To get a sense for the origins of Fredericksburg, all you have to do is stroll down Main Street. Droves of German immigrants moved to Central Texas in the 1830s, bringing their culture, architecture, food, and, significantly, drink: not only did they build beer gardens, several of which remain today, but they also planted the grape seeds that resulted in the dozens of vineyards in the Hill Country. And as you will see below, Fredericksburg’s evolution has made it the perfect host to a variety of activities, indoor and outdoor, relaxing and enriching. Fredericksburg is conveniently located near both San Antonio and Austin, and is an ideal Hill Country getaway.
Photo by Cathy DiGiovanni via Flickr.
Don’t just go to the Herb Farm expecting patches of basil and rosemary. They certainly have both of those herbs, and many more, but the Herb Farm is less of an herb farm than it is a one-stop dine-and-shop herb emporium, featuring a restaurant, day spa, cabins, gift shop, garden and, yes, an herb farm. Find local crafts and garden art in the gift shop, herb-infused meals at the Farm Haus Bistro, and digest with a walk around the fragrant gardens. The 5000 square foot spa with treatment rooms is a popular destination, offering organic and eco-friendly body products and treatments. Travelers who love this place should consider the option to stay in their rustic Sunday Haus Cottages.
Photo by Don J Schulte via Flickr.
A rustic villa surrounded by rows and rows of sun-drenched grapevines doesn’t exactly sound like Texas, but Grape Creek Vineyards isn’t like most places in Texas. Its tagline is "Tuscany in Texas," and visitors would be hard pressed to disagree. But don’t think the winery is just for show, as Grape Creek Vineyards also produces award-winning wines which visitors can sample in its tasting room.
Photo by Jacq Davis via Flickr.
Families visiting Fredericksburg around spring/summer shouldn’t miss an opportunity to stroll around the strawberry fields and peach orchards at Marburger Orchard to pick the fruit of their bounty. They also offer blackberries and a variety of vegetables, so anyone who enjoys natural produce of any kind will appreciate the day out. Strawberries are in pluckable condition from March to May, peaches in May to August, blackberries from May to June, and vegetables in late summer. The orchard is located just five miles south of Fredericksburg.
Photo by Paul & Kelly via Flickr.
Fredericksburg’s most beloved son and war hero, Admiral Charles W. Nimitz, is immortalized in the National Museum of the Pacific War. More specifically in its Admiral Nimitz Museum, which is housed in the restored late 1800s Old Nimitz Steamboat Hotel. The centerpiece of the National Museum of the Pacific War, though, is the George H. W. Bush Gallery, a 33,000 square foot exhibit space that chronologically recounts the story of World War II’s Pacific theater of combat. Also included in the National Museum of the Pacific War is the Japanese Garden of Peace, a gift from the military leaders of Japan to honor Admiral Nimitz. The Plaza of Presidents, another outdoor memorial, pays tribute to the American presidents who served in the armed forces during the war.
Photo by Jason Rogers via Flickr.
Fifteen minutes north of Fredericksburg, the Enchanted Rock is a sun-kissed hill of pink granite and solid rock that’s ideal for camping, picnicking, hiking and admiring the circling birds. Intrepid explorers can camp on the rock, but otherwise it’s a mild hike up and over. The potable water in the area is somewhat unreliable, so hikers are encouraged to bring their own drinking water – and lots of it, since the hot Texas sun can be taxing on even a mild elevation. The sweeping panoramas at the top are well worth the trek, though, with stretches of trees and Texas countryside laid out for miles and miles.
Photo by Bruce Thornton via Flickr.
Locals flock to Hondo’s for their doughnut burgers, jalapeno margaritas and regular live music. From adorable two-stepping older couples to young lovers enjoying cocktails, the whole town congregates at Hondo’s in memory of the legendary Texan, Hondo Crouch, who bought the town of Luckenbach for $30,000. Now owned by his youngest daughter, Hondos is a town leader in classic Tex Mex and Southern music. Swing by on Sunday to catch their weekly Gospel Night.
Photo via their official FB page.
For an authentic Texas experience stay at the Back Forty of Fredericksburg, a bed and breakfast set in a ranch house on 40 acres of land just outside of town. The ranch looks out over Baron’s Creek, and guests can spend their leisure time watching the cattle and reflecting on the ranch life. Ladies will enjoy the ranch’s European Spa, while the boys will no doubt enjoy fishing on the lake.