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The Texas Hill Country, sun splashed hills rolling into the distance, is home to historic towns bursting with character, personalities, and great things to do. Looking for a fun weekend with festivals, fairs, shopping, food, sightseeing, and more? The Hill Country Current is full of articles, advertising and special events.
830-598-6740 • Fax 830-833-4246 • • P.O. Box 429, 714 4th St. #102, Blanco, TX 78606
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Johnson City – A Presidential Hometown

Johnson City is located at the crossroads of the Texas Hill Country, 48 miles west of Austin, 60 miles north of San Antonio, and 30 miles east of Fredericksburg. Johnson City provides the perfect getaway where you can visit our historic areas, enjoy our art galleries, visit our local vineyards, the famous Whittington’s Jerky General Store, Black Spur Emporium and Coffee Shop, Kara’s, The Treasure Chest, Pieces of the Past, The Old Lumberyard, DeLeon’s Outpost, The Historic Pearl, Hop To It Home Brew, Taste Wine + Art, A. Smith Gallery, and more!

Looking for somewhere to stay while you’re here? No problem, we have a Best Western as well as the Hill Country Inn. Thinking more of a Bed & Breakfast? We have many to select from including the Chantilly Lace Country Inn, Country Cabins Bed & Breakfast, Lighthouse Hill Ranch, The Sandy Road Guest Haus, Songbird Meadows B & B, Hillside Acres, and our newest facility - Stanton Ranch vacation rental home on a 2500 acre working cattle/goat ranch in the Texas Hill Country, located minutes south of Johnson City. We also offer several conveniently located RV Parks and Resorts, including Miller Creek RV Resort, Road Runner RV Park, and Pedernales Falls State Park. Looking for something unique? We have that too - check out the Exotic Resort Zoo where you can choose from one of 5 cabins, all of which have covered porches overlooking the large lake with over 80 species of wild animals roaming the ranch, as well as phenomenal hill country views. If you choose to stay here, you will also receive a free tour of the zoo as well as other amenities.

There is something for everyone in Johnson City! We are home to many fabulous contemporary artists and several extremely high quality Fine Art Galleries. Many nationally and internationally recognized artists show in our galleries. You can also visit The Benini Sculpture Ranch, Bunkhouse Gallery, the galleries on Nugent Avenue which include Taste Wine + Art (Kirchman Gallery), Western Art & Artifacts, A. Smith Gallery and LMC Murals, and Fine Art. We also have artisans, such as Two Moons Hye Jewelry, where you can treat yourself to one-of-a-kind jewelry!

Be sure to take time to visit our historical area, the LBJ National Historical State Park, which includes LBJ’s boyhood home and the Johnson Settlement. Guided tours are provided at the boyhood home at no cost. Nearby, in Stonewall, you can also visit the Western White House, the home of LBJ and Ladybird, where the entire first floor is now available to tour.

Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park proudly announces the opening of a new exhibit recognizing the Lady Bird Johnson Centennial Celebration that continues throughout 2012. This exhibit will be on display in the Park’s Visitor Center at 100 E. Ladybird Lane in Johnson City through December 22, the anniversary of the First Lady’s 100th birthday. The exhibit shares stories and photographs of Mrs. Johnson from her childhood to her death in 2007. The exhibit themes include her campaign through the South on the 1964 “Whistle Stop” tour and her love of nature and the outdoors. Aboard a train named the Lady Bird Special, Mrs. Johnson traveled through eight southern states in a four-day, 1628-mile campaign trip. She was stumping for her husband’s presidential campaign and reaching out to her fellow southerners upset by Johnson’s Civil Rights Bill. Panels highlight her visits to national parks in Texas: Big Bend National Park, Padre Island National Seashore, and Fort Davis National Historic Site. Most historians agree that President Johnson’s record fifty national park bills, more than any President in history, is attributable to Lady Bird’s influence. Mrs. Johnson’s press secretary, Liz Carpenter, said, “If she visited a national park, the tourist numbers tripled within a week. If she took a raft ride, this became the “in” thing to do.” The Visitor Center at Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park is open seven days a week, 8:45 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. There is no cost to see any of the exhibits, movies, or for tours of the Boyhood Home of President Johnson.

