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Mini-boom hits second-home markets

Real estate parallels in Fredericksburg, Lake Geneva

The real estate event of the summer
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This past summer I had the good fortune to be visiting the town of Fredericksburg in the Hill Country of Texas. I was one of many, as this tiny, out-of-the-way burgh attracts a whopping 1.4 million visitors every year. Tourists come for the idyllic countryside of rolling hills, and old-fashioned Main Street stuffed with caf├ęs, restaurants and curio shops; sample the German cuisine of the town's founding fathers; and visit the important stops such as the Lyndon Johnson Boyhood Home and Ranch, and the National Museum of the Pacific War. What caught my eye about Fredericksburg, in terms of this column, was its location, close to two major cities, San Antonio and Austin, but not in between -- west of both. In effect, this vacationland spot formed a venue triangle with the bigger cities. It occurred to me as I was lollygagging about the quaint town, stuffing myself on German Tex-Mex food, that I had experienced this geographic triangulation before, in Lake Geneva, Wis., a vac...