Daytrip Destination: Fredericksburg
Austin’s fun – that’s not up for debate. But after being stuck at home for over a year, a break from Austin is probably just what the doctor ordered. And while vacations are essential for maintaining a work-life balance, they can be hard to plan and easy to lose should a natural disaster or pandemic hit. Thankfully, Austin isn’t the only exciting city in Texas, making the desire for a vacation easy to fulfill – take a daytrip to Fredericksburg!
Daytrips have all the benefits of a vacation – change of scenery, novel experiences, and excellent food. The best part is you can do this without the hassles of flight and hotel purchases, language barriers, and the chance your plans will go up in smoke. In fact, you could take a day trip tomorrow with minimal preparation and the guarantee of a good time. Fredericksburg is the perfect destination for the first-time daytripper (or the experienced one!). This town is less than two hours from Austin and full of German culture, family-owned businesses, and American pride. A day trip to Fredericksburg has enough charm to ensure your vacation meets all your expectations.
On The Way
Before hitting Fredericksburg, take a small detour to Blue Bonnet Café in Marble Falls. Blue Bonnet offers a robust breakfast and a gorgeous slice of pie. Opened in 1929, Blue Bonnet Café has a worldwide reputation for friendly service, comfort food, and enormous pies baked daily.
Beat the Heat
20 minutes outside of Fredericksburg stands Enchanted Rock, a marvel of pink granite and stunning scenery. The view from the top takes your breath away, and the hike to get there is just challenging enough to give you a feeling of accomplishment once you reach the summit. Go early to miss the Texas heat, and consider purchasing a reservation on your way there, as the rock closes once capacity is reached. For those interested in beating the heat in a more relaxing way, Marktplatz von Fredericksburg is the ideal park for a picnic. The lush park is also the home of Vereins Kirche, Fredericksburg’s original church and school.
Head to family-owned Pasta Bella Restaurant after enjoying the outdoors. Like Blue Bonnet Café, Pasta Bella specializes in comfort food. Unlike Blue Bonnet Café, Pasta Bella brings you home-cooked meals Italian-style. Able to accommodate allergies, diets, and preferences, Pasta Bella Restaurant’s hearty, filling dishes are ones no daytripper should skip.
Located at opposite ends of Fredericksburg’s Main Street are the National Museum of the Pacific War and the Pioneer Museum. The National Museum of the Pacific War is brilliantly engineered to educate visitors on a key piece of American history and to honor the sacrifices of American veterans. As interesting as it is sobering, this museum shows the depth of strength and courage held in the American people.
The heart of America continues to be seen as you walk down Main Street after exiting the museum. The city’s historic downtown district only allows family-owned, Fredericksburg-based businesses in the area, creating a truly unique and indisputably personable atmosphere. Decadent sweet treats from Chocolat and creative concoctions from Lone Star Candy Bar give way to heirlooms, antiques, handmade hats, and candles. In essence, it’s a shopping trip that caters to all members of the family. At the other end of Main Street, the more lighthearted Pioneer Museum offers a rustic, engaging experience in time travel. You can learn to live like a pioneer or simply peek into the past.
No daytrip would be complete without wine, and Fredericksburg offers many options. A short walk from Main Street takes you to Lost Draw Cellars. The store showcases affordable yet stunning wines available for standing or seated tastings upon reservation. Lost Draw makes all wines on-site and carefully selects their picks.
As the day draws to a close, say goodbye to Fredericksburg by celebrating its extensive German culture with a dinner at Ausländer Restaurant and Biergarten. Ausländer specializes in Bavarian cuisine and has served the city for over twenty years. It’s exciting atmosphere and occasional live music provide a rewarding end to a much-needed vacation.