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The City of Fredericksburg Community Guide

Fredericksburg overview

The city of Fredericksburg sits at the fall line of the Rappahannock River.

Centered between Washington and Richmond (about 50 miles from each), it serves as the hub of a region that includes fast-growing Stafford and Spotsylvania counties.

In the 40-block Historic District downtown, the land rising from the riverbank is dotted with historic homes and tree-shaded residential neighborhoods.

The city's downtown business center is Caroline Street, which is also home to a variety of shops and restaurants.

Central Park on State Route 3 is the city's largest retailer and includes a variety of major big box stores, along with major restaurant chains and other retailers.

Lafayette Upper Elementary School fourth grader Levar Grubb works on a writing project using an Acer tablet in teacher Maureen Ballard's class on Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2012. (Peter Cihelka/The Free Lance-Star)


There are four schools in Fredericksburg: two elementary schools, one middle and one high school.

Hugh Mercer Elementary has kindergarten through second grade and Lafayette Upper Elementary School has third through fifth grade, students.

In the fall of 2013, there were 3,457 students in the city school system.

The high school’s football team has competed for a state title five times.

This year, all four schools in the city were fully accredited.

Hugh Mercer Elementary is undergoing an expansion to make accommodate the growing population.

When the elementary school opened in 1968, it was built to house between 800 and 825 students. Enrollment last year was 885 students and by 2017, it’s expected to grow to 927 students.

Fredericksburg real estate

The city of Fredericksburg is the inner core of the region, and the source of much of the area’s identity.

Downtown Fredericksburg is a picturesque spot that includes restaurants, boutique stores, a train station, the University of Mary Washington, an active arts scene, the local government center and numerous parks including one along the Rappahannock River. Integrated into this mix are densely clustered, century-old residences that range from modest to grand in a wide variety of architectural styles.

Some of the city’s priciest and nicest homes are along Washington Avenue, and Caroline and Hanover streets downtown. As has occurred in many communities throughout the U.S. of late, many area residents are choosing to move downtown for its walkable and convenient lifestyle.

That is leading to more condominium and townhouse projects getting built downtown, and more restaurants opening to cater to the new arrivals. Outside downtown in the city are newer, suburban-style neighborhoods such as Idlewild and The Preserve at Smith Run.

Fredericksburg transportation

The city is pigeon-holed between a pair of growing counties in Stafford and Spotsylvania. The drastic growth in each of those counties over the past decade has caused big traffic problems in those localities. But the traffic problems have also hit the city.

The commuter rush often causes jams on Fredericksburg roads, including Fall Hill Avenue and Lafayette Boulevard.

Fall Hill will be closed most of 2014 while the Rappahannock Canal Bridge is torn down and rebuilt (click here for details from the city). Following that work, a widening project will soon follow.

A Lafayette Boulevard project is set to get a roundabout, which is being done not to help with traffic but to allow for residential and commercial growth.

Traffic in the city should improve as a result of the Rappahannock River Crossing project, as part of those plans call for improvements at the I-95 exit at Route 3, where Central Park is.

Central Park, located where Route 3 and Interstate 95 intersect, is Fredericksburg's major shopping destination.(File/The Free Lance-Star)


Fredericksburg is the retail hub of the region, with Central Park and Celebrate Virginia South (home to a Wegmans grocery store) attracting shoppers from all over the area. Celebrate Virginia could get a boost soon with the arrival of the Hagerstown Suns, a Class-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals that plan to build a new minor league stadium in time for the 2015 season.

The Suns are partnering on the venture with New Jersey-based Diamond Nation, which wants to build an amateur baseball complex next to the stadium for travel team tournaments and camps. There are also additional retail developments along State Route 3 in the city. Mary Washington Hospital is the largest hospital in the region, and numerous medical offices and supporting retail surround the complex.

The University of Mary Washington has been transforming the U.S. 1 corridor in the city with its Eagle Village complex, which includes an attractive pedestrian bridge over U.S. 1 connecting to campus, a Hyatt Place hotel, a hospital connector road and student apartments.

Downtown Fredericksburg is home to the city’s central business district and government center as well as century-old residences and the University of Mary Washington’s main campus. The city is a HUBZone, allowing it to attract federal contractors interested in that program.

Fredericksburg news feed

Paving scheduled this week near Fredericksburg courthouse

Paving work will take place all week near the new Fredericksburg courthouse meaning likely traffic d ... Jul 21 in City Beat.

