Blake Walsh

15 Best Things to Do in Stafford County, VA

  • Published 2023/03/19

Stafford County is a great place to visit for a variety of reasons.

The county is a paradise for those who enjoy the outdoors, as there are numerous hiking and biking trails and canoeing and kayaking opportunities here.

Visitors can take advantage of the county’s many golf courses in warmer months.

If you are thinking of a place to spend a vacation, this county’s attractions are waiting for you to enjoy.

Try these best things to do in Stafford County, Virginia!

Discover the Intriguing Stories behind Chatham Manor

Exterior of the Chatham Manor

Felix Lipov /

Chatham Manor is one of the most historic homes in Fredericksburg.

Chatham Manor, built in 1771, overlooks Stafford Heights and has a rich history dating back 250 years.

The manor was witness to the establishment of the United States, slavery and conflict surrounding it during the Civil War Reconstruction period, and today’s ongoing struggle to come to terms with America’s past.

At one time, this manor became an army headquarters for the Battle of Fredericksburg because of its strategic location.

Cannons at Chatham Manor

Walt Bilous /

It later became a hospital for wounded soldiers due to its proximity to a river crossing.

Beautiful gardens surround the manor house, and a small museum is also on the property.

Chatham Manor is a fascinating place to visit, offering a unique glimpse into the past.

The garden of Chatham Manor

Walt Bilous /

Unwind in the Unspoiled Natural Beauty of Government Island

Nestled in Aquia Harbor, Government Island is a hidden gem waiting to be explored.

Government Island is an integral part of the early formation of America, as it provided Aquia sandstone to construct the U.S. Capitol Building and White House in Washington, D.C.

Government Island stands as a proud testament to the nation’s incredible legacy.

It’s also great to enjoy the outdoors with your family and relax while enjoying nature’s beauty.

Many birds and other wildlife live on the island and other wildlife.

This quaint green space is known for its verdant nature trail, expansive boardwalk, and tranquil creek.

It is the perfect place to unwind and soak up some peacefulness.

Take yourself and your family for a relaxing afternoon trip to Government Island.

Bring a Date to Hartwood Roses

Hartwood Roses, located in Hartwood, is a garden like no other and the perfect place to set the tone for an unforgettable romantic stroll.

On its sprawling nine-acre country property, the display gardens house an unprecedented collection of more than 800 varieties of roses.

These plants range from rare and historically significant rose species to classic favorites perfect for modern green spaces.

This vibrant paradise boasts winding paths lined with fragrant roses of all colors, the perfect backdrop to convey your love in style.

As you enter, you can’t help but be taken by the beauty surrounding you.

With unique overgrown bushes, flowers in bloom, and the overall beauty of the place, there’s not a single dull moment here.

Whether it be during the day or night, your lover will be swept off their feet!

So why not plan a special evening to visit Hartwood Roses and let its vibrant gardens do the rest?

Cast Your Line at the Historic Port of Falmouth

The Historic Port of Falmouth offers some of the best fishing in the Fredericksburg area.

The port is located on the Rappahannock River, and there are numerous spots where anglers can cast their lines.

The river is home to various fish, including bass, catfish, and perch.

Also, the port features a fish cleaning station, making it easy for anglers to clean their catch.

The port is also a great place to relax and enjoy the scenery and offers beautiful walking trails and stunning views of the river.

Not only is this park a beautiful spot to relax, but it also holds historical significance.

The entryway for ships and commerce during the colonial era and the crossing area for thousands of enslaved people escaping to freedom in Falmouth began in April 1862.

So whether you’re looking for a great spot to fish or enjoy a day out on the river, visiting the historic Port of Falmouth is worth the effort.

Play Sports with Your Family at John Lee Pratt Park

Spending quality time with the family can be tricky, but why not make it fun?

Get your body on the move and enjoy the fresh air outside while playing sports at John Lee Pratt Park in Fredericksburg.

Here, you can partake in various activities, such as tennis, basketball, and pickleball, to name a few.

Whether you’re playing with your toddlers, grandchildren, or friends, having a little friendly competition is always worthwhile.

Get your heart rate up by swinging that bat and running around home plate.

Take part in a game of tag or an exciting one-on-one basketball match.

There are many ways to enjoy exercise and sunshine without breaking the bank at John Lee Pratt Park!

Paddle Your Kayaks at Widewater State Park

Paddling your kayak through still waters during a sunny day is one of the best sensations.

There’s no better place to do it than the 1,089-acre Widewater State Park in Stafford.

With its gentle tides and beautiful scenery, Widewater is a perfect spot for kayaking, whether a beginner or an experienced paddler.

The park offers several different kayaking trails to suit your skill level.

You can relax or take a dip in the river to cool off when you get tired of kayaking here.

Widewater State Park is the perfect place to enjoy a leisurely day of paddling that guarantees a fun day.

Catch Live Performances at Riverside Center for the Performing Arts

Enjoy beautiful performances at Riverside Center for the Performing Arts, Fredericksburg.

Riverside Center, built in 1998, is a 36,000 square feet dinner theater and conference facility that caters to all sorts of events.

The Riverside Center for the Performing Arts hosts a wide range of performers, including world-renowned musicians, operatic soloists, Broadway shows, children’s theater companies, local dance groups, and more.

The center also offers a variety of educational programs, such as acting classes and workshops.

Visit Riverside Center for the Performing Arts in Fredericksburg if you want a great place to see a play or learn more about performing arts.

