Best Places To Eat, Sleep and Drink Wine in Texas Hill Country
Thinking of a visit to Texas Hill Country? Get the latest scoop on everything you need to know to make it epic weekend getaway.
Did you know that Texas Hill Country is the second most-visited wine region in the U.S., only following Napa Valley? I didn’t. After my recent visit to the area, I can definitely see why. Texas Hill Country is a relatively new wine region, but they have come a long way in four decades. For wine nerds, Texas Hill Country AVA is the real deal. The area is stunning and there is so much to do that you will probably need to make more than one trip to satisfy your wanderlust.
Of course, the weekend is the most popular time to go to Texas Hill Country. Be sure to arrive early on Friday (just take the day off work) so you can enjoy a day with fewer crowds and feel more like a local. Most of the places to stay will let you drop off your gear before check-in time. This will allow you to have your hands free for a Texas Hill Country size glass of wine - which is why you are going right?
It’s super easy to get to Texas Hill Country. If you are coming from out of state, San Antonio and Austin are both close by. Now if you’re a Texas resident, you probably already know how to get there. Because I’m a blogger and waned to be free to explore, I rented a car. However, it’s entirely possible to get to Texas Hill Country without the added responsibility of driving. Once in Fredericksburg, there is even a wine shuttle (I will tell you about it later) that can take you safely up and down the Wine Road 290 which serves as the backbone to most of Texas Hill Country.
While there are several quaint towns in the Texas Hill Country area, I stayed in the historical town of Fredericksburg. Therefore, all my recommendations in this article will be Fredericksburg centric. If you are travelling from out of state, add a day to your itinerary to enjoy an evening in San Antonio and another in Austin, both offer nightlife and culinary delights.
Best Places to Stay in Fredericksburg It all starts with your home base. If you can’t get a great night’s sleep, the waking world becomes a whole new place to conquer. Here are my picks, in no particular order.
Hoffman Haus has dreamy big beds with luxurious linens and décor. Leslie and Hugh have become a permanent fixture in the Fredericksburg culture and are known for their creativity, charm and cheer. A Hoffman House stay includes breakfast and there is even a cooking school on site. What? Yeah, Leslie is a real rock star. Her staff defines hospitality to a T.
Fredricksburg Herb Farm is one of the most interesting and unique places I encountered in Texas Hill Country. There is so much to do here that you could spend the entire weekend on site and be happy as a clam. The 13 Sunday Cottages include everything you need to feel at home and are simply enchanting! As a guest, you have access to the Farm Haus Bistro, the 5000 square foot Spa, the Gardens, the Gift Shop and two incredible cedar swings.
Palo Alto Creek Farm is a local (and Texan) favorite. Guests love the fully stocked refrigerator, friendly staff and relaxing setting. All of the cottages are fully restored historical buildings, oozing with old world charm. Each cottage is unique from the other. Guests return time and time again to experience the variety. It’s super tough to get a reservation at Palo Alto Creek Farm, but it's well worth the wait as nothing about this place disappoints. We stayed here. Loved the amenities and location. I’m a huge fan of Palo Alto Creek Farm.
Wine Tasting. There are 50+ wineries scattered throughout Texas Hill Country, but lucky for you, we've shortened the list to include our top recommended wineries and tasting rooms for you to visit.
Becker Vineyards. Grab a glass of Becker Chardonnay and be like Lady Bird Johnson as you stroll through the Lavender fields and bask at the antique windmill. Lyndon Johnson's ranch is just down the highway in case you want to check it out. Guys, don’t worry, there is plenty to entertain you as well. Becker Vineyards is a 10,000 square foot facility, which is a reproduction of a late 19th century German stone barn, a prevalent style of the Texas Hill Country. Talk about wow factor when you arrive! I had a blast going through the cellar and production facility. The wine educators offer entertaining stories while you sip and swirl on some of the best wines in the region. Reservations are strongly recommended.
