I’ve always thought Fredericksburg was a sort of strange place. This old town with German heritage is surrounded by wineries that draw bachelorette parties and hot pink limos, but it has a town square full of authentic cowboy boots, antiques, nick knacks, ice cream shops, homemade peach jams, and older, classic Texans. It’s a beautiful drive from Austin (about 90 minutes), and there are so many cute places to stay out in nature like at Honeytree treehouses. This is the most adorable getaway and outdoor homes on Ranch Road 965, a close 10 minute drive from town. We dedicated our entire trip to staying at their new Hill Country property called Blue Sage which is their second location that just opened this month. Cabin No. 2 is the only A Frame, and it has hillside views that provide an incredible sunset, relaxation, a helix staircase, fun metal soaking tub and entertaining area outside, a record player, and a full kitchen. There are 12 guest houses on the property that they invited us to explore as a first look since we were the first guests before opening weekend! Staying here felt like we had just been transported to a safe oasis where we could rest (naps were had!) in a gorgeous tree house outside of our usual busy lives with quiet sounds of nature like a rooster and leaves brushing. We spent two quick days at this wonderful property and below is how to make the most of your exploration of Fredericksburg. Just make sure on your way in from Austin you stop at the Valero gas station right at Johnson City on the left hand side of the street to buy the best homemade Mexican pastries for the last part of your road trip. I LOVE this place and seeing the giant mixer in the back.
WHAT TO DO:
As someone who always likes movement or to be in the water, I luckily met a gal a couple years ago who hosts XPT and Fire & Ice classes at her beautiful home in Stonewall right on the way to Fredericksburg (about 30 minutes out). Leann Rominger Scott is a Level 1 XPT coach and founder of Staycation Fitness. She teaches XPT founded by pro surfer, Laird Hamilton and Gabby Reece, which is an in depth (pun intended) pool workout with weighted dumbbell squats, lunges, arm pulls all under water that ties in deeply with breath work. This kind of challenge is something you might not think you can do, but trust me you can. It’s easy on the joints, playful, and an activity that really makes you focus on your body and movement in a way you aren’t used to. Leann’s energy and attitude is so addicting, and she creates so much curiosity with her active lifestyle and property where she has ducks, dogs, a growing farm with watermelon and peppers. I wanted to stay all day asking her questions about this hill country and pool life. After the pool workout, we moved to the recovery portion called Fire + Ice with about a 15 minute sauna followed by a 3 minute ice bath in two rounds.
As the hostess she is, Leann remembered how much I loved cookies and thoughtfully made me some fresh coconut flour chocolate chip cookies for the perfect snack or distraction. You bet I jumped in that frozen ice bath with my cookie in hand looking like I was just in a normal tub. My friend Abbey couldn’t believe I didn’t complain about the cold and held a normal conversation the whole time. Maybe it’s my Barton Springs experiences or maybe I just mentally accepted the freeze and went on with it. This wholesome experience with Leann was the perfect way to start off our relaxing weekend surrounded by health, wellness, discovery, and the outdoors!
WHERE TO EAT:
Leann recommended we stop by their local Thai spot Hye Thai where we picked up Shrimp Spring Rolls, Pad Thai, Green Curry and visited the local Italian creamery next door called Oro Bianco packed with cheeses, meats, and gelato. It’s 100% grass-fed buffalo milk gelato with flavors like strawberry, blackberry crema, and they had a special peanut butter stracciatella that day. We then drove to our little home for the weekend at Blue Sage, unloaded our bags, skipped around checking out the fun window swing under the staircase, read the local book on where to eat and shop in Fredericksburg that the owners, Katie and Jacob, made, and then sat down at the little kitchen table to enjoy our food as we watched the sky change to bright orange and yellow sunset colors. Then, we booked it to Hondo’s where we got their famous, tall $9 margaritas and sat out on the old honky tonk feeling porch with long grey communal tables that reminded me of a casual hamburger joint in Houston and watched the ‘ole locals two step in the sweltering heat. I couldn’t love this place more while seeing all the men in their cowboy hats and blue jean uniforms. To be noted: the fries sure looked scrumptious! Abbey and I then strolled around the town and walked into a couple spots to check out the evening crowd. However, the best crowd was a little make shift dance hall down at the school outdoor black top. Families rolled up their own coolers while they square danced and did the chicken dance with their kids in the center. Here is the Fredericksburg scene that I LOVE to see. Looking up at the stars with no care in the world but to be with people that bring joy and a sense of ease is all the best.
