Say "Hill Country" and most people envision a drive out to Fredericksburg. This town has figured out how to flourish on the tourist trade.
They are too far from any metro area to rely on commuters for their economy. This town thrives because it has figured out the art of creating a "destination." A place people will get in their cars and drive for a few hours to spend the day or the weekend.
They do this by providing oodles of shopping (six full blocks) and requiring uniformity of architectural design. This means you'll see a "german" style McDonalds, but only on the outskirts of town.
These shopkeepers and the chamber of commerce know they have developed a great "brand" in the Fredericksburg name and they protect it.
What that means for you, is that you will find great shopping, great restaurants, and friendly, personable service. On the flip side, you'll find "Made in China" on many of the items that you might think are authentic Texas or Mexican crafts.
That being said, I still enjoy heading over to Fredericksburg for the day. I don't spend too much time in the shops, although some of them have some great home accessories. I may pay a little more for them, but I do it fully aware that I'm also paying for the pleasure of a shopping experience in this beautiful location. I try to sample the local food -- the local brew pub especially -- and I look for authentic wares that I can't get anywhere else in the world.
My Favorite Shops:
- Rock Paper Scissors, 229 E Main Street (cards, stationary, clothing, accessories, jewelry)
- Phil Jackson's Granite & Iron Store, 206 E Main Street (home furnishings and accessories)
- CS & More, 207 E Main Street (Home Accessories)
- Texas Jack's, 117 North Adams, 1 block off Main (Cowboy Store, clothing, hats)
Four blocks southwest of Main Street on nearly 15 acres sits the Fredericksburg Herb Farm. Offering up a restaurant, day spa, lodging (B & B)and more..enjoy live music in the garden on most evenings. The farm's 1882 limestone house houses the gift shop. Don't miss the Star Garden, with five separate planting areas.
Rather Sweet Bakery & Cafe, 249 East Main Street
Fredericksburg Brewing Company, 245 E. Main St. Casual food. Family environment
Hondo's, 312 W. Main St. Indoor and Outdoor dining, often with free, live entertainment. Burgers and salads. Food is so-so, but ecclectic atmosphere is well-worth stopping in for.
Gästehaus Schmidt is an exceptional reservation service, free to you, that has private listings of B&Bs and guesthouses in Fredericksburg. Whatever you're looking for, they probably can accommodate you. They have photos and amenities listed for each of their accommodations.
Fredericksburg Brewing Company, 245 E. Main St.
Pick a room over the pub, overlooking Main Street.
Cotton Gin Restaurant & Lodging
2805 S. Hwy 16
Quote from their website: "a world of water ponds and herb gardens, log cabin lodging and unparalleled Texas Hill Country dining in the highly acclaimed Cabernet Grill-Texas Wine Country Restaurant."
5681 Hwy 290 E.
Fredericksburg RV Park
305 E Highway St
Other spots not to miss:
Fredericksburg Trade Days -- antiques galore, jewelry, clothing, etcetera. 3rd weekend of Every Month (9-6 Fri & Sat), 9-4 Sunday. This is about 8 miles east of Fredericksburg on hwy 290.
Fredericksburg Wildseed Farm -- right across the hwy from the Trade Days lot. This is a great place to buy your own seed packets to take home or send to relatives and friends. They are the nation's largest working wildflower seed farm. They have a HUGE selection of seeds and some plants. They have three different gift shops with collectibles, seeds, gifts, jellies, wines, garden accessories.