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10 Awesome Things To Do In Fredericksburg VA | What to Do In Fredericksburg

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I never thought I would say this but, yes, there are dozens of reasons why one should visit Fredericksburg, VA. Vacation rentals and hotels with waterfalls as well as scenic views will keep you occupied on your trip to this beautiful city. 

The sightseeing opportunities in Fredericksburg VA alone make this a favorite place for tourists to visit. But is that all there is? Of course not. The list of entertaining things to do in Fredericksburg goes as wide as visiting museums, history buffs for those interested in the Civil War and the Battle of Fredericksburg, the Mary Washington House, and the Museum of American Frontier Culture.

Things To Do In Fredericksburg VA: Fredericksburg

Whether you’re into the American Civil War or just some family fun, there’s something for everyone in Fredericksburg VA. Read on to discover why this growing city is an exciting destination for history lovers, outdoorsy enthusiasts, and fun-loving families.

Visiting other destinations in Virginia? Check out our other delicious guides:

Awesome Things to do In Fredericksburg VA

Learn About History At The Fredericksburg Battlefield Visitor Center

1013 Lafayette Blvd. // +15406933200

This is the ideal place to start when touring attractions in Fredericksburg, VA – The Battlefield Visitor center. Here you can learn about upcoming events, military artifacts, and exhibits. 

When you go to the Fredericksburg Battlefield Visitor Center, you should plan to stay there for a while. There’s a good chance you’ll learn something new, and if you visit during a less busy time, you’ll get a lot of one-on-one time with a park ranger, who can tell you more about the history of the battles that took place there.

There are two floors you can visit in the Visitor Center. Both the first and second floors will give you a great historical perspective of the events that led up to the Battle of Fredericksburg. In addition, there is a lot to learn from exhibits on display in different halls.

Things To Do In Fredericksburg VA: Fredericksburg Battlefield Visitor Center
Photo Credit: Claire H.

It is said to be the best-preserved battlefield site in the country. It has information about significant battles that took place during the American Civil War. You will also find exciting tales and stories about people who fought in the war.

The Visitor Center is open from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm from Monday to Saturday. In the summertime, it’s open until 8:00 pm on Fridays.

The people who work there really impressed me with their knowledge of local history, sharing interesting facts and stories during the tour. After leaving the Fredericksburg Battlefield Visitor Center, you will already know much more about the landmark monuments around the area.

Visit the James Monroe Museum and Memorial Library

908 Charles St. // +15406541043

The James Monroe Museum and Memorial Library were created by direct descendants of James Monroe, the fifth president of the United States. The family wanted a place where their personal collection could be housed, so they built the museum. 

They chose to place the memorial where Monroe was born; this is where his home, Ash Lawn-Highland, was located.

The James Monroe Museum has an extensive collection of artifacts and heirlooms, ranging from letters and documents to the plates and pottery used at the dinner table.

Things To Do In Fredericksburg VA: James Monroe Museum
Photo Credit: Roger W

It’s not just a museum of who James Monroe was that made it one of the most visited attractions in Virginia. Instead, it is a place where you can get a feel for what life was like during Monroe’s time and all the changes he went through from being a struggling lawyer to being president from 1817 to 1825.

Among the priceless artifacts on display are Monroe’s military uniform, furniture from the Governor’s Mansion he occupied during his presidency, and a lock of his hair. If you’d like to admire them yourself, the museum offers free admission for all visitors.

Visit the Washington Heritage Museums

1300 Charles St. // +15403735630

Whether you’re out with the kids, learning about history, or having fun and walking around, there’s always something happening in the Washington Heritage Museums area.

Washington Heritage Museums operates four historic properties in Fredericksburg that represent significant aspects of American history as they relate to the life of George Washington, the first president of the United States. 

Things To Do In Fredericksburg VA: Mary Washington House
Photo Credit: Larry Syverson

At the Mary Washington House, you can explore the home that George Washington bought for his aging mother. In the Rising Sun Tavern, which was built by his younger brother Charles, you can also see original woodwork in the place that once served travelers in the 18th and early 19th centuries.

Have Fun at the Central Park Funland

1351 Central Park Blvd. // +15407856700

Central Park Funland is a large, family-friendly indoor entertainment complex that offers a fun way to get out of the heat while visiting Fredericksburg VA. 

Central Park Funland is a modern, multi-level venue that looks like a blank canvas with colorful walls, windows, and advertisements for its many attractions. It has three entrances which are easy to spot because it’s the only building in the area with lots of windows. 

Things To Do In Fredericksburg VA: Central Park Funland
Photo Credit: Dave Althoff

Once inside, the indoor amusement park reveals its impressive building design. There are two escalators for each level to take visitors to the top floor, which houses bumper cars, carnival rides, and video games.

Besides the fun rides, there are also inflatables, bumper boats, batting cages, and other outdoor attractions to keep kids engaged. 

You can also purchase a wristband that allows you unlimited fun within the entire adventure park, and there is also a cafe with food, snacks, and drinks.

Visit the Kenmore Plantation and Gardens

1201 Washington Ave. // +15403733381

Fredericksburg is “a glorious jewel of the American South,” and Kenmore Plantation and Gardens is its crowning jewel. Kenmore is a national historic landmark set on more than 300 acres of formal gardens, forests, plazas, ponds, streams, cultivated landscape, pastures, and meadows. Be sure to have your camera ready!

Kenmore Plantation and Gardens is a plantation house and gardens converted to a museum in 1852. Only one building remains from the original plantation, which dates back to the 1770s.

