George Washington was born and raised in Fredericksburg, Virginia, which saw action in the American Civil War. Things To Do In Fredericksburg Virginia, as a result, a large portion of Fredericksburg’s tourist industry is devoted to this history. There are numerous historic mansions and buildings, as well as a national cemetery and a military park dedicated to the Battle of Fredericksburg.
Breweries, cafes, restaurants, theaters, and shops abound in Fredericksburg, making it a great place to spend time with friends and family. Check ahead of time to see if the attractions and restaurants are open.
List Of 32 Things To Do In Fredericksburg Virginia Today
1. National Museum of American History
National Museum of American History, fredericksburg is home to four historic properties owned and operated by Washington Heritage Museums, which tell the story of George Washington dc and his presidency through the lens of his life and times.
In the Hugh Mercer Apothecary Shop in St. James’ House, built on land once owned by Mary Washington dc, visitors can learn about the doctor who treated patients – including Washington’s mother Mary – there, as well as see antique furniture.
For example, visitors can see the house that George purchased for his ailing mother, the Mary Washington House, and the Rising Sun Tavern, built by Charles, George’s younger brother, where original woodwork can still be found.
2. Central Rappahannock River Heritage Center
The Central Rappahannock Heritage Center is a museum dedicated to the cultural history of Fredericksburg and the surrounding area, particularly the Rappahannock River communities. It is open Tuesday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The Central Rappahannock Heritage Center takes care to document the smaller aspects of life, such as marriages, love letters, local court cases, personal photographs, and other keepsakes and belongings that help to paint a complete picture of life and culture in the region throughout historic district.
Address: 900 Barton St Suite #111, Fredericksburg, VA 22401, United States
3. Chatham Manor
With its ornate and opulent Georgian architecture, Chatham Manor serves as more than just a stunning piece of art. As a result of its long history, this 1771-built home has seen many events, including a slave revolt in 1805 and service as a Union headquarters and battleground during the American civil war.
With its walls and floors stained with blood and graffiti, the manor house was left a desolate ruin by the armies that camped and fought there during World War II. Visitors can now wander the grounds, gardens, and outbuildings at their leisure after Chatham was fully restored in the early twentieth century. There is no access to the house of visitor center.
Address: 120 Chatham Ln, Fredericksburg, VA 22405, United States
4. Central Park Funland
Central Park Funland is a must-visit when traveling with a family or small children. A virtual reality video game called Hologate is just one of the 40,000 square feet of indoor attractions at Central Park Funland.
No matter what the weather is like, the park is a great place to spend time with friends and family. Go-karts, mini-golf, batting cages, and more carnival games are also available, making this place ideal for a day of fun for everyone.
Guests can choose from a variety of food and beverage options at the cafe, as well as wristbands that grant access to the entire adventure memorial park.
Address: 1351 Central Park Blvd, Fredericksburg, VA 22401, United States
5. Fredericksburg Area Museum
For more than a century, the Fredericksburg Area Museum has worked tirelessly to collect and preserve the history of the region, as well as educate visitors, whether they are locals or tourists.
FAM’s collection spans thousands of years of history, from the region’s Native Americans to more recent events like Fredericksburg’s role in the Black Lives Matter movement.
There are a variety of permanent and temporary exhibitions at the museum, which rotate throughout the year and frequently host community events.
Address: 907 Princess Anne St, Fredericksburg, VA 22401, United States
6. Fredericksburg Battlefield
The Union Army’s failed attempt to cross the Rappahannock River and seize Richmond, the Confederate capital, resulted in the Battle of Fredericksburg, which lasted from December 11 to 15, 1862. Due to the unexpected delay in the arrival of Union pontoons, General Robert E. Lee was able to strengthen his position.
As a result, the conflict was more like a massacre than a battle. Despite its bloody past, Fredericksburg’s peaceful, tree-lined grounds are a popular destination for tourists. The Fredericksburg Battlefield visitor’s center features a large museum with Civil War artifacts and history, a short battle documentary, and a bookstore/gift shop.
Address: 1013 Lafayette Blvd, Fredericksburg, VA 22401, United States
7. Fredericksburg National Cemetery
It is estimated that more than 15,000 Union soldiers were laid to rest at the Fredericksburg National Cemetery, which was a battleground during the Civil War between Washington D.C. and Richmond.
Less than a quarter of those 15,000 bodies were ever identified. It is now a peaceful place where visitors can visit memorials to those who lost their lives in the Civil War in Marye’s Heights, as well as view the remains of soldiers who were buried in Willis Cemetery until 1945. The national military park includes the National Cemetery, which is open daily from dawn to dusk.
