May 12, 2024 - Things to Do

A guide to Fredericksburg in the Texas Hill Country

A field of bluebonnets in front of a wooden fence in front of a vineyard.

In the spring, you can see bluebonnet fields like this at a fun-filled farm just outside Fredericksburg. Photo: Megan Stringer/Axios

About an hour north of San Antonio, on a pretty, winding drive on U.S. 87, is Fredericksburg, the historic heart 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.

Between the lines: Fredericksburg has gained attention in recent years, as travel sites position it as a Napa rival and Yelp praises its family-friendly atmosphere.

  • A 2022 economic-impact survey commissioned by WineAmerica estimated that Texas' 443 producers drew more than 2 million tourist visits that year.

Yes, but: As the Texas Hill Country's wine scene matures, it's much more approachable than its California counterpart, as delightfully explained in Texas Monthly.

Zoom out: While the blanc-and-blush belt burgeons, hospitality groups and businesses are expanding options for visitors.

  • The Albert Hotel, a boutique stay, is opening on East Austin Street later this year.
  • Junebug's, a barbecue spot, and The Restaurant at Albert, a gourmet experience, are expected to open at the hotel later this year.
  • A 117-acre mixed-use development called The Sycamore is slated to open along the wine trail next year. It will feature a Salt Lick BBQ with a wine-tasting room.

What's next: Explore our guide to Texas' dynamic destination below.

Where to stay

Carter Creek Winery Resort & Spa: A winery with villas on-site, so you don't need to worry about a designated driver.

  • Price per night is around $289 for the summer.

Onera: A site of luxury treehouses, lodges and container homes integrated with nature.

  • Prices range from $319 to $850 per night, depending on the kind of home.

Hill Country Herb Garden: A set of cottages closer to downtown and Main Street.

  • The standard rate is $239 a night.

Where to eat and drink

A wooden table displays German food like brats and grilled fish, with a large mug of beer.
German fare from The Auslander. Photo: Megan Stringer/Axios

Keidel Pharmacy: A spot for coffee, baked goods, breakfast and lunch in a historic pharmacy building.

  • What to try: Lavender lemon shortbread

The Auslander: A German restaurant popular with tourists — it's literally in the name, which is the German word for tourist — looking for classic German Hill Country fare.

  • What to try: vegetarian sausage, grilled redfish, German beers
  • What to skip: Spätzle

Prometheus Pizza: A food truck with "Neopolitan/New Yorkish" style.

  • What to try: Galatea pizza with white sauce, mozzarella, olive, prosciutto and spring greens
An all-pink room with cushy pink chairs and a couch with pink pillows. Lit-up wall text reads "Let's Get Bubbly."
We weren't kidding when we said it's all pink. Photo: Megan Stringer/Axios

Brooke's Bubble Bar: A bright, all-pink bar with "Barbie" vibes. There's a bevy of champagne and similar bubble options, and even a pink sour beer.

Piccolina: A Main Street spot for small-batch Italian ice.

  • What to try: The proseccolina, a scoop of Italian ice topped with prosecco

What to do

A tall ice scream swirl in a cone with blurred flowers for sale in the background.
You can grab a swirl of peach and vanilla soft serve while walking around wildflower fields at Wildseed Farms. Photo: Megan Stringer/Axios

Wildseed Farms: A 200-acre wildflower farm and vineyard perfect to visit in the springtime, when you can frolic among the bluebonnets and other wildflowers. Plus:

  • Grab a glass of wine made at Wildseed Farms Vineyards.
  • Cool down with a soft serve ice cream in vanilla or Texas peach flavor, or a swirl of both.
  • Enjoy a bellini float — frozen peach wine from the vineyard topped with peach ice cream.
  • Shop wildflower seeds in the gift shop, or find specialty foods to go at the Brewbonnet Biergarten.

Das Peach Haus: Wander around the old-timey country store for specialty goods, light bites and sometimes live music.

  • Head to the pond area behind the building for views of the peach orchard and towering pine trees.

National Museum of the Pacific War: Take in World War II history and enjoy the Memorial Courtyard and Japanese Garden of Peace.

  • A regular adult ticket costs $24.

Enchanted Rock State Natural Area: Hike the mini-Ayers Rock that affords vast views of the Texas Hill Country.

  • Adult daily entry costs $8, and reservations are highly recommended.

Lyndon B. Johnson National Historic Park: In nearby Stonewall, visitors can tour the ranch on their own.

  • The "Texas White House" is closed for renovations, but the free Sauer-Beckmann Living History Farm at the adjacent LBJ State Park is worth a visit, and don't miss the resident bison herd.
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