Stafford may be a lesser-known destination in Virginia, but it has an amazing location and many great activities!
There is a wide range of things to do in Stafford, VA, including great parks, historic Civil War sites, excellent golf courses, fantastic wineries, breweries, and much more.
Stafford is also conveniently located right off of I-95 and Route 1. It is about halfway between Washington, D.C. and Richmond, and just north of Fredericksburg, VA. This makes it a great, central destination for a weekend vacation in Virginia!
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22 Best Things to Do in Stafford, VA
22 Best Things to Do in Stafford, VA
From wineries to campgrounds to parks, and Civil War sites, you’ll find a lot of things to do in Stafford, VA!
Below are my top recommendations for the best things to do in town.
1. Potomac Point Vineyard and Winery
Potomac Point Vineyard and Winery is one of the top wineries in the commonwealth, and so you don’t want to miss it on your next trip to Stafford!
It is uniquely located close to the Potomac River and features gorgeous views of the surrounding area.
The winery has numerous sitting areas where you can lounge with a glass or bottle of wine. There is a courtyard, the D’Vine Lounge, Veranda, Picnic Areas, a Tasting Room, and a Gift Shop.
Some of their wines include Petit Manseng, Chardonnay, Moscato Dolce, Norton (a specialty in Virginia), Petit Verdot, and Cabernet Franc.
You will also want to stop by Le Grand Cru Bistro, which serves Artisan Cheese Board, Salads, Soups, and small plates such as Lamb Meatballs, Roasted Brussels Sprouts, and Baked Shrimp and Crab Cakes.
They also serve a fabulous Sunday Brunch, which makes it a great weekend destination!
2. Widewater State Park
There is no shortage of parks in and around Stafford, and Widewater State Park is one you’ll definitely want to check out!
The park is uniquely located on a peninsula where Aquia Creek and the Potomac River meet. Because of its special location, there are plenty of water and land activities in the park.
You can find picnic shelters, playgrounds, restrooms, canoe-kayak launches, and hiking trails.
There are two 1-mile long hiking trails within the park. The trails lead you through lovely wooded areas and have beautiful expansive views of the Potomac River.
Widewater State Park is also a popular spot for largemouth bass fishing. You can also find catfish, perch, and striped bass in the surrounding waters.
3. Government Island
Government Island is another one of the top things to do in Stafford, VA if you love the outdoors!
The site actually got its name because it was the quarry where sandstone was found and used to construct the U.S. Capitol, the White House, and other historic buildings in Washington, D.C.
The 17-acre park is a great place to walk, hike, and take in the wildlife of the region. You’ll find a boardwalk and a 1.5-mile trail to help you explore the island. The trails wander through creeks, wetlands, and marsh areas.
4. Wild Run Brewing Company
Wild Run Brewing Company is actually located inside Aquia Pines Camp Resort! It is actually the first campground brewery in the country! As a result, they have a unique 20-acre tasting ground space surrounded by nature!
There are usually 10 to 13 beers on tap at the brewery. They typically rotate through IPAs, Stouts, and Lagers.
5. Aquia Episcopal Church
Aquia Episcopal Church is a major historical landmark in Stafford. It dates all the way back to 1667, and is the oldest church in Stafford.
George Mason attended the church back in the 18th century.
The church has had an eventful history over the last few centuries. It was burned in a fire in 1754 but was rebuilt in 1757. During the Civil War, the church served as a hospital, stable, and campsite for Union soldiers.
You can arrange to have a guided church tour to learn more about its rich history.
6. Barley Naked Brewing Company
The cleverly titled Barley Naked Brewing Company is definitely worth a visit to grab a locally brewed beer!
The brewery and taproom are modest, and focus on simple ingredients and classic recipes to make their beer.
Some of their beers on tap include the flavorful Cream Ale, Rock Hill Irish Red, Deja Vu Apricot Witbier, For Fox Sake Golden Lager, and Full Moon Hefeweizen.
7. Stafford Civil War Park
The Stafford Civil War Park is another important historical landmark in Stafford. The park marks the location where 135,000 soldiers of the Army of the Potomac were encamped during the Winter of 1863.
