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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

Foode, Sprelly win Sandwich Invitational

RELATED: Take a bite out of Fredericksburg (Weekender, 7/31/14) Tonight's Fredericksburg Sandwi ... Jul 31 in The News Desk.

'Oily sheen' shifts work at City Dock in Fredericksburg

BY PAMELA GOULD / THE FREE LANCE–STARThe Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries was submit ... Jul 31 in The News Desk.

New studio to teach anti-bullying methods

BY CATHY JETT / THE FREE LANCE–STARA martial arts studio that also teaches children anti-bullying te ... Jul 31 in The News Desk.

Man charged with stealing church's mail

BY KEITH EPPS THE FREE LANCE-STAR A man was arrested Wednesday on charges that he was stealing che ... Jul 31 in The News Desk.

Doggies, grab your swimming suits!

Registration forms are now available for Fredericksburg's annual Soggy Doggy swim. Forms are availa ... Jul 31 in Pet Dish.

DEMOLITION DERBY: Drivers show off their greatest hits

BY KATIE SHEPHERD / THE FREE LANCE–STAR Brightly painted and stripped of their interior features ... Jul 30 in The News Desk.

City courts on the move to new digs

BY PAMELA GOULD / THE FREE LANCE–STARThe Renwick building—in use since before the Civil War& ... Jul 30 in The News Desk.

Home invasion reported in Fredericksburg

BY KEITH EPPS / THE FREE LANCE–STAR Fredericksburg police are investigating a home-invasion robbery ... Jul 30 in The News Desk.

Man gets 20 years for wounding, standoff with city police

BY KEITH EPPS THE FREE LANCE–STAR A man who shot one of his neighbors before engaging in a six-hou ... Jul 30 in The News Desk.

Fredericksburg circuit, general district courts closed on Friday, Monday

Moving trucks were seen outside the Fredericksburg Courthouse on Tuesday. The circuit and genera ... Jul 30 in City Beat.

Flips, tricks wow crowd

http://youtu.be/pdan7KCN6BM BY REGINA WEISS / THE FREE LANCE–STAR There is only one rule for the ... Jul 29 in The News Desk.

Flips, tricks wow crowd

http://youtu.be/pdan7KCN6BM BY REGINA WEISS / THE FREE LANCE–STAR There is only one rule for the ... Jul 29 in The News Desk.

City Dock getting new piers

BY PAMELA GOULD / THE FREE LANCE–STARBy Labor Day, the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisher ... Jul 29 in The News Desk.

PNC closing downtown branch

BY LINDLEY ESTES / THE FREE LANCE–STAR The PNC Financial Services located in the historic National ... Jul 29 in The News Desk.

Fire probe leads police to youths

BY KEITH EPPS THE FREE LANCE–STAR Two juveniles are facing possible felony charges after th ... Jul 29 in The News Desk.

Watch for lane closure on Fall Hill near Bragg Hill on Tuesday

Fredericksburg officials warn drivers to watch for utility work and resulting lane closures on Tuesd ... Jul 28 in City Beat.

Quarry is 'a deadly place,' says Fredericksburg Fire Dept.

http://youtu.be/KM8xqZy0J8s After a recent drowning at the Fredericksburg quarry, the fire depart ... Jul 28 in The News Desk.

Roadwork roundup

Maintenance work is planned for numerous area roads this week, which will cause brief delays between ... Jul 28 in Transportation.

Fairgoers grab some fun as thunder stays away

Delilah Burton, 3, hauls in a catch while playing Fried Frogs with her twin sister, Daphne, and fat ... Jul 27 in The News Desk.

Developer proposes eateries along U.S. 1 at Cowan

RELATED:  City considers townhouses, single-family homes BY PAMELA GOULD / THE FREE LANCE–STAR The ... Jul 27 in The News Desk.

City considers townhouses, single-family homes

BY PAMELA GOULD / THE FREE LANCE–STAR A 62-unit townhouse development is planned in Fredericksburg ... Jul 27 in The News Desk.

10 things to do in Fredericksburg this weekend

1. The Fredericksburg Fair starts this weekend. It's a summer tradition in Fredericksburg. Farm anim ... Jul 25 in The News Desk.

Give 'dog days of summer' new meaning by adopting this week

O'rion is a sweet, gentle male Maine Coon/ Tabby mix that gets along wonderfully with other cats, d ... Jul 25 in Pet Dish.

Decatur's now offering crabs, other Crustaceans in Fredericksburg

Decatur's has added a shop in the Greenbrier Shopping Center along Route 3. Decatur's Crabs now ... Jul 24 in City Beat.

Sandton, creditors reach settlement in FLS sale

FROM STAFF REPORTS Sandton Capital Partners announced today a settlement with creditors from its ... Jul 24 in The News Desk.