History Comes To Life In One of America’s Most Historic Cities
Fredericksburg is full of history and legacy as one of America’s most historic cities. Visit some of these free attractions with the little ones for an educational, budget-friendly and fun trip with the family.
St. George’s Episcopal Church
While the city itself was the battleground for the Battle of Fredericksburg, the St. George’s Episcopal Church (905 Princess Anne St., Fredericksburg, VA) was attended by George Washington’s mother, Mary Ball Washington. The church began construction in 1732 and was replaced by the present building in 1849. Enjoy the stained-glass windows and original pews that are still in use, as well as the restored organ and church building. Sunday services are held at 7:45 a.m., 9 a.m. and 11:15 a.m.
Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park
For history buffs, the Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park (120 Chatham Lane, Fredericksburg, VA) is a great destination to visit and commemorate the four major battles of the American Civil War. Admission to the park is free, and visitors can go on a guided walking tour of the battlefields for the Battle of Fredericksburg, Battle of Chancellorsville, Battle of the Wilderness and Battle of Spotsylvania Court House. For families with ancestors that fought on the battlegrounds, staff members can help trace the original footsteps of a Civil War soldier. The park also features four historic structures, such as the Chatham Manor, the Salem Church, the Ellwood Manor and the house where Stonewall Jackson died. Remember to bring plenty of water to stay hydrated in the heat and humidity, as well as appropriate clothing like long pants and long sleeves to protect against ticks.
Although the city of Fredericksburg moved its circuit courthouse elsewhere, the original Fredericksburg Courthouse (815 Princess Anne St., Fredericksburg, VA) was built by architect James Renwick Jr. in 1852. Visitors can view this historical Gothic Revival-style building, as well as the Masonic Cemetery, the now vacant old jail and the old Wallace Library building.
Washington Avenue Historic District
If you’re looking for a historic neighborhood to stroll through in Fredericksburg, walk through the Washington Avenue Historic District (Washington Ave. and 620 Lewis St., Fredericksburg, VA). Children and adults interested in the history of America, should pay a visit to the Gordon Family Cemetery, the Mary Washington Monument, the General Hugh Mercer Monument, the Jefferson Religious Freedom Monument and the George Rogers Clark Memorial. In addition to being an important historical venue, the area is popular with families, joggers and walkers due to its large open space and frequent parades, ceremonies and community gatherings.
Old Mill Park
Enjoy the great outdoors with your children by hosting family gatherings, playing team sports or going on picnics in the Old Mill Park (2201 Caroline St., Fredericksburg, VA). In addition to riverfront views, this park also boasts lush green fields and access to the Rappahannock River Heritage Trail. Pack a cooler and head out to Old Mill Park for a summer barbecue at Fredericksburg’s most popular park.