Ashburn is considered the very heart of Northern Virginia's affluent "hunt country." Here the tradition of fox hunting has endured since the colonial era. The community of about 45,000 lies 30 miles northwest of Washington, D.C., where a large percentage of residents work.
Visitors in Ashburn around Memorial Day can tour the very farms that gave this scenic region its nickname. The Virginia Hunt Country Stable Tour annually provides tourists with a look inside several of the farms, barns and estates of old. Each fall, Ashburn visitors have abundant opportunities to attend steeplechase horse races. One of the more famous events is the Virginia Fall Races weekend, which takes place at Glenwood Park in nearby Middleburg each October.
The Northern Virginia countryside is gently rolling and picturesque. An ideal way to explore the serene terrain is on two wheels. Conveniently, Ashburn is located along the Washington and Old Dominion Trail, and Get Out & Go Tours offers daily, weekly and monthly bike rentals. Explore all or part of the paved 45-mile trail.
The Ashburn Ice House is an excellent way to cool off on a hot summer day while getting fun exercise on ice. The indoor rink offers skating and hockey lessons and skills classes.
Football fans know Ashburn as the original headquarters and training center for the NFL’s Washington Redskins. The sprawling Redskins Park is open to visitors during summer training camp. In August, tourists can come for Fan Appreciation Day, and younger admirers can join the Kids Club to support their favorite players.
Ashburn’s Allsports Grand Prix offers a thrilling experience for a different kind of sports enthusiast. Licensed drivers aged 18 and up can zip sleek karts around an indoor track designed by auto-racing pros.
At the Loudoun Heritage Farm Museum, visitors can explore the region’s rich agricultural heritage. This Ashburn-area attraction is open year round. Activities include the Claude Moore Children's Farm, where kids get to become farmers for a day through interactive exhibits. Another fun exhibit is the Waxpool General Store. Here, children have the chance to play shopkeeper, shopper or postmaster. Grandma’s Kitchen recreates domestic life before the era of electricity. Kids can check out tools and gadgets used by homemakers in bygone days.
If a visit to someplace new requires a few rounds of golf, Ashburn offers plenty of courses. The 18-hole championship course at Brambleton Regional Park is open to the public. Belmont Country Club, a private 18-hole course, is located on an elegant estate that once belonged to Lord Fairfax, a friend and patron of George Washington.
Visitors to Ashburn’s 32,000-square-foot sports pavilion get to use indoor and outdoor swimming pools, a full-size gym and various sports courts. The complex, run by the Ashburn Village Community Association, also has eight lakes for fishing and boating.
Ashburn has plenty of places to satisfy visitors’ shopping urges. The largest local emporium is the Dulles Town Center, with more than 200 stores. The mall is anchored by major chains such as Dick's Sporting Goods and Nordstrom.