A Hill Country haven about an hour from San Antonio and Austin, Fredericksburg’s vacation rental cottages, Sunday houses, bungalows, guest rooms, lofts, and ranches are ideal for a romantic shopping and wine-tasting getaway or a money-saving family retreat. Enjoy a drive past streams and limestone hillsides carpeted in spring with bluebonnets and wildflowers. Buy peaches and pecans from roadside stands en route to wineries and picnic lunches. Stroll the Marketplatz and leisurely shop on Main Street. Savor a German sausage snack and brew, or save some money and fix your own food in your vacation rental cottage kitchen. Rock and roll in the evening at the Rockbox Theatre. Or head to nearby Luckenbach for country music and an old-fashioned general store.
World War II Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz grew up in his grandfather’s downtown Fredericksburg hotel, which is now the National Museum of the Pacific War. The whole family will enjoy the plaque-lined limestone walls of the Memorial Courtyard and the Japanese Garden of Peace honoring the people and ships from World War II. The Plaza of Presidents honors the 10 U.S. presidents who served their country in World War II. Contribute to the museum with your purchase at the George H. W. Bush Gallery Museum Store. Afterwards, visit the Pioneer Museum complex to see what life was like for the early German settlers.
Drive to 341 Golfers Loop and shoot 18 holes at the 6,432-yard, oak-tree lined Lady Bird Johnson Municipal Golf Course. Bring extra golf balls, as the back nine has five holes sharing three lakes. The Johnson legacy continues in Stonewall, east of Fredericksburg, at the Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park. The whole family will enjoy the 90-minute LBJ Ranch bus tours. Further down the road, towards Austin, is Johnson City and another LBJ boyhood home. If you have the stamina, take the family to the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Centre.
Hike or rock climb Enchanted Rock State Natural Area’s famous pink granite dome. If Austin’s Congress Avenue Bridge bats drove you batty, check out the nightly bat viewing (May-Oct.) 11 miles south of Fredericksburg at Old Tunnel Wildlife Management Area. The old railroad tunnel houses an estimated 3 million Brazilian free-tailed bats. If you get there early, take the family bird watching or hiking. You will bring back plenty of good memories from your money-saving Fredericksburg vacation rental.