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A Great Weekday Trip to Fredericksburg;  Experience Fredericksburg Like the Locals Do

                You know, as we talk to our friends in Fredericksburg, especially those connected to tourism in some way, we are baffled  by one thing:  why does everyone come at the same time?  Why are the big weekends overrun with people, and the weekends after quiet?  And, especially, why don’t more people come during the week, and experience the quaint, quiet little town the way we know it? And  why don't they take advantage of the lower mid-week rates charged by most of our inns and B & B's? At our own Agarita Creek Farms cabin rates drop by an average of $70 per night except on holidays and peak times. That is no small change.

                Now, I know, some people have children at home – I used to have one myself.  And for those people a trip during the week during the school year is impossible.  But I am now a gray haired empty nester, and I see many like me visiting our farm and out on the town.  And I wonder why they choose to fight the weekend crowds when they could have it to themselves on a weekday.   And I wonder why they don’t take advantage of the cost savings associated with staying in Fredericksburg during the week.   That is what I would do in their position.  Maybe they just don’t know . . ..

                So here are some ideas for things to do in Fredericksburg when most of the tourists have gone home.

                Sunday afternoon and evening.  Why not arrive just as weekend crowd is checking out and heading out?  Stop just east of town, in Luckenbach, at lunch time and you will be in for a treat.  Sunday is our favorite day to go to Luckenbach.  It is kid and dog friendly during the afternoon.  Most Sunday afternoons there are free shows from 1 to 5.  Sometimes it is a band.  Sometimes it is the treat of a song swap between three or four different notable musicians.  It is generally only crowded on a holiday weekend or for a special event.  You can grab lunch at Luckenbach, and the food is way better than it has to be.  And if you are still having fun at 5, there is almost always a picker’s circle up by the bar to either join in or watch.  And if you are really having fun, there is generally a Sunday night show in the dance hall.    All musical events other than the dancehall shows are free, but please tip the musicians (and the bartenders) well for their trouble.  When tipping musicians, Bev and I generally try to figure out what the ticket price would be if they charged admission.  Luckenbach, Texas, 412 Luckenbach Town Loop, Fredericksburg, TX 78624; (830) 997-3224;

                If you are hankering for an in town, more local, experience, why not head over to Gospel Brunch at Hondo’s?  You won’t beat the crowds, but the crowd will be distinctly local.  Melissa Weatherly leads a group of local all-star musicians in what they call The Any Given Sunday Band.  The show starts at 12:30 and goes until 3:30, and getting there early is a good idea if you want a good table. Hondo’s has pretty good food, and we think the best margaritas in town, but watch your step – Hondo’s margaritas are the real thing!    One or two should do you!   And later that night, there is always an evening show at Hondo’s, with a local or regional band or artist. Hondo’s on Main, 312 W. Main Street, Fredericksburg, TX 78624; (830) 997-1633;



                Sunday afternoon and evening picker’s circles abound.  I have already mentioned the picker’s circle at Luckenbach.  There is also a well-established picker’s circles at Western Edge Cellars (generally 2 to 5 p.m.).  There are others, you can also check out a new/old attraction that often has a picker’s circle – Pecan Grove Store.   A close cousin to the picker’s circle is the open mic.  There is a great open mic at Sliver Creek every Sunday night.  Western Edge Cellars, 228 W. Main Street, Fredericksburg, TX 78624; (830) 992-3157;; Pecan Grove Store, 5244 North State Highway 16, Fredericksburg, TX 78624; (830) 990-4433;; Silver Creek Beer Garden & Restaurant, 310 E. Main Street, Fredericksburg, TX 78624; (830) 990-4949;

                Many Fredericksburg restaurants are open Sunday, but many close early (like 7) after the long hard weekend.  When you are fed and ready to wind down, a relaxing alternative is Lincoln Street, which has a good beer and wine and appetizer menu and a great outdoor patio that often features live music.  Lincoln Street Wine Market, 111 S. Lincoln Street, Fredericksburg, TX 78624; (830) 997-8403;


Weekdays during the day.  When you wake up on Monday morning, you will find that you have the town to yourself.  It will be the same Tuesday, Wednesday, and most of the time on Thursday as well .  These are great days to do the tourist things in Fredericksburg. 

