Who knew there would be 50 fun things to do in Fredericksburg for a small town?
There are so many fun things to do that one weekend in Fredericksburg would barely scratch the surface. I visit Fredericksburg every year because there is always something exciting to discover.
Seriously, there is constantly a new winery opening. Better yet, how about a place to sleep next to giraffes?! Yes, you read that right. Keep reading to learn more!
Of course, the wineries are fantastic, but Fredericksburg is one of the best destinations in Texas because of its diversity. There is a rich history, culture, art, shopping, hiking adventures, delicious cuisine, and all sorts of booze.
So whether you want to learn about the city’s German settlement, shop for antiques, hike a giant rock, or enjoy wine tastings – there are several fun things to do in Fredericksburg. Thus, making this small town a must-visit on an epic Texas Hill Country road trip.
And with 50 things to do in Fredericksburg, it is just a matter of figuring out what you want to see and enjoy the most. Good luck!
The Best Things to Do in Fredericksburg: Food and Booze
You are likely visiting Fredericksburg to enjoy one of over 50 fabulous wineries. Winery hopping is one of the best things to do in Fredericksburg, but there are also breweries, distilleries, craft chocolatiers, delicious German cuisine, and more that you cannot miss.
Visit Award-Winning Wineries
This small town is like Italy’s Tuscany. It is THE wine destination in Texas. People travel near and far to visit the best wineries in Fredericksburg.
From 100% Texas wines to South African wines, and from award-winning dry cabernet sauvignon to sweet peach wine – there is a winery for every palate.
A few of my favorite wineries in Fredericksburg include the Rhinory, Signor Vineyards, Wine Garage, Heath Sparkling Wines, and Fiesta Winery. Check out my guide on “The Best Wineries in Fredericksburg” to learn more.
Go on Winery Tour
If you want to have ALL the fun winery hopping without the worry of driving, then a winery tour or wine shuttle is your best option. A winery tour is the safest and easiest option to visit multiple wineries in one day.
You can visit as few as two wineries or as many as four wineries. The hardest part about a wine tour is deciding which one to book!
There are over 20 wine tour companies. Check out the Visit Fredericksburg website to help you find the best one.
Taste Wine on Main Street
Another great way to taste wine from different wineries is to wine hop on Main Street. There are several wineries with a tasting room on Main Street.
So if you cannot travel to the winery, you can at least try their wine in a tasting room. And honestly, wine hopping on Main Street is just as fun as winery hopping on Highway 290.
Moreover, did you know that you can drink wine and beer while walking on Main Street? Yes, Fredericksburg has an open container policy in its Main Street shopping district. Please still drink responsibly.
Read Next: Best Wineries in North Texas
Go on a Texas Safari Wine Tour
Wine and animals? Yes, please! Grapetown Vineyards is an 85-acre working farm with exotic and rescue animals and the only vineyard with a full bar winery. There is a drink for everyone at Grapetown Vineyards, whether you want a cocktail, beer, or award-winning wines.
The safari wine tour takes guests on a drive to see camels, rescued zebras, alpacas, American bison, and more. During this experience, you can get up close and feed some of the animals to create memories that will last a lifetime.
Moreover, Grapetown Vineyard is the BEST family-friendly winery with lots of kid activities. Behind the winery tasting room are a sand pit, friendly petting goats, yard games, and a playground. Our son had so much fun in the kid area while we sat back and relaxed with a bottle of wine.
But wait..that’s not all! Grapetown Vineyards also has an interactive grape stomp, glamping tents, and a polo field. They have the only active Polo Club in Fredericksburg, Texas. The Polo Club hosts a match on some weekends, so you can enjoy watching this incredible sport with a glass of wine in hand.
All these fun activities at Grapetown Vineyards make it one of the best things to do in Fredericksburg.
Drink Wine with Rhinos
What do you get when you combine rhinos and wine? Rhinory.
Rhinory is a 55-acre ranch that has a world-class winery and rhino conservation. Yes, you can enjoy a glass of wine next to a rhino! More importantly, you are helping rhino conservation when you drink wine here.
There are a few different ways to experience Rhinory. You can enjoy one of the wine tastings, sip on a glass of wine, or share a bottle of wine – all while admiring the rhino on the property. For a more personal encounter with the rhino, guests can book the Rhino Experience.
The Rhino Experience is one of the best things to do in Fredericksburg. It includes a barn tour, knowledge of rhinos and the Rhinory, and a personal visit with Blake, the rhino ambassador. During this time, guests can give Blake scratches, take pictures, and more.