4.0 Cellars. The first question I asked when I arrived was, where did the name come from? The name 4.0 Cellars is inspired by the three separate wineries that came together to form a matchless fourth winery…and it shows. I had to visit 4.0 Cellars twice so I could try both the Texas Cheese & Wine Experience and the Texas Chocolate & Wine Experience. Incredible. Go there now and get the heart and soul of what Texas Hill Country has to offer.
Heath Sparkling Wines. One of the newest tasting rooms in Texas Hill Country, Heath Sparkling Wines is the very first winery in Texas that is dedicated to the art of fine sparkling winemaking. Our multi-sensory tasting experience is unique, immersive and interesting. There really isn't anything like it.
Hilmy Cellars. Cult followers and wine geeks, get ready! Hilmy wine delivers every single time. Known for their 100% Texas raised fruit, the highly desired batches come in small, but mighty releases. I fell in love with Politics & Religion (sold out) and can’t wait to get my California hands on some. If your one of the chosen few, you can join “the Flock” and have seasonal allocations at your fingertips.
Eats. Where do I begin? I am going to have to write a separate blog just on food in Texas Hill Country. For a little taste of what I like, here are a couple of mouth-watering eateries you could visit. Please check out my blog on Locals Favorite Restaurants in Texas Hill Country for more dining options.
Ottos's German Bistro is a nod to the strong German Heritage in Fredericksburg. This charming restaurant has traditional recipes paired with locally grown produce. The creative way that the food comes out is feast for the eyes. Try the Venison Klopse Appetizer and the Paprika Schnitzel. Oh…and the cocktails…O-M-G. I won't say a word. Trust me, the cocktails are something you will never forget.
August E’s is where you want to go for a true fine dining experience. Here, you will get everything known as Nouveau Texas Cuisine. This elegant space has all the bells and whistles. I’m a sucker for anything with chunk crabmeat. In terms of flavor, service and atmosphere, August E’s is a local and visitor favorite every single time.
If you want to explore almost every Texan wine that Texas has to offer, go to Cabernet Grill. Here, you (and everyone in your group) will no doubt, be content until the cows come home. Rated one of the Top 10 Restaurants in the nation by Trip Advisor, you will experience upscale, Texas Hill Country Cuisine. It’s delicious. It’s casual. It’s a must-do for every Fredericksburg visitor.As you can see, the possibilities in Texas Hill Country are endless. There is so much more to do beyond eating and drinking wine! For fantastic adventure ideas, check out Best Things To Do in Texas Hill Country (other than Eating & Drinking Wine). Overall, Texas Hill Country is a destination that is easy to and a perfect place to unwind.
P.S. Transportation Tip while in Texas Hill Country - The Fredericksburg 290 Wine Shuttle - This a great value and a way to see 12 Texas Hill Country wineries located along the Wine Road 290. I recommend visiting 3-4 wineries a day. For the ambitious few, do not exceed 5 wineries or you will likely lose a day recovering! For $20 a day, you essentially have a driver that will take you safely up and down the Wine Road 290.
The Fredricksburg 290 Wine Shuttle picks people up directly across the street from the Fredericksburg Visitor Center from 10am – 5:30pm on Saturdays and 11am – 4:30pm on Sundays. You can then hop on or hop off at any of the 12 wineries along its route. Stay as long as you like and then take the next shuttle to another winery on its route or return to Fredericksburg.
The Fredericksburg 290 Wine Shuttle route includes 12 Texas Hill Country Wineries: Grape Creek Vineyards, Torre Di Pietra, Becker Vineyards, Woodrose Winery, Pedernales Cellars, Fat Ranch Winery, Four Point Cellars, Inwood Estates, Mendelbaum Cellars, Messina Hof, Six Shooter Cellars, Fiesta Winery
A few of these wineries also have onsite dining. You can plan to have lunch at one along the way or pack a picnic lunch as all of them have spots for a picnic lunch. If you’re visiting on a weekend, you might just be able to catch some live music too. Stops that offer food include: Becker Vineyards and Grape Creek Vineyards.
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