A Complete Guide to Charming Fredericksburg, TX – Texas Hill Country at its Best!

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Fredericksburg, Texas, offers luxury accommodations, fine dining, and plenty of window shopping. However, the wineries, unique attractions, and history will have you returning repeatedly. Fredericksburg is an authentic Texas-German community just an hour’s drive northwest of San Antonio or 90 minutes from Austin.

This small town has a big city feel because of the experiences it provides visitors from Smithsonian-affiliated museums, renowned art galleries, award-winning wineries, and a sophisticated food scene. You can visit with rhinos and giraffes at the Longneck Manor or hike the challenging Enchanted Rock State Natural Area, relive the pioneer life at the Pioneer Museum, or lounge by the pool at the historic 1910 Queen Anne Victorian mansion, The Menagerie.

A two—to three-day itinerary would be great, but you may stay longer. Consider staying in one of the cabins or farms away from the city—like The Vine on Middle Creek. The best thing is that Fredericksburg is a Dark Sky Community that makes a conscious effort to keep the lights to a minimum so that you can admire the starry nights.

Things to Do in Fredericksburg, TX

Trolley Tour

Fredericksburg Trolley Fredericksburg TX Photo Credit DownshiftingPRO
Fredericksburg Trolley – Fredericksburg, TX__Photo Credit DownshiftingPRO

Getting a lay of the land is always helpful. Getting the history and highlights from a local guide is the best way to find insight into a destination. Enjoy a Historic Fredericksburg District Tour with Fredericksburg Trolley Tours. Your guide will transport you back in time to the days of the early German settlers as they made the Hill Country and Fredericksburg area their new home. Learn about historic architecture (including ‘Sunday Houses’) and how German settlers influenced it.

Pioneer Museum

Pioneer Museum Photo Credit DownshiftingPRO

Step back in time at the Pioneer Museum Complex — a collection of authentic structures preserved from the 19th century German Pioneer days, including the Weber Sunday House, which served as a place to rest and eat when the family made the seven-mile trip to Fredericksburg on weekends to attend church or to trade with other settlers.

This is a great way to spend the day with children and have them learn about life in the mid-19th century. There are carriages, a fully furnished homestead, and even a barbershop.

Vereins Kirche Museum

Vereins Kirche Museum Photo Credit DownshiftingPRO
Vereins Kirche Museum Photo Credit: DownshiftingPRO

A day pass grants access to the Pioneer Museum, the Historic Jail, and the Vereins Kirche Museum. In the center of Marktplazs is Fredericksburg’s most iconic structure, a well-known city landmark. Inside this “Society’s Church” is an all-new collection of artifacts, paintings, and photos depicting Fredericksburg’s and the building’s interesting history. 

National Museum of the Pacific War

National Museum of the Pacific War Photo Credit DownshiftingPRO
On The Homefront: Growing up with War – the Children’s Exhibit Photo Credit: DownshiftingPRO

Tour the National Museum of the Pacific War. A Smithsonian Affiliate accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, the National Museum of the Pacific War provides the nation’s most comprehensive account of World War II in the Asiatic-Pacific theater. Discover the human story of
World War II in the Pacific in more than 55,000 square feet of exhibit space spread over three galleries on six acres in the heart of Fredericksburg, Texas.

Join a guided tour and stop by the Pacific Combat Zone (an outdoor stage where they simulate war scenes). A guide’s insights will give you a deeper understanding of the momentous struggle between Allied and Japanese forces that took place on the islands of the Pacific. Visit the recently added exhibit, Children On The Homefront: Growing up with War – the Children’s Exhibit depicts World War II on the home front in the United States through children’s eyes.

Japenese Peace Garden

Japenese Peace Garden National Museum of the Pacfic War Photo Credit DownshiftingPRO
Japanese Peace Garden – National Museum of the Pacific War Photo Credit: DownshiftingPRO

A gift from the people of Japan to the people of the United States (May 1976), the Japanese Garden of Peace symbolizes the complicated but firm friendship between the two countries. The garden is a tribute to Japanese Admiral Heihachiro Togo, whose leadership and strategic acumen often inspired and influenced Admiral Nimitz. The garden includes a replica of Togo’s study in Japan and features elements of a traditional Japanese garden, including a fish pond, raked stones, and large rocks.

