A tour through Texas wine country, German fare, and spectacular views around Fredricksburg, Texas
s both Austin and San Antonio experience seemingly endless growth and urban sprawl, a place exists between the two cities where time seems to have stood still. Fredericksburg, a quaint little enclave nestled in the Texas Hill Country, was founded by German settlers in 1846. The charming main street strip features much of the original architecture, now housing restaurants, bars, and shops. While there is plenty to fill a weekend in the town itself, Fredericksburg also sits at the threshold of the verdant Hill Country, making it the perfect home base to explore a myriad of wineries in the area. In addition, it’s just a stone’s throw from Luckenbach, the historic honkytonk hub, as well as Enchanted Rock, a pink granite dome offering hiking trails and rock climbing. Whether you come for nature, wine, a quiet spa getaway, or a rollicking weekend of schnitzel and beer, Fredericksburg provides a respite from city life, deep in the heart of central Texas.
Check In and Check Out of Fredricksburg
For a night or two in town, it doesn’t get better than the rustic-chic Cotton Gin Village, made up of seven cottages and seven beautifully restored 19th-century log cabins, all accented with touches like tin ceilings and wood-burning fireplaces, state-of-the-art kitchen appliances, and rainfall showers. You’ll wake up to a complimentary three-tiered picnic basket breakfast delivered to your door from adjacent restaurant Cabernet Grill, where chef-owner Ross Burtwell uses locally sourced ingredients to craft dishes like chilled buttermilk peach soup and bacon-wrapped, smoked-strawberry-glazed Texas quail stuffed with pulled pork. Look for their all-Texas wine list (the nation’s largest), with 1,500 bottles spanning 50 different wineries. Fredericksburg’s Main Street is lined with independently owned shops. Power up with breakfast and a coffee at Caliche Coffee Bar, then hit Der Küchen Laden for high-quality cookware, cutlery, and other kitchen essentials—or peruse the curated selections of furniture and home and garden decor at FarmHaus Antiques and Black Chalk Home & Laundry. Take a break at Fredericksburg Pie Company for slices of homemade pie in a little bungalow that also carries vintage quilts and other trinkets.
Two Sip Across the Texas Hill Country
The Texas Hill Country is home to more than 100 vineyards and tasting rooms, and Fredericksburg is in the center of it all. In town, you can experience a tasting at Lost Draw Cellars, where fourth-generation farmer Andy Timmons uses High Plains and Hill Country grapes to craft high-quality wines. Located just outside of downtown is Kalasi Cellars, where Nikhila Narra Davis showcases the wine made from grapes her family grows in the West Texas High Plains. Drive out to Highway 290 for more—or better yet, book an experience with Cellar Rat Wine Tours, whose guides offer behind-the-scenes intel at high-quality wineries like William Chris Vineyards, Lewis Wines, Ab Astris, Kuhlman Cellars, and Calais Winery. If you lean more hophead than oenophile, Fredericksburg Brewing Company is the oldest brewpub in Texas set in a 1890s-era building where they brew 20 different lagers and ales through the year. Alstadt Brewery brews German-style beers and serves them in a Bavarian-inspired biergarten, which fills with live music each weekend. And fans of country music won’t want to skip over a visit to Luckenbach Texas, the historic general store, saloon, and dance hall Waylon Jennings wrote a song about, where you can still catch live music just about every weekend.
From Kraut to Caviar in Fredricksburg
Eating at least one German meal is nonnegotiable in Fredricksburg. The Old German Bakery & Restaurant is a homey family-owned spot serving all-day breakfast, like schnitzel with eggs and lacey German pancakes. Der Lindenbaum also began as a bakery, until chef-owner Ingrid Hohmann became known for her lunch specials and evolved into a full-service restaurant serving rheinischer sauerkraten (roast beef marinated for a week). Otto’s stands apart for seasonal, farm-to-table German cuisine and its notable German-Austrian wine list. La Bergerie, a wine bar and market housed in a bungalow just off the main strip, features a thoughtful curation of Old and New World wine plus housemade charcuterie and cheese from near and far. Cap off a day of wine tasting with fresh oysters and martinis—or a luxurious seafood tower and a whole lobster—at Martini’s Seafood House. Sage Restaurant & Lounge offers a chef’s tasting in its upscale dining room, or simply order bar bites and cocktails in their beautiful courtyard.
Get a Taste of Nature in Fredricksburg
For a walk through nature, head to Wildseed Farms, the country’s largest working wildflower farm, or Becker Vineyards, which grows and sells lavender products. Climbing Enchanted Rock is a rite of passage for Texans, and a favorite spot for hiking, camping, and rock climbing, with 11 miles of trails. The 425-foot pink granite batholith is a natural phenomenon that was both feared and respected by Comanche and Tonkawa tribes, so it is a site of many legends and a place of great spiritual significance. The best way to end a day here is to pack a picnic and watch the rock take on an ethereal pink glow.
- by TLP Editors
- by Hannah Lee Leidy
- by Amber Chase