When you’re traveling down I-95 to visit friends and family this holiday season, consider stopping in Stafford County and take a break from a long drive. Located right off I-95 and halfway between Richmond and Washington, DC, Stafford is a convenient stop along the way, whether you choose to unwind here for a few hours or a long weekend.

Whether you have busy holiday plans or are casually bouncing around to holiday events and festivities, make a stop in Stafford.

Shake off the wintry chill with a hot breakfast at Amy’s Cafe, a historic local favorite near Fredericksburg. Located in a tavern building which dates back to the late 18th century, the exposed brick walls and wood timbers create a cozy ambiance to start off your morning right. Sip on some warm coffee and taste the southern-style menu and experience where the locals really eat.

Stretch your legs and take a stroll through a winter wonderland at any one of Stafford’s picturesque parks. At Crow’s Nest Natural Area Preserve, you’ll find 8 miles of hiking trails through a wetland area known for its abundant wildlife that is popular among birdwatchers. Visit Widewater State Park, for less strenuous trails or to learn about Widewater’s rich history as the birthplace of Harlem Renaissance painter Palmer Hayden.

If you’re traveling with your favorite furry-friend, make a detour and stop at Duff McDuff Dog Park, a popular dog park that offers a variety of fenced in and off-leash fields for your dog to release some energy. Don’t worry, toys and water are already onsite and available to use.

Be sure to stop by the Gari Melchers Home and Studio to see the works of the famous American artist who lived and worked in Stafford. This winter, the museum will be decked out in holiday decor for its Home for the Holidays season. Once you’ve had your fill of Melchers paintings, head down the road to the historic Chatham Manor and enjoy its seasonal gardens, open from sunrise to sunset, and overlook Fredericksburg’s Downtown skyline.

Did you know Stafford is home to George Washington’s boyhood home at Ferry Farm? Stop by for an interactive and inclusive tour of his childhood home. Walk through his replica home and sit at the table where he would’ve feasted during holiday dinners or lay in the bed where he would’ve taken his turkey-day nap.

A must-see for any trip along I-95 is Riverside Center for the Performing Arts. A Stafford County staple which was named Theater of the Year in 2019 by Broadway World, Riverside’s Christmas Spectacular is the perfect opportunity to escape the cold with fantastic and energetic entertainment. The Riverside experience includes a full hot meal with appetizers, dessert, and drinks, making it the perfect spot to round out a winter evening or stop off the busy interstate.

Consider stopping overnight and explore one of Stafford’s five breweries and tuscany-inspired winery. The breweries all offer food onsite whether that’s through their restaurant or daily food-truck schedules. Potomac Point Vineyard and Winery has a lot of dining options onsite and also has their nationally recognized wine tents – where you can cozy up with your friends, spouse, and family for an afternoon of fun.

Choose Stafford for a relaxing stop when traveling to see your friends and family during the holiday seasons. To learn more about all the festive activities and events happening in Stafford this holiday season and start planning your trip, visit www.TourStaffordVA.com.