Not far from the hustle and bustle of St. Louis, Missouri lies the quaint German town of Hermann, Missouri. Located about 1 1/2 hours away, after you exit the interstate you’ll follow a path of winding country roads overlooking green fields flowing with crops. The first glimpse of Hermann will come as you cross the Missouri River. It’s like a step back in time to a German village. The city of Hermann was brought about by George Bayer, who purchased 11,000 and lured families of German descent to the area with promises of a settlement that would allow them to keep their German Heritage. Imagine the settlers surprise when they arrived to find a wilderness! Today, the village of Hermann has been tamed. There are historic buildings, quaint shops, delicious restaurants and a tempting wine trail. Here are suggestions to help plan a day in Hermann, Missouri.
How to Spend a Day in Hermann, Missouri
1. Deutschheim State Historic Site– Begin the day with a tour of the Deutschheim State Historic Site. The tour begins in a lovely garden overlooking the river as the host describes the plants you would have found. Each family had a plot of land for farming and tried to grow enough food to last them through the winter. Most people tried to enough food to supply 1 cabbage per day for each family member. If you had 4 family members you would need 1460 cabbages a year! That’s a lot of cabbage. The tour continues through the Pommer-Gentner House, two of the first settlers in the area. The Pommers were prosperous merchants who created handcrafted musical instruments. Only a few of their original pianofortes remain and one is on display in the house. Fun fact: We learned the rope beds used during this time were the origin of the phrase “sleep tight” because the ropes must be tightened before anyone could sleep in the bed.”)
The tour continues with a walk down the street to the Carl Strehly house. This house is considered “a rare find” because the family owned the property from the year it was built in 1842 until the house was donated by the family over a hundred years later. The original furnishings are all intact, providing a sense of how a middle-class German family would live. The house also contains a workshop where the local newspaper was printed. The site is open daily from 10:00 AM-4 PM during the months of April through October, and Thursday through Sunday during the months of November through March. Guided tours of both homes are offered daily at 10:00, 12:30 and 2:30 and tours last approximately an hour. The tours cost $5.00 for adults, $3 for children ages 6-17, and under 6 years are free. After you’ve finished your tour, take the time to visit the cute antique shops and stroll around the town to see the over 150 building on the National Historic Register.
2. Battocletti Bake Shoppe– If you are craving a sugar rush, you can’t go wrong at this cute little bakery. The interior is small and they only accept cash, but the smell of their pastries lured us inside. Their slogan, “Baked in the traditional way; from scratch” promised good things and the results did not disappoint. Battocletti’s offers a selection of freshly baked doughnuts, bread, pastries, and cakes. We purchased a loaf of their rye bread, which made delicious sandwiches, and doughnuts. Mine was a caramel pecan filled honey roll and it oozed sticky goodness in each bite. The shop is open from 5:30 AM until 5:30 PM Monday through Friday.
3. Sugar Momma’s–Want to delight the kids? Step into this cute candy store and bakery! It’s filled to the brim with vintage candies, homemade chocolate treats, freshly made pies and cute gifts. The pie crusts are homemade and there are over 50 varieties available, including frozen pies, fried pies and more. I was tempted to try The Elvis, a combination of bananas, peanut butter, and cream filling. We were able to find an allergy-friendly sucker for the baby too. Sugar Momma’s has a homey feel and the staff is friendly and welcoming. The shop is opened daily at 10 AM although closing hours vary.
4. The Wurst Haus– When the family suggested we stop somewhere to eat, I was skeptical about The Wurst Haus. “You want to eat at The Worst House?” “Wurst,” they answered, “like the sausage.” I was glad I was persuaded to visit because this charming restaurant and store has wonderful German food. We meet the owner, Mike Sloan, who was offering samples of his homemade bratwurst. After sampling his wares, which have won the highest honors across the USA and in the German Butchers Association IFFA contest, we decided to stay for lunch. The deli offers several options, including the classic German Bratwurst plate, your choice of two bratwursts served on a bed of sour kraut and two sides. Between the four of us we tried several of the sides and all of them were equally good. If you are a classic German fan, try the German potato salad and the red cabbage. The Wurst Haus also features a market with locally produced treats, craft beers and over 40 varieties of bratwurst. The Wurst Haus is open daily with varying hours.
5. Stone Hill Winery– Not only is this Hermann’s oldest winery, it’s also the oldest winery in the state of Missouri. Operating since 1847, today the winery produces more than 300,000 gallons of wine a year. They use a French-American grape in many of their wines, although their main focus is the Norton, the official state grape of Missouri. Free tours of the facility are held every 30 minutes, giving a look behind the scenes. After the tour, tastings of six wine samples are available for $5.00 per person. The grounds are beautiful and offer the perfect place for a stroll or a picnic at one of the tables overlooking the vineyard. Stone Hill Winery is open daily.
6. Endless Summer Winery– Want a change of pace from the typical wines? Endless Summer is the place to be! This cute, but small, winery specializes in a variety of fruit wines. These wines are light bodied and perfect in recipes. The assortment of classic fruit wines ranges from blackberry and cherry. There are also unique flavors like Habanero and Pecan Maple Wine with Raisins for added Body. From April until October, the winery is open daily, except Wednesdays, from 10 AM- 6 PM.
Tip: Many shops and attractions are closed on Monday. Choose another day to experience all Hermann has to offer.
Have you visited Hermann, Missouri? What is your favorite attraction?