Bella Vista Cottage

312 Cut Off Road, Fredericksburg, Texas 78624
Innkeeper(s): Kevin Burns
 

Texas Peach Vacation – Why You Should Plan One 7 Jun 2012, 1:50 am

Foodies, looking for a unique food experience? You should plan a Texas Peach Vacation.

Texas peaches sweet and fuzzy, give Georgia peaches a run for their money.

Haven’t heard of Texas peaches yet? Well, be prepared to hear something sweet. Texas has an estimated one million trees making them a leading American producer of these luscious early summer fruit. Texas Peaches offer you a variety of subtle flavors with a multitude of varieties. Some of the Fredricksburg’s common peach varieties are: Springgold, Bicentennial, June Gold, Garnet Beauty, Sentinel, Harvester, Loring, Redglobe, Redskin, Dixieland, Jefferson and Jersey Queen.

Georgia Peaches Move Over – Texas Peaches Are Taking the Cake.

Think the Texas Hill Country Wine Trail sounds special? Try something really unique and take to the roads around Fredericksburg, Texas to enjoy all things peach. Sure everyone else runs to see D.C.’s cherry blossoms. Why not do something more original and follow the Peach Trail during blossom time?

The Texas Hill Country Fruit Council makes finding the best and most unique peach experiences easy. A quick click on their website http://www.texaspeaches.com/ will guide you to the Peach Blossom Trail, local groves were you pick are called out by variety of peach, and festivals such as the Stonewall Peach JAMboree and Rodeo are listed.

They know their peaches in Fredericksburg.

Texas A&M actually has a specialized peach breeding program. And Jim Kamas, a Fredericksburg resident, has more credentials about working with that program than a peach has fuzz. Jim, in fact, is one of the authors of the Texas Peach Handbook. He’s also just one of the people in the area whose lives are dedicated to bringing the best Texas peaches to your table.

Don’t rely on store bought peaches, come to Texas Peach Country.

You can plan your travel to Texas Peach Country – the area around Fredericksburg – to take advantage of the peach season. If you plan ahead you can find a bed and breakfast or vacation rental with the use of a kitchen. You can enjoy making your freshly picked peaches into freshly made Texas jams and Texas jellies using easy to follow local recipes. What could make a better foodie vacation haul then that? You’ll be bringing this summery freshness and the unique vacation experience home to enjoy until next year’s jam making trip back to Texas Peach country.

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Fredericksburg Trade Days 7 Jun 2012, 1:26 am

Staying at a Fredericksburg Bed and Breakfast? Dig into some original Texas Food at Fredericksburg Trade Days.

Texas food is a big reason why many choose to stay at a cozy Fredericksburg Bed and Breakfast. Texas has a big reputation for a lot of things and good local food is one of them. And local Texas foods can be found in the most unique places, so finding the places with great “Texas flavored” food is a big part of the enjoyment.

Fredericksburg Trade Days can give you a weekend full of Texas cuisine.

Trade Days is a local Fredericksburg event held on the weekend of the third Saturday of every month (which is actually not always the same as the third weekend in a month don’t you know?) It takes place at Sunday Farms and consists of plenty of venders selling everything from antiques to zebra skins. Many people come to Trade Days to leave with a little bit of Texas to decorate their homes with – not realizing that some of the greatest finds they will come upon are the authentic Texas foods.

This trade fair had not only some of the best wares you can find, it also boasted amazing food. The authentic native American jewelry was only outshined by the barbeque shack and La Familia Salsa Company. – Joseph P of Henderson, NV via Yelp.

Jalapeno jelly got you jumping for more Texas cooking stuffs?

Come prepared to eat and drink when you visit Fredericksburg Trade Days. Don’t make the mistake this visitor did:

Lots of yummy food for sale, which I wish we’d have tried but we were holding out for dinner in Fredericksburg since it was our first visit. – Shovelle S of Portland, OR via Yelp.