Longneck Manor

Feeding Giraffes at Longneck Lodge Fredericksburg Texas Photo Credit DownshiftingPRO 2

Tour Longneck Manor with an up-close encounter and photo opportunities with four of the most delightful giraffes and three rhinos you have ever met. Longneck Manor is over 100 acres in the beautiful Hill Country of Texas. Home to rhinos and giraffes born in accredited US zoos, it offers guests a personalized wildlife experience. You can stay in the suite in the barn and wake up with the giraffes just outside your living room. Seeing them eye-to-eye.

Hike Enchanted Rock

Hike the wondrous Enchanted Rock. Located in Gillespie and Llano Counties, Enchanted Rock State Natural Area has been attracting visitors for years. The Area offers park camping, picnicking, 8.4 miles of hiking trails, a nature trail, interpretive exhibits, rock climbing, and more.

Window Shopping

Understandably, shopping is one of the primary reasons that visitors come to Fredericksburg. You’ll find a staggering collection of home décor, mindfully curated beauty products, women’s fashion
ranging from vintage to upscale contemporary, handmade jewelry, antiques, artwork, gifts and much more. Fredericksburg doesn’t allow big box stores on Main Street, allowing small, family-owned businesses to flourish. Explore a variety of Fredericksburg’s locally owned shops ranging from soaps to fine art and German imports.

Wineries in Fredericksburg, TX

Taste a few of the more than 60 wineries, vineyards, and tasting rooms in the Fredericksburg area. The Gillespie County wineries produce a variety of quality wines that have won both state and national honors. Wine production in Fredericksburg even dates back to the original settlers, who used the native mustang grape to produce wines.

Meierstone Vineyards

Meierstone Vineyard Fredericksburg TX Photo Credit DownshiftingPRO 1

Meierstone Vineyards is located on the 555-acre Meierstone Ranch, a fifth-generation working farm and ranch. This family-owned operation strives to create premium wine using sustainable and locally sourced grapes.

Barelle Vineyards

Barelle Vineyards is a winery created to showcase and elevate women winemakers from Texas and abroad. Each uniquely crafted wine showcases the winemaker’s skill at bringing all the elements of art and science to your palette.

Signor Vineyards

Visit the tasting room, which features award-winning wine and French country gardens, and shop at Joanna’s Market. Also, view their new Harvest Room, the perfect versatile and inviting setting for private events, company retreats, holiday gatherings, and more.

Ab Astris Winery

Ab Astris Winery, founded in 2018, is a 12-acre family-owned and operated vineyard. Dedicated to making the highest-quality wine, Ab Astris sources Texas-grown fruit for its handcrafted vintages.

Where to Eat in Fredericksburg, TX

Eaker Barbecue

Eaker Barbeque Fredericksburg TX Photo Credit DownshiftingPRO

Lance and his “Queen-of-Sides” wife, Boo, took a leap of faith with a dash of craziness in 2018 putting their feet to fire by bringing their love of food, specifically barbecue, to the game. Voted on the Top 50 BBQ list by TexasMonthly in 2021, Eaker serves up what Lance refers to as “South Texas Style” barbecue, using primarily mesquite with post oak to slow-smoke prime meats. Boo’s Korean heritage-inspired menu items give Eaker Barbecue a unique twist! Try their Japchae (sweet potato noodles with veggies) or a side of kimchi with your pulled pork and ribs. You won’t leave hungry!

West End Pizza

Serving the community for almost 15 years, West End Pizza is a local favorite. Owner Janet Degenhardt moved to Fredericksburg, TX in 2003. West End Pizza crew has been satisfying hungry patrons with hot, brick oven-inspired goodness. All dough, sauces and desserts are made from scratch, and dietary restrictions aren’t a problem with gluten-free pizza, low-carb and keto-friendly crust options!

