If you are looking for the perfect long weekend trip from New Orleans, we strongly recommend putting Fredericksburg, Texas on the short list. Whether you are interested in wine tasting, brewery tours, hiking or great food, Fredericksburg has it all. Fly out of MSY and you’ll land in gorgeous Texas Hill Country a mere hour later where adventure, wine and fun await you.
Fredericksburg :: The Perfect Long Weekend Getaway From New Orleans
When people think of wine tasting, they usually imagine a place like California or even France (which is a lovely place to visit, by the way). Both of those destinations are obviously pretty far from Louisiana, not to mention expensive to visit. The good news is that there is a really great vacation spot for wine tasting much closer to New Orleans: Fredericksburg, Texas. Now, I won’t lie to you and say that all of the wines necessarily rival California or France, but I will share an itinerary that is doable for a long weekend and promises a lot of fun. We also tasted some really great wine while we were there!
Getting to Fredericksburg, Texas From New Orleans
If your family is looking for a longer road trip from New Orleans, the Texas Hill Country is truly awesome with kids. In that case, you may already have your own car and simply want to dedicate a day to Fredericksburg while enjoying everything else Hill Country has to offer. However, if the purpose of your trip is a kid-free long weekend, the best way to get to Fredericksburg is to fly to Austin (here’s everything you need to know about the new MSY) and then drive. For our trip, we chose to rent a large SUV via Turo (which is essentially like Airbnb but for cars) and that worked well because of the number of passengers we had. Once we landed in Austin, we simply walked into the airport’s parking garage, found our Turo SUV and were on our way! Fredericksburg is roughly 90 minutes from the Austin airport, so plan that aspect of the trip accordingly.
Where to Stay
We wanted to stay in the town of Fredericksburg itself so that we could easily walk to restaurants, coffee shops and, well, let’s be honest … bars. We were celebrating a 40th birthday on this trip so keep that in mind with regards to how we spent our time. Our group opted to rent a house on VRBO, and this worked really well for a long weekend because we were able to enjoy the amenities of a true home (like a washer/dryer and full kitchen) and also spread out comfortably at the same time. There is an awesome HEB right there in town, so we were able to stock the fridge with anything we wanted and even chose to grill burgers for dinner one night. We enjoyed being right in town, especially with a larger group, because it meant that we had easy access to pretty much anything our group needed. It was also possible to split up for meals (if desired) and walk home easily. If we went back to Fredericksburg, we’d definitely choose to rent a house in town near Main Street again.
Below is the itinerary that our group followed on our recent trip to Fredericksburg. While we chose to enjoy wine tastings every day, one (or even two) days of wine tasting would also be ample. There are many other things to do in and around Fredericksburg that we didn’t prioritize on this specific trip. Enchanted Rock is supposed to be a fabulous area to explore with great hiking, and of course there’s tubing the Pedernales River. Below is an overview of how our group spent the weekend in Fredericksburg, which is primarily geared towards wine tasting (and obligatory charcuterie at every stop, of course!). These stops were compiled after a lot of online research and advice from those who had been before us, so I feel comfortable telling you that this was a well-researched and well-planned wine tasting trip to Texas.
We did reserve all of this well in advance, so I cannot speak to how easy it is to walk in or up to these tastings in Texas Hill Country. I would imagine that most wineries would be super welcoming, though, if they have room and are able to accommodate. Everyone in the area was extremely pleasant and hospitable, and I feel confident that these family-owned businesses genuinely want to welcome travelers with open arms. That said, some of the “special” features like the treehouse tasting I would think book up well in advance so take that into consideration.
Day 1 in Fredericksburg
- William Chris Wines – William Chris offers a gorgeous setting with really good views. We enjoyed the tasting (standing at a traditional tasting bar), which we followed by a picnic on grounds (at their covered tables). William Chris provided the picnic on site, which included a sandwich, side, dessert, sparkling water and of course, we purchased sparkling rose to enjoy as well. The live music was an awesome touch during this casual lunch. We also noticed kids playing in the fields near the music, so this stop appears to be kid-friendly with lots of room to run.
- Ab Astris – this was a seated tasting, which was nice for catching up with the group. The grounds were again extremely pretty and relaxing. The wine at this stop fell flat for our group, but we had a great overall experience with the service and presentation.
- French Connection – at this juncture, our group had to break up because of seating availability. French Connection was another seated tasting, and we enjoyed a lovely charcuterie board at this stop. The views from French Connection’s covered patio were awesome, and this tasting is designed to be educational in nature (so more talking from your hostess than at some other tastings). The reds at French Connection were much more memorable than the whites we tasted.
- Calais – the rest of our group headed to Calais, which was actually the entire group’s consensus for the best wine tasted all weekend. We enjoyed it so much that we purchased several bottles to enjoy at the house at night for the rest of the trip. These reds were truly delicious, standing out as a true favorite of the trip. Calais makes really good wine that we’d highly recommend to others whether in Texas or not!
