Southern Belle in Training

Fashion, Travel & Lifestyle Blog || Est. 2012 || Virginia Beach, VA

December 13, 2018

TRAVEL GUIDE: Winter Weekend in Fredericksburg, VA.

     There is something extra fun about traveling somewhere new during the holiday season. I am so intrigued by different local and regional holiday traditions and customs. This year is my first Christmas season as a Virginian, and I knew I wanted to see how this festive season was in more places than just Charlottesville. 

     I was delighted to have the opportunity to visit Fredericksburg, VA a few weekends ago! It was the ideal destination for a holiday weekend getaway, and I'm looking forward to sharing more about that in today's Travel Guide. My friend Caroline came up from Charlotte to accompany me for the weekend, and to help with some of the photography in this blog post! You can probably tell from most of the photos that the weather wasn't the greatest while we were in Fredericksburg. While the cold and rainy temperatures weren't ideal, there are still so many things to do here that it didn't rain on our parade! (Pun intended- as there was a parade while we visited!)

Thank you to Visit Fredericksburg for hosting me for this press trip and providing accommodations and meals. Thank you for supporting the brands and organizations that partner with Southern Belle in Training!


     Fredericksburg is located at the southern part of Northern Virginia (NoVa), lying between Spotsylvania and Stafford counties. It's 45 miles south of DC, and almost 60 miles north of Richmond, making it easily accessible from both of these major metropolitan areas! It took an hour and thirty minutes to get to our hotel from my apartment in Charlottesville. It was a really nice drive through some beautiful rural areas to get there. If you're visiting from most places in Virginia, Maryland, or the Carolinas, it would be easy to drive to Fredericksburg! If you wanted to have a Northern Virginia adventure but were coming from further away, you'd have your choice of the airports in DC or the Richmond airport. (Route 1 runs right through Fredericksburg- I always get a kick out of other places that have Route 1 passing through, as that comprises the Main Street in my hometown.


     Visit Fredericksburg reserved a room for us at the Marriott Courtyard Fredericksburg Historic Downtown hotel. This hotel was the absolute perfect location for all of hour downtown holiday adventures! The hotel is located on Caroline Street, which is the main street in the downtown area. (I also loved how everything was on Caroline Street, since I was accompanied on this trip by my friend Caroline!) We found the hotel to be very clean and comfortable! Our room had two queen beds, and plenty of space. I must add- this hotel had some of the most comfortable beds that I've slept on in awhile!
      The hotel staff was very helpful, and I have to share this funny story from the trip. We brought leftovers back to our hotel room from our dinner at Orofino, and I figured the boxes of food would be too large to fit into the hotel room ice box. I asked one of the people working at the front desk if they could kindly keep our food overnight in a break room fridge. He said yes without any hesitation! As soon as we got back to our room... I realized I must have been blind. There was a mini fridge in our room that I totally missed!! I'm sure the hotel staff member knew this, but he still was able to store our food without hesitation. 😉 Says a lot about the great service that you'll get if you stay at this hotel!


     I already shared a restaurant guide to Fredericksburg on the blog, but if you didn't get a chance to read that yet, here were my three favorite restaurants:

  1. Foode 
  2. Kybecca
  3. Orofino 


   Fredericksburg is a vibrant small city that has a thriving downtown district, as well as many unique historical activities throughout the city itself and its two neighboring counties! Here are the activities that we did during our 48 hour visit:

     *Shop Local: As much as I do love malls, my heart has a soft spot for shopping local. Some of my favorite stores are located in my hometown in Maine, and I adore visiting them each time that I'm home. I also love checking out local stores when I travel, as they're the spots that you can find the most unique souvenirs! Fredericksburg's downtown has a plethora of amazing local shops to visit. Most of them were all decked out for the holidays during the weekend that we were there, so it made shopping an even more fun experience. The four that I recommend stopping by are all conveniently located on Caroline Street:

     Monkee's of Fredericksburg: (Monkee's is a small chain of boutiques across the Southeast! They feature upscale clothing and accessories for women, and carry some of my favorite brands like Tory Burch and Lilly Pulitzer!)

     *Riverby Books: This was one of the most charming used bookstores that I have ever visited! The atmosphere is so inviting and bright- I secretly wanted to move into the store and read forever.

    *Sugar + Spruce: I think this was my favorite store I visited. The decor inside is like an Instagram dream!! (I wanted to take pictures of EVERYTHING.) They sell locally handcrafted soaps and skincare items. My mom loves nice soaps, so I picked her up something from here for Christmas!

     *Antique Court of Shoppes: Visiting this store made me wonder why I don't visit antique stores more frequently! I could've spent our entire weekend just browsing this store. They had so many unique things, and a nice mix of old antique pieces and some newer vintage items from the 80s, 90s, and early 2000s. They sell everything from furniture to jewelry... I even found a display of vintage perfume bottles! Now I'm determined to find some fun antique stores in Charlottesville.