If you are unable to do the Rhino Experience, do not fret. The Rhinory also offers a complimentary educational seminar led by the rhino caretaker by the enclosure.
Guests are encouraged to sip wine while learning about the majestic animals. It’s a great experience to learn more about the rhinos and the Rhinory’s conservation efforts.
Drink Wine Inside a Car Collection
Whether you love cars, wine, or both – a visit to the Wine Garage is one of the best things to do in Fredericksburg.
The Wine Garage tasting takes place inside the owner’s stellar classic car collection. During the wine tasting, you gain knowledge of the wine and each classic car in the garage.
Furthermore, the wine pairs with the car because each wine bottle has a label associated with a vehicle. How is that for a wine pairing? How is that for a wine pairing?
Enjoy a Spirit Tasting at Elk Store Winery and Distillery
The Elk Store Winery & Distillery produces small-batch handmade, triple-still spirits made in an authentic copper still. The premium spirits made in-house include moonshine, gin, rum, and whiskey.
You can try The Elk Store Distillery’s craft with one spirit tasting, or for the full experience, try them all! Once you find what you like, enjoy a spirit on the rocks or in a handcrafted cocktail.
No doubt you will savor a spirit until its last drop, so take advantage of your time at The Elk Store Winery & Distillery because you can only purchase the small batch spirits in-store.
This is also a great place to visit if someone in your group prefers spirits over wine or vice versa. As the name states, The Elk Store Winery & Distillery also produces and sells wine by glass, bottle, and tasting. So everyone can drink happily.
Have a Cocktail at Dietz Distillery
Dietz Distillery is a small artisan distillery that practices old-world distilling techniques to make fruit-driven spirits. All the spirits are made with Texas-homegrown fruits and, if possible, locally sourced.
Their top-shelf spirits include peach brandy, pear brandy, gin, orange liquor, raspberry vodka, and other seasonal spirits.
The outcome is unbelievable when Dietz Distillery combines its old-world distilling techniques with the juicy Texas fruits. You can taste the fresh fruit as if someone juiced it into a glass right in front of you.
Must order: Raspberry Racer – fresh grapefruit juice, raspberry vodka, topped with Topo Chico and if you want it slightly sweet, ask for a dash of simple syrup.
Find a Hidden Speakeasy
One of the best things to do in Fredericksburg is to find a hidden speakeasy. The speakeasy hides really well in plain sight. It is located inside a simple farmhouse that you wouldn’t think twice about.
The Speakeasy at Salvation Spirits is the ONLY speakeasy in Fredericksburg. It sits on a 10-acre orchard surrounded by pecans and fresh blackberries, peaches, pears, plums, and grapes.
To enter the speakeasy, you must have a reservation (through their website). On the day of your reservation, you will receive a “secret” text message with a gate code to access the parking lot.
The Speakeasy at Salvation Spirits prides itself on being a specialty cocktail laboratory that is a purpose-driven, environmentally conscious distillery, winery, and brewery. There are currently 15 specialty cocktails on the menu, including classic and creative cocktails.
Drink Beer at the “Granddaddy” of Brewpubs
Fredericksburg Brewing Company is the oldest operating brewpub in Texas! Since 1994, they have been brewing craft beer and serving German-American cuisine. That is why they call themselves the “granddaddy” of brewpubs in Texas.
All the craft beer is brewed in-house. There are no tours of the brewery, but there’s a chance you can watch the brewers at work from your table. Moreover, you can see the vats and brewing equipment behind the bar. And you can always ask for details from your server.
Fredericksburg Brewing Company has at least five beers on tap from over 20 varieties. A few of their staple beers worth trying in a flight include Peacepipe Pale Ale, Enchanted Rock Red Ale, Not So Dumb Blonde Ale, and Pioneer Porter.
Must order: a pint of Not So Dumb Blonde Ale with Schinken Schnitzel.
Drink German Beer – Prost!
Altstadt Brewery completely whisks you away from the Texas Hill Country and makes you feel like you stepped into Munich, Germany. From the Bavarian-style building to the Biergarten, German-style beers, German cuisine, and live music hall – this is as close to Germany as you can get without a plane ticket.
Altstadt Brewery brews some of the most authentic German-style beers in the country. There are currently 12 German-style beers on tap with three different beer flights.
There’s a brewer’s choice flight, flagship flight, and create your own flight. If you are up to the challenge, you can easily try every beer on three flights.
In addition to German-style beers, Altstadt Brewery also has delicious German cuisine. I recommend dining in the Grand Hall when there is live music because it’s one of the closest ambiances we have felt to being back in Germany.