Here’s what you should know – there’s a Beer Garden right onsite – keeping of course with the German influences found throughout the Texas Hill Country. The beer garden offers hundreds of beers to choose from. It crosses the bridge between it’s German roots and it’s Texas pride by offering Lone Star Beer alongside of some “erfrischend” (that’s German for refreshing) German imports. The Beer Garden is a good place to get your bearings from and to make a plan on what Texas foods you are scooping up first. Are you looking for food from Texas? Or yummy foods you may be able to find elsewhere but they do so well in Texas? Some folks visiting the Trade Days aren’t picky about the origins of their goodies but just how good they are here.

I’m going to recommend you find Barn #1 and buy cinnamon roasted peanuts to get your day started right.  — Krys T., a Texan herself from San Antonio, TX via Yelp.

Morning biscuits at a Fredericksburg Bed and Breakfast?

Make sure you grab a jar of Mayhaw Texas jelly to spread on your morning victuals. Tuck it in your shopping bag as you chomp on a fresh ear of roasted corn – raised up of course in the Texas Hill Country. Don’t forget your friends at home. Blow them away with an over the top local Texas hot sauce. And if you have the time – and the inclination – you can probably find a kitchen table and chairs to squeeze into your car to relive your Texas moment when you leave the bed and breakfast and chow down at home.

That’s the beauty of going to the Fredericksburg Trade Days when you’re staying at a nearby B & B – even more exposure to great Texas foods.

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Texas Farmers Aren’t The Only Folks Appreciating Antique Tractors 7 Jun 2012, 1:07 am

There’s something about an antique tractor. Not just big green farming machines, they say “country cool” to a lot of people. That includes folks who have never spent time on a farm and the only mustangs they’ve ever rode where made by Ford.

Mustangs cars, aren’t the only cool things made by Ford, their old tractors are pretty popular.

If you are reading this article, chances are that you already know there is a huge subculture of people who admire quite a few of the old tractor makers. John Deere is an obvious one. You could probably have only done your farming on a Brooklyn spare lot co-operative and still know that John Deere’s are green. Hercules Engines, an American company founded in 1915, also have a popular following. And there’s the Massey Ferguson, a brand that can trace its roots through the rows of farming history.

Yesterday’s tractors furrow a soft spot in the minds eye as we picture the American farmstead.

Texas farmers will no doubt show up for the 27th Annual Hill Country Antique Tractor & Engine Show near Fredericksburg. But plenty of the local guests of Texas Hill Country bed and breakfasts will be there as well. Whether it’s part of the movement towards sustainability or just nostalgia for when more farms were owned by families than corporations, old tractors have a following.

Says the The Hill Country Antique Tractor & Engine Club (HCAT&EC), “Membership has increased gradually through the years to the present size of approximately 150 members. The nature of the HCAT&EC membership is changing. In previous years, most members were or had been farmers or ranchers who owned antique tractors and engines which they exhibited and demonstrated. Now, many of the members are interested and supportive, but they have never lived or worked on farms or ranches and they do not personally own tractors or engines.”

There’s fun to be had at old fashioned tractor pulls.

Sure there are lots of old tractors lined up to admire. There’s also the antique tractor parade and farm machinery demonstrations. Don’t bypass the vendors. This is a great place to pick up that bit of “agriculture related item” you wanted for the front yard or your mom’s kitchen. A blacksmith shop rounds out the farm culture experience. While your surrounded by farm equipment you’ll find some Texas fair food for sale – no need to go hungry.

Come see what the pull towards these antiques engines is about – if you don’t feel it already.

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Scenic Drive Ideas from Fredericksburg Texas 12 Dec 2011, 2:08 am

Scenic Drives are all about discovery.

Driving the Texas Hill Country is a great way to add the joy of discovery to your bed and breakfast vacation. Around Fredericksburg it’s easy to spend 30 minutes in the car enjoying the view. It’s just as easy to plan a destination to drive, to explore and then loop back to Fredericksburg. And if you really want to enjoy the wind in your hair – plan on making your ride a circular day trip with some exploring along the way.

