Memorial library in Fredericksburg Texas

Fredericksburg is filled with historical buildings. (Photo: Getty Images)

Weekend Getaways

Explore Hill Country — and Wine Country — in Fredericksburg, Texas

Deep in the heart of Texas, you’ll find a charming town with European flair and impressive wineries. Fredericksburg was settled by Germans in 1846, and the town is still heavily influenced by its founders. There are German beer gardens and well-maintained historic buildings, which are part of downtown’s designated National Historic District.

History enthusiasts will also enjoy exploring the Museum of the War of the Pacific, Texas Rangers Heritage Center, Pioneer Museum and the Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park. The surrounding Hill Country is known for its wines and, because this is Texas, there’s plenty of barbecue, Tex-Mex and country music, too.

As always, check for travel restrictions and closures before planning your trip.

Friday: Willkommen to Texas

Avocado toast with tomatoes
Start the day with delicious avocado toast. (Photo: Marriott International)

The best way to get a sense of this unique town is to explore it on foot, so you’ll begin your trip with a walking tour. But first, dig in to a hearty breakfast at Woerner Warehouse, which sources organic produce from local farms. Chef Angela is known for her delightful menu of avocado toasts and breakfast sandwiches, as well as freshly baked goods.

Fredericksburg’s charming downtown, designated a National Historic District, has several buildings of note on Main Street, including the Priess Building and White Elephant Saloon, both of which date back to the 1800s.

The town is also home to “Sunday houses,” where farmers and their families would stay during their visits to town. You can see several of them by St. Mary’s Catholic Churchon West San Antonio Street.

After you’ve explored the town’s heritage, indulge in the fantastic German cuisine at a beer garden. Fredericksburg Brewing Company is the oldest brewpub in Texas and is located in a historic building that dates to the 1890s. It has great beers made on-site and traditional German food, as well as delicious burgers and pizzas.

Looking for a few other options? (Or maybe your first stop was for a pre-dinner pint — good call!) Altdorf Restaurant & Biergarten is known for its sausage and schnitzel, while Ausländer Restaurant & Biergarten specializes in Bavarian dishes and has meatless sausage for vegetarians.

Saturday: Check Out the Museums

You can’t come to the Lone Star State without eating Tex-Mex. Stop at Nury’s Breakfast & Lunch for authentic chilaquiles. This dish features tortilla chips topped with spicy sauce, eggs, chicken, queso fresco, pico de gallo and avocado aioli.

Old school desk and chalkboard
There’s so much history to explore in Fredericksburg. (Photo: Getty Images)

Next, visit one of Fredericksburg’s museums. Military history buffs will want to check out the National Museum of the Pacific War, which explores the Asiatic-Pacific Theater of World War II in great detail, or Fort Martin Scott, a historic fortress with a nature trail.

The Pioneer Museum will take you back in time to the early days of the town’s German settlers. You can also tour a historic one-room schoolhouse, a log cabin, a “Sunday house” and a barn.

As a historic town, Fredericksburg naturally has excellent antiquing. After your museum visits, head to Main Street, which has several antiques shops, including Vintage Vault and Farmhaus Antiques.

One of Freckericksburg’s most interesting locales is Vaudeville. This charming spot in the heart of downtown is a well-curated boutique, art gallery and restaurant. This bistro serves lunch daily, but it truly shines on weekend evenings when it offers a delightful prix-fixe menu with elegant dishes such as grilled lamb rack, braised Akaushi beef and black truffle pizza.

After dinner, head to Crossroads Saloon & Steakhouse for live music and dancing.

Sunday: Relax in Nature and Explore Texas Wine Country

Pick up coffee and pastries from Old German Bakery & Restaurant, before heading out on a wine tour. The owner spent 20 years as a baker in Germany before moving to the U.S., so you can be sure that you’re getting authentic European pastries.

Dine in the restaurant or take your goods to go and head to Lady Bird Johnson Municipal Park for a picnic and a morning in nature. This 330-acre oasis has playgrounds for children, an outdoor swimming pool, sand volleyball courts, pickleball courts, nature trails and fishing at Live Oak Creek.

People toasting with red and white wine
Toast to a great trip with local wine. (Photo: Getty Images)

Hill Country has more than 100 wineries, many of which are located on Highway 290 East (known locally as Wine Road 290). The aptly named 290 Wine Shuttle stops at 16 different venues and makes pickups every 10 minutes, so you can stay as long as you like, wherever you like.

If you’d rather take a guided tour, book a day with Cellar Rat Wine Tours. An expert guide will take a small group — a maximum of 10 people — to three different wineries. The tour also includes lunch at a local restaurant.

If you’re heading out on your own, don’t miss Heath Sparkling Wines for some bubbles, Texas Hills Vineyards for wines made only with state-grown grapes or Fiesta Winery if the words “wine slushy” catch your attention.

End your trip with some old-fashioned Texas barbecue. Backwoods BBQ has mesquite-cooked brisket and steak with local beer and wine, while Eaker Barbecue serves up stellar Texas-style barbecue with a South Korean twist (don’t miss the kimchi).