Activities and recreation in Middleburg Virginia

Jay Hubbard

From Woodstock, Vermont, to Solvang, California, there’s no shortage of charming Christmas towns across the United States to add to your to-do list this holiday season. One that may not be on your radar, but absolutely should be? Middleburg, Virginia. Founded in 1787 by Revolutionary War Lt. Col. Leven Powell, who bought the land from George Washington’s first cousin, this charming village (population: 670) serves up an old-fashioned Christmas in the heart of Christmas country. horses and hunting in Virginia.

In Middleburg, the Christmas spirit is infused into virtually every aspect of the town once December rolls around. Whether you’re browsing the shelves of the year-round Christmas Shop, sipping hot toddy in the beautifully decorated lobby of the Salamander Resort, or admiring the hounds and riders on horseback in the Hunt & Hounds Parade Review, even the grumpiest of visitors will feel their hearts grow as they experience the festivities. (Seriously, how can you attend a Christmas parade with a “Corgi Corps” and not smile!?)

The best of all? Middleburg is just ninety minutes west of Washington, DC, so it’s very easy to get to once you arrive in the nation’s capital. (Charge those phone batteries on the way out, though, because once you get to town, you’ll find more Christmas decorating inspiration in the country than you know what to do with.) Read on for the best things to do in Middleburg , Virginia around Christmas, including cozy restaurants, festive shops, historic bed and breakfasts and more.

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Bring some Christmas cheer to your morning meal with oversized scones and Peppermint Patty Hot Chocolates from Cuppa Gidy Up, a family roast.

Secure your spot along Washington Street for the Middleburg Hunt & Hounds Review. Scheduled for December 3, this cherished Christmas tradition sees members of the Middleburg Hunt Club trotting through town with dozens of loyal dogs by their side. Later in the day, the Middleburg Christmas Parade serves up a regular procession of antique fire trucks, festive floats, and a “Corgi Corps” of dogs dressed in holiday attire. Santa Claus brings up the rear in a horse-drawn carriage.

Detour to a delicatessen Locke’s Shop to Millwood for a deli counter lunch of tomato basil soup and chicken club sandwiches in a circa-1800s brick storefront. Back in Middleburg, King Street Oyster Bar offers seafood dishes suitable for the end of the year celebrations.

To compound nature, Jenn Pinneau keeps her cozy garden store stocked with artisan gardening tools and unique hand-strung wreaths adorned with magnolias and feathers. (Every November, she also hosts a wreath-making workshop.) Pick and cut your own tree—or just stop to enjoy the fresh smell of 36,000 Douglas fir and Colorado blue spruce trees— at 42 Snickers Gap Tree Farm.

Warm up after a day outdoors at the Mount Defiance Cider Mill, where small-batch hard cider (pictured), brandy and vermouth are all distilled from Virginia apples. To Greenhill Vineyards, the delicious Merlots and Chenin Blancs are made exclusively from Virginia grapes.

Open all year, The Christmas sleigh (pictured) is a destination for old-world holiday decor, including Christian Ulbricht nutcrackers, Wilhelm Schweizer pewter ornaments and Wendt & Kuhn mechanical music boxes. Antique dealers will want to enter American thistle for unique equestrian finds, including antique weathervanes and piggy banks.

At six acres National Sports Library and Museum, founded in 1954, visitors can explore the heritage and history of fox hunting, steeplechase and many other classic hunting pastimes.

Former Bergdorf Goodman buyer Wendy Osborn (pictured) keeps her shop Chloe from Middleburg filled with top-notch goodies (think: pima cotton pajamas, pet sweaters, and faux fur-covered ice scrapers). Led by former six-term mayor of Middleburg, Betsy Allen Davis, and her sister Page, The fun shop offers barware, children’s books and lots of fox-themed finds for the whole family.

Vintage enthusiasts across the region make it a point to purchase tickets well in advance of the annual rendezvous Holiday home Lucketts in Leesburg, where Suzanne Eblen and Amy Whyte are transforming a 3,000 square foot farmhouse piece by piece into a Christmas wonderland.

At the beloved “bustaurant” Johnny Monarch’s in nearby Marshall, you’ll order comfort food favorites (Meatloaf! Chicken Spedie! Fried Bologna!) from a ‘962 double-decker coach, then enjoy the music live in an outdoor dining area

Founded in 1728, the charming Red Fox Inn and Tavern (pictured) is believed to be America’s oldest continuously operated inn. BET co-founder, Sheila Johnson Salamander Resort is on the outskirts of town, but doesn’t skimp on the Christmas spirit. Expect decadent brunches, holiday-themed cooking classes, and cocktails with Cupcake the Miniature Horse in the beautifully decorated main lobby.

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