Enjoy the Breeze at Duff McDuff Green Memorial Park

If you’re looking for a peaceful, beautiful outdoor experience, visit the Duff McDuff Green Memorial Park in Falmouth.

As soon as you enter the park, your stress will fade, thanks to the vast greenery stretching before you.

The air is full of a delightful lushness, and the gentle breeze carries sweet scents that fill the atmosphere.

Admire breathtaking vistas such as flowering trees and fields of swaying grasses.

You can pause in one of the many cozy spots, like a bridge overlooking a scenic river or an old weathered bench.

Listen to nature’s symphony of birdsong and other melodic sounds.

Enjoy exploring Duff McDuff Green Memorial Park as you visit.

It should provide its visitors with a truly enchanting and calming experience!

Explore the Gari Melchers Home and Studio

Exterior of the Gari Melchers Home and Studio

Morgan Riley, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The 27-acre Gari Melchers Home and Studio, located in Falmouth, offers a rare glimpse into the life of an American artist at the turn of the 20th century.

Visitors can tour the historic house, designed by Gari Melchers, and see original art, furniture, and ceramics.

The studio building is also open to the public and contains an extensive collection of sketches, paintings, and sculptures.

The estate grounds also feature beautiful gardens, and various walking trails visitors can take.

The Gari Melchers Home and Studio is a must-see for art lovers or anyone looking for an extraordinary day trip.

Wander the Crow’s Nest Natural Area Preserve

The Crow’s Nest Natural Area Preserve in Stafford is a great spot to escape and reconnect with nature.

Spanning 3,056 acres of green trails, it’s an ideal spot to experience the serenity and beauty of the outdoors.

On either side lay expansive fields covered in blankets of wildflowers in every color during spring and summer.

There are plenty of spots to enjoy lunch or relax among the trees before continuing your exploration.

Marked hiking trails keep adventurers safe, whether they are going for a long hike or taking a light stroll along the river banks.

You can choose your path, but you should get struck by the natural tranquility and joyous harmony of Crow’s Nest Natural Area Preserve.

Hit the Links at Aquia Harbour Golf Course

Aquia Harbour Golf Course is the perfect place to enjoy a round of golf surrounded by stunning scenery.

The course is situated in Aquia Harbour, Stafford.

Aquia Harbour Golf Course offers a challenging and fun experience for all levels of golfers, from beginners to experts.

The nine-hole course is laid out in a traditional style, using the existing land to create flat, uphill, and downhill sections.

The greens are small but well-protected by bunkers, so precision shots are key.

Also, because of the slope on many greens, good putting skills are essential for anyone wanting to get good scores.

Although it’s not a long course, it’s challenging.

Aquia Harbour Golf Course is the perfect place to spend a day enjoying the outdoors with family and friends.

See Different Birds at Curtis Park

If you love birds, then Curtis Park in Fredericksburg is a must-see!

This park is home to various birds, making it the perfect place for a stroll and birdwatching.

Various wildlife visits the lake, making it a popular spot for birdwatchers.

Great blue herons are often seen fishing along the shoreline, belted kingfishers and ospreys are familiar sights, while bald eagles are less frequently spotted perched in dead trees.

Walking into the woods by the lake, you will hear the loud cries of woodpeckers and see mockingbirds and bluebirds in the area.

No matter what, you will have a blast getting to know some of our feathered friends at Curtis Park.

Skate and Glide at Cavalier Family Skating Center USA, Inc.

You need to get everyone out of the house and spend quality time together from time to time.

There’s no better place for that than Cavalier Family Skating Center USA, Inc. in Stafford.

Skating is a great way to get exercise while having fun, and the state-of-the-art facilities in the center should provide a memorable experience.

The center features high-quality skating equipment, a friendly staff, and a variety of activities to keep you entertained.

Its spacious facility is also perfect for hosting birthday parties, group events, and more.

Put on your rollers and skate at Cavalier Family Skating Center USA, Inc.

Commune with Nature at the Belmont Ferry Farm Trail

Nestled in the historic town of Falmouth, the Belmont Ferry Farm Trail is the perfect place to take a stroll and enjoy the peace of nature.

The trail meanders through woods and fields, offering breathtaking views of the Rappahannock River.

Along the way, you’ll find several benches where you can sit and reflect on the beauty of your surroundings.

The trail also passes by the remains of an 18th-century ferry landing, showing a glimpse into the area’s rich history.

If you want to connect with nature or breathe fresh air, put the Belmont Ferry Farm Trail on your must-visit list.

Examine Civil War Remnants at Stafford Civil War Park

Stafford Civil War Park is a must-see for anyone interested in American history.

This 41-acre park tells how the Potomac army occupied Stafford County.

More than 135,000 Union soldiers were stationed at what was referred to by those in attendance as “The Valley Forge.”

The park features three earthen artillery fortifications from the civil war era.

The park also has many winter hut holes, which sheltered homeless soldiers during cold winters.

It also has a Colonial bridge abutment that predates the American Revolution and an original corduroy road.

There are also interpretive signs throughout the park that provide information about the battle and its significance.

The Stafford Civil War Park is a peaceful oasis in a bustling city, providing a rare opportunity to reflect on this crucial chapter in American history.

Final Thoughts

These places highlight some of the best outdoor experiences you can explore in Stafford County.

You won’t get bored as this county offers many activities and places you can visit.

Pack your bags and get ready to enjoy the best things to do in Stafford County, Virginia!

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