If you like fireworks, you should make plans to secure a room or RV site and enjoy the evening at our annual Spange Dangle event on July 4th. Check with the Johnson City Best Western, Hill Country Inn, and Chantilly Lace B & B for their special Spange Dangle rates. There will be a parade, food & craft vendors, beer & wine tents, live music, and the best fireworks you’ll see anywhere! For a fee you can also get your photo sitting atop Shotgun, a live Texas Longhorn. The fireworks and fun will take place along the banks of the Pedernales River at the Blanco County Fairgrounds on Hwy 281 in Johnson City. It’s a great family oriented event with folks from over 6 counties and beyond converging into the fairgrounds. If you want your expectations exceeded, this is the place to be on the 4th.

You can also explore our state parks, including Pedernales Falls State Park, located along the banks of the scenic Pedernales River and featuring picturesque waterfalls, abundant animal and bird life, fishing, swimming, camping, picnicking, hiking, and horseback riding. Also located along the banks of the Pedernales River is our newest park provided for you through the LCRA; The Pedernales River Nature Park - where you can enjoy nature, do a little fishing, or picnic under some gorgeous live oaks on the banks of the Pedernales River. This park is a day use park only and there is no fee. Maybe you would like to hunt exotics during your visit - that too is possible. Benson Farm and Ranch offers guided hunts, as well as fishing and lodging.

If you like to stay fit and desire a place to walk, Johnson City has a newly constructed 1.8 mile round trip hike trail from the Johnson City Community Park, past the Courthouse Square to the LBJ Park Visitor Center. You can extend the hike on both ends by walking through the parks and sidewalks. Walking and roller skates only, no bicycles or skateboards are allowed. A water fountain and memorial park benches are along the way. The path is not yet lighted at night. If you enjoy water recreation, be sure to visit the Johnson City Water Sport Area, located on the Pedernales River at the bridge on Highway 281 just north of town and next to the Blanco County Show Barn. It offers an easy launching area, ideal for kayaking, canoeing, picnicking, and fishing. There is convenient parking at the launch area, and there is no charge for use of the water area or parking.

While enjoying all the activities available, you’re sure to work up an appetite, and there are several places for you to fill up including Ronnie’s BBQ, AJ’s Pizza Shoppe, the Chrome Cactus, Friendly Bar Bistro (open evenings Thursday through Sunday, including live entertainment), Hill Country Cupboard, Pecan Street Brewing, Silver K Café, Texas 290 Diner, Dairy Queen, Big Daddy’s Dixie Fried Chicken, Al’s Grocery, Subway, El Charro, and El Agave. Prefer to create your own picnic meal? Just head down to the local Super S grocery store for whatever you desire; also inside the Super S is an Ace Hardware and pharmacy for your convenience.

Located in Johnson City is the Texas Hills Vineyard, providing a tasting room to sample their award winning wines, a gift shop, and an event facility, along with a delightful setting in the Hill Country, just a few miles from town. You can also make plans to visit the William Chris Vineyards in nearby Hye, where they not only have a reputation of great wines, but for having plenty of fun. If you head toward Stonewall, you can also take in Becker Vineyards, who also have a tasting room, gift shop, and a fabulous outdoor porch where you can enjoy the views overlooking their vineyard and lavender farm while you enjoy wine and cheese available for purchase inside.

Wine Road 290 wine trail, in cooperation with the Texas Pork Producers Association, invites you to participate in their Saturday, June 16th event. Each winery will team with a top restaurant in the Texas Hill Country to present Vino al Pastor. Vino al Pastor literally means wine & “Shepherd style” meat. Tacos al pastor is a Mexican dish adoption of a spit-grilled meat, usually pork, served on a taco. Each restaurant will prepare a recipe using pork shoulder meat, usually marinated with a blend of different spices and herbs, and some “summertime” presentation. When you visit the winery during the trail day of the event, you will enjoy a wine especially paired with the pork recipe. A great way to spend a Saturday in June enjoying Texas Hospitality at the wineries and finding out why we are the number 2 wine destination in the US (after NAPA)! There is no additional cost for this event; however, regular winery tasting fees will still apply and vary by winery.

