Eating, Drinking, and Exploring in Fredericksburg, TX

 Frosé at Tubby's Ice House in Fredericksburg - Global Dish - Stephanie Arsenault

Frosé at Tubby's Ice House in Fredericksburg - Global Dish - Stephanie Arsenault

Welcome to Fredericksburg, Texas. 

I can’t confirm nor deny that this place is real, but believe me, it’s somethin’ else. It’s small and it’s quaint. The people are kind, and everything is old-school – but in a good way. In fact, it feels an awful lot like growing up here in Alberta, before small towns became cities, and cities became even bigger cities. People address you with courtesy, doors are held open, businesses close early, and smiles are given freely. So, if you find yourself near San Antonio or Austin, take the time and make the detour to Fredricksburg. Trust me. It’s worth it.

 Duck Schnitzel at Otto's in Fredericksburg - Global Dish - Stephanie Arsenault

Duck Schnitzel at Otto's in Fredericksburg - Global Dish - Stephanie Arsenault

EAT
Considering Fredericksburg is such a small town {there are just over 11 thousand people in the area}, there’s no shortage of good grub. Otto’s German Bistro has some of the tastiest food in the area; featuring dishes like duck schnitzel {pictured, above}, and ingredients sourced from local farms, you simply cannot go wrong. Best of all, the name, Otto’s, despite sounding like it’s inspired by the areas German heritage, is actually named after the owners’ former pet duck. Don’t worry, Otto the duck did not succumb to a future in schnitzel.  

Beautiful outdoor patio: check. Handspun milkshakes: check. Burgers bigger than your head: check. Okay, that last one might be a bit of an exaggeration, but depending on the size of your head, it’s quite possibly accurate. In fact, one of the only complaints that the folks at Burger Burger gets is that the burgers are too big. Get over it, folks. The burgers are huge and they’re damn good. *wipes drool off chin*

 Burger Burger - Global Dish - Stephanie Arsenault

Burger Burger - Global Dish - Stephanie Arsenault

The fact that there is certainly no shortage of patios in Fredericksburg is a testament to the town’s year-round gorgeous weather. Tubby’s Ice House, next to Otto’s {and owned by the same couple}, is an order-at-the-window joint, and there’s plenty of seating on their covered patio. The setting is casual, as is the menu, packed with Caribbean-style street food, tacos, tortilla chips and guac, and a killer wine and beer list. Not to be missed: their homemade frosé {frozen rosé}, the perfect cooling drink for those hot Texas days. 

 Tacos at Tubby's Ice House in Fredericksburg - Global Dish - Stephanie Arsenault

Tacos at Tubby's Ice House in Fredericksburg - Global Dish - Stephanie Arsenault

 Tacos at Tubby's Ice House in Fredericksburg - Global Dish - Stephanie Arsenault

Tacos at Tubby's Ice House in Fredericksburg - Global Dish - Stephanie Arsenault

Pie-fiends, unite! The Fredericksburg Pie Company, open Thursday thru Saturday, sell pies whole and by the slice, and they have up to 20 different styles on the menu per day. Yes, 20. They close when they sell out, so if you want to get the most out of your visit, go early, grab a few slices to share, and then get a whole one to go. Yeah, it sounds excessive, but if you’re going to do something, do it right. 

 Copper Still at Elk Store & Distillery in Fredericksburg - Global Dish - Stephanie Arsenault

Copper Still at Elk Store & Distillery in Fredericksburg - Global Dish - Stephanie Arsenault

 Luckenbach, Texas - Global Dish - Stephanie Arsenault

Luckenbach, Texas - Global Dish - Stephanie Arsenault

DRINK
If you visit a place and don’t try the local libations, did you even visit? No. The answer is no. In Fredericksburg, checking out Luckenbach, Texas, is non-negotiable. In fact, Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings wrote their 1976 country hit in honour of the watering hole, and it’s just as cool as you’d imagine. Featuring a dance hall, live music, a post office, and a beer joint, there’s quite literally no better place to go and enjoy a beer in the area. 

