Family Fun in Central Texas, Part 3: Fredericksburg

This is my third post about our family's travels to Central Texas. I suggest reading the first and second posts before this one. Because I blog about educational travel, I was given free admission tickets, media rates, discounts, and other benefits for some of the attractions we visited throughout the trip. This has no bearing on my reviews. Everything I'm sharing is something that I recommend whole-heartedly. If you notice any gaps in my narrative, it's because something wasn't worth mentioning.


Fredericksburg, Texas

On Sunday, April 7 we got up early and headed to downtown Fredericksburg. The town of 11,000 residents regularly swells each weekend as tourists flock there, but they were expecting up to 100,000 people for the next day's eclipse. By arriving really early in the day, we had the place mostly to ourselves. 

Our first order of business was breakfast. Fredericksburg was founded by German immigrants and much of the food in town is German. Czech kolaches are also prominent in Fredericksburg. We ate at Hill Country Donuts and Kolaches and thoroughly enjoyed everything we tried. 

That's a half-eaten kolach on the right. Soooo good! I usually remember to take pictures before we dig in, but this time I didn't. 

We strolled along Main Street, which is quite charming. If you know to look for it, you'll find a secret message in the cross streets. As you head east, you'll find Adams, Llano, Lincoln, Washington, Elk, Lee, Columbus, Olive, Mesquite, and Eagle. Look at the first letters. They spell ALL WELCOME. As you head west on Main Street, you cross Crockett, Orange, Milam, Edison, Bowie, Acorn, Cherry, and Kay. COME BACK. 

The most impressive attraction in Frederickburg is the National Museum of the Pacific War

We arrived a few minutes before opening, anticipating huge crowds later in the day. That gave us a chance to look around the outdoor exhibits. 

We were literally the first people through the door when the clock struck 9:00, which is the only way we were able to get any photos in the George H. W. Bush Gallery without other people in them. There were a lot of visitors that day.  

The museum takes you chronologically through the Pacific War. It is packed with interesting artifacts and displays, with videos and first-person audio sprinkled throughout.  

If you read every word, watched every video, and listened to every audio track, you could spend 3 days in the Bush Gallery. We didn't have three days. We spent about three hours, which was a good amount of time to learn a lot about this period of history.  

At 17, Trevor enjoyed the main part of the museum and got a lot out of it. I don't think that would be the case for kids younger than about 13. However, there is an excellent kid-friendly exhibit called Children on the Homefront: Growing Up with War that I highly recommend for guests of all ages. 

This interactive game was really fun. It challenges you to find 50+ items in three different settings that can be repurposed for the war effort. Everything from rubber boots to old wagons to cooking fat could be useful. I had no idea so many objects helped lead to victory in the Pacific. 

Back outside, don't miss the Plaza of Presidents, Memorial Courtyard, or the Japanese Garden of Peace. 

You may be wondering what the National Museum of the Pacific War is doing in a tiny town in Texas Hill Country. The answer is Admiral Chester W. Nimitz. The interactive Admiral Nimitz Gallery, around the block from the Bush Gallery, showcases the life of this Fredericksburg native. 

We were all ready for a late lunch, so we went to the highly-recommended Auslander Biergarten Restaurant

I really like eating with a larger group because we can try more dishes. Everything was fantastic. I love German food.

After lunch, we walked to see the beautiful St. Mary's Catholic Church and School....

... and the Marktplatz von Fredericksburg, home of the Vereins Kirche Museum

I'd wanted to do the Downtown Fredericksburg Walking Tour and find all the bronze mockingbirds, but it was ridiculously crowded by this point. We fought our way through the crowds, made it to our car, and headed to a roomier destination. 

Wildseed Farms is 600 acres of wildflowers, vineyards, a tasting room, and a marketplace. It is the largest working wildflower farm in the US, which is what we were there to see. 

It was so nice to stroll along the paths (gloriously uncrowded) and see all the beautiful flowers blooming. 

After our busy day in Fredericksburg, we returned to our tiny home for some rest and relaxation. 

Texas Hill Country is a beautiful place. 

I'll be back on Monday with more Texas adventures!

1 comment:

  1. Love the wildflower farm! So lovely to be in the midst of nature.:)


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