Looking for a quick day trip or weekend getaway? Visit Fredericksburg, Texas! Located just an hour away from Austin, Fredericksburg is rich with the culture of German pioneers who settled here over 175 years ago. Fredericksburg features six weeks of festival holiday entertainment, Thanksgiving weekend through the first week in January., with a 26- foot German Christmas Pyramid and 30-foot Community Christmas Tree at Marktplatz making it one of the top romantic getaways for the holidays.
SEE ALSO: 19 Best Road Trips From Austin
Willkommen auf Fredericksburg! Here is my ultimate guide to the best things to do in Fredericksburg Texas – where to stay, best restaurants, wineries, and other things to do.
FAQ on Fredericksburg
Founded in 1846, Fredericksburg was named after Prince Frederick of Prussia by Baron Otfied Hans von Meusebach. After arriving in New Braunfels in 1845, Meusebach set out to select a second settlement of land and decided on what is now known as Fredericksburg. He purchased 10,000 acres on credit and allotted each settle one town lot and 10 acres of farmland. Farmland homes were built with stone and rocks and referred as “Sonntag Haus’ or “Sunday House.” A Sunday House had one room downstairs, a sleeping loft upstairs with an outdoor stairway to get from one room to the other, front porches, and gingerbread lace trim. German immigrants sat on their porches and socialized with neighbors on Sunday afternoons before handing back to their farms, hence, the name “Sunday House.” Sunday house homes and beautiful sone and rock farmhouses in Fredericksburg have been preserved.
Why are the streets so wide in Fredericksburg you might ask. Well, back in the day the, streets were designed to be wide enough so oxen carts could be turned around.
Back in the day, the Lions Club took on the project of giving all the streets names and purchased and installed street signs. It was then that it was decided to name the streets running north and south across Main to spell out words. Starting at Courthouse Square, all of the streets crossing Main to the east were named so that their first letters would spell out “All Welcome” – Adams, Llano, Lincoln, Washington, Elk, Lee, Columbus, Olive, Mesquite, and Eagle. Traveling west from the Courthouse Square, the streets spell out “Come Back” – street names are Crockett, Orange, Milam, Edison, Bowie, Acorn, Cherry, and Kay. Many of the streets found throughout the city are named in honor of trees – Mesquite, Cherry, Cottonwood, Hackberry, Liveoak, Mulberry, Apple, Orange, Plum, Pear, Pecan, Poplar, Spruce, Sycamore, and Walnut. Naturally, there is a street named peach, in honor of the county’s most popular and prolific fruit.
Fredericksburg is home to more than 400 festivals and special events each year.
- April – Wildflower Events, Luckenbach Hill Country Run Motorcycle Rally
- May – Becker Vineyards Lavender Festival, Crawfish Festival
- June – Hill Country Film Festival, Blanco Lavender Festival, Stonewall Peach JAMboree, and Rodeo
- October – Oktoberfest, Brewfest, Food & Wine Fest
- November – Peddler Show, Lighting of the German Christmas Pyramid & Tree
- December – Lighting of the German Christmas Pyramid & Tree, Light the Night Christmas Parade & Afterglow
This small town only has a population of 11,000 but over 1.5 million people visit annually.
Best places to stay in Fredericksburg
Fredericksburg is known for its cute rentals and Airbnbs with the first boutique hotel, Albert Hotel, opening in Summer ’22.
Modern farmhouse located one block off the West end of Main Street in Fredericksburg’s Historic District. The owner’s primary residence next door is a 100-year-old farmhouse that is well known around town as the “Old Wehmeyer House”. One king-sized bed, queen sleeper sofa, a newly remodeled bathroom with shower for 2, lovely front porch, and fully equipped kitchen for 4 guests.
720 W. San Antonio St. airbnb.com/rooms/
Century House is a Queen Anne Victorian cottage that was built in 1916 located one block off of the East end of Main Street in Fredericksburg’s Historic District. Two bedrooms, one bath, full kitchen, outdoor fire pit, front porch swing, and a large screen-in porch that can accommodate up to five guests.
404 E. Travis St., ollivanderandbee.com/century-house
Stonewall Motor Lodge
Originally built in 1964 to house the US Secret Service and Press Corp when Lyndon B Johnson became President, Stonewall Motor Lodge, formerly Stonewall Motel is located in the middle of the Hwy 290 Wine Trail (14818 US Hwy 290 E, Stonewall, TX) and sits less than fifteen minutes away from over fifty wineries, distilleries, and breweries.
