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Top 10 Reasons to Travel to Fredericksburg This Winter
Winter arrives in Fredericksburg with great fanfare as the holiday season lights up downtown streets, followed by New Year’s celebrations and hopeful resolutions. The season that settles in and stays awhile is loaded with so many opportunities to make the most of the Fredericksburg Area’s culture, history, food and nature offerings, you’ll stay warm just from all the good vibes.
1. Light Up with Holiday Traditions
Holiday decorations all across the country are trying to replicate the kind of small town charm you find in Fredericksburg every day of the year. You can experience the authentic version right here this holiday season, where storefront displays create a Window Wonderland, Candlelight Tours cast a warm glow and Jingle Bell Christmas Rides transport you to your holiday dreams. Whether you’re taking a peek at grand homes in their holiday finery or bundled up for the Spotsylvania Christmas Parade, holiday traditions in Fredericksburg make this the most wonderful season of all.
2. When the Clock Strikes Midnight – Fredericksburg Style
Where will you be when the clock strikes midnight this New Year’s Eve? Plan now to ring in the New Year with style and sparkle in Fredericksburg, where celebrations range from family fun to late night revelry. Bring the whole family to Ride in the New Year at Central Park Fun-land, a festival event with rides, food vendors and a New Year’s countdown featuring a laser and pyrotechnic show. Is a swanky evening and elegant attire more what you had in mind? Get dressed up for a “Time to Remember” at Potomac Point Winery’s Annual New Year’s Eve event featuring hourly celebrations with a cultural flair as each time zone strikes midnight.
3. Holiday Shop – Opinion from Saint Nick Optional
City sidewalks dressed in holiday style? Fredericksburg is definitely decked out for the season as boutiques, museum shops, antique stores and gourmet providers conspire to make you the most accomplished gift-giver in the family. In addition to the vintage treasures, fashion finds and unique items you’ll find in Downtown Fredericksburg shops, area retail centers offer both luxury goods and great bargains – you’ll check everyone off your list in no time! Take it from Santa and Mrs. Claus who regularly stroll our downtown streets: the personal touch of holiday shopping in Fredericksburg puts the joy back into the season.
4. Dinner and A Performance, Now That’s the Ticket
The warm glow of the stage is exactly what you need when the temperatures drop, and Fredericksburg’s cultural arts scene has just the ticket. The winter schedule of Broadway at the Riverside Center Dinner Theater delivers with dinner and a show featuring classic stories, professional productions and big musical numbers. Whether you catch a performance Thursday through Saturday evenings, or a matinee on Wednesday or Sunday, you’re in for a gourmet theater experience at a top-notch venue.
5. For the Love of Food
Combining farm-to-table experiences with the creativity of chefs who never run out of new ideas, the Fredericksburg Area’s culinary scene makes your winter getaway delicious. From fine dining options with adventurous flavors, to casual dining favorites, local standouts, wine, beer and spirits, Fredericksburg food finds make every season satisfying. But winter’s menu has the secret sauce: Fredericksburg’s Annual Restaurant Week, featuring prix fixe meals at dozens of chef-owned restaurants.
6. President’s Day Spent in the Footsteps of President Washington
Where the very first commander-in-chief spent his boyhood, you can trust that President’s Day is a major event. George Washington grew up at Ferry Farm in Stafford County, where birthday celebrations include crafts, cake and colonial games overlooking the Rappahannock River. Throughout Fredericksburg, the downtown home of Washington’s mother, the Mary Washington House, and his sister’s home, Historic Kenmore Plantation, offer President’s Day discounts and special celebrations.
7. Cozy Up with Local Coffee
With so many local roasters and baristas serving up your favorite hot beverage, there’s no need to brave the season alone. Share the warmth of Fredericksburg’s inviting café atmosphere over a cup of local coffee. You’ll find espresso and delicious pastries at Eileen’s Bakery & Café, hot chocolate with a twist at Hyperion, gourmet blends at Ricks Roasters, macaroons with your latte at the Agora Downtown Coffee Shop and tiny cupcakes with your spiced chai tea at Butternut and Blue Bistro & Bakery. What you won’t find? Any reason to say no.
8. Bed & Breakfasts
Is there anything cozier than waking up in a beautiful room and enjoying a home-cooked breakfast that’s been made just for you? Fredericksburg Bed & Breakfasts definitely deliver the experience, often in a historic setting. Whether you’re steps from shopping and restaurants on a downtown street at the romantic 1890 Caroline House or on the peaceful grounds of Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park at Braehead Manor, you can count on gracious hospitality and luxurious touches. Escape to Lavender Heights for a relaxing experience that lives up to its charming name. Check into the Inn at the Olde Silk Mill to soak up the Victorian atmosphere. Cozy up to the fireplace of a 19th century cottage at the Inn at Stevenson Ridge. Wherever you lay your head, settling down for a long winter’s nap has never been so restful.
9. Museum & Art Studio Roundup
Fredericksburg’s historic and creative culture is just as vibrant in the winter months as it is the rest of the year, with galleries, studios and museums inviting you in for an eclectic mix of fine arts, handcrafted wares and foolproof ways to conquer cabin fever. From metal arts at the Copper Shop, to kiln-fired works at Glass Aglow, to pottery at Sophia Street Studios, the variety is inspiring. Visit Gari Melchers Home & Studio at Belmont for a historical glimpse at an artist’s life on an 18th century estate. Spend some time touring the University of Mary Washington Galleries to view historical and contemporary works. Pay a visit to the Backdoor Gallery for inspiring shows, events, classes and artisan wares at the gift shop.
10. Take a Winter Walk
Just because the calendar proclaims its winter, there’s no reason to deny yourself the pleasure of filling your lungs with fresh air and stretching your legs on a brisk walk. Parks and trails offering perfect access to the season’s landscape, no matter the weather, surround Fredericksburg. You can hike area battlefield parks or take a downtown walking tour to add some historic reflection to your day. For unique terrain, head to Government Island in Stafford County, once the site of a stone quarry. Take advantage of the quiet season at Lake Anna State Park, where several nature trails follow the shores of the lake. Let winter keep you inside? Not in Fredericksburg!
For more information about the Fredericksburg area, go to www.VisitFred.com.
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