To Experience a Fair to Remember . . .

Waterford is celebrated for its fair, but it can be a day-trip from Washington or an idyllic weekend getaway at other times. Surrounding Loudoun County is known for its scenery, hunts, horse races, antiques and such historic sites as Harpers Ferry and Oatlands.

The fair will be held Oct. 5-7, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day. Admission is $10 a day (children 12 and younger are admitted free). Advance tickets are available by mail for $8 from the Waterford Foundation.

How to get there: Waterford is about 15 miles from Dulles International Airport and 40 miles northwest of Washington. From Washington, take Route 7 west past Leesburg, then Route 9 north toward Charles Town for 1/4 mile and turn right on Route 662. Go four miles to Waterford.

Accommodations: The Waterford Inn (P.O. Box 227, Second and Church streets, Waterford, Va. 22190-0227, (703) 882-3465) is a charming, Victorian bed and breakfast in the heart of the village. Innkeeper Marcia Stover serves eggs Benedict daily. Rooms are $65 and $75 double occupancy per night.

The Cornerstone (Route 1, Box 82-C, Routes 9 & 662, Paeonian Springs, Va. 22129, (703) 882-3722) is a bed and breakfast on a farm four miles outside Waterford. What it lacks in charm, it makes up for with a swimming pool and evening deer watch. Double rooms are $65, which includes a bountiful country breakfast.

Where to eat: Tuscarora (203 Harrison St., Leesburg, Va., (703) 771-9300) is set in an attractively restored 1899 mill. It serves American cuisine with fresh local and imported ingredients, including crab cakes, duck, salmon, veal and lamb. Dinner for two without liquor runs $50-$60.

Wayside Gardens (420 W. Colonial Highway, Hamilton, Va., (703) 338-4315) offers good food at reasonable prices in an informal, funky setting. Hickory-smoked chicken, ribs, trout and barbecued pork are served in a tiny roadside trailer or out back on a patio under a stand of oak trees. Try the French fries. Dinner for two without liquor runs $25-$30.

For more information: Contact the Waterford Foundation, P.O. Box 142, Waterford, Va. 22190, (703) 882-3018. A copy of last year's detailed fair brochure is available upon request.

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