Fredericksburg is a very interesting small town. I’ve been for two-day trips and most recently, a weekend stay with the boyfriend in the middle of February. It’s a good option for a weekend getaway if you live in Texas and you’re itching to explore somewhere new. This small town is very walkable, especially if you don’t plan on visiting wineries out of town. While it’s a tourist town, there are gem moments here and there that make you especially glad to be there. In all its guts and glory, here’s my experience of Fredericksburg.
A note before I begin: a big thank you to my friend and fellow blogger Amy for giving me recommendations about Fredericksburg. She knows her wine and has visited Fredericksburg several times so her suggestions were very helpful!
QUICK TIPS: My Recommended Top Things to Do in Fredericksburg
- Drink Wine: Grape Creek Vineyards (at winery or tasting room downtown) or Compass Rose Cellars
- Catch some live music and people-watch at Crossroads Saloon and Steakhouse or Lincoln Street
- Venture out to Enchanted Rock (since it’s only 20 minutes away)
Located in west Texas, Fredericksburg is located on 290 and about an hour and a half from Austin and a little more than four hours from Dallas.
WHERE TO STAY
We stayed at the downtown location, which was conveniently two blocks away from Main Street. It was a comfortable walk to all the restaurants and bars we wanted to visit, and we felt very safe walking around at night. We stayed in the Simple Pleasures room, which felt like a cute tiny house since it was complete with a small kitchen area and full-size refrigerator. Though the shower was a tight squeeze, the bed was very comfortable. The stay includes a breakfast and our room was stocked with cereal, coffee, milk, orange juice and a coffee cake. All Seasons has multiple properties around town, and I’d recommend them for a very comfortable stay!
WHERE TO EAT/DRINK
There is a good variety of eats in Fredericksburg. Here are the places I’ve enjoyed and recommend.
Otto’s is one of the recommended finer dining restaurants in Fredericksburg. We had highs and lows with our experience at Otto’s. I really enjoyed my Evy (gin) cocktail and the Foie Gras BLT. The Stuffed Quail (stuffed with sauerkraut) was good but my Duck Schnitzel was overpowering on the crisp breading and the duck flavor was hidden.
Looking for breakfast very early one morning, we found the cute Sunset Grill. The colors of mint and salmon inside made me wish I was at the beach. We arrived before 8am so it was still empty and quiet. One bite of my boyfriend’s smoked salmon eggs benedict and I knew I had lost at ordering. I got the Senorita Omelet, which was good but no eggs benedict. This meal was the highlight of my dining experiences in Fredericksburg!
I loved the look and atmosphere of this restaurant. It is underground from the home décor store by the same owners. The salmon tartare was a bit salty but the duck confit was very good.
While a grass-fed Old Fashioned burger with cheese combo will cost you close to $20, it was a good burger and delicious, crispy French fries.
This is a great wine bar with a roomy patio with live music. They have a wide selection of wine and not only Texas wines.
Fredericksburg Pie Company
Stop in here for a slice of pie!
This spot is an ice cream, deli and bake shop. Their ice cream is homemade and they have simple sandwiches.
WHERE TO PLAY
Main Street Fredericksburg
Main Street is a few blocks in downtown and filled with restaurants, bars, and shops. You could spend all day popping in and out of shops, and you’ll find an interesting mix of souvenirs, from cowboy boots to antiques and decorative signs.
There are about 40 wineries in the Fredericksburg and Hye area. If I were to come back to Fredericksburg, I would want to check out William Chris, Lost Draw Cellars, or Hye Meadow Winery, as I’ve heard good things about all of these. It could even be a doable day trip from Austin with a group of friends. Wineries usually require a tasting fee to try a few of their wines and the fee differs by each winery.
Texas Wine Tours
Since we had a great wine tour experience in Sonoma last year and we wanted a designated driver with local knowledge, we booked Texas Wine Tours after looking at reviews and pricing. Similar to the Sonoma experience, our guide Darryl was knowledgeable about the wine industry in the region and state. He had contacted us earlier in the week to tailor the four winery destinations to the preferences of the eight people on our tour. We ended up going to Grape Creek Vineyards, Compass Rose Cellars, 4.0, and Becker Vineyards. Overall, it was a good experience, and I found at least one wine I liked at each winery. My favorite wines were at Grape Creek Vineyards and my favorite experience was at Compass Rose Cellars. Here’s a little about each of the wineries.
Grape Creek Vineyards: I enjoyed the most kinds of wines at Grape Creek Vineyards. My favorites were the Viognier and Petite Sirah, though I also enjoyed their Pinot Grigio, Bellissimo, and Cabernet Trois. If you don’t want to venture out of downtown, they do have a tasting room on Main Street. They also have tasting rooms around Texas. The closest one to Austin is in Georgetown!
Compass Rose Cellars: We got to try five different wines, three of which had bite-size food pairings, with the owner telling us all about it. I love this kind of experiences because we got to hear from and converse with the visionary behind the winery. At Compass Rose Cellars, Mark was straight-forward that he was not trying to force his wine on us. If you liked it, great, if not, there’s more wine out there for you to try. I loved the additional food pairings because we got to taste how their wines were enhanced after the bite. It was also an easy sell to come back for their wine-paired dinners. This intimate experience was my favorite of the day and I enjoyed their El Zopilote Grenache 2013 and, surprisingly because it’s a port, their Iron Spike 2013.
Four Point Cellars: I liked this winery because it houses three wineries from out of town, so it’s likely to find something for everyone – from very sweet to the dark reds. My favorite wine from the Cellar Selection Tasting Flight was the Doc’s Tribute Red 2014 from McPherson Cellars.
Becker Vineyards: While this winery was very popular based on the crowds, our group was not as impressed, though it could be that it was the last stop of the day. From our tasting, I enjoyed the 2014 Jolie Rose and 2012 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon.
Crossroads Saloon and Steakhouse
We came here after dinner one night and it ended up being one of our favorite activities of the weekend. There was live music, two-stepping and lots of great people-watching. One area is strictly their restaurant and the other was the music, bar and dance floor. There were the cutest older couples dancing who left early to make way for five different bachelorette parties to hit the dance floor. It was a fun atmosphere!
National Museum of the Pacific War
The 6-acre museum complex includes the Admiral Nimitz Museum, the George H.W Bush Gallery, a Japanese Garden, and Memorial Courtyard. This is a great activity for history buffs.
One of Texas’ most visited sights is only 20 minutes away from Fredericksburg so it would be a great activity to throw into your trip. The entrance fee is $7 per person. Visitors usually take the Summit Trail, which is simply an up and down trip. Check the weather because if it rains more than a drizzle, they will shut down the Summit Trail because it gets very slick. If you hustle, you can get to the summit in 20 minutes. There are several other trails looping around the park if you’d like to hike more. They also have campsites. Check out my post about Enchanted Rock.
Have you visited Fredericksburg? What sights and restaurants would you recommend?