Resting on the banks of the Rappahannock River, Fredericksburg, Virginia is a quintessentially charming historic city, with an appealing and lively downtown area brimming with shops, cafes and restaurants. Sporting a mild autumn climate that can only be described as perfect, there’s no better time to visit this gem of a city.
Within hours of arriving, I quickly learned that the centuries of history and the impact this colorful city has had on our nation is staggering. George Washington spent his boyhood years here; John Paul Jones and 5th President James Monroe lived in Fredericksburg; due to its strategic location approximately halfway between Washington DC – capital of the Union – and Richmond, Virginia – capital of the Confederacy – five major Civil War battles were fought here.
Fredericksburg has a range of diverse activities to keep even the most discriminating tourist happily enthralled for a long weekend and beyond.
1. Ferry Farm
Ferry Farm is George Washington’s boyhood home. He lived there from the ages of 6 through 20. It was here that he learned the values and developed the character that would influence the rest of his life. The farm is currently an archeological site, being transformed into an outdoor living museum. A replica of Washington’s home has been constructed on the exact footprint, painstakingly designed to resemble the original as closely as possible. Restoration tradesmen are using the same building methods as the original structure, which has long been destroyed. Timber framing, foundation stonework, and real animal hair wall plaster are all part of the renovations. There are also stunning gardens with perennial flowers and plants that would have been grown during George Washington’s time such as tobacco, cotton, and corn.
Like just about everything else in the area, the small, family-owned A. Smith Bowman Distillery, originally established in Spotsylvania, has historic roots dating back to 1927. The Sunset Hills farm and granary enjoyed much success, and after the repeal of prohibition in 1935, they opened the distillery.
Read the rest of the things to do in Fredericksburg in the Huffington Post.