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Fun in Fredericksburg

Historic. Cosmopolitan. Authentic.  Fun. Fredericksburg in the Texas Hill Country has been described in a variety of ways, thanks to its abundance of natural scenic beauty, full calendar of festivals and events, city- and county-wide attractions, culinary offerings, and mass appeal.

This small town nirvana, founded in 1846 by German settlers, continues to rank high in popularity with residents and visitors alike; boasting everything from great shops (150 just along Main Street alone), to an amazing array of natural offerings — wildflowers in the spring, summertime peaches and Farmers Market, and a flourishing wine region with row after row of grapevines.  Plus it has many surprisingly entertaining venues — like the ‘Funtabulous’ Rockbox Theater for one, which mixes comedy with songs from the Golden era of Rock n’ Roll and offers new shows each weekend in its state-of-the-art theater.  Fredericksburg has the right combination of activities and comforts to suit a variety of interests.

In fact, Fredericksburg rocks — as home to the Enchanted Rock State Natural Area, the country’s second largest batholith — Enchanted Rock rises 425 feet into the sky and offers a 360 degree view of the surrounding Hill Country. Open from 8 a.m. until 10 p.m. daily (except for two weeks in January), the ‘Rock’ is a year-round draw for hikers, campers, nature lovers, and those who rappel.

And with over 370 B&Bs/guesthouses/ inns and 23 hotel/motels, and 70-plus restaurants and bakeries serving up menus from authentic German dishes to Nouveau Texas cuisine, this town of 11,000 residents comfortably welcomes visitors with a variety of tastes and lodging necessities – from housing Fido, as an oasis for those girlfriend getaways, or for romantic interludes for just you two.

History buffs can spend hours at the 6.5-aacre complex at the National Museum of the Pacific, with its newly expanded George H. W. Bush Gallery. With its $15.3 million expansion, the museum today hosts 31 permanent exhibits, interactive displays, authentic artifacts, and memories enough to carry on through the generations.

Nearby, the Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park, once the home and ranch of former President Lyndon Johnson, his wife Lady Bird and their daughters, is today open to the public to view the preserved rooms and furnishings in this home known as the Texas White House, and where the President hosted many state functions. Visitors can see the amphibious car Johnson drove, among other interesting items.

Fredericksburg Wine Road 290 continues to be a draw for wine connoisseurs. Ten wineries are located along or just off U.S. Highway 290 to provide a true wine aficionado experience, as each winery is unique. As a group, the Fredericksburg Wine Road 290’s participating wineries come together to provide opportunities to relax with special events throughout the year filled with tastings, food pairings, and good cheer.

Each month brings First Friday Art Walk Fredericksburg, when participating galleries in the historic district open their doors to introduce the public to their art, artists, and beauty produced from within. With planned events and later hours, many galleries serve hors d’oeuvres and offer artist demonstrations at this time, so stop by!

A  Calendar of Monthly Delights

More than 270 festivals and events are sprinkled throughout the year providing entertainment options for all tastes. Hear rising Texas talent perform during the Windows on Texas Music Festival from Jan. 13-16 at participating venues around town, or at the Luckenbach Blues Festival in nearby Luckenbach on Jan. 29.

In February, spend time with your sweetheart at a hilltop B&B. Fredericks­burg is the perfect getaway destination – think fine dining, leisurely strolls along Main Street, or indulging with chocolates and merlot.  Several area wineries plan events to coincide with Valentine’s Day.

During spring break, many attractions plan events catered to families. At the  Lyndon B. Johnson State Park and Historic Site, visitors can watch as interpreters recreate life as early German settlers at the Sauer-Beckmann Living History Farm. Or take in spring’s  emerging scenery from your bicycle during Texas Hell Week, March 12-19.

April is wildflower season! This area is home to some of the prettiest colors Mother Nature has to offer. Fans of independent film also can take in the Hill Country Film Festival, April 28-30, then celebrate the Wings Over the Hills Nature Festival, April 29 through May 1.

With summer come the many festivals, like Night in Old Fredericksburg on June 10-11, a city-wide celebration of the German heritage so many embrace with oompah, sausage, and beer, and also plenty of children’s activities.

July 4th is a particularly festive time at the annual July 4th Community Parade, along with fun events such as the Pacific Combat Living History Re-enactment at the National Museum of the Pacific War, and live Pari-Mutuel Horseracing at the Gillespie County Fairgrounds. On Aug. 25-28 at the fairgrounds is the Gillespie County Fair. In its 123rd year, this is one of Texas’ longest running county fairs.

Come back in September for Wildseed Farms’ Gourmet Chili Pepper and Salsa Festival, Sept. 16-17. Or, think green at the 12th annual Renewable Energy Roundup and Green Living Fair, Sept. 23-25. As fall  leaves start their annual dance of yellow and gold, that means one of the most popular festivals in Fredericksburg — Oktoberfest on  Sept. 30-Oct. 2.  Then return for the Fredericks­burg Food and Wine Fest on Oct. 22.

During the holidays, Fredericksburg  festivities revolve around wholesome activities, good food, and fellowship. Some of the finest shopping can be found in our historic district. Come see our 26-foot Christmas Pyramid  — you won’t find another of its size in any municipality in the U.S. While here, try out the Eisbahn Ice Skating Rink, and  don’t miss the lighted Community Christmas Parade, Dec. 2.

To learn more, visit the Fredericksburg Convention and Visitor Bureau website at www.VisitFredericksburgTX.org,or  www.facebook.com/FredericksburgTX.   You’ll find this Texas Hill Country destination a delightful place to spend quality time. Willkommen!

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