A couple of weekends ago some girlfriends and I had the luxury of taking a few days off of mom-ing and made a 2-night weekend getaway to Fredericksburg, TX for some wine tasting. We had been planning the trip for months and while we all love our families dearly, we welcomed the uninterrupted conversation and chance to recharge with ease!
Fredericksburg is a small German town nestled in the Texas Hill Country and is filled with history and enough activities to fill more than a weekend, but our primary reason for visiting was to visit the Texas Wine Trail (also called Wine Road 290), a gorgeous stretch of rolling hills and scenic vineyards just off U.S. Highway 290 in the heart of the beautiful Texas Hill Country.
Fredericksburg is about five hours from Collin County so we opted to leave by 9:00 AM on a Friday morning to make sure we could get there in time to enjoy the late afternoon and evening. Can you believe a group of five moms were all able to get our kids off to school/childcare, and be showered, packed, and ready to go by 9:00 AM?!? Even more unbelievable is that we were all able to load into one car, luggage included!
You can get to Fredericksburg by taking I-35 for most of the trip, but it’s a tad faster, and much more scenic, to hop onto U.S. Route 67 on the south side of Dallas and take the beautiful back roads to get there. We stopped for a yummy lunch at Hammond’s B-B-Q in Glen Rose, which is about halfway between Collin County and Fredericksburg, then powered through the second half of our trip!
Where to Stay
You won’t find too many traditional hotels in Fredericksburg, this town is all about rental properties and B&Bs. Our group found a cute house on VRBO that was within walking distance to Main Street, which, as it’s name suggests, is the MAIN street in Fredericksburg! It’s a 3.5 mile historic street filled with specialty shops, biergartens, and B&Bs.
We opted for a smaller home close to this strip and the five of us stayed in a three bedroom, one bath home. We drew straws for who would get a room to themselves and who would be bunking up with whom for the weekend! Our small quarters worked out great for our group and we managed just fine with one bathroom.
If B&Bs are more your style, Absolute Charm is a great website to start your search.
Where to Eat
Our group made reservations for dinner on Friday night and left Saturday open since we knew we’d be wine tasting all day and would likely be in the mood for something casual. On Friday we ate at Fredericksburg Herb Farm, which is more than just a restaurant, it also offers a spa, gift shop, beautiful gardens, and cottages to stay in. It would be worth a visit during the day as well to check out all the amenities the farm has to offer.
German culture is heavily influenced in this town so I would suggest checking out any of the German restaurants and biergartens on or near Main Street, including (but not limited to), The Old German Bakery & Restaurant for breakfast or lunch, and Otto’s for dinner.
Some other restaurants that came recommended to us include:
- The Peach Tree – tea room open for brunch and lunch
- Cabernet Grill – upscale Texas Hill Country cuisine open for dinner Tuesday-Saturday
- The Nest Restaurant – located in a renovated early 1900’s home and open for dinner Thursdays-Mondays
- Alamo Springs Cafe – dubbed the third best burger in Texas, open for lunch and dinner
Where to Shop
Main Street really is where the majority of the shops are in Fredericksburg. This charming street is filled with boutiques, tasting rooms, restaurants, shops, specialty stores, art galleries, candy shops, biergartens, and more. An entire day could be spent on Main Street exploring the shops, sampling the food and candy, popping in little restaurants for breakfast or lunch, enjoying some wine at one of the tasting rooms (it’s ok to walk around with your wine – ask for yours to go!), learning history at the small museums and historical markers, and ending the day with dinner on a patio with a live band.
Fredericksburg and the surrounding areas have so much to offer, but we chose to focus our getaway on wine tasting from the vineyards along the beautiful Wine Road 290. The bulk of our tasting was done on Saturday, but we managed to visit Hilmy Cellars on Friday night as well before our dinner reservations. We all really enjoyed the wine and atmosphere here and it was a fun way to kick off our weekend.
Plan to spend about five hours visiting 3-4 wineries.
