Middleburg is known as the Nation’s Horse and Hunt Capital for good reason, so if you’re in town, you might as well experience the equestrian life. And what better way to do that than to get on a horse? Salamander Resort & Spa’s equestrian programs provide everything from guided trail rides to riding lessons and horsemanship classes. Not quite ready to get in the saddle yet? Be sure to check out Salamander’s unique EquiSpective self-discovery program, which focuses on leadership and communication skills, as well as their equine communication sessions, which reveal the art of “horse whispering.”
Did you know that the Middleburg American Viticultural Area is home to 30 wineries? Grapes grown in our region benefit from perennial soft breezes coming from the 1,027-foot Ashby Gap in the Blue Ridge Mountains, which also happen to provide a spectacular backdrop to many of our local vineyards.
Three of our favorite Middleburg vineyards: 50 West Vineyards, which has red and white wines produced in the classic Bordeaux style of France; Boxwood Winery with its blended Bordeaux-style wines; and Greenhill Winery & Vineyards, which features award-winning wines in an idyllic setting.
If you’re looking for a drive through the countryside, we also recommend stopping in The Local Taste in neighboring Upperville to sample wines from Slater Run Vineyards, as well as a stop at Three Fox Vineyards in Delaplane, which boasts gorgeous mountain views and award-winning wines.
If you’re in town, be sure to swing into Middleburg’s art galleries and the National Sporting Library & Museum, the largest facility of its kind in the United States. With more than 24,000 books dating from the 16th to 21st centuries, NSLM is dedicated to preserving and sharing the literature, art and culture of equestrian, angling, and field sports. The museum, a newly renovated and expanded historic building, houses exhibits of American and European fine animal and sporting art.
Current and upcoming exhibits include: “The Chronicle of the Horse in Art” (through March 19), “Picturing English Pastimes: British Sporting Prints at the NSLM” (through March 26) and “Andre Pater: In a Sporting Light” (April 21-Aug. 13).
Remember: museum admission is free on Wednesdays and the museum also hosts some great free public events, including its “Open Late” concert series (July 29 and Aug. 26 from 6-8 p.m.), Gallery Talks (held every Wednesday at 2 p.m.) and Sunday Sketch, a sketching session led by a local artist or art teacher held the first Sunday of each month from 2-4 p.m.
For the avid golfer, The Club at Creighton Farms’ Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course is a dream come true. When it opened in 2007, the course was recognized as one of the premier golf courses on the Eastern Seaboard and hailed “Best New Private Course” by the likes of Golf Digest, Golf Magazine, Golfweek and Travel + Leisure Golf.
The course incorporates appealing water features and a small, richly foliaged creek and has been recognized by Audubon International for its environmental quality and preservation efforts. To learn more about membership opportunities or hosting an outing at Creighton Farms, contact Michael Robichaud at 703-957-4808 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Get your chi flowing with yoga at Native Barre in downtown Middleburg. The studio features Ashtanga and Slow Flow Yoga, as well as Native Barre, Native Jump, T’ai Chi and Tomba classes. Vinyasa Yoga Teacher Michaela Mazuchova is a certified Jivamukti Yoga Teacher whose classes feature hands-on adjustments accompanied with fun, uplifting music. Special candlelight Yin Yoga classes led by Sharman Dudley are held every Sunday evening at Native Barre at 6 p.m. with live acoustic guitar played by Matthew Martinez.
If you’ve ever been curious about the sport of polo, you’ve come to the right place! You can learn how to play this exhilarating game at the Great Meadow Polo School, where riders of all skill levels and experience can learn riding skills, hitting techniques, horsemanship and respect for the rules of the game.
Or, take lessons at Salamander Resort, which offers a hands-on, polo experience for beginners where you’ll meet a game-ready polo pony, execute key strokes, handle professional gear, and learn the basic rules, positioning and tactics behind competitive polo. Intermediate lessons are also available, which include a challenging scrimmage or shoot out.
If you need some retail therapy, you’ll love Middleburg. We have a wide assortment of shops, including many boutique stores that can’t be found anywhere else. For antiques and art, our favorites are The Shaggy Ram and Foxfire Antiquities & Objets D’Art.
If you’re looking for clothes, we always find something new to love at Country Classics, Duchessa (women’s fashions), Highcliffe Clothiers, J. McLaughlin, Lou Lou, Richard Allen Clothing (men’s fashions) and Tully Rector.
For gifts or a little something special, try Les Jardins de Bagatelle for French products; Middleburg’s Finest Chocolates for gourmet chocolates; Olio Tasting Room for delicious and healthy infused olive oils, balsamic vinegars and other cooking essentials; Popcorn Monkey for gourmet popcorn; Salamander Resort & Spa for unique equestrian-inspired gifts; Stitch for needlepoint gifts; The Christmas Sleigh for German ornaments and handmade Austrian clothing; Creme de la Creme for tableware, furniture, linens and more; The Fun Shop for just about everything (including clothes, housewares and gifts); The Tack Box or Journeymen Saddlers for equestrian gifts; Tri-County Feeds, Fashions, Finds for riding and sporting apparel, tack and other equestrian-inspired gifts; and Wylie Wagg for supplies for dogs, cats and other critters.
Middleburg is fortunate to have a wide variety of excellent eateries, with everything from fine dining to a corner café. If you’re looking for a quick bite, we recommend organic and locally grown pub-inspired fare at the family-friendly Hunter’s Head Tavern, gourmet sandwiches at Market Salamander‘s inviting café, a cup of coffee and locally inspired sandwich from Middleburg Common Grounds or Side Saddle Café, which has a full array of breakfast, lunch and dinner items featuring seasonal items with pasture-raised meats, organic produce and homemade breads. Gluten-free options are available at Hunter’s Head, Common Grounds and Side Saddle.
For a sit-down dining experience, try the Piedmont-inspired cuisine at Salamander Resort’s Gold Cup Wine Bar or intimate dining at the Red Fox Inn & Tavern.
For gourmet fine-dining, try Harrimans Virginia Piedmont Grill at Salamander Resort or Goodstone Inn & Restaurant with its innovative farm-to-table cuisine. And don’t forget to pick up some of The Upper Crust’s famous cow puddle cookies (and treat yourself to an ice cream while you’re there, too)!