Located at the heart of northern Virginia’s “Hunt Country,” where senators, ambassadors, and aristocrats mix at multimillion-dollar country estates, Middleburg (pop. 673) is a small but immaculate town with a four-block business district packed with antiques shops, art galleries, and real estate agencies.

Many of Middleburg’s brick- and stone-fronted buildings date from colonial times, including the Red Fox Inn and Tavern (2 E. Washington St., 540/687-6301 or 800/223-1728, $195 and up), on US-50 at the center of town. Originally built in 1728 as a coach inn and tavern, it’s now a comfortable and upscale B&B and restaurant. There are a couple of other good places to eat, including the Upper Crust Bakery (2 N. Pendleton St., 540/687-5666), a local favorite offering cookies and sandwiches among the usual array of baked goods.

East of Middleburg, US-50 winds through gently rolling farmlands for a dozen miles before hitting the outlying suburbs of Washington DC.

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