The Dog Friendly Edition – Yes, Fredericksburg is Very Dog Friendly
Fredericksburg is a very dog friendly town with strong German roots. There are so many things to do in Fredericksburg, you may need a few days to get through the list. This town has been catering to tourists ever since Lyndon B. Johnson was our President.
Down Main Street you will find food, artifacts, wine, hand crafted items, special events, and buildings which reveal its rich German heritage. Journey beyond its borders for scenic views, hiking, flying, wine tours, swimming, camping, historic places, and a bat emergence. Did I mention wine? Each time we visit, we find more things to do in Fredericksburg, Texas – dog friendly things, of course!
Why Most Things Appear German in Fredericksburg, Texas
Every town has a beginning. Fredericksburg’s took place in 1846, when a Baron, and group of German immigrants, decided to settle between two creeks surrounded by seven hills. Even though natives were nearby, Fredericksburg seemed to thrive peacefully due to a treaty promoting shared land. I found no recorded instances of hostility between the natives and people of Fredericksburg. There may have been issues between soldiers and outlaws, or a dispute over whiskey, but the German immigrants and natives must have had a beneficial relationship.
Lyndon B. Johnson visited Fredericksburg during his presidency. Apparently the spectacle put the town on the map as it began to welcome tourists. The National Museum of the Pacific War was established in 1969, and continues to draw thousands of visitors today. However, the most popular things to do in Fredericksburg are shopping, eating, and drinking.
In other words, shopping for food and wine is taking place daily. According to my research, Fredericksburg is a weekend hotspot among residents of central Texas, especially those living in Austin and San Antonio. Being from San Antonio I cannot deny that claim.
Shopping in Fredericksburg, Texas
Here is a great place to park before shopping in Fredericksburg: 115 W Main St, Fredericksburg, TX 78624
The most popular area to shop in Fredericksburg is along Main Street, between Adams and Washington. Along this section of Main Street you will find burgers, sandwiches, coffee, ice cream, wine (also available frozen), boots, hats, clothing, kitchenware, jewelry, bags, purses, furniture, art, books, souvenirs, stuff for dogs, and a bunch of other things I forgot about already. I routinely find gifts in Fredericksburg every year for my family living out of state. This is also the only place I can ever seem to find gingerbread cookies, but that’s my problem.
Feel free to bring your pup to Fredericksburg because many shops and restaurants are dog friendly. My girl, Abbey, has been inside more than a handful of shops, but she is very well behaved. Be aware that many shops have narrow passageways and breakable items. A couple have “service animal only” signs posted on their doors, but the majority are dog friendly. You can find Dogologie on the northwest corner of Llano and Main Street. They offer free treats and water, as well as a wide selection of goodies for your four legged friend.
Overall, the shops are a blend of German, native, and cowboy cultures. The area is very well maintained, and some of the previous building names can still be seen on the outer surface. The old bank, hospital, and jail are the three I notice most often. Parking is free and can be found all over Fredericksburg. I do not park near the shops on Main Street because of the traffic. Instead I opt for a shady spot behind the library (which is provided in the link above).
Dog Friendly Restaurants in Fredericksburg
Thankfully, our friends at Dogologie provided us with an entire list of dog friendly restaurants in town. Does shopping make you hungry too? Here are the dog friendly restaurants in Fredericksburg:
- Altdorf (closed Sunday – Tuesday)
- Burger Burger
- Backwoods BBQ (closed Monday and Tuesday)
- Culture’s (closed Monday)
- El Milagro (closed Monday)
- Farmhouse Bistro
- Hondo’s (closed Monday and Tuesday)
- Jennie’s Burgers (closed Tuesday)
- Kelani Yogurt
- Nury’s (closed Monday)
- Silver Creek (closed Tuesday)
- Sozial Haus
- Sunset Grill (closed Wednesday)
- West End Pizza
- Woerners Warehouse Cafe (closed Sunday)
The important thing to note here is that you may have a difficult time finding a place to eat on Monday. Many restaurants are not open the entire week, and many are not open the entire day. However, it seems very easy to find a dog friendly restaurant. Here are the restaurants which are NOT dog friendly:
- Alamo Springs (closed Sunday)
- August E’s (closed Sunday and Monday)
- Crossroads (closed Monday and Tuesday)
- Der Lindenbaum
- Friedhelm’s (closed Monday)
- Fredericksburg Brewery
- Navajo Grill
- Porky’s (closed Sunday)
Unfortunately, I cannot provide much in the way of recommendations. We have not eaten at most of these restaurants due to food allergies and clean eating habits. However, gingerbread cookies are the one thing I cannot pass up. The bakery at Clear River on Main Street never lets me down this time of year. I apologize if they don’t have any during your visit. It was probably my fault.
