9 Surprising Facts About Fredericksburg You Should Know Before You Visit.
The Fredericksburg Region is more than just a fun place to spend a weekend. It’s full of history, quirky facts, and dinosaurs. Here are 9 fun facts you need to know before you visit, “The ‘Burg.”
First Fridays and Free Concerts – You don’t have to break the budget to have a great time in Fredericksburg! Fredericksburg’s vibrant art community hosts a FREE year-long event that takes place on the First Friday of every month aptly named, First Fridays. Trolley Tours of Fredericksburg provides a free tour that stops at each downtown Fredericksburg art gallery. Enjoy all the local artwork for free!
If music is your preferred artistic expression, you won’t want to miss The Fredericksburg Area Museum’s Summer Concert Series or the Central Rappahannock Regional Library’s Summer music series, Music On The Steps. If you’re looking for some mid-day family fun, Music In The Park is perfect! It takes place at Hurkamp Park in the Spring, and in the Fall. In warmer months, be sure to mark your calendars for The Lake Anna Sunset Concert Series (Spotsylvania) and Songfest Sundays, in Stafford.
Restaurant Weeks – Fredericksburg has two Restaurant Weeks every year. One runs in January and the other in July. It’s the perfect opportunity to try a new place ( they’re popping up all the time ), and also revisit a favorite restaurant. The next Restaurant Week is July 26 – August 4. Be sure to follow @fxbgedt for news and updates.
George Washington is kind of a big deal ( understatement ) – Did you know our first president grew up in the Fredericksburg area? You can visit his boyhood home at Ferry Farm ( the season opens March 1, 2019 ) as well as his mother’s home, monument, and final resting place, in Downtown Fredericksburg. Let’s not forget George’s siblings! Tour the Rising Sun Tavern, on Caroline Street, which was built by his brother, Charles Washington, and stayed in the family for years. The iconic Kenmore Plantation belonged to his sister Betty Washington Lewis and is located across from their mother’s memorial, on Washington Avenue. The Kenmore main house is the only surviving structure from the 1,300-acre Kenmore plantation, and is available to tour starting March 1, 2019. Bonus points if you make their mother’s famous gingerbread to before heading off on your George Washington adventure!
Fredericksburg has history – From the Revolutionary War to the Civil War, Fredericksburg has witnessed multiple battles . You’ll do yourself a disservice if you don’t take time to visit the Fredericksburg National Cemetery as well as take a battlefield tour ( there are many to choose from all over the region ). We cannot recommend highly enough participating in the Fredericksburg National Cemetery Luminaria. It’s a deeply reverent experience and one you should add to your bucket list.
Baseball is coming – We know we’ve mentioned it a lot, but can you blame us? Getting a baseball stadium in the region has been a decades long project. We can’t wait for summer nights in the stands, events that will be held there, and more.
Chick- Fil- A Sauce was invented here – Fun and delicious fact! According to its Spotsylvania County inventor, Hugh Fleming, “I had a honey mustard dressing recipe I knew, so, I went back and made that. I was just grabbing for an idea. Those employees loved it and kept coming back. So we made it for them, and then other customers started asking for it. That was the birth of the Chick-fil-A sauce right there.” The Fredericksburg region is now home to 5 Chik Fil A locations. Be sure to load up on sauce while you’re here!
We’re home to renown A. Smith Bowman Distillery – Our growing craft beer scene and wineries sometimes steal the spotlight from our local legend: A. Smith Bowman Distillery. In 2018, at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition, John J. Bowman Single Barrel Virginia Straight Bourbon and Tinkerman’s Citrus Supreme Flavored Gin, won the highest honor, a double gold medal. The double gold medal is given only if every judge awards a gold medal to the product. Very few entries ever receive it. In total, A. Smith Bowman went home with five medals from the 2018 competition. What we’re trying to say here, is that A. Smith Bowman makes unbelievable spirits and we are proud that they call Spotsylvania County home! If you’re not excited about spirits, the tour itself is worth the drive. The Distillery runs these FREE, hour long tours from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Largest sauropod dinosaur fossil discovered here – That’s right: dinosaurs. In a 2004 paper it was noted that, in Fredericksburg, “One of the footprints was made by a sauropod estimated to have been about seventy feet in length, which makes it by far the largest dinosaur known from Virginia. Most of the dinosaur footprints appear to have been made by animals similar or identical to those known elsewhere from the Aptian of North America.” You have to trek a bit to see fossils today, but if you’re lucky you may see some in our local parks. We suggesting trying Alum Springs Park or Salamander Loop.
The United States Capitol Is Built With Local Aquia Sandstone – Did you know that the beautiful white sandstone pulled from Government Island and Brent Island, in Stafford County, was originally called “Aquia Stone,” by our founding fathers? Builders and artists at the time loved the stone because it could be carved in any direction. Aquia sandstone built The United States Capitol and other buildings in Washington DC, as well as bridges and tombs. Today, you can hike Government Island and see where stone had been quarried. Be sure to stop at various markers along the path to learn about local wildlife as well as history.