In 1846, a small city named Fredericksburg was founded in the Texas Hill Country. More than 150 years later, Fredericksburg has grown into a charming German village and is visited by thousands each year. A day trip to Fredericksburg is a must for Austinites and Austin visitors alike, so here are our insider tips on what to do once you’re there.
William Chris Vineyards. Credit Miguel Lecuona.
Wineries & Vineyards
The Hill Country Region is known for their wine, and there is no shortage of wineries to visit! You can find live music at William Chris Vineyard on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, and their outdoor patio is a great place to drink wine and snack on a cheese platter. Texas Hills Vineyard hosts events every month, from holiday parties to guided tastings. Stroll through the 10 acres of vineyards and land of Messina Hof Hill Country WInery and check out “Thursty Thursday” drink specials every week. Or, Spend a day strolling sprawling vineyards and sipping your way through a lineup of award-winning wines when you go on a Fredericksburg winery excursion with Discover Texas Wine Tours.
Dining & Shopping
Fredericksburg is one of the best destinations in Texas for authentic German and Czech dining. Make a visit to the Fredericksburg Brewing Company, the oldest brewpub in Texas, opt for a big breakfast at the Old German Bakery & Restaurant, pair a Paulaner with your schnitzel on the patio at Auslander or enjoy upscale New American fare in a comfortable bistro setting at Vaudeville.
Gillespie County is known for their juicy peaches. Several varieties are harvested May through August from Stonewall to Fredericksburg. Bite into a fresh, juicy peach picked right in the orchard, at Vogel Orchard and Bariloche Farm, or purchase them at the numerous roadside stands along your drive and at the Fredericksburg Farmers Market.
Stroll from shop to shop on Main Street, where you'll find everything from home decor and art galleries to antique shops and local artisans. Be sure to browse shops such as Blackchalk Home and Laundry or Farm Haus Antiques & Design. On every first Friday in Fredericksburg, many downtown art galleries participate in the First Friday Art Walk, opening their doors to showcase the fine talent from the area and beyond. Most galleries offer free wine and live entertainment within a fun, family-friendly atmosphere.
Enchanted Rock State Park. Courtesy of Pierce Ingram.
Outdoors & Hiking
As the name suggests, the Hill Country is set in the gently rolling hills of Central Texas. Explore the great outdoors at Enchanted Rock State Natural Area, where you can enjoy 8.4 miles of camping, hiking and rock climbing. The Old Tunnel State Park is an old railroad tunnel that is now home to millions of Mexican free-tailed bats, and you can watch them soar through the night sky on the upper viewing deck for free.
In the spring, the Hill Country is filled with a stunning array of wildflowers. One of the best places to view the spectacular bluebonnets, Indian paintbrushes and more is at Wildseed Farms, a family-owned wildflower farm with seemingly endless fields of blooms. Tee off at the resort-like Lady Bird Johnson Golf Course, an 18-hole, par 71 public golf course boasting firm, fast greens and challenging water and sand bunker features.
The quaint city is packed full of Texas history to keep you engaged. Pick out a souvenir at the legendary Luckenbach Texas General Store (housed in an 1800s trading post), or catch a country western concert any night of the week at Luckenbach Dance Hall. Visit the home of the 36th President of the United States, Lyndon Baines Johnson, at the Lyndon B. Johnson State Park and National Historical Park. See how the pioneers lived more than a centruy ago at the Sauer-Beckmann Living History Farm and marvel at the "Texas White House" where LBJ hosted politicians and diplomats from around the world. Explore historic structures and learn about the rich German heritage of Gillespie County at the Pioneer Museum.