We had been wanting to visit Fredericksburg for as long as we could remember, and we finally found some time to escape for a long weekend. Despite the pandemic, we knew that we’d be just as careful in another city with wearing our masks, keeping our distance from others, and just being smart about touching things and sanitizing our hands. We road tripped anyway because a) it’s only a four-hour drive, and b) we didn’t want to deal with airplane seating arrangements just yet.
We also wanted to spend at least two full days in Fredericksburg, so we left Dallas on a Thursday evening, spent all day Friday shopping and wine tasting, we made reservations at several wineries for Saturday, and Sunday was a relaxed, “exploring” day.
Where We Stayed
Airbnbs in Fredericksburg are not only expensive, but the only ones we could find were very small. If you’re planning on staying in an Airbnb and going with more than three people, plan on booking WELL in advance, or you’ll need to pack an air mattress. We ended up staying at Inn on Baron’s Creek, which is right off of Main Street, and in the middle of all sorts of things to see and do! I actually booked the hotel on Expedia because they had great rates, free cancellation, and I also gained Expedia points! Also, the hotel photos on the website doesn’t do the hotel justice – it was quaint, quiet, and extremely clean. The pool and hot tub were a nice little amenity to enjoy each day after a day at the wineries. The rooms were spacious, and great for smaller groups – two queen beds, and a pull-out couch that sleeps two.
The continental breakfast was abbreviated and different because of Covid, BUT it didn’t disappoint. The coffee was always good, and there was a different, yummy main entrée each day. I sat outside one morning and enjoyed my coffee and Fruit Loops (it’s been YEARS since I’ve had cereal!), and I sat in a chair that overlooked the creek behind the hotel. It was so peaceful!
Things to Do and See
Food & Snacks
Emma + Ollie Restaurant & Bakery
We had brunch at the CUTEST spot, which was a restaurant converted from an old house. It was difficult to decide on what to get, but the majority of us decided on Angie’s Breakfast Bowl, which consisted of organic scrambled eggs, hash browns, cheese, red or green salsa, and choice of bacon, sausage or avocado. (I picked all three… :)).
Mac’s BBQ & Catering
We stumbled upon Mac’s for dinner, and even though we were there shortly before they closed, they had plenty of jalapeno sausage and sides remaining. And I’m NOT exaggerating when I say that is the best jalapeno sausage I’ve ever had. I can’t wait to go back to Fredericksburg; not JUST for the wine, but for Mac’s BBQ sausage!!!
General Stores & Shops
Main Street also has a bunch of general stores and trendy shops that are filled with homemade fudge, candy, ice cream cones, and popcorn. There is no shortage of snacks and little bites.
Cooper’s Old Time Pit BBQ
We grabbed Cooper’s after visiting Enchanted Rock, and before hitting the road to go home. Llano, Texas (pronouced “lan-o” if you live there…) is home to the first Cooper’s BBQ location, and they’re known for not only being one of the first BBQ restaurants to sell their meats directly from the pit, but their brisket is juicy and they have an abundance of meats, side options, and and homemade cobblers.
Tasting Rooms on Main Street
Becker Vineyards, which was converted from an old Buick dealership, had a large assortment of wines to try, and we were even able to take wine to-go in plastic wine glasses! Score! The service was great, and the girls that helped us were very welcoming and friendly!
Fiesta Winery. Bleh. SO sweet and really overrated. Unless you like sweet, sub-par wine… go for it…. And also… wine through a straw is weird. 2/10, would not recommend.
Elk Store Tasting Room was our favorite tasting room on Friday, and we were the only ones there at the time, so we received special attention and a few extra sips 😉
Next door to the tasting room is their Elk Store Bar and Distillery, which was where we ended Friday and Saturday evening. We listened to some live music, and sipped unique, hand-crafted cocktails. Their “Smoked Old Fashioned” seemed to be a crowd favorite, and I was ALL about my “Painkiller” that the bartender made EXACTLY like the ones in the Virgin Islands.
Andreucci Wine Room… eh. It was a cute little place, and they had a good selection of wine, but the service was crummy and the poor lady that “waited” on us acted like she didn’t want to be there, but continued a completely inauthentic, scripted story about each wine. It’s safe to say we probably won’t be returning.