Must order: a Flagship Tasting with a Bavarian Sausage Plate.
Eat Authentic German Cuisine
In 1846 Fredericksburg was founded by German immigrants. So much of their history and influence remains in the city, starting with food. Eating german cuisine is one of the best things to do in Fredericksburg.
There are several delicious places to find authentic German cuisine. From traditional German restaurants to restaurants with a modern take on German cuisine and even tasty German bakeries – Fredericksburg is a little slice of Germany in the Texas Hill Country.
The Auslander is one of my favorite places to eat in Fredericksburg. The restaurant has a lovely Biergarten with music and serves German and American cuisine.
If you are looking for 100% authentic German cuisine, I recommend Der Lindenbaum and The Old German Bakery and Restaurant. Everything is made from scratch, and both establishments make delicious cakes and pastries.
Speaking of pastries, Pritzer Sweet Shop has the famous Sweet German Pretzel that tastes amazing! The bakery also offers other European and American pastries such as apple strudel, croissants, coconut macaroons, eclairs, cookies, and more.
I highly recommend Otto’s German Bistro if you want German cuisine in a fine dining experience. This farm-to-table restaurant creates a seasonally focused menu of traditional German and Austrian cuisine with a modern twist.
Eat the Best BBQ in Texas
A trip to Texas Hill Country is not complete without barbecue. Luckily one of the best bbq joints in the state is here in Fredericksburg.
Who knew Korean cuisine would pair perfectly with Texas-style barbecue? The answer… husband and wife duo, Lance and Boo of Eaker Barbecue.
Eaker Barbecue serves “South Texas Style” barbecue with a taste of Korean cuisine. The bbq joint serves juicy and flavorful meats with delicious Korean side dishes.
You can find prime brisket, pulled pork, turkey, sausage, dry rub ribs, and their famous Gochujang Pork Ribs on the menu. In addition to meat by the pound, there is also a selection of sandwiches.
You cannot forget the Korean-inspired side dishes. In fact, some may say the side dishes are the star of the show! Fan favorites include homemade kimchi, Korean cucumber salad, and Kimchi fried rice.
Must order: Gochujang Pork Ribs, Prime Brisket, Peach Bourbon Glazed Pork Belly (if it’s on the menu), and Homemade Kimchi.
Experience a Grand Caviar Presentation
Vaudeville is one of the most unique places in Fredericksburg that you cannot miss. On the ground floor, it is a luxurious boutique store. Downstairs, it is a charming bistro.
During the day, the bistro is casual and serves daily specials, gourmet sandwiches, quiche, cookies, pastries, and more. At night, the bistro becomes a marvelous fine dining experience with a prix fixe and an exquisite caviar presentation.
Watch Planes Take Off During Breakfast
The Airport Diner has the best breakfast with a view. You can sit at a booth and watch airplanes come and go as you enjoy a stack of pancakes.
This classic 1940s diner serves delicious breakfast all day long. The atmosphere inside the diner takes you back in time with the vintage decor.
After eating, you can (carefully) walk on the tarmac and check out the planes. Just remember, these are personal planes. So I would keep a respectful distance and not touch the aircrafts.
Must order: Flying Flapjacks, a Hearty Hill Country Breakfast, and one of their famous Milkshakes or Malts.
Enjoy a Texas Hill Country Sunset Supper
Southold Farm and Cellar is a winery and vineyard that sits high on a ridge with breathtaking views of the Texas Hill Country. In addition to enjoying a lovely wine tasting, one of the most memorable experiences you can have is their Sunset Supper.
The Sunset Supper hosts a small group of people to enjoy an 8-course dinner paired with wine while soaking in the incredible sunset. The chef-driven menu is constantly changing, using locally sourced and seasonal ingredients.
This intimate fine dining experience is only available Friday and Saturday, and reservations are required. Southold Farm and Cellar host a Prologue dining experience during the hot summer months – a 4-course wine pairing. I recommend booking your reservation far in advance.
Pamper and Dine at the Hill Country Herb Garden
A visit to the Hill Country Herb Garden is one of the best things to do in Fredericksburg because the property offers guests an array of beautiful experiences.
The Hill Country Herb Garden has curated B&B cottages, a luxurious spa, a chef-driven restaurant, and an herb garden. The garden is home to 154 unique botanical species. Of those, 60 are native to Texas, and 33 are herb species.
The restaurant serves garden-inspired cocktails and American cuisine with an international influence. The menu is constantly changing, utilizing the freshest and locally sourced ingredients, including their garden.
