Of all the small towns in Central Texas’ Hill Country – and there are many – Fredericksburg, Texas, is definitely one that should be near the top of every “must see” list for visitors.
Along with a number of surrounding communities in the region, Fredericksburg offers top-notch outdoor recreation, a unique history and culture, annual festivals, local music and an incredible wine scene.
Located in Gillespie County and home to United Country Real Estate | Garrett Realty & Auction, Fredericksburg might be the prototypical example of what it’s like to live in the Hill Country region. Of course, it’s not the only city that stands out in the area, with places such as Kerrville (Kerr County) and Llano (Llano County) offering a similar lifestyle.
Let’s take a closer look at the appeal of Fredericksburg and a few of the other nearby cities and towns for locals and visitors alike.
The waterways, rolling terrain and dense forests of Texas Hill Country provide the perfect backdrop for outdoor adventures in Central Texas. Rivers including the Guadalupe and Pedernales flow through a region that has multiple state and local parks, hunting land, fishing lakes and all kinds of great spots to enjoy recreation.
Lady Bird Johnson Municipal Park is a gem within Fredericksburg, with its 330 acres of natural features and trails, as well as sports facilities and pavilions. It’s adjacent to Lady Bird Johnson RV Park, good for camping and fishing on Live Oak Creek. The 18-hole Lady Bird Golf Course is also a popular attraction within the parks.
Beyond these and other local parks in town, Fredericksburg is also home to Enchanted Rock State Natural Area. The scenic location offers everything from leisurely hikes to challenging rock climbs and camping. Around 20 minutes away in Stonewall, Lyndon B. Johnson State Park & Historic Site is the place to experience a living history farm, fish the river and learn about the former president’s birthplace and early life.
Over in Kerrville, avid golfers might check out Scott Schreiner Municipal Golf Course or Riverhill Country Club for a little more of a luxury outing. If you’re looking to boat, waterski or swim, Ingram Lake is a nice spot, and Kerrville-Schreiner Park offers 517 acres for hiking, biking, camping and more along the Guadalupe River. Roughly an hour to the southwest in Vanderpool, Lost Maples State Natural Area is worth the drive for its stunning fall foliage, creek and river fishing, birding and the like.
Hunting may not be the Hill Country’s most common activity, but you’ll find some known places to keep you busy pursuing whitetail deer, turkey and other game. For public hunting land, the Kerr Wildlife Management Area (WMA) and Mason Mountain WMA come to mind. On the other hand, private ranches and paid hunting packages are actually very plentiful in the region (we suggest an online search). Annual and short-term hunting leases are also available, such as these in Gillespie County.
With a population around 11,600 people (est. as of 2023), Fredericksburg may be modestly sized but the city’s identity shines brighter, and its offerings are much larger, than one might expect. From the shops and galleries of Maine Street to the wineries, museums, ranches and orchards throughout and around the city … there’s just so much to explore here.
Fredericksburg certainly isn’t the only place worth visiting in Texas Hill Country, but it might be the best place to start. The city has received a lot of recognition over the years, even on a national level, for its small-town charm, natural beauty and amazing local wine scene. In fact, Wine Spectator Magazine called Fredericksburg the “Hill Country’s unofficial capital of food and wine.” Some 60 percent or so of all wineries/vineyards in the Hill Country are here in Gillespie County.
Not to be outshined by wine, 40 percent of Texas’ peaches are grown in our county and agri-tourism in general is popular in the region. Whether it’s peaches, pecans, beans or beef you seek, you’re bound to find quality products in the Fredericksburg, Texas, area. And believe it or not, the fruitful land we live on may even be rivaled by the beauty of our night sky. Fredericksburg became an exclusive International Dark Sky Community in 2020.
If you’re someone who enjoys a deep dive into history, Fredericksburg offers plenty of attractions. What used to be the Nimitz Hotel is now the often-visited National Museum of the Pacific War. Fort Martin Scott is a U.S. Army site operational during the Civil War, and the Pioneer Museum in town presents a complete look at Gillespie County’s extensive German heritage. For a more contemporary historical exploration (or if you’re really into country music), head to Luckenbach, Texas, 15 minutes southeast of Fredericksburg.
Speaking of music, you can catch regular live shows all yearlong (plus other fun events) at various venues throughout Fredericksburg. The Rockbox Theater is the spot for some of the larger shows. The Gillespie County Fair, Oktoberfest and Hill Country Film Festival are just a few of the many other major events and festivals throughout the year in town. And the Markplatz (or “Market Square” in English) is always a fun option for special events.
Over in Kerrville on Easter weekend, it’s all about the Easter Fest & Cook-Off on the River, and summertime brings the movies in the park series at the Kerrville-Schreiner Park Amphitheater. Both are ideal gatherings for the whole family. Llano is another nearby city big on promoting its events, especially the Llano MusicFest in September. There’s definitely no shortage of things to do, see, eat and celebrate in Central Texas’ Hill Country region. Come discover for yourself!