Southern Highlands

There are a number of scenic byways to choose from in Northern Virginia. You can begin an interesting excursion on Route 15 traveling north from Loudoun County towards Maryland and the Potomac River. 

The first stop you may wish to take is at Oatlands Plantation in Leesburg, 703-777-3174. Oatlands is a Greek Revival home built in 1803. The house and its formal gardens are open to the public. 

Also in Leesburg off of Route 15 is Ball's Bluff Regional Park Leesburg, 703-737-7800. This 168-acre park, surrounds the second smallest national cemetery, where 54 Union soldiers are buried. The park features a 3/4-mile loop trail with interpretive exhibits, nature trails along the Potomac River and public parking.

As you leave Leesburg, follow Route 15 north on King Street and you'll soon approach Morven Park, 703-777-2414, the 1,200-acre estate that was once the home of Virginia governor Westmoreland Davis. The house tour includes the Museum of Hounds and Hunting, the only foxhunting museum in the world, and the Windmill Carriage Collection, with more than 70 horsedrawn turn-of-the-century vehicles.

If you continue west, you'll come to the Loudoun Valley Vineyards where you can stop for a tour and tasting.

As you continue north on Route 15 through the rolling countryside, you'll come across the small town of Lucketts and Tarara Vineyard and Winery, 703-771-7100. Tarara offers premium wines aged in a 6,000 square foot cave overlooking the Potomac River. A fact-filled tour is available.

By turning south onto Route 662, you'll head to some small villages where restoration efforts have made time seem to stand still. Waterford is one of only a few National Landmark villages in the country. The village was founded by Quakers in 1733 and it appears today pretty much as it was then. Hamilton, founded in 1833, is another village right on your way. 

Another option from Route 15 is to take Route 672 to Route 673 and head south on Route 690 to Route 719, other Scenic Byways. This drive takes you parallel to the Appalachian Trail. Veer towards the trail on Route 7 and you'll come to the Breaux Vineyard.

Page last modified: March 4, 2016