TRAVEL: Discovering the beauty of Texas Hill Country

Charm and sophistication merge in Fredericksburg, Texas   (www.VisitFredericksburgTX.com). The central Texas town of 11,000 — just an hour’s drive north of San Antonio — boasts a consortium of activities that I just didn’t think it would. Founded by German settlers in the mid-1800s, the town still holds tight to some that charm.

By LaTria Garnigan

I have to admit, I wasn’t too thrilled about traveling there at first, but figured I could be missing out on a jewel of an experience. And having been there, I now know that I would have. It’s not hard to find something to love about Fredericksburg.

The town has everything you would find in a large metropolitan city — fine dining, an abundance of homegrown wineries, a bustling arts scene and, of course, museums that tell of the regions history including the Texas White House and the Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park.


InnOnBaronsCreek

WHERE TO STAY>>Can we say, slumber options? Fredericksburg boasts more places to rest your head than they do anything else. With more than 900 options between traditional hotels/motels, Bed and Breakfast spots or their famous Sunday Houses your choice all depends on what kind of experience you’d like to have. Not knowing too much about the other categories, I chose to stay at the Inn on Barons Creek (www.innonbaronscreek.com), but after seeing some of the accommodations of my peers, I almost wish I had made another choice. The town’s traditional Sunday Houses were made famous back when families would travel in for the weekend to attend church. They’re a private oasis that is perfect for families or a group of friends who want just a bit more privacy. But if you still want to go the hotel route, the Inn on Barons Creek has multiple room options available for your needs.

WHAT TO DO>>It’s hard to believe that such a small town can offer so many different options when it comes to activities and interests — but it’s true. You could spend an entire weekend or week on one track and be satisfied. If you’re into wine, there are more than 45 wineries and a number of downtown tasting rooms that will appeal to you. History buffs will be enamored with the National Museum of the Pacific War (www.pacificwarmuseum.org) and the Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park (www.nps.gov), which includes a tour of his home dubbed the “Texas White House.” For the more active, a trek out to Enchanted Rock (tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks/enchanted-rock) will be a must. It is the largest granite dome in the U.S. and at night is the perfect spot for star gazing. And for the art lovers, downtown Fredericksburg hosts more than 20 galleries and working studios with a variety of the most dynamic art I’ve seen. Everything from sculptures, to statues to fine paintings are represented. There is always a festival or event happening in Fredericksburg, so you’re bound to find something that tickles your fancy.

WHERE TO EAT>>If you’re thinking barbecue is the only game in town, then you’re completely wrong. I was honestly surprised at the variety of cuisine offered. While I did miss sampling some true Texas barbecue, the dining options I received were well worth it. Dinner our first night there was at Navajo Grill (www.navajogrill.com), which features a menu mixed with Mexican, New Orleans and Caribbean flavors. We sampled Quail, which surprisingly was my favorite, a perfectly cooked piece of Lamb with a mint chimichurri sauce, Baja shrimp cocktail, vegetables and a deliciously sweet Strawberry buckle dessert.

breakfast taco

For breakfast the next day — and then again another day because it was so delicious — we were treated to the famous breakfast tacos from Mahaley’s Café (https://www.facebook.com/Mahaleys-Cafe-113386778694140/). More like a burrito than a taco in physical makeup alone, they come in different flavors and I took an immediate interest in the potato, egg and cheese option. While Das Peach Haus (www.daspeachhaus.com) might not be your usual stop for breakfast, we were treated to a delectable spread that featured some of their famous jams and sauces created under the Fischer & Wieser (www.jelly.com) brand. A must try is their famous Roasted Raspberry Chipotle Sauce — the perfect blend of spicy and sweet.

Tubby’s Ice House (www.tubbysfbg.com) is a unique little spot, with outside seating only and is perfectly located across the street from the National Museum of the Pacific War so when you’re done with lunch, you can make a short trek for a historical visit through time. If you ever visit Tubby’s I recommend the pulled pork loaded fries and the Mahi Mahi tacos with Pico de Gallo. To cool off your palate, the Cookies & Cream Popsicle (made vegan-friendly with coconut milk) is the perfect addition.

Lunch also gave us several other options throughout the week. From one of the best chicken salad croissant sandwiches I’ve eaten at the Fredericksburg Herb Farm (www.fredericksburgherbfarm.com) to the bratwurst with sauerkraut at Wildseed Farm (www.wildseedfarms.com/home).

Dinner continued to astound me each day. August E’s (www.august-es.com) and Cabernet Grill (www.cabernetgrill.com) take full advantage of the region’s numerous wineries and have perfect pairings of several selections on their respective menus. It’s a delight to visit one of the tasting rooms in downtown Fredericksburg and wind up seeing one of the wines you enjoyed on a menu. My last night in town I was able to finally get my hands on some traditional German food at Der Lindenbaum (www.derlindenbaum.com) and enjoyed by first meal of schnitzel.

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