Fredericksburg, Texas, is a charming Hill Country town that proudly embraces its extensive German heritage. Walk the town's streets and you'll pass gothic-style churches with pointed archways and vaulted ceilings, restaurants serving savory schnitzels and tall pints of dunkelweizen, and the sweet smell of German pastries emanating from historic bakeries.

Although these things set Fredericksburg apart, there's much more here than the town's European appeal. The scenic rolling hills that surround the town are home to numerous award-winning wineries, and one of the most spectacular places in Texas – Enchanted Rock – is just 20 miles away. Fredericksburg is also near the birthplace and ranch of President Lyndon B. Johnson, as well as where World War II admiral Chester Nimitz was born.

The city of Fredericksburg was settled by German immigrants in the 1840's as part of the Adelsverein, an effort to establish a new Germany in Texas. More than 100 settlers traveled from New Braunfels to the new town site, which was founded at the intersection of Baron's Creek and Town Creek. The community thrived and remained predominately German for decades; the first newspaper was only in German, and it wasn't until after 1900 that purely English-speaking teachers were employed in the town's public schools.

Everything changed with the arrival of the railroad in 1913, but the towns' decades of isolation have helped it retain its unique character to this day. Examples of Fredericksburg's German heritage abound. St. Mary's Catholic Church and Holy Ghost Lutheran Church are two fine examples of the style of architecture you'd find in grand European cathedrals, while the town's wide Main Street is bordered by beer gardens and German restaurants. These are just a few examples of the dozens of historical sites in Fredericksburg that are an essential part of anyone's trip here.

To take a break from everything German, head to the National Museum of the Pacific War, a comprehensive museum that provides an in-depth look at World War II Pacific Theater. Then head over to the Lyndon B. Johnson State Park and Historic Site and the Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park to tour President Johnson's birthplace and country home, known as the Texas Whitehouse. If you're in the mood for a glass of wine, hop on the Fredericksburg Wine Road and tour the many wineries and vineyards near town. Not a wine lover? Two craft breweries, Fredericksburg Brewing Company and Pedernales Brewing Company, offer a wide variety of locally brewed beer. Not enough for you? We can't talk about Fredericksburg and not mention the Enchanted Rock State Natural Area, which contains a 425-foot-tall dome of pink granite you can ascend to enjoy a fantastic view of the Hill Country.

Fredericksburg's unique history and wealth of attractions make it a great place to visit. Plan your next trip here to experience Germany right here in Texas.

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