There are so many interesting things to do in Fredericksburg, you will be delighted. Known for both its modern and historic attractions, Fredericksburg (Texas) is an ideal vacation stay for those wishing to enjoy authentic Texan hospitality along with German traditions.
Fredericksburg is located one hour’s drive from Austin and it showcases the unique German heritage of pioneers who lived there 175 years ago – offering visitors thriving wineries, shopping malls and museums.
What I love about this charming city is that it has that small-town feel with several beautiful places to visit, attractions for you to explore and many things to do! Here is my list of the 10 best things to do in Fredericksburg, Texas:
10 Best Things To Do in Fredericksburg (Texas)
1. Hike a Trail at Enchanted Rock State Natural Area
Visiting the Enchanted Rock State Natural Area is one of Fredericksburg’s most splendid outdoor activities. Located 17 miles north of Fredericksburg town, the massive granite monolith stretches to about 1825 feet in elevation.
Driving along Ranch Road 965, visitors enjoy the iconic sight of the enchanted rock. The park occupies a massive area of approximately 1643 acres between the Gillespie and Llano county line. In October 1978, the Nature Conservancy of Texas bought the park from Charles Moss and opened it as a State Natural Area.
The park consists of a campground and trails, while the main campground of the park provides restroom facilities for visitors. Additionally, the park also offers primitive camping sites. An interesting fact about this park is that people have camped in this area for about 12 thousand years. Unfortunately, during the dry season, burn bans are typically in effect, meaning that visitors are not allowed to have open fires.
The trails in this park offer two kinds of hikes: the Dome and Loop Trail hike, and then the four and a half mile Loop Trail. The park also offers guided walks for visitors. In total, the trails are about eight miles of walkable footpaths with numerous exhibits, picnic areas and places to see natural wildlife.
Besides this, the Enchanted Rock State Natural area also welcomes professional rock climbers. If you are a technical rock climber, you will need to sign the waiver form at the front office before climbing, for your safety and so the staff know where you are in case of an emergency. During the rainy season, extra caution is required while rock climbing in the Enchanted Rock State Natural Area, as the granite can become highly slippery with even a slight amount of moisture.
If you plan to visit the Enchanted Rock State Natural Area, you can make a reservation by going to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s online booking system found easily on their official website.
2. Explore Old Tunnel State Park
Old Tunnel State Park is situated on Old San Antonio Road, with Fredericksburg on one side and Comfort on the other. Until 1942, Old Tunnel was owned by Fredericksburg and Northern Railway and was initially a cave in a deserted railroad tunnel. The tunnel accommodated more than three million free-tailed bats belonging to a Mexican species, and Cave Bats of the genus myotis.
In 2012, the park got its designation as a state park. Unfortunately, the cave still belongs to the residential bats, and visitors are not allowed to enter it. However, you can hike on a half mile trail towards the shelter. This trail gives you an excellent opportunity to watch the wildlife, and read informational tableaus about the bats and the area displayed along the path.
If you are strong-hearted and love to have thrilling and adventurous experiences, it is recommended you hike on the trail near the entrance in the evening. When the sun sets, you can witness a spectacular view of thousands of bats flying from the cave to hunt during the night. This view, in particular, attracts many visitors. If you get the chance to see it for yourself, be sure to have a video camera ready to capture a rare sight.
3. Check out the Pioneer Museum Complex
The Pioneer Museum Complex in downtown Fredericksburg is the best choice for history lovers. This museum shares well-structured history and information about the rich German culture of Gillespie County. Spread over a vast area of about 3.5 acres, the museum offers the best examples of old German heritage, including structures and artifacts.
This museum also entertains the citizens and tourists by arranging events. The events have a variety of fun activities that involve the visitors including storytelling, rope and soap making, sheep shearing, and much more. In addition, Gillespie County Historical Society is responsible for arranging special tours of other historic places and homes.
4. Learn about WWII at the National Museum of the Pacific War
Any vacation in Fredericksburg would be incomplete without a visit to the National Museum of Pacific War. This museum is dedicated to about two million people who served in the Pacific during World War II. Over the last ten years, the museum has been expanded and renovated by the government to make it one of the world’s best museums that display the Pacific Theater of the Second World War.
The renovated Nimitz Hotel now contains the Admiral Nimitz Museum, George Bush Gallery of the Pacific War and the Japanese Garden of Peace. It also houses the Pacific War Combat Zone and the Center for Pacific War Studies. In 2020, USA Today recognized the Pioneer Museum Complex as the fifth-best historical museum in the United States.
5. See Beautiful Flowers & Plants at Wildseed Farms
If you are a nature and plant lover, a visit to Wildseed Farms is a must for your tour list – a place famous for flowers. It is the largest farm in the United States with many seasonal and family-owned wildflowers such as the Indian Blanket, Laura Bush Petunias, Purple Coneflower and Bluebonnets.
These flowers are grown for viewing as well as purchasing. Besides this, the farm also grows rare, hard-to-find shrubs, unique plants, tropical trees, grasses used for ornamental purposes, desert plants such as cactus and succulents, and a massive collection of local native plants.
