After Austin (~ Around Houston: Austin!!) and San Antonio (~ Around Houston: San Antonio!!), the next place I am discussing in my series “Around Houston” is our very own Wine Country here in Texas, Fredericksburg!
A small cutesy town with German breweries and Italian vineyards, this town has something to offer for everyone! From National Museum of Pacific War to Enchanted Rocks for hiking, from the beautiful, historic main street offering amazing shopping, excellent restaurants and a cutesy bed and breakfasts to the Wild seed Farms and not to forget the many wineries and vineyards that are lined along US 290, this town has never failed to draw visitors.
The hubby and I have become one of the “regulars” who return to visit this wonderful, quaint and relaxing city again and again! Being only 3.5-4 hours away from our place in Houston, it is one of our top choices for a quick weekend getaway and also to take our guests for a little weekend getaway.
In this post, I am compiling a list of things to do and see combined from our various trips along with mentioning some that are still on our to-be-done list. As I always say, this is in no way an exhaustive list. I would still suggest you Google things to do, and plan for yourself but please feel free to use this as a guide. So without further ado, here we go-
Where to stay:
– La Qunita Inn (http://www.laquintafredericksburg.com/): This is a good option if you are on a budget. Located on the Main Street, this is equidistant from the wineries and the shopping with big and clean rooms.
– Hampton Inn (http://hamptoninn3.hilton.com/en/hotels/texas/hampton-inn-and-suites-fredericksburg-FBGTXHX/index.html): Another good option if you are on a budget. This is located more in the heart of Fredericksburg on Main Street.
– Bed and Breakfasts: If budget is not limiting you, I would suggest you go ahead and enjoy experiencing a cutesy and cozy bed and breakfast, for which Fredericksburg has ample of options to choose from. This site could help you find some: http://www.bedandbreakfast.com/fredericksburg-texas.html
Things to see/do (in no particular order):
– Pacific War Museum (http://www.pacificwarmuseum.org/)
– Enchanted Rock (http://tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks/enchanted-rock)
– St. Mary’s Catholic Church
– Shopping on Main Street (http://www.visitfredericksburgtx.com/shopping/). Sassy Lassie being my absolute favorite!
– Wildseed Farms
Widseed Farms is a definite stop if you are a nature lover/ garden lover like I am! I always end up shopping here not only for plants but also for small decorative items for my patio garden! March through October, fields of wildflowers are blooming and make for a beautiful stop with lovely photo-ops.
– Willow City Loop
Willow City Loop is considered to be one of the premier springtime destinations in Texas Hill Country, especially my favorite during the Bluebonnet season! Bursting with colors – blues, reds, yellows and whites, this scenic 13 mile road travels through hills and creeks and offers stunning views of flower filled meadows and valleys. To get there from Fredericksburg, head north on State Route 16 for approximately 13 miles to Willow City, then head east on Ranch Road 1323 for about 3 miles and then turn left onto Willow City Loop. Enjoy the scenic drive!!
– Pedernales Falls state park (http://tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks/pedernales-falls)
There are way too many wineries for me to talk about them all individually, but this link lists them all and also gives you addresses, timings and other details about the various wineries and vineyards: http://www.wineroad290.com/
I am listing a few that we have tried:
– Grape Creek Vineyards (our top choice, this one is our favorite, definitely on repeat whenever we visit)
Grape Creek Vineyards will make you forget that you are in Texas! At the entrance, the bell tower makes a statement and almost compels you to drive in onto the gravel drive and wind your way through rows of grapevines and then you reach the rustic villa at the top. The beautiful oak-shaded patio, fountain on site, and rows of grapevines stretching toward the horizon are exactly why you forget you are in Texas, but it’s exactly how we picture Tuscany would be, but it’s not Italy, it’s our very own Fredericksburg.
You have the option of doing wine tasting (which you absolutely must, all their wines are amazing) or just chill on the patio and if you have more time, you can also take a tour, which I would highly recommend! It’s great to learn more about the process at their production complex and then get to visit the barrel room and cellar, all boasting great photo-ops!
– Becker Vineyards and Lavender Farm (our choice #2, definitely on repeat whenever we visit)
Becker Vineyards and Lavender Farm can be easily missed as it’s not right on US 290, but keep your eyes open to not miss the turn leading to this picturesque place. . a little off US-290, they have a great selection of wines as well as assorted lavender scented goodies to buy. They also have a Lavender Farm and hence sell Lavender plants for those of you who love gardening like I do. They have grape stomping and many other events during spring/summer. A great stop for also stopping and clicking pix coz the scenic vineyard makes for a beautiful backdrop.
– Rancho Ponte (good, quick stop)
Rancho Ponte is a small-production, family-run winery with some great wine selections. They moved here from California, and brought with them many years of experience in the wine industry and you can definitely taste this in their wines! The tasting room is very western themed and has a friendly atmosphere and you can even relax on the shaded porch but in general not much is offered here, making it a quick stop.
– 4.0 Cellars (ok-ok)
4.0 Cellars began as collaboration between three Texas wineries – Brennan Vineyards, Lost Oak Winery, and McPherson Cellars, which are located respectively in Comanche, Burleson, and Lubbock. When we visited they were a small-concept tasting room but since then have evolved into something much grander and we can’t wait to go back and check it out. They do have exceptional array of wines, from single varietal wines to diverse blends, all from vineyards located throughout Texas. From what I hear, they are definitely working towards the goal of striving for 4.0 perfection.
– Torre di Pietra (not that good)
Torre di Pietra looks very inviting, but when we visited, we weren’t very impressed. There was hardly anyone there and the wine selection wasn’t the greatest either.
Where to Eat:
Apart from the usual Dominos, Subway, Pizza Hut, McDonald’s, there are many good options to choose from (http://www.visitfredericksburgtx.com/food-wine-categories/restaurants/). The ones we are tried and some others I have heard good things about are listed below:
– Vaudeville on Main
– Mamacita’s Mexican Restaurant & Cantina
– Pasta Bella Restaurant
– Cabernet Grill—Texas Wine Country Restaurant
– K-Bob’s Steakhouse
These will be individual blog posts under this new series of Around Houston, stay tuned!):
– Austin (~ Around Houston: Austin!!)
– San Antonio (~ Around Houston: San Antonio!!)
– New Braunfels
– San Marcos
– Misc. counties in Texas Hill Country like Wimberley, Marble Falls, Dripping Springs, Kerrville, Bandera, Llano among others.
Now for my favorite part – Photo-dump!!
Ready to head to Fredericksburg and wondering where to start to get road trip ready? No worries, I got you covered, go on and check out my post: ~ Road Trip Ready!
Hope you enjoyed this post and all set to go explore this cutesy city and while at it, get tipsy at the wine tastings! Enjoy!!