Top 10 Things to do in Fredericksburg, United States

October 28, 2017 Renato Branum

Join the local ghosts in a walk through the historic district of Fredericksburg, Virginia, a city that claims to be one of the most haunted locales in the United States. With a long history dating back to pre-Colonial times, and a legacy of slavery and war, it is no wonder that so many unhappy phantoms wander the streets. Visit the Fredericksburg & Spotsylvania National Military Park, marking the spot of four bloody Civil War battles or Ferry Farm, the boyhood home of George Washington.
Restaurants in Fredericksburg

1. Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park

120 Chatham Ln, Fredericksburg, VA 22405-2508 +1 540-373-6124
Excellent
71%
Good
23%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
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Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 440 reviews

Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park

Reviewed By Alan S - Raleigh, United States

We drove through the park and read the numerous informative plaques along the way to learn about the battles that were fought. We were very impressed by the Civil War soldiers, the challenges they faced, and either overcame or succumbed to. It is a humbling history lesson and makes me appreciate all that our military do to serve our great country-past and present. United we stand!

2. Gari Melchers Home and Studio at Belmont

224 Washington St, Falmouth, VA 22405-2360 +1 540-654-1015
Excellent
77%
Good
20%
Satisfactory
2%
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4.5 based on 149 reviews

Gari Melchers Home and Studio at Belmont

Gari Melchers was an American artist who lived and painted at Belmont from 1916 until his death in 1932. Born in Detroit in 1860, Gari Melchers was a world famous portraitist and impressionist painter. He was headquartered in Paris, Holland, and Germany until World War I when he opened his studio in New York City and established his country home in Falmouth.In 1955, his widow, Corinne Melchers, donated the 27-acre Belmont property to the Commonwealth of Virginia to preserve and operate as an art museum and historic site. Her generous gift included the 1790s house, the artist's studio and contents, their personal furnishings, and more than 500 of Gari Melchers' paintings, the largest collection anywhere. Designated a Virginia and National Historic Landmark in 1966, Gari Melchers Home and Studio is administered by the University of Mary Washington. The buildings, gardens, and woodland trails are open to the public year round.Gari Melchers Home and Studio is one of just 30 of America's most significant artists' spaces included in the National Trust for Historic Preservation's Historic Artists' Homes and Studios consortium.Gari Melchers Home and Studio is home to the official Stafford County Visitor Center.

Reviewed By Heather F - Westford, Massachusetts

Amazing that one of the worlds most premier artist of his time, with a studio in NYC, ended up with a country house just across the river from Fredericksburg. Interesting house and gardens with trails in the woods. Amazing that the melchers left their property...MoreThanks so much for taking the time to write a review about your recent visit. We hope you return again soon!

3. The Rising Sun Tavern

1304 Caroline St, Fredericksburg, VA 22401-3704 +1 540-371-1494
Excellent
72%
Good
23%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
1%
Terrible
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Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 203 reviews

The Rising Sun Tavern

While not serving food or drink since 1827, the Rising Sun Tavern Museum provides a lively interpretation of late 18th-century Tavern life. Charles Washington, George Washington's youngest brother, built this landmark in the 1760's as his private residence. After being sold outside the Washington family, the building was leased as a tavern in 1792. Operating as a stopover for travelers for 35 years in the bustling town of Fredericksburg, it was a popular diversion for travelers and locals alike. Today, costumed guides entertain visitors as though they have just stepped off their coaches into the late 18th-century life. See how bygone visitors slept, learn what they ate and drank, and immerse yourself in the now eccentric customs of historic travel and lodgings. The original 18th-century structure contains period furniture and artifacts.

Reviewed By Michael L - Fredericksburg, Virginia

Built by Charles Washington, George's younger brother, in the 1760s, this place screams authenticity. Costumed and very knowledgeable guides will open your eyes to the sometimes shocking realities of colonial American inns and taverns. The truth that's often ignored or glossed over in books and movies is brought front and center, and you'll leave grateful for the conveniences of today's modern motels and cocktail lounges. Great fun as well as educational.

