It's hard to believe that 1: our last visit to Carter Creek Winery Resort & Spa was almost two years ago, December 2020 during a peak of COVID and 2: that we still haven't completely ditched the virus yet... but here we are.
The positive, is that most things have started to open back up again, and to full capacity.
During our last visit, the fitness center was locked up due to COVID restrictions and the pool was closed for the season. We were pleased to make the most of all amenities and bring my parents to see this beautiful place this summer!
4064 West US Highway 290
Johnson City, Texas 78636
Our stay at Carter Creek far exceeded our original stay, due to the reopening of all facilities. For initial thoughts, you can read back on our first impressions here. This post will also give you a feel for visiting the area during winter.
For this post, I want to comment on new aspects of the resort we discovered. Our favorite part this time was the pool. We had some 100 F days while we were there, so the pool was a great relief. Our villa was right across the way, so it was super convenient to walk over for a quick dip. Although too warm for this trip, a hot tub is also available under the patio. I was appreciative that the fitness center was open again - though the space is fairly small, I was the only occupant both mornings I went. There is a small selection of free weights, a bike and treadmill inside.
Although the prime rib is exquisite at the Old 290 Brewery and Restaurant on site, I noticed they've stepped up their food offerings at Carter Creek. We really enjoyed the charcuterie board, which I don't recall seeing the last time we were there. They have also opened a seasonal smokehouse with traditional BBQ fare and frozen drinks - such a great addition for the summer if you want something more casual or quick.
As always, they had live music both Friday and Saturday night - one artist we recognized from our first trip!
We were also spoiled with a wine tasting in the members lounge, which offered a more relaxing environment and some beautiful views. Although still big fans of the Group Therapy blend, the Maverick red (Rhone-style blend of Syrah, Mourvedre, Cinsault, Counoise and Viognier) was everyone's favorite.
In my opinion, Spring/Summer time is the best time to see this place - everything is in bloom, the sun is shining and the pool is just perfect.
Although we spent the bulk of our time at Carter Creek over the weekend, I wanted to mention a few other gems in the area.
210 South Adams Street
Fredericksburg, Texas 78624
If you're headed into downtown Fredericksburg, Hill & Vine is the perfect brunch stop. They have a great selection of sweet and savory options and a fun mimosa lineup. I just love the decor inside. The only downfall is that they don't take reservations, so you have to gamble with first come first serve. They also have a great mural outside if you're feeling extra touristy!
William Chris Vineyards attracted me for several reasons: a beautiful tasting room, vines on site, and they offer a variety of tasting experiences. We decided to do the Vineyard Table Experience. During about an hour and a half, you are given 4 food and wine pairings. Although they were fairly generous with the wine, the food is appetizer size. So at $75 a person, it was a little expensive if you're looking for a true meal. Our tasting group included two tables of drunk girls who talked over the "wine ambassador" the entire time, so overall, it was a bit of a letdown. The food was delicious though and I loved all of the wine, so I'd like to do a re-do...
15369 E US Highway 290
Stonewall, TX 78671
If you're visiting the area from the end of May to early August, you can't miss peach season! We chose Wahls Peaches because they were the only u-pick place I could find. They are a family owned and operated orchard, organically grown without pesticides or chemical fertilizers. I just loved everything about it. The peaches we picked were small for the season, but I found them to be perfect snack size.
I'm always amazed at how much there is to do in the area - we always seems to find something new each time. The 290 Wine Trail is like no other, you really can't go wrong. You can check out my picks in Johnson City and other Hill Country itineraries on a new app, The Vind! Cheers!