By Debi Lander
mail@floridanewsline.com

The Tidewater area, including our nation’s capital, makes a memorable and educational trip for the family. Tour the city, see the famous landmarks and browse the museums — but Washington can feel overwhelming and congested. Therefore, I suggest a side trip to nearby Fredericksburg, Va., either by rail or car, to continue the theme, but relax amidst colonial history. The charming town offers many special events in December. 

Start with a visit to Ferry Farm, George Washington’s boyhood home. Archeologists discovered the foundation in 2003 and after careful study, reconstructed a new building on the site. Visitors hear the story about young George, his parents, and his brothers and sisters. Did you know that Washington’s father died when he was 11? Many of the values that shaped George into a future leader came from his widowed mother. The site includes interpretive displays, buildings to tour, a working farm, hiking trails, and beautiful views. 

Creeks Air Conditioning & Heating. We service all makes and models for residential and commercial! Creeks air specializes in home comfort with over 35 years of experience in the manufacturing, design, application, and service of residential and commercial comfort systems, creeks is equipped to provide all of your comfort needs. Call US 904 230 7840 Email us! service@creeksair.com www.creeksair.com

Here’s the best part: since the house and furnishing are replicas, visitors are encouraged to touch and interact. They can sit at the dining room table, try out the beds or pick up items. It’s great for kids. And as an added holiday treat from Dec. 8 – Dec. 30, the annual gingerbread contest and exhibits will be on display.

In addition to Ferry Farm, Fredericksburg also showcases Kenmore, the most elegant house in town built in the 1770s by Washington’s sister and her husband. From Dec. 8 – Dec. 30, Kenmore will exhibit A Wee Christmas — Dollhouses and Miniatures Show with highly detailed, replica dollhouses, including the mansion, and miniatures.

The Mary Washington House, where George’s mother lived in during her last years, is open for tours year-round. On Dec. 1 from 4:30 p.m. – 7 p.m., a candlelight tour of the house will include hot cider and a chance to taste Mary Washington’s famous gingerbread. 

George’s brother also built a home in Fredericksburg, but it later became the Rising Sun Tavern. Tours of the tavern by costumed docents explore period furnishings and 18th-century tavern customs. A holiday open house on Dec. 6 includes seasonal treats and Glasgow Punch.  

Perhaps my favorite Fredericksburg attraction, the Hugh Mercer Apothecary Shop, presents costumed staff who passionately explain the methods and ingredients used in Colonial medicine. See a glass jar of live leeches and learn how they were used for bloodletting. You’ll leave feeling happy to live in the 21st-century. 

The James Monroe Museum was first opened in 1927 by Monroe descendants as a place to house their prized family collections. Today the James Monroe Law Office, used by future United States President James Monroe from 1786 to 1789, is a popular museum. An open house on Dec. 6 will feature music played on the harp and the Monroe family’s Astor pianoforte, plus a reception. 

Fredericksburg contains more than just colonial history; visitors can follow a National Park Service auto tour through the Civil War Battle of Fredericksburg. The battle was one of the most lopsided victories for Confederate General Robert E. Lee. From Dec. 11 – 15, 1862, the Federal Army of the Potomac attempted to dislodge Lee’s army from the fortified heights of the city. Although the Federals did manage to breakthrough, the success was short-lived, and the Confederate position held strong for the remainder of the battle. 

Fredericksburg thrives with a variety of modern, fine restaurants such as kybecca, Orofino, and Benny Vitali’s, selling the hugest slice of pizza ever. Consider a stop at the A. Smith Bowman Distillery, and overnight lodging at the Courtyard by Marriott Fredericksburg or a few lovely Bed and Breakfast Inns.

Be sure to stop by the Visitor Center for more information or VisitFred.com.

Visit www.bylandersea.com to read more of local travel writer Debi Lander’s stories and travel tips.

 

