An Innkeeper’s Guide to Fredericksburg

Located in the heart of the Texas Hill Country, Fredericksburg is an easy drive from Austin and San Antonio, making it the perfect location for a romantic weekend for two or a relaxing getaway with friends. The city is surrounded by wineries and state parks and is home to over 150 unique shops offering everything from clothing and jewelry to antiques and home furnishings. Known for its rich German culture, travelers can admire the Bavarian-inspired architecture and taste authentic Bavarian cuisine one night and then indulge in traditional Hill Country barbecue the next, all without having to step foot outside the city limits. When you stay at a Fredericksburg bed and breakfast, you get the insider’s guide to the best of the city. These tips from local innkeepers will help you make the most of your stay.

Things to do

Things to do in Fredericksburg, TX

The Hill Country is one of the most beautiful regions in Texas, offering visitors an ample number of activities to choose from, including opportunities to take in the breathtaking scenery and to observe the local flora and fauna in their natural settings.

Those who possess a green thumb (or a sincere appreciation for flowers) can take the recommendation of the proprietors of both the 202 and Cottage and the Schandua Suite Bed & Breakfast and make a trip out to Wildseed Farms, the largest working wildflower farm in the United States, located just seven miles east of the city. The farm more than 1,000 cultivated acres in the state, over 200 of which are located at the Hill Country headquarters outside of Fredericksburg. You’ll find wildflowers in various stages of development, so be sure to bring your camera in order to capture the ultimate in wildflower photographs. Before you leave, browse through their selection of wildflower seeds, as well as their seven regional mixes suitable for planting anywhere in the country. The farm even has Pick-Your-Own fields where visitors can flex their design skills and create personal bouquets.

For unique wildlife-viewing opportunities, 202 and Cottage suggests visiting the Old Tunnel WMA (also known as the Old Tunnel State Park), 16.1 acres of land designated as the smallest Wildlife Management Area in Texas. While visitors can go hiking and bird-watching in the park, the biggest draw is the Old Tunnel itself. From April to October, this abandoned railroad tunnel is home to up to three million Brazilian free-tailed bats, as well as three thousand Cave myotis bats. Beginning in May, visitors come to watch the bats emerge from the tunnel each night, and nightly educational programs provide guests with a better understanding of the life history and ecology of these mammals. Binoculars are recommended to get the best view.

Visitors wanting to soak in the local culture and history should take a stroll on Marktplatz (Market Square), as recommended by the Schandua Suite Bed & Breakfast. This park located in the heart of Fredericksburg offers locals a gathering spot, hosting festivals and concerts throughout the year and featuring an ice skating rink during the holiday season. It also completely surrounds the revered Vereins Kirche, the octagonal-shaped building which was the site of the city’s first church and its first school. To get a better sense of the typical, old German homes, the proprietors of the Cat’s Meow Bed & Breakfast suggest walking north and south of Main Street.

For history buffs, especially those interested in World War II, the innkeepers at the Schandua Suite Bed & Breakfast say that the Admiral Nimitz Museum, part of the National Museum of the Pacific War, is worth a visit. The National Museum of the Pacific War is the only institution in the continental United States dedicated to telling the story of the Pacific Theater battles of World War II and includes the George Bush Gallery, Admiral Nimitz Museum, Plaza of Presidents, Veterans’ Walk of Honor, Japanese Garden of Peace, Pacific Combat Zone, and the Nimitz Education and Research Center. In addition to nearly 34,000 square feet of indoor exhibit space, the museum contains an “impressive display of Allied and Japanese aircraft, tanks, guns, and other large artifact made famous during the Pacific War campaigns.”

Where to eat

Known as the Culinary Capital of the Hill Country, Fredericksburg offers visitors a wide variety of flavors and cuisines to please any palette, from classic German favorites like sausage and schnitzel to Tex-Mex and barbecue.

German Schnitzel

These restaurants have been suggested by multiple innkeepers:

