Texas has everything. Texas is renowned for its diverse landscapes, which range from mountains and beaches to rolling hills and flat areas with miles of visibility. Although there are countless sites to discover in Texas, we’ve discovered that the Hill Country of Texas may be the ideal place to begin your Lone Star travels.
Simply put, the Texas Hill Country is stunning, and its vast area offers a variety of activities as well as some great places to stay. The Texas Hill Country is the ideal location for exploration and adventure, whether you want to gaze at an endless sea of wildflowers, eat delicious apple pie in the Texas Apple Capital, take a dip in a natural swimming hole, kayak along the Medina River, hike the second-largest granite dome, chase a waterfall, or find your own stunning Topaz gems.
Best Places to Visit in Hill Country Texas
Here is our list of the best off-the-beaten-path excursions in central Texas.
1. Discover the Texas Heartland
The Texas Hill Country’s central region is made up of small communities and two-lane roads that radiate westward from Austin.
There are rivers that meander through a profusion of bald cypress trees, dazzling lakes nestled in limestone gorges, and unassuming German villages with unusual names. View the top activities in Kerrville, New Braunfels, Fredericksburg, and Boerne.
2. Lie Down at the BBQ
In Texas, barbecue is a religion, and Cooper’s Old Time Pit Bar-B-Que in Llano, in the heart of granite country, is one of its sacred altars. Visit Cooper’s porch first, where smokers the size of a pool table fill the porch with the fragrance of mesquite.
Go inside to get the sides (potato salad, coleslaw, and more) after choosing a meat cut from the menu (brisket, sausage, ribs, or cabrito). For all of you who enjoy barbecue, this place is a must-visit (along with these other top Texas BBQ joints).
3. Hike to Gorman Falls
Traveling along State 16 via Llano and Ranch Road 501 to Colorado Bend State Park is one of Texas’ most beautiful wildflower drives. The park’s major attraction, Gorman Falls, is accessible only after a one-and-a-half-mile journey across untamed ranchland.
The final 100 yards involve a rocky drop down a steep trail to a grotto covered in moss and ferns, where six cascades plunge 60 feet into the air. The trip is well worth it because of the stunning waterfall scenery and the tranquil sound of the flowing waters.
4. Try Your Hand at Two-Stepping
Historic dance halls in the Texas Hill Country are well-known for continuing to offer weekly live music and dancing. The oldest continuously running dance hall in Texas is Gruene Hall, which opened in 1878.
Couples can be seen twirling about on the dance floor on the weekends. Other well-liked dance halls in the Hill Country are John T. Floore’s Country Store in Helotes, Mercer Dancehall in Driftwood, and Twin Sisters Dance Hall in Blanco.
5. Dance Hall in Luckenbach
The Hill Country’s culture is so deeply ingrained in music that one entire town, Luckenbach, is devoted to it. It was a favorite location of country music icons Willie Nelson, Lyle Lovett, and others.
The same-named song by Waylon Jennings is responsible for popularizing the moniker. Alamo Springs Café, which is “inconveniently located in the middle of nowhere,” is where you should go if you prefer a more low-key, unnoticed atmosphere.
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Enjoy hand-battered onion rings and delicious burgers with grilled onions and jalapeno chiles as garnishes. Local bands perform on the outside stage on the weekends.
6. Be an Astronomer: Resort at Tres Lunas
Do you know what the song says about Texas’s deep interior having enormous, dazzling stars? Visit Tres Lunas Resort, a 112-acre spread on a ridge with minimal distracting artificial light, to see them for yourself.
However, it’s not the only incentive to go there. Western-style rustic furniture with modern accents is used in the rooms. For those in need of some downtime, there are also yoga courses, massages, and wellness getaways available.
7. Kayak the Medina River
The Medina River, which travels to Bandera via tunnels of soaring bald cypress trees, does not draw the same throngs as the Guadalupe River.
So, when you enjoy a few blissful hours in a kayak hired from the Medina River Company, you largely have it to yourself.
8. Take a Second to Smell the Lavender
Roll down the windows and take a deep breath as you arrive in Blanco, which is approximately an hour’s drive southwest of Austin.
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When flowers start to blossom at the almost a dozen farms that make up the Lavender Capital of Texas in mid-May, some of which are open to tourists at the start of the flowering season, the air starts to smell like perfume.
The Blanco Lavender Festival, a weekend-long festival featuring a lavender market, free entry to a lavender farm, live music, and plenty of delectable cuisine, marks Blanco’s lavender harvest.
9. View the Italian Side of the State
An Italian-themed winery and restaurant may be found in Driftwood, nestled off a rural road. The 100% Texas-based Duchman Family Winery provides tastings every Friday through Sunday.
Get the lasagna from Trattoria Lisina, which is conveniently located next door and serves excellent Italian food, and finish your dinner with freshly made gelato.
10. Enjoy Texas’s Bluebonnets
Other later-blooming native flower kinds accompany bluebonnets, which typically start blooming in March and last through April. Van Chaplin, a photographer for Southern Living, drove more than 600 miles through the Hill Country to take pictures of flowers.
He offers this advice on how to find the most lovely flowers: “Stop by small-town cafes and ask the people. They are the people who know the country best.
Cities bursting with history and culture, as well as stunning scenery and small-town charm, surround visitors to the Texas Hill Country. The Texas Hill Country offers plenty of family-friendly outdoor activities to choose from and is home to picturesque rivers and lakes, rough terrain, and gorgeous flora.
The region offers a variety of fascinating natural and man-made sites to explore, as well as hiking, bicycling, swimming, tubing, and soaking up the warm Texas sun. Find the greatest things to do in the Texas Hill Country, one of the state’s most picturesque regions.