Blossom’s Boutique and the Primrose Room are the top places here to buy clothing inspired by flowers, flower-themed jewelry, fashion accessories and gifts. If you want to relax, enjoy the live flowers, and read books based on nature, Brewbonnet Biergarten is a patio that is an ideal place to chill with a light refreshment.
6. Enjoy a Nature’s Spa at Fredericksburg Herb Farm
The Nature’s Spa Herb Farm offers you more than just a spa treatment. It gives you a unique relaxation experience by providing an infrared sauna, a relaxation room and a sun patio. The qualified therapists here will discuss your needs and customize treatments for you. The services that they offer in the spa include:
- Herbal infused treatments
- Organic products treatments
- Essential oils treatment
Your therapist may also suggest different skincare products and eco-conscious beauty tips for using at home, meaning you can take a part of your vacation home with you. This spa requires a bit of planning to check out as it closes on Sunday and Monday. For the rest of the week, it opens at 10 AM and closes at 5 PM.
If you are too relaxed to go back home, and want to continue exploring this charming town a little more, there are some pretty unique places to stay in Fredericksburg for the weekend, from romantic ones with private hot tubs to beautiful Bed & Breakfast’s.
7. Visit Lyndon B Johnson State Park and Historic Site
The park is covered by 1.2 miles of walking trails and contains many different types of wildlife such as the Texas longhorns and American bison. There are also other beautiful natural sights such as a creek, historic cabins and wildflowers. You can also enjoy the guided tour to the Sauer-Beckmann Living History Farm of the World War I area.
This park also offers visitors an Olympic-sized swimming pool that remains open almost all the time, and other sports facilities. Lyndon B Johnson park and its historic site present a sight to the visitors about the life of President Johnson’s ancestors who settled in this area. The park opens at 8:30 AM and closes at 4 PM, and is located down the road making it easy for visitors to walk and explore.
8. Camp at Lady Bird Johnson Municipal Park
Lady Bird Johnson Park has many useful features for visitors who want to camp, such as 98 RV spaces with thirty and fifty-ampere electric hook-ups, cables and water sewer. Other than this, you can take advantage of the wireless internet, and you are also allowed to bring your pets to the park.
If you plan to reserve the monthly campers permit, you must have an advance deposit payment. Some sites are specific in size, and the park’s management unfortunately is not able to guarantee a particular campsite.
Near the park Headquarters, a five-acre open tent area is available for camping. The price for tent camping per night is around $10. For the proper location, you should ask park officers for exact directions as the GPS is not always correct. Reservations for this park are open from 8 AM to 5 PM from Monday to Friday.
9. Tour around the Texas Rangers Heritage Center
Texas Ranger Heritage Center occupies 12 acres of area and is dedicated to making the youth good citizens of the state by teaching through valve-based traits. This is a heritage center that defines Texas and Texas Rangers history. There are a lot of places that you can visit in this heritage, such as:
Heritage Center Open Air Pavilion: This twelve-acre center includes one fifty-seat LoneStar Amphitheater used by visitors for campfire stories and is the most occupied area by visitors at night.
Texas Ranger Ring of Honor: This is a memorial dedicated in honor of the rangers who made sacrifices and gave their lives for the protection and safety of the people of Texas. Visiting this area is the primary focus of visitors, as it is inspiring to behold. This memorial was honored by Larry J. Marin Family Foundation.
Heritage Center Courtyard: This courtyard is decorated with lush green grass and different flowers and trees. In this courtyard, guests or visitors can be offered a chuckwagon dinner event.
Campanile Bell Tower: This ranger tower symbolizes the ranger’s ring of honor and a salute to those good citizens. This tower is dedicated to those who gave their services to Texas and proved that they were patriotic citizens. People mainly built this tower in honor of William Bill Blakemore.
Texas Rangers Heritage Center Main Building: In the main building, the story of the Texas Rangers is told in an immersive and engaging way, noting the culture, heritage and history. This 26000 sq ft Heritage and the LoneStar Ranger Academy will soon allow and welcome people of all ages to learn and share the value-based traits of the Texas Rangers, such as dedication, respect, integrity, courage and determination.
10. Try the Food at Old German Bakery & Restaurant
The Old German Bakery and Restaurant offer delicious German food, made from traditional recipes. All of the food dishes here are made from scratch. The decoration of this bakery is to evoke a feeling of Old World Berlin. German bread and pastries are the most famous. You can check their menu online on their official page.
This bakery and restaurant began back in the year 1975. Lutz Henschel has been the owner of this bakery since 1998. Here is some useful information about this legendary bakery:
- It opens at 7 AM and closes at 2 PM from Monday to Sunday
- They accept both cash and credit card payment methods
- They have parking in the street
- The food is relatively healthy both for adults and kids
- The attire is casual
I hope you enjoyed my 10 best things to do in Fredericksburg. This town is definitely a place to stay for those who love beautiful scenery and history. If you are a fan of German culture, you will love visiting so many places that are rich with German pioneers’ culture who made their base over 175 years ago. Or simply sit back and enjoy the lovely German food and local wineries.