This Hill Country community is one of our favorite getaways with our dogs thanks to its proximity to great natural attractions, a fun, historic atmosphere, and numerous dog-friendly accommodations in this capital of the Texas bed and breakfast world.
Dog-Friendly Activities and Attractions
Becker Vineyards. This beautiful vineyard and winery, filled with forty-six acres of French vinifera vines, is also home to a lavender farm that’s in bloom April and May. Leashed pets can stroll the grounds and you’re welcome to have a picnic (but no alcohol). Info: 464 Becker Farms Rd. (10 miles east of Fredericksburg off US 290). www.beckervineyards.com. Free for grounds.
Chisholm Trail Winery. Bring your dog to enjoy the grounds of this unassuming winery located 9 miles west of Fredericksburg and known for its Western saloon atmosphere. The winery’s covered patio overlooks Spring Creek Vineyards. If you’re hungry, check out the Oval Oven Pizzeria (below). Info: 2367 Usener Rd.; www.chisholmtrailwinery.com. Free for grounds.
Lady Bird Johnson Municipal Park. Located just southwest of Fredericksburg on TX 16, this 150-acre park features a nature trail, picnicking, and camping; it’s also adjacent to an RV park. Info: TX 16 S; three miles south of Fredericksburg; www.fbgtx.org. Free.
Luckenbach. Waylon Jennings’s country song made this tiny burg a Texas institution. Quiet except during evening dances, Luckenbach makes a fun photo stop with your dog. The town consists of a shop or two and a small general store serving as a post office, dance hall, beer joint, a bust of Luckenbach founder Hondo Crouch, and general gathering place. Info: from US 290, turn south on FM 1376 and continue for about 4.25 miles; www.luckenbachtexas.com. Free.
Enchanted Rock State Natural Area. This 640-acre granite outcropping is one of our dogs’ favorite stops in the Lone Star State. Second in size only to Georgia’s Stone Mountain, Enchanted Rock is the largest stone formation in the West. Named for the creaking sounds that the Native Americans heard from the rock as it cooled during the night, Enchanted Rock offers plenty of fun for dogs of all activity levels. In 2016, the park restricted dog access; dogs are no longer permitted on the Summit Trail but are still permitted in the lower areas of the park. On weekends and holidays, the park limits the number of visitors. You’ll find both primitive and walk-in campsites but bring supplies from nearby Fredericksburg. Info: 16710 Ranch Rd. 965; www.tpwd.state.tx.us. Fee.
South Llano River State Park. It’s over an hour’s drive from Fredericksburg to Junction but this state park makes a fun day trip if you’re staying in Fredericksburg for several days, especially if you, like us, have a dog that loves water. Situated on the Llano River, this park offers not just tubing for you and your dog but canoeing, swimming and fishing fun, as well as miles of trails to explore. Your dog is welcome everywhere but in buildings; you’ll also find RV and tent campsites. Info: 1927 Park Rd. 73, Junction; www.tpwd.state.tx.us. Fee.
Wildseed Farm. The largest family-owned wildflower seed farm in the United States welcomes your dog. There’s a self-guided walking tour through the colorful grounds, a must-visit during the spring. The farm is located seven miles east of Fredericksburg on US 290 daily.
Shopping with Your Dog
Fredericksburg’s many (many!) specialty shops offer antiques, linens, Texana, art, and collectibles. Most stores are in historic buildings along Main Street.
Dogologie. Located in the heart of the town’s shopping district, this fun boutique sells goodies for dogs and dog lovers ranging from apparel and bedding to toys and treats (as well as fun baked goods). Info: 148 E. Main St.; www.dogologie.com.
Dog-friendly patio dining in Fredericksburg
Check with all restaurants before making plans; many close early in the week when Fredericksburg’s a little quieter.
Altdorf Biergarten. For years, whenever we were in Fredericksburg, this restaurant was our first choice for an al fresco lunch in the shady beer garden that welcomes dogs. Now under new ownership, the restaurant has been renovated and we haven’t yet had the chance to dine here–although it remains dog-friendly. Info: 301 West Main St.; www.altdorfs.com.
Ausländer Biergarten and Restaurant. A beer garden behind this longtime restaurant welcomes dogs. You’ll find traditional bratwurst, Wiener schnitzel, Jager schnitzel, and even Texas schnitzel, topped with a spicy ranchero sauce. The beer garden features an extensive selection of beverages accompanied by live music. Info: 323 East Main St.; www.theauslander.com.
Hondo’s on Main. Named for Hondo Crouch, the late owner and “mayor” of Luckenbach, this popular eatery and live music venue welcomes dogs to its large patio and shaded garden to enjoy enchiladas, Frito pie, tortilla soup, or Donut Burgers, with Angus beef shaped like a doughnut. (Try the Chili Cheese Burger with the doughnut hole filled with Terlingua beef chili!) Info: 312 W. Main St.; www.hondosonmain.com.
Oval Oven Restaurant. Located at Chisholm Trail Winery outside of town, this pizzeria creates its magic in a hand-built brick oven using many local ingredients. A patio welcomes you and your dog; try the Meat Lover’s Pizza which includes quail sausage or get traditional with the Italian Sausage pizza then pair it with a Chisholm Trail vintage. Info: 2367 Usener Rd.; www.chisholmtrailwinery.com.
Dog-Friendly Fredericksburg Accommodations
Fredericksburg is the capital city of Texas bed-and-breakfast inns, with accommodations in everything from Sunday houses to local farmhouses to residences just off Main Street. Several reservation services provide information on properties throughout the area.
The All Seasons Collection. This extensive collection of B&B accommodations are all pet-friendly! Each charges a per visit pet fee of $30 and, while pets are welcome, two-legged children under age 17 are not. These properties each feature luxury linens and the amenities of a fine hotel. Properties range from log cabins to traditional houses. Info: www.fredericksburgtxbedandbreakfasts.com.
Gastehaus Schmidt. This service represents numerous bed-and-breakfast accommodations, including cottages, log cabins, and traditional homes; many properties are pet-friendly. The rules and fees at each property vary but you’ll find a handy form on the website to search for pet-friendly B&Bs. Info: 231 W. Main St.; www.fbglodging.com.