Most Texans have been quarantined since mid-March and some folks are getting a little cabin fever. As Texas opens up, how about escaping to the vistas at the heart of the Texas wine country for a change of scenery?
There are two important things to consider when looking for a place to escape to:
1. That you can still social distance: meaning, you can cook in your own kitchen (not having to depend on restaurants or dining with others); you can be far enough away from others (i.e. a resort doesn’t work right now); you can be as remote as you want.
2. That you feel confident in the sanitizing of the property between guests.
So, in this series, we’ll bring you some locations that fit the bill for both of the above concerns and we’ll address those concerns. Our aim is to bring you a variety of choices spread around the Lone Star State.
The Great Escape #3:
Where To Stay
The popular central Texas town of Fredericksburg offers a wide variety of accommodation but we’ve focused on two options that meet our above criteria.
This property, just a few blocks outside of town, offers 18 cabins (sleeping up to 60 individuals total) but we found The Farmhouse fit our needs best. (Approx. $250/night)
Daniel Meyer, the owner, is from Switzerland, and after he bought the property in 2006, he began building adorable Swiss log cabins, a creek (himself!) and planted 150 trees. The result is a charming, yet rustic, property where you can enjoy a walk creekside, lounge in a hammock and enjoy the local wildlife. We loved that the cottage felt secluded, even though it’s only two minutes from Main Street.
The Farmhouse surely looks like an old brick home from the outside but the inside offers great character with its wood floors and old German Heritage style. Two bedrooms (with incredible king and queen beds) are separated by one bathroom. A full kitchen offers the ability to cook your own meals and the small living room allows you to spread out a bit.
When it’s not so hot, you have a back porch and hot tub at your disposal. And, the Farmhouse is dog friendly.
If you’re up for venturing out, you can visit The Club on property Thursday-Saturday for some international cuisine (European dishes, Italian paninis, shrimp tacos) and jazz or blues music.
Meyer says they are really booked up and busy as folks are coming to “office from there” for a change of scenery but you can still book online. Simon (Meyer’s nephew from Switzerland), who works on property and always has a big smile for guests, sent us off with this adorable tenet: “Have some fun!”
Conveniently located on Hwy 290, this is an ideal location if you’re planning to do some wine tours and tastings. This home, along with several others, is located on an old farm right on the highway.
We love the layout and the chic interior style of this house. Big, open tables that seat up to 8 provide the ideal spot in the full kitchen for preparing and enjoying meals with a group. Pro tip: Porch Light also has another option that’s similar to The Oswald, called The Farmhouse.
The Oswald, which sleeps 8 in 4 extremely comfortable bedrooms, is newly renovated. The outdoor recreation area (courtyards are commonplace for Porch Light Hospitality homes) includes a fire pit, big screen TV, hot tub and lounge area.
Sign in to your Netflix account in the comfy living room space for some relaxed evening entertainment. For longer stays, a washer/dryer makes it feel like home.
A little history on this guesthouse “that inspires return” (to borrow from Porch Light’s tagline) tells us that the owner’s great grandfather built the family home in 1914 raising his three children there on the farm with his wife. The house was expanded over time and today you can still tell the original structure from the additions by looking at the building materials. The oldest part of the house is built with cement bricks that Oswald poured one-by-one into a brick mold, giving the house its characteristic design. When the current owners renovated the house in 2019, they didn’t touch any of the original structure, only renovating the inside.
Rates for The Oswald start at $299/night on weekdays and $499/night on weekends (a real bargain for a home this size)!
During your Fredericksburg stay, whether you choose to eat in or take out, here are a few restaurants you’ll want to add to your itinerary.
Vaudeville on Main Street is a must visit!
It’s the hippest spot in town, owned by Richard Boprae (the charming creative) and Jordan Muraglia (the culinary king). You won’t want to miss the ambiance of the basement bistro, but they do offer take-out if you’re not comfortable dining in yet.
The French influence is seen and felt as the owners hail from Montreal, Canada. Lunch is served 7 days a week and dinner is offered on Fridays and Saturdays.
Start with an appetizer of the smoothest burrata your mouth has experienced, served with fresh arugula and seasonal veggies. For a hearty sandwich that I will return for, take a bite out of their Roasted Chicken on 12-grain ciabatta, smothered with grilled mushrooms and fire roasted red pepper, with a drizzle of mozzarella cheese, and olive tapenade. If you’re looking for a lighter option, try the Power Bowl full of ancient grains, baba ganoush, bean puree, locally sourced greens and seasonal veggies topped with an avocado vinaigrette.
The bistro is just downstairs from their immaculate international showroom, which is part boutique and part gallery.
Hondo’s On Main, outside courtyard
Known for its honky-tonk live music and saloon scene, this quintessential Texas dive bar also has a robust American menu and outdoor seating, which we love right now. We’ve heard their cheese fries and enchiladas are a must, as well as their burgers. Order a Texas beer or local wine and dine outside, enjoying live music Wednesday-Sunday.
Can’t Miss, Must Do
Pick out a bottle of wine and go out back to enjoy the pond surrounded by tall pine trees; it’s a real hidden gem! On a hot day, the shade creates a cool-ish spot to enjoy a glass of cold rose in their Adirondack chairs.
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Cover photo courtesy Barons CreekSide
Marika Flatt is the Travel Editor of Texas Lifestyle Magazine. She’s not used to staying put for so long, but happily did so for 3+ months. She’s now enjoying “getting back out there” with her family. You can hear her “Weekend Trip Tips” on the statewide NPR show, Texas Standard.