Brake away from your bed and breakfast and try one of these destinations:

Bat Cave

You won’t catch Robin or any other masked men in the area – unless the lone ranger is driving through. But you will catch a view of a natural event that may take your breath away. From May to Oct visitors come from around the world to see the 3 million plus bats emerge from the cave. And if that’s not enough – there is good eating for you at the Alamo Springs Café just next door to the cave!

Lost Maples State Natural Area

A favorite in the fall because of the spectacular colors of the myriad varieties of maple trees living there. The area covers 2174.2 acres on the Sabinal River. So all year round there is plenty of sightseeing, picnicking, hiking, and bird watch. For those reasons it’s also a great place to bring your camera. When the weather’s a little warmer – don’t forget your bathing suit – it’s just the place to go swimming or fishing.

Willow City Loop

A huge favorite during wildflower season. Visitors March through April can enjoy the place where the ruggedness of the terrain meets the delicacy of fragile wildflowers. If you appreciate taking in the air and nature study this is a great scenic drive for you.

Texas Hill Country vistas for everyone.

The Hill Country offers great roads for the spots car and motorcycle enthusiast. When you stay at Bella Vista we will be happy to plan a route, even pack you a picnic – just see our concierge section for more details.

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Restaurants in Fredericksburg TX – Our Local Favorites 12 Dec 2011, 1:53 am

Texas is a big place — and full of big surprises.

For some people the biggest surprise is that you don’t need to be in Dallas to get a great meal — foodies from everywhere will enjoy the quality of restaurants in Fredericksburg Texas.

At Bella Vista Cottage we certainly favorite restaurants we like to share with our friends.

Looking for Fine Dining places to eat in Fredericksburg TX?

Check out:

August E’s — http://www.august-es.com

Their menu changes daily. It’s based on the creativity August E’s Chefs apply to seasonal fresh ingredients.

Texas with an Asian influence.

You’ll find sushi and other Pan Asian dishes featured on their varied menu. It’s a nice choice for seafood lovers while dishes originating on land include wild game, lamb, pork, steaks, and duck. Take a moment at look the sample menu on their site.

You will appreciate how well the décor has been carefully planned and executed to enhance your lunch or dinner experience.

Crossroads Steakhouse and Saloon — www.crossroads-texas.com

Fine dining with a Texas Country kick! Here you’ll get classic Southern favorites like Shrimp and Grits. Try the Texas Quail. Have a big appetite? How about a Texas sized 16oz Rib eye?

These folks know what they are doing in the kitchen.

And from that kitchen, the foods they bring to their attractive and comfortable dining room include inspirations like the “Cinder brined double pork chops with mashed sweet potatoes, sautéed bacon spinach, and apple compote”.

One of the few restaurants in Fredericksburg Tx to be open late — you’ll hear that it’s also a great place to go for some live entertainment and it’s pretty much guaranteed to get your groove on.

Check out their web page to learn more about whose music you can jam with — bluesy is usually the style de jour.

Hill Top Café — http://www.hilltopcafe.com/

Awesome Poboys and mouthwatering Cajun classics like their “Port Arthur style shrimp gumbo” mingle surprisingly well with their exceptional Greek dishes. Try the “Kefalotiri Saganaki,” a unique and tangy Greek baked cheese dish.

Eat your greens. And like them.

The Hill Top Café’s leafy vegtables and herbs come from their organic gardens. They also make of point of buying fresh goods locally from their friends’ farms and ranches.

Take a little ride. They like to say they are “Inconveniently located in the middle of nowhere…” Lucky for us — that’s not so true. You’ll discover the Hill Top Café to be very nearby.

To compliment the restaurant’s attitude they have opened the “Old Garage” a place to purchase “roadside relics & antiques.” Remember to give yourself time to meander through.

Navaho Grill — http://www.navajogrill.com/

Relax under fir timbers and sit by the waterfalls’ cool ferns on their rustic limestone patio — a great location for a nibble or a lovely place for dinner.

A distinct South Western feel expressed with warm sophistication.

The Navaho Grill refers to their dishes as “cuisines of the south.” Of Fredericksburg Texas restaurants, this one specializes in an “Old and New Mexico” influence along with combining flavors of the Caribbean and New Orleans.

