I have spent most of my life living in the great state of Texas, but only recently discovered the Texas gem that is Fredericksburg, Texas! This German town is right in the middle of the state in Texas Hill Country. In recent years, it has attracted visitors from the state’s larger cities due to it’s small town charm, German cuisine and of course the wineries! Just a four hour drive from Houston, I took my first trip to Fredericksburg last month and per usual… I have a lot to say about Visiting Fredericksburg Texas!
Where to Stay
Fredericksburg is a small town of about 10,000. One of our hosts at a winery told us the city balloons to 100,000 on the weekends. When you consider that, it is no surprise that some of the lodging choices are pricy! We searched for options via AirBnb and hotels, but came up short. We wanted something to accommodate a group of six, close to Main Street and reasonably priced. Luckily, my friend ventured on to the Visit Fredericksburg website and found local listings for home rentals! She found cheaper options that met all of our needs through the website!
In the end, we stayed at an adorable house a few blocks away from main street. The house had three bedrooms, a hot tub, living area and nice size kitchen. My only complaint would be the one bathroom for six women, but we made it work. The home was clearly designed to just be a rental as none of the rooms had closets! All and all we were pleased with the homes amenities during our weekend stay.
Also, our house just happened to have a realtor mailer in it and I was shocked at the home prices! We are talking ranch style homes in the Houston loop prices for this small town in the middle of Texas.
Again, this was my first time in Fredericksburg, but my friends had visited a few years ago in the fall. Since their last visit, Fredericksburg added Uber and Lyft making it easy to get around town after enjoying wine tastings. This was super convenient and also allowed everyone to drink freely. No one was worried about having to pass on a second glass of wine because they had to drive home.
Many of the wineries are on Main Street, so you literally can just walk down the street and sip as you go. That is probably the fastest way to maneuver the town. Other thing to note, Fredericksburg had the widest streets I have ever seen. Someone said they were designed to allow the old school horses and buggies to turn around easily. I mention this because that means their blocks will be longer than you are used to. So when someone says it is only two blocks away from here, it will probably feel more like four blocks.
Finally, the wine tours seems to be the most popular way to get around. You purchase a ticket and a bus shuttles you around town. We did not go this route on this trip because we wanted to be in control of our own schedule. On our next visit, we do think we will take a tour one day especially so we can venture out to the vineyards that are just outside of town.
Ummm what nightlife?? We arrived in Fredericksburg in the early evening. This was a rookie mistake. Many of the wineries close up pretty early and there is not much nightlife from 9pm-2am. I assume most folks have essentially day party at all of the wineries and crash by 8pm. So here we were our first night in Fredericksburg determined to get out and have fun. A quick google search led us to Buc’s Bar & Grill. The bar seemed part sports bar with pool tables towards the back and tvs. Part dance club with a large dance floor that doubled as the karaoke stage. Yes folks they had karaoke too.
My 30+ self ordered a Smirnoff Ice because that was the only thing that seemed suitable to drink in that establishment. ANDDD they were smoking inside the bar in the year 2019. If this was not enough to transport you back to the early 2000s, the DJ was trying his hardest to get the “crew of black hotties” (name that movie!), up and on the dance floor. He literally turned to our table and said “I’ma get you up eventually!” To do so, he pulled out a slew of hits from the early 2000s like FloRida and the likes *side-eye*. We sat out on the saddest Wobble line dance I have ever seen. Eventually he hit some high notes with us and we did make our way to the dance floor. As much as we side eyed, we had to admit we DID have fun!
Lesson here. Arrive early to town so you can enjoy the wineries. If you must go out after 9pm, do not expect it to be like back home. Just enjoy the small town bar life.
Our mission was to leisurely enjoy the wineries in town with no set goal to try them all. We wanted to take our livers back with us in the same condition we brought them in. We only ventured to a few and most of them were on main street. Our next trip would likely start on a Thursday night with us taking a tour on Friday so we could hit up a bunch of wineries and then chill on Saturday.
Our chill winery tours started with Lost Draw Cellars. A cute spot not too far from the Main Street happenings. We posted up here for a while opting for the tasting menu and a few snacks to hold us over. The tasting flight was just $15 for five glasses of wine, so it was an easy win. The staff was great, so were the snacks and the wine.
Next, we made our way down main street stopping in various shops as we went. First up, the Fat Ass Ranch & Winery Main Street storefront to fill up our cups (we brought our own) with frozen offerings. With no open container rules, we were able to sip and stroll through downtown. While I loved the Fat Ass frozen drink, there was another a few blocks down that was even better. (I’ll update this post when I find the name).
As I mentioned before Fredericksburg is a German town with so many German influences including the food. On this trip, we did not make it in to any of the German restaurants, but we did try a few other decent restaurants.
For Saturday, I was determined to find a good brunch in town. We settled on the Fredericksburg Herb Farm. To call this place beautiful would be an understatement. It is literally a farm with adorable cottages, a spa and of course a restaurant. Much of the food was hit and miss, but gotta say I loved my mimosa flight! Despite some culinary fails, I would go back and on my return visit I would stick with the almond waffle and/or mac and cheese.
On my next trip I will make it to one of the German restaurants and visit a few other brunch spots that seemed to be pretty popular with locals and visitors.
Black in Fredericksburg
This post is popping up for folks googling “Black Wineries and Fredericksburg” and different variations. Based on emails and questions I have received folks have concerns about traveling to Fredericksburg and want a clear break down of our experience. In short, it was great and we felt welcome everywhere we went. People were friendly and offered great service at each establishment. To be clear, we were a group of six black women who were being our true selves having fun and drinking wine all weekend. Did we laugh and talk loudly at some of the wine stops? Of course, we were having fun! But no one ever made us feel uncomfortable for being us, a group of women having fun. Do not let your worries stop you from having a good time!
As far as black owned wineries in the Texas Hill Country/Fredericksburg area, I am only aware of the Kai-Simone Winery in Spring Branch, Texas near San Antonio. If you are aware of any others please be sure to add them to the comments below!
We had a lot of fun in Fredericksburg and I am looking forward to going back with a few adjustments to my game plan!