Relaxation, shopping, history, and great wine are the staples that make the Texas hill country a desired vacation destination. Fredericksburg, Texas is the epitome of the small-town Texas getaway, it’s Main Street bustling with shops ranging from local vendors to cute boutiques, to kitchen and home goods, to custom western boots, and fun nick-nacks. In between browsing, there are wine tastings and breweries along the way, and the best part, you can stroll the street with your beverage in hand! Visitors may also tour the surrounding area to check out amazing views of the countryside, get a bit of hiking in at Enchanted Rock or explore the historical distract of this German town founded in the 1800s. There is something for everyone, and lucky for you, I’ve put together the cliff notes version of my trip featuring all the highlights!
I kicked off my weekend uniquely with shopping, cheese sampling, wine sipping, and goat petting all in one at the Fancy Goat Boutique. The sociable owners were happy to pour me a glass of wine as I browsed their adorable boutique with local goodies, comfy loungewear sets, and goat themed items from soaps to candles to cards and t-shirts. They also sell a number of daily made goat cheeses that you can sample. My favorite was the lemon fig, which made for a perfect light summer treat. Don’t forget to check ou the goat experience! The goats were so friendly and patiently waited for us to feed them cheerios and even tried to snack on my sweater a bit.
The Fancy Goat was just one of many fun boutiques sprinkled along Main street, and we had a great time spending nearly a full day wandering into just about all of them. For some reason, old fashion candy shops were a big deal as well in this town, and I absolutely loved the nostalgia of browsing a wall covered in retro Pez dispensers, ring pops, and candy necklaces.
For lunch, we stopped into the eclectic and modern French Bistro, Vaudeville, where I ordered a delicious farm-to-table power bowl with incredibly fresh ingredients and exciting flavors that were almost too pretty to eat. After lunch, we headed upstairs to their carefully curated shop with products including Parisian designer handbags, stylish sunglasses, modern coffee table books, leather goods, crystal vases, and fragrances. This store was easily my favorite in Fredericksburg, and certainly one to treat yo’ self at with something nice!
About a 2-mile drive from Main street we came across the Das Peach Haus, which was full of surprises! I thought the building itself was extremely unique and found out that it was actually built along the original railroad in 1913 and was the home to the Texas famous Lone Star Beer before being moved in the late 1900s by Fischer & Wiesner Specialty Foods to be converted into the peach haven it is today. This shop is famous for its peach cider, which you can purchase in glass bottles. If cider isn’t your thing, they also have peach jams, butters, and salsa’s, in addition to tons of other flavors of homemade spreads and dips.
My favorite part about the Das Peach Haus was the incredible view! After roaming the store, you can take your cold cider outside and sit on their large deck overlooking a beautiful pond surrounded by towering Texas pine trees. It was absolutely breathtaking.
Another great part about this town was all the history! I am a sucker for a good historical plaque, and this town seemed to have them on every single building. It was fun stopping to read them along the way and to learn that a restaurant was once the town’s hospital, or that a jewelry shop used to serve as the pharmacy. In the middle of the square just above the main drag is a lovely area where a historical replica of the Vereins Kirche sits. This building was once the center of Fredericksburg and was used for social gatherings, church, school, fairs, and town meetings. Fredericksburg is also home to old war forts and beautifully painted churches.
Of course, if you are really looking for a cultural experience you will find it in the large selection of German food. This town is swarming with bier garten’s and restaurants serving classically hardy German dishes like Ruben’s, Schnitzel, and sausage plates. I am not a beer girl or a Ruben girl for that matter, but I did the thing and ordered the meal. Considering that it was a combination that I don’t typically order, it was pretty damn good. The hot German potato salad was probably my favorite part though.
A small bit of research before my trip provided me with insight on an amazing viewpoint that I am glad we didn’t miss out on! Just a forty-five-minute drive passing through the quaint town of Johnson City (a great place to stop), we visited the Arc de Texas. This architecturally strange building for the hill country is modeled after the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, France, and sits atop a hill providing neverending views of the gorgeous landscape. We grabbed a glass of wine at the bar and took the elevator up to the rooftop to take it all in. This was the perfect stop to complete our Fredericksburg’s experience.
On the way back to Houston we decided to make one final stop through the popular little Texas town of Gruene, which sits on the Guadalupe River, for a bite to eat and a browse. Our view from the Gristmill restaurant was serene, and we were tempted to take a dip in the water. Make sure to bring your bathing suit and maybe even plan to spend a day floating the river. Of course, a stop to Gruene wouldn’t be complete without snapping a picture of the famous, and oldest dance hall in Texas, Gruene Hall.
I would give Fredericksburg all the stars, and will easily go back for a visit again! This desitnation was a great spot, whether you are going for a romantic getaway, a family trip, a solo adventure, or for just a few days with friends. The slow pace of this town will send you home feeling relaxed, and most likely, with loads of local goodies! xxx