  • Cabernet Grill: Dining at this Texas Wine Country restaurant is a definite must-do activity for every Fredericksburg visitor. To emphasize their belief that “great food is best enjoyed when you’re comfortable,” they’ve created a relaxing and friendly atmosphere where guests can partake in the finest upscale Hill Country cuisine exquisitely prepared by Executive Chef Ross Burtwell. Choose from dishes featuring the freshest seafood, wild game, and ranch fare and pair your meal with a wine list featuring over 75 varieties of wine from around the state.
  • Pasta Bella: If you’re looking for a break from the multitude of Fredericksburg establishments serving barbecue or German food, then head to the restaurant where locals gravitate for affordable and generous portions of comforting Italian dishes. Convenient to downtown, Pasta Bella offers daily lunch specials, as well as an extensive wine list. Recommended dishes include the Sunburst Ravioli and the homemade Coconut Cream Pie.
  • Rathskeller Restaurant: This quaint restaurant is located in the basement of the old Keidel Hospital, a two-story rock building at the corner of Lincoln and Main Streets that dates back to the 1800s. Great for families and those on a budget, the Rathskeller offers a fusion of German and Hill Country cuisines with specialties including German-style pancakes, Duck Hash, and Peach Bread Pudding with Homemade Caramel Sauce. On Friday and Saturday evening, enjoy live music performances over a cocktail or a glass of wine.

Other restaurants suggested:

  • Bejas Grill:This casual Tex-Mex spot on Fredericksburg’s main drag is a local favorite for its flavorful Southwestern dishes and the people-watching opportunities on its heated outdoor patio. The freshly made chips are almost as addictive as the accompanying salsa with a spicy kick. Other recommendations include the chicken tortilla soup, the chicken enchiladas with New Mexico chiles, and the Bejas tacos with tender pork, cilantro, and pico de gallo on corn tortillas. On don’t forget to order a round of margaritas!
  • Cranky Frank’s Barbecue Company: Named as one of the “50 Best BBQ Joints in the World” in the June 2013 issue of Texas Monthly, Cranky Frank’s serves up brisket, chicken, sausage, pork roast, pork ribs, and chopped beef that is seasoned by hand and slow-cooked brick fire pits using mesquite wood coals. The restaurant also offers an all-you-can-eat buffet of sides including pinto beans, green beans, coleslaw, corn, and potato salad, so be sure to come with an appetite.
  • Friedhelm’s Bavarian Restaurant: For authentic German cuisine, head to Friedhelm’s Bavarian Restaurant in the heart of Texas’ Hill Country. To the delight of locals and tourists alike, Friedhelm’s has been serving traditional dishes like schnitzel, sauerbraten, and bratwurst in the dining rooms of a genuine “Gasthaus” setting since 1978.

-Recommended by Queen Anne B&B and Spa

Pasta in Fredericksburg
  • Craig’s Charlies Grill & Golf: Known as “Charlies” by the locals, this family-friendly restaurant has gained the reputation of grilling up the best burgers in the Texas Hill Country. Thick juicy burgers on soft sourdough buns are served next to a pile of crispy, hot French fries. Finish your meal with a bowl of warm peach cobbler topped with a scoop rich vanilla ice cream before playing a round of putt-putt on the on-site miniature golf course.
  • West End Pizza Company: If you’re looking for a family-friendly restaurant with a fun and casual atmosphere, then head to the West End Pizza Company. While you wait for your pie to bake, you can watch the game on the televisions lining the wall and the kids can play in the game room. Choose from popular items like the namesake West End Pizza and the BBQ Chicken Pizza or build your own pizza by selecting from five types of sauces, three types of cheese, seven types of meats, and 13 types of fruits and vegetables. The restaurant also offers salads, sandwiches, and pasta dishes, if you’re not in the mood for pizza.

-Recommended by 202 and Cottage

  • Navajo Grill: Located in the heart of historic Fredericksburg, this charming restaurant offers guests Southern cuisine that has been infused with the flavors of Mexico, New Orleans, and the Caribbean. Enjoy your meal in the formal dining rooms inside or, for a more casual atmosphere, request a table on the rustic limestone patio. No matter where you choose to eat, be sure to take some time to admire the artwork of local artists hanging throughout the restaurant.
  • The Farm Haus at the Fredericksburg Herb Farm: At this fine restaurant, the setting is just as impressive as the food. The historic home on the property dates back to the late 1890s and features dining rooms with high ceilings, chandeliers, and large windows overlooking the gardens. The newly completed outdoor bar is located in the gardens and is equipped with a comfortable seating and a cozy fireplace, making it the perfect place to sip a glass of wine. The brunch, lunch, and dinner menus are dependent on the availability of fresh fruits, vegetables, and herbs, so the menus are can change on a moment’s notice.

-Recommended by Schandua Suite Bed & Breakfast

  • Otto’s German Bistro: This popular bistro pays direct homage to Fredericksburg’s German heritage by serving dishes that not only reflect authentic German and Central European cuisine but also highlight ingredients that have been locally grown and raised. The knowledgeable and friendly staff members will make you feel instantly at home and will be ready to make wine, beer, or spirits recommendations to ensure the perfect beverage pairing for your meal.
  • Vaudeville: Situated in the heart of Fredericksburg, Vaudeville is a one-of-a-kind three-story venue featuring a showroom, gallery, and a French bistro-style café with daily lunch specials. Most of the dishes are prepared in-house by Chef Jordan Muraglia using fresh, local ingredients from nearby ranches, farms, and farmers’ markets. Choose from cheese boards and charcuterie, decadent desserts and pastries, and satisfying pastas.