14818 US Hwy 290 E, Stonewall, TX, stonewallmotorlodge.com
Blue Skies Retro Resort
This Palm Springs-inspired vintage trailer resort featuring five 1961 reissued Shasta campers will transport you back to nostalgic times. There’s a Pal Springs-inspired pool with beautiful Texas Hill Country views. Each trailer has its own individual yard with a double bed featuring Casper mattresses with A/C, heating, microwave, small refrigerator, TV, WiFi, half bath, and record players. There is a large pavilion for family gatherings, corporate events, wellness retreats, wedding parties, and more.
13372 N State Hyw 16, Willow City, TX, blueskiesretroresort.com
SEE ALSO: 5 Best Spots For Glamping Near Austin
Best Wineries In Fredericksburg
Wineries are a cornerstone of the tourist industry in the Hill Country and many wineries offer wine tours and tastings for those looking to expand their knowledge of the winemaking process and to taste the multitude of flavors offered by each winery. There are over 50+ wineries from Fredericksburg
to Stonewall and Hye with wines from dry to sweet of whites and reds.
There is a Wine Road 290 shuttle bus that departs from the Inn on Barons Creek to visit some of the best wineries along the 290 Wine Trail. There is a shuttle that picks up every 10 minutes on Fridays from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. and every Saturday from 10 am until 6 pm. The all-day pass is only $39.99.
Welcome to Texas wine country!
Ab Astris Winery
Small family-owned boutique winery with an outdoor patio. The tasting room and winery are open Monday through Thursday, noon to 6 p.m., as well as Friday and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Exclusive VIP Production Tours can also be reserved throughout the week.
320 Klein Road, abastriswinery.com
This Texas-grown vineyard has a tasting room that is open Monday through Thursday, noon to 6 p.m., as well as Friday and Sunday,
11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Exclusive VIP Production Tours can also be reserved for Friday through Sunday.
140 Augusta Vin Lane, augustavin.com
Barons Creek Vineyards
Wine tastings, private rooms for large groups, an elegant covered patio where you can enjoy wine by the glass with cheese and charcuterie. Reservations are highly recommended for wine tastings on weekdays and required for weekends. There are also 12 luxury villas on property for overnight guests.
5865 E, US-290, Fredericksburg, TX, baronscreekvineyards.com
Becker Vineyard’s winery is a 10,000 sq ft facility that is a reproduction of a late 19th century German stone barn, a prevalent style of the Texas Hill Country. Tours at the Estate Winery are offered subject to staff availability and production schedules. You can also visit their second tasting room located in downtown Fredericksburg at 307 US-87.
“Dolce Vin” dessert wine experience – Becker Vineyards just launched a new dessert tasting experience with 4 chef-prepared, petite desserts paired with 4 different dessert wines by Estate Chef Michael Lockhart.
464 Becker Farms Rd, beckervineyards.com
Heath Sparkling Wines
If you like sparkling wines then you’ll love Health Sparkling Wines. This architecturally stunning tasting room features modern, clean lines and panoramic vineyard views – enjoy sparkling wines paired with seasonal small bites.
10591 U.S. 290 East, heathsparkling.com
Grape Creek Vineyards
Located next door is Grape Creek Vineyards,
Grape Creek also has a tasting room on Main Street in downtown Fredericksburg.
10587 U.S. 290 East, grapecreek.com/visit/
Kalasi Cellars is a boutique winery based in Fredericksburg, Texas, just 5 minutes from the center of town and half a mile off wine road 290! We feature dry wines including some more common varietals and blends, and also some rare varietals and blends that are unique to Texas. All of the wines are made using 100% estate-grown grapes from the Texas High Plains (Narra Vineyards) and from the Texas Hill Country (at the tasting room). Additionally, the production winery in Fredericksburg allows them to make all wines in-house, giving us end-to-end control to craft the very best wines possible for guests to enjoy. At both of the estate vineyards, Kalasi is focused on growing exceptional quality fruit through sustainable practices.
414 Goehmann Ln, kalasicellars.com
Lost Draw Cellars
Lost Draw Cellars is 100% Texas-grown grapes and 100% Texas wines with their vineyards in the Texas High Plains. The tasting room is located a few blocks off of Main Street – choose from wine tastings, wine by the glass, or bottle.
