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No. 9 Fredericksburg, VA

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There’s plenty to learn here outside the classroom. With a national historic district full of buildings dating back to the 1700s (including the houses of George Washington’s mother, brother, and sister) and four Civil War battlegrounds in and around town, Fredericksburg is steeped in—though by no means stuck in—the past. The latest renaissance has been in food and drink. Foode and Poppy Hill, two restaurants fiercely committed to the farm-to-table philosophy, have awakened the dining scene. And the RF&P Grapes & Grains Trail draws visitors with its four wineries, a brewery, and a distillery.

America's Best College Towns 2013

No. 9 Fredericksburg, VA

There’s plenty to learn here outside the classroom. With a national historic district full of buildings dating back to the 1700s (including the houses of George Washington’s mother, brother, and sister) and four Civil War battlegrounds in and around town, Fredericksburg is steeped in—though by no means stuck in—the past. The latest renaissance has been in food and drink. Foode and Poppy Hill, two restaurants fiercely committed to the farm-to-table philosophy, have awakened the dining scene. And the RF&P Grapes & Grains Trail draws visitors with its four wineries, a brewery, and a distillery.

Pat & Chuck Blackley / Alamy

America's Best College Towns 2013

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