Explore the German heritage that small-town Hermann (population: 2,600) proudly maintains in its food, wine, beer, museums and famous wine trail.

By By the editors of MidwestLiving.com
January 22, 2013
Stone Hill Winery

Day One

The wine tradition here reaches back almost 175 years, so you'll find unique activities on the Hermann Wine Trail, such as touring underground cellars dug by hand before the Civil War. Some of our favorites of the seven wineries are Hermannhof Winery, Stone Hill Winery, and OakGlenn Vineyards and Winery.

Stone Hill Winery

The bright Kunstlerhaus Art Gallery and Pottery Shop houses pieces from more than 40 area artists; prices are reasonable. Stock up on folksy German items-cuckoo clocks, beer steins, music, Christmas ornaments and more-at Blanche's on First Street.

Lunch at Hermann Wurst Haus for wurst in innovative flavor combos like apple-maple or jalapeno-peach-they change according to the wurst master's inspiration. Head outside to the streetside patio to eat a plate of two links and two sides, or stay inside where the walls are lined with Amish-made delights (our families loved the jams) and foodie finds. Take a cooler so you can stock your home freezer.

Wile away a quiet evening playing board games and sipping craft brews at Tin Mill Brewery, housed in a 100-year-old grain processing plant.

It's worth waiting for a booth tucked into a former horse stall at Vintage Restaurant at Stone Hill Winery. The menu features German favorites.

Unpack at Alpenhorn Gasthaus where every comfort has been provided for-heated coffee mugs, hot tub under the stars, gourmet breakfast. Dessert by candlelight in the old wine cellar has inspired many a proposal. Other first-class lodgings include The Inn at Hermannhof, which offers the choice of a room downtown or in one of several cottages on the East Hill with river views. At Hermann Hill Vineyard and Inn visitors choose between an attractive B&B and modern cottages overlooking the Missouri River.

The Inn at Hermannhof in downtown Hermann, Missouri

Day Two

Though the wine trail can fill a weekend, we recommend making time to see Historic Hermann's German School Museum. Displays devoted to area and river history fill the former schoolrooms. Climb the wood steps students wore grooves into to clang the bell of the Pinoak steamboat.

Historic Hermann's German School Museum

Behind the glass case in tiny Ricky's Chocolate Box await sweet-tooth satisfying handmade chocolates. Don't leave without trying a couple of turtles, such as albino, bananas Foster, tomato and thyme, and beer-infused Oktoberfest.

Ricky's Chocolate Box

For information: Hermann Area Chamber of Commerce (800) 932-8687; visithermann.com