Hanging out at the Hangar Hotel in Fredericksburg

If you love flying or have a fascination with the World War II era you’ll find the Hangar Hotel in Fredericksburg, Texas more than just a place to hang your coat and rest your body; it’s a unique experience steeped in Fredericksburg’s early aviation and rich military past. 

Pilots have the luxury of taxiing right up to the Hangar Hotel.

 Built with the rounded roof design common to many U. S. hangars of the war period (Quonset hut-style architecture), the hotel’s guest rooms feature natural materials like mahogany and granite, period art including pin-up posters of leggy girls, and authentic green army blankets on sleigh beds.  Vintage rotary telephones from the 1940’s (with updated electronics), two-inch hexagonal black and white tiles in bathrooms, and bead board accents are reminiscent of the era.  Comfortable chairs upholstered in bomber jacket leather carry out the WWII theme in all fifty rooms. 

This one-of-a-kind hotel is a ticket to the past and escape into nostalgia.  From the second-story observation deck, you can daydream while watching planes land and take-off only yards away.  R and R at the Officers Club includes live music and good fellowship.  1940s hit parade tunes drift through the lobby.

Weekends are popular for visits from folks who pilot their own planes.

It’s a great hangout if you have wings of your own—or a friend who’s willing to take you for a ride. Built on the fringes of Gillespie County Airport, pilots can taxi their planes up the runway, park, and stroll just a few yards to the hotel for an overnight stay.  

 For lunch, guests can mosey over to the adjacent Airport Diner for Bomber Burgers, Whirly Bird Wraps, Kamikaza Dogs, or a Landing Strip Salad.  The interior of this classic 1940s diner features lots of stainless steel and black granite counters. It’s open Wednesday-Friday from 11 am to 2 pm, Saturday from 8-4 and Sunday from 8-2.

On a typical Saturday, a cadre of more than 20 Cessnas, Pipers, and other private planes lined up like soldiers on the tarmac.  It’s not uncommon for a pilot to land, unload his golf clubs directly onto a cart, and scoot away for a short ride to the course. 

The Airport Diner sparkles with black and silver decor.

 It’s a fun place to bring friends if you live in Central Texas.  Since it’s just an hour’s drive from San Antonio and a little longer from Austin, getting there is easy for non-flying guests, too. Rooms are all non-smoking and have king-size beds, so it’s a terrific place for couples (Leave the kiddos at home as they won’t appreciate the atmosphere).

If there’s not enough military mania on the hotel grounds, head two miles into the historic German town of Fredericksburg and tour the National Museum of the Pacific War, including the George Bush Gallery, and the Admiral Nimitz Museum.  There’s also plenty of antique and gift shopping on Main Street; galleries featuring contemporary, Western, and photographic art; restaurants serving delicious German kraut and sausage plates, and several area Texas wineries to tempt your taste buds. 

Rates: $119 per night on week days; $169 on weekends.  Senior and military discounts.

www.hangarhotel.com     830-997-9990      155 Airport Rd., Fredericksburg, TX.

Photos by Beverly and Larry Burmeier

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