Weekend Getaway: Fredericksburg, Texas
The quaint town of Fredericksburg, Texas, is worth a weekend visit the next time you're traveling deep in the heart of Texas. Nestled in the rolling hills between San Antonio and Austin, you might think it is just another speck on the map, but you would be wrong. With a population of a little over 11,000, it is dripping with old-world charm, interesting architecture and history dating back to 1846 when it was founded by German immigrants and settlers. There are tons of things to do, see and eat here, far too many to list, but this is the experience I had while visiting over a weekend.
SHOP MAIN STREET AND PEOPLE-WATCH FROM A COW BENCH
Fredericksburg has a unique Main Street area I wasn't expecting. While almost all of the small towns we visited have a large town square surrounded by shops, Fredericksburg’s Main St has a busy road running through it separating the 2 sides of the street. I thought the constant traffic took away from the charm, but I’m easily annoyed so it was probably just me. I did get used to it, however, especially after visiting a couple of wine tastings and biergartens. * wink *
Shopping is clearly one of the most popular things to do in Fredericksburg. I don’t enjoy shopping, eating is definitely my thing, but I endured.
The multitude of historic buildings along Main Street boast not only the requisite overpriced farmhouse kitsch but also, thankfully, fantastic art galleries, The National Museum of the Pacific War (and its George HW Bush Gallery), walking tours of the Historical District, candy shops, live music, artisan coffee shops, wine tastings and restaurants galore. I did enjoy the shop, Dogologie, a wonderland of everything under the Sun for your beloved poochums like this one. Look at her pooch shoes!!!! ermergerrrrrrd
If you enter a shop and are greeted with “Guten Tag,” (good afternoon), be a nice guest and say it back.
Indulge in German Food and Biergartens
Eating and drinking are the main reasons we went to Frederickburg. If you’ve never experienced German food (or beer), you can safely start here by trying schnitzels, sauerbraten (German pot roast), giant Brezels (pretzels) and biergartens (beer gardens) featuring a few German beers. Don’t expect this town to be heavy on the German cuisine, however, because it is surprisingly not. Having been to Berlin, I would say this town caters to the American palate, but that doesn’t mean the German food they do offer isn’t really tasty. There are 70+ restaurants in Fredericksburg so everyone in your group is certain to find something yummy to eat, from juicy burgers at Hondo’s on Main to swanky August E’s for sushi (and Thai on Tuesdays) to vegetarian and vegan fare at Sammy T’s .
For an upscale dining experience, you can get delicious meals at lovely eateries ($$$$) such as Cabernet Grill and Texas Wine Country Restaurant (steak/seafood) Vaudville (American Bistro with a boutique and art gallery), Otto’s (gourmet German heavy on the French influence. Rez recommended), and Fredericksburg Herb Farm (Best brunch!), to name only a few.
Stay in a Shmancy Hotel, a Cute Cottage or a Bed & Brew
The Fredericksburg Brewing Company in an adult-only retreat (18 and over) with rooms above the in-house brewery downstairs, a stage for live music and a cute beer garden. The Hangar Hotel is a boutique hotel decorated with aviation memorabilia and 1940’s decor. Wine Country Cottages on Main are precious individual cottages and ours came with it’s own jacuzzi on the back patio. If you’re looking for a place to sleep on the cheap, Super 8 by Wyndam ($65/night) is at the East end of Main with very basic rooms, free breakfast (we didn’t see what they offered) and a swimming pool.
BEYOND MAIN STREET
Get a Peek at the Life of Our 36th President
Approximately 20 miles East of Fredericksburg in Stonewall, Texas is Lyndon B Johnson National Historical Park, Former President LBJ’s 800 acre ranch including The Texas White House and airstrip where he spent a lot of time during his Presidency. Take a self-guided tour of the living history farm and talk to Rangers in period clothes who are working the farm; walk trails with bison, longhorns, wildflowers, creeks and historic cabins along the way, fish in the river, or swim in the the Olympic sized swimming pool in the Summer. At the time of our visit, the White Texas House was not open for viewing due to structural issues, but the rest of the ranch is worth the visit. A bit further to the East is his boyhood home in Johnson City, Texas.
Sip Your Way Along the Wine Trails
Texas Hill Country is also known as Texas Wine Country and for good reason! There are 30+ wineries between Frederickburg and Johnson city, 18 of them award-winning. This 20-mile stretch of road (290) is referred to as “Wine Road” and “Napa of the South” making this the perfect wine tasting weekend getaway. Instead of driving to all the wineries ourself, you might hire a limo (or a party bus) so you can enjoy yourself by removing the dangers of sipping and driving.
We were advised to visit Enchanted Rock State Park, but we were exhausted and out of time, so we couldn’t fit it in. It’s a big attraction in the Hill Country for hikers, geocachers and nature lovers and it gets its name from Native Americans who thought the rock formations had magical powers. Pets not allowed.
I hope you enjoyed the photos from our mini-trip to Fredericksburg!