Fredericksburg, a German community in the Texas Hill Country, is northwest of San Antonio. Here you can taste the German spirit in the cuisine and award-winning wine and feel the welcoming soul of the people.
Fredericksburg is famous for its small inns, “Sunday houses,” and traditional bed & breakfasts, with more than 1500 individual lodges available. I love the great art galleries, museums, and boutiques for shopping along Main Street.
I like to take the scenic country drive down US Hwy 67/281 and TX 16 from Dallas/Fort Worth to Fredericksburg through Hamilton, Goldthwaite, San Saba, and Llano. It may take a little longer because you are going through the little towns, but you avoid the traffic on I-35. It is also a prettier drive.
History of Fredericksburg
John O. Meusebach led German immigrants to settle in the area on May 8, 1846, under the Society for the Protection of German Immigrants in Texas.
He named the settlement Fredericksburg after Prince Frederick of Prussia.
Settlers received a town lot and 10 acres in the country for farming.
The farmers came into town on Saturday and stayed in their weekend “Sunday house” for shopping and worship.
Where to Stay in Fredericksburg
Wind through the vineyards to The Vine on Middle Creek, 10 minutes from downtown Fredericksburg, to find six cottages and a kitchen and dining area in a private courtyard.
I enjoyed grazing deer in the early mornings and lightning bugs flashing across the lawn at dusk.
Other accommodations include the mid-century modern Heavenly Hosts — Das 406 Gasthaus, a modern farmstead, Outlot 201 Guest Houses, and Behr House Bed and Breakfast, a relaxing country retreat on 4.8 acres near West Main Street.
Where to Grab a Bite
Take your choice with Traditional German cuisine at The Auslander Restaurant and Biergarten, contemporary German food at Otto’s German Bistro, Southern-style barbecue at Eaker Barbecue, and “Old Town” burgers at Altstadt’s Brewery. Top it off with a cold local German-style brew.
Enjoy migas for breakfast at Hilda’s, dinner at the award-winning Cabernet Grill featuring steaks, wild-caught seafood, an extensive list of wine pairings, and Chocolat for decadent chocolate candies.
Things to Do in Fredericksburg
There is no shortage of activities in Fredericksburg, and my advice is to make the Visitor Center your first stop.See the introductory film about the town and take the Historic Fredericksburg District Tour aboard a red trolley.
Visit the Pioneer Museum Complex, including the Weber Sunday House and several 19th-century structures on 3.5 acres.
See the Vereins Kirche, the Society Church, centered in the Marketplatz, or town square, serving as the early church, school, and community center.
Hill Country Herb Garden Restaurant and Spa features 14 individually decorated cottages, a nature spa, The Restaurant with garden-inspired eats and sips, a botanical garden featuring Texas culinary plants and herbs, and a gift shop.
Wildseed Farms is the nation’s largest working wildflower farm, with over a thousand acres of wildflowers and 42 acres of Texas grapes. Explore the gift shop, wildflower walking trail and gardens, Lantana Nursery and Pottery, and the Brewbonnet Biergarten. The farm ventured into wine-making and launched the tasting room in 2021.
Reserve a driver and explore the 290 Wine Road between Johnson City and Fredericksburg with more than 70 wineries to stop, sniff, swirl, and sip. We tasted Becker Vineyards, Lost Draw Cellars, Messina Hof, and Kuhlman Cellars. Some wineries offer places where you can spend the night.
The Lyndon B Johnson National Historical Park shares the schoolhouse where LBJ signed the landmark Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, the family cemetery, the ranch show barn, the airplane hangar, the LBJ Texas Whitehouse, and the visitor’s center.
Sauer-Beckman Living History Farm is a working farm that shows Texas pioneer life in the 1800s.
The 700-acre LBJ State Park features the park headquarters, cabins, a bison herd, longhorn cattle, and a nature trail with a botanical exhibit.
The world-class National Museum of the Pacific War offers the most thorough Asian-Pacific account of World War II from the Admiral Nimitz Foundation, the State of Texas, and the Texas Historical Commission.
Enchanted Rock State Natural Area is a massive 425-foot pink granite dome rising above the terrain north of Fredericksburg tied to myths and legends from way back. Join a star party at this International Dark Sky Park, hike the trails, camp, bird, and geocache.
St. Mary’s Catholic Church, one of the painted churches of Texas, offers brief tours of the beautiful stained-glass windows, the pulpit, altars, spires, and crosses. You are encouraged to look up to see everything pointing up to heaven.
Willkommen to Fredericksburg!