Things To Do In Fredericksburg VA: Kenmore Plantation and Gardens
Photo Credit: Virginia Museums

Kenmore Plantation and Gardens is a great place to visit because you can experience so many things there. You will get familiar with the history of the area and the local flora and fauna of the region. The buildings are large and well maintained, making it easy to imagine just what life was like on a plantation in colonial times.

So, if you find yourself in Virginia’s competitive 4th congressional district, then make sure you check out Kenmore. The mansion is open for tours, and trust me when I say that you won’t be disappointed.

Tour the Rising Sun Tavern

1304 Caroline St. // +15403711494

The building was initially constructed as a residence for the brother of George Washington but became a tavern in 1792. On the front porch, you might witness live performances taking place in the style of a tavern in the 18th century. 

Upon touring the tavern inside, you will see some period furnishings, as well as a trunk belonging to George Washington, who represented Virginia in the Continental Congress.

Things To Do In Fredericksburg VA: Rising Sun Tavern
Photo Credit: willie__

It was once the private residence of Virginia’s King of Pottery, Charles Washington, and one hundred and seventy-five years after George Washington’s brother built it, the Rising Sun Tavern served as a hospital during the Civil War. 

The building is now a historic site, complete with the tavern’s original bar and kitchen. 

Visit the Fredericksburg Area Museum

907 Princess Anne St. // +15403713037

The museum’s most prominent artifacts are from the Civil War. While items from Union and Confederate forces and general everyday life during the 1800s are present, there are also objects from public civilian life during that period. While most of these artifacts were donated, a few of them were obtained through purchase.

The Fredericksburg Area Museum is interesting for both kids and adults. However, some people would say that the museum is under-appreciated because it doesn’t get much attention. Fortunately, they have a reasonably good website where you can find information about them and their forthcoming exhibitions. So go ahead and check it out.

Things To Do In Fredericksburg VA: Fredericksburg Area Museum
Photo Credit: Mr.TinDC

There are galleries throughout the museum that house the museum’s permanent collections. These include the archaeological, military, decorative arts, folk art, Fredericksburg history, and science.

Also, note that the Fredericksburg Area Museum is self-funded, and donations are beneficial to support this museum. Consider donating a few bucks during your trip through their museum.

Enjoy Art at Gari Melchers Home and Studio

224 Washington St. // +15406541015

The Gari Melchers Home and Studio is located inside the University of Mary Washington campus. It is a 27.3-acre historic estate that the pioneering artist Gari Melchers owned. 

Originally from Virginia, he initially studied art at the National Academy of Design before transferring to Paris to continue studying. When he returned to America around 1935, he built this U-shaped brick home in Falmouth.

Things To Do In Fredericksburg VA: Gari Melchers Home and Studio
Photo Credit: Virginia Museums

You’ll also get to see the art studio where many of Gari’s famous works were created. In the gift shop, you can pick up some unique gifts that represent the site’s history. 

The gift shop contains original art pieces by Melchers, beautiful gift items, and mementos that are perfect souvenirs to keep from your Fredericksburg trip.

You will find a variety of great art pieces, both in paintings and sculptures. It was so wonderful to visit this location and go on a self-guided tour of the exhibits. My advice is not to skip a visit here.

Have Brunch at Eileen’s Bakery and Cafe

1115 Caroline St. // +15403724030

Eileen’s Bakery and Cafe, located in historic Fredericksburg, VA, serves up freshly-made pastries and sandwiches using only the finest ingredients. 

On any given day, visitors can enjoy a selection of hot breakfast specialties like Belgian waffles topped with whipped cream or homemade cinnamon rolls. In addition, there are lots of healthy lunch choices to be had, like fresh salads, sandwiches made with freshly baked bread, and seasonal soups. 

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Things To Do In Fredericksburg VA: Eileen’s Bakery and Cafe
Photo Credit: Dwayne and Maryanne Mo

Of course, Eileen’s Bakery and Cafe is also well-known for its delicious homemade desserts, including decadent milkshakes served up in old-school soda fountain glasses.

You step inside, and all the delicious smells of homemade food greet you as a sign that this will be one good, filling, heartily meal. The only thing you have to do is settle into their comfortable dining room and dive into those homemade cinnamon rolls. 

Tour the Shannon Air Museum

3380 Shannon Airport Cir. // +15406424387

The Shannon Air Museum is one of the most unique museums in the United States. Located at the Fredericksburg Regional Airport, it has vintage warplanes and civilian aircraft. The museum collects, preserves, and restores these rare aircraft and makes them available for public viewing and use.

Things To Do In Fredericksburg VA: Aircraft Museum

The Shannon Air Museum is currently displaying 37 vintage aircraft, and these are just some of the many aircraft this museum has to display. In addition, there is a gift shop and restaurant within the museum.

A visit to the Shannon Air Museum is a must for all aviation enthusiasts. Although it is located in Albemarle County, I’m sure you will find the trip well worth your time if you visit or reside anywhere near Fredericksburg.

Summary Of The Ten Awesome Things To Do In Fredericksburg VA

History buffs will find plenty of exciting things to do in Fredericksburg VA. But that doesn’t limit the city only to them; everyone who has once been here will tell you that it was time well spent.

Fredericksburg has a lot of history with the Civil War and is a lovely place to visit, in my opinion. So now, if you are looking for things to do in Fredericksburg, make sure you note these ten fun generators for you you and your family.

There is also a lot of lovely architecture and old buildings to see. I’ve been interested in history since I was a kid, and I just love seeing old buildings and learning about the stories that go along with them. I love this city because there is so much to do here, no matter your age or interests.

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