With San Antonio, Austin, Fredericksburg and fabulous hiking just a few hours away, there’s no reason you shouldn’t be able to hop in a car tomorrow and have a fabulous weekend enjoying the highlights of Central Texas. A few weeks ago, some friends and I made a spontaneous road trip so my roommate could check off some items on her Texas bucket list before she moved to DC. It turned out to be the most delightful weekend ever! Here’s what we did and how you can structure your own fabulous weekend in the Texas Hill Country.
Day 1: San Antonio & Hill Country Wine
Limited by schedules, we only had one night to spend in the Hill Country so to make the most of it we work up bright and early to make the three-hour drive out to San Antonio. As with any Texas road trip, we stopped at Buc-ee’s for breakfast. For Texas newbies out there, if you haven’t experienced the magic of Buc-ee’s, hop on I-10 right now. Seriously, no Texas trip is complete without it! Not only does Buc-ee’s have gas pumps for days and the cleanest bathrooms in town, but it also has a fantastic store to shop for Texas souvenirs that aren’t tacky, coffee refuels, road trip snacks, and amusing billboards 100 miles out.
We arrived in San Antonio around lunchtime and grabbed some tacos at Pete’s Tako shop–they serve breakfast tacos all day. Would highly recommend. We initially wanted to go to Lulu’s Cafe for the 3lb cinnamon roll, but when we showed up there was a wait and the restaurant was actually disgusting. I can’t imagine eating food in that place. Would not recommend.
Afterwards, we swung by the Alamo for a quick pic sesh (how else are you going to remember it?). You can’t live in Texas without visiting this icon at least once. Unless you’re a crazy history buff, you really don’t need a lot of time to spend here. We paid the meter around the corner for 15 minutes, stood in the sun, snapped a pic and headed on our way.
Obviously, the true highlight of the weekend trip was visiting the many wineries outside of Fredericksburg. The wineries are fairly easy to navigate. Most are located along 290. Last time we went to Fredericksburg, we signed up for the 290 Wine Shuttle which takes you through a circuit of wineries. For $30 you get a wristband, and can hop on and off the shuttle as it makes its route every 15 min or so. The shuttle is a good option if you’re looking to taste all of the wines and don’t have a designated driver. Something we learned last time is that it’s not the best option for large groups (we had 7 people) because the van fills up quickly and its hard to fit everyone in one ride.
This time around, we found a bunch of wineries centrally located together and just hung out there for the afternoon. We sat on the patio of Fiesta Winery listened to live music and split a bottle of Tempranillo. We were also able to walk to Six Shooter Cellar and The Vintage Cellar. Since I’m allergic to wine (tragedy, I know), I was DD but was able to get a beer at the Vintage Cellar. Inside, we enjoyed reading the pay-it-forward chalkboards that would buy you a drink if you were a certain type of person–e.g., “a twin,” “a lipstick lesbian,” “named Amber” and so forth.
If you don’t want to drive at all, you can still have a fantastic wino experience inside Fredericksburg. On the Main Street, many wineries have satellite shops where you can grab a drink and then walk around the German town and explore the boutiques (no open container laws!!!!). We went to Andreucchi Winery and split a bottle of champagne before exploring the street.
For dinner with went to Pasta Bella, which was absolutely amazing. Saturday night there was a short wait, so we got drinks at Sozial Haus and were able to bring them into the restaurant with our meal. Food was filling and very reasonably priced.
If you manage to make it out of Pasta Bella without a food coma, head down the road to Luckenbach Texas for live music and dancing. If you’re more in the mood to chill, be like us and rent a cabin with a hot tub! We rented this one but if I ever go back I will definitely plan ahead and go with something from Gathering Guesthouses–they properties are adorable refurbished places like barns and pump houses. So quaint!
Day 2: Enchanted Rock & Fredericksburg
Pray that you have time to sleep off your hangover, so you can wake up early and make it to Enchanted Rock. Grab a quick breakfast to-go at Hill Country Donuts & Kolaches and make the 35 minute drive to one of Texas’s most beautiful state parks. On weekends, the lines can get quite long. Park opens at 8am and once it fills up you can’t get in. If you’re one of the first 200 people to arrive after the park closes, you can get a voucher that will let you in again at 2pm. Since we slept in, we had to grab a voucher and come back for the afternoon. Enchanted Rock is pretty good about updating their Twitter when the park reaches capacity, so follow them to time when you go.
Whether you hike in the morning or the afternoon, you should definitely make your way back to Hondo’s on Main for their live music on the patio from 12:30pm to 3:30pm each Sunday. The restaurant bar is fantastic local joint that embodies everything that’s great about Texas—live country music, two-stepping, regulars, cheese fries, and massive mimosas (ask for a “double” and you’ll get half a bottle of champagne). Next time I’m in the Hill Country, you’ll definitely find me here.
After the music wrapped up, we headed back to Enchanted Rock with our 2pm voucher to go on a hike. It costs $7 per adult to get in. There’s 11 miles of trails through the park, but we selected the Summit Trail that is a .67 mile trail basically straight up the side of the granite rock dome. It’s a pretty steep hike–especially after two double Hondo mimosas. But the views atop the ancient, enchanted dome are beautiful and making it to the top is such a fun accomplishment. I’m glad we went in January because I’m sure during the summer hiking up the rock with no tree cover is hot af. Stay tuned for more Enchanted Rock adventures. I have a camping trip planned there soon!
Afterwards, we made our way back to Houston via Austin. Having worked in Austin a few times over the past few weeks, my newest greatest obsession in Austin is Thai Kun Cafe in the Domain. Get the Taro Crisps to start and then split the Coconut Lon Rice Bowl and the Clay Pot Noodles. Your life will be changed forever.
What are your favorite places to go in the Hill Country? Comment below!
Want more Central Texas travel tips? See our Travel Page and other travel guides:
- San Antonio in 24 Hours
- Glamping in Austin
- Glamping in College Station
- 24 Hours in Bee Cave & Dripping Springs
- Do’s and Don’ts of Fredericksburg
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