-Recommended by Barons CreekSide

Where to shop

While developing your strategy for exploring what Fredericksburg has to offer, don’t forget to some of the local shops and markets to your list. With over 150 unique shops in the city, you will undoubtedly stumble across stores to meet your every whim or need.

Fredericksburg Jewelry

The following has been suggested by multiple innkeepers:


  • Shops on Llano: Located in a historic home only a couple of blocks from downtown Fredericksburg, the Shops on Llano offer a regularly updated inventory of resale furniture and clothing, as well as a selection of jewelry and art created by local craftsmen. Enjoy a glass of wine, offered to you when you walk into the store, and take your time as you browse through the items in each room.


Other shop suggestions:

  • Choo Choo Trolley: Known as the “Home of the Unusual”, the Choo Choo Trolley offers the largest selection of pottery in the Hill Country, as well as pieces of teak wood and iron furniture for the home and patio.
  • Grasshopper and Wild Honey: Located in the heart of Hill Country, this shop carries an extensive variety of German beer steins and nutcrackers, along with a wide assortment of other collectibles and gifts. They also sell pieces of fine art by Jack Terry and pottery and sculptures by Mark Hopkins.
  • Haberdashery Boutique: This boutique specializes in modern clothing, shoes, and accessories with a vintage twist.

-Recommended by Schandua Suite Bed & Breakfast

  • Der Kuchen Laden: The historic Keidel Hospital building is not only the home of the Rathskeller Restaurant< (see above), but it is also the home of the best little kitchen store in Texas. You’ll find an extensive inventory of brand-name appliances and utensils, as well as an eclectic cookbook collection and a variety of gourmet coffees, teas, and other specialty foods.
  • The Christmas Store: Lovers of the Christmas season will be delighted to discover that this holiday-themed store in the heart of Fredericksburg’s historic district is open all year round, carrying a wide assortment of fine collectible ornaments, whimsical souvenir ornaments, and buildings and figurines to fill any Christmas village.

-Recommended by Queen Anne B&B and Spa

Antiques in Fredericksburg, TX
  • D’vinely Designed: This home goods store sells furniture and appliances, including a selection of antiques and silver pieces, and is the perfect place to shop for items for your house or for gifts for someone else’s.
  • Mar Silver Jewelry: This jewelry shop offers an extensive collection of fine sterling silver jewelry, including an expanded line of Taxco sterling silver. Shop owner Francisco Mar has been working with artisans in this Mexican town for over twenty years to provide a market for their handcrafted silver jewelry and to ensure the quality and reliability of the items he sells.

-Recommended by Cat’s Meow Bed & Breakfast

  • Henfeathers: This charming gift shop is located in a 100-year-old cottage on Main Street in the historic section of downtown Fredericksburg that offers both new and vintage items. When you’re finished browsing through wares such as European soaps, soy candles, and goat’s milk products, then have a seat on the front porch and chat away with the shop owner or with fellow patrons.
  • Red Baron Antique Mall: As Fredericksburg’s largest antique mall, this spacious 10,000-square-foot gallery offers antiques and collectibles from over 40 antique dealers. Among the items they carry are furniture, glassware, jewelry, coins, toys, western and nautical pieces, and nostalgic advertisements.
  • Smitten: Created by a local mother-daughter duo, Smitten is a charming store that sells both vintage and new home goods, clothing, local crafts, and gifts.

-Recommended by 202 and Cottage

Where to go for nightlife

Fredericksburg Night Life

To fully understand the intricacies of any city, you need to balance your daytime activities with some nightlife. Our innkeepers have come up with a list of must-hit spots to visit once the sun has set for the evening.


