Fredericksburg Things to Do

  • Things to Do
    by aphrodyte
  • pre-paying for entrance tickets at the counter
    pre-paying for entrance tickets at the...
    by aphrodyte
  • fredericksburg logo clothing and wall of brochures
    fredericksburg logo clothing and wall of...
    by aphrodyte

Most Recent Things to Do in Fredericksburg

  • blueskyjohn's Profile Photo

    Town Hall and Market Square

    by blueskyjohn Updated Apr 20, 2015

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The historic Town Hall and market square was constructed between 1814 and 1816. It is currently the home of the Fredericksburg Area Museum and Cultural Center. The square is used for outdoor musical concerts and other functions and can also be rented for private events. The building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1994.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Arts and Culture

    Was this review helpful?

  • blueskyjohn's Profile Photo

    Corporation Court House

    by blueskyjohn Updated Apr 20, 2015

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The first courthouse in Fredericksburg was built in 1732. This was torn down in 1851 and a new brick courthouse was erected. The courthouse tower was used as a signal tower and surveillance point by Union Generals during the Civil War. Some interesting records are still stored in the courthouse. Mary Washington's (mother of George Washington) will is here as is the document appointing Augustine Washington (father of George Washington) Trustee of Fredericksburg in 1742.

    The stucco that is seen on the courthouse now was added 1916. I think I would prefer the original brick.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • blueskyjohn's Profile Photo

    Jail Alley

    by blueskyjohn Updated Apr 20, 2015

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    While I was walking along Caroline Street, I passed an alley with the words "Jail Alley" painted on the wall of a building in the alley. I took a few pictures and decided to check this out when I returned home. Apparently this was the alley that lead to the jail in the early 1900's. One story that seems to be well mentioned in relation to the alley was the case of Charles H. Blandford. Mr. Blandford was accused of an unspecified crime. When he was identified, a by-standing hit him in the head with a brick and he was carted off to jail up Jail Alley. Street justice was common in those days, and a lynch mob formed. After the deputy left the jail for the evening, 40-50 men converged on the jail and tried to break out Blandford for a hanging. They were discovered when another deputy passed by and noticed the gas lamps in the alley had been put out.

    Lynchings were not common in Fredericksburg and that might be why this case is noted today.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • blueskyjohn's Profile Photo

    The Presbyterian Chruch of Fredericksburg

    by blueskyjohn Updated Apr 20, 2015

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The congregation was founded in 1808 but the building came later. Unusual architecture for a church, the building was erected in 1833. It suffered heavy damage during the Civil War and was restored immediately after in 1866. the church served as a make-shift hospital caring for both Union and Confederate soldier. Another point of interest is that Clara Barton came and cared for the soldiers in this church during the Civil War. Clara Barton was a nurse that founded the American Red Cross.

    The building was listed with on the National Registry of Historic Places in 1984.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • blueskyjohn's Profile Photo

    St. George Episcopal Church

    by blueskyjohn Updated Apr 20, 2015

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    There is a plaque on the building stating the church was established in 1720. However this refers to the congregation and no the building. A wood structure church was constructed on the site in 1741. This was replaced with a brick building in 1815 and replaced again in 1849.

    The church received damage from cannon fire during the Civil War and was used by the Union Army as a command post when they took Fredericksburg.

    Most notable parishioners included the parents of George Washington when they moved to Fredericksburg as well as many of the founding fathers from Virginia who sign the Declaration of Independence.

    Hours:
    Monday 8:30 am – 5:00 pm
    Tuesday 8:30 am – 5:00 pm
    Wednesday 8:30 am – 5:00 pm
    Thursday 8:30 am – 5:00 pm
    Friday 8:30 am – 12:30 pm
    Saturday Closed
    Sunday 7:45 am – 9:00 pm

    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • aphrodyte's Profile Photo

    Hugh Mercer Apothecary Shop

    by aphrodyte Updated Feb 21, 2014

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This eighteenth-century building was restored to house the Hugh Mercer Apothecary Shop

    You are greeted with a letter posted on the door that reads:

    Lately arrived from London
    finest Swedish Leeches,
    Brimstone, Mercury,
    Itch Ointment, Spanish
    Blister Beetles and
    Valerian Fit Elixir
    much celebrates to
    remove all manner of
    hysterics and hypochondriac
    afflictions

    I was not met with the physician himself, but with one of his "associates" that would lead me on a tour.

    The first room you enter displays many of the herbs, ointment and tinctures that the doctor had used on numerous occasions and the distilling process to sanitize water. You are led to the next room that showed an array of his surgical and medical process. Interestingly enough, our guide handled live leeches during our visit. Neat!

