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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

Public hearing set on Fredericksburg tax rates

Fredericksburg’s City Council will hold a public hearing on proposed tax rates on Tuesday at 7 ... Apr 18 in The News Desk.

Fredericksburg couple honored for impact on city's beaty

Anne and Carl Little (Photo courtesy of Brenda Martin.) Fredericksburg residents Anne and Carl L ... Apr 18 in City Beat.

It's not too late for absentee voting for Fredericksburg's May 6 election

The Fredericksburg Registrar's Office reminds people that they can request an absentee vote by mail ... Apr 18 in City Beat.

Congressman compliments nonprofit counseling group

Congressman Rob Wittman toured Fredericksburg Counseling Services clinic on Thursday April 17, 2014 ... Apr 17 in The News Desk.

Next open house on Riverfront Park is May 3

A second open house will be held on May 3 to discuss the proposed design of Riverfront Park. The ... Apr 17 in City Beat.

One lane of Chatham Bridge closed for emergency inspection

The Virginia Department of Transportation is closing one lane of eastbound and westbound Route 3 at ... Apr 17 in City Beat.

Fredericksburg council backs raises for city staff

The Fredericksburg City Council Tuesday night expressed support for a cost-of-living increase for ci ... Apr 15 in City Beat.

Details emerging on Fredericksburg courthouse building

Lest there be any question, the stone facade makes it plain now. That big brick building going u ... Apr 15 in City Beat.

UPDATE: Overnight paving has been canceled

UPDATE: The paving has been canceled until further notice. *** Night paving starts this evening on ... Apr 15 in City Beat.

'Happy' Fredericksburg video goes viral

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DzUjmIuvtk4 By HOPE RACINE Happiness is contagious in Frederic ... Apr 15 in The News Desk.

Workers rolling again on city rail-trail project

Construction of the pedestrian and bicycle trail on the former Virginia Central Railway bed near Al ... Apr 14 in The News Desk.

High-speed chase ends with crash

BY KEITH EPPS / THE FREE LANCE–STARA high-speed pursuit involving a stolen motorcycle that started i ... Apr 14 in The News Desk.

Man sought in armed robbery of Fredericksburg florist

By KEITH EPPS A man got away with a "significant" amount of money after robbing an employee at a ... Apr 14 in The News Desk.

Fredericksburg woman accused of driving into her husband

By KEITH EPPS A Fredericksburg woman is accused of attempted first-degree murder after witnesses ... Apr 14 in The News Desk.

City farmers market getting more space

BY PAMELA GOULD AND EMILY FREEHLING / THE FREE LANCE–STARCustomers will have more room to maneuver ... Apr 13 in The News Desk.

Students at two Fredericksburg schools to receive free lunches next year

BY ROBYN SIDERSKY / THE FREE LANCE-STARWhat’s better than a free lunch?How about free lunch fo ... Apr 13 in The News Desk.

Josh Hardy gets to spend a night out of the hospital

Fredericksburg first-grader Josh Hardy got to spend a night outside St. Jude Children's Hospital thi ... Apr 11 in The News Desk.

Fredericksburg's restaurants need your vote to reach 'Enticing Eight'

In case you missed it, Fredericksburg's two entries in the Virginia is For Lovers Culinary Madne ... Apr 11 in City Beat.

Fredericksburg getting spotlighted in tourism page

In addition to its positive showing in the Virginia is for Lovers Culinary Madness contest, Frederic ... Apr 10 in City Beat.

Lane closure scheduled for Lafayette on Thursday

Motorists should be on the lookout for a lane closure in the 2000 block of Lafayette Boulevard on Th ... Apr 09 in City Beat.

Pinwheels cropping up to raise awareness of child abuse

Across Fredericksburg, blue pinwheels are cropping up as a reminder that April is Child Abuse Awaren ... Apr 09 in City Beat.

Wegmans creates 'caves' to age cheeses

Some of the cheeses sold at the Wegmans grocery store in Fredericksburg will be ripened in a new fac ... Apr 09 in Business Insider.

Fredericksburg election voter guide

REGISTER: Next Monday is the deadline to register to vote in the May 6 election. In Ward 4, Cha ... Apr 09 in The News Desk.

Businessman seeking another EDA term

A local businessman has decided to apply for another term on Fredericksburg's Economic Development A ... Apr 09 in Business Insider.

City Council will advertise 6-cent real estate tax increase

BY PAMELA GOULD / THE FREE LANCE–STARNOTE: In an earlier version of this story, the reason that Vice ... Apr 08 in The News Desk.