4. Battlefield Fredericksburg

9001 Plank Road, Chancellorsville Battlefield Visitors Center, Fredericksburg, VA 22401 +1 540-693-3200
Excellent
64%
Good
28%
Satisfactory
7%
Poor
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Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 405 reviews

Battlefield Fredericksburg

Reviewed By Alan S - Raleigh, United States

We spent the afternoon driving along the Fredericksburg battlefield park and stopped to read the numerous plaques along the route. The lengthy Confederate defensive trench lines are still present and the many plaques note the events that transpired at the different locations and explain the battle well so that visitors can figuratively see the battle in front of them. You can imagine the Union forces slugging through a cold swampy area in December 1863 to breakthrough Stonewall Jackson's picket lines and momentarily overrun the defenses before ultimately being pushed back. Who knew that Civil War era cannon could fire a 30 pound cannon ball 2 miles? Great history lesson and there is even an interesting stone pyramid monument here.

5. Fredericksburg Visitor Center

706 Caroline St, Fredericksburg, VA 22401-5904 +1 540-373-1776
Excellent
68%
Good
27%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
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Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 146 reviews

Fredericksburg Visitor Center

Reviewed By Jack L - East Syracuse, New York

The Visitor Center,
On arrival a ranger greeted & asked how he could help. sked & was given brochures & instructions to the battlefield, about 100 yards away. Not much time was spent at the center, skipped the 20 minute video of the battle. Met a total of three staff/volunteers. After touring the battlefield I stopped again to ask about a tall monument a short walk away. Two members checked books about the monument that was the Butterfield Fifth Corp Memorial.

At the rear of center is center's gravel parking lot. A gift shop is located here, with an attached one room restroom for all visitors, lock the door before using.

The Battlefield.
The self guided tour starts down a 1/2 mile gravel walkway with a rebuilt four-five foot stone wall. Along the way are detailed info stands, with weathered photo, painting & words of officers/ soldiers who fought in the battle. Only two monuments. First is the confederate SGT. Richard Kirkland Memorial. During the battle Sgt. Kirkland rose from his position to give water to wounded union soldiers laying in front of the firing line for two hours. Union troops seeing Kirkland's action held their fire to allow Kirkland to continue his mission of mercy.

The second monument is the 50 plus foot high Butterfield Fifth Corp Memorial that stands a short from the visitor center.

When a visitor reaches Hanover St., turn back to the Marye's Height Trail-on the right- walking up hill. On the hill top are more info stands, which is mostly the end of the tour. On the hills top a mulch path will lead a visitor to the Fredericksburg National Cemetery. Trail ends the bottom of a staircase at the Butter Corps Memorial.

Total time for both visitor center & battlefield-for my visit-was 2 1/2 hours, while most visitors for the battlefield would be 45 minutes. A visit to both sites is highly recommended. The best feature for a visit is NO driving.

6. Kenmore Plantation and Gardens

1201 Washington Ave, Fredericksburg, VA 22401-3747 +1 540-373-3381
Excellent
65%
Good
28%
Satisfactory
5%
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4.5 based on 179 reviews

Kenmore Plantation and Gardens

Built by George Washington's sister, Betty Washington Lewis, and her husband, Fielding Lewis, this beautiful, Georgian-style, eighteenth-century brick mansion reflects the pre-Revolutionary-War wealth and status of the Fredericksburg merchant.

Reviewed By dejindc - Falls Church, Virginia

This is an important home and dates to before the American Revolution. Incredible restored. The most significant feature is the ceiling stucco. In three of the main floor rooms there are incredible stucco ceilings by a master who also did work at Mount Vernon. Very much worth a visit.