    Hours:
    March - October
    Monday-Saturday 9am - 4pm
    Sunday 12noon - 4pm

    November - February
    Monday-Saturday 10am - 3pm
    Sunday 12 noon - 4pm

    Closed: Thanksgiving Day, December 24-25, 31 and January 1


    Admission Fees:
    Adults - $5
    Children 6-18 - $2
    Children under 6 - free
    Washington Heritage Museums Members - Free

    Related to:
    • Museum Visits
    • Budget Travel
    • Family Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • aphrodyte's Profile Photo

    The Griffins Bookshop and Coffee Bar

    by aphrodyte Written Feb 20, 2014

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Griffin is an expansive colonial home turned bookshop. It is a used bookstore with a few new books here and there, and a cafe housed within its shop. They offer a number of history books, children's fiction, adult fiction, and religion reads. With a quiet reading room upstairs and sunny patio out back, there are plenty of places to cozy up to a book in this comfortable shop. The store frequently hosts open mic nights and even offers college students a 10 percent discount on books (with a valid college ID).

    They also sell assorted gift items like handmade jewelry, scarves, and cards.

    The Coffee Bar offers organic coffee and chocolates.
    If you need a quiet place to browse the Internet, the Griffin also has free Wi-Fi.

    Hours:
    Monday – Thursday: 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
    Friday: 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
    Saturday : 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
    Sunday: 12:00 PM – 5:00 PM

    Most confortable chair in the shop Coffee Bar selling organic coffee Quiet back patio The Griffin Bookshop front area
    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Budget Travel
    • Family Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • aphrodyte's Profile Photo

    Riverby Books and Gallery

    by aphrodyte Written Feb 20, 2014

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This bookstore has an extensive selection of classics, fiction, non-fiction, cooking, political, etc. and the inviting layout of the store really is a joy to wander through.

    The second floor of this two-story haven is hollowed out, leaving room for natural light to seep through. There are little reading nooks everywhere and record players spin timeless tunes. It's pleasing on so many levels.

    The shop also hosts occasional acoustic performances by local musicians and author events.

    Price-wise this place is very reasonable. Most of their paperbacks, all of which are in great condition, average $5. And considering the extensive selection, you'll want to bring a tote along as this is the place to begin building your library.

    Riverby has a "buy back" policy. When you're done with a book you can exchange it for store credit at a rate of about 75% of the purchase price. If you don't want store credit, you can sell your book back for about half the original price.

    Mon-Thur, 10 am - 6 pm;
    Fri-Sat, 10 am - 9 pm;
    Sun, Noon - 5 pm

    Riverby Books & Gallery entrance A unique way to repurpose a card catalog shelf Floor to ceiling shelves of books Stacks view from the second floor This bookstore also does bookbinding and repair
    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Budget Travel
    • Family Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • aphrodyte's Profile Photo

    Goolrick's Pharmacy

    by aphrodyte Updated Feb 20, 2014

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Goolrick's Pharmacy or Goolrick's Modern Pharmacy has a nostalgic 1950s feel. The pharmacy is one of the few remaining "compounding" pharmacies in the area, which means they can make up prescriptions (creams, salves, even capsules) that aren't available from large, commercial vendors.
    Despite all the changes to the city, this "lunch counter" style eatery is the same as it has been for the last 50 yrs. Formica counter top, spinner seats, round tables and vinyl seats. There is limited seating (4 tables).

    Goolrick's food menu includes: peanut butter/jelly, grill cheese, BLT sandwiches, chicken salad, devil eggs, hot dogs, etc. Basic food and reasonably priced.

    Their milkshakes are made with real ice cream, the old fashioned way: thick and delicious! The fountain drinks are REAL cherry Coke's made with Coke and syrup. It's cheap, usually served pretty quick. Soda floats...need we say more?

    They offered Egg Cream...I didn't know what that was and I didn't order it. When I got home I looked it up. egg cream is a beverage consisting of milk, and soda water with either vanilla or chocolate syrup...interesting, sort of like a cream soda.

    The rest of the store offers convenience store needs...stuff you might have forgotten to pack in your luggage and souvenirs.

    Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-6 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.; closed Sundays

    Goolrick's Pharmacy entrance Pharmacy in the back of the store Goolrick's Menu
    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Budget Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • aphrodyte's Profile Photo

    Premium Cigars at Olde Towne Tobacconist

    by aphrodyte Updated Feb 14, 2014

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The cigar I purchased was a Drew Estates - Natural - Dirt cigar. I used a V cutter. It definitely had a full bodied flavor but not overwhelming to me. This cigar was recommended to me by one of the employees. I said that I wanted a traditional flavor, but not an extremely overpowering scent, I wasn't picky about where the leaves came from. I also said that I might be making the hole too big because the tobacco falls out. So they recommended the V cutter.

    The employees were easy to talk to and I was confident in the information that they gave me.
    They definitely knew there stuff.

    Natural Cigars
    Natural cigars are crafted using the finest Nicaraguan leaf combined with traditional black tobaccos from Syria, Turkey, St. James Parish and other exotic locales. Each front-mark has its own distinctive blend making for a unique and satisfying smoke ranging from mild to bold.

