Texas Hill Country is right in the middle of the great state of Texas, and Fredericksburg is the heart of Hill Country. And while it's all Texas here—there's no shortage of big hats—the region has deep roots in Bavarian culture. German immigrants came here in 1846 and integrated their traditions into Texas culture. It's in the architecture and the German style wines and in the rollicking Oktoberfest that's been entertaining Texans and visitors every fall for the last 35 years.
We asked our innkeepers how to make the most of a visit to Fredericksburg. Their advice will help you have a great stay, whether it's a romantic trip, a family vacation, or just a relaxing weekend getaway to somewhere new.
Bluebonnets in the Texas Hill Country
Just a few blocks off of Fredericksburg's Main Street, Magnolia House B&B was built in 1923 and restored to its historic style in 1991. Breakfast is served on antique china under the sparkle of a crystal chandelier.
Innkeepers Claude and Lisa recommend wandering into town for a gallery walk. First Fridays are opening nights when the galleries stay open late; it's a good time to meet the artists and see how they make their work. Want to catch some authentic cowboy gospel music or a tribute band? The Rockbox Theater is also downtown and there are shows every weekend. Worried about the long wait for dinner? Take a seat at the bar at August E's where options include sliders, fresh seafood and sushi.
For treats, go to Clear River Pecan where you can choose from 35 delicious ice cream flavors.
The Lazy T B&B is also in downtown Fredericksburg. There's a lofty public space with a big fireplace and four luxurious rooms with western décor. The big sky over the property makes for dramatic sunsets.
Innkeeper Karen – KK – will help you choose which wineries to visit when you're touring the Wine Road, a collection of 15 wineries along Route 290. The road winds through countryside reminiscent of the wine-growing regions of central Italy and the Rhone Valley in France. KK will pack a picnic so you can have a homemade lunch when you visit Enchanted Rock State Natural Area. The parking lot at Enchanted Rock fills up so plan your visit for early in the day. And wear sunscreen – the pink granite dome has very little sun coverage. If you miss the morning shift, there's a good reason to visit at night: Enchanted Rock was recently designated a Dark Sky area, meaning there's very little light pollution so it's a great place for star-gazing.
A Place in Time B&B is a 1914 home with a beautiful wrap-around front porch, a perfect place to sit in a rocking chair and plan your Fredericksburg adventures. This landmark status home has nice Victorian touches and it's only a mile from the center of town.
Innkeepers Jon and Mary suggest you keep an eye on the weather during winter months, and if it's looking good, consider a last minute trip. December through February is the low season, a nice time to enjoy the quiet. For top notch dining, check out Vaudeville, a multipurpose space on Main Street where there's a bistro, a supper club, a gallery space, and a shop where all the goods are carefully selected for their aesthetic appeal. The supper club has tasting menus that feature locally sourced ingredients—make reservations when you plan your trip because the dining events fill up fast. And if you want to do the 290 Wine Road but would rather not drive, try the $20 Saturday shuttle that offers hop on/hop off service to nine of the region's wineries.
The cozy Lillie Marlene B&B was built in 1941. The innkeeper's German heritage is showcased through the inn's décor and the filling German breakfasts. There's a porch swing for summer evenings, a fireplace for winter ones, and there are always home baked snacks in the kitchen. This is an adults-only, no pets property so it's a perfect quiet getaway.
Innkeepers Pat and Marlene think wildflower season—April through early summer—is a great time to visit. The Hill Country is famous for acres of bluebonnets, Indian paintbrush, Mexican Hat and many other types of flowers that cover the hillsides. At Wildseed Farm you can see acres of cultivated flowers and buy Texas wildflower seeds to plant in your own garden at home. The Johnson family homestead is also here in Fredericksburg; you can visit the LBJ Ranch and the Texas White House in Lyndon B. Johnson National Historic Park.
Bluebonnets in the Texas Hill Country
Baron's CreekSide offers a taste of Switzerland in the Texas Hill Country, complete with a resident Alphorn player. Just off 290, the inn has 15 standalone log cabins and a lodge house. The 26-acre property is all rolling hills populated with deer, butterflies, birds, and wildflowers. Innkeepers Daniel and Deborah recommend taking the whole family to Hondo's, especially on a warm summer night when the outdoor stage is in use. But summer or not, Hondo's has live music Wednesday through Sunday, including live gospel music on Sunday afternoons. Take a side trip to historic Luckenbach, where there's a funky old post office and general store, and lots of old west flavor. There's an afternoon pickers' circle—it's free—where local legends sing and play outdoors. If you're lucky you might even see a chicken or two climb a tree to get a better view.
Baron's CreekSide B&B
The River Road Ranch Resort was founded by German settlers and includes a two story peanut silo that's been redesigned as a loft space. The whole property is a perfect photo opportunity, with farm equipment, chuck wagons, buggies, and surreys displayed in their original settings.
Since Admiral Chester Nimitz played on the front porch of the resort as a child, innkeepers Barron and Natalie recommend the Admiral Nimitz Museum at the National Museum of the Pacific War. The Museum complex focuses on the history of WWII in Asia and the Pacific.
Because Fredericksburg has such strong German roots, there are several authentic German restaurants. Try Auslanders for grilled sausages, farmer's style cheese and bread platters, schnitzel, and, of course, lots of German-style beer on tap. Friedhelm's Bavarian Inn also has schnitzel and sausage options and the wait staff dress in regional German costumes.
Full Moon Inn Bed and Breakfast has rooms in the main house, plus rustic cabins and front porches with bentwood rockers, all on 12 acres of beautiful hill country. It's only half a mile from the Luckenbach Dance Hall, so you can walk home under the stars after a night of music and two-stepping.
Though his property is a little outside of town, Innkeeper Capt'n Matthew knows the Fredericksburg restaurant scene. He likes the Crossroads Saloon and Steakhouse, not just for the food, but for the music and dancing, too. The Nest, in a beautifully renovated 1900s home, serves world-class cuisine that includes fresh seafood and steaks. Make reservations; it's a popular spot. The Navajo Grill is another local favorite serving Southern cuisine influenced by Mexico and the Caribbean. Make reservations—if it's nice, ask for a seat on the gorgeous outdoor patio—and plan to spend your evening enjoying a leisurely meal.
Things to do in Fredericksburg, TX
- Becker Vineyards
- 290 Wine Shuttle
- Garrison Brothers Distillery
- Inwood Estates Winery
- Lincoln Street Wine and Cigar Bar