Address: 1013 Lafayette Blvd, Fredericksburg, VA 22401, United States
8. National Military Park
The Civil War battles of Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania, The Wilderness, and Chancellorsville are all commemorated in Fredericksburg/Spotsylvania National Military Park, as are the soldiers who lost their lives during those battles.
At Chatham Manor, you’ll find the home of Stonewall Jackson’s final resting place, Ellwood Manor, as well as the historically significant Salem Church. At Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville, the park’s two visitor centers, visitors can learn more about the park and its battlefields through exhibits and informational displays.
Address: 1013 Lafayette Blvd, Fredericksburg, VA 22401, United States
9. Eileen’s Bakery & Cafe
Fresh, locally sourced ingredients are used by Eileen’s Bakery & Cafe to create a wide variety of baked goods.
Eileen’s Bakery and Cafe offers hearty breakfasts like quiche, breakfast sandwiches, and baked goods, as well as lunches like homemade soups, salads, and sandwiches on fresh bread. The coffee and espresso drinks at Eileen’s are a big draw for a lot of people, and they can be taken on the go or enjoyed in the cafe with a sweet baked good.
Address: 1115 Caroline St, Fredericksburg, VA 22401, United States
10. Gari Melcher’s
Landscape, portrait, and mural painter Gari Melchers was active in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. When he purchased the Belmont Estate in Falmouth, Virginia, Melchers was already a well-known and successful artist, able to escape the start of World War I and paint for pleasure.
On her death in 1955 in her home and studio, Gari Melchers’ wife left it to Virginia, making it one of the best examples of a historic artists’ home and work in existence. The Belmont Estate is now a beautiful and historically significant home open to the public for visits.
Address: 224 Washington St, Falmouth, VA 22405, United States
11. Shannon Air Museum
The Shannon Air Museum houses one of the world’s most impressive collections of vintage planes. When founder Sidney Shannon Jr. died in 1981, the Shannon Air Museum that had been established in the 1950s was disbanded.
The Shannon Air Museum has rediscovered much of its original collection of aircraft and aviation artifacts and is now open to the public after decades of closure.
Visit the restored Shannon Airport, which is now open to the public and where you can learn about the state’s aviation history as well as admire the collections. This museum is located at 3380 Shannon Airport Circle in Fredericksburg, VA 22408 and can be reached by phone at 540-642-4387 (toll free).
Address: 3380 Shannon Airport Cir, Fredericksburg, VA 22408, United States
12. Goolrick’s Pharmacy And Soda Fountain
Goolrick’s Pharmacy and Soda Fountain, which first opened in 1863 in the heart of downtown Fredericksburg, is still open today. In today’s world, going to Goolrick’s is like going back to the good old days when life was simpler with live music, good food at an affordable price, and helpful staff.
Customers sit on their high stools at the long bar at the oldest continuously operating soda fountain in the United States, which was installed in 1912.
In spite of the fact that Goolrick’s Pharmacy is still open for business, the vast majority of its customers come in for lunch or a milkshake at the counter. In addition to sandwiches like grilled cheese, BLTs, and tuna salad, Goolrick’s also carries a variety of desserts, including egg creams, malt shakes, and freshly squeezed lemonade.
Address: 901 Caroline St, Fredericksburg, VA 22401, United States
13. James Monroe Museum And Memorial Library
The James Monroe Museum and Memorial Library were established in 1927 with the goal of honoring James Monroe, the United States’ fifth president.
In order to house their family heirlooms and personal collections, the museum was founded by Monroe’s direct descendants, and the location they chose was once the site of Monroe’s office, where he practiced law. Everything from his dinner plates and pottery to his letters and documents can be found in the museum’s vast collection.
Address: 908 Charles St, Fredericksburg, VA 22401, United States
14. Kenmore Plantation
Betty Washington Lewis, the sister of our nation’s first president, Fielding Lewis, built and owned Kenmore Plantation, which is now a national historic site.
Until the Revolutionary War, Lewis was a wealthy man who built his house out of the money he earned from trading with England. Visitors can still tour the first floor and kitchen on a 45-minute guided tour or wander the grounds and gardens at their leisure in this stunning example of Georgian architecture.
Address: 1201 Washington Ave, Fredericksburg, VA 22401, United States
15. George Washington’s Ferry Farm
George Washington used to live on a farm called Ferry Farm. It’s the place where the first American president grew up. The house that stands today is a replica of the one that stood in the past.
Archaeologists discovered the charred remains of George Washington’s house in 2008, which had been destroyed by fire in the 1740s. A new house was built on top of the original foundation from 2015 to 2018.
