Once a Native American fishing village, the area encompassing present-day Fredericksburg was explored by Captain John Smith in 1608. By the late 1700s Fredericksburg had become a bustling port town. Despite the destruction of the Civil War, more than 300 properties built before 1870 remain. Attractions include Kenmore Plantation and Gardens, the Mary Washington House and the James Monroe Museum. Four major Civil War battles took place nearby. Be sure to visit the 8,000-acre Fredericksburg & Spotsylvania National Military Park. Fredericksburg is about 50 miles south of Washington on the I-95.