You can explore the 41-acre park and learn more about this period of history. There are numerous Civil War artifacts at the site, including artillery fortifications, winter hut holes, and a Colonial bridge abutment.
8. Patawomeck State Park
Stafford is home to many great parks. Patawomeck State Park is an excellent destination for enjoying the outdoors in Stafford.
The park has multiple fields, including football, soccer, and softball fields. There is also a playground, a .75 mile hiking and walking trail, a picnic pavillion, and restrooms.
9. Aquia Landing Park
Aquia Landing Park is one of the best parks in Stafford. It is located on a peninsula surrounded by Aquia Creek.
The water and marshlands in the park are popular spots for viewing wildlife, including rails, waterfowl, terns, gulls, and damselflies.
You can also go fishing, picnicking, and kayaking in the park.
Swimming is also popular. In fact, Aquia Landing Park is one of the best public beaches in Northern Virginia! You can learn more about the park and other best beaches in and near Northern Virginia.
Aquia Landing Park also has an important place in history. It is part of the Civil War Trails, and it marked the first place to see naval fire during the war.
It also served as an important stop along the Underground Railroad. More than 10,000 enslaved people made their way to freedom through Aquia Landing Park.
10. Augustine Golf Club
Stafford is home to a number of excellent golf courses, and Augustine Golf Club sits near the top of that list!
The public course has been named one of the “Top 100 Golf Courses You Can Play” by Golf Magazine!
It features a beautiful design and landscaping with a distinctly natural feel as it meanders through rolling hills, ponds, and towering trees.
If you’re in the mood for food after hitting the greens, you’ll want to stop by The Grille. The full-service restaurant serves dishes like Pulled Pork BBQ, Steak And Cheese Sandwich, Buffalo Chicken Wrap, and Build Your Own Burger.
11. National Museum of the Marine Corps
The National Museum of the Marine Corps is actually located in nearby Quantico, Virginia, just to the north of Stafford, but it is definitely worth a visit.
The museum pays tribute to the men and women who served in the United States Marine Corps. The immense building houses many exhibits and artifacts that commemorate the Marine Corps over the centuries. There are more than 60,000 artifacts at the museum, ranging from uniform buttons to a 70-ton main battle tank.
One of the exhibits is called Making Marines, which gives visitors a glimpse into the process of training to be a Marine. Other exhibits focus on Marines in the Revolutionary War, Civil War, World War I, World War II, Vietnam War, and Korean War.
There are also special exhibits including Spaceflight: The Marine Astronauts, which chronicles the Marines who also served as astronauts.
12. Crow’s Nest Natural Area Preserve
Crow’s Nest Natural Area Preserve is another important natural wonder in Stafford. The preserve measures 3,056 acres and is located near the Potomac and Accokeek creeks.
There are many important animal and tree species that are protected and preserved thanks to the conservation effort that went into establishing Crow’s Nest Natural Area Preserve.
Visitors can take in this natural beauty, which includes streams, forests, and wetlands.
Keep your eye peeled for the many special species that make the preserve their home, including bald eagles, short-nose sturgeon, and about 60 species of songbirds.
13. Long Family Markets
Long Family Markets is where you can find all sorts of fresh produce, local goods, arts and crafts, and more.
The market is open seasonally on Sundays, generally beginning in April each year. It’s a great place to bring the family and enjoy quality, local goods, and nice weather.
The open-air market features goods from over 60 regional businesses that are located within 125 miles of Stafford.
At the market, you can find a huge assortment of products, including meats, eggs, seafood, honey, cheese, baked goods, kettlecorn, salsa, teas, coffees, candles, soaps, home decor, jewelry, flowers, pottery, bags, and much more.
14. Olde Virginia Gourmet & Gifts
Olde Virginia Gourmet & Gifts is another great place to find unique gifts in Stafford!
As the name suggests, they specialize in items from Virginia. They sell a number of food and drink items, including Virginia wine, beer, peanuts, sauces, and jellies.
You can also find a great collection of crafts and artwork from local artisans, including candles, soaps, jewelry, and home decor. It’s a great destination for finding gifts, especially around the holidays!