Fredericksburg Special Events
When looking for things to do in Fredericksburg, you cannot forget to include any special events. I receive monthly emails from the city which inform me of their upcoming events. I’ve witnessed Octoberfest, a New Year’s Eve ball drop, and farmers market. The events which require an admission fee are not typically dog friendly.
Checkout the Fredericksburg calendar of events if you are interested in what’s coming up. Octoberfest just took place this past weekend, but the Food and Wine Fest is one of the next events on the list.
Visit Fort Martin Scott
From the shops on Main Street, head east and you will see Fort Martin Scott before leaving town. The original fort was only open from 1848 – 1853, but has been restored by the city. They perform two history re-enactments each year. One of these just took place this past Saturday. Unfortunately, we were unable to attend, but hope to do so in the future.
I used to live next to a pumpkin farm where they held some of these historical re-enactments. They used horses, original rifles, and cannons. It was quite a sight, and I can only wonder how the ones at Fort Martin Scott are in comparison.
They also opened a new nature trail this past summer at the Fort. They now have one mile total trail distance including the one along the creek, and those inside the Fort. You can tour the Fort at your leisure during the day.
They also have a visitors center which is open from 10am – 5pm everyday except Tuesdays and Wednesdays. The Fort may be closed on some holidays. It is dog friendly, but beware of sharp burs in the grass. I had to remove a few from Abbey’s paws because we failed to stay on the gravel.
Hike Cross Mountain Park
Address: Fredericksburg, TX 78624
If you have any interest in scenic views, or hiking, you should head up to Cross Mountain Park. From the shops on Main Street, head west, turn right on Milam, and you will make a left turn into the park before exiting the town. You will pass a very short nature trail on the way in. After parking on the street you can enter the gate near the public restrooms.
After a short hike up and around the hill you will reach the top of Cross Mountain Park. At the top I noticed a giant white cross and the parks name suddenly made sense. I noticed all of Fredericksburg from an elevation of nearly 2,000 feet. What a view! There were several butterflies also admiring the view from the top.
The trails at Cross Mountain Park are very short. The climb is not too difficult, but the trail is rocky. The giant cross has been at the top for many years. Originally, a wooden cross was found at the top and remained there for nearly 100 years. Unsurprisingly, the city sought to maintain its historical significance, while updating the parks appearance.
Wineries in Fredericksburg, Texas
I’m not sure what the deal is with the area along the Pedernales River, but it seems to be a great place to make wine. There are many wineries to be found between Fredericksburg and Johnson City. Wineries cannot be avoided while looking for things to do in Fredericksburg. They stick out like a cherry on top of a sundae. This is a large list of nearby wineries and all are dog friendly:
- 4.0 Cellars (10 miles)
- Armadillo’s Leap Winery (6 miles)
- Becker Vineyards (11 miles)
- Compass Rose Cellars (20 miles)
- Chisholm Trail Winery (9 miles)
- Fat Ass Ranch and Winery (11 miles)
- Fiesta Winery (6 miles)
- Grape Creek Vineyards (10 miles)
- Hye Meadow Winery (20 miles)
- Inwood Estate Vineyards (10 miles)
- Kerrville Hills Winery (20 miles)
- Kuhlman Cellars (18 miles)
- Longhorn Cellars (6 miles)
- Lost Draw Cellars
- Messina Hof Hill Country (10 miles)
- Pedernales Cellars (15 miles)
- Pontotoc Vineyard
- Rancho Ponte Vineyard (6 miles)
- Torre di Pietra (10 miles)
- William Chris Vineyards (20 miles)
- Woodrose Winery (15 miles)
Most of the wineries are 6 – 20 miles away from Fredericksburg. You can drive yourself, or you can choose from a variety of shuttles. Wine tours typically run from $100 – $200 per person. This may include tastings at multiple wineries, and a bite to eat. I have not personally used any of the wine tours.
The last winery we visited was Pedernales Cellars. The tasting was pretty good, but it’s been a couple years. At the time we were more interested in stomping some grapes! Remember those old videos of people stomping grapes with their bare feet? I don’t know why, but I’ve always wanted to try it. Well, Pedernales Cellars made it possible. Unfortunately, I have been unable to summon a photo of the event.