You can easily spend an entire day here pampering at the spa and indulging in delicious food. I highly recommend brunch at the restaurant, followed by a spa treatment, and ending with a garden-inspired cocktail or a rejuvenating smoothie.
Savor Liquid Filled Chocolates
Quintessential Chocolates offers one-of-a-kind chocolates you cannot find anywhere else in the United States – liquid center chocolates filled with premium spirits, wines, coffees, and fruit nectars.
These are not your typical liquid-filled chocolates at the liquor store. Trust me. As a previous chocolatier, I can assure you that these liquid-filled chocolates are unlike anything you have ever tasted.
Quintessential Chocolates famous liquid-filled chocolates are created by a process over 200 years old. It involves casting a “sugar crust” that holds the liquid and intensifies its flavor.
Then the liquid-filled sugar crust is enrobed in chocolate. The result is so incredible that you need to come and taste it for yourself!
A few spirit flavors Quintessential Chocolates creates include Amaretto, Five Farms Irish Cream Liqueur, Anejo Tequila, Peach Schnapps, Bourbon Tender, Tennessee Whiskey, and more.
Indulge in a Chocolate and Wine Tasting
Hill Country Chocolate is a gourmet chocolate and fine confections shop. You can purchase an assortment of fantastic chocolate and fine confections gift sets while you watch the chocolatiers at their craft through a window.
More importantly, they create something exciting and fresh in Fredericksburg – an elevated chocolate and wine experience.
The Premier Wine and Chocolate Experience takes guests on a journey through chocolate and wine. It starts with small bites of Hill Country Chocolate bonbons and fine confections paired with their exclusive DKM Cellars wine.
Throughout the experience, guests will learn more about Hill Country Chocolate, the process of how chocolate is made, and how their DKM Cellars wine is specifically produced to pair well with chocolate.
More importantly, your taste buds will find magic with every bite of chocolate and sip of wine. And you will leave with a greater appreciation of chocolate and wine.
The Best Things to Do in Fredericksburg: Outdoor Adventures
In addition to world-class wines and delicious cuisine, Fredericksburg has incredible outdoor adventures. From hiking a giant rock to watching a bat flight, picking peaches, and hanging out with giraffes – here are some of the best outdoor adventures in Fredericksburg.
Sleep Next to a Giraffe
Longneck Manor is making it easier than ever to encounter and wake up next to giraffes. Yes, you can wake up next to a giraffe!
There are a few ways to experience Longneck Manor and encounter their giraffe and rhino ambassadors. You can book a Giraffe Suite or an Animal Encounter Tour.
The Giraffe Suite is a luxurious accommodation and experience inside the giraffe barn. In addition to sleeping in the barn, guests also feed the giraffes and rhinos and get a one-on-one with an animal.
The suite is on the second floor with several windows overlooking the giraffe stall, so you are nose-to-nose with the giraffes. There are even windows to the giraffe stall in the bedroom. So you are literally falling asleep and waking up with views of the giraffes.
The Animal Encounter Tour is limited to ten people and is 1.5 hours long. It includes up-close encounters, photo opportunities, and feedings with the giraffes and rhinos. The tour is fun and educates you more about Longneck Manor and its conservation efforts to help save these animals from extinction.
Hike the Summit of Enchanted Rock
Hiking the top of Enchanted Rock is one of the best things to do in Fredericksburg, and a Texas bucket list must.
You can hike, rock climb, geocache, stargaze, and camp at Enchanted Rock State Natural Area, but the most popular thing to do is a hike to the 1,823-ft. Summit.
The Summit Trail is a challenging 1.3-mile out-and-back hike because it is a steep incline to the top. The reward is worth the trek because the 360° views of the Texas Hill Country are breathtaking.
Make sure you reserve your daily pass on the Texas State Parks website.
Watch a Bat Flight
Old Tunnel State Park is the smallest state park in Texas. It features a historical railroad tunnel home to 3 million Mexican free-tailed bats (from May – October).
There is a short 0.5-mile easy hiking trail where you can see the historical railroad tunnel, but the main attraction is the Mexican free-tailed bats.
Old Tunnel State Park has a ranger-guided bat flight program from May through October. In June, the bat population may be smaller because the female bats will leave to give birth. Therefore, the largest population of bats can be seen from August through September.
Before the bats take their flight, a ranger will educate visitors on the bats until they make their grand entrance. The timing of the bats is unpredictable, so check the Old Tunnel State Park Facebook page for the most up-to-date times when the bats emerge.
