We recently made a trip down to Fredericksburg, and had a great time! It is one of the places that we had talked about visiting, but never made plans to actually go. We decided a trip during the week of Valentine’s would be fun, and started making plans.
We stayed a couple of blocks from Main Street, so we were able to walk to a lot of the places we went. We stayed in a small house (Adams Travis House) that was perfect for us. Really, we didn’t spend much time in the house because we spent a lot of time out and about around town. Being close to Main Street was great because we could walk to a lot of the shops and restaurants.
One of our first stops was the Fredericksburg Brewery to try their brews. We did samplers of all their beers, and were really impressed. We especially liked the Fritztown Brown Ale, Not So Dumb Blonde Ale, and Peacepipe Pale Ale. Afterwards, we walked another block to Auslander for an excellent dinner. Another restaurant we really enjoyed was Der Lindenbaum (Note: it’s cash only). We went on Valentine’s evening for an early dinner. It’s a smaller restaurant and we didn’t want to wait, so we opted to dine earlier than we normally do.
One day we visited the National Museum of the Pacific War, and it was a really great museum. I love visiting museums, so this was a top spot for me. It took us a while to go through the George Bush Gallery (main museum), and then we walked around the grounds to see the Memorial Courtyard, Plaza of Presidents, and Japanese Garden of Peace. We also walked through the Admiral Nimitz Museum, but that didn’t take very long. In all it was a little more than half day thing for us.
Another day we visited the LBJ State Park & National Historical Park. That was a lot of fun, and we saw more than I had planned on seeing. I knew about the Sauer-Beckmann Farmstead (living history farm), which was the main reason I wanted to go, but I didn’t know about some of the other things. The park is a working ranch, so be aware of the livestock that roams the grounds. We stopped at the visitor center and got a CD for the self-guided tour (free, just return the CD when you finish). Then we drove the the park listening to the CD and learning more about the history of the area. We did stop at each of the sites (one-room Junction School, reconstructed birthplace, Johnson family cemetery, Show Barn, and Texas White House). The Park Service offers a tour of the Texas White House ($3 per person) that we took. They’ve modeled the house as it would have been in the 1960’s during Johnson’s presidency, not during the 2000’s when Lady Bird passed away. All-in-all, it was a great day trip. It’s about 15 miles east of Fredericksburg, so a short drive, and with all the stops we finished mid afternoon.
Wineries. So many wineries in the Fredericksburg area. We did visit two, Woodrose Winery and Grape Creek Vineyards. Both are located on Highway 290 east of Fredericksburg. Honestly, we were a bit disappointed in Woodrose. While the ambiance was good, the wine wasn’t great. They do a table top service, which was nice because the other wineries don’t offer that. They also have a sweet golden retriever that laid near our table and occasionally stopped by to be loved on. We tasted all of the wines they offered, and several of them had too much sediment. Our favorite wines at Woodrose were the Texas Port, White Merlot, and Sea Breeze. For Grape Creek, the ambiance was okay, and the wine was good. They had a nice bar to walk up and taste their wines. We each had a wine tasting and also enjoyed a glass while sitting on their outdoor patio. Our favorite wines at Grape Creek were the Grand Rouge, Bellissimo, and Cabernet Blanc. We did not have time to take a tour of any of the wineries, which would have been a lot of fun and added to the experience. Maybe next time we’re in the area we can make a tour.
Another stop along the way (or rather slightly out of the way, but close enough to go see) was Luckenbach. Not much to see during the day. Maybe if you go on a Friday or Saturday night when they have live performances. But now we’ve been to Luckenbach… where everybody’s somebody. It was worth stopping by, and is about a 15 minute drive from Fredericksburg.
Our last detour was on the way back home. The Longhorn Cavern State Park was another slight detour, but well worth it. We got there just in time for the last tour of the day. It was a fun tour, and I think that both the science and the history of the cave were really interesting. For instance, science-wise I enjoyed seeing the different geologic formations and the hibernating bats, while history-wise I learned it had been used as a speakeasy during Prohibition and was a Civilian Conservation Corps project during the 1930’s, who did a lot of the work that is what you see today while on the tour.
All-in-all, we had a great vacation. We got to go to new places and try new things. There is much more to see in the area, and a trip back would be a lot of fun.