7. Old Town

Fredericksburg, VA +1 540-370-4300
Excellent
62%
Good
28%
Satisfactory
8%
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4.5 based on 274 reviews

Old Town

Reviewed By gho4 - Amissville, VA

Old town is a great place to walk and shop in unique stores. There are numerous restaurants and several coffee shops making for a leisurely day

8. A. Smith Bowman Distillery

1 Bowman Dr, Fredericksburg, VA 22408-7346 +1 540-373-4555
Excellent
86%
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5 based on 79 reviews

A. Smith Bowman Distillery

Complimentary tours are offered every hour on the hour, Monday - Saturday from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. The Gift Shop is open Monday - Saturday 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Historical Highlights A Smith Bowman bought the Sunset Hills estate farm in 1927 and opened up a dairy and granary. The farm was so abundant that he needed a use for the excess grain from his fields. In 1935, after the repeal of prohibition in the state of Virginia, he built and licensed the distillery. His sons maintained that tradition, continuing to feed the distillers grains to the dairy cattle, which were known to be the most contented cows in Virginia. In response to the rising real estate prices and property taxes of Northern Virginia, in 1988 the distillery was moved to the current location in Spotsylvania County near the city of Fredericksburg, 60 miles away from the original location. The Distillery Today As a small and American family owned company, A. Smith Bowman Distillery balances time-honored traditions with innovation and creativity to produce hand-crafted spirits. Distilled from the finest ingredients, the premium products created at A Smith Bowman Distillery honor the legacy and ground breaking spirit of Virginia's pioneers.

Reviewed By Dinah Y - Washington DC, District of Columbia

Stopped to do the tour and taste their Bourbons. The tour was very informative. We walked through the history and the process. At the end we were able to taste 4 whiskeys. They actually make more than Bourbon. They also make gin, rum and vodka. The owner likes to experiment. During our visit they were prepping for a wedding. It sounds like a very reasonable priced place to have an event at only $1000 on a weekend night.

9. Hugh Mercer Apothecary Shop

1020 Caroline St, Fredericksburg, VA 22401-3814 +1 540-373-3362
Excellent
64%
Good
29%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
1%
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Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 173 reviews

Hugh Mercer Apothecary Shop

This 18th-century building restored as the Hugh Mercer Apothecary Shop presents a vivid living history interpretation of Colonial medical practices. Leeches, lancets, and snakeroot are all found in this 18th century doctor's office and pharmacy. Visitors can hear about the popular treatment of the day for a lady's hysteria or a medicine so potent that it would, according to one wealthy plantation owner "cheer a man with a bad wife." The Hugh Mercer Apothecary Shop is one of Washington Heritage Museums and is within short walking distance of its other sites: the Mary Washington House, Rising Sun Tavern, and St. James' House. March 1-Oct. 31: Monday-Saturday, 9am-4pm; Sunday, noon-4pm. November 1-February 28: Monday-Saturday, 11am-4pm; Sunday, noon-4pm. Closed January 1, Thanksgiving, December 24, 25, 31. Please allow 45 minutes for your visit

Reviewed By 1Jaybee1 - Newport News, Virginia

Cash only! You can get $1 off with AAA. On the the first part of the tour, the docent told about the different medicine the doctor used. We got to smell some of them. On the second part of the tour, the docent told us...MoreWe are glad you enjoyed your tour with us! We are happy to announce that we now accept credit cards as payment. We hope to see you again soon!

10. Mary Washington House

1200 Charles St, Fredericksburg, VA 22401-3706 +1 540-373-1569
Excellent
57%
Good
34%
Satisfactory
9%
Poor
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4.5 based on 152 reviews

Mary Washington House

In 1772, George Washington purchased a house in Fredericksburg, Virginia for his mother, Mary Ball Washington. She spent her last seventeen years in this comfortable home. The white frame house sites on the corner of Charles and Lewis Streets and was within walking distance of Kenmore, the home of Mary's daughter, Betty Washington Lewis. Tradition has it that, during the Revolution, General Lafayette found Mrs. Washington in her garden. As the President-to-be, George Washington came to this home to receive his mother's blessing before attending his inauguration in 1789.

Reviewed By foodpig - Gainesville, Florida

Really worth seeing! Michelle is an excellent tour guide and knows all about this beautiful piece of history. Nemo the cat next door may help you on your tour while you are outside. The kids will enjoy each of the museums operated by Washington Heritage Museums. I feel it is a great value for the nominal entrance fee and remember that helps keep these museums open for future generations.

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