The perfect weekend get-away can be found in Fredericksburg, Texas. There is so much to see and experience. However, without a little planning, you could leave feeling like you’ve just scratched the surface of this fabulous Hill Country town.
Following in the Footsteps of Locals
As this was my fifth visit, I decided it was time to get off the main grid, venture off the beaten path and discover something new. Of course, I hit Main Street; this is where the heart of the commercial district, and no matter how many times I visit there are shops and cafés I just can’t pass up. For example, I adore Gypsy & Cowgirls, Cherokee Charm, and Vaudeville Bistro, but my mission on this visit was to discover some new gems. To do this, I decided I needed to talk to the experts, the people who call this town home. I wanted to know what the locals loved most, favorite haunts and must-dos. To put my plan into action, I stopped in a quiet little wine bar on Main Street, House Wine, where a dozen or so people were kicked back seemingly content to while away a rainy afternoon sipping wine and shooting the breeze. Luckily, I found many locals eager to share you-can’t-miss-this advice. Diligently taking notes on every recommended destination, and the circuitous routes to find them, I decided I was sufficiently armed and ready for an adventure.
My original weekend plan included chartering a wine shuttle to spend the day visiting local wineries. There are seventeen, award-winning wineries to choose from along US Hwy 290, better known as Wine Road 290, the second most visited wine area in the USA——second only to California’s wine region. However, with my limited amount of time and a new list of must-see recommendations burning a hole in my pocket, I decided to throw caution to the wind and visit only the top two recommended vineyards to allow enough time for my new Hill Country adventure. Based on popular vote, I chose to visit Becker and William Chris Vineyards. Both wineries had beautiful and inviting landscapes, and both were extremely crowded. I quickly realized opting for the road less traveled over winery tours was a good choice.
Locals Guide to Fredericksburg, Texas
Ranch Road Roasters
Located on Main Street, but blocks away from the heavily trafficked shops and restaurants. This place has a true local vibe. Daniel, the owner, roasts fresh beans onsite in the stake bed of a 1946 Ford truck, the same truck claimed to bring goods to market back in the day. As I stood in line, Daniel chatted with patrons about their kids and whether or not they were coming to the baseball game later that evening. You don’t get this sense of authenticity and dedication to its community at Starbucks. You can keep up with the latest from Ranch Road Roasters on their Facebook
Woerner Warehouse Cafe
What a gem. Located in the historic Woerner Feed Store, just three blocks from Main Street sits a warehouse filled with an eclectic combination of antique farm-chic furnishing and a laid-back, smells heavenly and oh-look-at-the-baked-goods-in-the-counter type of café. The décor is unusual but intriguing and purposefully styled to make the restaurant feel intimate, warm and inviting inside such a cavernous space. The menu states locally sourced wine, as well as organic herbs and vegetables from neighboring farms. The food was some of the best I have eaten in a long time. The menu choices were plentiful and included thoughtful combinations. Just reading the description for The Mozzarella Sampler made my mouth water: Fresh creamy Italian Burrata, fresh mozzarella with basil pesto, roasted tomatoes, roasted garlic, dried fruit, candied nuts, freshly baked bread. Yes, please! The basil pesto was the best I had ever eaten. By taste, I knew it was not the traditional pine nut pesto base. Although the chef wouldn’t come off her recipe (I asked and even used “pretty please”) the chef confessed she alternates between almonds and walnuts as the pesto base. You can keep up with the latest from Woerner Warehouse Cafe on their Facebook.
Larry Jackson’s Art and Antiques
I was amazed by the outstanding caliber and sheer quantity of antique furniture, collectibles, and art. I could have spent hours poking around. Keep up with the latest from Larry Jackson’s Art and Antiques on their Facebook.
Lincoln Street Wine Bar
No doubt why this is a favorite hangout for locals. Lincoln Street has all the ingredients for the perfect neighborhood gathering place; live music, indoor and outdoor seating, a fantastic collection of wine and beer, and a menu of delicious cheeses and pizza. One special note: there is no wine list. You have to saddle up to the bar and make friends first. After the bartender learns your taste preferences, what you are in the mood, etc. you will then be matched with your new true love. Now I have a new friend and a new favorite wine. Keep up with the latest from Lincon Street Wine Bar on Facebook.
Hill Country Antler Art
This unique shop gets the eclectic find of the weekend award. A captivating rustic storefront that looks like it has been there since the dawn of time. I was hesitant to go inside on my first pass, but as I walked by later in the afternoon, there was an old pick-up truck parked out front loaded with antlers of all shapes and sizes. I couldn’t help but stop and talk to the two men sitting on the tailgate diligently separating the entire lot into piles. How could you not stop and strike up a conversation? You know there has got to be an interesting story just waiting to be told. They did not disappoint. I will save that for another day. Discover more about Hill Country Antler Art on their Facebook.
Other Noteworthy Experiences
Peach Tree Tea Room, FarmHaus, Fredericksburg Pecan Company, Chocolat, and do not forget to save time for the National Museum of the Pacific War. This is a Smithsonian level experience you won’t want to miss. Tickets are good for two days, which just might be enough time to take it all in! Be sure to follow the National Museum of the Pacific War on Facebook and Instagram
The next time you head to Fredericksburg, Texas skip the guidebooks, talk to a local——you never know what you’ll find!