The charming and community-oriented town of Leesburg, Virginia keeps popping up on Best Places to Live lists year after year (Livability 2015; Money 2013) and for good reasons. For those of us lucky to live in this historic and friendly town, we all have our unique list of things that drew us here and make us proud to call Leesburg home. If you’re considering a move, take a minute to check out the top 6 reasons for moving to Leesburg – just a few of the many that fuel Leesburg’s consistently high rankings among the best places to live in the country:
1. Historic Downtown Leesburg
Take a stroll through downtown Leesburg and be instantly transported back in time. Established in 1758, downtown Leesburg is the seat of Loudoun County’s government and a popular destination for residents and visitors alike. The town has maintained its historical aura through the years by carefully preserving architectural structures that date back to the Civil War and beyond. The County Courthouse with its community green lawn serves as downtown’s stately centerpiece. Just across the street, brick sidewalks line streets filled with art galleries, antique stores, restaurants and quaint retail shops. Be sure to reserve a table at the nationally recognized Lightfoot Restaurant, housed in a stunning former bank building constructed in 1888. Another downtown icon is Shoes Cup & Cork Club, a quirky coffee shop and wine café that pays homage to its former life as the town’s primary shoe repair shop. In addition to some of the best dining and shopping in Loudoun County, downtown Leesburg also hosts unrivalled events such as First Friday, the Flower & Garden Show, the Fine Arts Festival along with family-friendly Halloween and Christmas & Holiday parades. The Acoustics on the Green summer concert series takes place every year in the hear of downtown with world-class artists representing an array of music genres. Residents and visitors pack picnics and gather for a fun, free evening of music at the popular weekly event – which has been touted as one of Washingtonian Magazine’s “Best Bet for Summer Concerts.”
2. Great Schools
From kindergarten through high school, Leesburg’s public schools are among some of the best in the country. All of Loudoun County’s eligible high schools are included the best 1,000 high schools in America as rated by Newsweek’s Challenge Index. Several Leesburg high schools, including Loudoun County High School (the first high school in Loudoun County), Heritage High, and the new Tuscarora High have also been cited in US News & World Report’s prestigious rankings for high test scores and percentage of AP students. Evergreen Mill Elementary School has consistently earned recognition for its high test scores and small teacher/student ratio as has JL Simpson Middle School, located right across the street.
3. Golf Galore
For those who love to hit the links, there’s no shortage of world-class golf courses in and around the town of Leesburg. Flanked by the natural beauty of Goose Creek and the Catoctin mountains, the Goose Creek and Raspberry Falls courses are open to the public and cater to every need of the avid golfer. Raspberry Falls, designed by the renowned Gary Player, has earned numerous top honors from Golf Monthly, Golf Digest and the Washington Times, among others. If you’re interested in properties that offer tennis, swimming and dining opportunities in addition to an exceptional golf experience, membership in the private Lansdowne or River Creek Club has all the bases covered!
4. Safe and Friendly Neighborhoods
Spend some time chatting with the locals at one of Leesburg’s many gathering places and you’ll quickly gain an appreciation for the strong sense of community found here. New residents of Leesburg will also find a “community within a community” as homeowners in the family-oriented neighborhoods throughout town. Sought-after neighborhoods including Woodlea Manor, Potomac Station and Lansdowne were designed specifically for families in mind with community pools, playgrounds, clubhouses, planned social events and countless other amenities. These quiet enclaves offer safe streets, spacious cul –de-sacs and plenty of green space for kids to play outside while parents connect with neighbors through book clubs, block parties and everyday sidewalk conversations.
5. Parks and Recreation
Another fabulous reason to move to Leesburg is the extraordinary parks and recreation offerings. Ida Lee Park and Recreation Center is one of the best full-service recreation centers in the Mid-Atlantic with a state-of-the-art fitness facility, indoor pool, tennis center, basketball courts and fitness studios. Ida Lee offers a wide array of classes for all ages ranging from beginner’s art to advanced dance as well as a full schedule of summer and school-break camps and learn-to-swim programs. Speaking of swimming, Ida Lee is home to the new AV Symington Aquatic Center – a swim center and waterpark open late May – early September. Open to the public (and a great spot for birthday parties and other group events), the park features a lap pool, a 600-foot lazy river, large slide tower with body flumes, dumping buckets, waterfalls and other features that rival many pricey commercial parks. Ida Lee Park is also home to several expansive sports fields that host youth soccer, lacrosse and other sporting events as well as the popular annual Easter Egg Hunt, Independence Day Celebration and several Arts & Craft Shows that take place throughout the year. In addition to Ida Lee, the town of Leesburg has 16 other meticulously maintained public parks including the teen-centric Catoctin Skate Park and Olde Izaak Walton Park – where local dog lovers congregate with their furry friends.
6. Award-Winning Restaurants and Wineries
Leesburg is a prime player in Virginia’s burgeoning wine scene and is capturing the attention of foodies far and wide for its diverse dining options. Leesburg and its surrounding areas are a magnet for wine lovers with more than 30 wineries and tasting rooms scattered among the most beautiful scenic backdrops in Loudoun County. Grab your friends, pack a picnic, enjoy live music and sample some of Virginia’s great varietals at local wineries including Tarara, Fabbioli Cellars, Casanel Vineyards, Willow Croft Farm Vineyards and Stone Tower Winery – just to name a few. And everyone in Northern Virginia knows that if you have a wine question, you must pay a visit to the experts at Leesburg Vintner in the heart of downtown!
Leesburg is also earning a regional reputation as the “Craft Beer Capital of Northern Virginia.” Beer aficionados have a growing number of choices when it comes to sampling great local beers with hot spots including Crooked Run Brewery and Loudoun Brewing Company. McDowell Brew Kitchen is another prime destination known for its sandy beach, bar constructed out of an old wooden boat and island-vibe music. Grab a seat and a cold one on a sunny day and you’ll feel like you’re in Key West versus quaint downtown Leesburg! From hearth-baked pizza to chef-inspired cuisine, Leesburg has something for everyone when it comes to dining out. Set in a converted flour mill, Tuscarora Mill (affectionately known as “Tuskie’s”) regularly receives rave reviews from media food critics and locals alike. Another local hot spot is located just yards away from Tuskies. Fireworks Pizza is known for its award-winning wood-fired pizza and impressive beer selection. Other buzzworthy eateries that warrant a visit include Doener Bistro, MELT Gourmet Cheeseburgers (Best of Loudoun Winner 4 years running), Blue Ridge Grill, Pikes Fish House and The Wine Kitchen. If the 6 reasons above don’t put Leesburg at the top of your relocation list, make a point to see our little slice of paradise for yourself. We’d love to welcome you and have you as a fellow neighbor to enjoy all the unique things that our gem of a town has to offer!