After our recent winery trip to Willamette Valley, Oregon, we were looking for another wine trail vacation just a little bit closer to home. Traveling only an hour from St. Louis, Hermann was the perfect weekend getaway. The quaint town of Hermann is a throwback to a German Village - clocktowers, church steeples, and historic brick buildings surrounding a downtown district that invites visitors to stroll through shops, visit local boutiques, and stay for a while at one of the many restaurants or winery patios. Read on for my top 10 reasons to pack your bags for a weekend in Hermann.
The Top 10 Reasons to Visit Hermann, MO:
Reason #1: Hermann Wineries
The Hermann wineries consists of several family-owned wineries located in and around Hermann. The wineries are open year round to visitors. Several wineries (as well as the restaurants, bars, and tasting rooms) are located in the town of Hermann making them fully walkable.
The route we like to take for a day of tasting is listed below. This is the fully walkable route beginning at the "end" of town. Be sure to watch your time as most of the tasting rooms close at 5pm.
Dierbergs - Star Lane - Three Saints Tasting Room features the Dierberg family of wines. This tasting room has limited hours - open only Friday through Sunday. For those that don't love a Missouri wine, this a great option and the perfect place to begin your day!
The Hermanhoff Tasting Room is located next door in a historic building. Visitors can shop the small gift shop, sample the wines, then purchase bottles or glasses of wine as well as small snack items to enjoy in the indoor attached space or outdoor patio. The tasting room is open daily 10am-5pm.
The Blackshire Distillery is the next stop along East 1st Street. There are several buildings and a beautiful outdoor space offering visitors the chance to sample both wines and spirits. Simple snack items and seasonal cocktails are available for purchase. This is a great spot to grab the perfect instagram photo. There is also a really nice restroom on the property in the back along Gutenberg Street - no tasting or drink purchase necessary! The tasting room is open 11am-5pm.
Tin Mill Brewing is just across the street from the Blackshire Distillery. The brewmasters are proud of their authentic german brewing style offering beer on draft as well as cans available for purchase. The brewery offers a full bar menu and is open 11am-7pm during the week, closed Tuesday, and 11am-9pm on the weekends.
Stone Hill Winery is a little bit of a hike but totally worth it! This winery is located on the hill overlooking the town of Hermann. Open 10am-5pm, this winery offers a large gift shop, a tasting room, and a free guided tour of their facility daily.
Interested in sampling from all the wineries? The Hermann Trolley provides a safe and unique way to visit the wineries. This shuttle service costs $20 per person, offers an all day pass, and can be purchased from their hub on East 1st Street. The shuttles are large, air conditioned, and can typically fit your whole party.
Reason #2: German Culture
Prost friends! Hermann is a little piece of Germany dropped into the middle of Missouri. The town evolved out of an effort to preserve German culture and traditions. Today, it s a great place to sample german meats like bratwurst, smoked bacon, and sausages at the Wurst Haus or learn more about Hermann's german past at the Hermann Museum at the German School or raise a pint at one of the many festivals held each year.
If you are planning to visit during a festival, be sure to book accommodations early. Our two favorite festivals are Oktoberfest and Maifest. Mark your calendar for Oktoberfest, held every weekend in October and Maifest held the 3rd weekend in May. Check out the Visit Hermann site for a full detailing of festival dates and descriptions.
Reason #3: Super Cute Accommodations
Accommodations in Hermann are fun, unique, and abundant. Hermann offers visitors the option to choose from hotels, home rentals, B&B's, cottages, and inns both in town and just out of town in the surrounding countryside.
Our favorite place to stay for the weekend is Murphy's B&B which offers a walkable location from the heart of downtown Hermann. This family-owned B&B is full of charm! There are four room options but our favorites are the "Street Suite" and the "Wine Cellar." The owners, Laura and Dan, are the very best hosts - leaving treats and surprises in each room at check in, a fully stocked fridge on the beautiful back patio, coffee and breakfast items in each room, and providing the perfect amount of interaction with their guests. The B&B also offers several outdoor areas to enjoy coffee or a newly purchased bottle of wine. From either the front or back door of the B&B, it is a short walk to shops, restaurants, tasting rooms, and several wineries.
Reason #4: Restaurants
Hermann offers hungry visitors multiple options. The ones we have tried and always recommend are the following:
Tin Mill Restaurant - Located in the restored mill on East 1st Street, the Tin Mill Restaurant provides both indoor and outdoor seating options. The lunch and dinner menu offers a wide variety including steak and seafood. While it can be casual, this would also provide a more upscale dining option for a special celebration or anniversary.
Tin Mill Brewery - Located across the street from the Tin Mill Restaurant in the old grain processing facility, this local brewery serves typical bar food and cold beers. They offer indoor seating on multiple levels, outdoor seating on their large shaded patio complete with yard games, and will often feature live music.
4th Street Pizza - Family owned pizzeria serving pizza, salads, and toasted raviolis. Quick and friendly service in the heart of downtown.
Ainsley's Place - Located just steps from the backdoor of our favorite Murphy's B&B, Ainsley's is a great choice for breakfast or lunch. The food is locally sourced and delicious while the covered outdoor seating area allows for great people watching.
