Welcome to the nation’s horse and hunt capital and home of the Chronicle! Perhaps the most long-standing equestrian area in the country, Middleburg appeals to the equine-inclined of all disciplines. Hunts, events and horse shows are held nearly every weekend. A drive through the countryside can comprise a pleasant afternoon in and of itself; but, of course, the area is not without its share of upscale restaurants, inns and attractions.
Where to Eat
Despite its small size, Middleburg has several quality establishments. Some of our favorites are:
Hunter’s Head Tavern
This wildly popular tavern offers a wide selection of beers on tap as well as perfectly prepared and hearty tavern fare—food that is organic, local and humanely raised. It’s a great place to unwind after a long day.
Red Fox Inn
This historic inn where George Washington once stayed and dined is a must go for first time visitors to Middleburg. Red Fox Inn is one of Middleburg’s finer dining establishments—not the place to go straight from the show. Visitors can read Jaqueline Kennedy Onassis’ hand-written thank you letters to the restaurant owner.
The best place to get a sandwich in Middleburg! Though the salads and soups are delicious too. The food is very reasonably priced. Dank’s is a great place to order take out to bring back to the show.
The French Hound
Unimpressed by the Red Fox Inn? Come to The French Hound. Another of Middleburg’s classier establishments, The French Hound has an incomparable atmosphere with delicious French (surprise, surprise) food.
The Blackthorne Inn
Going a little stir-crazy? The Blackthorne Inn is one of the few places near Middleburg with a nightlife (only on the weekend though). If you’re just interested in food, Blackthorne is still worth a visit. A self-described “bit of Ireland in the Virginia hunt country” Blackthorne serves a varied menu of fares both Irish and American.
Red Horse Tavern
Another location for nightlife, the Red Horse has live music on the weekends and a decent bar. The food is good basic pub fare. It’s a great place to eat during the summer. The large patio is perfect for warm weather and people watching.
What To Do
Who knew such a small town could have so much?
Feel like you never know enough about horses? Check out the National Sporting Library. The only one of its kind, the sporting library has more than 17,000 books on horse and field sports.
As a good horse town should, Middleburg has several great tack stores. The Tack Box is Middleburg’s premier tack store. Find all your show needs here. The Tack Exchange offers a large selection of high quality used and consignment tack and apparel. Saddlery Liquidators offers a huge variety of products at warehouse prices. Stop by Journeymen Chaps to create custom apparel or repair leather goods.
Hurray! You’re in the middle of wine country. Ok, this isn’t Napa Valley, but Middleburg does have many vineyards to offer. Our favorite is Naked Mountain. With beautiful mountain views and a quaint koi pond, it’s no wonder Washingtonian.com chose it as one of the top vineyards in Virginia and Maryland.
There are several other vineyards in the surrounding area, so if you have a free day, take a tour! Several companies offer Loudoun county wine tours, including Wine Tours of Virginia and Virginia Wine Country Tours.
Before you head out, stop by Market Salamander in Middleburg. If you call ahead of time they will prepare a picnic basket for you to complement the vineyards you’ll visit.
If you don’t feel like traveling, The Tasting Room offers tastings in an elegant environment in the heart of Middleburg.
Where To Stay
Because of its small size, finding a place to stay in Middleburg can be a bit of a challenge.
Inns & Bed and Breakfasts
Goodstone Inn & Estate
This beautiful estate has something for everyone. Guests can rent individual rooms or entire houses. Set on 265 acres, Goodstone has miles of hiking trails, a spa, pool and gourmet restaurant. You can even stable your horse on the property! Be forewarned—you definitely pay for what you’re getting.
The Red Fox Inn
Perfect for the traveler who wants a short commute to the horse show. The Inn is located in the heart of Middleburg. Walk out your door and into the town.
Blackthorne is a rustic inn with a modern feel. Great for the traveler who wants to connect to nature. Rooms have beautiful wood paneled walls and individual fireplaces. Guests receive complimentary wine and cheese and breakfast.
Hotels are going to be a bit of a drive from the grounds, though they are much cheaper. Here are a few to get you started:
Sleep Inn & Suites
Holiday Inn & Suites