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Fredericksburg, USA: One of America's Historic Cities
Fredericksburg, Virginia is a colonial city that was once a highly strategic Civil War battlefield due to its position. Since the town sits right along the Rappahannock River, it was used as an inland port during the colonial era. Also, the city was exactly halfway between Union headquarters in Washington, DC and Confederate headquarters in Richmond, Virginia, so it was a vital position for Civil War generals to hold.
Today, Fredericksburg has about 28,000 inhabitants and is full of historic sites that attract visitors from not only all corners of the United States, but from all over the world. Guests of the city are sure to experience some American history and learn a lot throughout their visits.
Much of Fredericksburg is like a walking museum, as countless historical sites sit throughout the city. Numerous Civil War sites are scattered throughout the area, including the Fredericksburg Battlefield, which was the location where a famous fight between Union and Confederate Soldiers took place. Other Civil War sites in the area include Chatham mansion, Chancellorsville Battlefield, Christ Episcopal Church, and Old Salem Church.
Fredericksburg is also known as the place of George Washington's boyhood home. Today, this location is known as Ferry Farm and is open to visitors for most of the year. Other sites in the city related to George Washington include the Kenmore Plantation, which was owned by his sister and her husband, Mary Washington House, where his mother lived, and the University of Mary Washington. More information on these sites is available at many of the hotels in the downtown area.
Often times, Fredericksburg, VA is referred to as America's most haunted city, largely because of the major battles that have taken place there over the years. In fact, over 100,000 people died in these Civil War battles. Today, many visitors choose to take a ghost tour in an attempt to connect with the paranormal world that is present there. Walking tours leave from various locations that are close to hotels in the downtown area and explore many these haunted sites.
It is also possible to take a tour into Wicked Woods, which is a forest located just outside of Fredericksburg. The quarter mile trail that runs into the woods takes visitors to places where horrific things have happened in the past, which is sure to create an eerie feeling when walking through the area. Wicked Woods also uses special effects and props to give visitors a genuinely haunting experience.
Annual events are important to the fabric of Fredericksburg, as the city hosts many festivals each year. In particular, the city enjoys celebrating the life of George Washington, as he was the town's most famous resident. In February, the community observes George Washington's birthday with events at both Ferry Farm and the Washington Heritage Museum.
During the Christmas season, events like the Candlelight Tour, the Gingerbread House Contest and Exhibit, and the Battle of Fredericksburg Remembrance Weekend come to town, bringing crowds with them along the way. Booking hotels early is a good idea during the holidays because of the events that take place. Other major events in the city include the Children's Art Show and Expo, the Fredericksburg Fine Arts & Crafts Show, and Art in the Park.
Since the Rappahannock River runs right through Fredericksburg, plenty of outdoor activities related to the river can be found in the city. Canoeing and kayaking are both popular in the area, although the river is quite fast and only experienced paddlers should attempt to navigate it. Hiking along the river is also popular.
Just to the south-east of the city sits Lake Anna State Park. This large park features a human-made lake and is a popular place to go swimming or boating. Other outdoor locations that are popular with visitors include Wilderness Battlefield, John Lee Pratt Park, Motts Run Reservoir Recreation Area, and McDuff Green Park.
Boutique and Antique Shopping
The Fredericksburg area has two major shopping centres: Central Park and the Stafford Marketplace. These malls have department and brand name stores, in addition to restaurants. Downtown Fredericksburg, VA is full of boutique shops that provide a small-town shopping experience. Many of these shops are located along William Street and Caroline Street, close to numerous hotels, in an area that is highly walkable.
Downtown Fredericksburg is a National Historic District and has over 350 buildings from the 18th and 19th centuries. Additionally, many of these buildings sell antiques, making this area one of the best places in the country to do that type of shopping. Visitors never know when they will uncover a hidden gem which shopping in these antique stores.