Cabernet Grill

Cabernet Grill Wine and Grill Restaurant Fredericksburg TX Photo Credit DownshiftingPRO

Discover an unparalleled Texas Hill Country experience at Cabernet Grill. Owner and Executive Chef
Ross Burtwell began his culinary education in the late ’80s, which led him to purchase the Cabernet Grill in 2002. Since then, the restaurant has been adorned with various awards, including USA Today’s
10Best Readers’ Choice Award in 2023, Traveler’s Choice Award in 2020 and Wine Enthusiast
America’s Best 100 Wine Restaurants in 2019. The highly curated food and wine menu features a
variety of aged certified Angus steaks, fresh wild-caught seafood, housemade desserts and an extensive list of wine pairings curated by Wine Director Elizabeth Rodriguez.

Dine at Alla Campagna

Alla Campagna opened in Summer 2023 and has been delighting guests with its Italian-inspired menu ever since. John and Evelyn Washburne, the owners of Otto’s German Bistro (another Fredericksburg classic eatery), have embarked on their newest culinary adventure, Alla Campagna. Their timeless design elements, such as their patio fountain, were crafted with help from local craftsmen and artisans. Focusing on farm-to-table, the menu serves up fresh veggies and locally sourced ingredients with decadent Texas wine pairings.

Sage Restaurant and Lounge

Sage Restaurant Lounge Photo Credit DownshiftingPRO
Sage Restaurant & Lounge Photo Credit DownshiftingPRO

Moody, dark, and surprisingly intimate, Sage Restaurant and Bar is a high-end, fine-dining experience with signature cocktails and a private lounge reminiscent of a New Orleans speakeasy. A group of friends founded Sage in a collaborative effort focusing on location, design, food, and wine. Coming from all over the globe, these friends came up with a plan to bring together their ideas and visions to encompass the world and make your culinary adventure a unique and eventful journey.

Where to Stay in Fredericksburg, TX

Fredericksburg has accommodation options for every taste and budget. You will find something interesting (and comfortable) from high-end rental properties to rustic cabins. Here are a few options, but read a more detailed luxury accommodations review here.

The Vine on Middle Creek

The Vine on Middle Creek
The Vine on Middle Creek – Photo Credit: DownshiftingPRO

Off the beaten path, these luxury suites have a lot of space, a delicious breakfast, and a very friendly dog named Zoe. Consider this a great option for stargazing in this Dark Sky Community.

Hoffman Haus

Hoffman Haus is a guest favorite, with various room configurations, Sunday houses, and motel options. From 286 to 504 sq. ft, these are not small rooms. All are unique and very well decorated to bring you back to yesteryear. There are also rustic houses and cottages to rent.

Longneck Manor

Luxury villas with multiple rooms or just the two of you. The bonus is the rhinos and giraffes you get to watch from your private deck. Relax in comfortable chairs to enjoy uninterrupted views of the African waterhole. Even if you cannot stay overnight, the 75-minute tour is so fun!

Das Peach Haus – Fischer & Wieser’s Farmstead

Das Peach Haus Fredericksburg TX Photo Credit Das Peach Haus DownshiftingPRO
Das Peach Haus, Fredericksburg, TX Photo Credit Das Peach Haus & DownshiftingPRO

The Fischer & Wieser’s Farmstead is an all-encompassing experience located surprisingly close to downtown Fredericksburg, TX. You don’t have to leave the property to enjoy a few days of rest and recreation at these rental properties. This property has so much to love because of its varied venues, from a large farmstead to Airstreams, a Pullman train car, and even a tiny house. Das Peach Haus Country Store is a beautiful food shop with many (and I mean many) delicious treats to enjoy: jams, jellies, and sauces. It also has a cooking school for those gourmet cooks looking for interesting recipes with local flavours.

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Margarita Ibbott is a travel and lifestyle blogger. She blogs about travel in Canada, the United States and Europe giving practical advice through restaurant, hotel and attraction reviews. She writes for DownshiftingPRO.com and other online media outlets.