City is site of immigration protest

Clad in a United States flag tee shirt, Steve Iseman of Caroline County waves to supporters during ... Jul 19 in The News Desk.

SUV finally freed from creek

BY KATIE SHEPHERD / THE FREE LANCE-STARAfter six hours of labor, a Ford Explorer that had been swep ... Jul 18 in The News Desk.

Local shelters have plenty of pets eager for permanent homes

Freya is a sweet, 5-year-old American Pit Bull Terrier who loves attention and is eager to follow a ... Jul 18 in Pet Dish.

SUV crashes, on two wheels, into parked car in city

Photo: John M. Sovitsky BY KATIE SHEPHERD / The Free Lance–Star A Chevrolet Traverse was left bal ... Jul 17 in The News Desk.

Kickshaws market sets Saturday opening

BY LINDLEY ESTES / THE FREE LANCE–STARKickshaws Downtown Market opens to the public Saturday at 10 a ... Jul 17 in The News Desk.

Playground to spread more sunshine at ballpark

Workers finish work on an area that will serve as a patio for a playground being installed at Sunsh ... Jul 16 in The News Desk.

Sunshine Ballpark is getting a playground

On Wednesday, workers were finishing the concrete slab that will be the site of benches and a picni ... Jul 16 in City Beat.

Four people escape vehicle before it's washed away in flash flood

Four occupants of this Ford Explorer escaped through a sunroof moments before it was swept down Haz ... Jul 16 in The News Desk.

PARKS AND REC: New courts have people in a pickle

BY REGINA WEISS / THE FREE LANCE–STAR For those who find tennis too intense, badminton too slow and ... Jul 15 in The News Desk.

Thefts from cars rising in Fredericksburg

BY PAMELA GOULD / THE FREE LANCE–STAR Fredericksburg authorities report an increase in thefts of it ... Jul 15 in The News Desk.

Fredericksburg police cite nine with trespassing at quarry

BY PAMELA GOULD THE FREE LANCE–STAR Nine people have been charged with trespassing at the Frederic ... Jul 14 in City Beat.

Winning is easy for these hunters

Carol and Paul Valencik took the first-place prize this year in the Itty Bitty City Scavenger Hunt ... Jul 14 in The News Desk.

Tribal Quest tests participants’ limits

Jake Robitaille takes a spill while carrying a bucket of water across Snake Pond with his team at S ... Jul 12 in The News Desk.

City paves way for street project

BY DAWNTHEA PRICE / THE FREE LANCE–STAROne of Fredericksburg’s largest street resurfacing effo ... Jul 11 in The News Desk.

EVENTS: Time to go wild at Tribal Quest

BY KATIE SHEPHERD / The Free Lance-StarAthletes will wind their way through trails and over obstacle ... Jul 10 in The News Desk.

City police to pay overtime for quarry patrols

BY KATIE SHEPHERD / THE FREE LANCE–STARCity police are deploying overtime details to patrol the Fred ... Jul 10 in The News Desk.

Virginia Deli reopens on Caroline Street

The Virginia Deli reopened in downtown Fredericksburg over the July Fourth holiday weekend. The sand ... Jul 09 in The News Desk.

Did a tornado twist through Fredericksburg?

MORE STORM PICTURES: View additional photos from the storm on the fredericksburg.com facebook page. ... Jul 08 in The News Desk.

Fredericksburg clears way for Alan Jackson concert

BY DAWNTHEA PRICE / The Free Lance–StarHold off on those “Summertime Blues,” Alan Jackso ... Jul 08 in The News Desk.

Swimming continues at Fredericksburg quarry despite teen's death

A teen jumps off a cliff at Fredericksburg Quarry with friends on Tuesday afternoon. An 18-year-old ... Jul 08 in The News Desk.

James Moncure properties to be auctioned

BY LINDLEY ESTES / THE FREE LANCE–STAREight properties connected with James Ashby Moncure’s ba ... Jul 08 in The News Desk.

Foode items now available at Hyperion Espresso

FILE / Photo Illustration by Suzanne Carr Rossi / The Free Lance-Star Fredericksburg's Foode and ... Jul 08 in Business Insider.


BY DAWNTHEA PRICE / THE FREE LANCE–STARAn evening swim at the Fredericksburg quarry ended tragically ... Jul 07 in The News Desk.

Swimmer drowns at Fredericksburg quarry

UPDATE from Fredericksburg Police Department: The victim in last night’s incident at the quarry was ... Jul 07 in The News Desk.