The best way to do the wine tour is to arrange a private tour or ride the 290 Wine Shuttle. That ensures you have a person experienced with the area taking you to and from each winery, and that you’ll have a designated driver!
Private tours, like the Grape & Grain tour, pick you up, take you to anywhere from 3-6 wineries (based on which package you select), provide you with a picnic lunch, snacks and waters, and cover all your tasting fee! Pricing for the private tours start around $125 per person.
Our group opted to ride the 290 Wine Shuttle, which is a fleet of air-conditioned shuttles that drop off and pick up at each winery every 15 minutes. It costs $25 for an all day pass, and you decide which wineries you want to stop at. Once you get there, you are responsible for your tasting fee.
Our first winery was Grape Creek, one of the largest and oldest vineyards in the area. The weather was sunny and crisp the weekend we were there, which inspired people from all around to flock out and do some wine tasting that day! Even by 11:00 when we arrived it was busy and we had to wait to find an opening at a bar for a tasting. The wine was great but the crowds made it feel a little touristy. After our tasting we found a spot on their beautiful patio and each enjoyed a glass of our favorite wine from the tasting.
Next up was Becker Vineyards. Becker is on a beautiful estate with 46 acres of vineyards. You can smell the lavender the second you walk in and it’s worth taking a minute to peruse their lavender-scented products for sale. It was the perfect venue for a picnic and we chose to share a bottle of their wine and have our picnic outside on their large grassy lawn.
Our final stop was intended to be Messina Hof as it had come highly recommended to us, but when we got on the shuttle after Becker everyone was talking about the Mardi Gras party that would be going on at 4 Point Cellars. We decided to join in on the fun and switched our plan to go to 4 Point instead. While there wasn’t much of a Mardi Gras party going on, they did have live music and yummy wine and we couldn’t ask for more than that!
We headed back at this point and found a Mexican food restaurant on Main Street called El Milagro Twenty Twelve. We were all craving chips and queso and lucked out with great food, good service, and yet another live band on the patio.
Fredericksburg has a sleepy night life for the most part, but if you find that you’re up for more action after your day of wine tasting, Crossroads Saloon & Steakhouse has live music and dancing, as well as a full bar. We discovered that most people head back for a quiet evening in their rentals or B&Bs.
Activities Near Fredericksburg
If you visit Fredericksburg and have the time or desire to do something different from wine tasting and exploring the town square, here are some other nearby attractions that came highly recommended to our group. We did not have time to visit these places but they are on my list for when I return:
- The Coop – live music and event venue serving beer & wine
- Hill Country Lavender – beautiful 2-acre lavender farm in Blanco, TX where visitors can cut their own lavender during season (May-July)
- Drive the Hill Country – take a scenic drive through the rolling hills of the Texas Hill Country
- Luckenbach for Beer – located 13 miles from Fredericksburg, this small and welcoming town consisting of just a general store, post office, and historic dance hall, is a great place to enjoy some live music and good beer
- Bluebonnet Cafe – located in Marble Falls, this friendly restaurant is known for their legendary pies. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner daily.
- Enchanted Rock State Park – climb the massive and ancient pink granite dome for stunning views of the hill country. Suitable for children.
- Willow City Loop – drive the narrow, two-lane, 13 mile ranch road for stunning views, especially during bluebonnet/wildflower season (March-May)
I really enjoyed visiting Fredericksburg for my girls trip, but it would also make for a romantic couples weekend, or a fun family getaway. Villa Bed & Breakfast located at the Messina Hof winery was voted the most romantic getaway in Texas and is the only 4-Diamond resort in the Brazos Valley.
Or bring the whole family and take advantage of the many attractions Fredericksburg and the nearby towns have to offer. You could stay at Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park, located in the mix of it all on Hwy 290. We even spotted several children playing on the lawn during our visit to Becker Vineyards, if you want to squeeze some wine tasting in with your children in tow!