15. Aquia Pines Camp Resort
You can get up close and personal with the local wildlife around Stafford by staying overnight at the Aquia Pines Camp Resort!
There are plenty of spots where you can pitch a tent under the trees at Aquia Pines! The campgrounds come with a picnic table, water, electricity, showers, a restroom, a laundry room, and even a pool!
The camp resort can accommodate large and small RVs, with full or partial hook-up for water, electricity, and sewer. There is also Wi-Fi.
If you want to camp in style, you can stay at one of the luxury or rustic cabins on site.
The luxury cabins are perfect for families. They have two bedrooms, including a master bedroom with a queen bed, and a separate bedroom with a bunk bed and single bed.
The luxury cabins also have air conditioning and heating, a kitchenette, a shower with a tub, a refrigerator, a toaster, pots and pans, and a microwave.
The rustic cabins have a full-size bed for adults and a bunk bed for kids. The cabins also have electricity, a heater, and outside water.
You’ll also find a fenced-in dog park at the camp!
The Aquia Pines Camp Resort is also home to the Wild Run Brewing Company, which you can learn about on this list!
16. The Cavalier Family Skating Centers USA
Pull on a pair of roller skates, and have a blast at The Cavalier Family Skating Center!
The roller skating rink is another one of the top things to do in Stafford, VA.
They host plenty of special events too, including Stroll & Roll, where parents can bring their young kids (5 and under) to skate with ride on toys.
On select weekdays, there are also Homeschool Skating sessions from 1 pm to 4 pm. This is a great chance for kids to exercise and socialize.
You can also come for the Free Skate sessions, which come with a slice of pizza and a drink!
The skating rink hosts special events on Friday and Saturday nights too, which makes it one of the best things to Do in Stafford, VA at Night!
Friday nights feature fast skating and loud music, while Saturdays feature old-school tracks and tend to be a favorite among adult skaters.
Cavalier Family Skating Center also has a PlayZone for children 12 and under.
In addition to daily and nightly skating fun, the center offers skating lessons and a Speed Team that is open to all ages.
17. Jeff Rouse Swim & Sport Center
Is a great destination for swimming and working out. The modern complex is 76,000 square feet in size and features just about anything you can want for a great workout!
The center has a 50-meter competition pool, a 25-yard recreation pool, a warm-water wellness pool, a group exercise studio, a fitness center with weights and cardio machines, a full-size basketball court, and even a cafe to grab a snack.
There are also cycling classes, other group exercise classes, volleyball and basketball league teams, summer camps, clinics, and much more.
The center even offers a Child Care Center, which is perfect for busy parents looking to squeeze a workout in.
You can even schedule a pool party for the ultimate birthday party experience!
18. The Log Cabin Restaurant
The Log Cabin Restaurant is one of the top restaurants in town. It is also one of the great things to do in Stafford, VA at night.
The seafood restaurant has been around since 1942. They feature a cozy, wood-paneled decor and a classic menu of seafood favorites like Gulf Shrimp Cocktail, Steamed Mussels, Imperial Crab, Sea Scallops, Snow Crab Legs, and more.
Some of their house specialties include Maine Lobster Tails, Pan Fried Crab Cakes, and Fresh Cedar Planked Salmon.
They also have surf & turf plates and filet mignon.
19. Wine & Design
Wine & Design is a fun destination in Stafford that gives you the opportunity to get creative and have a great time with friends!
As the name implies, they offer plenty of activities that combine making arts and crafts, and enjoying a drink.
Paint & Sip parties are some of the most popular events. During these sessions, you get to paint on canvas while enjoying some delicious wine.
Wine & Design has plenty of activities for kids too. They offer plenty of painting & craft classes designed just for kids (minus the wine, of course!)
Wine & Design is the perfect destination for birthday parties, girls nights out, and other special occasions!
20. Curtis Memorial Park
Curtis Memorial Park is another great outdoor destination within Stafford County. The park has a number of great amenities to enjoy, including the 18-hole Gauntlet Golf Course and an 18-hole disc golf course.
