With so much to do in Texas Hill Country, it can be a difficult deciding on your next day trip adventure. One place to consider is Fredericksburg, a charming town with a proud German heritage, located less than two hours west of Austin.
No matter what you end up doing there, you’ll fall in love with Fredericksburg! Here are a few of my personal recommendations for your next visit.
Main Street Extravaganza
Everything you could want is within walking distance in Fredericksburg, from prime shopping to delicious local German food, to the wine and beer bars we all crave after a long day on our feet.
National Museum of the Pacific War
If you want to take a walk through history, then Fredericksburg has its fair share of historical locations to experience. National Museum of the Pacific War is located just steps away from shopping, food, and drinks, in between Main Street and Austin Street. Be warned: you could spend the better part of a day perusing the exhibits at this Smithsonian-level museum.
National Museum of the Pacific War was founded in February 1967. It honors one of the town’s own, Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, as well as eight million Americans who served in World War II. It’s also the only institution in the United States dedicated exclusively to sharing the story of the Pacific and Asiatic Theaters of World War II.
There are three main stops at the museum:
- George H.W. Bush Gallery (311 E. Austin St.): Walk through the war’s major events, from the initial seeds of conflict to the Japanese surrender in Tokyo Bay. There are many exhibits within the space, including seven macro-artifacts, interactive touch screen displays, audio and video recordings, and hundreds of historical artifacts. This gallery is 33,000-square-feet and can easily take up three hours to view everything.
- Admiral Nimitz Museum (340 E. Main St.): Learn about the history of Fredericksburg and the Nimitz family by stopping by the historic Nimitz Hotel on Main Street. This building will take you through the career successes of Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz.
- Pacific Combat Zone (508 E. Austin St.): Check out some larger historical pieces by heading over to the Pacific Combat Zone, where you can see a TBM Avenger and a PT-309 boat exhibit. There are also live reenactments in this space. Check the calendar ahead of time to ensure you see the event.
There are other stops you can make on the museum property, such as the Japanese Garden of Peace, Plaza of the Presidents, a Command Post, and more. If you’re planning a weekend trip, don’t worry about fitting everything into one day. Your ticket is valid for 48 hours.
304 E. Main St. – Website
Rustlin Rob’s Texas Gourmet Foods
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From the moment I was told about Rustlin Rob’s, I knew I needed to visit. One step into the store and you’ll see why you can’t miss out on this experience. Shelves and countertops are filled with jars of barbecue sauce, marinades, jams, queso, and so much more. And you can sample everything. It’s foodie heaven. Rustlin Rob’s also has fudge, located near the back of the store.
121 E. Main St. – Website
The Christmas Store
Who said Christmas magic has to go away after the first of the year? The holidays are year-round in Fredericksburg at a delightful Main Street shop called The Christmas Store.
The cheerful spirit that accompanies the holiday season will overtake you as soon as you walk through the door. Twinkling lights, walls of ornaments, and rooms full of dazzling Christmas decor are all mesmerizing.
Don’t let the name fool you, though. The Christmas Store celebrates other holidays, as well. There were fun and spooky Halloween decorations and supplies near the front of the store when I last visited.
155 E. Main St. — Website
Need souvenirs for your furry pal? Dogologie has a huge selection of food, accessories, and toys. The shop has the cutest selection of dog-shaped cookies and birthday cakes. I couldn’t resist the squirrel-shaped cookie treat as a souvenir for my family dog.
If you want a safe place to leave your dogs while you adventure on Main Street, Dogologie offers an affordable place for them to rest with clean crates, fresh bottled water, and video camera surveillance. You do need to come back every four hours to take your furry friend on a required break.
If you don’t want to leave your dog, Dogologie offers stroller and carrier rentals. Don’t forget to ask for a list of dog-friendly restaurants and wineries before heading back out to Main Street.
148 E. Main St. – Website
Where to Eat in Fredericksburg, Texas
Without a doubt, Sunset Grill is one of the best brunch spots in Fredericksburg. The restaurant is located in a quaint building not far from the downtown area. The small parking lot is almost always full. Locals seem to park at the hotel next door, but double-check that it’s okay during your visit. Expect a wait for a table of 15-20 minutes during peak times.