113 E Park St, lostdrawcellars.com
Messina Hof was the fourth winery in the state of Texas, and has now expanded to four locations – Bryan, Hill Country, Grapevine and Harvest Green. Our Fredericksburg tasting room hours are Tuesday – Sunday from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. You can enjoy over 50 wines from 100% Texas Grown Grapes.
9996 U.S. 290 East, Messinahof.com
145 acres of oak-shaded land with an unparalleled view of the beautiful Pedernales River Valley is Pedernales Cellars. Enjoy a tasting of six wines off a fixed tasting menu. Hours are Monday through Thursday, 10 am – 5pm; Friday and Saturday, 10 am – 6pm; and Sunday, noon – 5pm.
2916 Upper Albert Road, Stonewall, Pedernalescellars.com
Signor is one of the prettiest vineyards in Fredericksburg – a romantic estate with flowers and delicious wines. They do have sandwiches and charcuterie boards.
362 Livesay Ln, signorvineyards.com
William Chris Vineyards
William Chris Vineyards creates Old World-style Texas-grown wines. Since 2008, winegrowers William “Bill” Blackmon and Chris Brundrett have expanded the estate vineyards and partner with family-owned farms to source only the highest quality fruit. At William Chris, they pride themselves on sharing the genuine taste of Texas terroir while delivering a one-of-a-kind experience. The Old World method integrates farming, tradition, and local culture, and Bill and Chris kept this in mind as they sought out a property to build their winery. Deciding on a pioneer farm settlement in the historic town of Hye, Texas, they began the project to restore the 1905 Deike farmhouse, the future William Chris Tasting Room. William Chris Vineyards is pleased to share a piece of their world and cannot wait to share it with you.
10352, US-290, Hye, TX, williamchriswines.com
Things To Do In Fredericksburg
Driving down Main Street, you’ll see many boutique shops, art galleries, tasting rooms, and restaurants. I highly recommend parking your car and exploring by foot!
Enchanted Rock State Natural Area
Fredericksburg’s most iconic outdoor activity is a granite monolith located 17 miles north of town. Enchanted Rock stretches up 1,825 feet in elevation, an awesome sight to visitors as they drive along Ranch Road 965. The 1,643-acre park straddles the Gillespie and Llano county line. It opened as a state natural area in October 1978 after its purchase from Charles Moss by the Nature Conservancy of Texas.
- The park has its main campground which includes restroom facilities, but also primitive camping sites throughout the park. (Interestingly, humans have camped in the area for 12,000 years.) Burn bans are in effect during dry times.
- Trails, including the dome hike or the 4½2-mile -Loop Trail wind throughout the park. Guided hikes are also offered. (Check the park’s Events page on the park website for more events.)
- Technical rock climbers also are welcomed to this popular site. (Waiver forms must be signed at the front office. Take note that if you are choosing to go rock climbing, Enchanted Rock is made of granite and becomes very slippery when it rains.)
Reservations: Visitors need to make a reservation to get into the park now through Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s online system. Book online at texasstateparks.reserveamerica.com. Park entrance fees have risen to $8 per person, while children 12 and under are free.
16710 Ranch Road 965, tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks/enchanted-rock
The flower-filled business, located on U.S 290 East at 100 Legacy Drive, is home to the largest seasonal and family-owned wildflower farm in the United States. More than 200 acres at its headquarters are filled with color year-round as blooms beautify the roadside attraction. And the company has more than 1,000 acres of cultivated fields around the state.
With a recent addition of grapes, Wildseed Farms now represents one of the Hill Country’s largest growers of that crop, too, filling a huge need for locally grown grapes to service wineries. Founder John R. Thomas has won local, state and national recognition for his contributions to land conservation and beautification. The store specializes in seeds for native plants that make the Hill Country pop year-round with color, but it also offers an assortment of other retail items.
The farm offers weekly live music on Saturdays at its Brewbonnet Biergarten.
Visitors can explore walking trails, watch the farm staff work and take photos. In Pick Your Own fields, visitors can create custom bouquets. This is seasonal and may not always be available. Areas of interest at Wildseed are Blossom’s Boutique, Lantana’s Nursery, the biergarten, and The Meadows walking trail. Wildseed Farms has opened its own tasting room on-site, carrying a variety of local Texas wines. Plant and flower lovers can order seeds of individual species, regional mixes, varieties of cosmos, zinnias, and sunflowers, along with native grasses and culinary herbs. There are also garden products and specialty foods. Its catalog features over 90 varieties of wildflowers, grasses, herbs, and exotic garden variety seeds. The farm offers a complimentary seed catalog to each visitor. The publication also offers helpful planting tips and how-to’s.