Day 2 in Fredericksburg
- Garrison Brothers – this is a distillery tour, which while really neat, is likely lost on those who do not enjoy bourbon. This is a true tour where you go through the process (start to finish) and end with a tasting on a gorgeous hillside. The tour is thorough and includes lots (and lots) of details about the bourbon making process. At the bottom of the hill is live music and food, so even for guests who do not wish to tour, there is a lovely place to sit and just enjoy Texas. Some of us remarked that we probably would have chosen to sit rather than tour, so keep that in mind as a tid bit if you go!
- Sandy Road – our group adored Sandy Road, both because the wine was good and the treehouse tasting was really unique! If you can book the treehouse (it is only open to one group at a time, so one group per hour) then we definitely recommend that. The views are neat and you almost do not feel like you are in Texas at all. Our group enjoyed pretty much every wine that we tasted at Sandy Road; the only bummer is that they don’t ship to Louisiana!
- Untamed Wines – this is a higher end indoor tasting, more akin to what you might find in California. While we enjoyed the wine, we REALLY loved the air conditioning and flat breads (it was extremely hot when we visited Fredericksburg in late May). This is a great stop to catch your breath, enjoy a seated meal and just be with friends for a bit. One nice touch at Untamed is that each person could choose their own tasting, so if you wanted to skip reds or whites altogether, it was possible to do so.
- Slate Theory – we finished the day with a cave tasting, which again was a welcome respite from the heat. The wine at Slate Theory fell very flat for our group, but the service was lovely.
Day 3 in Fredericksburg
- Brunch at Otto’s Bistro (see more below; highly recommend)
- Farmhouse Vineyard – after brunch, we drove quite a ways to Farmhouse Vineyard which felt very similar to an old New Orleans cottage, creaky wood floors and all. We loved the quaint and cozy setting of this experience, though it was the farthest drive from town (so take this into consideration). We really enjoyed most of the wine we tasted here, but even moreso enjoyed the unique setting of the tasting (seated, in a private room, living room style).
- Hilmy Cellars – the last stop of our wine tour was at a fairly new spot, Hilmy, which was very friendly and had pretty views. Our tasting was a tad rushed because we were running late (that was on our group, not the winery), but we really enjoyed the reds here. It would be fun to go back on a more relaxed timeline to enjoy the experience thoroughly.
Where to Eat in Fredericksburg
Caliche Coffee :: Early in the trip we discovered that this was the best iced coffee in town. Caliche offers a true cold brew, which was a must for our group of New Orleanians. They also had a ridiculously good salad on the menu, as well as other breakfast items. We stopped here daily during our time in Fredericksburg and even enjoyed one particularly pleasant morning on their back patio. Our group agreed that this was the best coffee shop in town.
Vaudeville :: What a unique gem Vaudeville is! The main floor of Vaudeville is actually a store that features everything from small gift items to home decor. As you descend the staircase to the “basement,” you enter an intimate and cozy, modern dining room (aka the bistro). While it’s pretty hard to compete with New Orleans food, we enjoyed our meal here. The service was excellent, and the ambiance was nice for a meal with good friends.
Sage :: This restaurant is fairly expensive, so it is really best suited for a special occasion. We celebrated a 40th birthday here and really enjoyed the experience. That said, the menu pricing is steep, and there are absolutely other casual and delicious spots in Fredericksburg. Sage is one to skip if you’re not in the mood for a fancy meal; we happened to be on a celebratory trip so our meals were planned accordingly!
Otto’s Bistro :: This spot is an absolute must for brunch, and based on the crowds it seems that others agree (so reservations are absolutely recommended). The food was delicious, and the atmosphere was really nice and enjoyable. We’d absolutely go back to this spot on any trip to Fredericksburg. It was nice without being stuffy, and casual without feeling as if you were just anywhere.
La Bergerie :: This may have been the highlight of the trip, a darling wine and cheese shop with the cutest atmosphere and outdoor seating. While it’s true that you can get wine and cheese just about anywhere, La Bergerie has a fabulous interior and feels almost like you’re sitting in someone’s house. It’s inviting, welcoming and the cheeses were delicious, start to finish. We highly recommend this spot for a lazy afternoon or early evening to catch up with friends.
78624 The Bar :: We found ourselves at “The Bar” almost by mistake one night after dinner, but we were glad that we did. It feels almost like a coffee shop inside, with several unique seating areas and arrangements in an eclectic atmosphere. The craft cocktails were yummy, and the environment was conducive to conversation. The courtyard is a really nice touch also. We didn’t eat food here, but this is a fun place to stop in Fredericksburg!
Overall we had a total blast visiting Fredericksburg for a long weekend and found it extremely easy to get there from New Orleans. There are ample car services available in the area if you do not have a designated driver in your group OR do not choose to rent a car. We hired a driver for one day on a whim (so it’s possible to do that at the last minute), which really allowed the entire group to relax and enjoy the experience. If you already have an itinerary set, the driver is happy to follow it precisely, though our driver also was happy to lend recommendations (we just had too busy of a schedule to add anything else). A trip to Fredericksburg is really fun for a group of friends looking to celebrate an occasion or just catch up, although it could be easily enjoyed alone as a couple as well. Overall, Fredericksburg is relaxed, friendly and hospitable … a true gem of a spot in Texas. The amenities were modern while also maintaining the charm of an old town. If you need your next vacation spot, Fredericksburg just may be it!
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