Enchanted Rock State Natural Area
Enchanted Rock is a Texas State Park which contains the largest pink granite formation in the country. Here you will find 11 miles of hiking trails, camping areas, and some of the best views in the Texas Hill Country. The four mile loop trail and camping areas are dog friendly, but dogs are not allowed on the rock formations.
Without a Texas State Parks Pass, admission to Enchanted Rock will cost $7. Consider making a reservation online because the park will turn visitors away once the lot fills up. You can also make a reservation by calling 512 389-8900. To reach the park from Fredericksburg, take Milam north for about 17 miles. This way will take you past Cross Mountain Park as you exit the town. Watch the road signs which should tell you if the park is full.
I’ve climbed Enchanted Rock four times so far, and see many different things every time. Find out how long it takes to climb Enchanted Rock by reading one of our other articles about a speed run. Enchanted Rock is open from 8am – 10pm. I have seen people on the rock after dark, but cannot say I would recommend it.
LBJ State Park and Ranch
This Texas State Park is the home of our 36th President, Lyndon B. Johnson. LBJ State Park is free and dog friendly. You may tour the Living History Farm on foot, which is south of the Pedernales River. Witness what life was like on the farm by seeing it in action. There is a mile long nature trail running through the park, most of which is well shaded. You will also see fields of wildflowers and a statue of LBJ.
On the north side of the Pedernales River, you can take a self guided tour of the LBJ Ranch from inside your vehicle. You will make a loop around a runway and have the opportunity to park near the Texas White House. Touring the White House is not free, and tickets can be purchased inside the ranch visitors center.
LBJ State Park and Ranch offices are open from 8:30am – 4pm most of the year. The farm is open from 9am – 3pm from June through August, and 10am – 4pm the rest of the year. It is closed the final Tuesday of every month, as well as Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years. The picnic areas and nature trails are open until sunset.
You can find more photos and information about our visit in our article about LBJ State Park and Ranch. If you are visiting any of the wineries along Hwy 290 in Stonewall, you will be very close to this park.
Pedernales Falls State Park
Pedernales Falls is the nearest Texas State Park to Johnson City. This park will cost you $6, but it’s great for hiking, camping, or swimming. There are 30+ miles of hiking trails at the park. The trails are dog friendly, but some of them may be used by horses as well. Swimming is not allowed near the falls, but it is possible to go out onto the rocky parts of the river, which is what most people do at the park.
We visited Pedernales Falls during the summer and found the area to be a fun hike. It took a bit of climbing and jumping to maneuver the rocks and water. However, many of the trails appeared much easier to hike. You will find more photos of the adventure in our article about Pedernales Falls State Park.
This Texas State Park is open from 8am – 10pm. Arrive as early as possible because the park will turn visitors away once it is full. There are too many trails to hit in one visit, and we will definitely return soon.
The Bat Emergence in Fredericksburg, TX
If you’ve never seen millions of bats erupting from a cave at dusk, you may want to head to Old Tunnel State Park. This is another Texas State Park which is free to visit, and closer than some of the others. From the shops on Main Street head east and look for Old San Antonio Road, shortly after passing Fort Martin Scott. Turn right and follow the twists and turns of the country road until you come to Alamo Road. The park will be on your left side.
The best time to see the emergence is on dry days between the months of May and October. Old Tunnel State Park has an upper viewing deck near the parking area which is free. There is also a lower viewing deck which will get you close to the bats as they spiral up into the sky. Tickets to the lower deck are $5, and can be purchased as early as 5:30pm. For more information on the emergence you can call 866 978-2287.
There is a half mile trail at this park which is open from sunrise until 5pm. After 5pm they may close the trail. However, you may still hike the trail if you purchased tickets for the emergence. They do not allow anyone near the tunnel because millions of bats reside in it, and they need their rest during the day. I’ve seen the emergence on two separate occasions prior to adopting my dog.
Not Dog Friendly but…
They do not allow dogs at the park because of the bats. I figure barking might disturb them. However, there was live music coming from a nearby restaurant on my first visit, and they didn’t seem bothered by that. If you have your pup with you, I suggest watching the emergence from your vehicle. The parking area is directly in front of the upper viewing deck.
