Fredericksburg, Texas

Best Places to Retire in Texas


Fredericksburg (population approximately 9,600) is located in south central Texas, 70 north of San Antonio, and 78 miles west of Austin, the capital city. It was established in 1846 as a German settlement and named after Prince Frederick of Prussia. Each German settler was given one town lot and 10 acres of farmland. Religion was important to the settlers and devout farmers traveled up to 20 miles into Fredericksburg on weekends and religious holidays, and a number of them built Sunday houses for use on weekends. Initially all services were held in the Vereins-Kirche, which also served as a school, meeting hall, and a fortress. The Germans initially tried to maintain their isolation and independence by refusing to learn or use English. The first newspaper in Gillespie County was the German-language Fredericksburg Wochenblatt.

As early as the 1930s, Fredericksburg was becoming known as a tourist destination with hunting, fishing and the natural beauty of the surrounding hill country. The community continued its slow, but steady growth and by the 1980s it had more than a dozen motels, three art galleries, nearly 40 restaurants, and many antiques shops. At the same time it continued to hold onto its strong German heritage through historic preservation and a number of annual events and celebrations.

Today Fredericksburg is one of the most popular small-town tourist destinations in Texas and very proud of its unique history. Located in a high, green valley at 1,702 feet elevation, it is surrounded by hills with granite and limestone outcroppings, and a wide variety of trees, including cedars, junipers oaks, and meadows of wildflowers in springtime. Gillespie County is the number one producer of peaches and also grows apples, pecans, plums, berries and many kinds of table vegetables. There are over 50 manufacturing businesses in the county, including a large number of crafts people who produce woven rugs, jewelry, blown glass, furniture, and more.

Fredericksburg has an active arts program, many festivals and civic events, art galleries, and many specialty and antique shops. Most of its turn-of-the-century buildings have been preserved and visitors can choose from a large number of charming old bed & breakfast establishments. There are many dining choices and lots of good German food.

Arts & Culture

The Fredericksburg Theater Company presents six classic live theater productions annually, ranging from plays to musicals. Large-scale musicals with full orchestra are in the Fredericksburg High School auditorium. Plays and musical reviews are at the FTC Theater.

The Gillespie County Fair, held in August, was founded in 1881 and has been held every year with the exception of brief periods during World War I and World War II. It includes a downtown parade, pari-mutuel horse racing, a carnival midway, agricultural exhibits, livestock, arts and crafts, and live entertainment events. The fairgrounds are just two miles south of town.

Oktoberfest at Market Square is a three-day event that celebrates Texas’ German heritage. It includes music and entertainment, German food and drink, arts and crafts booths, dancing, activities for children, and more.

Vereins Kirche Museum is a replica of the original, which was built in 1847 as Fredericksburg’s first public building. It is located in the Marketplatz. (830) 997-2835

Pioneer Museum Complex includes the Kammalah house and store, built in 1849, and other authentic structures built by German settlers. (830) 990-8441

Admiral Nimitz State Historic Site memorializes this Fleet Admiral of the Pacific during World War II. The complex includes a number of historic buildings.

Fort Martin Scott was used as a U.S. Army fort from 1848-1853 and has an interesting history of uses by Texas Rangers, townspeople and visitors.

Pioneer Memorial Library –

Fredericksburg Winery is a small, family-owned winery that offers tours.


The Parks & Recreation Department operates and maintains the city’s six parks and facilities, which include ball fields, swimming, fishing, golf, hiking, tennis, pavilions, picnic sites, playgrounds and meeting facilities.

Lady Bird Johnson Golf Municipal Course –

Enchanted Rock State Natural Area is a 1,644-acre park on Big Sandy Creek, 18 miles north of Fredericksburg, on the border between Gillespie and Llano Counties. Its dominant feature is a 425-foot high pink granite dome that covers 640 acres. It is the largest rock formation uncovered by erosion in the United States.

Pedernales Falls State Park is a 5,212-acre site in Blanco County, east of Johnson City. It is along the banks of the Perdernales River. Facilities include campsites, hike-in sites, mountain biking trails and equestrian trails.

Blanco State Park is a 104-acre site along the Blanco River. Facilities include campsites, screened shelters, a picnic pavilion, playgrounds, and nature trail.

Guadalupe River State Park in Spring Branch is 30 miles north of San Antonio and has four miles of river frontage. Activities include canoeing, fishing, swimming, picnicking, hiking, camping and mountain biking.

Kerrville-Schreiner Park is operated by the city of Kerrville. It offers picnic sites, hike-in sites, campsites with electrical hookups, an amphitheater, boat ramp, eight miles of hiking trails, six miles of mountain bike trails, a lighted fishing pier, and more.

Inks Lake State Park is nine miles west of Burnet. It consists of 1,200 acres located in the Highland Lakes chain surrounded by granite hills. It offers camping, backpacking, hiking, golf, swimming, boating, water skiing, scuba diving, and fishing.

Longhorn Cavern State Park, which is six miles west of Burnet, is a 645-acre scenic park in the rugged hills. The Longhorn Cavern was created by great underground streambeds cutting out the solid rock. Its history includes legends of the outlaw Sam Bass hiding $2 million of stolen money here. Confederates used it as a place to make gunpowder during the Civil War.

Lyndon B. Johnson State Park and Historic Site is in Gillespie County, and two miles east of Stonewall. This 718-acre park is directly across the Pedernales River from the LBJ Ranch. Visitors can picnic, study nature, fish, and view the Texas longhorn cattle, bison and deer.

{Lyndon B. Johnson National Park memorializes the homestead of the former President and is his burial place.

The Race Barn at the Fairgrounds offers year-round simulcast horse and dog racing.


Austin Community College operates a center in Fredericksburg offering credit classes to the general public.

Texas Tech at Fredericksburg is a satellite campus with classrooms in two buildings. 

Senior Programs

Hill Country Memorial Hospital offers “Passport 55” which is a program for seniors. It helps with insurance claims, assists with issues such as living wills and power of attorney, mails a newsletter to members, offers free blood pressure checks, and plans and coordinates trips.


Hill Country Memorial Hospital is an acute care facility serving an eight county area and represents nearly 30 specialties. It was named by Solucient, a health information service, as one of the top 20 small community hospitals in the country in 2004.


Austin-Bergstrom International Airport is served by the major airlines with non-stop flights to more than 30 locations.


Average high temperature for January is 58 degrees and for July it is 92 degrees. Average lows are 33 degrees for January and 64 for July.


Standard Radio-Post –

Property Taxes

Gillespie County –

State Taxes

Chamber of Commerce

State Aging Agency


Stonewall – 14 miles
Kerrville – 24 miles
Johnson City – 32 miles
Austin – 78 miles
San Antonio – 70 miles
Waco – 181 miles
Abilene – 175 miles
Houston – 267 miles
Dallas – 270 miles

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