By Meghan Meier
Say goodbye to winter and hello to spring. Now with the warm weather finally making an appearance, outdoor activities are in full bloom. To make this a spring event fit for the whole family, Fredericksburg is the place to be.
9:30 a.m.: There is no better way to jump-start the day than with a relaxing walk to the Rappahannock River. Both paid and free parking can be found along Sophia Street, which is in the heart of downtown and steps away from the waterfront. However, the family will not want to forget to bring their fishing pole and tackle box—walk south to the end of Sophia Street toward the City Dock , where public fishing is allowed.
Noon: After catching that long-awaited fish, it is time to celebrate with pizza at Benny Vitali’s just a 10-minute walk from the dock. Here, the whole family can dig into the restaurant’s famous 28-inch pie. But if they are looking to be a little greedy, they can order their own personal slice big enough to fill up one adult.
1:30 p.m.: Walk off your hearty lunch at one of Fredericksburg’s battlefield parks or gardens. If the mood is to trail around the grounds of historic houses and buildings that contributed to the Civil War during the Battle of Fredericksburg, then head toward Chatham. But if the objective is to travel farther south of the river, visit Ferry Farm, childhood home of George Washington, might be more fitting as the family can explore around 80 acres with a variety of plants from the 18th century and take part in archaeological digs. But don’t think the family needs to depend on a tour guide: Visitors can investigate the area at their own leisure with the help of an iPad app, Uncovering George Washington’s Youth.
3 p.m.: Coming back to the historic district, the next adventure would be to travel inland to explore the city’s streets and rich history it embodies. If wanting to tour by conventional vehicle, then the open-air trolley tours are the best solution. In this 75-minute tour, riders will be given an intimate overview of Fredericksburg where they will get to visit landmarks and houses that quartered both the Confederate and Unison soldiers during the Civil War. However, if the family wants to travel on the traditional horse and buggy just as colonial residents did, Olde Towne Carriage Tours are available for public and private groups. Both tours conveniently depart near or at the Fredericksburg Visitors Center located on Caroline Street.
6 p.m.: The only way to end the day’s activities is to dine in front of the scenic river views of the Rappahannock at Brock’s Riverside Grill on Sophia Street. Both parents and kids can sit back and relax on the restaurant’s new outdoor dining deck while indulging in traditional Southwestern American cuisine. Don’t forget to stop at Carl’s Frozen Custard on Princess Anne Street for everyone’s favorite cold dessert on the way home.