A day trip to Fredericksburg, Virginia makes for an interesting journey into the MidAtlantic’s role in Civil War history. The drive from Baltimore to Fredericksburg is a little over ninety minutes, straight down I-95. Your travels will take you through several counties in Maryland, Washington D.C. and then into Virginia. Along the way, you’ll see several signs and markers pointing out historical stops or places of battle.
Chancellor's Battlefield — Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Fredericksburg has a rich and deep history full of Civil War events. And with a motto like "America's most historic city", it's no wonder why 1.5 million tourists visit here every year. Home to 350 historic buildings, famous residents such as George Washington, Elijah Craig, John Paul Jones, James Monroe, and Mary Bell Washington, just to name a few, Fredericksburg is a living breathing classroom! Summertime is when tourism to the area is at its peak so a day trip to the town during the other seasons of the year affords you the opportunity to explore and read the signs at your own pace.
George Washington Statue — Photo courtesy of T. Browne Smith
After exploring the historical sites of Baltimore, you may feel like you’ve hit the jack pot. Think of Fredericksburg as the Mega Million when it comes to historical places and sites. Its Historic District contains more than 350 buildings dating back to the 18th and 19th centuries. You’ll find more than 15,000 Union burials at the Fredericksburg National Cemetery as well as preserved portions of Civil War battlefields. Walking or driving through Fredericksburg, you can almost feel the tension of battle, hear the cries of the fallen, and envision what the scene may have looked like.
These are some must-see sites on your day trip to Fredericksburg:
- Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park
- Mary Washington House
- Kenmore Plantation
- Rising Sun Tavern
- Hugh Mercer Apothecary Shop
- Fredericksburg National Cemetery
- The House where Stonewall Jackson died
If you’d rather hear the story about Fredericksburg from a guide, you can take a trolley tour that will show you historic homes, attractions, Confederate and Federal cemeteries, thirty-five monuments and markers, America’s oldest Masonic cemetery and the site of the Battle of Fredericksburg.
Winecellar — Photo courtesy of T. Browne Smith
Once you’ve quenched your thirst for history and need something a little less symbolic, you can head to the Potomac Point Winery, Hartwood Winery, or A. Smith Bowman’s Distillery, all of which offer guided tours of the properties and tastings.
You’ll find that there’s quite a bit to see and do in Fredericksburg that you may decide to forego the two-hour drive back to Baltimore. Whatever you decide, once you arrive in Fredericksburg, you’ll feel a world away from the Inner Harbor.