Day Trip: Fredericksburg
FIND WHAT YOU SEEK
From John Smith’s first exploration up the Rappahannock River in 1608 to artist Gari Melchers’ purchase of a peaceful country retreat in Falmouth in 1916, the Fredericksburg region has been a rewarding landing place for centuries of seekers. That tradition continues, and a new generation of offerings make this just the place to find yourself, whatever you seek.
History has never been so alive as it is at Ferry Farm, where dedicated craftsmen are working to build a replica of the house where George Washington came of age. Across the Rappahannock River in Downtown Fredericksburg, the newly refurnished Kenmore mansion dazzles in the eighteenth-century grandeur in which Washington’s sister, Betty, and her husband, Fielding Lewis, furnished it, before the Revolutionary War turned their world upside down. The Fredericksburg Area Museum and Cultural Center tells the region’s story in a brand-new collection of exhibits in the oldest continuously used public building in the U.S.
Clutching the wheel as you navigate one of the 12 turns in the 2-mile road course at Spotsylvania County’s Dominion Raceway, you won’t want for adrenaline. Adventure is not in short supply here. The Fredericksburg Skydiving Center at Shannon Airport can help you with the ultimate bucket-list item. Outfitters on the Rappahannock and Potomac rivers and Lake Anna can get you up on a stand-up paddleboard, cruising the rapids in a kayak or connecting with nature on a multi-day trip on the water. Explorers are welcome at Lake Anna State Park, Motts Run Reservoir, Government Island and a long list of other places.
Artists thrive here. That becomes evident on any visit to Gari Melchers Home and Studio at Belmont in the historic village of Falmouth. Downtown’s Ponshop celebrates modern forms like skateboard art, graffiti and tattoo art, while Artful Dimensions celebrates everything three-dimensional. You could fill multiple days wandering through the many other galleries and studios artists have established in Downtown Fredericksburg. Riverside Center for the Performing Arts continues to up its game in bringing nationally recognized talent to an expanding repertoire that includes both the classics of musical theater and more modern dramatic favorites.
Every meal is an opportunity to explore the artistry of a Fredericksburg-area chef. Visit the new location of Foode to see how this celebrated restaurant has transformed a building that was once visited by Abraham Lincoln. Learn why travelers come from near and far to Spotsylvania’s Battlefield Country Market for fresh produce, artisan goods and delicious deli sandwiches. Try the new offerings chefs are bringing to the table this year at places like the vegetarian-focused Legume Kitchen and Bar and the authentically Italian Orofino, both in Downtown Fredericksburg. Pair your culinary discovery with a tour of the region’s growing cadre of craft brewers, vintners and distillers with a ticket to the Grapes and Grains Trail.
Editorial and images supplied by the Fredericksburg Department of Economic Development and Tourism.
For more information go to VisitFred.com