CHARM CITY, TEXAS
The Texas Hill Country town of Fredericksburg — cherished by Texans and tourists for its delightful nod to German heritage, its award-winning wineries, and a down-home sense of community — is no stranger to commendation. Now another national organization is helping spread the word about the ’burg by naming it among the most charming small towns in the South.
Fredericksburg landed at the No. 2 spot on Big 7 Travel’s recently released list of the 25 Most Charming Southern Small Towns, with the travel website calling the village “one of the most adorable small towns in the Lone Star State” and referencing its craft-beer and wine scene and its many delightful local shops.
“I am a Fredericksburg native, so I love every time I see someone new fall in love with our community. It’s particularly important to our culture and economy, so I’m very happy about that,” says Penny McBride, president and CEO of the Fredericksburg Chamber of Commerce.
The accolade is the most recent best-of list praising Fredericksburg for its enchanting allure. In 2018, Architectural Digest named the hamlet the prettiest town in Texas, noting its dozens of local wineries and lavender fields. Fredericksburg also boasts a variety of restaurants, quaint boarding houses, boutiques, and galleries that promote the folksier lifestyle that help comprise the town’s charm.
While Fredericksburg can still claim to be a charming small town, like much of the Central Texas region, its recent growth may portend a contrasting future. In early 2019, financial website WalletWyse.com claimed Fredericksburg is the most unaffordable place to live in Texas, based on minimum wage and median home price, which was then $305,600, slightly higher than Austin’s median home price at the time, $304,200. And with the recent announcement that the town will soon become home to the $78 million Seven Hills Resort and Conference Center, which will include a 150-room hotel and a 40,000-square-foot retail and restaurant village, among other amenities, Fredericksburg appears poised to outgrow its charming-small-town status.
In the meantime, McBride says the community remains as charming as ever and is focused on continuing to recover from economic hardship imposed by COVID-19, requesting that visitors use the same safe practices when visiting Fredericksburg that they use at home.
“We are seeing very good visitation,” she says. “We saw the same shutdown in the spring as other communities … but our economy has recovered quite good. Our volumes are returning to pre-COVID levels. We want you to still be able to come here let your hair down. But still wear a mask and practice appropriate distance and other safe practices that honor our businesses. Fredericksburg is such a beautiful, special place, and we enjoy sharing it with others.”