10.31.2014  |   | Subscribe  | Contact us

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

'Crumb & Get It Cookie Co.' plans opening in Central Park

BY CATHY JETT THE FREE LANCE-STAR Crumb & Get It Cookie Co., which lets customers design ... Oct 31 in The News Desk.

In downtown Fredericksburg, Amelia Street becomes urban renewal project

BY RICHARD AMRHINE / THE FREE LANCE–STAR Fredericksburg is a city cozy enough that new constr ... Oct 31 in The News Desk.

Little library project opens doors to books

Elanor Kindred (left) and Jackie Reader are avid readers who have joined a project called Little Fr ... Oct 30 in The News Desk.

Stafford man found guilty of robbery

BY KEITH EPPS / THE FREE LANCE-STARWesley Carlton Smith was cleared of a first-degree murder charge ... Oct 30 in The News Desk.

Witnesses at trial produce conflicts

BY KEITH EPPS / THE FREE LANCE–STAR Delante White testified Wednesday that the last word he heard h ... Oct 29 in The News Desk.

Walker Grant Middle having phone problems

Walker Grant Middle School is experiencing telephone difficulties, according to a Fredericksburg ale ... Oct 29 in City Beat.

Trial begins in city slaying

BY KEITH EPPS / THE FREE LANCE–STAR Two codefendants are key in the trial of a man who a prosecutor ... Oct 28 in The News Desk.

Fredericksburg Council gives preliminary approval to Governors Row

The Fredericksburg City Council just gave preliminary approval to a rezoning request that will allow ... Oct 28 in City Beat.

Fredericksburg Mill District plan needs 3rd public hearing

BY PAMELA GOULD / THE FREE LANCE–STAR Maybe the third time will be the charm for a proposal to brin ... Oct 28 in The News Desk.

Two-way traffic on Winchester Street is Friday's treat

The 1000 block of Winchester Street will convert to two-way traffic on Friday, the Public Works Depa ... Oct 28 in City Beat.

Empty canisters cause concern on Hanover Street in Fredericksburg

Some Fredericksburg residents were left on edge this morning, when what first appeared to be empty b ... Oct 28 in The News Desk.

Fredericksburg's Mill District project scheduled for third public hearing

The Fredericksburg Planning Commission will hold its third public hearing on the Mill District propo ... Oct 28 in City Beat.

Fredericksburg leaf collection begins on Monday

The city of Fredericksburg starts its annual leaf collection on Monday. Residents should check the s ... Oct 27 in City Beat.

Armed robbery reported at Fredericksburg convenience store

An armed robber got away with several hundred dollars after holding up a gas station–convenience sto ... Oct 27 in The News Desk.

Shots reported during brawl at Fredericksburg convenience store

BY KEITH EPPS / THE FREE LANCE–STAR Shots were fired during a brawl outside a Fredericksburg conven ... Oct 27 in The News Desk.

Road work roundup

Be on the lookout this week for lane closures on several area bridges because of safety inspections ... Oct 27 in Transportation.

Residents displaced, officer treated for smoke inhalation after Fredericksburg fire

A fire in the Fall Hill apartments Thursday night displaced a family and left a police officer in th ... Oct 24 in The News Desk.

Adopting a new pet from a local shelter could be a novel idea

Harley Quinn is a 10-week-old cat with black and white markings who loves everyone and everything - ... Oct 24 in Pet Dish.

Traffic flowing over new Fall Hill bridge

The Fall Hill Avenue canal bridge quietly opened for use again on Thursday, October 23. The $3.1mil ... Oct 23 in The News Desk.

Two convicted in shooting during an attempted robbery in Fredericksburg

BY KEITH EPPS / THE FREE LANCE–STAR Two men who tried to rob a suspected drug dealer and ended up s ... Oct 23 in The News Desk.

Fall Hill Avenue bridge re-opened this morning

A crew gathers detour signs from Cowan Boulevard on Thursday. They were traveling the 5.5-mile deto ... Oct 23 in City Beat.

UPDATE: Fall Hill Avenue bridge over the canal is open

The Fall Hill Avenue canal bridge quietly opened for use again on Thursday, October 23. The $3.1mil ... Oct 22 in The News Desk.

Fall Hill Avenue detour for bridge construction will end this week

The completed canal bridge on Fall Hill Ave. will be open soon. The new Fall Hill Avenue bridge ... Oct 22 in City Beat.

Fredericksburg's Alum Spring and dog parks are closed today

I doubt many people are thinking of venturing out to one of the city's parks in the rain but just in ... Oct 22 in City Beat.

Fredericksburg is savoring three seasons - all at once

Fredericksburg is bursting with color in these photos from a walk through downtown today. On the ... Oct 21 in City Beat.