Speaking of lavender, there are several lavender farms in Johnson City and nearby. Some of the farms welcome visitors. Miller Creek Lavender just off Hwy 281 on Miller Creek Loop is open each weekend in June on Fridays, Saturdays, & Sundays offering an exceptional variety of lavender products, including their best on the planet Lavender Margarita Mix. M & J Farms has purchased a fabulous peach orchard along Hwy 281 in Round Mountain with a great store on site where you can purchase tasty fresh peaches, lavender, and lavender products from their lavender farm and other goodies.

Do you like antique cars? If so you’re in for a treat! Owners and Car Clubs are invited to drive their classic, collector, antique, or hot Rod car or truck to town and park around the Courthouse Square on the 3rd Friday of each month from 6-9pm. Ground Zero is Pecan Street Brewing, a Brew Pub and Restaurant. Classic Chassis Car Club Austin LCCI is a local chapter of an international car club with over 2,000 members worldwide, four regions in Texas, and accepts members regardless of the make, condition, or age of their vehicle. Area businesses are sponsoring door prizes which will be distributed among drivers of classic, collector, antique, or hot rod cars or trucks who arrive by 7 p.m. This Cruise-In is Open to the Public and Free of Charge. More information is available at their website – www.3fjc.com.

Get ready for a great day of fun on Saturday, June 23rd at the 5th Annual Johnson City Antique Engine and Tractor Pull at the Blanco County Fairgrounds starting at 9 a.m. Tractors 1965 and back (Nebraska Test Book) and all engines are welcome - no fee for exhibitors. There is also a Kid’s Tractor Pull along with food, vendors, & horseshoes. Admission is $5 and children 12 & under are free. Show Plaques will be awarded to 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place. Come out and enjoy the day as a spectator or participant - this will be great fun!

Did you know that we have the “only” Bourbon Distillery in the great state of Texas? Just down the road in Hye, Texas is Garrison Brothers Distillery. Not only are they purveyors of bourbon, but according to several reliable sources, it’s the best bourbon you’ll ever taste. Garrison Brothers is not only dedicated to making the best bourbon available, they are also committed to using Texas products for their ingredients. Tours are available at the distillery- contact them for details.

Music is also prevalent here in Johnson City and in nearby towns, from Thursday evenings at the Silver K Café, to weekends at the Friendly Bar Bistro, Saturday evenings at Pecan Street Brewing, 2nd Sundays at Taste Wine+Art (Kirchman Galleries), The Hill Country Pickers Circle on Sunday evenings at the Friendly Bar Bistro, and many other musical events in or near Johnson City, where you can spend a wonderful evening listening to some great artists.

Once you visit our spectacular little piece of the Hill Country, you just might decide you want to come back to stay. If you do, we have several realtors ready to assist in the purchase of your piece of the Hill Country. Feel free to contact Anders Realty Group, Carol Bigott, Century 21 Town Creek Properties, Janice Fox, Home Ranch Realty, or Star of Texas Real Estate.

The views of our hills are heavenly and nothing is more relaxing than listening to the water run along the banks of our beloved Pedernales River. We also have many churches both denominational and non-denominational who welcome you. Check out the events calendar on our website to see what’s going on when you plan to visit. Johnson City is a great place to visit, and better yet, you can stay here amongst the Texas hills, enjoy our small town atmosphere, and make day trips to nearby areas. For more details on Johnson City visit their website at johnsoncitytexaschamber.com].

More from the June 2012 issue More from Johnson City, Texas
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The Texas Hill Country, sun splashed hills rolling into the distance, is home to historic towns bursting with character, personalities, and great things to do.
Looking for a fun weekend with festivals, fairs, shopping, food, sightseeing, and more? The Hill Country Current is full of articles, advertising and special events.
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Phone 830-598-6740 • Fax 830-833-4246
P.O. Box 429, 714 4th St. #102, Blanco, TX 78606-0429
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