You must book a ticket from the Texas State Parks website to experience this program. If you do not have children four and under, I recommend booking the lower area for the best viewing.
Visit a Ghost Town
On your way back from watching the bat flight at Old Tunnel State Park, visit the ghost town of Bankersmith, Texas – “where nobody is anybody” with a population of zero…until you get there!
Bankersmith originated in 1913 as a train station. Today, this ghost town is home to a Texas Dance Hall and saloon. So grab your cowboy boots and come hungry to Bankersmith.
The saloon has a wide variety of delicious entrees focused on meat. Their famous burgers are made in-house with grass-fed beef, raised next door at Grapetown Vineyard. There is also homestyle barbecue, hand-carved Angus ribeye steaks, custom-made hot dogs, and more.
If you need somewhere to stay in Fredericksburg, you can stay in this ghost town! Bankermsith has a cute and cozy AirBnb connected to the dance hall. It is definitely one of the most unique places to stay in Texas.
Pick Peaches at an Orchard
Georgia might be the “Peach State,” but the Texas Hill Country is home to some of the best peach growers. And Jenschkne Orchards is the best place to get peaches in the Texas Hill Country.
Jenschke Orchards has 20 varieties of peaches. They are the sweetest and juiciest peaches you will ever taste. The peach season is between May through September. So if you visit Fredericksburg during those months, you must visit Jenschke Orchards.
The best part is you can pick the peaches yourself! Grab your family, friends, or loved ones and have fun picking peaches at Jenschke Orchard. If that is not your jam, you can purchase peaches and other fresh fruit and vegetables at their farm stand.
Drive the Scenic Willow City Loop
The Willow City Loop is a scenic 13-mile drive in the Texas Hill Country. The drive is beautiful year-round, but spring is the best time to drive the Willow City Loop.
The Willow City Loop is easily one of the best places to see the Texas bluebonnets and wildflowers. From March through May, the fields and landscape along the Willow City Loop have blankets of blue, yellow, and red wildflowers.
Directions to Willow City Loop: From Fredericksburg, head north on State Route 16 for approximately 13 miles to Willow City. Then go east on Ranch Road 1323 for nearly 3 miles, then turn left onto Willow City Loop.
Enjoy Wildflowers at Wildseed Farms
Wildseed Farms sits on 200 acres of land and is the largest working wildflower seed farm in the U.S. The farm grows 41 species of wildflowers and harvests several hundred thousand pounds of seeds each year.
The best times to visit Wildseed Farms are spring and summer, when the fields are full of color. During the spring, there are Texas bluebonnets and Red Corn Poppies. Summertime brings sunflowers, Gloriosa Daisy, and Cosmos.
In addition to the picturesque wildflower fields, Wildseed Farms also has walking trails, a butterfly garden, a nursery, a Biergarten, a winery (with a tasting room), and an endless number of photo opportunities. If you love the outdoors and have a green thumb, you can easily spend half a day here.
Take a Stroll at Marktplatz
Marktplatz is a charming park (or town square) in the heart of Fredericksburg. It is located on Main Street and is a great place to relax.
Marktplatz is home to the historic Vereins Kirche, beautiful gardens, a watermill, pavilions, picnic areas, and a children’s playground. It is the perfect place to relax after a long day of shopping, drinking wine, and dining on Main Street.
Gallop Through the Hill Country
One of the best ways to see the scenic landscape of the Texas Hill Country is by horseback.
GF Trail Rides offers one of the best horse backing trails in Fredericksburg. Whether you are a novice or experienced rider, the gentle horseback trails on GF Trail Rides’ ranch are for everyone.
During your horseback ride, you will see breathtaking views of the Hill Country and learn the history of the ranch and its land. This horseback riding experience is perfect for families, bachelorette groups, and couples for morning or sunset rides.
The Best Things to Do in Fredericksburg: Shopping, Arts, and Music
One of the best things to do in Fredericksburg is to go shopping. Some may argue that shopping is more of a reason to visit Fredericksburg than the wineries!
From antique stores to art galleries, boutiques, a year-round Christmas store, the Farmer’s Market, trade days, and more – it would be hard to leave Fredericksburg empty-handed.
Additionally, arts and music almost go hand in hand with shopping in Fredericksburg because where there is shopping, there is usually live music. Moreover, Fredericksburg is full of dance halls and fun nightlife.
Spend a Morning at Das Peach Haus
Das Peach Haus is a country store for the iconic specialty food company, Fischer & Wieser. In addition to being a country store, it has a bakery, cooking class, wine tasting room, and beautiful outdoor dining space with covered seating and a pond.
