The Rising Sun Tavern
Historic Sites • History Museums
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11:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Monday
11:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Wednesday
11:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Thursday
11:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Friday
11:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Saturday
11:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Sunday
12:00 PM - 4:00 PM
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About
While not serving food or drink since 1827, the Rising Sun Tavern Museum provides a lively interpretation of late 18th-century Tavern life. Charles Washington, George Washington's youngest brother, built this landmark in the 1760's as his private residence. After being sold outside the Washington family, the building was leased as a tavern in 1792. Operating as a stopover for travelers for 35 years in the bustling town of Fredericksburg, it was a popular diversion for travelers and locals alike. Today, costumed guides entertain visitors as though they have just stepped off their coaches into the late 18th-century life. See how bygone visitors slept, learn what they ate and drank, and immerse yourself in the now eccentric customs of historic travel and lodgings. The original 18th-century structure contains period furniture and artifacts.
Suggested duration
< 1 hour
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
Popular mentions

4.5
248 reviews
Excellent
179
Very good
56
Average
10
Poor
2
Terrible
1

Kate Illinois1
Illinois4,191 contributions
May 2021
Tour was included on the Day Pass. Built in the 1760s for Charles Washington, younger brother of George Washington, and served as his residence while he lived in Fredericksburg. In 1792 John Frazer converted the house into a tavern known as the Golden Eagle. Great history tour that takes you through the era and many interesting artifacts. Sadly another stop that interior pictures not allowed. We wanted to share our stories with friends and family but can't remember everything we saw and learned because no pictures to keep those wonderful memories alive.
Written June 28, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Jujubee19
Dallas, TX67 contributions
Jul 2014 • Family
In addition to the positive reviews, I would add a few tips -

The tour lasts 30-45 minutes. You will be standing, walking, and climbing stairs the entire time. There are no benches to sit down during the tour.

There is an entrance fee of $5/adults and $2/children.

There is no photography allowed in the tavern.

They have a small bathroom open to the public.

There is also a very small gift shop area in a hallway.
Written July 4, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

lulamama
Virginia23 contributions
Dec 2013 • Family
This tour is perfect for older children, teens and adults. You will learn about drinking and lodging customs of Colonial times at "the" local pub of its day frequented by many important Colonial leaders. The costumed guides are lively, and will tell you about famous sayings today - like "Bottoms Up" - that are based on tavern customs of long ago. If you have unenthusiastic teens in your group this is one of the best attractions in Fredericksburg to pique their interest in Colonial history.
Written November 11, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Anna H
Chattanooga, United States26 contributions
Jun 2017 • Solo
If you can stomach the stream of lies and myths that the tour guides pass off as historical facts, then it's a nice building to walk through and look at, but almost NOTHING they told us on the tour was historically accurate, which is a shame considering they represent the university and the historical society that runs this building. So many lies! Everything from taxing the ace of spades, importing beeswax candles, guests refusing to take baths except in July and August for fear of catching pneumonia, guests sleeping sitting up...by the time we arrived in the last room, I was ready to scream. If you're looking for a bunch of myths with no basis in historical reality, this is the place for you. If you're looking for TRUE history, SKIP IT.
Written June 21, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

WARDandDA T
Vienna, VA402 contributions
Nov 2013 • Couples
Tavern Quick Tips:
1. A few blocks past the end of the main street shopping district; look for the flag displayed outside during its operating hours
2. Free, 2 hour limit, street parking available
3. Hours: check the website as hours change with the season
4. $5 per adult; AAA membership gets you $1 off
5. Currently, costumed docent tours are given as patrons arrive…tours run about 40 minutes
6. No associated gift shop

You will be met at the door by your ‘Wench’ guide. She will guide you through several rooms on the first floor and then direct you upstairs for a self-guided look at the upper rooms. I consider myself a Colonial veteran having toured such wonderful historical sites in Williamsburg, Charleston, and Savannah. I expected to hear and see virtually the same artifacts and their associated histories I had heard before. But NO, there were artifacts that I had not had the pleasure to see before and such a wealth of stories on how many of the sayings we use today came about and also get a real appreciation for the tiresome ‘taxes’ levied by the crown.

To add to your day’s enjoyment, there are several blocks of cute shops to peruse and places to eat. If nostalgia is your thing, be sure to stop at Goolricks for a chocolate malt or flavored soda at their soda fountain.
Written November 24, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Michael187286
Heidelberg, Germany30 contributions
Jun 2011 • Couples
The guided tour explained in a very entertaining way how life used to be in a tavern in the 19th century for the local gentry as well as for ordinary people. We learned about the way people used to sleep, eat and drink in these times, how they washed themselves (not too often) and how life was in general in a"proper tavern" (by the way: built in 1760 by Charles, the youngest brother of George Washington). It is definitely worth a visit !
Written July 29, 2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Raven4041
Washington DC, DC189 contributions
Dec 2014 • Friends
What a great tour!! The costumed guides make this visit entertaining, as well as educational. Our guide was fantastic. He kept everyone involved and provided many details on Colonial life. The tavern is the former home built by George Washington’s youngest brother Charles around 1760 and later became a tavern in 1792.
Written January 9, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

yahootraveler64
virginia679 contributions
Nov 2014 • Family
We visited with several other people including a 9-year-old. The tour is every bit as good as any tour in Williamsburg VA. Guide very thorough and full of interesting info. We had not visited for maybe 10 years or so, and the tavern is still a ''must-see'' if you are in town. We got the Timeless Pass at the Visitor Center--good until all sites visited. Our friends got the day pass. We visited 4 places so they got their money's worth. Lafayette visited the tavern and a room is named after him.
It would be fun to attend a small special event that included some ale and snacks from that time period. Hint, hint.
Written November 17, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Write_On_it
Perth, Australia480 contributions
Definitely worth a visit to hear about how an old tavern worked in those days and to learn where some of the old sayings come from like 'bottoms up', 'drinks like a fish' etc. Our guide was very knowledgable and entertaining and she was only 15 years old. Best recommendation I can give is to visit the visitors centre and get a day pass and you can visit as many of these places as you like for only $16!
Written October 26, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Randy P
Pinckney, MI9 contributions
Oct 2014 • Friends
I was not expecting all that much when I entered this historic tavern. From the tour guide I learned how so many of our everyday expressions came from early colonial life; as well as ascertained a feel for life in the 18th century. She also provided some great tips for places to eat in and around Williamsburg, VA.
Written October 19, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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The Rising Sun Tavern (Fredericksburg) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go

Frequently Asked Questions about The Rising Sun Tavern

The Rising Sun Tavern is open:
  • Sun - Sun 12:00 PM - 4:00 PM
  • Mon - Mon 11:00 AM - 4:00 PM
  • Wed - Sat 11:00 AM - 4:00 PM
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We recommend booking The Rising Sun Tavern tours ahead of time to secure your spot. If you book with Tripadvisor, you can cancel up to 24 hours before your tour starts for a full refund. See all 1 The Rising Sun Tavern tours on Tripadvisor


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