< ARTICLE LISTINGS

 

Fredericksburg - The Charm of the Hill Country

By Harry and Linda Kaye Perez

It appears that everything came together perfectly here in Fredericksburg, like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle, to create a picture perfect destination: great wineries, fabulous art galleries, innovative restaurants, incredible B&Bs and guesthouses, one-of-a-kind boutiques, and a landscape that is second to none. As far back as the settlement of Fredericksburg by German immigrants in 1846, art and culture have been engrained in this beautiful Hill Country community.

First Friday Art Walk: Since 2008, galleries have invited visitors in for the First Friday Art Walk to view and learn about some of the finest art from not only locals, but from artists across the U.S. as well. At your own pace, you can explore the uniqueness of each gallery while enjoying a complimentary glass of wine or champagne from one of the local participating wineries, accompanied by cheese and light snacks. Art mediums include oils and watercolors, bronze, ceramics, jewelry, glass, wood and stone, just to mention a few.

Many galleries have featured artists available on First Fridays for guests to meet or for a demonstration of their particular art form. Although the galleries open at 10:00 a.m. most of the activities and refreshments will be between 5:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. One gallery owner told us that he once stayed open until 11:00 p.m. because he had guests that just didn’t want to leave.

If you start in the 200 block of West Main, you will discover four galleries in that one block; continue to stroll west and you will encounter many more within the next few blocks. There are also several more galleries just off Main Street; eleven to fourteen galleries participate in the Art Walk each year. Be sure to pick up a map at the Visitors Center or in the first gallery you visit to help you find your way.

Parking in Fredericksburg is always free. It is recommended that you do not park on Main Street; it is difficult to pull out because of the traffic. Park one block off either side of Main Street for greater ease. Check the First Friday Art Walk website one week before your visit for more information about events and live music entertainment.

Wineries: With over 30 Hill Country vineyards, 19 of them along what is called the Fredericksburg Wine Road (Highway 290), it may be a little challenging to decide which one to visit. Each winery is unique, offering tours of their cellars, wine tasting, entertainment, and yes, even some have overnight accommodations.

One of our favorites is the Grape Creek Vineyards, located 10 minutes from the quaint downtown area. It is reminiscent of the old wine country of Italy in landscape, ambiance, and architecture; the Tuscan Villa tasting rooms are unmistakable. The owners, Brian and Jennifer Heath, view this place as an extension of the home and family. On Saturday and Sunday afternoons you can enjoy crepes, pizza or pasta, along with your favorite wine on their magnificent patio and listen to beautiful music. Singer, songwriter and musician, Jeff Wood, is one of their regular entertainers; we could listen to him all day. Be sure to checkout the Events section of their website for upcoming events.

Where to Stay: In the late 1800s, recognizing the need for social interaction, farmers and ranchers from remote areas built small homes in the town of Fredericksburg. On Saturday mornings, the entire family would travel into town for shopping and other business, perhaps attend a dance or a barbeque, spend the night in their tiny second homes and attend church the following morning before returning to their farm. Thus, the Sunday House was born. Replicas of these Sunday Houses are very popular as B&Bs.

If you want to experience the Sunday House atmosphere, the Fredericksburg Herb Farm is an excellent choice. These cottages provide all the comforts you need, including high-speed internet, flat screen TV with HD video, ceiling fans and rocking chairs on the porch. In addition to the Sunday Haus Cottages, there is also the Herb Farm, the Farm Haus Bistro and the wonderful Nature’s Spa.

Within minutes of Fredericksburg is Barons CreekSide - Swiss Log Cabins, each one uniquely decorated, romantic and very private. The tranquil waters of Baron Creek can be seen and heard from each of the cabins and the area is frequented by deer in the early morning hours.  These old-world cabins are each approximately 700 square feet each, with a king sized bed, wood-burning fireplace, Jacuzzi tub, and a small kitchenette with a refrigerator, toaster, microwave and coffeemaker. Once there, you will not want to leave.

For the history buff, there is the National Museum of the Pacific War Complex, that includes the Museum of the Pacific War, the George H. W. Bush Gallery and the Admiral Nimitz Museum. Admiral Nimitz, a vitally important figure in the ultimately successful war in the Pacific, was born here in Fredericksburg. This six-acre complex is located between Main and Austin Streets and the admission tickets are good for two days. The museum is open every day from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. except on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day.

Shopping: Main Street is packed with unique, chic and one-of-a-kind boutiques, from heirlooms to outfitters - stores with names like Grasshopper & Wild Honey, Parts Unknown and the Red Baron Antique Mall. And mixed in with all these great shops are restaurants, coffee shops, bakeries and dessert cafes, many with German themes.

Fredericksburg has been called enchanting, quaint, fun, exciting, romantic, a perfect girlfriend’s getaway, a corporate meeting place, an outdoorsman paradise, and a Hill Country charm. Fredericksburg is truly all of these. Come.  Fall in love with Fredericksburg.

 

First Friday Art Walk
www.ffawf.com

Chamber of Commerce
www.fredericksburg-texas.com

Good resource for everything Fredericksburg
www.fredericksburgtexas-online.com

Barons CreekSide
www.baronscreekside.com

Fredericksburg Herb Farm
www.fredericksburgherbfarm.com

Museum of the Pacific War
www.pacificwarmuseum.org