Address: 268 Kings Hwy, Fredericksburg, VA 22405, United States
16. Mary Washington House
In the 18th century, the Mary Washington House served as a museum. Mary Ball Washington, George Washington’s mother, spent the last years of her life here. It was for his mother that the first president paid 275 pounds in 1772 when he bought the house.
Visitors are welcome to take a tour of both the house and the garden. Several of Ms Washington’s personal items, including a mirror she called her “best dressing glass,” are on display in the museum.
Address: 1200 Charles St, Fredericksburg, VA 22401, United States
17. Hugh Mercer Apothecary Shop
In the middle of the 18th century, a pharmacy called the Hugh Mercer Apothecary Shop opened in London. Hugh Mercer, a physician and Scottish immigrant with close ties to George Washington, was the proud owner of the property.
It’s now a museum, thanks to the restoration of the old apothecary. It has a collection of artifacts and exhibits dedicated to the history of medicine in Colonial America. It also covers Mercer’s personal history and his involvement in the American Revolutionary War.
Address: 1020 Caroline St, Fredericksburg, VA 22401, United States
18. Alum Spring Park
You can enjoy Fredericksburg’s natural beauty while taking a break at Alum Spring Park. Various walking trails and paved paths can be found in this peaceful public space.
You can also sit on the benches and take in the surrounding natural beauty, including a small stream that meanders through the area.
Address: 1 Greenbrier Dr., Fredericksburg, VA 22401, United States
19. Old Mill Park
On a warm day, Old Mill Park is the ideal spot to unwind. Located on the Rappahannock River, it’s a great place to take a dip. A canoe/kayak launching ramp is also included.
Address: 2201 Caroline St, Fredericksburg, VA 22401, United States
20. Indian Punch Bowl
The Rappahannock River Heritage Trail’s Indian Punch Bowl is a historic site. It is thought that the early Native American tribes who lived in the area made the rock depression at this site.
As the name suggests, it has a bowl-shaped indent. According to legend, the tribes used it to mix poison for their arrows, which they then shot.
Address: Rappahannock Riv Heritage Trl, Fredericksburg, VA 22401, United States
21. The Rising Sun Tavern Museum
Another Fredericksburg landmark with Washingtonian ties is the Rising Sun Tavern Museum. It is believed that Charles Washington, the younger brother of George Washington, erected this house in the early 1760s.
It was sold and turned into a tavern in 1791. It provides a glimpse into 18th-century life today. Costumed guides lead visitors on a tour of the house, bringing the past to life.
Address: 1304 Caroline St, Fredericksburg, VA 22401, United States
22. Sammy T’s
Sammy T’s is a pub in downtown Fredericksburg that serves locals and tourists alike. Although it was first used as a restaurant in 1981, the structure in which it is now located dates back to 1805.
They have a wide variety of options for everyone to choose from on their menu. There’s something for everyone, from traditional American fares like Brunswick stew, burgers, and grilled cheese to vegetarian and vegan options.
Address: 801 Caroline St, Fredericksburg, VA 22401, United States
23. 6 Bears & a Goat Brewing Company
If you’ve had a great day exploring Fredericksburg, then 6 Bears & A Goat Brewing Company is the perfect place to wind down. They also have rotating and seasonal brews in addition to their flagship beer on tap.
There’s a beer-centric menu at the on-site restaurant if you’re hungry. They also make an effort to produce everything themselves, from the ground up.
Address: 1140 International Pkwy, Fredericksburg, VA 22406, United State
24. Strangeways Brewing Fredericksburg
The atmosphere at Strangeways Brewing Fredericksburg is friendly and welcoming to people of all ages. Additionally, it offers a wide variety of delectable Virginia craft beers as well as a fun atmosphere.
There are multiple tasting rooms, an arcade, and free board games for you and your friends to play in the establishment. The outdoor Biergarten is the perfect place to unwind on a warm day. It’s easy to get into the vacation spirit here, thanks to the abundance of comfortable seating, an expansive patio with umbrellas, and on-site food trucks.
Address: 350 Lansdowne Rd, Fredericksburg, VA 22401, United State
25. A. Smith Bowman Distillery
Award-winning Bourbon is made locally at the A. Smith Bowman Distillery. It is Virginia’s oldest distillery. Prohibition in the United States was abolished on January 1, 1934, which is when it was founded.
Free tours of the distillery allow visitors to see firsthand how the various boozes are created. Your tour should conclude with a wine tasting so that you can bring home your favorite bottle.
