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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Sustainable Tourism

Fredericksburg, Texas, was founded in 1846 by German immigrants who set out to build a better life than they were experiencing in Europe. Today, the charming town still has an authentic German soul—seen in its architecture, cuisine, festivals, and more—all blended with true Texas hospitality. Within the town of Fredericksburg, visitors will find an array of unique accommodations, fine-dining restaurants, casual eateries, historic buildings housing modern-day shops, and wineries and tasting rooms aplenty. Here’s how to visit Fredericksburg with sustainability in mind. 

Where to Stay

Fredericksburg is home to a number of treehouse properties boasting a minimalist approach to building and design. One such property, HoneyTree, is nestled on 10 oak tree-filled acres overlooking the Palo Alto Creek and features five bespoke treehouses that allow guests to reconnect with nature. For example, The Acorn features a sweeping helical staircase, a patio, outdoor bathtub, a fully functional kitchenette, whimsical decor, and a lush king bed under a vaulted ceiling. The bathroom has a glass rain shower that looks out to the bedroom, and the rooftop has a stargazing patio. 1277 Durst Maurer Road, Fredericksburg, 2

Another fabulous treehouse option is Onera, a private outdoor getaway located less than one mile from Main Street. The property features nine uniquely designed accommodations seamlessly set amid nature. For example, the Lantana Dome is a geodesic dome made popular in desert climates. The simplistic design features a semi-circular mosaic of windows providing a stunning view of the Hill Country landscape, a private bathroom, cedar soaking tub, front deck, and a small kitchen. Meanwhile, the Spyglass is raised 10 feet above the ground in a canopy of trees. Shaped like an actual spyglass, the treehouse features floor-to-ceiling windows, a private bathroom with walk-in shower, a king-sized bed, a fire pit, a private deck with hot tub, and additional decks for dining, yoga or stargazing. 173 Basse Lane, Fredericksburg, 512.777.1455, https://stayonera.com

Where to Eat and Drink

The Hill Country Herb Garden, formerly known as Fredericksburg Nature’s Spa and Herb Farm, has been renovated and redecorated, and it now features more than 800 culinary herbs and native plants. In fact, it is home to 154 unique botanical species (60 of which are native to Texas, and 33 of which are herbs) that are now part of a new culinary garden. Sustainable practices include recycling of food waste into compost and fostering pollinators. In addition to offering 14 cozy cottages and a luxury day spa, The Hill Country Herb Garden restaurant is now open for both lunch and dinner. Enjoy garden-inspired cocktails and lighter fare made with fresh ingredients. 405 Whitney St., Fredericksburg, 830.997.8615, https://www.hillcountryherbgarden.com

Visiting wineries is a must-do in Fredericksburg. Gillespie County (which includes Fredericksburg) sits at the epicenter of Texas Hill Country and is home to more than 50 wineries, vineyards, and wine-tasting rooms—not to mention dozens more located within an hour or two drive. Southold Farm & Cellar uses thoughtful wine growing techniques and is the best bet for a sustainable winery in Fredericksburg. The winery believes in four tenants of thoughtful winemaking, which include: transparency (making all additives and processes publicly available); maximal effort in doing the least amount of intervention in the cellar; maximal effort to take care of the vineyard soil, the environment, and the people; and native yeast fermentations. Not only are the wines unique and delicious, but the winery itself is a beautiful place to enjoy a glass or two of vino. Try the Beautiful Vulnerability, a complex and tropical white blend from the Texas high plains. 330 Minor Threat Lane, Fredericksburg, 512.829.1650, https://www.southoldfarmandcellar.com

Be sure to check out The Speakeasy at Salvation Spirits, a hidden cocktail laboratory situated on a 10-acre orchard in Fredericksburg. In addition to growing blackberries, peaches, pears, plums, pecans, and grapes, the orchard is also home to Salvation Spirits (a purpose-driven, environmentally conscious distillery, winery, and brewery). The cocktail menu features fresh concoctions like the Just Peachy (made with Salvation Spirits vodka, peach gelée, honey, and lemon). 10091 US-290, Fredericksburg, 830.992.5052, https://www.salvationspeakeasy.com

What to Do

Located in the heart of Texas Hill Country, Roam Ranch sits on 600 acres of river bottom land on the outskirts of Fredericksburg. The ranch is home to a free-roaming herd of bison that is pastured-raised, 100 percent grass-fed, and free of added hormones and antibiotics. Meanwhile, ducks, chickens, geese, turkeys, and heritage-breed pork are all pasture-raised, have access to natural forage, and are supplemented with a soy-free and corn-free non-GMO feed. Roam Ranch invites guests to see how regenerative agriculture can help save the planet. The ranch also hosts many events throughout the year, such as a Bison Harvest in December, January, February and March. 1804 Pfeiffer Road, Fredericksburg, http://roamranch.com

Meanwhile, Hat & Heart Farm is a 50-year-old farm that uses organic and sustainable practices to grow seasonal vegetables; to raise more than 400 egg-laying hens; and to shepherd more than 100 meat goats. Find their food at local farmers markets and at restaurants like Prometheus (an artisan pizza joint) and Otto’s (an intimate German bistro). 3961 N. Grape Creek Road, Fredericksburg, https://www.hatandheart.com

Windmill Meadow Farm is another great place to visit. This family-owned and -operated farm produces specialty flowers and foliage—all organically grown. In addition to farm tours, Windmill Meadow Farm offers floral workshops and events. 127 Sunshine Lane, 830.992.8411, Fredericksburg, https://www.windmillmeadowfarm.com

For more information on how to help with preserving and sustaining the Fredericksburg area through tourism, visit https://www.visitfredericksburgtx.com/stewardship/



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