Feb 19, 2022 - News

Weekend getaway: The Hill Country hub of Fredericksburg

A road sign in German in Fredericksburg

A sign written with "Marktplatz - Vereinskirche" (literally, "market square - assembly church") seen in Fredericksburg. Photo: Chris Melzer/picture alliance via Getty Images

Ninety minutes due west of Austin, on a pretty, winding drive on U.S. 290, Fredericksburg is the historic home of the Hill Country and a great jumping off point for Central Texas wineries and state parks.

What to expect: Delightful century-old homes, a smorgasbord of German food — thanks to Germans who settled here in the 19th century — and lots of great antiques.

Where to stay:

Tourism is the chief industry here, and between Airbnbs and motels, there's no shortage of places to stay.

But if you're looking for charm and luxury, try the Hoffman Haus, a collection of small houses that include a 1905 farmhouse with pine floors, beadboard walls, big, sunshine-filled windows and a rustic, two-story log cabin — the sort with a walk-in shower.

  • Seasonal, locally sourced gourmet breakfast — such as the mushroom quiche or eggs Florentine — is brought to your room in a picnic basket promptly at 9am.

If you're up for roughing it, bed down at one of Enchanted Rock State Natural Area's several dozen campsites, perfect for star-gazing under a clear Texas sky.

What to do:

Fredericksburg, once just a pretty, old hamlet, has become heavily touristed in the last decade — but remains just on this side of chintz.

⚓️ Take in World War II history at the comprehensive National Museum of the Pacific War.

🥾 Hike Enchanted Rock, the mini-Ayers Rock that affords vast views of the Texas Hill Country.

🦓 Watch the exotic livestock auction at Raz's, just west of Fredericksburg, where zebras, scimitar-horned oryx and giant kudu are sold off as ranch playthings.

🗳 Check out the Lyndon B. Johnson National Historic Park in nearby Stonewall, also known as the Western White House.

🍑 Buy as many ripe peaches as you can get your hands on — farm stands crop up in Fredericksburg each summer — and you can buy the jarred variety from no shortage of shops in the offseason.

🍷 Imbibe some fine Texas wine at the Pontotoc Vineyard Weingarten.

🛍 Wobble up and down Fredericksburg's streets and pop into shops to find that perfect keepsake — we recommend the Red Baron Antique Mall.

What to eat:

Grab the beignets at Emma and Ollie's, a bakery and restaurant that puts together a juicy, crunchy chicken-salad sandwich.

Snag the Galatea pizza — roasted garlic ricotta, mozzarella, prosciutto and spring greens — at Prometheus.

Hit the Sunday brunch at Otto's German Bistro — for our money, the best restaurant in Fredericksburg.

  • Our faves are the spinach artichoke toast and the duck schnitzel, served with käsespätzle and rotkohl.

Bonus: In December, we laid out a Hill Country holiday day-trip itinerary.


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