You can start with breakfast and go where the locals go with no wait.  We heartily recommend Sunset Grill and The Rathskeller.   Sunset Grill, 902 S. Adams Street, Fredericksburg, TX 78624; (830) 997-5904;; Rathskeller Restaurant, 260 E. Main Street, Fredericksburg, Texas 78624; (830) 990-5858;

Having fueled up you can do what the weekend tourists do without the crowds.  You can visit a winery on the now famous 290 Wine Trail (there are many to choose from), or you can have one of several  wine touring companies take you to several wineries, based their knowledge and your tastes.  On Wednesday or Thursday, you can take a sipping tour of a great bourbon distillery in nearby Hye.   You can climb or hike Enchanted Rock; there are trails for almost every level of fitness and ability.  You can visit and tour Wildseed Farms, which is terrific during wildflower season but fun any time. You can visit our art galleries, or the historic Museum of the Pacific War.  You can shop for antiques, clothing, or gifts on Main Street and beyond.  And you can do it all without the crowds, or waits, prevalent on weekends.  And you can park your car by the front door!  If you do not know what to do, don’t worry.  If you are our guests we will help you design a trip around what you want to do.  Fredericksburg Wine Road 290,; Garrison Bros. Distillery, 1827 Hye Albert Road, Hye, TX 78635;; Enchanted Rock State Natural Area,; Wildseed Farms,  100 Legacy Drive, Fredericksburg, TX 78624; (800) 848.0078;     



Monday night.  Ben Beckendorf has been holding court for Blues Monday at Silver Creek for as long as I can remember.  On Mondays, an all-star group of musicians gets together there for a multi-hour blues jam session on the front porch.  As with most local music, it is free, but remember what we said about being generous with the band and your server.  Drink a pint, or a glass or two of wine, and have a great dinner outside under that big bois-d’arc (say bo-dark) tree.  Western Edge Cellars is the live music alternative on Monday nights, and another place where the locals love to go.

Tuesday night.  Tuesday is Taco Tuesday everywhere lately, and the best Taco Tuesday in Fredericksburg is at Tubby’s – with taco’s inspired by guest chef Rebecca Rather.  Tubby’s is kid-friendly, and has one of the best vibes in town and an eclectic beer and wine selection.  If Taco’s are not your thing, the weather is dreadful, money is burning a hole in your pocket, or you are just looking for something a little more highbrow, make your way over to August E’s for Thai Tuesday.  August E’s never misses, and its bar is a great place for an intimate happy hour if you want the experience but can’t afford the price tag.  From Tubby’s or August E’s take the short walk to El Milagro, and listen to Sol Patch, one of the great bands that calls Fredericksburg home.  You’ll recognize several of the players from The Any Given Sunday Band if you were at Hondo’s on Sunday afternoon.   Tubby’s Ice House, 318 E. Austin Street, Fredericksburg, TX 78624; (830) 307-3026;; August E’s, 203 E. San Antonio Street, Fredericksburg, TX 78624; (830) 997-1585;; El Milagro Twenty Twelve, 249 E. Main Street, Fredericksburg, TX 78624; (830) 307-3051 (no website).

Wednesday night.  Wednesday is the songwriter’s showcase at Hondo’s on Main, where there is always a local host and a visiting guest and they, you guessed it, swap songs.  Hondo’s has a full menu and a full bar, but you cannot really say you have been there unless you drink one of Reba Lynn’s specialty margaritas.  As I mentioned, they pack a punch, so drink responsibly.  An alternate plan, particularly if you missed El Milagro on Tuesday late, would be to see Sol Patch at Silver Creek on Wednesday.

Thursday night.  Thursday is the beginning of the weekend in Fredericksburg and, if the truth be told, the last night when the locals are out with a vengeance.  Locals start with local food during the late spring, summer, and fall seasons, at the Fredericksburg Farmers Market – a great local market with great naturally raised fruits and vegetables and grass-fed meats.  After the market, there will always be at least three great choices for live music, Western Edge Cellars, where there is music six days a week, Hondo’s, and Silver Creek.   Thursday night is also a great night to take an excursion to Hilltop, just ten miles north of town on Highway 87, which has a great mix of Greek and Cajun influences and also features great live music at times.  You can either eat your desert there or cut over to 290 near Harper to El Gallo while you are out west.  El Gallo has two types of pie a night and they are all delicious!   El Gallo also offers great Mexican food in a fun, family environment.  Fredericksburg Farmers Market,  May, June, July, August, October, and November;; Hilltop Café, 10661 N. U.S. Highway 87, Fredericksburg, TX 78624; (830) 997-8922;; El Gallo Mexican Restaurant, 11807 West U.S. Highway 290, Harper, TX 78631; (830) 669-2406;

  There are, of course, many, many options that are not mentioned here; and many of the places mentioned do things that are not even mentioned here.  As but one example, El Milagro has a great breakfast and lunch as well as great live music late!  Fredericksburg is an active and diverse town, and there is generally something every day that appeals to everyone.  The point of this blog is to encourage folks to consider coming out during the week, beat the crowds, and experience or little town the way we locals experience it.  Fredericksburg is a great place to visit, but it is even a better place to live.  And you can live it like we live it, during the week, when it is mostly just us locals hitting all of our favorite haunts – while we can.