Fredericksburg is a historic city located in Virginia. It is situated along the Rappahannock River, which provides many opportunities for outdoor activities such as fishing, boating, and hiking. The city is also home to a number of historical sites, museums, and parks. In this article, we will provide a list of 14 things to do in this wonderful city. So pack your bags and get ready to explore! If you’re looking for things to do in Fredericksburg, VA, here are 14 ideas to get you started.
Fredericksburg Area Museum and Cultural Center
Located in the heart of downtown Fredericksburg, the Fredericksburg Area Museum and Cultural Center (FAMCC) aims to educate visitors about the history of the area from as far back as 1728. The FAMCC hosts regular walking tours of central Fredericksburg, themed exhibits that change seasonally, and a permanent exhibit that houses replicas of Fredericksburg’s original buildings. The museum also serves as a community center with events such as book readings and family-friendly activities.
Spotsylvania National Military Park
The Spotsylvania National Military Park, located in Fredericksburg, Virginia, opened in 1927 and honors the soldiers who fought and died during the battles of Wilderness, Salem Church, Laurel Hill, Chancellorsville, and Spotsylvania Courthouse. The site consists of 10,200 acres that were recognized by Congress for their historical relevance. In addition to being an historic site, Spotsylvania is part of the Civil War Discovery Trail. If you are going to visit one national park while in Fredericksburg this is definitely it!
The Historic District is one of the most popular things to do in Fredericksburg, and for good reason. Within this historic district are over 500 buildings, including dozens of homes, churches and galleries. As you walk through the Old Town, you’ll see some of these beautiful structures up close, including various styles like Federalist, Greek Revivalist, Queen Anne Victorian-era estates as well as early 20th-century bungalows. If you plan on touring with kids, make sure they’re wearing comfortable shoes because there’s no way they’re going to want to sit still while exploring all these interesting places!
Rising Sun Tavern
The Rising Sun Tavern is part of the Fredericksburg historic district, and was built in the 18th century. It was George Washington’s favorite watering hole, back when he sported flowing white hair and wore a powdered wig. If you’re traveling with children, this is a great place to visit, because there are lots of interactive exhibits where kids can dress up in colonial costumes or play old-fashioned games.
Chatham Manor is a beautiful Georgian-style mansion that was once home to William Fitzhugh, the owner of an immense tobacco plantation. Today, Chatham serves as headquarters for Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park and offers visitors the opportunity to learn about its role in both American history and architecture. If you’re looking for educational things to do in Fredericksburg, VA, this is it!
Kenmore Plantation is a beautiful 18th century Georgian-style building that was built in 1775, when it was the home of Fielding Lewis, a prominent businessman in Virginia during the American Revolution and his wife Betty Washington Lewis, George Washington’s only sister. The building itself has been described as one of the finest examples of Georgian architecture in America During the Civil War, both Union and Confederate generals used this mansion as their headquarters.
Mary Washington House
One of the most notable historical landmarks in Fredericksburg is the Mary Washington House, which served as home to some of the best-known figures in American history. The house was built in 1772 for George Washington’s mother, Mary Washington, and is now owned by The University of Mary Washington. The house is open for tours, and can offer a wealth of information about the life and times of George Washington’s family. The tour will teach you all about how different life was during that time period compared to today, and give you an inside look into what made George Washington such a legendary figure.
Old Mill Park
Old Mill Park is a blast from the past, offering a glimpse of what life was like in Fredericksburg in the late 19th century. To get there, follow Caroline Street to a parking lot immediately across from George Washington’s mother’s house. From there you can either walk or drive down the hill to see a huge mill wheel and mill complex which would have been bustling with activity during its heyday. Today, it’s common to see wedding parties taking pictures on the picturesque grounds. The park also has an outdoor amphitheater where music events are held throughout the year.
James Monroe Museum
Originally a 1728 home, the James Monroe Museum tells the story of our 5th president, James Monroe. The museum is located on Caroline Street in Fredericksburg and serves as a monument to Monroe’s life. The museum has an extensive collection of artifacts from Monroe’s time as President, including his desk, chair, and a copy of the Declaration of Independence. It’s one of the most interesting things to do in Fredericksburg, VA if you’re interested in history and politics.
Kenmore Plantation is a beautiful 18th century Georgian-style building from 1775. It was the home of Fielding Lewis, a prominent businessman in Virginia during the American Revolution, and his wife Betty Washington Lewis, George Washington’s only sister. The building itself has been described as one of the finest examples of Georgian architecture in America.
Fredericksburg Battlefields Visitor Center
If you’re a history buff, then Fredericksburg Battlefield is an essential stop. This unit of Spotsylvania National Military Park preserves the site where this pivotal Civil War Battle of Fredericksburg took place. You can check out the visitor center to learn more about the battle and its participants, or take one of several battlefield tours that are available. Admission to Fredericksburg Battlefield is free, but you’ll want to leave enough time in your schedule for at least two hours if you plan to do any touring.
Hugh Mercer Apothecary Shop
Visit the Hugh Mercer Apothecary Shop to explore the oldest pharmacy in Virginia and learn more about Dr. Hugh Mercer and his involvement in the American Revolution. Peruse the museum’s collection of medical artifacts, then visit the gift shop for a souvenir. The shop is open May through October, with hours of operation varying by season. Admission is $5 per person (free to children under 6).
Smith Bowman Distillery
Built in 1934, Smith Bowman Distillery is the oldest distillery in Virginia. It has a rich history, and was built by entrepreneur Joseph “Colonel Joe” Bowman. Colonel Joe returned from his service as a lieutenant colonel in World War I and bought two businesses with brothers Smith and Harry: a flour mill and a wholesale grocery company. Once Prohibition ended, Smith Bowman Distillery was born.
With its rich history, Smith Bowman Distillery is definitely worth visiting during your trip to Fredericksburg. Check it out at 1 Bowman Drive!
The farm was home to the Washington family from 1738 to 1772. George Washington lived at the farm from the age of six until he was 21 years old. The farm is now a National Historic Landmark and is open to the public for tours. Visitors can tour the farmhouse, see the outbuildings, and explore the sprawling grounds. The farm is also home to a museum with exhibits on the Washington family and life in 18th-century Virginia.
Things to Do in Fredericksburg
So, that’s it, Folks! 14 things to do in Fredericksburg, VA. We hope you liked our selection… and see you in Fredericksburg! Thanks for reading.
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