Looking for a great pasta entrée? Try “Shitake Penne” – shitake mushrooms nestled in a bed of penne rigate tossed with roasted tomatoes, poblano pecan pesto, and fresh spinach

The Nest — http://thenestrestaurant.com/

Living in a beautifully renovated early 1900’s Fredericksburg home is one of our most popular local restaurants.

It’s Chef-owner, John Wilkinson, graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York and then traveled Europe to acquire even more delicious inspirations. John continued to grow his American experience at the Ritz Carlton in Aspen Colorado.

Want to go out for a truly fine dining experience at a restaurant in Fredericksburg Texas?

How does this sound as an entrée: Broiled semi-boneless quail stuffed with bacon, spinach, goat cheese and
sun-dried tomatoes on green chili polenta with a Port demi-glace.

Welfare Café — http://www.welfarecafe.com/

Fine dining under a tin roof and in a 1920’s post office building — those are some of the unique experiences you can enjoy when you go to Welfare.

The owner’s German roots have a strong influence on the menu.

A big attraction at the Welfare Café are the appetizers called Kartoffelpfannekuchen. They are made from freshly grated potatoes seasoned with nutmeg. Once shredded they are formed into cakes and fried to a deep, crisp brown.

But just when you thought you have dinner at the Welfare pegged you see Wednesday is Italian night. Appreciate their schnitzel? Try the polpettes (meatballs.)

And — surprise – a few times a week they have live music. We recommend calling to find out who’s playing when.

These are some of our favorite examples of the variety of good times and sophisticated places to eat in Fredericksburg TX.

We hope you’ll get to experience them while staying with us at the Bella Vista Cottage.

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Texas Hill Country Regional Christmas Lighting Trail 11 Dec 2011, 10:50 pm

Dreaming of a “Light” Christmas? Texas Hill Country Sparkles

Create Christmas memories on the Texas Hill Country Trail

Christmas means many things, but to almost anyone … it’s all about the memories. Start your memories this Christmas season by taking the Texas Hill Country Christmas Lighting Trail. This year plan your holiday season in Historic Fredericksburg.

Enjoy the Season with local Hill Country Texans

Fredericksburg offers a sea of antiques, gift shops, art galleries, restaurants, and coffee shops in historic architecture all set in an ocean of shimmering holiday decorations. Many locals think Christmas is the best time of the year and you’ll see them strolling through the quaint historic district along with you. It’s also a great time to enjoy some of the many local events that make Fredericksburg a wonderful destination for celebrating the season.

The Regional Christmas Lighting Trail is a uniquely Texan Christmas Experience

There are 12 charming Texas Hill Country towns that have been gloriously decorated to their finest:

• Bandera, • Johnson City,
• Blanco, • Kerrville,
• Boerne, • Llano,
• Burnet, • Marble Falls,
• Dripping Springs, • New Braunfels,
• Fredericksburg, • Wimberley

Each of these wonderful Texas Hill Country towns has decorated their courthouse and main public square or park in a unique but traditional way.

You would never see this special Texan Christmas style anywhere else in the world. Even for Texas it’s big and unique. Come see the “bigger in Texas” night sky filled with visions such as:

• The Blanco County Courthouse in Johnson City boasts over 100,000 lights

• At Lake Marble falls you can see over one million tiny, tinkling lights reflecting on the sparkling waters. Their cheerful twinkle covers 130 sculptures on the lake shores.

Shouldn’t Christmas be one big photo opportunity?

Traveling these towns is the perfect backdrop for your Christmas poses and Santa hats. Whether you’re a Texan yourself or coming from a distant place, the Texas Hill Country Regional Christmas Lighting Trail is a visual delight.

Bring your camera as you’ll surely want to take lots of photos with your family and friends in front of all the beautiful Christmas displays. If this doesn’t put you in the holiday spirit, nothing will!

A brochure will be available at the Fredericksburg Visitor Information Center, 302 E. Austin. This is a self-guided tour. The Christmas Lighting Trail begins on November 25th and runs through the holiday season until January 1st.