The emergence can go on for hours, and it will be dark when you leave. Keep a sharp eye out on the road for wildlife. The bat emergence is something you must see if you are looking for things to do in Fredericksburg.
Das Peach Haus in Fredericksburg, TX
Address: 1406 US-87, Fredericksburg, TX 78624
We visited the Peach Haus for the first time recently, even though we pass it nearly every time we visit Fredericksburg. The front of the Peach Haus is very rustic, while the backyard is a relaxing oasis. Inside you will find many free samples! Some of the items you can taste include salsa, mustard, butter, jam, honey, cider, and wine. At the bar you can get free samples of wine before purchasing one of their bottles.
The Peach Haus is dog friendly, and the backyard looks like an excellent place to spend time with friends. The pine trees surrounding the water stick out instantly because they are not native in Texas Hill Country. They were planted about 100 years ago, and provide quite a view. The Peach Haus is open from 10am – 5pm. Head south on Washington from the shops and Das Peach Haus will be on your right before leaving town.
The Pacific War Museum in Fredericksburg
As you could imagine, the Pacific War Museum tells the story of those who fought in the Pacific during World War II. The museum can be found from the north side of Main Street, and is open from 9am – 5pm. Admission for adults is $15, but veterans of World War II get in free. If you have an interest in military history this will be on your list of things to do in Fredericksburg.
Around the museum you can see interactive exhibits, letters, photographs, monuments, and the Pacific Combat Zone (not included with admission). The Pacific Combat Zone sounds amazing, but I haven’t personally experienced it. Many people visit the former home of Admiral Nimitz every year because of their interest in this unique museum. Walk through the exterior with your dog and enjoy the Japanese Garden of Peace.
Eat at the Airport Diner in Fredericksburg, TX
Follow Hwy 16 south of the shops, and make a right turn at Fair Drive toward the Gillespie County Airport. This is a small airport containing the Hangar Hotel and Airport Diner. On certain days during the week you can eat breakfast or lunch while watching takeoffs and landings. The menu consists of basic items such as eggs, waffles, pancakes, sandwiches, burgers, shakes, and sundaes, but the aesthetics are the real draw.
The interior of the diner is similar to those in the 1940’s containing terrazzo, soda fountain stools, curved ceiling, and large windows allowing a view of the runway. The diner is open during breakfast and lunch hours Friday through Sunday. It’s open during lunch on Wednesday and Thursday. Monday and Tuesday the diner is closed. We did not attempt to bring our dog into the diner, or hotel.
Stay at the Hangar Hotel in Fredericksburg
The Hangar Hotel next door is the most fascinating hotel I have seen. The hotel resembles a WWII hangar and is only a few miles from downtown. It also looks like a great place to relax while watching the planes use the airstrip. This is definitely a unique experience which will transport you back in time.
Visit the Dog Park in Fredericksburg
On the other side of the runway you can find Fredericksburg’s dog park. In order to reach the dog park you will need to go back out to Hwy 16 and head south to the next street. The dog park is inside Lady Bird Johnson Municipal Park, and is the largest dog park I’ve ever seen. Dogs can fly through several acres of green grass while the planes takeoff as well!
Any Other Things to do in Fredericksburg?
I’m sure there are plenty of other things to do in Fredericksburg, but they may take a bit more work to find. These are the things we have experienced, and most of them are dog friendly. Throughout the Texas Hill Country you will find other parks, ranches, caves, shops, and dog friendly things to do.
Before you begin your adventure outside of Fredericksburg, you can find more opportunities by reading our article – 12 Spectacular Places to Visit Throughout Texas Hill Country. The article does contain some of the same places you read about on this page because there are so many great things to do in Fredericksburg, and the surrounding Hill Country. However, there are a few other “must see” places closer to San Antonio.
If you plan on visiting San Antonio, you can find everything you need to know about the parks with hiking trails in our Indisputable Guide.
If this information has been helpful to you, please leave us a comment, and share it on your favorite social media site. Leave us a comment if you find any other great things to do in Fredericksburg, Texas, as well.
I’m a certified personal trainer in San Antonio. After adopting Abbey, I created Places for Pups to help you get outside, exercise with your dog and have fun doing it.
We have mastered hiking in Texas Hill Country. Though we emerge from the woods unharmed, we are not responsible for you or your pets. You are solely responsible for trying exercises, or places discussed on this site.
Grab the best hiking gear and go dog friendly. I wish you good fortune on the trails to come.