There’s a reason Fredericksburg, Texas, has been repeatedly named one of the most romantic Southern destinations. From the rolling hills and miles of vineyards to the tempting Southern-meets-German cuisine and historic lodgings, Fredericksburg proves that Texas is indeed for lovers.
Here we’ve got you covered with a rundown of some of the top ways to find romance in Fredericksburg. Throw out the itinerary and enjoy a weekend away. Two people. One city. Five ways to share it in one of the South’s most beautiful small towns.
- Checking InRanches and farms on the outskirts of Fredericksburg offer charm and an experience unlike the traditional hotel. Pictured is Palo Alto Creek Farm.
Finding a place to rest your head in Fredericksburg won’t be a problem, literally hundreds of bed and breakfasts await visitors throughout the city and surrounding area. The hard part is choosing one. Das Garten Haus, is a more traditional bed and breakfast, with the owners serving breakfast each morning at 8:30. The house has a loyal following of repeat guests, which might have something to do with the praline French toast or fresh fruit with Grand Marnier sauce that have been rumored to appear some mornings.For couples really wanting to enjoy Texas Hill Country, stay on the outskirts of Fredericksburg at one of the ranches or farms. There are plenty to choose from. Many, such as Palo Alto Creek Farms, can offer the privacy you seek while retaining the luxury you deserve. Guests choose from four private guest houses and can book a massage at the on-site spa before making the short drive into the city to see all it has to offer.
- Shopping down The Magic Mile Main Street shopping, also known as the “Magic Mile,” offers everything from luxury items to vintage (photo courtesy of Larry D. Moore)
While not everyone’s idea of a romantic activity, it does give you a reason to stroll hand-in-hand with that special someone. That said, shopping in Fredericksburg is not for the faint of heart. This small town has more than two hundred shops to explore, ranging from fashion to folk art. The main shopping area along Main Street is known as the “Magic Mile.” It runs from the Admiral Nimitz Museum to Marktplatz, or Market Square.If you’re more of a one-stop shopper, plan ahead to attend the Fredericksburg Trade Days. It takes place the third full weekend of each month at Sunday Farms. Vendors and veteran shoppers alike will quickly tell you, “If you can’t find it here, you don’t need it.” Furniture, handmade jewelry, antiques and vintage items, and even goat milk products are just a sampling of what you can expect. Even better, expect nothing and just enjoy the variety of vendors and characters you meet along the way—all featuring the best of Fredericksburg and from all over Texas.
- A Table for Two Some of the best dining in Fredericksburg pays homage to its German roots. Schnitzel and more can be found in many local restaurants.
Ya gotta eat, right? Well, don’t think of your meal as something on the to-do list. Just let the smells of Main Street direct you where to go. Think of eating in Fredericksburg as a crash course in the history of this charming town. And where better to start than with the city’s German roots at Der Lindenbaum on East Main. The restaurant is housed in a limestone building built by the same German pioneers that founded the city. You can try the ever-popular schnitzel, or dive deep into the culture and order the Konigsberger Klopse, beef and pork meatballs in a caper sauce. Afterward, travel back to West Main to the Old German Bakery. They offer an array of European breads and pastries and are always made from scratch.For a romantic dinner in Fredericksburg, make reservations. Nothing kills the romance like a two-hour wait. And at some of the finer (and tastiest) establishments, you’re going to need a reservation. The Cabernet Grill at Cotton Mill Village is hard to beat in the romance department. If you have a choice, the loft seating offers dim lighting with a roaring fireplace on chilly nights, while the patio welcomes you alongside a waterfall and koi pond on those warm Texas evenings. The Cabernet Grill uses only the freshest ingredients and stays local as much as it can. Only Texas Gulf Coast shrimp will do, and the herbs are grown on the property of Cotton Mill Village. And no romantic evening in Fredericksburg is complete without a glass of Hill Country wine.
- Raise Your Glass Highway 290 from Johnson City to Fredericksburg is a forty-five mile stretch known as Wine Road
(photo courtesy of Jon Lebkowsky)
It would take more than a weekend to visit all forty-two wineries scattered throughout Texas Hill Country. Thankfully, several are just down the road on Highway 290, or Wine Road. The forty-five mile stretch features fifteen wineries available for tours from Johnson City to Fredericksburg. If the landscape alone isn’t worth the trip, tasting world-class wines in the heart of Texas sure is.Torre di Pietra might just be the closest thing to a romantic trip to Italy in Texas. The piazza overlooking the vineyards is the perfect place to picnic. They even have a small market that you can purchase all you need for a romantic picnic for two, including cheese and crackers along with wine-infused chocolates. And of course, you must pair it with a bottle of Torre Di Pietra wine. But don’t worry about feeling too far from home: the cowboy hats and live Texas music will remind you just where these roots take soil.
October is Texas Wine Month and is a great time to visit Hill Country. Not only are the temperatures a bit easier to handle in the fall, but throughout October you can purchase a tour pass through Texas Hill Country Wineries that allows you to sample throughout the region.
- Take a HikeEvery evening, May through October, onlookers can watch the bats take off into the night
With your beloved, that is. Fredericksburg and Texas Hill Country have so much to see, and you’ll miss most of it if you’re stuck behind a wheel. So put on your hiking boots or comfy sneakers (ladies, save those cowgirl boots for dancing at the Luckenbach later), pack a picnic for two, and set out for what really makes Fredericksburg one of the nicest places in the South: Enchanted Rock is a must on any Fredericksburg list. The large, pink granite dome is said to groan, or “sing.” While it may look small at first, the dome covers more than 600 acres and is one of the largest batholiths in the country.Or you can take to the trails at Old Tunnel State Park. If you are looking for something out of the ordinary, this is it. At night, stroll on over to the trail near the abandoned railroad tunnel that gives the park its name. The tunnel is now home to up to three million Brazilian free-tailed bats. Each night, during the months of May through October, the bats emerge. While millions of bats taking flight might not be the most romantic evening you can think of, it’s sure to make your love scoot just a little closer.