It was a gray and spritzy day, so we headed to the biggest town around - Fredericksburg. The Hill Country is definitely a touristy area, but we've marveled at the absence of T-shirt shops and other typical tourist stuff for sale. That's because it's all located in Fredericksburg. However, this attractive town has placed these souvenir and gift items in the beautiful, historic shells that housed the original residents, many of them German immigrants. A number of signs were in German with subtitles, quite a change from all the Spanish we saw in the Rio Grande Valley. As one of the signs said, this town is full of "needless necessities." The restaurants tended to be higher end and many had a German item or two on their menus. And the gift shops sold nothing that you could find at Walmart. It's a 'ladies who lunch" kind of place and business was good today.
Adm. Nimitz of World War II naval fame, was born here and an excellent museum commemorating the war, especially the Pacific theater is located here. We visited last time we were here.
The area is also noted for vineyards, the second most popular wine trail in the US according to the a brochure. Supposedly the climate and soil are similar to southern France. Because the Hill Country is about 1,000 feet higher than nearby Austin, the summer heat and humidity is less overwhelming here. Give me a break! We've been to many other spots - NE Washington, the Finger Lakes region of NY, even Michigan, that had equally nice vineyards and popular places to sample. We didn't sample much. The $10/head charge at each vineyard to do so put us off a bit. However, the wine shops had nice collections of wine from the area vineyards and let us taste and compare more without an additional charge. You can guess who got our business.