Blanco was settled in 1853 by pioneer stockmen, former Texas Rangers, immigrants and their families. So it’s always been an eclectic group of hard-working people who are deeply connected to the land and the major Blanco River which runs through the aptly named town. Only 45 miles away from both Austin and San Antonio, it’s a quiet and slow-paced refuge with prime access to those major cities. The town square is riddled with original buildings which surround the 1885 Historic County Courthouse which was lovingly restored by the Old Blanco County Courthouse Preservation Society. Market Days are held on the third Saturday of the month April through November on the Courthouse square with a special Christmas market day held in December.
Formerly just a ranch way-station between two rivers, Johnson City outgrew it’s few flimsy ranch out-buildings after being designated as the northern city in Blanco County over a barbecue luncheon in 1879. Over three hundred acres on the Pedernales river have grown into a thriving little town just 50 miles west of downtown Austin. Hometown to former president of the United States, Lyndon B. Johnson, Johnson City reflects that small town friendliness and approachability. Built on the convergence of HWY 290 and HWY 281, its 2,051 residents are proud to show off a glowing Christmas lights display to tourists during the holidays. Each year the calendar is dotted with gatherings like the stock show, a wild game dinner, a city-wide pig roast, and rodeo complete with carnival.
Fredericksburg was founded in 1846 and named after Prince Frederick of Prussia by the German immigrants who founded the town. Unlike many of the neighboring towns, the main street was not built in a rectangle around a courthouse, rather, it’s a long, meandering series of old structures built along US 290. To many, it has a very nostalgic “small town USA” vibrancy that attracts visitors from all over the USA and abroad. The budding wine industry and firmly established peach orchards mean that the agrarian countryside is still alive and well. Enchanted Rock State Natural Area is a marvelous nearby natural attraction creating an entirely unique topography in the area. Many residents live walking distance from Marketplatz, the town’s central park and home to a weekly Farmer’s Market and over 20 festivals held every year.