 Elk Store & Distillery in Fredericksburg - Global Dish - Stephanie Arsenault

Elk Store & Distillery in Fredericksburg - Global Dish - Stephanie Arsenault

For a bit more of an, ahem, elegant experience, the Elk Store Winery + Distillery on Main Street serves up small-batch moonshine, gin, whiskey, and rum {all made in their on-site one-of-a-kind copper still}, cocktails, and some pretty impressive wines. They also have cheese boards, pizzas, and sandwiches to go alongside the drinks if you’re feeling peckish. The space itself is super cool, with plush couches and vintage lights, and there’s a cozy patio space out back for those long, warm nights. 

 Elk Store & Distillery in Fredericksburg - Global Dish - Stephanie Arsenault

Elk Store & Distillery in Fredericksburg - Global Dish - Stephanie Arsenault

Fun fact: Texas Hill Country is actually also a huge wine region. Who would have thought, eh? Yep. There are over 50 wineries in the area, making for plenty of options for those who are looking to include some visits to tasting rooms on their trip. One must-stop spot is Narrow Path Winery, with a stunning tasting room in the midst of the vineyard, featuring local art, delicate lights, and floor to ceiling glass; outside, there’s a covered patio {so you can enjoy the wine even closer to the source!}. Narrow Path also has a tasting room on Main Street if you can’t make it to the countryside, but if you can, the view is absolutely worth the trip. 

 Narrow Path Winery near Fredericksburg - Global Dish - Stephanie Arsenault

Narrow Path Winery near Fredericksburg - Global Dish - Stephanie Arsenault

EXPLORE
It might seem strange to visit a Pacific War museum in the heart of Texas, but as one of the big players of the war, Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, grew up in Fredericksburg, it actually makes complete sense.  The National Museum of the Pacific War {also the home of the Admiral Nimitz Museum and the George H.W. Bush Gallery} is an impressive facility that will appeal to history buffs and newbies, alike. With interactive exhibits, and machines and memorabilia that can only be found there, it’s easy to spend an entire day {or two!} within the buildings. 

 Pacific War Museum in Fredericksburg - Global Dish - Stephanie Arsenault

Pacific War Museum in Fredericksburg - Global Dish - Stephanie Arsenault

 Working Farm at LBJ State Park - Global Dish - Stephanie Arsenault

Working Farm at LBJ State Park - Global Dish - Stephanie Arsenault

 Texas White House = Global Dish - Stephanie Arsenault

Texas White House = Global Dish - Stephanie Arsenault

One of the most beloved US Presidents, Lyndon B. Johnson, was born, raised, and resided near Fredericksburg for much of his time in office. Naturally, the area is now a state park and historic site in honour of the 36th President, including a living history museum on his homestead, the cemetery where he and his family are buried, and the “Texas Whitehouse” – the home where he conducted much of his business during his term. While it’s a little way out of town, the Lyndon B. Johnson Historical Site is definitely worth the visit, and the opportunity to experience this part of history first-hand is truly unique.

Bring out your inner flower child at Wildseed Farms, the largest wildseed producer in the United states. Pick your own flowers, buy seeds, have a picnic lunch, or, at the very least, get the most Insta-worthy photos in the middle of a flower field. #flowerpower

 Wildseed Farm near Fredericksburg - Global Dish - Stephanie Arsenault

Wildseed Farm near Fredericksburg - Global Dish - Stephanie Arsenault

 Wildseed Farm near Fredericksburg - Global Dish - Stephanie Arsenault

Wildseed Farm near Fredericksburg - Global Dish - Stephanie Arsenault

A visit to Texas Hill Country isn’t just about eating and drinking. Nope, you’ve got to earn those calories, and the best way to do it is to bike the country backroads. The views can’t be beat – it’s all wildflowers, wildlife, and quiet gravel roads. Just don’t be surprised when your guide with Hill Country Bicycle Works tells you, “don’t freak out,” as you reach the top of a hill and see another big one comin’ up. 

SHOP
If shopping is your jam, you’re in luck. Right downtown there are a ton of unique spots; galleries dominate the main street, but are flanked by wine rooms, carefully curated shops, and specialty stores {there’s one dedicated solely to dogs!}. Plus, you could easily hit ‘em up all in one day, making for the perfect shop-til-you-drop experience.

