Combining old and new is the hallmark of Fredericksburg. Old stone buildings, 18th and 19th century architecture. The Apothecary Shop, The Silk Mill, The Kenmore Inn and battlefields all remind us of our history and connect us to our rich past. The new brownstones at Amelia Square, new restaurants, and with new independently owned shops and galleries opening up every year it is clear the city may be filled with history but pulses with new growth and life. It has never been easier to make this city your home. Living in Downtown now allows for the joy of a walking lifestyle with the farmers market, restaurants, the train station, ice cream, the butcher, shopping, always minutes from your door. Winter is filled with warm hearts and warm drinks while summer is spent reading in the park or splashing in the river. It is the picturesque town seen often in movies but rarely in life. Leave your shoes by the door, hang up your coat, the search is over… Fredericksburg is the place, home is waiting.
If you live just outside The City of Fredericksburg but have always imagined moving Downtown here are some thoughts to consider:
You eat here. You shop here. You buy vegetables from the farmers market here. You enjoy summers by the river here. You catch the train here. You visit the parks here. You walk the streets on Sunday here. You run the canal path here. You wine taste here. You connect to your history here. You read a book and have a coffee here. You stop for ice-cream here. You are here… Isn’t it time you lived here?
Fredericksburg served as an important port during The Civil War in Virginia. The area where Fredericksburg sits today was the site for the battle of Fredericksburg during the Civil War. It was also a halfway point between the capitals of the north and south. George Washington’s boyhood home sits just on the other side of The Rappahannock River, where he spent most of his youth after moving to South Stafford in 1738. Washington’s sister Betty lived at Kenmore, a property now preserved as one of Fredericksburg’s historic sites. His mother, Mary Washington, later chose to call The City of Fredericksburg home and has a monument in her honor located behind Meditation Rock. Fredericksburg had many noteworthy early residence. George Weedon and Hugh Mercer who were revolutionary Generals, James Monroe the former United States President, and George Washington’s family. 1.5 million tourists visit Fredericksburg every year to walk the battlefields, stay in an 18th century inn, or roam its many historical sites. Conveniently located about 60 miles from Richmond and less than 50 miles from Washington, DC. Fredericksburg continues to draw visitors with its old world charm and timeless quality.
Dining Fredericksburg is going to the birds… in a good way. With local restaurants moving to roof top seating Fredericksburg is moving Jetson style into the sky. Here is a list of local venues that have or are planning roof top seating.
Vivify Burger & Lounge 314 William Street, Fredericksburg, VA 22401 (540) 656-2500 www.vivifyburgerlounge.com Fredericksburg’s 1st roof top restaurant and bar with Gormet burgers, drinks, and a friendly neighborhood feel Vivify is a great place to let your hair down.
Castiglia’s Italian Restaurant 324 William Street, Fredericksburg, VA 22401 (540) 373-6650 Offering a large dining room perfect for big parties, a private event room, and modern exposed brick cocktail longue, Castiglia’s is a great destination for a night out with friends. Not to bury the lead; the food is excellent and filling. Castiglia’s is planning roof top seating right next to Vivify. With multiple restaurants all in the same block a progressive party is always an enjoyable night whether planned or spontaneous!
Great Places Downtown
Carl’s Ice Cream (Open 11AM- 11PM seasonally) 2200 Princess Anne Street, Fredericksburg, VA 22401 Founded in 1947, Carl’s boasts one of the oldest working Electro Freeze Machines on the east coast. The “ice cream” is technically a frozen custard because of the 1940s era process used to create it. For a walk up window, cash only, parking lot patio Carl’s has a line around the block during the season when it is open; from Friday before Presidents Day through Sunday before Thanksgiving. People travel from all over the country to the historic site, not easily missed, with a neon ice cream cone on its roof. Carl’s only serves vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry but its limited selection should not be a deterrent. It would be unusual to visit Fredericksburg without hearing the words “have you been to Carl’s?” They also mix up the menu with sundaes, malts, shakes, and slushys.
FoodE 1006 C/D Caroline Street, Fredericksburg, VA 22401 (540) 479-1370 www.foodeonline.com Offering an ever changing menu of freshly created dishes made from locally sourced ingredients, FoodE is a must-see in the downtown Fredericksburg food scene. Joy (the chef) and Beth (who does everything else) create delicious farm-to-table with southern, home-style influence whilst highlighting health ingredients; not to mention their beautiful presentation. Perfect for a delicous brunch, lunch or dinner, FoodE also have a beautiful event space and catering options. Always beautiful and delicious they will help make your wedding, birthday party or shower easy and memorable. Prepare to be hooked!
La Petite Auberge 311 William Street, Fredericksburg, VA 22401 (540) 371-2727 www.lapetiteaubergefred.com The Renault family have owned and operate La Petite Auberge restaurant since 1981. Whether you sit in the bar or main restaurant their traditional French cuisine offers some of the best food in the area, accompanied by a wonderful, world-wide wine selection. Perfect for an upscale weekend meal or some mid-week elegance, a meal here with locally sourced ingredients and fresh seafood is sure to blow you away every time. Don’t forget to check out their live Jazz Music Wednesdays in the lounge!
Sammy T’s 801 Caroline Street (540) 371-2008 www.sammyts.com On Valentine’s Day 1981, Dr. Emory (a geography professor at Mary Washington University) opened “Sammy T’s” and it is still a Fredericksburg staple. It is under new ownership and plans to reopen with a new look soon. One of the busiest lunch places downtown, their wide selection of delicious choices can never steer you wrong, and with a huge vegetarian and vegan selection there is a perfect meal for every pallet!
Soup & Taco 813 Caroline Street (540) 899-0969 Serving authentic Mexican and Tex-Mex with Latin American specials, this tiny Fredericksburg favorite is another “must-stop-by”- be sure to get there early to beat the lunch rush! Over 20 years of experience go into this family owned and operated restaurant which combines great service with wonderful, fresh food.
Historic Locations Fredericksburg Area Museum and Cultural Center To find out about Fredericksburg’s rich history and many events that have helped shape America. A selection of permanent exhibits illustrate everything in our region’s history from Native Americans, Revolution, Civil and World wars and the Civil Rights movement. The museum’s community support and dedication to historical preservation offers a range of learning experiences, artifacts and more! A great place to start your exploration of Fredericksburg history.
Chatham Manor Just across the Rappahannock River overlooking the historic City of Fredericksburg skyline, this beautiful home has stood witness to many important events in American history and hosted many famous figures. William Fitzhugh built this Georgian-style home between 1768 and 1771, its rich history and beautiful grounds make it a wonderful tourist site in the heart of Fredericksburg.
Kenmore House Kenmore House was built and owned by George Washington’s sister (Betty Washington Lewis) and her husband Fielding Lewis. This pre-revolutionary-war, Georgian style home is a testament the then status and wealth of the Fredericksburg merchant. The home has stood through revolution and civil war and along with the Crowinshield Museum on site, makes a wonderful historic visit.
Hugh Mercer Apothecary Shop Visit this unique restored building to find out more about the colonial medical practices of Dr. Hugh Mercer and his Fredericksburg establishment. Insightful and captivating guide to everything from herbal remedies to the use of leeches to surgical practices, located on Caroline Street downtown.
Belmont Estate Early 20th Century American artist, Gari Melchers made his home here in Fredericksburg with the love of his life, Corinne Melchers. Their beautiful house, studio and gardens is still here today, overlooking the town and the Rappahannock river. The unique home now offers beautiful, restored gardens, studio and gallery tours and trails for you to explore and you discover more about the cultural heritage of Fredericksburg and Melchers’ life as a prominent artist.