Fredericksburg is a haven for American history buffs. It’s George Washington’s hometown and the site of multiple Civil War battles. Today, the town maintains its historical sites and has a true Americana vibe. Located on the Rappahannock River about an hour and a half from Washington D.C., it’s a doable commute for people who work in the city but want a quiet home life. Most commuters brave the traffic on I-95, but the Virginia Railway Express rail service also connects Fredericksburg and D.C.
Fredericksburg is a family oriented city with about 80 percent of residents being married. The median sales price of homes is $280,000 and median rent per month is $1,599. In general, residents are a successful lot with a median household income of $78,654. Mary Washington Hospital and the University of Mary Washington are the biggest employers in town.
If you’re looking to buy, you’ll mostly find turnkey, new construction homes for sale. Renters will find modern, luxury apartment buildings with amenities like pools and gyms; 600 Amelia Street and The Apartments at Cobblestone Square are two popular complexes.
As mentioned, Fredericksburg is a historic hotspot. It’s home to the four battlefields of the Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park; Fredericksburg National Cemetery is the final resting place of thousands of Union soldiers (which makes for some great ghost tours). George Washington’s boyhood home once stood at Ferry Farm, and today you can tour the grounds and check out Colonial and Civil War artifacts.
If you want to get outdoorsy, go paddleboarding on the Rappahannock River, rent a Pontoon Boat at Lake Anna State Park or go golfing at one of the area’s many courses. Head to historic downtown Fredericksburg for shopping and dining. On Main Street, you’ll find antiques shops, book stores, cafes, art galleries and restaurants. And even if you don’t want to buy anything, Main Street is a perfect place for an afternoon stroll. It’s a quaint American Main Street where you’ll see trolleys and horse carriages go by.
Virginia boasts beautiful scenery, especially in the fall, so it’s a perfect place to spend a day at a winery — and Fredericksburg has plenty. Check out Hartwood Winery, Lake Anna Winery, Potomac Point Winery and Mattaponi Winery. If you’re more into beer, visit Red Dragon Brewery, Spencer Devon Brewing or Strangeways Brewing.
Other things to do: Visit Chatham Manor, an 18th-century plantation and site of a slave rebellion, Fredericksburg Area Museum or Adventure Park at Wilderness Presidential Resort in nearby Stafford.