Brewery

The Alstat Brewery is one of the attractions in Fredericksburg. (TAMRA BOLTON/Lifestyles Magazine) 

You'll find food, shopping and wine adventures in Fredericksburg. Known for its abundance of wildflowers, scenic vistas and German traditions, the Hill Country getaway is a popular destination.

For those who can fly in, the tiny Gillespie County Airport is a gem and offers easy access to all Fredericksburg offers. The Officer’s Club is the perfect place to start an exploration of the Hill Country. Relax in the comfy leather chairs in front of the fireplace before heading steps away to the Hangar Hotel.

Designed to mimic a WW II-era hangar, the hotel is steeped in aviation-themed appointments including buttery soft club chairs made from old bomber jackets and nostalgic 1940s-era black phones. The second-floor deck, which has wooden chairs and tables, is a great place to sip coffee and watch planes takeoff and land.

SHOPPING 

Shopping for antiques and unusual accessories is an adventure at Carol Hicks Bolton’s warehouse store. Every inch of the 30,000-square foot cavernous building is a delight for the senses. European paintings, crosses and luxurious bed linens are displayed in settings that send you on flights of fancy.

You can find just about everything, including ancient maps, books, sextants to re-purposed furniture and ornate mirrors and lamps.

Just across the street is Blackchalk Home and Laundry. Built in the 1920s and serving the community until the 1980s, this historic building is a bright spot in the reclamation of Fredericksburg’s past.

Jill Elliott’s store is hot spot for locals and visitors looking for the right touches for their homes and wardrobes. One-of-a-kind gift items also are a specialty at Blackchalk.

Gathered and Good, another home décor shop, is in the historic EasterHaus in the Old Fair Park/Warehouse District. The store has a little bit of everything — from gorgeous linens and kitchenware to amazing Christmas decorations.

DINING 

In Fredericksburg, being hungry is only a problem when you can’t decide where to eat. 

Woerner’s Warehouse Café is known for its sandwiches, salads and pizza. It also has some of the best desserts in town. Located in the iconic Woerner Feed Store, the cafe's soaring open-beamed ceiling and antique furnishings are as much a delight as the food.

The upscale Navajo Grill has an unusual atmosphere and Southern and Mexican cuisine. You'll find a touch of Creole and Caribbean influences in their signature dishes.

If dining in a basement is something you’ve never done, check it off your list with a visit to the historic Keidel Hospital building where Rathskeller is located.

The restaurant's peach-inspired glazed pork chops is one of the best pork chop dishes I’ve ever tasted. It has a cozy environment and wonderful selection of wines.

At August E’s, Leu Savanh, the owner and executive chef, creates imaginative Asian fusion dishes. The sushi is as much a treat to the eye as to the palate. Chef Leu maintains an organic garden for the freshest ingredients and uses local suppliers of beef, venison, axis, wild boar, elk and antelope.

The restaurant's Wine Book, yes book, was compiled by owner Dawn Savanh, who hand-picked more than 240 wines from all over the world. 

Enjoy an after-dinner drink at the Elk Store Winery & Distillery. Carrying on a family tradition dating to 1895, owners Todd Smajstrla and Scott Hladky, produce small-batch moonshine, gin, rum and whiskey from a one-of-a-kind handmade Kentucky copper still. 

You won’t find any better spot to wet your whistle and find interesting conversation than the Lincoln Street Wine Market. Relax with a great beer or wine in front of its cozy fireplace or gather with others around the antique wooden table and browse through books and magazines.

Adventure

For the ultimate wine adventure, take in stops on the Texas Wine Trail around Fredericksburg. Several wineries are on the famous Wine Road 290.

At Grape Creek Vineyards, you'll feel like you’ve been whisked away to Tuscany while sipping its award-winning Petit Syrah or Cuvee Blanc. Nestled among oaks and grapevines, Grape Creek is the perfect spot for taking in outstanding Hill Country views.

In the beautiful tasting room at 4.0 Cellars, you can get a wine and chocolate pairing. 

Not into wine? Try a beer tasting at the castle-like Altstadt Brewery. This authentic Bavarian brewery looks like it belongs in the Alps. They create beer guided by the historic German Purity Law of 1516.

While dining in its massive beamed great room with a gigantic fireplace, you'll think you’ve been dropped into the Middle Ages.

Tamra Bolton is a freelance writer and photographer based in East Texas. 

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