The Texas hill country is truly one of the most beautiful areas of Texas. Geographically it is roughly the area defined by the Edwards Plateau. The scenery is lovely, the people are friendly and the activities available are wide and varied. Everything from wineries to dude ranches. Fredericksburg is the central location within what would be considered the hill country. Fredericksburg is a German community settled in the late 1840's. The German influence is still strong; names like Klein, Schwertner, Weinheimer, Ersch, Knopp, Loeffler and even Jacoby are still common in the area. There are beautiful rivers like the Guadalupe, the Pedernales, the Frio, the Sabinal, the Medina and the Llano (one can see a bit of the Spanish influence there.) These rivers are lined with large cypress, oak, pecan and elm trees.
It has long been a well kept secret from non-Texans. That has ended. The New York Times puts the hill country as the number one vacation spot for the summer of 2008. Fredericksburg was already nothing more than a tourist spot. Now the rest of the region is in danger of becoming something quite not authentic. But know that you will always be made to feel welcome. This is a happy circumstance for the region economically, but there is always a lot lost in translation.
Hat tip to the Lady from Ipenema.