Come and enjoy the sparkle of the Texas Wine Country’s Christmas Lighting Trail!

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What’s Special On Texas Hill Country Wine Trail? 11 Dec 2011, 10:34 pm

Looking for Texas Wine Country?

Fredericksburg is perfectly located to take in the best of Texas Hill Country Wine.

If you are a wine connoisseur, or just think visiting the vineyards sounds quintessentially romantic, Fredericksburg is this place to stay.

Select your favorite way to do the Texas wine country.

You can take in special tours. Take in the Texas Hill Country Wine & Food Festival. Or go for a leisurely drive checking out the vineyards as you find them.

The Texas Hill Country Wine Trail Tours pull it all together.

There are five special wine Trail Events planned throughout each year. This gives you a great opportunity to have an awesome Hill Country vineyard experience.

Wondering what’s the best way to take in Texas hill country wine tours?

The routes are setup as self-guided driving tours to be enjoyed at your leisure. We recommend buying season passes as a great way to seamlessly enjoy as much as possible. You can find these as well as route maps and events at:
http://www.texaswinetrail.com.

You can expect great times and good wines while in Texas wine country.

During wine trail times lots of activities are planned to make your visit memorable.
• newly released wines,
• wine and food pairings,
• seminars,
• demonstrations and tours.
• meet the vintners as you tour and taste

It’s easy to plan on visiting while a Wine Trail is happening.

Five times each year, wineries bring people together to make your trip even more special during “Texas Hill Country Wine Trail” days. Featured at the wineries during the Trail Events, you’ll find:
• Hill Country artists,
• musicians,
• crafters,
• chefs and entertainers of all kinds

We have our favorite wineries of course. These include:

• Texas Hills Vineyards, http://www.texashillsvineyard.com/,
Making wines to share with friends is their motto.
• Becker Vineyards, http://www.beckervineyards.com/, home of the Independence Day Chili Cook-off.
• Chisholm Trail Winery, http://www.chisholmtrailwinery.com/, every Friday, Saturday and Sunday they fire up a wood fired over to sear your gourmet pizza to perfection.

This year there will be 27 wineries all planning to show you their best as you travel on along a Texas Hill Country Wine Trail.

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Shopping In Historic Fredricksburg Texas 11 Dec 2011, 10:21 pm

A Feeling of History

There is nothing like spending the day walking the streets of a town that carries the feeling of America – the way it used to be before plazas, shopping malls, and discount outlets.

Main Street Shopping in Fredricksburg TX is Like Nowhere Else.

Our local Chamber of Commerce claims that Fredericksburg has the widest main street in Texas. That’s saying something because everyone knows – things are just bigger (and better) Texas style.

Main Street in Fredericksburg offers a wide variety of antique stores, art galleries, Texas themed furniture stores, and curio shops.

No doubt about it shopping in Fredericksburg TX is unique and can add color to your experience with Bella Vista

All in the context of historic charm and authenticity.

You’ll find there are still many buildings standing from the original settler days. Don’t miss the old fashioned “5 and Dime” store.

Antiques

Looking for antiques to bring back the feeling of charm you get while strolling and shopping Fredericksburg TX? Or maybe looking for that prize find? Stop in the Main Street shops to search out just the thing to take home and treasure.

You won’t want to miss the excitement of Fredericksburg Trade Days held at Sunday Farms.

Held every third weekend of the month they have six barns with over 350 vendors. To quote their website
http://www.fbgtradedays.com/ – you’ll find “Antiques, collectibles, tools, crafts, shabby chic, primitives, ranch furniture, hunting accessories, candles, unique clothing, jewelry, food and so much more.”

Specialty Shops Means Everyone Has Fun Shopping in Fredericksburg TX.

There is nothing that feels so much like a “find” as discovering a unique specialty shop. And you’ll find a trove of them on Main Street. We don’t want to give too much away but – along with a fantastic culinary shop and a store where it’s always Christmas – you’ll see a few shops that you’ve never seen the like of.

Interested in unique hand made items?

