Fredericksburg, Texas – National Museum of the Pacific War and Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park

After a wonderful trip to San Antonio, we were off to Hill Country and Fredericksburg, Texas. We stayed at Peach Country RV Park in Stonewall, Texas. Its website boasts that it’s in the middle of wine country, and they aren’t kidding! I believe there are over forty wineries in less than ten miles. This was a great park with large sites, and after being in the city and along the coast, it was a welcome change.

Admiral Chester Nimitz

The Admiral Nimitz Gallery

Fredericksburg, Texas, is the birthplace of Admiral Chester Nimitz, Commander in Chief of the U.S. Pacific fleet and Pacific Ocean Areas during WWII. This beautiful building was once the Nimitz Hotel, opened by Nimitz’s grandfather who was a German immigrant. It is now The Admiral Nimitz Gallery, part of the National Museum of the Pacific War. It shows the more personal side of the Admiral and was one of my favorites.

Across the street and down the block to the west you’ll find is his childhood home. Look for the wine tasting room next to the Fredericksburg Brewing Company.

National Museum of the Pacific War

The National Museum of the Pacific War is located in the heart of Fredericksburg. With over 50,000 sq. ft. of indoor exhibit space, this museum has some amazing artifacts. And be sure to check out the outdoor gardens while you’re there.

Notice that a submarine is displayed half-submerged in the front.
This partial door is from the USS Arizona. You can see the black oil line as well as the small hole above it. Rescue divers cut this hole so they could look into the ship and see if there were survivors.

While we didn’t get a chance to visit it, the Pacific Combat Zone is a short walk from the museum. There, visitors can experience a wartime compound. Check the website above for details when planning your visit as they change periodically.

Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park

A short bike ride away from Peach Country RV Park is the Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park. This is the location of the LBJ Ranch, also known as the Texas White House.

Be sure to begin your day at the LBJ State Park and Historic Site visitor center. If you are driving, you will need a free permit to be on the grounds, which you can get there.

You can take a driving tour around the complex and walk among the buildings. “Air Force One-Half” is also located in a hanger at the end of the runway he had constructed on the property.

We chose to ride our bicycles along the winding roads that take you back to when he was a rancher before he became President.

The Johnson Family Cemetery is on the left as you enter the property. They ask that you be respectful and see the resting places from beyond the gate. Lady Bird Johnson is the large stone on the left and President Johnson is on the right.

President Johnson believed in preserving the land for future generations. He was a rancher first and went back to it after being President.

“It is impossible to live on this land without being a part of it, without being shaped by its qualities.”

Lyndon B. Johnson

Here are a couple of the buildings that had to be converted into a Secret Service Command Post and White House Communications Complex once LBJ became President. This Lockheed Jetstar is one of five in the White House fleet. President Johnson gave it the nickname “Air Force One-Half.”

“We have the power to shape the civilization that we want.”

President Johnson, “The Great Society” speech, May 22, 1964

President Johnson also believed in the power of a good education. In 1965 he signed the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. This act provided the federal general aid to education law and focused on disadvantaged children in city slums and rural areas.

As of this post, the Texas White House is closed for restoration as it was when we were there. However, there is still plenty to see for free.

I refer you to the website link above for the most up-to-date information.

NOTE: While we did not go, you might also be interested in Johnson City, 14 miles east, which is where LBJ grew up. This is also part of the National Historical Park.

Conclusion

There was so much to see and do in the Fredericksburg area. We highly recommend you take the time to visit both of these very important historical locations.

Next week: We wrap up our visit to Fredericksburg with a little german food, a visit to Luckenbach, and a hike up the Enchanted Rock.

We’re Mike & Jennifer Skinnell, and together we are The Rambling Quilter. We travel the country full-time in our 41ft. fifth-wheel pulled by our F-350 – affectionately named Beauty & The Beast. Mike still works part-time and Jennifer writes our blog, travel articles, and contemporary fiction. Our blog is purely for entertainment purposes. However, if you’d like to support Jennifer’s writing career, her author link is below.

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