100 Legacy Dr, wildseedfarms.com
LBJ National Historical Park
Learn about the life and legacy of the 36th president of the United States by visiting the Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park. The park is divided into two components – one in Stonewall and one in Johnson City. The LBJ Ranch makes up the Stonewall side of the park, while the BJ Boyhood home and the Johnson settlement are located in Johnson City in Blanco County.
The LBJ Ranch operating hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily (visitors must be through the inbound gate by 4:30 p.m.). The park is closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day. The first stop on any tour of the LBJ Ranch is at the LBJ State Park and Historic Site Visitor Center, which is located 17 miles east of Fredericksburg off of U.S. 290. Free permits for the driving tour are available starting at 9 a.m. and continuing through 4 p.m.
The tour leads visitors onto Ranch Road 1 crosses the Pedernales River near the Junction School where President Johnson began his education at age four. The tour also stops at the President’s reconstructed birthplace, then the Johnson family cemetery, where President and Mrs. Johnson are laid to rest.
1048 Park Road #49, Stonewall, TX, nps.gov/lyjo/index.htm
LBJ State Park and Historic Site
Not only is the Lyndon B. Johnson State Park and Historic Site at Stonewall a must-see destination, it is also an adventure. It’s a place where historians, naturalists, recreationalists, wildlife viewers, political enthusiasts, wildflower lovers, walkers, anglers, outdoor enthusiasts and more can find something of interest. The park features historical exhibits, memorabilia, and a living history farm with recreational sports, nature trails and bicycling opportunities, shopping, and more.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, there are no events or activities currently scheduled and admission to the park is limited, but it may be fully open soon.
Reservations are suggested for day visits and camping by going to https://texasstateparks.reserveamerica.com/. For updated information, visit http://tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks/lyndon-b-johnson.
The LBJ State Park and Historic Site honors Gillespie County native Lyndon B. Johnson, the 36th President of the United States. A Visitor Center complex houses exhibits and memorabilia focusing on the late president’s two terms of office. Be sure to check out the “Texas White House.”
There’s also an auditorium that accommodates up to 225 persons for free films shown daily and a gift shop that is open daily from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Visitor Center is the first stop for any tour to the LBJ Ranch, which is a part of the Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park. Attached to the Visitor Center is the Behrens Cabin, a two-room dogtrot cabin built during the 1840s by German immigrant Johannes Behrens.
199 Park Road 52, Stonewall, TX, tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks/lyndon-b-johnson
Located at 325 West Main Street, the museum complex features year-round activities, displays, and hands-on demonstrations for families. With other purchases and donations by the GCHS. the Pioneer Museum site has grown to encompass three acres and Il buildings. Nine of the buildings are historic structures included on a tour of the Pioneer Museum grounds. The Society has over 300,000 artifacts within its rich and diverse collection that portray the rich German heritage of Fredericksburg and Gillespie County.
Admission: Regular museum admission is $7.50 for adults, $3 for youth ages 6 to 17 years and free for children 5 years of age and younger.
Hours: Open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday, closed Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.
325 W Main St, pioneermuseum.net
National Museum of the Pacific War
Interweaving the stories of America, China, Japan, and other Asian countries, the chronicle of how World War II was won in the Pacific can be found in Fredericksburg at the National Museum of the Pacific War. Encompassing six acres, museum visitors can explore 33,000 square feet of indoor exhibits featuring dozens of media presentations, outdoor Pacific Combat Zone where reenactments bring the battles to life in front of your eyes, almost 1,000 artifacts in climate-controlled cases, 15 macro-artifacts, and hundreds of photographs. The museum, now a Smithsonian Affiliate, honors the more than 100,000 Americans who gave their lives in the war against Japan by “truthfully and respectfully telling the story of their struggles, their sacrifices, and their triumphs.” The museum also honors the eight million Americans who served in World War Il across the globe. Formerly known as the Nimitz Museum, in honor of Fredericksburg’s native son, Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, it was renamed to respect the wishes of Nimitz who wanted to ensure that all of the men and women who served and supported the war effort were honored. Nimitz served as Commander in Chief, Pacific Fleet, and Pacific Ocean Areas and led the naval victory against Japan.
