Originally published in The Woodlands City Lifestyle
Nestled in the heart of the Hill Country and brimming with history, culture and dining options, Fredericksburg has transformed in recent years as a top Texas travel destination. More popularly known for its wineries, this idyllic hill country stop was recently voted the most charming spot for a southern vacation.
Fredericksburg is a great place to visit all year long, with blooming wildflowers ablaze in Spring, grape harvest season towards the end of summer, Octoberfest in the fall, and magical holiday time when the whole town lights up like a scene from a Hallmark movie.
What makes this unofficial food and wine capital of the Lone Star State unique is its German heritage, which has influenced a melting pot of food and architecture.
Getting There: Driving makes for an easy and scenic day trip, but you can also opt for a more exclusive, quicker journey by flying directly into Gillespie County airport via a chartered plane.
Stay: Fredericksburg offers a range of lodging options, from historic log cabins and cozy bed and breakfasts to more unique stays.
- Properties in the Heart of Fredericksburg
- The Blacksmith Quarters on Barons Creek Located right off Main Street, this stunning compound of cottages is set on an original blacksmith property. The cottages are named after the family’s children and reflect the different time periods and styles of construction throughout Fredericksburg.
- The Gathering Guesthouse Built by descendants of early German settlers in 1933, a historic craftsman style home renewed into a modern farmhouse
- The Vineyard Trail Cottages Well-located near several wineries along the "Wine Corridor" and about 10 minutes from Main Street, you can’t beat the peaceful setting.
- One-of-a-Kind Stays If you are looking for a unique experience, check out the many multi-level lavish treehouses, Blue Skies Retro Resort where you can pick one of their five Palm Springs inspired vintage trailers, or a historic Silo at River Ranch Resort.
Things to Do: Because Fredericksburg is the epicenter of Texas Wine Country, it's easy enjoy the wealth of wineries in the area and so much more.
- History Learn about Fredericksburg's German heritage with a stop at the Pioneer Museum, head to Marktplatz, the town square where Vereins Kirche, a replica of a 19th-century church, stands tall, and the National Museum of the Pacific War which features WWII exhibits, including a recreated combat zone.
- Wineries Spanning approximately 9 million acres, Texas Hill Country AVA (American Viticultural Area), which includes Fredericksburg, is the second largest certified viticultural area in America. With more than 50 wineries in Fredericksburg’s Gillespie County alone, the biggest question is where to start. Here are our recommendations: Ab Astris, Augusta Vin, Becker Vineyards, Pedernales Cellars, Signor Vineyards, and Heath Sparkling Wines for a little bubbly.
- Pro Tip: Book one of the many wine tours or hop on the 290 shuttle which departs every 10 minutes from downtown Fredericksburg every Friday and Saturday.
- Breweries & Distilleries Don’t miss out on the many Bavarian inspired biergartens, the oldest brewpub in Texas - Fredericksburg Brewing Company, and Alstadt Brewery. For something stronger stop by Garrison Brothers, home of the first bourbon distillery outside Kentucky.
- Shopping With franchises and chain stores not allowed in the historic district, you are guaranteed to discover rare heirlooms and locally made products.
- Art Galleries Named one of “Top Five Western Art Towns” by Southwest Art Magazine and home to numerous working artists, Fredericksburg is an art lover’s paradise. Stroll through the First Friday Art Walk or visit the dozens of galleries located on the west end of Marktplatz.
- Get Outdoors For most Texans, summitting the pink granite Enchanted Rock is almost a rite of passage. A stone’s throw away from Fredericksburg, a visit to this natural area offers the opportunity to not only disconnect but take in stunning vistas of the expansive hill country. Fredericksburg is also a popular birding spot, and offers scenic views for bicycle riding and stargazing with two international dark sky parks.
- Peaches and Pecans A favorite Texas summertime staple, make sure to stop by a roadside stand to pick up this fresh fruit from the many surrounding orchards during peach season, which runs mid-May through August. In the fall and holiday season, many roadside stands also offer pecans.
Dining Out: From bratwurst to brews, this Texas town flaunts its German heritage. Make sure to try the classics, but leave room for the contemporary eateries.
- Breakfast Start your day off right with coffee at Caliche Coffee Bar or Java Ranch. For a larger meal stop by the Old German Bakery.
- Otto’s German Bistro A farm-to-table hill county establishment dishing out Bavarian comfort food with a modern twist, like their duck schnitzel
- Rathskeller Located in the basement of an old hospital with a few street-level tables, this snug, rustic spot serves up both German and American plates. For dessert, don't skip the famous peach bread pudding with homemade caramel sauce!
- Vaudeville An exceptional space that houses a bistro, art gallery and boutique. Opt to order a-la-carte from the bistro menu or the prix fixe supper club, which combines French flair with southern comfort food.
- La Bergerie An Artisanal wine bar and market specializing in fine wines, cheeses and charcuterie. Great for a snack in between wine tastings.
- Salvation Speakeasy The only Speakeasy in Fredericksburg hidden in plain sight; a specialty cocktail laboratory on a 10-acre orchard surrounded by blackberries, peaches, pears, plums, pecans and grapes
Whether you're looking to visit for a girls' weekend, a romantic getaway, or to make memories with the whole family, we hope this guide inspires you to plan your next escape to fabulous Fredericksburg! For more local finds and escapes, follow Melissa online as The Woodlands Wanderer.