Wednesday, August 22, 2018

10 Best Things to Do in Fredericksburg, TX

10 best things to do in Fredericksburg blog cover image

In the middle of Texas Hill Country and immersed in German culture, Fredericksburg, Texas is perfectly set between San Antonio and Austin and is a great place to spend the weekend, or for a couple of days on its own, the next time you’re passing through the Lone Star State. Here are the top ten things you need to see on your next visit to Fredericksburg:

old-fashioned stores on Fredericksburg's Main Street

Fredericksburg's Main Street and Marktplatz (Market Square)

To see the town’s German roots and influence, look no further than Main Street. From the quaint storefronts and trendy art galleries to the centerpiece of Main Street, the Marktplatz, there is plenty to see and do. You may even be greeted with a “Guten Tag,” from a shop owner. There’s always something happening at the Marktplatz as it’s the epicenter for the town’s many festivals and community events.

grape vines in a vineyard with trees

Have a Glass of Wine…Or Two

Fredericksburg knows how to do wine, and they do it well! Located in the heart of Texas “wine country,” the city itself is home to over two dozen wineries and tasting rooms and there are dozens less than 2 hours outside of Fredericksburg. You can’t come to Fredericksburg and not indulge in some of their incredible wine.

main entrance to Lady Bird Johnson Municipal Park

Lady Bird Johnson Municipal Park

A day at Lady Bird Johnson Municipal Park is the perfect way to unwind and have some fun! The 150-acre complex includes facilities for baseball, softball, volleyball, basketball, and tennis. There is also a swimming pool, camping grounds, nature trails, and a fishing pier near Live Oak Creek. Four of the outdoor pavilions are equipped with barbeque pits and are perfect for cooking out with family and friends.

Vereins Kirche Museum

Built in the early 19th century by German settlers, the Vereins Kirche is the oldest building in Fredericksburg and an ode to the city’s rich history and culture. You can find this historic building in the heart of the Marktplatz. This multi-purpose structure was the city’s first public building and was used for everything from a place to worship for all denominations to a fort, and even a school. Today, the museum is home to photos and artifacts that document the city’s pioneer history.

Lyndon B. Johnson State Park and Historic Site

This beautiful state park named for our country’s 36th President could keep you busy for days. The Visitor Center is home to a wonderful collection of memorabilia from President Johnson’s presidency and interactive displays about the area in which he grew up. Next to the Visitor Center, check out the Behrens Cabin built by German immigrant H.C. Behrens in the 1870s. The park is also home to abundant wildlife such as the Official Texas State Longhorn Herd, buffalo, and white-tailed deer. There is so much more to do here, you’ll just have to visit and see for yourself!

actors on stage at Fredericksburg Theater Company

Fredericksburg Theater Company

Even in Fredericksburg, you can enjoy a night out at the theater! The Fredericksburg Theater Company regularly hosts big-name productions such as Beauty and the Beast and Aladdin. They also offer a variety of acting, playwriting, and youth theater workshops and programs.

main entrance to the museum at night

National Museum of the Pacific War

Texas Hill Country is probably the last place you expect to find a museum dedicated to the Pacific Theater of WWII. But, you will be pleased to discover that Fredericksburg has the only museum in the U.S. dedicated solely to the history of WWII in the Pacific and honors the 8 million Americans who served and 100,000 who gave their lives in the war against Japan. The museum features the Memorial Courtyard, the Japanese Garden, the Plaza of Presidents, and the newest addition, the George H.W. Bush Gallery. The Gallery contains impressive multi-media exhibits and hundreds of original artifacts and photos. The Pacific Combat Zone has regularly scheduled combat re-enactments.

Old Tunnel State Park

Between May and October each year, you can visit the real “bat cave.” You won’t run into Batman, but you will have the chance to see more than 3 million Mexican free-tailed bats and over 3,000 cave myotis bats. The best time to visit the cave is at sunset when the bats make their daily emergence. You can get great views from the hiking trail leading up to the tunnel, but you can’t enter in order to not disturb the bats. You can also book a lower viewing area tour for a closer look.

Fort Martin Scott

If you like history and free stuff, you’re going to love Fort Martin Scott. Built in 1848, this U.S. Army outpost was one of many forts built to protect local settlers and pioneers from Indian attacks. The fort once consisted of 21 buildings, but the only original structure remaining is the limestone guardhouse. The fort was abandoned in 1853 and remained in disrepair until the Fredericksburg Heritage Federation began extensive restoration efforts in 1986. The free, self-guided tour takes a little over an hour and you get to see reconstructed versions of the commander’s quarters, the military hospital, a blacksmith shop, and much more.

Enchanted Rock State Natural Area

This magnificent pink granite dome is visited by over 250,000 visitors each year. This large rock formation is located just outside the city limits of Fredericksburg. The rock is 425 feet high and the Area spans over 640 acres. Native tribes thought the rock to be supernaturally powerful, thereby resulting in the name “Enchanted Rock.” Hiking the miles of trails surrounding the granite formation will give you breathtaking views, but of course, the most enchanting view is from the top!

Whether you are just passing through, or Fredericksburg is your vacation destination, you won’t be at a loss for things to do. This beautiful city is conveniently located on the thoroughfare between Austin and San Antonio, so you really have no excuse not to stop! There is so much to explore from rich German history and culture to military museums, wine trails, and enchanted rocks. So, sit back, grab a glass of wine, and enjoy the natural beauty Fredericksburg, Texas has to offer.