December 9, 2014

Visiting the Texas Hill Country

Before Tim and I left Lake Georgetown on November 20, we needed to make a decision about where to spend Thanksgiving.  Thanksgiving appears to be a popular camping holiday in Texas.  We had already found that Texas state parks were booked, not just for Thanksgiving but for every weekend for the next month or so.  We therefore figured that we would have to bite the bullet and make a reservation so we wouldn’t be homeless for the holiday.  But, where oh where should we go?  The Texas Hill Country was close by, and we had heard wonderful things about the area, so the decision was fairly simple.  Now, we just had to find a campground.

Thanksgiving was still one week away, so we booked the first five days in Fredericksburg.  We would then move to Kerrville on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving for a week-long stay.  The Fredericksburg KOA worked out perfectly for us.  Although the sites were small, there were few RVs in the back portion of the campground where our site was located.  I especially loved the extensive canopy of wonderful old trees in our area.

On the way to Fredericksburg, we stopped to visit the Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park in Johnson City, the site of LBJs boyhood home. Although we had visited the park during our nine-month Road Trip Ramble, we again took the time to watch the film and view the exhibits. It was nice to be reminded about LBJs accomplishments, particularly regarding civil rights and environmental issues.  This park was a good follow-up to our recent visit to Brown v Board of Education National Historic Site, since it was LBJ who signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  As I’ve said before, I love making connections.

It was also under LBJs watch that the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 was enacted, as well as the Clean Air Act, Wilderness Act, Endangered Species Act and Wild and Scenic Rivers System.  As important as the National Historic Preservation Act was to my career, as well as to Tim’s, I seem to have forgotten that this piece of legislation was implemented while LBJ was president.  Although LBJ was a controversial president, I prefer to focus on the good things that he did. 

Recognizing More of LBJs Accomplishments

While we were in Johnson City, we did see LBJs boyhood home, although we missed taking the tour.  We also put the nearby LBJ Ranch on our list of places to see while in the Hill Country.  Our immediate priority, however was lunch, so we made time to sample the town’s version of Texas chili.  Texas chili is nothing at all like Tim’s New Mexican green chili, but we enjoyed it anyway.  Although it was very good, we decided that we owed it to ourselves to try other versions to see how it might compare.  Now that was a fun thing to add to our to-do list.

LBJs Boyhood Home

Fredericksburg is one of the prettiest towns in Texas and is the centerpiece of the Hill Country.  The town was settled by German immigrants in the mid-nineteenth century, and its strong Germanic heritage is evident in the architecture, signage and cuisine.  The historic, limestone buildings in Fredericksburg are beautiful, and the town has done a wonderful job of preservation.  

The Vereins Kirche Was the City's First Church and Is Now the City's Iconic Landmark

The Original County Courthouse Is Now the Pioneer Memorial Library

Many Downtown Buildings Are Constructed of Limestone

Tim and I visited Fredericksburg on the Saturday before Thanksgiving and strolled up and down the downtown sidewalks.  We even did a little shopping, something we rarely do for entertainment.  Since we don’t have room for new stuff, we usually just buy food items.  We can always make room for regional foods. 

Downtown Fredericksburg Was Already Decorated for Christmas

Shopping Is Hard Work

Our favorite stop was Rustlin’ Rob’s, a collection of the best Texas condiments, spices and hot sauces around.  What a fabulous shop!  Tim was in heaven tasting the different items.  The store was a visual delight as well.   

"What To Do, What To Do?"

"Where Do I Begin?"

We had intended to sample the local German cuisine, but we ended up with more Texas chili.  I don’t know if this version was any better than the one we had in Johnson City, but the cornbread really made it special.

One stop that is a must-see in the Hill Country is the laid-back town of Luckenbach, made famous in the song by Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings.  In Luckenbach one can listen to live music every day of the week, and most times there is no cover charge.  We made our way to Luckenbach on a Sunday afternoon and stopped by the dance hall, one of only three buildings in the town.  Here we listened to a performance by Jamie Wilson, Courtney Patton and Josh Grider.  Luckenbach is also a destination for bikers as well as music fans, and Tim and I had fun talking with one of the regulars.  It was quite the experience.

Luckenbach, Where "Everybody's Somebody"

Live Oak Trees Shelter the Outside Stage and Picnic Tables

Dozens of Bikes Line Up in Front of the Dance Hall

The Most Photographed Post Office in Texas

Live Music With a Texas Flair


  1. Loved the Post Office...did you and Tim danced? :)

    1. No, we didn't dance. We had to leave before anyone started dancing, and we didn't want to be first ones on the floor!


We love hearing from you and reading your comments.

To leave a comment, type what you'd like to say and then click on the arrow next to "Comment as:". You can select "Anonymous" if you'd like. Finally, click "Publish." That's it.