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Accessibility to Washington Heritage Museums’ Sites


  • On street parking is free. Parking is generally available within one to three blocks of each museum.

  • Fredericksburg has numerous one-way streets, and some blocks have limited parking for residents only. Please obey all traffic and parking signage.

  • The City of Fredericksburg offers a parking garage at 600 Sophia St., approximately 0.8 miles from the museums.
    On-street parking is available for tour buses. Please let us know one week in advance of a group tour if you need our staff to reserve parking.

Walking in Fredericksburg

  • The City of Fredericksburg has sidewalks on each street in the downtown historic area. Surfaces are concrete or brick, and may be uneven.

  • Larger intersections have pedestrian lights to aid in crossing.

Building Access

Access to all buildings is limited by stone or wood steps. Most steps have handrails. By their nature, historic stone, brick, or wood surfaces can be irregular.

Primary buildings

  • Hugh Mercer Apothecary Shop has three stone steps with a handrail on each side.

  • The Mary Washington House has 6 stone steps with a handrail to the entrance, and 5 stone steps with a handrail leading from the exit to the garden. The Museum Store is accessible by one wooden step down from either the museum or the rear porch. The visitor restroom is accessible by one stone and one wooden step.

  • The Rising Sun Tavern entrance is accessed by nine wooden steps with a handrail leading to the front door. After exiting, there are 4 stone steps with a handrail leading from the building to the garden. The building is accessible from the rear steps with advance notice.

  • St. James’ House has 7 concrete steps leading from the sidewalk to the building, followed by one stone step to enter. The concrete steps have a wooden handrail on one side. To exit the building, there is one small brick step, followed by 5 concrete steps, without a handrail. The building is accessible from the rear steps by request.

Floor Spaces and Paths


  • The inside spaces of the Mary Washington House and Rising Sun Tavern have wood floors that are covered by low pile carpeting in some areas.

  • St. James’ House has historic carpets on the floor which are not affixed to the floor. There are raised thresholds in most doorways. The wood floor is slightly uneven.

  • The doorways inside our museums can be somewhat narrow, with widths ranging as listed:

    • Hugh Mercer Apothecary Shop – 22” to 34” wide. The front door is 22” wide, but can be opened to 43 ½” wide with both sides open.

    • Mary Washington House – most doors are approximately 35” wide. The front is approximately 22’ wide, but can be opened to 43 1/2” wide with both doors open.

    • Rising Sun Tavern – 28” to 35” wide. The front door is 19.5” wide, but can be opened to 39” wide with both sides open.

    • St. James’ House – 22” to 37”. The front two rooms each have 33’ doorways. Doors to enter and exit the building are approximately 36” wide.

  • Many of the doorways inside each of our museums have a low clearance. Please exercise caution when entering a room or the historic kitchen of the Mary Washington House.

Accessing the Second Floors of the Museums

  • The Hugh Mercer Apothecary Shop, Mary Washington House, and Rising Sun Tavern each have selfguided second stories that are accessible by staircases with handrails. The stair treads are shallow, but steep, and the staircases have an area that winds. Guests who do not wish to tour the second floor are welcome to wait for their group downstairs.

  • The second floor of St. James’ House is not accessible to the public.


  • The first floor of the historic kitchen at the Mary Washington House is open to visitors. It has a brick floor. It is not temperature controlled.

  • Additional outbuildings at the Mary Washington House are not open to the public.

  • The outbuildings at Rising Sun Tavern and St. James’ House are not accessible to the public.


  • Outside of the museums, there are brick and crushed oyster shell paths. Both the brick and shell paths vary in evenness. Brick sidewalks freeze before cement sidewalks or roadways. Please use caution.

  • When wet, bricks may be slippery. Please use caution.

Ticket purchasing

  • Tickets are available online or at the front desk of each museum. Payment is by cash or credit. Group tours may pay by check.

Wheelchairs, Walkers, etc.

  • Our museums are not wheelchair accessible, but are accessible for those using a walker or cane.

  • Each museum has chairs available for visitors who are unable to stand during the tour.

Descriptive Tour

Visitor Restrooms

  • The Mary Washington House is equipped with a visitor restroom. It is accessible by one stone step. It has rails on all walls, and is large enough for two people should one need assistance.

  • The Hugh Mercer Apothecary Shop, Rising Sun Tavern, and St. James’ House do not have visitor restrooms.

Service Animals

  • Service animals are welcome at each of our museums.

Sensory Information

  • Our museums are not equipped with permanent sensory break areas. Should a member of a group need a sensory break, please ask a staff member for direction to an appropriate place. Children need appropriate adult supervision when separated from their group.

  • Our museums are located in the heart of downtown Fredericksburg. Rarely, there can be loud noises associated with traffic, road work, or construction.


  • Light levels in our museums vary by time of day and season.


  • Children are welcome in our museums, but must be accompanied by a responsible adult at all times.


Please call 540-373-5630 or email with any questions.

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