Main Street is a good place to tract down deer antler furnishings and other pieces bringing the wide open western skies to mind. Phil Jackson’s Granite & Iron Store on Main Street is a 10,000 square foot emporium with custom granite and iron work designed and built in Fredericksburg. There are also unique decorations and other goodies for your home from all over the world.

You can visit local furniture stores in Fredericksburg TX as well as design artisans in their studios and ranches. Take a short but scenic ride to see Tommy Traugott of Tom’s Texas Steel & Stone Works and Sam Sagebie of Mesquite Mystique.
Got the shopping bug?Scratch your itch by shopping in Fredericksburg, TX.

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Horseback Riding Fredericksburg TX a Natural 25 Aug 2011, 12:34 pm

Horses? Old hat to you – or something straight out of a western?

It would be hard to think of the Texas Hill Country and not think of horses.  They are such a quintessential part of the American West in general.  Horses pretty much define the cowboy as much as the cows do.

Horseback riding is easy to fit into your stay in Fredericksburg – there are several lovely ranches nearby.  And if you would like to go for a ride there are even more ranches to choose from throughout the Texas Hill Country.  Most will rent their horses by the hour, half day or day.

Do you have the gear for horseback riding during your bed and breakfast stay?

You don’t need to bring a saddle, ranches provide all the gear or what’s called “horse tack.”  They will also provide you with a trail guide and many will give lessons.  Whether wanting some instruction, or a slow ride through the hills, it’s a good idea to give them a call ahead if you know the direction you are driving in.  Many ranches need reservations to guarantee a horse for you to ride.

What should you wear for horseback riding around Fredericksburg Tx?

Most places will tell you to wear long pants and closed toed shoes.
If you really feel so inclined, you could even commemorate your trip to Fredericksburg Tx with a pair of pointy toed cowboy boots.  They are easy to purchase out in hill country.

Cowboy Boot Trivia

The points on a cowboy boot are intended for easy insertion to a stirrup by the way. The high slanted heel?  Never really designed to be walked in – cowboys don’t walk – they ride.  The heel can stop you from going too far forward too fast. A way of putting on the brakes that can be life saving.  Ropers are a type of cowboy boot that often are laced.

No matter what’s on your feet – Justin’s or Nikes. The Texas Hill Country begs you to get in the saddle of a horse.  The Quiet Hill Ranch in Doss, just 20 minutes from Fredericksburg Tx, and 10 minutes from Bella Vista Cottage bed and breakfast, offers scenic trail rides.

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Fredericksburg TX. The Bicycling Capitol of Texas 25 Aug 2011, 10:33 am

The Texas Hill Country is ideal for bicycling.

No matter how “serious” a cycler you are there are activities geared to suite your level. The Fredericksburg area is well known for its biking opportunities.

Easy-Peasy Joy Bike peddle – or Do You Call Yourself a Cyclist?

Fredericksburg’s streets are so quaint that it’s like taking a ride in small town America.  The small town we all like to picture.  You can also take your bikes, or ones you’ve rented, to any of the many state parks and natural areas like Lost Maples.

Biking is Your Hobby?

You may be interested in the LBJ annual Bicycle tour sponsored by the LBJ State Park, the location of the President Lyndon B (and his wife, Ladybird ) Johnson home. The routes are divided into four groups for this event, being 10, 30, 44, and 65 miles a piece.  Not “just a bike ride” registration includes one of the above ride routes (your choice), post-ride hot meal, Ranger-led tour of the Texas White House, and the tour led by Luci Johnson. Non-riders can also purchase the post-ride meal and they welcome tandem bikes and family riders.  The ride takes place in March – learn more at http://www.fredericksburg-texas.com

The website, www.CycleTexas.com helps to promote Fredericksburg as the Bicycling Capitol of Texas.  They work with local merchants on routes they suggest – making it a nice way to look, ride, even eat, and enjoy.  You can print out their routes which range from a few miles to 88 miles in pdf form.

If you would like to rent a bicycle, Hill Country Bicycle Works on Main Street can take care of your needs. Check out Cycle Texas for more information on biking in Fredericksburg and the surrounding Texas Hill Country.

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