 Maven in Fredericksburg - Global Dish - Stephanie Arsenault

Maven in Fredericksburg - Global Dish - Stephanie Arsenault

For high-end antiques and home décor, FarmHaus is a must-visit. Down the street next to the drool-worthy Burger Burger, you’ll find Maven – an awesome shop that boasts everything from Golden Girls candles and sassy AF t-shirts, to artistan-made jewelry. 

More cool goods can be found at East Hills {jewelry, kitchenware, and clothes, among other things!}, along with beer, wine, and snacks. Anywhere that serves drinks while you peruse is pretty much perfection, no? 

 Candy Shop in Fredericksburg - Global Dish - Stephanie Arsenault

Candy Shop in Fredericksburg - Global Dish - Stephanie Arsenault

 East Hills in Fredericksburg - Global Dish - Stephanie Arsenault

East Hills in Fredericksburg - Global Dish - Stephanie Arsenault

With a focus on ethically made and sourced goods, Raven + Lily is a stunning store with well-priced goods from around the world. It’s incredible to be able to look at an item and get the back story on the area it came from, who made it, and how your purchase is affecting people in a specific area of the world. 

Now, to get your chocolate fix, head to Quintessential Chocolates. The sweets are made right on site, and the folks behind the counter are more than happy to let you sample to your hearts content. Be sure to pick up some of the liquid-filled varieties; the wine, tequila, and vodka-filled chocolates are a whole new kind of decadent. 

 La Bergerie in Fredericksburg - Global Dish - Stephanie Arsenault

La Bergerie in Fredericksburg - Global Dish - Stephanie Arsenault

For cool kitchen stuff, entertaining essentials, artisanal charcuterie, cheese, and bread, and a killer assortment of wine and craft beer, La Bergerie is the place to be. They’re owned by the same folks as Otto’s and Tubby’s, so you know it’s damn good.  

 La Bergerie in Fredericksburg - Global Dish - Stephanie Arsenault

La Bergerie in Fredericksburg - Global Dish - Stephanie Arsenault

 La Bergerie in Fredericksburg - Global Dish - Stephanie Arsenault

La Bergerie in Fredericksburg - Global Dish - Stephanie Arsenault

 La Bergerie in Fredericksburg - Global Dish - Stephanie Arsenault

La Bergerie in Fredericksburg - Global Dish - Stephanie Arsenault

Das Peach Haus has a little bit of something for everyone. They serve up homemade, award-winning preserves, sauces, and jellies, and offer cooking classes so you can take a bit of Fredericksburg home. Their wine tasting room is set in an 1870 log cabin that was actually the company’s first retail store, and out back there's a beautiful pond, some swinging benches, and the perfect atmosphere for a picturesque picnic.  What more could you ask for? 

 Das Peach Haus in Fredericksburg - Global Dish - Stephanie Arsenault

Das Peach Haus in Fredericksburg - Global Dish - Stephanie Arsenault

STAY
The entire area in an around Fredericksburg is packed with B&Bs. Some are ultra-modern, others are in heritage buildings, and many are extremely unique {like this one, where you sleep near a small, local airport and can watch the planes take off and land!}. Regardless of what you have in mind, there’s something that will suit your needs and your price point. 

 Fredericksburg Herb Farm - Global Dish - Stephanie Arsenault

Fredericksburg Herb Farm - Global Dish - Stephanie Arsenault

 Fredericksburg Herb Farm - Global Dish - Stephanie Arsenault

Fredericksburg Herb Farm - Global Dish - Stephanie Arsenault

 Fredericksburg Herb Farm - Global Dish - Stephanie Arsenault

Fredericksburg Herb Farm - Global Dish - Stephanie Arsenault

Arguably one of the most relaxing places to stay is at the Fredericksburg Herb Farm, where guests stay in small cottages modeled after traditional Sunday houses, surrounded in immaculately kept gardens. There’s also a stunning spa on-site, the Farm Haus Bistro, and a cute little shop, where you can buy homemade bath and body products and home and garden goods. The cottages are non-allergenic {tile floors, no duvets or feather pillows}, the property is non-smoking, and it’s an adult-only B&B – perfect for those looking for a grown-up holiday. 

 Accommodation in Fredericksburg - Global Dish - Stephanie Arsenault

Accommodation in Fredericksburg - Global Dish - Stephanie Arsenault