Photo courtesy Debi Lander

Kenmore

  • Tailored living Premier Garage solutions
  • Staverman Hearing Centers Hear loud and clear
  • Support Community Journalism The Creek Line
  • Weaver and Stratton pediatric dentistry & orthodontics. Uncertain times, silly faces
  • David Jacobson Acounting LLC, We are here for you are your loved ones! We are ready to prepare your Personal and Business Tax Returns!
  • Support Community Journalism in Ponta Vedra NewsLine
  • Let them know you are open for business! Advertise in our May Issue! Ponta Vedra NewsLine
  • Let them know you are open for business! Advertise in our May Issue!
  • Vicarslanding retirement resort, surrounded by acres of woods and lakes
  • Preddy law firm estate planning, wills, trusts, probate, guardianship
  • Westminster St. Augustine. Thank you for voting us the #1 senior living/assisted living community in Northeast Florida
  • Brian E. Floro DMD, PA Dental services
  • JR Dental General, Specialty and Dental lab
  • Support community journalism! Subscribe to the Mandarin Newsline today!
  • Railing Chiropractic & Acupuncture
  • Let them know you are open for business! Advertise in our may issue!
  • Smiles by Glenos & Hadfic Orthodontists
  • Premier Homes Realty Inc. Michael Taylor and Tari Taylor
  • Eye center of st augustine, The eye surgery Center of St Augustine
  • Affordable Water - Conditioning, softening, purification! Residential commercial industrial. Family owned and operated since 1989. Call today for your complimentary water test and analysis 904 262 0197
  • All About Ballroom Start your New Year's Resolution here! Learn how to Dance! Free 30 minute lesson call today and try us out! We are open following covid guidelinges! Venue rental 3750 sq ft perfect for your private parties, wedding or special events! 904 679 5697 www.aabdance.com
  • Do you only want cremation?
  • Craig Funeral services, Funeral, Crematory, Memorial Park
  • Doug Nunnery, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices,
  • Finding the right doctor just got easier, Dr. Levine Baptist primary care
  • Nemetz Dental Associates! Your new smile awaits! We offer Pediatric, Family dentistry, Periodontics/prosthodontics. Our team at nemetz dental associates is ready to help you with all of your dental needs and we look forward to providing you with personalized service and unparalleled treatment. Call us Pediatric dentistry 904 292 2210 Adult Dentistry 904 886 4867
  • Deerwood Academy enroll now for free VPK. A new year of learning and growing, success in elementary school starts here.
  • Famous Automotive and tire center
  • The right cleaners, LLC House cleaning services
  • Fruit Cove Baptist Church Parent life ConferenceFriday and Saturday Feb 5-6
  • Ian MacDonald Mortgage loan originator with Regions Mortgage
  • Julington Creek Chiropractic & Wellness Center P.A. serving st. johns county for nearly 21 years
  • Prudential Financial Planning Services with Andrew Laino
  • Advertise in our May Issue The Creek Line
  • Ellegant earth solutions complete lawn maintenance with 28 years experience, complete lawn maintenance
  • I.T. Promise Inc. Computer Services Professional Computer Services business and residential
  • Snip's Tree and stump service over 25 years experience
  • Westminster St. Augustine Gracious living a world apart
  • Sportclips! we are open, safe, and ready for you.
  • Mark Spivak's Institute & Dance Extension
  • Starling At Nocatee Inquire today to learn how your first month can be free!
  • Starling At San Jose Inquire today to learn how your first month can be free!
  • Starling at Nocatee Inquire today to learn how your first month can be free!
  • Ideal blinds shutters shade. Quality Blinds, shades, shutters
  • JCA Jopin more than a gym Join a community!
  • K&D Roofing & Construction Professional quality at the best price
  • Mandarin Veterinary clinic. Caring for pets!
  • First Christian Preschool We are open for tours!
  • Winn Dixie Get the best taste and the quality, at a winning price.
  • New look insurance LLC Call today for your quote and save $$$
  • Strictly senior services inc. Wheel chair accessible transport for seniors
  • Windsor Pointe Vibrant independent living!
  • The Creekline's holiday contest winner Congratulations to Amy Bolick
  • Tailored living We do it all for you we've got this! Closets, Garages, garage flooring, offices, pantries
  • River City Science Academy Mandarin! Tuition free, stem focused, public charter shcool
  • Selma Tillman Collier Realtor. Your trusted real estate advisor serving Northeat Florida for 15 years!
  • New year! New look! New Salon Head 2 Toe
  • Guardian Montessori Academy Empowering each child
  • Family Remodeling Contractors! Bath, Kitchen &ADA Remodeling
  • Harbor Chase! The Covid-19 vaccine is now available! Harborchase of Mandarin Independent, assisted living and memory care residences.
  • Creeks Air Conditioning & Heating. We service all makes and models for residential and commercial! Creeks air specializes in home comfort with over 35 years of experience in the manufacturing, design, application, and service of residential and commercial comfort systems, creeks is equipped to provide all of your comfort needs. Call US 904 230 7840 Email us! service@creeksair.com www.creeksair.com
  • Crosswinds Veterinary Hospital. Preventative Medicine and wellness, Surgery, Dentistry, Labs and Imaging, Farm Animal Medicine, In-Patient and Emergency Care. Our mission is to provide personalized medicine and exceptional care for your pets. We strive to provide engaging client education and are devoted to creating a comfortable environment for you and your pets. Call us 904 671 0310, Crosswindsvet@gm,ail.com www.crosswindsvethostpital.com
  • Harbor Chase! The Covid-19 vaccine is now available! Harborchase of Mandarin Independent, assisted living and memory care residences.
  • JJs Bistro $10 off lunch or dinner
  • Concrete Works! Free Estimates, driveways, Patios, Walkways, Concrete removal, Driveway extension, Pavers
  • River Garden Senior Services, However and whenever you need us we're here
  • EPIC is now in session, epic behavioral healthcare
  • Starlight Gymnastics! Our #1 priority is your children!
  • Wild Birds Unlimited Nature shop. the super wat to feed this winter
  • Bella Vie Dental Dedicated to restore and improve the natural beauty of your smile!
  • Premier cancer care close to home. Dat Pham, MD Medical Oncologist
  • The cultural center at ponte vedra beach is opening a new facility in Jacksonville Beach.
  • Dermatology south east welcomes Dr. Cooper!
  • DKB Certified public accountant. Let us simplify your accounting needs 42 years of serving clients
  • Havana Printing 904-447-5021