This was one of our favorite parts of the trip! We had all heard of Enchanted Rock, but we had never been! Enchanted Rock has grown in popularity in recent years, and is a geological marvel in Texas! It’s a massive pink granite mountain located in the Llano Uplift about 17 miles north of Fredericksburg, and can be hiked without any fancy climbing gear or equipment.
I didn’t pack any tennis shoes (rookie mistake), and my “climbing” outfit ended up being leggings, a tank, and Vans (which I don’t necessarily recommend for climbing or comfort on long walks…) Reservations were required during the time we visited, and it’s always best to check, and plan your visit ahead of time.
But I HIGHLY recommend visiting. It’s such a wonderful experience, and the views are incredible. It felt like we were on top of a mountain, overlooking 1,600 acres of Texas Hill Country from over 1,800 feet in the air. Absolutely a MUST-do.
NOTE: Reservations are not necessarily required everywhere, BUT they are HIGHLY recommended, especially on weekends, peak visit times, AND when we’re in the middle of a pandemic. 🙂
Let me start by saying that this particular weekend was one of the WINDIEST days in the history of windy days. The sun was out, and the weather was perfect, but the dang wind really threw a wrench in our sitting-outdoors-and-enjoying-wine plan.
We shared a large picnic table, and we each had a tasting flight of five wines. We really liked them all! My personal favorite was the Alluve wine, that’s a combo of Tempranillo, Mourvedre, Grenache, Petite Sirah, Carignan, and Sangiovese. YUM!
Not only was the wine yummy and the service really good, they have these herbed almonds that are honestly the most amazing almonds I’ve ever eaten. They are Marcona almonds, and the seasoning is imported from Provence, France. SO GOOD.
We did not have a reservation for this winery, but we stopped in before our reservation with Pedernales Cellars.
I’m going to start off by saying that we will NEVER be returning to that place, and we will not be purchasing any of their wine in the future. Their wine wasn’t very good (I had something floating in mine…), the food was insanely overpriced ($34 for a boring cheeseboard…photo below), and the absolute worst part was that they didn’t properly care for the dogs and cats that they had on the property. There’s a WHOLE, long story I could tell you about what we encountered and uncovered while we were there, but we were all rattled and annoyed when we left, and we will not be returning.
I never want to tell someone NOT to do something, but this place is run by lazy people selling an awful product.
Okay, back to the good stuff 🙂 Pedernales Cellars had the best wine of the day (next to Messina Hof, of course…), and we had wonderful, personable service. Learning about the winemakers and owners, and how they met made the experience even more personal and exciting. The matriarch and patriarch of the family met while working on Apollo 11, which inspired the name and label (an image of moon craters) of the Over the Moon Rose (our favorite!) Chris is not at ALL a rose fan, but we bought three bottles 🙂
We would have stayed longer had we been indoors, and NOT being whipped to death by the torrential winds that day. (See for yourself in the video below!)
We can’t wait to go back on a non-windy day!
Grape Creek Vineyards
These grounds were by far the prettiest that we had seen that day, and we felt as though we had been transported to Tuscany or somewhere in Italy.
This place was CROWDED, but we stood at our own bar top, and had a guided tasting with a really sweet, knowledgeable team member. The wine was really delicious, and we couldn’t decide which were our favorites.
We quickly discovered, though, that their business model is solely dedicated to gaining wine club members, so don’t get suckered in unless you REALLY love their wine and will be in Frederickburg enough to enjoy the on-site perks.
Spoiler alert: we became members…. hahaha it basically made the tasting free, soooo why the heck not?! We aren’t locked in for life….
The location in Grapevine is our home away from home, so we expected the same great wines and service at the Fredericksburg location. And we got it! We’re obviously partial to our Grapevine fam, but the team in Fredericksburg was great, and the wine is always tasty. Sitting on the outdoor patio and watching the sun set was a wonderful way to end both Friday and Saturday (yes, we went both days, of course). 🙂
All in all, we had a WONDERFUL trip, and we can’t wait to go back!
Enjoy some additional photos from our fun-filled trip!
Happy traveling, y’all!