Guide to Travel in Fredericksburg, Texas
From peach orchards to a pioneer museum, Fredericksburg, Texas offers you simple pleasures with characteristic Texan style. Here, you can take a virtual tour of the town, learning about the attractions and traditions that make Fredericksburg a unique travel destination.
If you're a candy lover, you'll find a friend in Fredericksburg. The town produces up to 2, 200 pounds a day of eight different kinds of fudge, along with brittles, toffees, a cashew and caramel treat called Antlers, and a caramel/pecan/milk chocolate confection known as Snappers. You'll find the sweets for sale at Fredericksburg Fudge, known for its all-natural ingredients.
If reading is your favorite past time, check out the Main Book Shop next to the Fredericksburg Bakery at 143 East Main Street. It specializes in cookbooks, children's books, and books about Texas.
The town also boasts a number of shops featuring a variety of collectibles, including Amish quilts, dulcimers, an Apache war bonnet, patterns for German dirndls, and musical glow balls. Some boutiques also feature antiques such as rustic furniture and old-fashioned toys.
If you're a history buff, you'll find plenty to entertain you in Fredericksburg. One of the most memorable sites is the Admiral Nimitz Museum and Historical Center. It's named for one of Fredericksburg's most famous residents, Fleet Admiral Chester Nimitz. The Nimitz inhabits a reconstructed hotel once owned by the admiral's grandfather. The historic site chronicles World War II, as it played out in the Pacific Ocean. The museum also honors the memory of the two million men and women who served under Nimitz during the war.
You can discover the world of the early Texans by visiting the Pioneer Museum Complex. Owned by the Gillespie County Historical Society, the complex features eight historic buildings noted for their impressive rooms. The Kammlah House, for instance, is known for kitchens marked by ten-foot-wide fireplaces. The Pioneer museum also offers brochures that can guide you through scores of historic sites along Main Street.
For the nature-lover in you, consider a trip to Enchanted Rock, which spans the countryside between Fredericksburg and Llano. Native Americans considered the site a mystical place marked by moanlike sounds and strange lights. In the mid-1800s, Comanches, Tonkawas, and Apaches would stop to worship there while riding through the area.
Today, campers and picnickers are attracted to the park's unusual rock formations and greenery.
Each of the area's six land formations has its own name and personality. The tallest of these, Enchanted Rock, some 450 feet in elevation, boasts a panoramic view of the region. The color of the rock is particularly striking; its rosy-ness often surprises people unfamiliar with the terrain. Enchanted Rock also features the area's longest cave, some 1,000 feet long. The park is located on Ranch Road 965, 17 miles north of Fredericksburg.
For a different view of Fredericksburg, travelers can tour Cross Mountain which overlooks the city from an elevation of 1,951 feet above sea level. The mountain is named for the giant cross which graces the landscape. A German settler named John Christian Durst erected the original cross of timber; a more modern version of concrete and steel now occupies the historic spot. No vehicles are permitted on the mountain, which is accessible by foot trail. You can reach Cross Mountain by traveling north on Milam Street (Ranch Road 965).
The possibilities for lodging in Fredericksburg are as varied as the landscape. One popular choice is the bed-and-breakfast, quaint lodgings that often feature a cozy room, shared bathroom, and a rustic dining hall for breakfast. More than 120 B&Bs grace Fredericksburg, each offering its own distinctive style. In fact, the Historic Hotel Association of Texas is headquartered in Fredericksburg and offers a brochure listing accommodations throughout the State of Texas. The town is also home to several B&B reservation services, including Gastehaus Schmidt, Be My Guest, and Bed & Breakfast of Fredericksburg. The Convention and Visitors Bureau Visitors Guide also offers a list of motels and B&Bs not connected with the reservation services. For those interested in a room with a pool, the Best Western Sunday House and the Fredericksburg Inn and Suites offer not only accommodations, but an opportunity to swim in the hotel pool as well.
No where is the heritage of Fredericksburg more apparent than in its restaurants. The town offers a number of opportunities for visitors to sample German cuisine, from the Altdorf Biergarten and Restaurant to the Auslander Biergarten and Restaurant to Friedhelm's Bavarian Restaurant. You can also sample German pastries at a number of local bakeries, or enjoy the area's world-renowned peaches at any one of a number of orchards in the region. For truly exotic fare, visitors often flock to the tea room at the Fredericksburg Herb Farm, where customers can sample lemon tea bread, rose geranium chocolate cheesecake, and peppermint fudge brownies. The 13-acre farm is located six blocks off Main Street.
On May 8, 1846, a valiant group of German immigrants arrived in what would become Fredericksburg, a town that mixes Texas tradition with Old World customs. John O. Meusenbach gave up his German title to settle the village, which was located in the middle of Comanche territory. The Native Americans dubbed Meusenbach "El Sol Colorado" (The "Red Sun") because of his bright red hair. He ultimately distinguished himself by forging a peace with the Indians. During the talks, the Indians lit signal fires on the hills surrounding Fredericksburg. One mother told her children that the Easter Bunny was responsible for the fires; she said he built the fires to boil his eggs and colored them using dye made from wildflowers.
As a result, the new settlers promised to build the fires every Easter as long as the peace treaty remained in effect. It's a tradition that continues to this day.
Fredericksburg also has a tradition of welcoming travelers in an unusual way. The first letters of street names going east spell out the phrase, "All Welcome," while those going west read "Come Back." The unique custom began in response to the migration of people heading West who passed through Fredericksburg
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