Just a short drive from Washington, D.C., Fredericksburg, VA, is the perfect place to rediscover the joyous feeling that summer brings. It’s time to step away from the usual routine and take a deep breath of fresh air – just don’t be surprised as you walk down Main Street to catch a whiff of something delicious, hear the strains of a happy tune or a glimpse of something wildly inspiring. This is a summer getaway you deserve to thoroughly enjoy.
1 - Historic Sites and Homes
Imagine the carefree summer days of youth during colonial times, when childhood was marked by simple pleasures and exploring the lay of the land. For the father of our country, those days were spent at George Washington’s Boyhood Home at Ferry Farm, where reconstruction work is underway to recapture the experience. You can take a self-guided tour to walk down the old ferry road, hike where young George once walked and wonder if cherry trees once graced these hills. Contrast the humble beauty of Ferry Farm with a visit to Historic Kenmore Plantation, the Georgian-style brick mansion built by Washington’s sister and her husband. Beautiful gardens and pre-Revolutionary War elegance is yours to explore, along with exhibits that tell the story of the time.
2 - Outdoor Summer Concert Series
The sweet sounds of summer are in the air on a regular basis in Fredericksburg, with outdoor summer concert events throughout the region. Celebrate Virginia Live brings big-name acts ranging from country to classic rock to an outdoor pavilion concert series. The music scene is at its summertime best in Fredericksburg, where there’s always a great experience to look forward to.
3 - Trolley Winery Tours
Raise a glass to sampling the region’s finest with your best friends and a designated driver on a Trolley Winery Tour through the Spotsylvania countryside. You’ll stop at the tasting rooms of four wineries and get a chance to visit vineyards and choose your favorites from an array of award-winning wines. There’s no better way to relax and enjoy the ride this summer.
4 - Lake Anna
Make the most of summer with a visit to Lake Anna State Park where the whole family can get back to nature. Whether you spend a weekend in a cabin, drop in for a picnic or spend the day pretending you’re back at summer camp, you’ll find plenty of ways to retreat from the hustle and bustle of the rest of the world. Fishing and boating on the lake, trails perfect for hiking, biking and horseback riding – you can even tour a gold mine and do a little treasure hunting.
5 - Outdoor Activities
Find a shady spot and an inviting stream and you’ll enjoy summer in Fredericksburg like never before. The great outdoors is all around you here, with parks and trails giving you quick access to spectacular views and unforgettable experiences. Pay a visit to Government Island to explore a natural park preserve that’s also an archaeological site. Enjoy the riverside beach at Aquia Landing Park, a designated site of the National Parks Service National Underground Railroad Network. Paddle your way to happiness on the Rappahannock River, where you can easily put in a canoe or kayak for a relaxing day on the water.
6 - Adventure Course and Camping at Wilderness Presidential Resort
The lazy days of summer are here, but it’s the perfect time to challenge yourselves to an active adventure high in the trees. The Adventure Course at Wilderness Presidential Resort offers zip lines, climbing platforms, bridge crossings and rope challenges for kids and adults of all ages. From the Rickety Bridge to the Canyon Jump, there’s a good time every inch of the way. It’s just part of this family-oriented retreat spanning 600 acres of beautiful forests and waterways, offering comfortable log cabins, campsites, playgrounds, pools and planned activities.
7 - Sweet Treats
If summer were a flavor, it would definitely be sweet and melt-in-your-mouth delicious. Fredericksburg is the place to be for summer treats that combine the classics with the bounty of the season’s best fresh fruits and vegetables. From the famous Carl’s Frozen Custard, to soda fountain milkshakes and fresh-squeezed lemonade at Goolrick’s Modern Pharmacy, to the delectable creations of Butternut &Blue Bakery, your sweet tooth will be more than satisfied.
8 - The Arts
Summer is the season to take your time and let your creativity blossom. The arts in Fredericksburg definitely thrive during the summer months, with workshops, events and special tours to help you follow your muse. From Gari Melchers Home and Studio at Belmont to the gallery buzz of Downtown Fredericksburg’s First Fridays, inspiration is easy to find. See what’s playing at Riverside Dinner Theater or check out a Summer Concert Event to round out your visit.
9 - Summer Events & Festivals
Do we celebrate because it’s summer or does it feel like summer because we have so much to celebrate? You won’t have to ponder the big questions in Fredericksburg, just pull up a lawn chair and enjoy. From Fourth of July celebrations to the down-home fun of the Stafford County Agricultural Fair and Hartwood Days Festival, summer events and festivals in Fredericksburg will have you smiling all season long.
10 - Farmers Markets
Fresh picked and vine-ripened – you can taste what summer does best at Fredericksburg area farms and farmers markets. The region is a locavore’s dream with a growing number of markets offering a wide range of products. You’ll find microgreens and all-natural dog treats at the Spotsylvania County Farmers Market, where you can shop nearly 50 vendors to create a market-style picnic. Pick your own produce and shop the markets at Miller Farms or Braehead Farm, where kids can play and visit farm animals.