    Honduras/Nicaragua
    A 10-year civil war and blue mold infestations have slowed the production of the high quality Cuban and Connecticut varieties of tobacco grown in these two counties. Both countries produce a full-bodied tobacco with strong spicy flavors.

    V-Cutter
    Creates a top-to-bottom slice that creates a v-shaped wedge through the head of the cigar. Pros: Allows you to keep the cap of the cigar intact. Creates a large enough hole to draw easily. Cons: Difficult to use properly. Needs extremely sharp blades. Blades hard to replace

    Monday ~ 10:00 am – 8:00 pm
    Tuesday ~ 10:00 am – 8:00 pm
    Wednesday ~ 10:00 am – 8:00 pm
    Thursday ~ 10:00 am – 10:00 pm
    Friday ~ 9:00 am – 10:00 pm
    Saturday ~ 9:00 am – 10:00 pm
    Sunday ~ 10:30 am – 6:00 pm

    comfy old leather seat in the back of the shop private pipe collection
    Related to:
    • Singles

    Was this review helpful?

  • aphrodyte's Profile Photo

    Downtown Fredericksburg Visitor Center

    by aphrodyte Updated Feb 14, 2014

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Definitely make this a first stop. If you are not sure a historical site is worth visiting or want to make sure that the sites you want to visit are open.

    You can also pre-purchase entrance tickets to the various site locations which can save you time and money.

    Maps, brochures, information on dining, lodging reservations, parking, tour services and special event tickets are available.

    This is the pick up and drop off point of the trolley tour.

    There is a small parking lot next to the building but it fills quickly, you can park on the street but there are time limits. Definitely pick up parking info at the visitor center if you aren't sure where to park.

    Monday 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
    Tuesday 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
    Wednesday 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
    Thursday 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
    Friday 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
    Saturday 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
    Sunday 11:00 am – 5:00 pm

    pre-paying for entrance tickets at the counter fredericksburg logo clothing and wall of brochures View of the outside entrance of Visitor Center the help desk of the center View of the outside entrance of the Visitor Center
    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Family Travel
    • Budget Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • doug48's Profile Photo

    rising sun tavern

    by doug48 Updated Nov 8, 2011

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    this historic building was built by george washington's brother charles around 1760. charles washington's home was converted into a tavern in 1792. some famous patrons of the rising sun tavern were thomas jefferson, john paul jones, james madison and george mason. general george washington hosted his "great reception" at the rising sun tavern after his victory over the british at yorktown. today the rising sun tavern is a museum on early american life. the rising sun tavern is listed on the national register of historic places.

    rising sun tavern
    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Historical Travel
    • Museum Visits

    Was this review helpful?

  • doug48's Profile Photo

    chatham manor

    by doug48 Updated Nov 8, 2011

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    this beautiful georgian mansion was built by william fitzhugh between 1768 and 1771. fitzhugh owned a 1,280 acre plantation with over 100 slaves. chatham manor was named after william pitt, the earl of chatham. in 1805 there was a slave revolt at the plantation and an armed posse was sent to chatham to put down the rebellion. one slave was executed and a number of slaves were deported to islands in the caribbean. in 1806 fitzhugh sold the plantation to major churchill jones, a former officer in the continenal army. in 1862 chatham was occupied by the union and was the headquarters of union general irwin mc dowell and later general ambrose burnside. during the battle of fredericksburg chatham manor served as a union hospital. chatham manor is listed on the national register of historic places.

    chatham manor chatham gate chatham garden chatham wall
    Related to:
    • National/State Park
    • Architecture
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • doug48's Profile Photo

    hugh mercer apothecary

    by doug48 Written Nov 8, 2011

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    dr. hugh mercer opened a pharmacy in fredericksburg in the mid 18 th century. hugh mercer served with general george washington in the revolutionary war. mercer was killed in the battle of princeton in 1777. today the apothecary is a museum on the life of hugh mercer and 18 th century medical treatments. the hugh mercer apothecary is listed on the national register of historic places.

    hugh mercer apothecary
    Related to:
    • Museum Visits
    • Historical Travel
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • doug48's Profile Photo

    the stone wall

    by doug48 Updated Jun 24, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    on may 3 rd 1863 union general john swedgwick was ordered to again cross the rappahannock and take marye's heights. marye's heights were defended by the forces of confederate general jubal a. early. after a fierce hand to hand battle at a stone wall at the base of marye's heights the union forced the confederates to withdrawl to the west and southwest of fredericksburg. after the capture of marye's heights sedgwick was ordered west to chancellorsville.

    the stone wall confederate dead at the stone wall union general john sedgwick general jubal a. early CSA union troops at the battle of marye's heights
    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • National/State Park

    Was this review helpful?

Instant Answers: Fredericksburg

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

26 travelers online now

Comments

Fredericksburg Things to Do

Reviews and photos of Fredericksburg things to do posted by real travelers and locals. The best tips for Fredericksburg sightseeing.

View all Fredericksburg hotels