The Texas Hill Country ranges from West of Austin and North of San Antonio, out to the western limits of the Llano and Frio Rivers, taking in such familiar Texas towns as Fredericksburg, Blanco, Mason, Concan and Junction. Here, the land reaches skyward just enough to be inviting, although the prickly pear and mesquite still stand guard to remind you that you are in the West. Cool and clear rivers run through this land, filled on Summer weekends with people escaping the cities, and their laughter and joy is like a siren call to others to follow suit. Here’s 10 of my favorite things to do in this land unlike any other.
Enjoy the World’s Best Waterpark in New Braunfels! Schlitterbahn means happiness, and there’s no better way to spend a hot Summer day than in the cool Hill Country waters! Named the Best Waterpark in the World for the 23rd year, Schlitterbahn offers two amazing parks for one admission, with thrilling river rides and slides, and a shuttle takes you to both parks. As of 2021, parking and coolers are still free, too!
Enchanted Rock State Natural Area, Fredericksburg Always a popular location, the exposed pink granite dome is very hot during the Summer, so is you’re looking to hike to the Summit, arrive very early, or try to obtain a very hard to get camping reservation. The other trails around E-rock are pretty amazing, too! Do watch your step and avoid the vernal pools, which may seem dry but contain delicate fairy shrimp that come to life after a rain, just like those Sea Monkeys you had as a child.
Bracken Cave Preserve, Comal County The world’s largest collection of bats or any mammal, the cave is the home to over 15 million Mexican free-tail bats who head out each evening in search of flying insects, and the spectacle is amazing to watch!
Float a River There’s nothing like slipping into a chilly, spring-fed river on a hot Summer day! Take your pick, the Guadalupe, Comal, Frio or San Marcos, they all offer a unique perspective on Summer.
Make a friend with a chicken in Luckenbach Live music keeps this little community going, where everyone is someone, even the rooster who wants to be your friend.
Ride a longhorn in Bandera The Cowboy Capital of the World invites you to explore it’s historic Downtown, and sit atop one of the longhorns for a photo op, although the numerous Dude Ranches have horses, which are much better for trail rides.
See Wild Eagles on Lake Buchanan, Burnet Vanishing Texas River Cruises offers excursions on Lake Buchanan to see the nesting Bald Eagles that call the lake home!
Sleep with (or at least nearby) the animals at Stay Asante, Dripping Springs Enjoy a weekend away from it all at this ranch located minutes from Austin, but feels more like Africa!
Cypress Valley Treehouses and Canopy Tours, Spicewood It’s hard to imagine a better adventure than sleeping in the trees!
Tipis on the Guadalupe, New Braunfels Located out on River Road, you can spend the night in a little more luxury than did the Native Americas when they made camp along the river!
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