The next morning we swung by the Caliche Coffee shop for an Oat Milk Latte for Abbey (I don’t know why I can’t believe this town has oat milk and fresh pressed juices), and they had Richard’s Rainwater which made me happy. We shopped and walked until we literally dropped at Tubby’s Ice House for lunch which was off the main road a little ways down. It reminded me of Fresa’s with some extra twists. We had a great Kale Caesar with pickled sweet peppers, queso, fresco and tortilla chips; Green Curry Shrimp Taco with grilled coconut shrimp, carrot slaw, herb salad, and cashews on a corn tortilla; Black Bean & Kale Taco was actually the one that had me keep saying “yummm” out loud. I love the flavorful nods to other cultures they offer like the Goat Vindaloo crispy taco and Grilled Lemongrass Chicken Sandwich. It’s also next door to Otto’s German Bistro which I got the most recs for, but I’m not a big German food lover. Next time I’d also like to check out Prometheus Pizza which is a food truck that looks amazing. Piccolina is on Main Street and one of the fanciest ice cream shops I’ve seen. It almost feels like a spa gift shop as they have a whole area with candles, merch, mini champagne bottles San Pellegrino waters, etc.
Honestly, my favorite part was coming back to the A Frame after a day walking all over the town to prepare our garden fresh and fish appetizer board for dinner. We boiled jammy eggs that Leann gifted us from her ducks, cut up her homegrown watermelon, opened my favorite tinned fish brand, Fish Wife, for some tuna and smoked salmon, fresh cherries, crackers, beefsteak tomato, Cosmic Crisp apples, cheese and some natural Disco Orange Wine. We made a dreamy board and enjoyed the outdoor deck under the A Frame overlooking the creek while the sun set. It’s so easy eating this way on a hot summer day.
MORE ABOUT BLUE SAGE GUEST HOMES:
After dinner, since the treehomes were just finished being built, the kind owners encouraged us to meander through each cabin and take a peak at the designs and views. Each ones is SO different from the next, whether it’s a big family one like Cabin No. 1, ideal for kids with two twin bunkbeds, a lofted king bed for parents with a cool arched nook that has a tub in the room, a large dining table, a stairwell full of gorgeous tile that makes it fun to discover and see what’s next in each room. They also have maybe the highest and all encompassing views of the property here. My absolute favorite was #4 with this amazing floor to ceiling tiled floral shower in front of a giant window overlooking the lush green property. Each room was so fun to explore and has its own individual purposes whether it be a tub on the rooftop deck or a cozy lofted bedroom with a fun staircase.
Since it’s all brand new, the design feels fresh, simple, and nicer than any sort of glamping I’ve seen (not that this is glamping). I highly recommend making an entire trip out of this where you could go explore Main Street, shop, eat around, but also come back to your cozy oasis, watch the sunset, make dinner one night, and just truly melt into the bed and relax. Also, I loved their shower products! Since each guest house is different, you could come back again and again whether it be solo, with family, romantic interest, or with best friends. You can also check out their original property called The Meadow and you can galivant over there as well by booking here.
WHERE TO SHOP:
- The Texas Silver Rush is definitely the best spot for turquoise, colored gemstones like Bumble Bee Jasper, Larimar, and silver. They designed jewelry most recently for musicians like Journey, and I got such a good deal here! I bought a gorgeous silver choker with a turquoise gemstone wrapped in silver as well as one I can change out with a red stone. They owner is so passionate about his craft as I spent some extra time talking to him, he ended up “throwing in” a pair of turquoise dangling earrings. Best bet is to come here on a Sunday when they offer discounts!
- Peach Basket is overflowing with hand made African market baskets in all different sizes and colors and the rest of the store is just bombarded with Jams, CBD products, nuts, gifts, sunglasses, and even a hidden juice shop in the back. You’ll definitely be able to find someone a gift here, and the baskets are pretty remarkable.
- FarmHaus Antiques is where you’ll want to spend most of your time. Every corner you cross you see some sort of new furniture piece, salt, book about baking bread, butter knives, colorful entertaining glasses, dried flowers, sculptures, bed spreads, candles, etc.
- Wildseed Farm is a surefire spot to stop at on your drive back to Austin. Full of flowers, quirky gifts, t-shirts, plants, and wine. I got my favorite floral baseball cap here and when I was in Hawaii everyone asked me what store they could go buy it at 😊
- After wandering on Main Street all day in Fredericksburg, we stumbled into the Japanese Garden of Peace installed at the National Museum of the Pacific War. It was a gift from Japan as part of a reconciliation between the U.S., and the garden is really hidden in the middle of the city. If you didn’t saunter by curious enough to waltz in to see the beautiful pond or groomed plants, you’d miss it.
- While I haven’t galloped along to all the wineries, I think William Chris is the most prestigious and one that a lot of the restaurants in Austin I know carry. Enchanted Rock is a fun hike and really looks like a dome from outer space (just make sure you go when it’s cooler out). Then grab brunch at Vaudeville and their giant S’mores Cookie on your way out.