The Fredericksburg region, consisting of the city of Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania County and Stafford County, is conveniently located between Richmond and Washington, D.C. and offers a rich history with a multitude of opportunities for students to interact with the historical events and remarkable people who helped form our country. Here are some the region’s museums and tourists’ favorite attractions:
The Hugh Mercer Apothecary Shop
An eighteenth-century building was restored to house the Hugh Mercer Apothecary Shop, a museum of medicine, pharmacy, and military and political affairs. Dr. Mercer served the citizens of Fredericksburg with medicines and treatments of the time – leeches, lancets, snakeroot, and crab claws made up just some of his remedies.
The Rising Sun Tavern
Tavern wenches and indentured servants will entertain students with a lively interpretation of 18th century tavern life. You’ll learn how class and gender dictated lodgings and meals, what difficulty the Stamp Act presented, and how to not “bite off more than you can chew.”
Mary Washington House
Your visit to the home of Mrs. Washington, purchased for her by son George, takes you back to a time when social customs were much different from today.
You will walk the grounds where George Washington grew up and explore the recently built replica house through hands-on activities.
This beautiful home was the plantation home where George Washington’s sister lived with her husband, Fielding Lewis, and their children. Learn about the differences and similarities between life in colonial times and life today.
Fredericksburg Area Museum
The Fredericksburg Area Museum (FAM) offers educational programs conducted in the museum’s galleries, schools and libraries. FAM’s programs cover the history of our region including the Virginia Indians, 18th-century life, the American Civil War, Civil Rights, the importance of the Rappahannock River to our community, and archaeology.
James Monroe Museum
The James Monroe Museum offers both on-site and supplemental online educational opportunities for teachers, classroom students, and homeschoolers. On-site programs include grade level appropriate educational tours of our extensive collection, which reflects both James Monroe and early America.
Fredericksburg & Spotsylvania National Military Park
All field trips to the park are free and may be customized to meet the needs of each group. Classes typically spend 90 minutes at each site, and often combine visits to multiple locations in the same day. Rangers strive to provide interactive, on-the-ground experiences for all students.
Students may explore multiple sites on this battlefield with a park ranger, including the Sunken Road, battle-damaged Innis House, Marye’s Heights, and the National Cemetery. Some programs include marching and drilling with wooden muskets or cannon-firing demonstrations.
This large house was built in 1771 and visited by George Washington and Abraham Lincoln.
Learn about the slaves and soldiers who were at this plantation before, during, and after the Civil War.
Visit the site where Confederate General “Stonewall” Jackson was wounded and learn stories of this battle from a park ranger. Learn about Lee’s Greatest Victory and the daring maneuvers that are still studied by the military today.
Spotsylvania County Museum
The Spotsylvania County Museum provides a comprehensive history of Spotsylvania from 1722. The Museum works with the teacher to assemble special programs on the County’s diverse history which includes allowing students to experience hands-on activities utilizing artifacts for the museum’s collections.
Gari Melchers Home & Studio at Belmont
Students have the opportunity to explore this unique 18th century estate, tour stunning art galleries, visit the restored gardens and explore the property’s trails. Belmont is a unique and enriching destination for classes, art clubs, and homeschoolers, day cares and scouting groups. Customized field trips for all ages are also available.
Shannon Air Museum and Virginia Aeronautical Aviation Society Headquarters
The Shannon Air Museum houses one of the rarest collections of vintage aircraft in the world, including planes from World War I and World War II. Discover famous aviators, view historic artifacts and learn about the founding of one of the first major airlines.*
At the River’s Edge Environmental Education Program
ATRE provides students with interactive, outdoor science and history education opportunities. Their goal is to give teachers and students a safe, fun, hands-on experience that will inspire respect and stewardship for the Rappahannock and its watershed.
John J. Wright Educational
& Cultural Center Museum
Journey through the social context of African American education in Spotsylvania, its transformation through successful integration, and the closure of the historic John J. Wright Middle School. The museum is located inside the original school’s library. Key topics include segregation, African American culture, local history and integration.