3 Day Getaways / Explore Texas / Travel Tastes

How to Spend a Day in Fredericksburg, Texas

If you’re heading to the Texas Hill Country for a fun weekend of wine tasting and live music, Fredericksburg should be on your list. It anchors the western side of wine country in Texas. Settled by German immigrants, Fredericksburg is a small Hill Country town with a lot of history. It’s also a live music hot spot. Here’s how to spend a day in Fredericksburg.

Where to Stay:

There are some cute boutique hotels, inns, and bed and breakfasts along and close to Main Street. There are also some fabulous vacation rentals like Mojito Haus that we found on Airbnb. It has four bedrooms with king beds (plus an office with a single bed), 3 bathrooms, and a spacious living area with open concept kitchen. Outside there’s a “cowboy pool,” or a tank pool along with a hot tub. It’s perfect for a group of 3-4 couples or large family.

Morning: Explore the Neighborhood and Coffee

Get up semi-early and take an easy stroll through the neighborhood. We started about 7:30a.m. to beat the heat. With the house being a few blocks from Main Street, we had a great time reading about the historic homes or homes occupying historic buildings as we chatted and walked. Make your way to Old German Bakery and Restaurant on Main Street. The family-owned and -operated joint makes everything from scratch unsling traditional German recipes. You can grab and go from the bakery or settle in for a sit down breakfast. There’s almost always a wait on weekends but the food is worth it. We opted to grab a few pastries for sharing back at the house including the scrumptious apple strudel. For the best latte in town, walk across the street to Java Ranch Coffee & Provisions. The western themed coffee shop has a huge mural painted on one wall. While waiting for my almond milk latte, I asked the guy behind the counter if the people painted in the mural are real people. The answer is yes. Some are notable folks in Fredericksburg and some have a connection to Java Ranch or the mural artists. We also tried Caliche Coffee Bar and Ranch Road Roasters. It has a more modern vibe and very friendly baristas.

Brunch Time: Iconic Food and Music Experience

We made reservations ahead of time for the Gospel Brunch at Hill Top Cafe. The iconic spot 10 miles north of Fredericksburg on the Mason Highway is housed in a 1930s gas station. If you’re a foodie and a music lover, this unique experience is for you. Hill Top is small and it almost feels like you’re sitting in a recording studio as you nosh on great food. The walls and ceilings are decorated with all sorts of music memorabilia and posters. Blues and Americana singer and songwriter Johnny Nicholas moved from Austin to the Hill Country with his wife Brenda in 1980. They opened Hill Top Cafe using some of Brenda’s recipes. The eclectic menu features everything from Port Arthur style shrimp gumbo to Greek style okra. Brunch offerings include omelettes, Benedicts, huevos rancheros, and Hill Top’s Chicken Fried Steak. Just like the playlist, the brunch specials menu is extensive. If chicken fried deviled eggs are on the menu, don’t pass them up! We arrive about 11:15a.m. to allow for time to order appetizers and drinks. The guy sitting at a two-top table behind us had that Texas musician vibe. Of course we struck up a conversation and found out he’s Chris Beall and writer and performer with the group South Austin Moonlighters. He’s a super nice guy and was there to play with Johnny and Dick. Two gals dining behind us were noshing on Country Greek Salads made with heirloom tomatoes. Seeing their colorful salads served sealed the deal on what I was having for brunch. Plus the lighter fare paired beautiful with the peach sour (similar to a whiskey sour but made with hibiscus tea) I was sipping. The Bloody Marys are fabulous too! As we dined Johnny took the stage guitarist Dick Gimble. There was no set list. They played off the cuff. It truly felt like we were in a private jam session. After a few well-known gospel tunes that at times took me back to vacation bible school as a child, Chris joined the stage to play with Johnny and Dick.

Afternoon: Wine Tasting, Shopping, and Dining

Spend the afternoon sipping wine. Everything is bigger in Texas and that holds true for the winery tasting rooms. Augusta Vin is out past the Fredericksburg Airport and is a 9 minute drive from downtown Fredericksburg. The two-story, timber-framed tasting room is stunning. The upstairs includes a wine club members only balcony. If you want to do a tasting inside, reservations are strongly encourage on weekends. You can visit without a reservation and sit under oversized ceilings in the covered patio. The vineyard was planted in 2017 and the winery opened in 2019. The land was originally owned by the Kleins, one of the founding families of Fredericksburg. We were going to go to another winery but it was really hot and we opted to head back to Main Street. The day before we went to Heath Sparkling Wine for a tasting and wine lunch at Grape Creek Vineyards. Both are fabulous. We spend a little time popping in and out of shops on Main Street. We cooled off tasting authentic Italian wines at Vino Audreucci before grabbing an early casual dinner at Fredericksburg Brewing Company. For light bites or dinner of Texas flavors, Hill & Vine is great. Hondo’s On Main is a casual longtime favorite for barbecue and Tex-Mex fare. For a taste of Fredericksburg’s German heritage, dine at The Auslander or Otto’s German Bistro. After our early dinner, we retreated to our Airbnb for a relaxing evening in the hot tub and cowboy tank.

Author Jennifer Broome lived in San Antonio for a decade and was the chief meteorologist at News 4 San Antonio (NBC). She’s traveled the Texas Hill Country and the Lone Star State extensively. Check out post 5 Reasons for My Love Affair with San Antonio and Small Texas Towns to Put on Your Road Trip List. If you’re heading to the Texas Coast, Girls R&R Weekend in Port Aransas is packed with fun ideas.