Travel Guide to The Charming Fredericksburg, VA
I grew up just a 45-minute drive from the Fredericksburg area. Out on lazy Lake Anna, there were never many options for shopping, eating, or anything else but the great outdoors and cable TV. My childhood best friend’s parents worked in Fredericksburg and I would hitch a ride to visit the area with them whenever I could. Well, it’s been at least 15 years since I took a trip to Fredericksburg, and it’s blossomed into a quirky and charming little plot of wanderlust heaven. When I caught word of an adorable beauty brand having a party (more on that below), I decided I wanted to take a closer look. I’m sure glad I did. I only regret that I didn’t linger longer. I’ll return sooner than later, I’m certain. For now, here’s all I discovered during my recent visit to Fredericksburg:
A special thank you to Kerry Renee Photography for capturing some of these moments…
Where to Stay
Hands down, stay at Stevenson Ridge if you visit Fredericksburg. This recommendation from the local tourism office could not have been a more necessary discovery for me, personally. Here, you’ll find ten unique houses and cabins, string lights twinkling from tree to tree, and a calming pond that fills with mist every morning. I met one of the owners, Dan Spear. He gave me his personal tour and I was left in total awe. He tracks down each historic building, moves them (sometimes from states away) to the former Civil War battle ground and restores them to quaint luxury.
I stayed in the Tobacco Barn. I spent the first glorious night alone in the queen bedroom suite. The second night, my BFF joined me for some face masks and champagne. Everything from the fresh tap water in the fridge to the open layout shower made me feel a little closer to nature and yet, like a princess. I very much plan to return to get some writing done or the next time I feel like I might be going a little crazy. It was just 20-minutes from downtown Fredericksburg, which is where more charm awaits.
Where to Eat
A lot of great things have happened to the Fredericksburg area over the past decade. It even has it’s own restaurant row on Williams Street. For killer cocktails and dinner, I visited Foode and Castiglias. I actually went to Castiglias twice because I liked the energy. I felt very comfortable pulling up a seat by myself at the bar and met some really great company. I chowed down on the clams (Zuppa di Cozze) one night and the Rosemary Chicken Caesar Salad for a late lunch the next day thanks to a recommendation from Kerry Mulhern, the beauty behind the FXBG Lifestyle Blog and Kerry Rennee Photography.
I took home quite a bit of something sweet from The Frenchman’s Corner. This little chocolate haven has everything from whiskey-filled truffles to Ganache flavoured with violets and decorated with pieces of crystallized violets. REALLY, YA’LL. That last one is a real thing. The owner told me I should “sit down” when I got around to eating it. I just handed her my wallet. I’m still munching on my souvenirs.
To knock out some work, I visited Hyperion Espresso. It was a bustling hub from which to watch the city breathe. You can tell it’s a true locals spot. Everyone seemed to know each other–Hyperion was clearly a staple in each of their daily routines. I found a sunny window nook and ordered a well crafted almond milk latte to get me through. Agora was also highly recommended by the ladies of Monkee’s. It was adorable and you should stop in for a cup of Joe if you can.
Where to Shop
Whether you’re a thrifter or a “gotta have the new Kate Spade” kind of lady, Fredericksburg has the right prescription for you. Frankly, I fall into both categories, so I was tickled as I spent a Friday exploring town. From bookstores to boutiques, here’s where I popped in:
Monkee’s: There’s a Richmond location of Monkee’s, which has many loyal followers. I knew I had to schedule a special visit. It was truly a treat to meet Catherine and work with her team. Look out for a separate post about my visit, what I left with, and a GIVEAWAY.
Pye & Co: Like a tiny Anthropologie, this shop carries high quality denim, decadent candles, and unique home decor. The whimsical clothing was very reasonably priced. I took home a Southern Firefly Honeysuckle candle.
Riverby Books: Another excellent recommendation from Kerry! This book shop is not only stinking cute, but has a huge collection of rare and used books, posters, and other kitsch.
Emporio: I stumbled into this magical treasure chest all on my own. I must have spent nearly 40 minutes roaming around and chatting with the owners. They teach chalk paint classes and lead the Annie Sloan fan club. What a treat finding the mother-daughter duo behind this shrine to everything shabby-chic.
R & R Antiques: I could have tripped and fallen into an antique store on every block in downtown Fredericksburg. I only had so much time and R & R was right across the street from Holy Chic. It doesn’t look like much on the outside, but whoa. I could have easily spent a couple hours in there. I didn’t even make it to the second level of the store. I left with a killer vintage bag you’ve seen me wearing in snaps.I almost left with a fur coat. Kerry and I also ogled over pink glassware, wooden trunks, and oriental rugs.
Where to Pamper
I scheduled a meeting with the foot doctors at Holy Chic. This was the perfect way to pause during a rainy day of shopping and eating and typing. The boho vibes were strong here. The “eco-chic” nail salon “offers the very best way to get glam tips and toes without the less glamourous impacts traditional nail salons have on our environment.” It didn’t take much for locals to sell me on stopping in. The decor is basically what I what my redecorated apartment to look like (more on that soon). I felt right at home. I had a lovely time chatting with the staff and felt truly at peace. Not only can they get your gel manicure back to normal, they create trendy nail art worthy of a ‘gram. I might be ringing the alarm when they bring their business to RVA.
I also popped in to meet the family behind Sugar & Spruce. Once known as Ladyburg, this colorful spot is often mistaken for a bakery. Some of its bath bombs look like cupcakes and the scents might make you drool. I took home a Vanilla Bean Frosting scented body scrub. Thanks to a staff recommendation, I have been using it to shave. It’s luxurious and my eczema seems to respond well to it. Keep an eye open for a possible Richmond location coming soon…