Subscribe
Subscribe
Top Stories
Top Stories
Top Events
Events
Food Star
Food Star
Chocolate
Chocolate
Chip Foose
Chip Foose
Discuss Art
Discuss Art
Show Love
Show Love
Wine Fests
Wine Fests
Opera Etiquette
Opera Tips
Eat Sushi
Eat Sushi
Champagne
Champagne
Car News
Car News
Guitarists
Guitarists
Wine Basics
Wine Basics
Music Terms
Music Terms
New Movies
New Movies
Best Movies
Best Movies
Tour Texas
Tour Texas
Road Trips
Road Trips
Pacifica
Pacifica
Val Kilmer
Val Kilmer
Sexiest Cars
Sexiest Cars
USA | SELECT CITY Arrow

R&R at a B&B on a Road Trip Adventure to Fredericksburg Featuring the Toyota Avalon

C'mon, let's go places ... therapeutic ones. Fredericksburg, Texas, beckons with scenic Hill Country vistas, winery tours, art galleries, shopping, golfing, spas, and more.

Inhale. Take a deep cleansing breath.


Aaaaand exhale slowly.


Are you ready?


C'mon, let's go places ... therapeutic ones.


German heritage meets Texan hospitality and guests receive a warm willkommen upon entering the charmingly-quaint town of Fredericksburg, where visitors can relax at one of the area's day spas, take a stroll through the specialty shops that line Main Street, or play a round of golf at the championship course situated nearby. This tranquil Hill Country destination offers a wide variety of leisure-oriented activities perfectly suited for a romantic couple's retreat or an all-girl weekend getaway.


Gearing Up by Dialing Down


With oversized sunglasses in place, we engaged the Dynamic Radar Cruise Control of our Toyota Avalon test vehicle and drove south along the moderately scenic (but two-lane) Highway 281 allowing the car to do its own work of slowing down and resuming with the flow of traffic. Meanwhile, we slipped back into the exceedingly comfortable power-adjustable front seats (with lumbar support and power cushion extensions) which we found to be ideally form-fitting for tall as well as petite body frames. The perforated leather-trimmed multi-stage heated and ventilated front seats were perfect for the chilly morning which turned warm by afternoon.


A Walk with a Wild Side


Prepared for more pampering, we checked into the conveniently-located Inn on Baron's Creek where selected suites contain Jacuzzi tubs and additional onsite spa services include massage, body wraps, mani/pedis, and more. Fredericksburg is home to over 400 guesthouses, B&B's, and hotel/motels, as well as 150+ boutiques and fine art galleries, some of which can be enjoyed during the monthly First Friday Art Walk when several showrooms serve wine, plan special events, and stay open late until 8:00 PM. Prominently-displayed signs direct customers into a variety of distinctive shops, but a few of our favorites included Fredericksburg Fudge, Rustlin' Bob's, Leathers with Style, Divinely Designed, Headquarters Hats, Fredericksburg General Store, and A Touch of Africa where owners Matthew and Ann create custom hand-carved furniture from fallen African Iron wood and reclaimed railroad ties.


To unwind after a day of browsing, feel free to pop into Hondo's on Main for a very filling casual dinner indoors or out on the patio, try some authentic German food at the landmark Auslander restaurant and outdoor biergarten, or sample an award-wining beer at the air-conditioned Fredericksburg Brewing Company (the oldest brewpub in Texas).



Grape Expectations


At the epicenter of Texas Wine Country, a cluster of over 30 vineyards and wineries produce nationally-recognized wines which can be sampled during a variety of tasting tours and excursion experiences or at annual events such as trails, festivals, barbecues, jamborees, and more. Encouraged to tour responsibly, we boarded the affordable 290 Wine Shuttle which transports passengers every 20 minutes on Saturdays to over a dozen wineries located along Highway 290. Running two continual routes throughout the day, this fantastic service offers free bottled water for rehydrating and small plastic bags for carrying items collected while touring. Since wine purchases may not be taken from property to property, you may opt to have a shuttle driver take larger purchases back to the Fredericksburg Visitor Information Center where they may be picked up upon your return. Naturally, tips for driver service are appreciated.


Determined to find some of the most visitable wineries in the area, our first stop was at the picturesque 100-acre Grape Creek Vineyards estate, an award-winning wine producer noted for its beautiful Tuscany in Texas style. After making our way through the upscale-yet-comfortable tasting rooms, shaded patios, and gift shop, we boarded a tram for a short trip through the vineyards and down to the winemaking complex for a Cellar Tour and Barrel Room Tasting. A brief informative lesson at the crush pad and tank room preceded an opportunity to evaluate the flavors and aromas of wine aging in three different oak barrels ... a significant difference that even the newest of wine novices will be able to notice! The one-hour tour concludes with a view of the vintage wine library and a private tasting of six wines that each individual selects from the menu.


