Fredericksburg Is Celebrating Its 175th Birthday!
With a variety of family-friendly events highlighting its unique German heritage, this is the perfect time to discover the history and culture that have made Fredericksburg great from the very beginning. From museums to delicious German food, historic Hill Country getaways and unique, cultural events, this is how we’re celebrating this special occasion this summer.
Step back in history and experience Fredericksburg as it was in the 1800’s when settlers first arrived. With innovative and interactive exhibits, these will be fun day trips for the whole family.
Fredericksburg is a unique German settlement with a fascinating history. Visit the Pioneer Museum, a combination of a museum and a historical site, in downtown Fredericksburg Monday-Saturday from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm to learn about the Germans who settled the town in 1840. With hundreds of everyday artifacts of the earliest pioneers displayed throughout 10 buildings--4 of which are in their original spot from early Fredericksburg--visitors are welcome to explore on their own or take a guided tour. Find out more about Pioneer Museum here.
Sauer-Beckmann Living History Farm at Lyndon B. Johnson State Park and Historic Site
Visit 1860’s Hill Country at this living history farmstead complete with period furnishings. With friendly park rangers dressed in historical clothing working at the farm, kids and adults alike can step back into history and watch daily chores like feeding, milking, gathering eggs, churning butter, and working in the garden and blacksmith shop. Be a part of the action with seasonal activities like sausage making and sheep shearing. Admission is free, so come one, come all! More details here.
If you’re passionate about German food, no need to hop on a plane to find the best bratwurst. Fredericksburg is nationally celebrated for its local food scene. Here are a few of our German favorites.
If authentic is what you’re looking for, make your way to this authentic Bavarian brewery with premium beers brewed by the historic German purity law of 1516. Altstatdt’s German-style beers are made under the direction of a world-renowned German Brewmaster with hops, barley and yeast imported directly from Germany itself, so you know you’re getting the very best. With 120 acres, a restaurant, brewery tours and a to-die-for brunch menu, this is one of Fredericksburg’s finest. More details here.
Opa’s Smoked Meats
Family and tradition run deep in Fredericksburg, and nothing represents that better than Opa’s. Family run since 1947 using authentic German recipes that have been in the family for generations, Opa’s offers a selection of German specialty foods, from sausage to smoked beef, pork, chicken, and turkey. They also offer legendary gift boxes, so you can bring the celebration home with you to enjoy.
Check out the long list of Fredericksburg restaurants boasting authentic German fare here.
One of the most unique ways you can experience Fredericksburg history is to stay in a “Sunday House,” a local home that was used by early settlers when they would come into town to conduct business, shop and attend church services. Many of these historic homes have been renovated and are available for rent, so you can get a view of Fredericksburg from a 19th century porch!
Metzger Sunday House
This adorable gingerbread-style home built in 1898 is just one block off of Main Street in the Historic District. Guests can enjoy the traditional Sunday House-style covered porch and watch the world go by from the swing or spend an evening in surrounded by beautiful antique furnishings.
Flagstone Sunday House
Four people can enjoy this sophisticated home that was built over 100 years ago and renovated with beautiful Scandinavian design. Located within walking distance to downtown Fredericksburg, guests can enjoy the fun activities Main Street has to offer then easily dash back home to enjoy the Adirondack chairs around a stunning outdoor fireplace in the backyard.
Ongoing Free Events
Tour of the Historic District
Enjoy a self-guided walking tour of the Historic District any time you please to view Fredericskburg’s iconic architecture. The walking tour includes homes as well as historic buildings that have become home to museums, restaurants and churches. Printed maps are available for free at the Visitor Information Center at 302 East Austin Street.
“The Art of Fredericksburg: 175 Years” Art Exhibit
Running now through September 19th, this exhibition will feature more than 60 original pieces of art from over 30 well-known artists from Fredericksburg’s 175 year history. Pieces include oil paintings, original sketches and the beautiful watercolors that the Hill Country area is so known for. Visit the George H.W. Bush Gallery at the National Museum of the Pacific War from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm daily to view this stunning collection.
Keep an eye on the official 175th town website, where information is displayed on additional cultural events being held throughout the calendar year.