     *Tour Ferry Farm: George Washington's childhood home is located just about 10 minutes from downtown Fredericksburg! It's right across the river in Stafford County. While his original childhood home isn't still standing anymore, an accurate replica of it was just built within the last few years. The furnishings in the home are all modeled after those from the time period. When we arrived, Caroline and I first did the self-guided tour of the general grounds. We even got to see the garden on the property, which means that if the fable about George Washington and the cherry tree is true, that's where it would have taken place!
    One reason I really enjoyed the self-guided grounds tour at Ferry Farm because your admission includes use of a tour iPad! There are special videos to play at each spot on the property that you visit, and I found it a really unique and fun way to do a self-guided tour. We did have a tour guide lead us through the replica of the Washington home, he was very knowledgable and I learned a lot of new facts about the Washington family!

    Before leaving Ferry Farm, we stopped by a special exhibit inside of the visitor center. Each December, they host a gingerbread house competition! We browsed this year's entries... I have to say they were really good! The concepts behind each were so creative.

     *Visit The Mary Washington House: If you haven't had your fill of George Washington's family after visiting Ferry Farm, you can continue your historical adventures by visiting the Mary Washington House! This located just a few blocks away from downtown Fredericksburg (we were able to walk there easily from our hotel). George Washington purchased this house for his mother in 1772, and she lived there for her remaining 17 years. During the day that we visited there was a living history demonstration happening, so it was fun to see people around in colonial dress!

    *Walk at Government Island: I love going for trail walks- it's such a wonderful way to add a little bit of time in nature to your regular routine. It was suggested on our itinerary to take a walk here, and I really enjoyed visiting. Since I liked discovering the Government Island in the cold, rainy weather, I can only imagine how beautiful it is here in the sunshine! This is located in neighboring Stafford County. Government Island is an 18th century quarry site that is now a 1.5 mile trail and nature preserve. It's perfect for a brisk walk!

    *Enjoy the Fredericksburg Christmas Parade: This is an annual city event, and happened this year on the Saturday evening that we were there. The parade runs straight down Caroline Street and a few side streets. This is a huge event in Fredericksburg! Beginning Saturday morning (!!), we saw people start setting up chairs and benches for parade watching that night.
    Caroline and I had been out and about all day by the time it go to the parade, so instead of watching it outdoors, we opted to watch it from our hotel room, since it was still pretty cold and wet out. That was the first time that I've ever watched a parade from indoors, and it was very cool to do it that way!

    *Other things to do in Fredericksburg:

  • Visit wineries: Fredericksburg area wineries are apart of the Northern Virginia wine region! There are a number of wineries in the area, including Bacchus Winery, Hartwood Winery, and Wildnerness Run Vineyards (which is located very close to the Wildnerness Battlefield site). 
  • Civil War historic sites: Our historical activities for the weekend were focused on George Washington, but if you're a Civil War buff there is lots for you to do around Fredericksburg! We drove by a number of battlefields and historic sites from the Civil War period while exploring the area. 
  • Downtown walking tour: We were able to visit a few of the places on this list, but you could take a full day are walk to your heart's content to see it all! There is so much vibrant history so close to downtown.

     Caroline and I really enjoyed our holiday weekend in Fredericksburg! I wish that the weather had been better for us, but since we were still able to have so much fun it shows that Fredericksburg is truly a rain or shine destination. The architecture of Fredericksburg reminded me a lot of New England, where I'm from! During a lot of points in the weekend, I'd forget that I was in Virginia and think I was in a historic town in Massachusetts. If you're also from up north, I'd be curious if you'd see the similarities like I did! 

     Have you visited Fredericksburg or Northern Virginia before?

     God Bless,

      xoxo Annaliese




  1. oh my gosh my friend was just talking to me about this adorable little town! it looks like such a little dream :D

  2. Lovely pictures! I really like these cute little shops especially the bookstore

  3. Your photos are so beautiful! Thank you for this travel guide!

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  4. Sounds like such a lovely time! And those shops are too cute!

    xx Chelsea

  5. How lovely! I think I'm in love with that antique shop - an entire shelf of blue and white floral pottery?! I'm in heaven!

  6. I love going to antique shops because you can easily find something so cute for your home.

  7. I really love the rustic feeling of the city.
    Oh and all those blue china porcelains...

  8. What a fun guide and place to go! So many things to do - I've never been!

  9. As a true history buff (that's what my degree is in!) I think this would be a dream vacation destination for me! My sweet husband always indulges me on these trips, we even honeymoon'd in Savannah & Charleston where there is history abounding! Definitely adding this one to my bucket list :)

    xoxo, SS

    Southern and Style

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