Make sure you bring your appetite to Das Peach Haus. It is the only place you can see and taste every Fischer & Wieser product.
Once you find your favorite product, buy a bottle of wine, some crackers with jelly and cheese, and a peach cobbler. Then enjoy a lovely picnic at the scenic pond.
Shop Along Main Street
There are two shopping places in Fredericksburg – Main Street and the Warehouse District. Both have great stores, but Main Street is the more popular choice.
Main Street is home to over 150 locally owned and operated shops. You can easily spend an entire day shopping on Main Street and barely scratch the surface.
Some of my favorite shops include the Fredericksburg General Store, Liebeskind Children’s Boutique, and Gypsies and Cowgirls.
Enjoy Live Music on Main Street
Thanks to its famous neighbor, Luckenbach, Fredericksburg is well known for its live music scene. All along Main Street, you can find great music on any night of the week.
Whether at a Biergarten, a winery, a restaurant, or on the corner of Main Street, sit back and relax with good food, drinks, and music.
To check the lineup of live music in Fredericksburg, click here.
Customize Your Own Hat
One of the best things to do for a girl’s weekend in Fredericksburg is customize your own boutique hat. Felt Boutique has revolutionized the hat game by providing guests with a fun and personal experience of creating a one-of-a-kind hat.
At Felt Boutique, guests can go to the hat bar and customize a hat. First, you pick a colored hat that speaks to you. Then you style it by adding accessories such as ribbons and feathers and branding your initials.
All of the associates at Felt Boutique are so friendly and knowledgeable to help guide you in creating your hat. It is a one-on-one experience which is why you must book an appointment. There are no walk-ins.
Shop at a Year-Round Christmas store
Calling all Christmas lovers! If you need some extra Christmas spirit in the middle of the year, step inside The Christmas Store.
The Christmas Store sells everything you can imagine to celebrate Christmas all year. You can find the perfect ornament, snow globe, home decor, stockings, wreaths, and more.
Shop Local at Farmer’s Market
One of the best things to do in Fredericksburg is going to the Farmer’s Market. The Fredericksburg Farmer’s Market takes place every Thursday (from spring through fall) at Marktplatz from 4 – 7 pm.
The Fredericksburg Farmer’s Market is an excellent opportunity to find locally sourced fresh produce. It brings together farmers, ranchers, and wineries across Hill Country. The vendors sell fresh fruit, vegetables, meats, fish, cheeses, wines, baked goods, and more.
There is also live music, wine tastings, and wood-fired pizza. It’s a great way to support the locals while having a good time.
Find Something Unique at Fredericksburg Trade Days
If you love shopping for something special and unique, you should experience the Fredericksburg Trade Days. The Fredericksburg Trade Days are on the third Saturday of the month and located outside town at Sunday Farms.
Fredericksburg Trade Days have over 400 vendors. You can find antiques, collectibles, woodworking crafts, chic decor, hunting accessories, candles, boutique clothing, unique jewelry, food, and so much more.
There is also food for purchase, wine tastings, a Biergarten, and live music. This monthly event is so much fun that you could easily lose track of time and spend all day here.
First Friday Art Walk
Fredericksburg has a long-standing relationship with art, thanks to artists inspired by the surrounding rolling hills, stunning sunsets, and colorful wildflowers. Now it is home to over a dozen art galleries, artists, dealers, and collectors.
One of the best ways to experience all of the art in town is the First Friday Art Walk. The Fredericksburg First Friday Art Walk takes place on (you guessed it) the first Friday of the month.
This event is one of the best things to do in Fredericksburg for art admirers, but it is fun for everyone! Visitors are encouraged to stroll throughout town to watch different street performances, join in on the fun art activities, and visit the art studios and galleries.
A part of the event is the Sip & Stroll. So visitors can admire the art with a drink in hand.
Go Antique Shopping
Fredericksburg has so many places to go antique shopping. You can shop for your Texas treasure at the Trade Days, along Main Street, and in the Warehouse District.
There are over 20 places to go antique shopping on Main Street and the Warehouse District. Of all those shops, two of my favorite places to find something special are the Red Baron Antique Mall and the Antique Mall of Fredericksburg.
Go Two-Stepping at a Historic Dance Hall
Grab your boots and two-step the night away at the legendary small town of Luckenbach, where “everybody’s somebody.” That is Luckenbach’s small town motto and vibe – a must-visit for country music fans and Texas history lovers.
