Fredericksburg Virginia is a small town about an hour south of Washington DC. It is around a 15-minute drive from our house now. We stayed in Fredericksburg proper the initial two months living in the area while looking for our current home.
Fredericksburg is famous for its colonial history, and the battle of Fredericksburg. Over 10.000 African-Americans left slavery for freedom in 1862.
I recommend visiting Chatham Manor, a Georgian-style house plantation that can give you a first look into the region’s history and connect you to Fredericksburg’s past. You can also enjoy the beautiful view from Chatham Manor’s grounds over the Rappahannock River into downtown Fredericksburg.
If you are interested in history, I also recommend visiting Kenmore Plantation, a plantation house built in the 1770s, which is situated closer to downtown Fredericksburg. You can explore the different rooms, and take a guided tour about its history and relevance for the area.
Are you fascinated by military operations and civil war battles?
I advise you to check out the Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park and the Fredericksburg Battlefield and Visitor Center. They did a great job of bringing history to life there.
I also suggest exploring The Rising Sun Tavern. It’s an old tavern that was transformed into a museum and gives you a glimpse into 18th-century tavern life. It was initially built by Charles Washington, the younger brother of George Washington, and served as his private home.
Tour the Distillery
Now let’s move to the more not so dry matter to do around the area!
Are you captivated by bourbon and whiskey? Visit the Bowman Distillery! It was established in 1934 by A. Smith Bowman, and he turned it into a family-owned business. It’s a unique, modern distillery, where you can learn more about the art of whiskey making, and explore their different products. They do not only produce whiskey and bourbon, but they also experiment with vodka, rum, (rye) gin, apple brandy, and even a delicious bourbon cream. I recommend going there and finding out what you prefer.
Last but not least, definitely take a stroll downtown Fredericksburg.
It’s a very quaint, cute town, and if you are into antiques, you are going to be a happy camper. Fredericksburg has tons of adorable little antique shops, and you most definitely find something your antique heart desires.
Also, take a look at the many other different boutique shops, or stop by one of the galleries, or pay a visit to Riverby Books, a charming bookstore to take a short break from the hustle and bustle of outside.
By the way, Fredericksburg also offers a trolley tour, which starts at the downtown visitor center. For 20$ an adult, and 8$ for children between 5 to 12, the trolley tour takes you around town and makes you familiar with all the vital information about the area.
There are also plenty of cute little, cafes, pubs, and restaurants where you can find any food you are craving. Try the pizza at Benny Vitali’s for a delicious, cheap lunch. It is so good!
I can most certainly recommend Mercantile for a very trendy, not so usual, breakfast spot. If we get breakfast outside of our home, we always go there.
My favorite dinner spot is Soup and Taco on Caroline Street (they also have a restaurant on William street in Fredericksburg). They have the freshest Mexican food I have ever had, and if you like Mexican food, you are going to love this place. You need to try their cream of crab soup, their delicious guacamole, and one of their tacos. From all the places we ate at in this area so far, I am going to miss Soup and Taco the most when we eventually leave here.
If you are into beers, especially European imported beers, you need to go to Sedona Taphouse or Capital Ale House. Both places have a great selection of beers, which you rarely find outside of Europe. I highly recommend looking into their happy hours and try to go then. Sedona Taphouse is a little fancier with their food choices and staff attire, and Capital Ale House is a more down to earth place with regular American comfort food.
When arriving here, Fredericksburg, Virginia, had captured my heart easily. Initially living downtown, we explored the town every weekend and tried out all kinds of eateries. My heart stuck with Soup and Taco from the beginning.
Fredericksburg won me over with its cute charm and exciting perspectives on history. I still love walking downtown, looking at the old Victorian mansions, and wonder about what happened here hundreds of years ago. You are not going to be disappointed visiting this lovely town, and finding out about its past and present.