The menu is amazing. I kept eyeing the omelettes, but ultimately settled for my own flavor of kryptonite: French toast. Sunset Grill’s version is served with caramelized bananas, which was absolutely divine.
Make sure to grab a Texas Ruby Red grapefruit mimosa. The Sunset cocktail, pomegranate blueberry juice with champagne, also looks great.
902 S Adams St. – Website
Ausländer Restaurant and Biergarten
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You can’t leave Fredericksburg without trying authentic German food. Ausländer is the place to go, and has been for over 20 years. The local restaurant specializes in dishes from the state of Bavaria. I recommend going straight to the German Specialities portion of the menu to find a schnitzel or traditional bratwurst. There is also a large selection of “Biers” for visitors to try. Most of the draft beers are imported straight from Germany.
Fun fact: The name Ausländer means “foreigner” or “tourist.”
323 E. Main St. – Website
➡️ Keep reading: Alamo Springs Cafe: Burger Heaven Near Fredericksburg
290 Wine Shuttle
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I was in awe of the number of wineries I passed on my way into town. While it wasn’t on my list of activities for the day because I needed to practice safe driving, I do have plans to go back and enjoy as many wineries as I can. The best way to do so is with 290 Wine Shuttle. Not only does it become easier to get to and from each winery, but it saves the hassle and stress of designating a DD or scheduling a rideshare.
The shuttle is just $30 for the day and lasts from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Drop off and pick up is every 15 minutes, so you never have to worry about waiting too long to get to your next stop. In total, there are 13 wineries on the shuttle route. You can see the full list at the link below.
290 Wine Shuttle picks up from the Visitors Center, just outside the George H.W. Bush Gallery, so your winery knight in shining armor is easy to access from Main Street.
Additional Fredericksburg Adventures to Try
There’s no end to the fun in Fredericksburg. You can experience something new on every trip. Here are some additional locations I didn’t fit into my last visit, but they come highly recommended:
- Enchanted Rock State Natural Area: If you know about my love for caverns, then you won’t find it surprising that I also share a deep love for Enchanted Rock. It’s a breathtaking natural wonder, with pink granite natural formations and scenic trails. It’s a great family activity with a campground on-site. Enchanted Rock can reach capacity due to its popularity, so you’ll want to arrive early during peak season, to make sure you get in.
- Pioneer Museum: The Pioneer Museum is a combination museum and historical sight located in downtown Fredericksburg. This is a great place to learn more about the founding of the city in the mid-1840s and the heritage of Texas Hill Country.
- Walking Tour of Historic District: There are over 700 historically significant structures in Fredericksburg and some are within walking distance of downtown. Grab a map from the Visitors Center or download it online before getting in your steps for the day. You’ll see many historical buildings just walking down Main Street, but there are several that invite you away from the hustle and bustle of this busy street.
- Wildseed Farms: Did you know Fredericksburg has the nation’s largest wildflower farm in the nation? This free activity takes you through fields of gorgeous wildflowers that make any nature lover feel right at home. The walking trails are open year-round from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Hondo’s on Main: Hondo’s on Main is the barbecue go-to in Fredricksburg, with burgers and Tex-Mex to boot. Beyond the consistently delicious food, strong drinks, and spacious outdoor seating area, this is another slice of Texas history. John Russell “Hondo” Crouch bought the town of Luckenbach in 1971 and proclaimed himself mayor. Need I say more? Order at the counter before finding your table.
- The Peach Tree Restaurant & Gifts: This family-run eatery is a perfect place to stop for brunch or lunch on the way into town. It’s famous for the quiche, but there are many other choices depending on your taste.
- Vaudeville: This stop on Main Street is located in a gorgeous building and has several things to keep you busy: boutique, art gallery, and bistro. New American cuisine in served at the bistro, featuring local seasonal produce.
- Otto’s German Bistro: As I mentioned earlier, you can’t leave Fredericksburg without having German food. Otto’s opened in 2013, introducing farm-to-table German cuisine to Texas Hill Country. Though the eatery specializes in German fare, it also offers dishes inspired by Austria and Northern Italy.
@theAustinot wants to know:
What’s your favorite thing to do in Fredericksburg, Texas?
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