In 1849, Luckenbach was established as a community trading post and gradually became a ghost town by the 1960s. Then everything changed in 1977 when country artist Waylon Jennings made a hit song, “Luckenbach, Texas (Back To The Basics Of Love).” The hit song turned the ghost town into a Texas bucket list stop, which is still relevant today.
Luckenbach remains a small ghost town that might look run-down, but it can be just as lively as Main Street in Fredericksburg. Whether you visit on a weekday or the weekend, you are guaranteed a good time.
Visitors can check out the original post office, grab a beer at the saloon, buy something unique at the general store, and dance the night away at the historic dance hall – which hosts live music almost every day of the year.
Read Next: Epic Texas Hill Country Road Trip
The Best Things to Do in Fredericksburg: History
Thanks to the first German settlers, navy hero Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, and President Lyndon B. Johnson, Fredericksburg is rich in history. As a result, there are so many things to do in Fredericksburg that encompass these historical figures.
Take a Step Back in Time
Fredericksburg was founded in 1846 when the first German settlers arrived in the Texas Hill Country. To this day, the city’s roots are heavily influenced by its German heritage. The best place to learn everything about the city’s German heritage is at the Pioneer Museum.
The Pioneer Museum is a 3.5-acre museum and historical site that strives to preserve and tell its German heritage story. It has original buildings, artifacts, and displays of the first German settlers.
Visitors can experience the Pioneer Museum on a self-guided tour. Each building has automated audio narrators recorded by descendants of the settlers. Each narrator describes the building or room and shares personal stories to help place you back in time.
The Pioneer Museum also hosts events throughout the year for visitors to get a hands-on experience of pioneer life. You can learn pioneer skills such as making pies, canning and preserving fruits, rope making, soap making, sheep shearing, and more.
Visit Fredericksburg’s Historical Landmark
The Vereins Kirche is Fredericksburg’s most iconic structure, located in the heart of the city, Marktplatz.
The original octagonal building was built by the first German settlers. It was used as a town hall, school, fort, and church.
Today, the Vereins Kirche is a replica but just as beautiful as the original building. It is also an extension of the Pioneer Museum. Inside the Vereins Kirche Museum is a more informative education of the city’s German settlers and the history of the building.
Explore President Lyndon B. Johnson’s Birthplace
Take a short day trip to Johnson City to explore Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park. Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park is an insightful place to learn more about the 36th President of the United States.
The Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park is an International Dark Sky Park and includes access to the President’s childhood home, the Johnson family cemetery, old Junction School, LBJ’s grandparents’ home, and LBJ’s beloved ranch (in Stonewall).
The National Parks Service rangers lead 30 minutes tours throughout the day from the Hangar Visitor Center to President Johnson’s Boyhood Home. Then you can drive 20 minutes to Stonewall to explore LBJ Ranch, the second half of the park.
LBJ Ranch in Stonewall is the birthplace and resting place of President Lyndon B. Johnson. To explore the ranch, you must obtain a self-guided driving permit from Lyndon B. Johnson State Park. Then at your own pace, you can drive the LBJ Ranch grounds and stop at sites along the way, such as the President’s birthplace, the Johnson family cemetery, and the famous Texas White House.
Experience Life on the Sauer-Beckmann Living History Farm
The Sauer-Beckmann Living History Farm is located at Lyndon B. Johnson State Park & Historic Site just outside Fredericksburg. It is the most popular and wonderful family attraction at the park.
The experience at Sauer-Beckmann Living History Farm is a free self-guided tour (although donations are welcome). Visitors will feel like they stepped back in time as they learn about this Texas-German farm during the World War I era.
Park rangers are dressed in period clothing while doing daily chores. Some daily chores include milking, gathering eggs preparing meals, churning butter, gardening, welding, knitting, and more.
As you watch the park rangers at work, visitors can ask questions and learn about the period and tasks.
Visit the National Museum of the Pacific War
If you are a history buff, one of the best things to do in Fredericksburg is to visit the National Museum of the Pacific War.
Honestly, I am not a history buff – and I found this museum breathtaking. It is of the same caliber as any Smithsonian, which is why it was named the fifth-best history museum in the United States by USA Today readers.
The National Museum of the Pacific War is a dedication to all those who served in the Pacific War. This expansive museum spans across 6-acres with six different sections. You can easily (and it is recommended to) spend 3 – 5 hours here exploring the entire museum.
The main section is the George H.W. Bush Gallery. Inside the gallery, you will follow the war and its impacts – from Pearl Harbor to the Doolittle Raid, Midway, Guadalcanal, Tarawa, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa.
Along the way, you will gain more knowledge than you could ever imagine, see priceless artifacts up-close, watch videos that will make you emotional, and more.