Bank Bar & Bistro - Coffee, cocktails, wine, and a martini bar can be found inside this historic bank building. Also serves small plates.
Bar Vin - Edgy, speakeasy vibes in this restaurant that serves wine, prohibition-era cocktails, and small plates. We love the unique small pour concept offered here for the wines.
Fernweh - Visitors pass through the Distillery on their way into this restaurant. We always like to stop for a sampling of their house-made spirits. Offering indoor seating as well as outdoor seating with views of the Mississippi, this local favorite is the perfect dinner spot. This would also be a great restaurant if celebrating a birthday or anniversary.
Stomp-n-Grounds - This coffee bar offers breakfast all-day, craft coffees, smoothies, and pastries.
Sugar and Spice Laura's Delight - The local bake shop offers traditional donuts, coffee, and sweet treats as well as a light breakfast and lunch menu.
Reason #5: Hermann Wine Trail Events
Visitors have the opportunity to purchase tickets for the Hermann Wine Trail. Offered throughout the year, these themed events offer the opportunity to enjoy wine and food pairings at six of the Hermann wineries. Wine trail themes include "Say Cheese," "Chocolate," "The Farmer's Table," and ""Wild Bacon." Tickets must be purchased in advance (use this link). The cost is $35 per person which does not include transportation but does include a souvenir glass and the food/wine pairings. All attendees must be 21 years old or older.
Reason #6: An Afternoon at the Spa
Looking for that perfect add-on to your couple's weekend or girls' getaway? The Hermann Hill Spa offers massages and facials. Visitors can choose from a variety of massage offerings and can book online using this link.
Reason #7: Golfing
The Loutre Shore Country Golf Course is located just 1.5 miles from Hermann. The nine hole course is available to visitors and includes a Pro Shop, driving range, and a full bar in the club house. Book a tee time by calling 573.486.5815.
Reason #8: Biking
Hermann, while not located directly on the Katy Trail, is only a short 3 mile ride from the trail. If you didn't bring your bike from home, rentals are available in Hermann at Pedego Hermann . Bikers can ride to the trailhead located in McKittrick. One note, while most of this trail is dedicated to bikers, there is a section where bikers ride along a wide shoulder of the highway. Bikers can also drive to the trailhead where parking can be found adjacent to the trailhead.
Before you go, be sure to pack provisions. Our favorite place to fill our picnic backpack is at the Wurst House and the Fancy Pheasant. At the Wurst House, we love to use the vending machine out front to purchase cheese, rolls of crackers, and summer sausage. While you can also step inside for the same offerings (and more), its a novelty to purchase meat from a vending machine and we have to do it each time we visit. At the Fancy Pheasant we compete our picnic lunch by purchasing gourmet grocery and snack items as well as to-go drinks (including beer, wine, and spirits).
Reason #9: Hiking
We love to spend time outdoors when we travel. Hermann has several options which allows us to get outdoors and choose our own adventure.
Hiking trails, interpretive exhibits, and even access to the Loutre River can be found at Graham Cave State Park. The park is located a quick 30 minutes drive from Hermann.
Hikers are also able to walk along the Katy Trail. The trailhead and parking can be accessed just 3 miles from Hermann in McKittrick.
For a local walking tour, use the GuidiGo Walking Tours App. To access, scan the QR Code linked here for a guided walking tour throughout the town. The app includes recordings of historical details as well as unique information about the marked locations.
Reason #10: Shopping
The streets of downtown Hermann are filled with more than thirty shops offering visitors the opportunity to take home an item from one of the local craftsmen and artists, seek out a treasure from one of the many antique markets, or find that perfect gift item at the local boutiques. A few of our favorites include:
Back Home Again - home decor with a European flair. Stop here to find a german stein or homemade jellies.
The Fancy Pheasant - a modern day general store. Stop here to purchase unique home items as well as gourmet grocery items.
Hermann Wurst House - both a restaurant and store. Stop here for all the german food - bratwurst, sausages, bacon, and more.
The Olive Branch - olive oil and balsamic vinegar tasting. Stop to sample the many flavors of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Take home a bottle and a funny dish towel or unique kitchen item.
The Vine Boutique - women's and children's fashions as well as home decor. Stop here to shop boutique fashions and fun home decor. My favorite place to shop for earrings and bracelets.
Know Before You Go:
Hermann is great place to celebrate a birthday or an anniversary. It would also be really fun for a couples trip, a girls trip, or even a low-key 21st birthday. This would not be a great trip with someone under 21 and/or families with young children. While I have seen bachelorette parties celebrating, this isn't the place for loud, wild celebrations.
We did not have reservations for tastings at the wineries or restaurants. We did not need them. If traveling with a large group or planning a special celebration, I would probably make dinner reservations.
If your plans include visiting all of the wineries, be sure to use the Trolley service to safely navigate your various tastings.
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When to Go:
The wineries are open year round to visitors. Each season offers a different view and temperature. We personally have visited in all four seasons and loved each visit.
Is Hermann Safe?
Yes! Hermann is very safe.
It is a quick drive from St. Louis or even Kansas City to Hermann. Plug the town into your GPS and follow the directions for an easy ride. Once you arrive in Hermann, you will likely not need your car until it is time to depart.
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