reeks Nature Preserve
21085 The Woods Road
Leesburg, VA. 20175
<bt>The 700-acre Banshee Reeks Nature Preserve protects plants, animals and various habitats along the rolling hills near Goose Creek. Wetlands, fields, forests, trails and wildlife make a visit to Banshee Reeks well worth it.
The preserve is open on a scheduled basis for groups and to the public, from 8 a.m.-4 p.m., the third consecutive Saturday and Sunday of every month.
<ro>Experience Country Living
42361 Lucketts Road
Leesburg, VA 20176
<bt>The 2005 Lucketts Fair, which runs Aug. 26-27, from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. each day is billed as a weekend in the country jam-packed with bluegrass, crafts, antiques, cloggers, a farmyard zoo, hay rides, cakewalks, down-home food and old-fashioned fun for the whole family.
The fair first began in 1972, when the inhabitants of the small village of Lucketts first began putting on an annual fair at the Old Lucketts School — a building erected in the early 1900s.
Admission to the fair is $8 for adults, while children 5 and under are free.