Fredericksburg is a lovely city bordering the Rappahannock River and comprised of historic colonial homes owned primarily by the well-to-do. Ideal for tourists who enjoy Civil War history and antique shopping. The city is relatively unspoiled thanks to preservation efforts, however, the surrounding counties have seen booming growth over the last 25 years resulting in sprawling bedroom communities. Unfortunately, the first thing a tourist sees upon exiting I-95 is traffic congestion from shopping centers and/or strip malls.
Pros: Close proximity to Washington, DC and Richmond, VA -- 50 miles either way. Virginia Rail Express (VRE) train service serves commuters to DC. Loads of historic sites & events. People are generally friendly. Within 1 hr. drive of beautiful Shenandoah Mountains. Gas prices are lower than in other regions of the country. Rappahannock River, Potomac Creek, Aquia Creek, and Potomac River offer great opportunities for boating, fishing, bird-watching, & swimming. Local Farmer's Market provides fresh produce and flowers from many farms still in operation in area.
Cons: Expensive housing. Increased road congestion in the surrounding counties, especially on the weekends and rush hour. No local mass transit, except for a fairly new bus system. Some of the locals do not warm up to outsiders very well and are ultra conservative. Road system is NOT pedestrian or bicycle friendly.