Having achieved the rank of Fleet Admiral before his final victories, Nimitz signed the Japanese Instrument of Surrender on behalf of the United States in the historic ceremony aboard the USS Missouri. Nimitz is memorialized with an eight-foot bronze statue that stands on the museum grounds.
“The National Museum of the Pacific War connects people to the experiences and stories of those affected by World War II in the Asiatic-Pacific Theatre by interpreting its enduring relevance,” said a spokesperson for the museum.
Admission: Adults are $18, $14 for senior, $12 for military, and free for WWII veteran
311 E Austin St, pacificwarmuseum.org
Old Tunnel State Park
An old abandoned railroad tunnel is home to up to three million bats from May through October. During those months, visitors can
watch the bats emerge from the tunnel nightly. Visitors can come to Old Tunnel State Park during these months to watch the bats emerge from the tunnel which was originally built in 1913. The tunnel was used by the Fredericksburg and Northern Railroad until its abandonment in 1941. Now it is home to three million Mexican free-tailed and 3,000 cave myotis bats that spread out over the region and feast on insects and moths across the Hill Country. Bat viewing begins May 1. There are 30 permits available for the upper viewing area and 15 available for the lower viewing area. Permits for entry into the park and fees for the bat viewing must be purchased online. No permits will be sold onsite.
Millions of bats funnel out of the abandoned railroad tunnel nightly at Old Tunnel State Park between May and October, and eat 25 tons of moths per night.
Admission: The activity tour fee for the upper viewing area is $2 per person regardless of age. The area will be limited to 30. The fee for the lower viewing area is $5 per person and seating will be limited to 15. Due to the bat’s sensitivity to noise disturbance, children must be four years old to go to the lower area.
10619 Old San Antonio Road, Fredericksburg, TX, tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks/old-tunnel
Other fun things to do in Fredericksburg:
- Vereins Kirche Museum
- Luckenbach – a neighboring town that has a general store, a bar, and a dance hall
- Lady Bird Johnson Municipal Park
- Rockbox Theater
- Fort Martin Scott
- Fredericksburg theater company – best place to watch Broadway shows, Christmas classics, and Shakespearean plays
Best Restaurants In Fredericksburg
- Emma + Ollie – named after their grandmother’s, Emma + Ollie serves comfort food for breakfast and lunch with soups, sandwiches, scones, old-fashioned cakes and cookies. Don’t miss the beignets!
- Caliche Coffee Bar
- Java Ranch
- Clear River Ice Cream, Bakery & Deli – retro diner serving sandwiches, salads, soups, and ice cream since 1989
- West End Pizza – located in an old Victorian home next to August E’s. Patio bar and live music on the weekends.
- Burger Burger – specialty burgers include the “Fredericksburger” with Bavarian-themed toppings sauerkraut, German sausage, and spicy brown mustard.
- Otto’s German Bistro – the most iconic restaurant in Fredericksburg for its German cuisine. A must-try in Fredericksburg! Reservations are highly encouraged or you can try walk-in.
- Hill & Vine – newly opened American restaurant with a beautiful large backyard. Live music on weekends.
- August E’s – modern Sonoma vibes with steak, quail to sushi.
- 78624 The Bar
- Chase’s Place Cocktails
- La Bergerie – super cute wine shop with snacks and bottles by the glass or bottle
Best Shops in Fredericksburg
Das Peach Haus
What began as a roadside market for fresh Fredericksburg peaches now serves as a showroom for hundreds of specialty products and is home to Fischer & Wieser Specialty Foods established in 1969. You’ll find a wine bar, bakery, culinary school (Fridays and Saturdays), and generous samples of jellies, jams, salsas, and sauces.
1406 S US Hwy 87
Cute home goods and clothing store – FarmHaus Antiques is where you will find everything you need to decorate your modern farmhouse. This Fredericksburg antique shop is the place to go when you want authentic French antiques without hopping on a plane.
211 W Main St #3709
Lock, Stock & Barrel
Specialty jams, vinegar, oils, and more.
134 E Main St
Chocolat (Quintessential Chocolates) specializes in liquid liquor and wine-filled chocolates.
251 W Main St
Other shops in Fredericksburg
- Barefoot – t-shirts, hats, etc
- Headquarters Hats – Stenson & Lucchese boots
- Fritztown Mercantile – this local shop reminds me of Urban Outfitters but with local vendors!
- Camp Hayden – cute camp t-shirts and gifts
- San Saba Soap Company