By: Lee Chandler
When I moved to Fredericksburg 15 years ago, I knew Fredericksburg was a beautiful, historical town. but, I never had the pleasure of experiencing Fredericksburg because I was a prisoner of I95 and my daily commute. I found my weekends consumed with errands, laundry, and kids activities making it even more difficult to experience the city. I always assumed I needed to go Washington DC or Richmond for fun activities. What I found is that I was living under a rock and had no idea what I was missing.
This past year, I made time to experience our town. With so many amazing activities such as farmer’s markets, street festivals, and historical re-enactments, there is always something to do. I find walking around the incredible shops, cafes, bakeries, and coffee shops tucked away downtown is relaxing. I am a firm believer of shopping local and Fredericksburg will not disappoint you, from antiques to wedding dresses, to bath balms, the uniqueness of each store will intice you to return. The bakeries, coffee shops, and cafes – what can I say – ah-mazing! I can spend hours just waliking downtown and talking to the shop owners. The stories they have to share are absolutely fascinating. Fredericksburg has so much history and what better way to experience it, than from the locals. Fredericksburg is full of historical sites, landmarks, and re-enactments. You could spend an entire year just visiting the historical sites.
I also found there was so much more than Downtown. Mary Washington University runs amazing activities that are open to the public, such as their book series. The Fairgrounds and Parks and Recreations are always hosting fun family activities. Spring is just around the corner and all the outdoor events will begin such as the Easter Egg Drop, fishing tournaments, the river raft race and the Frisbee Tournament. There are also so many fun non-profit festivals supporting your favorite local charities – such as the Fairy Festival, the Mason-Frazier event (actually starts in Spotsylvania and ends in King George), many events for animals (dogs, cats, and horses), activities for veterans, and the Disabilty Reseource Center. If music is your thing, local establishments have live bands, experience Central Park’s Celebrate Virginia, or the local amphitheater. Plus, the Expo Center has activities almost every weekend.
Additionally, local distilleries, wineries, and tap houses will not disappoint with wine pairings and spirit tastings events for those over twenty one. There are always activities at several local wineries. Why would you not want to check them out?
The river offers many fun activities from picnicking and canoeing to hiking and fishing. Take a boat out and join nature. Enjoy the wildlife or watch the train as it travels through town.
Here are my 5 favorite things to do:
- Festivals. I love attending the unique street festivals Fredericksburg has to offer. Shopping, music, and food all in one event.
- Horse and Carraige rides. I love the romantic tours. They are absolutely stunning during the holidays.
- Cafes: I love several of the cafes and coffee shops in downtown.
- Mason-Fraizer Ride. It is in honor of the men and women in our military who have died for our country. I am a big supporter of our veterans and love any event that I can support our vets.
- Canoeing down the river. The sites and getting back to nature is so relaxing.
I challenge you to spend one weekend a month experiencing all that Fredericksburg has to offer. I have made so many new friends and experienced so much culture, history, delicious food, and fun in the past year. Sadly, I have not event touched on the amount of amazing activities around town. Don’t take 14 years like I did to experience our little town. So watch out Washington, DC and Richmond, I don’t need to leave my little historical town, everything I want or need, is right here in the Fredericksburg area.