It’s spring! A time to get shake off winter’s cold and embrace the warmer and longer days of a new season.
It’s a time in Northern and Central Virginia of great adventure, as winter boots are retired for the year and warm coats are left in the closet.
As one of the premier builders in Stafford County, Spotsylvania County, Prince William County, Augusta County, and Charlottesville, Atlantic Builders makes sure our new homes are in communities that are close to things that matter.
That’s important to us because we really are local builders. Our team not only works in these areas, but we live and play there too. We've also built strong relationships with the local trades and other business experts over the years that allow us to put more value and quality craftsmanship in every home we build.
And as a local builder, we know the areas in which we build. So, to help our new homeowners, we’ve put together a Top 10 list of things to do near your new Atlantic Builders home.
Connect With History at the Stafford Civil War Park
Stafford Civil War Park lets you remember the past and how hard it used to be to make it through the winter months and into the warming months of spring. Explore 41 acres of preserved natural wonder, hike trails stretching almost a mile and a half, tour eight spots where Union Soldiers camped after 1862’s Battle of Fredericksburg, experience three bunkers with cannon displays, and step back in time with the park’s replica winter hunter. You’ll really be thankful for your Atlantic Builders home after that last one!
Explore Government Island
Government Island is another unique historical park to visit during the spring. Walk the elevated boardwalk through wetlands, marshes, and woods and (hopefully) spy some of our native birds setting up their springtime nests. See local flora come into bloom making the 17-acre park lush and colorful. Explore the quarry where Aquia sandstone was taken to build some of the most renowned buildings in Washington, D.C., including the White House and U.S. Capitol Building. Connect to the area and the season at this archeologically special destination.
Otter Scavenger Hunt in Downtown Fredericksburg
Yes, you read that right: Otter Scavenger Hunt! Seven small bronze otter statues have been hidden around Downtown Fredericksburg in a celebration of otters returning to the Rappahannock River and Riverfront Park which shows local cleanup efforts have been successful. This unique way to see Downtown will take you on a lovely stroll through the town’s streets, allowing you to enjoy the many shops and restaurants along the way. When you find an otter, scan its QR code to learn more about otters and what makes the location where the statue is important to the town. Start at the Visitor Center on Caroline Street to pick up your scavenger hunt form (or download it here) and return to the Visitor Center when you’re done to win a prize. What a great way to spend a spring day!
Best of Fredericksburg Carriage Tour
Fredericksburg is so historied that sometimes you need a professional guide to learn the most. Family-owned and running (trotting?) for over 11 years, Olde Town Carriages is just what you need to explore and learn about Fredericksburg in style. From your horse-drawn carriage, you’ll be treated to a fancy and special way to experience spring in town. See the first buds on the trees, the first flowers blooming, and the first folks with a spring in their step. You’ll pass many styles of home architecture, including, Colonial, Antebellum, Queen Victorian, and Edwardian—and all to the clip-clop cadence of your very-well-cared-for carriage-puller! Olde Town Carriages hold their guides (and animal care) to a higher standard to make sure you get the best tour possible: informative, authentic, and (most importantly) fun!
Visit Brentsville Courthouse Historic Centre
Once the county seat of Prince William County, the Town of Brentsville is home to the amazing 28-acre Brentsville Courthouse Historic Centre. There’s a one-mile nature trail that winds through the forest with a spectacular scenic view of Broad Run. But the really exciting thing to see here is the collection of historic buildings. Of course there’s the Brentsville Courthouse from 1822, but there’s also an 1880 church, 1850 farmhouse, 1929 one-room schoolhouse, and 1822 jail (which also served time as a women’s dorm when the courthouse was being used as a teachers’ college). A spring outing to the Brentsville Courthouse Historic Centre is one you’ll never forget.
Tour The Teaching Garden at the Benedictine Monastery
The Teaching Garden is a project of the Master Gardener Volunteers, trained volunteers with the Virginia Cooperative Extension. Though beautiful, the gardens here aren’t just for show. They really are teaching gardens, demonstrating low-maintenance techniques you can use in your own gardens, as well as showcasing local plants. Plus, special classes are offered every Saturday in the growing season on topics like lawn maintenance, vegetables, ornamentals, and protection against pests and diseases.
Shop at the Largest Antique Mall in America
As you start spring cleaning, add some history to your home. At over 140,000 sw. ft., The Factory Antique Mall is the largest antique mall in America and still growing. Awarded “Number One Antique Mall in the Valley” by Virginia Living Magazine for 10 years in a row. The Factory Antique Mall has historic and unique finds for everyone on your shopping list—including you! Trained staff and dealers are also here to help you find that certain piece for that certain room or certain someone. With so much rare merchandise, it’s no wonder films—including “Lincoln” and Amazon’s “The Underground Railroad”—have found set dressing at The Factory Antique Mall.
Enjoy Spring Sweetness at the Highland County Maple Festival
This one about an hour drive away, but it’s so worth it as you travel scenic by ways and back roads through the mountains to the annual Highland County Maple Festival (March 11–12, & 18–19). This historic festival has been going since 1959, was designated a “Local Legacy” by The Library of Congress in 1999, and declared by law the “official maple festival of Virginia” by the Governor of Virginia in 2014. Celebrate the beginning of the maple syrup-making process. Tour sugar camps and learn how sap turns into sweet. Devour pancakes, buckwheat cakes, and mouthwatering maple doughnuts as you enjoy live entertainment and shop over 100 arts and crafts vendors from all over the area. Truly, the sweetest festival in Virginia!
Celebrate the Virginia Festival of the Book
Spring is the perfect time to start sitting outside again and losing yourself in a good book. Get better connected with your books at the Virginia Festival of the Book from March 23-26. Taking place every year for the last 29 years, this festival brings readers and writer together to celebrate books, reading, literacy, and literary culture. With a longstanding focus on accessibility and diversity for readers of all ages, Festival programming includes presentations and discussions on a wide range of literary topics and genres to inspire and connect readers and writers to the printed page. Guest speakers include professors, translators, reporters, poets, best-selling authors, and Newberry Award-winners.
See a Rare Copy of The Declaration of Independence at Monticello
In the spring of 1776, the Colonies began the process that resulted in our Declaration of Independence being written that summer. The first draft was written by, of course, Thomas Jefferson, who called Monticello in Charlottesville home. So this spring, come to Monticello and discover how the Declaration of Independence went from words swirling in Jefferson’s mind to some of the most iconic ever put on paper. And now, not only can your tour Monticello and learn more about Thomas Jefferson and colonial life, but you can also see a rare Stone engraving of The Declaration of Independence (the Stone prints became the “official” copy for government use at the time).
Atlantic Builders homes are right where you want to be in communities all over Northern and Central Virginia. But that’s not all because we can build on land you already own! We can turn your home site into your dream from our extensive collection of award-winning home styles. But whether you build on land you already own or find your new home in one of our amazing communities, one thing is certain: There are always exciting spring things to do near your Atlantic Builders home!