The park is also home to Curtis Lake, which is a great spot for viewing wildlife. The lake is home to blue herons, belted kingfishers, ospreys, and bald eagles. You can also spy dragonflies, butterflies, woodpeckers, and more.
Other amenities at the park include a playground, boat ramp, fishing pier, 3 tennis courts, 2 volleyball courts, an amphitheater, 8 pavilions, restrooms, a skate park, and even an outdoor pool.
As you can see, Curtis Memorial Park is a great destination for enjoying the outdoors in Stafford!
21. Grapes and Grains Trail
Enjoy the best wineries that Stafford County has to offer by going on the Grapes and Grains Trail!
The trail has four stops throughout the county, including Potomac Point Winery (on the list above), Rogers Ford Farm Winery, Mattaponi Winery, and Lake Anna Winery.
You can buy a ticket at any of the four wineries, which includes wine tastings at all of the wineries, plus 10% off merchandise and wine, plus a commemorative wine glass to take with you!
22. Duff’s Dog Park
Duff’s Dog Park is a great place to bring your furry friends! It is four acres in size, which means there’s plenty of open space for your dogs to get the exercise they need.
The park has an area reserved for Large Dogs (for dogs 31 pounds and greater), and another area reserved for Small Dogs (for dogs 30 pounds and under.)
The park is also close to the Rappahannock River, which is a great bonus for dogs, and humans, who love the water!
The park is open year-round, though it has modified hours during the winter months.
Free Things to Do in Stafford, VA
- Explore local parks like Government Island, Widewater State Park, Crow’s Nest Natural Area Preserve, and Curtis Memorial Park.
- Take your dog to Duff’s Dog Park.
What is Stafford, Virginia known for?
Stafford, VA is best known for being located close to Quantico, which is the home of the Marine Corps Base Quantico, FBI Academy, The National Museum of the Marine Corps, and Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS).
Stafford, VA also has many famous historical connections. It was the home of George Washington during his childhood (he lived there from the age of 6 to 19.) Indian Point in Stafford, was also the place where Pocahontas was kidnapped.
Is Stafford, VA a nice area?
Stafford, VA is a nice area. It ranks as one of the top counties in Virginia for families. The schools in the county are also highly rated. Stafford is more affordable than areas in Fairfax County that are closer to the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area.
Stafford County is home to many great parks, including Aquia Landing Park, Government Island, Widewater State Park, Crow’s Nest Natural Area Preserve, and Curtis Memorial Park.
How close is Stafford, VA to the beach?
The closest beach to Stafford, VA is Aquia Landing Park, which is just 7.8 miles from Stafford, VA.
Where to Stay in Stafford, VA
Holiday Inn Express Quantico – Stafford, an IHG Hotel
The Holiday Inn Express Quantico – Stafford is one of the top hotels in Stafford, VA. You can unwind with the help of a fitness center and indoor pool. It also has free parking and free Wi-Fi.
Another bonus is that the Holiday Inn has a great buffet breakfast that’s included with your stay.
They have multiple room sizes available, ranging from a Queen Room with two queen beds, to a One-Bedroom Suite with a king-size bed and sofa bed for extra room.
The hotel also has a great location right off I-95.
|🛏️ Book your stay at the Holiday Inn Express Quantico – Stafford by clicking here! 🛏️|
Affordable Suites of America Stafford Quantico
If you’re looking for affordable suites with a full kitchen, then the appropriately-named Affordable Suites of America is a great hotel option in Stafford.
Some of the rooms are up to 550 square feet in size and even have their own patio and barbeque.
The rooms are quiet and come with a view of the inner courtyard.
The hotel also has a fitness center and barbeque facilities.
Affordable Suites is also pet-friendly.
|🛏️ Book your stay at the Affordable Suites of America by clicking here! 🛏️|
You can learn about even more of the best hotels in Stafford, VA, including the best affordable hotels, and the best pet-friendly hotels!
Conclusion: 22 Best Things to Do in Stafford, VA
With an abundance of parks, marinas, golf courses, historic sites, and great shopping, there is no shortage of great things to do in Stafford, VA.
Learn about even more great things to do in nearby Fredericksburg, VA!