Stroll Through the Japanese Garden of Peace
The Japanese Garden of Peace is a beautiful place to find tranquility. It is a part of the National Museum of the Pacific War, but it is free to visit.
The Japanese Garden of Peace is a gift from Japan. It symbolizes the friendship between the two countries, specifically Admiral Nimitz and Japanese Admiral Togo.
The garden is so beautiful and authentic that you feel like you are in Japan. It features the symbolic elements of a traditional Japanese garden, including a fish pond, raked stones, lanterns, and a meditation structure.
Honor Admiral Chester W. Nimitz
Also located at the National Museum of the Pacific War is the Admiral Nimitz Gallery. The Admiral Nimitz Gallery is dedicated to Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, a Fredericksburg native and hero to the United States.
Admiral Nimitz commanded the US Pacific Fleet and played a significant role in the naval history of World War II. The dedicated museum showcases the admiral’s life and naval career through personal artifacts and state-of-the-art interactive exhibits.
Tour the Historic Fort Martin Scott
In 1848, Fort Martin Scott became the first U.S. Army outpost on the Texas Frontier. It later became a camp for Texas Rangers and a military outpost during the Civil War. Today it is owned by the city of Fredericksburg and is a historic site.
Visitors can take a self-guided tour to learn more about the history of Fort Martin Scott and its role in the Western Frontier. Furthermore, the tour also includes seeing an original garrison building, an 1800s-old farm shed, and three reproduction garrison buildings.
You can also witness historical reenactments at Fort Martin Scott a few times a year.
Read Next: The Best Things to Do in Fort Davis
Visit the Texas Rangers Heritage Center
The Texas Rangers Heritage Center is a 12-acre complex located adjacent to Fort Martin Scott Historic Site. The complex serves as a multi-purpose facility for the city and visitors.
There are memorials dedicated to honor the Texas Rangers who provided safety and protection to the people of Texas. An education center to learn about the history of Texas Rangers and their contribution to law enforcement.
An amphitheater for LoneStar Campfire Stories. And a courtyard for special events such as chuckwagon dinners, cowboy breakfast, cowboy church, and live music throughout the year.
See One of the Painted Churches of Texas
You do not have to travel to Europe to see some magnificent and elaborate churches. You just have to visit the Texas Hill Country.
The Texas Hill Country has 20 Painted Churches. All of them are on the National Register of Historic Places. One is in Fredericksburg – St. Mary’s Church.
In the mid-19th century, Czech and German immigrants built The Painted Churches of Texas. From the outside, they may look ordinary, but once you step inside, you will find the churches extravagant.
As you may have guessed, each church is painted a vibrant color. The St. Mary’s Church is intricately painted with a blue-green apse ceiling and a gorgeous colorful design along the vault ribs.
It is matched with decorative stained glass windows, exquisite moldings, a corner tower, domed arch ceilings, and more. Needless to say, it is a sight to see!
Seasonal Things to Do in Fredericksburg
If you cannot fly to Germany for Oktoberfest or Christmas markets, do not worry – Fredericksburg, Texas, is the next best thing! Every year this fantastic Texas-German town embraces its German heritage to host two of the best festivals – Oktoberfest and Weihnachtszeit (Christmas time).
Celebrate a Texas Oktoberfest
The Fredericksburg Oktoberfest celebrates the city’s German heritage in one epic weekend. The festival has five entertainment stages, live music, fun contests, a children’s area, 50 varieties of beers, German cuisine, and more.
Typically, the Fredericksburg Oktoberfest takes place the first weekend of October and is held at the beautiful Marktplatz. Tickets and accommodations go fast, so I recommend planning as far in advance as possible.
Click here for more details about the city’s largest festival of the year.
Enjoy all the Weihnachtszeit Festivities
Fredericksburg during Weihnachtszeit (Christmas season) is one of the most magical places to visit in Texas for the holidays. Except for missing snow, it is the closest thing to experiencing a holiday Hallmark movie.
For over a month, the city turns into a German-inspired winter wonderland. The Marktplatz is decked out with a 30 ft. Christmas tree and a 26 ft. Weihnachtspyramide, (a traditional German decoration that resembles a wooden carousel-like structure).
There is also plenty of shopping, fun winter activities, pictures with Santa, an ice skating rink, a drive-thru live nativity story, winery events (expect some mulled wine), and live entertainment.
I told you there are so many things to do in Fredericksburg! After reading my “50 Amazing Things to Do in Fredericksburg”, I hope you have found plenty to see and enjoy during your visit.