This weekend I had the pleasure of being hosted at Carter Creek Winery Resort & Spa.
This little gem is part of the 290 wine trail, but is a bit more secluded in Johnson City, away from the Fredericksburg crowds (which is a perk for me).
From the moment we arrived, I was impressed by the hospitality.
We arrived with a smooth check in, and the manager had a bottle of bubbly on ice waiting for us.
The east entrance to Carter Creek Winery Resort & Spa: Johnson City, TX
Carter Creek is particularly appealing to our family because we have 2 little ones: a canine and a human.
So fortunately for us, Carter Creek welcomes both with open arms!
In fact, the "Happy Hound" program offers everything you need to travel with you pet, including: food and water dishes, waste bags, a comfy blanket, and even some treats and an adorable bandana.
Quinn with her "Happy Hound" goodies at Carter Creek Winery Resort & Spa: Johnson City, TX
The Villas in our area were grouped 4 to each individual building - we didn't see anyone in ours during our visit, which was nice. We stayed in their King Villa: this set up included a full living room with electric fireplace + sofa bed, separate bedroom with a king size bed, and a large bathroom with a 2 sink vanity. This was plenty of space for our family of 3!
Due to COVID precautions, they had grab and go breakfast in the morning and the fitness center was closed.
I ended up running the length of the resort several times each morning to detox a bit (haha!); the length of the driveway is about 0.85 miles in case you also like to stay active while on the road and the gym is still closed!
Pool + villas from the registration building balcony and the main drive at Carter Creek Winery Resort & Spa
Another highlight of this property that's unique is that it houses both a brewery and a winery.
The first evening we had dinner and drinks at the Old 290 Brewery. They had about a dozen brews on tap and we tried a flight to start the evening. The Towhead Blonde was my favourite!
Tasting flight and dinner at the Old 290 Brewery, Carter Creek Winery Resort & Spa: Johnson City, TX
For food, we tried both steak options, the Filet Mignon and the NY Strip- they were cooked to perfection (for us, medium rare!). With our steak, we tried the Group Therapy Red, a blend of Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Sirah + Zinfandel - all my loves. And sure enough, this wine was fantastic.
We also particularly loved this bottle because of the artwork. The label features a painting by Andy Thomas, "American Storytellers". We were tasked with figuring out who all the famous people were in this painting and did pretty poorly haha. (History was not my strong suit!)
Our favourite red (Group Therapy) + the tasting room at Carter Creek Winery Resort & Spa: Johnson City , TX
Speaking of wine, we also did the formal tasting the next day. They had a nice spread of dry and sweet wines. I stuck to the dry per usual, and for white, I really loved the Plateau White. The staff was very knowledgeable about the wines and informed us that the current offerings were from the High Plains (Lubbock) area and that the MacPherson's have been involved with the winemaking. They have planted some vines on site that will hopefully be producing 'usable' grapes in around 2 years.
Carter Creek also had live music on Friday and Saturday nights during our stay. They have an amazing outdoor stage that opens on to the inner lawn, perfect for pets and kids to be free while you enjoy the night.
Stage inside Old 290 Brewery and outdoor lawn area at Carter Creek Winery Resort & Spa: Johnson City, TX
Although we spent most of our time at Carter Creek, we did venture into Johnson City and down 290 for a few other stops. Here are some other recommendations for the area!
2585 Park Road 6026
Johnson City, TX 78636
Pedernales Falls Overlook area
We were on a tight schedule (as always haha!) so we did the short hike down to the Pedernales Falls Overlook. The stairs at the bottom are fairly steep, so it is not stroller friendly on the last descent down. But it's a really short walk from the parking lot to the bottom (about 1/4 mile). If you do have more time to spend, you can camp, hike a variety of trails, mountain bike, and ride horses. On the river, you can swim, but only in designated areas.
4555 US-281 Johnson City, TX 78636
The tasting room and gorgeous arc at the Arc de Texas: Johnson City, TX
During our first trip to Austin, we took the long way through Fredericksburg and noticed a stunning building high in the hills. This was the Arc de Texas, which is part of the 2,000+ acre Lighthouse Ranch in Johnson City.
The Arc de Texas: Johnson City, TX
The Arc de Texas is modeled after the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel in Paris, France. It houses guest suites that are part of the Lighthouse Ranch, and at the bottom, the tasting room that offers both a local and imported wine and beer selection.
Their motto is wine & views, so if you like both of those, this is a place to check out!
362 Livesay Lane
Fredericksburg, TX 78624
The "Wine Barn" and front lawn of Signor Vineyards: Fredericksburg, TX
Signor Vineyards is another gem in this area (and is actually in Fredericksburg, not Johnson City) that is both kid and pet friendly! But the main thing you should note is the beauty of this property! There are so many areas to enjoy, too - the space by the tasting room with live music, seating by the pond, chairs by Joanna's Market, or the tables by the Wine Barn! (SO cute!)
Unfortunately we stopped here before making the final leg of the trip home, but I am so glad we did! Such a relaxed but classy atmosphere!
Downtown Johnson City
***WARNING: THIS INVOLVES DEALING WITH TRAFFIC!!***
Running from the end of November right through New Years, the Lights Spectacular in Johnson City has been going on since the 1990's. Now donned "The Twinkliest Town in Texas", you can view over two million twinkling lights in their historic square off Main Street.
Sadly due to COVID and being someone who doesn't do well with traffic, we only made a stop to the Blanco County Courthouse before turning back. This would definitely be an amazing event during 'normal times' to get in the holiday spirit.
Blanco County Courthouse in Johnson City, TX decorated for the Lights Spectacular
Johnson City is such a great stop if you're in the Hill Country area. There is so much to do and drink - and I can't say enough about the staff at Carter Creek - check them out!
Also visit the official Johnson City Chamber of Commerce for the latest info.