  • Hondo’s on Main: For delicious Hill Country cuisine and live entertainment, head to this restaurant in uptown Fredericksburg and realize their motto – “You can’t forget memories, so get on in here and make some!” This favorite hotspot has live music every night, as well as a Songwriters’ Showcase every Wednesday and a Gospel Lunch every Sunday.
  • Lincoln Street Wine and Cigar Bar: As Fredericksburg’s oldest wine and cigar bar, the Lincoln Street Wine and Cigar Bar offers an elegant yet relaxing atmosphere for guests to enjoy the finest wine, cigars, cheese, bread, and olives. Order a glass of port, select your cigar, and drink in the intoxicating fresh air of the Hill Country while sitting outside on the patio. And, on the weekends, you’ll be treated to live music and entertainment.
  • Rockbox Theater: This professionally cast live-music venue just off of Fredericksburg’s Main Street has 392 seats in its indoor theater (which happens to be a former furniture warehouse) and produces shows every weekend, keeping the city well-stocked with quality entertainment. Originally, the theatre focused on rock ‘n’ roll and the music of the 1950s-1960s, but in 2012, they began adding special events to the calendar to continue to serve their patrons’ needs. These events focused on shows featuring classic bands that are still touring the United States, as well as tribute artists and modern original groups.


Other venue suggestions:

  • Fredericksburg Theater Company: Formed in 1997 by Jeryl Hoover, the mission of the Fredericksburg Theater Company is “to provide superior theatrical programs for regional participation which entertain, education, enrich, and inspire.” The intimate, 250-seat venue offers excellent stage views from every angle, and the much-acclaimed company produces exciting Broadway musicals, award-winning dramas, side-busting comedies, and works from the classical repertoire.

-Recommended by Queen Anne B&B and Spa

  • Crossroads Saloon & Steakhouse: This impressive restaurant and entertainment venue offers patrons fresh seafood, mouth-watering steaks cooked to perfection, and some of the best live music and entertainment to be found in Hill Country. They also offer a nice selection of wines, locally-brewed and imported beers, and top-shelf liquor. Plus, guests can choose a cigar from the restaurant’s humidor to enjoy by the fireplace on the patio after dinner.

-Recommended by Barons CreekSide

  • Luckenbach, Texas: This local favorite was originally established as a trading post in 1849 but has since become a favorite spot for local musicians to gather for acoustic jam sessions out under the 500-year-old oak trees during the summer months and inside by the General Store’s potbelly stove during the winter months. Also, the historic dance hall on site regularly hosts the very best of live boot-scooting Texas music.

-Recommended by >202 and Cottage

Events

Oktoberfest in Fredericksburg

While planning your trip to Fredericksburg, check the dates on the following popular events to make sure you don’t miss them while you’re in town.

These events come highly recommended by multiple innkeepers:

  • Oktoberfest: As we’ve already emphasized, Fredericksburg is extremely proud of its German heritage and celebrates it in many different ways, including by hosting Oktoberfest activities. This festival is a weekend-long, community-wide event full of family entertainment featuring three stages of continuous oompah music, a German bier tent, an Oktoberfest Vineyard area, as well as delicious Bavarian food at its very best. (Fall)

Other event suggestions:

  • St. Nikolausmarkt with Christmas Parade Night: With a strong nod toward its German roots, Fredericksburg kicks off each holiday season in the Marktplatz (Market Square) with St. Nikolausmarkt, patterned after the famed Christmas markets of Germany with holiday shopping, ethnic food and beverages, traditional entertainment, and a visit from St. Nikolaus himself. Additionally, the annual Fredericksburg Chamber of Commerce Christmas Parade passes St. Nikolausmarkt on its route down Main Street. (Winter)

-Recommended by 202 and Cottage

  • Historic Holiday Home Tour: Typically held over the first weekend in December, the Holiday Home Tour allows visitors to get an up-close-and-personal look at the sites in the historic Fredericksburg area. Homes and buildings along the tour route are festively decorated for the season, and past tours have often included a box lunch from one of the local restaurants as part of the event. (Winter)

-Recommended by Cat’s Meow Bed & Breakfast

Where to go for day trips

Winery Tour in Fredericksburg

These day trips come highly recommended by multiple innkeepers:

  • Enchanted Rock State Natural Area: This huge, pink granite formation is geographical landmark approximately 15 miles north of Fredericksburg that covers 640 acres and rises 1,825 feet above sea level. It’s one of the largest underground rock formations uncovered by erosion in the United States and was declared a National Natural Landmark in 1970. In 1994, Texas opened it as a 1,643-acre state park after adding facilities, while, later that year, it was also added to the National Register of Historic Places. The park features seven miles of hiking trails that offer visitors breathtaking views, while separate areas have been set up for camping, rock climbing, and picnicking.
  • Winery Tours>: The Texas Wine Country is home to more than 30 wineries, and, four times a year, the Texas Hill Country Wineries plan special wine trails and events to help visitors learn more about the grapes grown in the area and the wine produced from those grapes. These trails are self-guided driving tours that allow each guest to tailor their afternoon to fit their personal preferences and tastes, and some of them even include food and/or chocolate pairings.






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