Address: 1 Bowman Dr, Fredericksburg, VA 22408, United States
26. Basilico New York Deli
Food from the East Coast is available at Basilico New York Deli, a deli, and market in New York City. You’ll want to come hungry for everything on the menu, from the lobster bisque to the corned beef sandwiches to the New York-style pizza. Imported groceries and Italian baked goods are also available for purchase.
Address: 2577 Cowan Blvd, Fredericksburg, VA 22401, United States
27. Belvedere Plantation
The original plantation house at Belvedere Plantation dates back to the 1760s. Although it has been continuously inhabited throughout its history, this means it is not open to the public.
Currently, seasonal family-friendly events are held on the land surrounding the house. A pumpkin patch and a corn maze are part of the Fall Harvest Festival, which takes place in the fall. There is an Easter Eggstravaganza in the Spring, which includes games, activities, baby animals, and Easter egg hunts.
Address: 1410 Belvedere Dr, Fredericksburg, VA 22408, United States
28. White Oak Civil War Museum
The private collection of Civil War artifacts from both the Union and Confederate armies is on display at the White Oak Civil War Museum.
Military personnel who camped or fought in Fredericksburg and Stafford County, Virginia, left many of these artifacts behind. Witness a fascinating collection that includes everything from soldiers’ personal effects to scale models of the huts they lived in during the war.
Address: 985 White Oak Rd, Fredericksburg, VA 22405, United States
29. The Alpine Chef
It wasn’t until 1974 that the Thalwitz family opened The Alpine Chef, a restaurant serving up traditional German fare from their own recipe book. This fantastic Madison restaurant opened a second location in Fredericksburg’s old train station in 2010.
It’s known for its hearty portions of hearty foods like wiener schnitzel and bratwurst, which are made from scratch daily with the freshest ingredients.
Address: 200 Lafayette Blvd, Fredericksburg, VA 22401, United States
30. The Ebert House and Store
Prussian immigrants Henry and Sophia Ebert settled in Fredericksburg in the 1840s. Until the outbreak of the American Civil War in 1862, their house on Telegraph Road served as a neighborhood grocery store.
Officers from the Confederate army forced the Eberts to flee their home; when they returned after the battle was over, they discovered their property had been severely damaged, including the bodies of soldiers.
Address: 701 Sunken Rd, Fredericksburg, VA 22401, United States
31. Monument to the Angel of Marye’s Heights
A single bronze memorial honors the courage and compassion of a single Confederate soldier at the site of the bloody Battle of Fredericksburg during the American Civil War.
Angel of Marye’s Heights was the nickname given to Richard Rowland Kirkland, a 19-year-old who risked his life numerous times to bring water to wounded and dying Union soldiers who had been left on the battlefield at the end of one of America’s most gruesome battles of the Civil War.
Address: 514-592 Sunken Rd, Fredericksburg, VA 22401, United States
32. Basilico New York Deli
The food at Basilico Italian Market and New York Deli is taken very seriously by the staff. Menu items include brick oven pizza, freshly grilled paninis, a variety of pasta dishes topped with various sauces and vegetables, as well as daily soup and salad specials.
Address: 2577 Cowan Blvd, Fredericksburg, VA 22401, United States
It’s hard to find a more American city than Fredericksburg. Whether you’re a history buff, a nature lover, or a foodie, there’s something for everyone in the area.
The museums provide a wealth of information in an engaging format. You can’t help but fall in love with the national park because they have the typical east coast aesthetic. And the food and beverages are a window into Virginia’s history and cuisine.
FAQs Things To Do In Fredericksburg
Is it worthwhile to pay a visit to Fredericksburg, Virginia?
Fredericksburg, a charming Virginia old town just south of Washington, D.C., holds a significant place in American history. At one time, it was a bustling port and the childhood home of George Washington; at another, it was the scene of several major battles during the American Civil War.
Is it possible to get around Fredericksburg on foot?
Located in the heart of Fredericksburg, the city is a walker’s paradise. A short stroll through our brick sidewalks will get you to any destination in the city because there are so many shops, restaurants, services and hotels all within a few blocks of each other.
Is Fredericksburg a pleasant place to visit?
It’s a great place to raise a family because there are so many lovely houses and activities to enjoy! Visiting the city’s core is a worthwhile cultural experience (in general Fredericksburg is pretty historical). Depending on your location, there is a good mix of urban and rural areas to keep you busy.
Is it a good idea to settle down in Fredericksburg, Virginia?
There is a wide range of housing options in Fredericksburg for families, students, and retirees, making it a desirable place to call home. People who enjoy the great outdoors can enjoy fishing, hiking, or bird-watching in the Rappahannock River that borders the city.