When is the Best Time to Visit Fredericksburg, Texas?
Having owned retail stores and vacation rentals in Fredericksburg, Texas since the 1990’s, the most common question I have been asked over the years is …when is the best time to visit? I always tell people it depends on which experience you are hoping to have. The answer is very different depending on whether you want to visit when Fredericksburg is hopping and full of festivals and special activities or whether you would rather have the place a bit more to yourself.
Unlike some destination towns, Fredericksburg is truly open and ready for business 12 months of the year. But of course, some months are definitely busier than others. So let’s take it from the top so you can plan YOUR perfect time to head to the Hill Country!
January and February
In Fredericksburg, like most tourist towns (unless it’s a ski resort), January and February are always the slowest months of the year. Think about it; most people have overspent for holiday gifts or travel and have just received their credit card bills! My brother used to own convenience stores, and he said even his stores suffered in January and February. He said his customers would buy gas but wouldn’t splurge on that extra soda or candy bar!
So January and February offer fewer crowds and, many times, great deals on both shopping and lodging. I know our vacation rental service… Absolute Charm B&B + Vacation Rentals… offers discounted weekday specials most of the year but provides even deeper discounts in January and February. Sometimes you can even find, “stay two nights, get a third-night free” deals. You will also find sales in most of the stores; so if bargain shopping is your thing, you will not find a better time to visit Fredericksburg, Texas than January and February. Needless to say, Valentine’s Day is an exception but even then it really depends on what day of the week it falls on as to whether you can still get a bargain. Honestly, business owners prefer for it to fall on a Wednesday. That way some people will celebrate the weekend before and some the weekend after!
So, fewer crowds and better prices are pros of visiting in January or February, but there are cons as well. You run an increased risk of inclement weather. Fredericksburg has very mild winters and rarely has snow, but if a nor’easter blows in after a rain, we do occasionally have ice. And there’s nothing scarier than watching Texans drive on ice! However, it is quite rare; and if you are planning a last-minute getaway, you can probably check the forecast and feel pretty confident making your travel plans.
The only other possible downside is that smaller crowds lead to fewer festivals and special events. Or is it the other way around? This may be a chicken and egg thing. Of course, Fredericksburg offers so much to do year-round, so this is not a huge issue. But if festivals, car shows, and grape stomps are your thing, I wanted to point it out because you won’t find as many of them this early in the year.
So now let’s talk about all the busy times! Sure “busy” can have a negative connotation when you think about crowds. However, there is usually a reason a place is busy at a certain time. Either the timing is convenient for most people, the weather is good, there are unique activities happening, etc. And then the impact compounds because when the crowds are here, the shops, wineries, museums, etc. are all going to plan even more events and festivals to harness all that shopping power.
March and April
Fredericksburg is unique in one way. Typically when you are coming out of a slow season, you come out gradually, but not here! January and February are super slow and it actually feels like we live in a normal small town for a while. Then overnight… spring break hits! And, just like that, we kick off one of the busiest eight-week stretches of the year, March and April. Fredericksburg is a HUGE spring break destination, but not in the way you might think. We don’t get partying college kids; we have no beach, after all! But we do get couples, groups and lots of families. Even those who don’t have school-aged children often have one of the partners who work for the school district and have a free week.
A few years ago it felt even more crowded at spring break, but in recent years, whether by luck or by design, Texas seems to have decided to spread out the spring break periods for different schools. Now we have 3-4 consecutive weeks where SOMEBODY is on spring break. This has been great to alleviate congestion and crowds at least a little.
So what’s the draw during March and April, other than time off from school? Wildflowers of course! The hill country is known for being a GREAT place to check out the Texas state flower, the bluebonnet! There are numerous scenic drives all around Fredericksburg that showcase the beautiful spring wildflowers like nowhere else. Plus, bigger crowds mean more festivals and events!
Of course, one of the best perks of visiting during March and April would be the beautiful, temperate weather. There is simply nothing more beautiful than Fredericksburg in the spring. Check out our wildflower map here.
May and August/September
The other two slower times of year fall in May and August/September and revolve around getting out of school and going back to school. When the kids are getting ready to get out of school for the summer, the household revolves around finals, prom, simply surviving the pent-up energy of kids ready for a break! Of course, Memorial Day weekend is always busy here in Fredericksburg, but the 2-3 weeks leading up to it are pretty quiet. (Pro tip: the weekend before or after ANY holiday is relatively slow and a GREAT time to visit.)
Then you have August and September. Not only is it brutally hot, as it is all over most of the country, but people also have back-to-school on their minds. This is true even when people don’t yet have kids or are empty-nesters. I often say everyone has a grandkid, niece or cousin about to play in their first football game of the year and, this is Texas, after all, so we definitely circle the wagons and support the team!
Many parents are also moving kids away to college and paying tuition. At the very least, most parents are spending extra money on new clothes and school supplies. This translates into staying home and spending less on leisure travel. Labor Day weekend is the one bright spot for retailers in the August/September slump. In recent years, the effects have been even greater (sometimes extending into July) as school starts earlier and earlier.
June and July
We’ve already discussed May, so what about June and July? The summer months are traditionally busy, again because school is out so it is a good time for families, or those working for the school system, to take a vacation. Sure, the weather is hot but we have lots of fun activities to help you cool down!
If you love a good small-town parade, and who doesn’t, then I couldn’t recommend our Fourth of July Parade more highly. It is truly nostalgic and will just leave you feeling like you have stepped back in time.
June is usually a little less busy than July because school is just barely getting out, and travel plans aren’t usually in full force. But it’s typically a little cooler too, which gives June a few bonus points on great months to visit.
October, November, and December
That brings us to the final busy, but the beautiful, season in Fredericksburg… October, November, and December. Fourth-quarter is a party for local merchants as the crowds show up for Oktoberfest and don’t go home until after New Year’s!
Fredericksburg’s Oktoberfest is one of the largest in the nation and attracts visitors from all over the state and beyond You will see sponsors and patrons alike dressed in authentic German dirndls and lederhosen and boy does the beer flow! Check out our full video about Oktoberfest here.
Then later in October, we see the Fredericksburg Food and Wine Fest drawing crowds. Our local weather in October tends to be quite mild. That combined with fun, special activities, has a lot of visitors feeling that it’s worth fighting the crowds to take part in all the fun! November is a nice transition month as the shops began to fill with extra goodies for Christmas shoppers and of course, everything from lattes to creme brulee come with… you guessed it, pumpkin spice!
And Black Friday isn’t quite the push and shove match you find in the big city. There’s just enough excitement in the air, and special offers in the shops, to get you in the holiday spirit and make you want to knock out that Christmas list… but not enough to make you want to say bah humbug!
And December is just full of festivities! We kick off the month with the Light the Night lighted Christmas parade. Held the first Friday of December each year, all the local organizations and businesses come together to put on a celebration you won’t soon forget. The parade is then followed by the lighting of the Christmas tree in the town park (Marktplatz – our central park in town… note the German spelling with no “e”). Visitors can then enjoy all the lights in our beautiful park and take a photo in front of the HUGE German wooden Christmas pyramid. All the festivities make for a trip you won’t soon forget.
So, I may be a little biased, but I truly believe there is no wrong time to visit the beautiful town of Fredericksburg. Hopefully, this guide will help you find the perfect time to match your personal travel style. We’ll be lookin’ for ya!
Follow us throughout the seasons!