The nearby Becker Vineyards is comprised of 46 acres of estate fruit and the famous Stonewall peach orchards along with fields of lavender which can be especially enjoyed in blooming season during the annual Lavender Festival. The high-quality Becker wines have been served at the White House and the renowned James Beard House, and are offered daily at their 10,000 square foot reproduction of a late 19th century German stone barn.


Our last stop for the day was the contemporary 4.0 Cellars, a collaboration of three unique Texas wineries. This ultra-relaxed environment is customer-friendly and caters to newcomers as well as wine aficionados in a way that is thoroughly knowledgeable but not pretentious. Guests are greeted upon entering, ushered to a tasting area, and offered three different menu cards (Light and Sweet, All Red, or the combination Cellar Selection). Fine chocolate and hand-crafted Veldhuizen cheese is also available, so reservations can be made for 4.0's Cheese and Wine Experience, their private Texas Chocolate and Wine Experience, and more.


At the end of the day, you'll be ready to switch gears and head back to into town. For a romantic date night, upscale cuisine can be found at the popular Cabernet Grill, August E's, Otto's German Bistro, Der Lindenbaum, or Crossroads Saloon and Steakhouse which also offers live music and dancing. Afterward, head over to the Lincoln Street Wine Market for live music and a selection of cigars, or hit the Rockbox Theater, the Fredericksburg Theater Company, or the Fritztown Cinema.


P.S. I Love Ewe


Mid-morning brunch at the Farm Haus Bistro at the Fredericksburg Herb Farm is a great idea (especially if you're seated at a table near the large windows that overlook the gardens). Alternatively (or additionally), you might like to head out for a visit to the 200 cultivated acres of wildflower fields at Wildseed Farms or swing by the very popular Fredericksburg Trade Days which occurs on the third weekend of every month.


Since our last trip to the Hill Country involved hiking to the top of Enchanted Rock, we opted for a more ... um ... eccentric experience this time around. The weather was beautiful as we pulled through the gate of the Benini Sculpture Ranch (open only on the first full weekend of the month), so we immediately rolled the windows down, slid open the Avalon's power tilt/slide moonroof, used the surprisingly-sensitive Intelligent Touch controls and 7-inch high-resolution touch-screen to crank up SiriusXM all-access radio, and enjoyed the fresh air along with streaming tunes from the 11 standard JBL GreenEdge speakers (in nine locations including subwoofer and amplifier). A winding drive by the indoor art gallery and on to the summit offered sweeping panoramic views of the hillside which was peacefully enjoyed for a while from a little wooden bench shaded by a cluster of trees.


Herds of goats, sheep, and exotic animals intermittently dot the Hill Country landscape in the Fredericksburg area, so it seemed only fitting that we should conclude our weekend adventure with a trip to the Exotic Resort Zoo in Johnson City. For us, that included a full hour spent at the petting zoo ... where we found some of the most powerful stress reducers of all.


For more information about this trip, see photos from our visit or view additional vehicle details.


With models starting at $39,990, the 2015 Toyota Avalon Limited is a stylish 3.5-liter V6 6-speed automatic (with sport, ECO and normal modes) featuring a Star Safety System which includes vehicle stability control, traction control, anti-lock brakes, electronic brake-force distribution, brake assist, and smart stop technology. An optional technology package comes complete with Qi wireless charging capability for its eBin storage tray as well as three 12V auxiliary power outlets in the slide-open storage compartment decoratively located at the base of the center stack. And with standard safety features such as ten airbags, whiplash-injury-lessening seats, energy-absorbing collapsible steering column, tire pressure monitoring system, and blind spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert along with ToyotaCare's no-cost maintenance plan with roadside assistance ... extended travel is a little more worry-free.


See additional information below or visit:

Toyota

Fredericksburg Convention and Visitors Bureau

Fredericksburg Wine Road 290

MORE ON THE FLASH LIST
Local Entertainment News

Entertainment News

The latest breaking news and top stories in the areas of arts, dining, culture, movies, music, and sports.

Car and Truck News

Car and Truck News

Coverage of the automobile industry including car reviews, vehicle news, and road trip ideas.

Events Calendar

Events Calendar

Not everything in town that you could do, but events that you definitely should consider.

Isaac Rousso

Isaac Rousso

How this concessionaire rose to success and is taking his food concepts nationwide.

Chrysler Pacifica

2017 Chrysler Pacifica

Young-at-heart pals discover this all-new minivan offers grown-up features for the kid in you.

Navigate a Wine Festival

Navigate a Wine Festival

Wine tasting events can be a lot of fun and exactly the place to learn about new wines.