This Texas gourmet foods store is an attraction in itself because visitors are welcome to come in and sample EVERY item that the store sells! Rustlin' Rob's offers a great selection of products from all over the state. Can't tell whether you prefer habanero or chipotle salsa? Just try it before you buy it! Feel free to help yourself to tasty bits of salsa, dips, dressing, jam, fudge and more!
The author of '1000 Places to See Before You Die' notes Fredericksburg for the wonderfully preserved German-style architecture comprising a large part of the town.
A self-guided walking tour gave us a glimpse of its earlier days--the German influence is still very strong and further illustrated by the number of biergartens and heavenly bakeries.
Fredericksburg is about 61 miles from San Antonio, Texas and is located in Gillespie County. Gillespie County was named for Captain Richard Addison Gillespie.
Known as Robert to most, he was a Texas Ranger and had been a hero of the Mexican War. Gillespie County was officially established on June 5, 1848. Before this, it had been part of Bexar County.
Robert Gillespie was mortally wounded in the battle of Monterrey, Mexico on September 22, 1846.
If you're looking for something different to do while in Fredericksburg (different from shopping, I mean!), there's a nice little nature trail at the Lady Bird Municipal Park. It runs along a small river and is home to several different species of plants and animals - we even saw a couple of snakes (very exotic for us, Canadians)!
While in Fredericksburg take an hour or so to drive up towards Llano to Willow City. While following the take the Willow City Loop. It's about a 15 mile drive that will show you what the Hill Country is all about. Missing it would be to miss the beauty of Central Texas.
As you turn onto loop you will see many signs that say "Private Property." Yes, the residents have opened up their own road for you to enjoy the land. Make sure not to enter any of the properties! You know Texans and their gun-happy ways! ;) No, for real, stay on track so as not to cause any trouble. The other reason for the importance are the free wandering cattle. Yes, cows in the middle of the road and right next to it. You'll want to stay at about 4 miles an hour for breath-taking views, photo opportunities and livestock.
Although it starts mildly for the first few miles you'll soon see why this is one of the most beautiful roads in Texas (or America!). Sit back and enjoy...
*I went on Easter weekend at around 4pm and there was NO ONE else on the road. It almost made me nervous because there were so many Private Property signs and cows on the road. I was unsure if I was on the right road. However, I've heard that sometimes it is packed full of cars. So be prepared for an hour or so to experience the views.
While in Fredericksburg drive to the Luchenbach Loop also known as the city Luchenbach, Texas. Made famous by the song, it is one of the highlights of any trip to Fredericksburg. You don't even have to be a drinker!
When we arrived we parked in the non-paved parking lot and were a bit skeptical walking up with all these bikers. However, we were also accompanied by a young family so it was such a weird mixture of people!
We walked in [free!] and walked around towards the Post Office/General Store. We quickly got a beer and listened to the free country boys playin' their guitars for the crowd. People were just chillin' out and relaxing a nice sunset. The weather was perfect. The nature surrounding us was tranquil. Just the sound of chatting, guitars and ......... crowing roosters!
My favorite part of Luchenbach was the loud roosters flying about on top of the roofs and trees. It was like playing Where's Waldo but with poultry!
My second favorite was the cowboy riding a SADDLED longhorn. You don't see that around here, folks. Only in Luchenbach!
The bathrooms were very weird. There were stalls but they were separated by curtains. You can't throw anything down the toilets since there's no real sewage so it's just ..... nasty? How about authentic?!? Like they say, "when in Rome"...how about "when in the honky tonk"?
After buying my traditional ornament and iron-on patch from the general store we said our farewells and let the night crew get their seats for the concert being held in the dancing area. Since the concert was $15 we decided to find some other entertainment back down the road towards Fredericksburg. All the while humming "Luchenbach, Texas"....
Hours are from 9am til Close
Although my husband and I would sooner leave winter far behind, we did enjoy ice skating. Fredericksburg residents can enjoy this cold weather sport at the Marketplatz, in the center of town on Main Street.
As mentioned in my earlier tip, Marketplatz was the original "hub" of the town where people bought and sold produce. Tucked at one end of this public park,a small ice skating rink has been constructed--EISBAHN.
The rink opens on the Friday after Thanksgiving and remains open until early January. Prices and hours: $10 per day (includes skate rental). Hours are Mon-Thurs. 4:00 pm-8:00 pm; Fri., Sat. & and School Holidays from 10:00 am-10:00 pm; Sun. 1pm-8pm.
The rink can be privately rented for parties, see internet: www.eisbahnfbg.com. Proceeds go to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
There is free parking everywhere in Fredericksburg so you don't have to worry about your car. The Main Street is loaded with shops that are housed in old buildings that are part of The National Register of Historic Places. The plaque outside the building will tell you what the building was when it was originally built.
Here is where you will find a lot of restaurants, antique shops, bakeries and museums.
When my husband and our friend learned of the Re-enactment, they were thrilled. It was a busy weekend in Fredericksburg and many people chose to attend this event. I tried to capture some of what transpired, but we were seated several rows from the front.
Since it was Veterans Day weekend, a number of these soldiers participated in the Re-enactment (picture 4). They demonstrated U.S. weaponry, including an actual flamethrower and brought vehicles from this era out for viewing (pictures 2-3).
The military strategy of the Japanese, their fighting style and a demonstration of some of their weapons was highlighted, as well. We witnessed an 'attack' on a Japanese bunker and the skirmish that ensued. The kids in the audience were thoroughly awestruck! It proved to be a very interesting event.
One of the delights about Fredericksburg is that many arcades have been constructed, allowing the visitor to wander along in the cool shade, enjoying the sights and window shopping. Many shops have spread onto the sidewalk, bringing out pot plants, sales items, and even a rocking chair or two!
Off the side streets you will see the original Sunday House here and there. You can identify them because they have stairs on the outside. They were built for the German people who lived a great distance from town, so they would have a place to stay when they came into town for church on the weekend.
We took the tour with the Park Ranger to see the LBJ Ranch. This is the only way to see the other buildings and the farm part of the ranch. Our first stop was at the home where President Johnson was born. We were able to walk through all the rooms and the Park Ranger offered lots of interesting information about the Johnson family.
VISIT THE ADMIRAL NIMITZ MUSEUM OF THE PACIFIC THEATER OF WORLD WAR II.
See the Plaza of the Presidents, The Japanese Garden of Peace, Memorial Walk, and the Pacific combat zone.
Interior exhibit hours: 10 am - 5 pm. Outside exhibits 8 am - 4:45 pm
Admission fee: $5 & $3
This huge, 425-foot-high granite rock formation is one of Texas' most impressive natural sights. It was designated a National Natural Landmark in 1970 and was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1984.
If you have time, take the hike around the rock. Another good one is up to the summit and back. Both are moderately demanding. Either way, you will be rewarded with some spectacular views.
Many of these very small homes were built in Fredericksburg by ranchers from around the country. They served as little more than weekend sleeping quarters for the ranch families who came to town to shop and attend church on the weekend. Many of the families then allowed their older children to stay in the homes during the week so they could attend the public school in town. Note in the picture that no inside space was wasted on a stairway to the second floor sleeping quarters - that was accessed from outside.
This Fredericksburg landmark is a good place to begin your visit. The octagonally shaped building, a replica of the city's first public building which served as a meeting place for the community, the school, and churches, now houses historical archives and interesting exhibits of early photographs of archeological artifacts.
Important information for travelers - spacious and clean public restrooms adjacent.
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