Charity De Souza is a Florida native and travel enthusiast. Traveling to over 50 countries abroad and residing in 6, she has a passion for exploring new cultures. While Central Florida is where she calls home, her favorite travel memories include skydiving in Switzerland and watching the sunset in Morocco.
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A mix of stunning landscapes and small-town charms, visitors to the Texas Hill Country are surrounded by cities packed with rich history and culture. Full of family-friendly outdoor adventures choose from, the Texas Hill Country is home to scenic rivers and lakes, rugged terrain and beautiful fauna. With a range of both man-made and natural attractions, the area boasts an array of unique gems to explore where hiking, biking, swimming, tubing and soaking in the warm Texas sunshine reigns supreme. One of the most scenic area’s of the Lone Star State, discover the best things to do in the Texas Hill Country.
The “Live Music Capital of the World,” Austin is home to more than 100 live music venues. Situated in the center of the Lone Star State, Austin boasts year-round sunshine and an array of outdoor activities and attractions for all types of visitors to enjoy. Take a stroll along Rainey Street to find a variety of one-story bungalows that have been converted into unique eateries and bars that highlight the city’s unofficial motto “Keep Austin Weird,” or see the city from the water in a kayak with a tour around Lady Bird Lake that runs along the downtown skyline. Make sure to sample some of the city’s famous BBQ before you leave, and spot some of the colorful murals that are peppered throughout the downtown area.
A heavily German-influenced town, Fredericksburg is full of beauty and charm. Boasting a rich history, the city has long attracted visitors who are lured in by the area’s natural beauty, quaint downtown, and its variety of vineyards and wineries. Stroll down the historic main street, indulge in wine tastings or shop for souvenirs at the array of charming shops, as Fredericksburg is one of the most popular Texas Hill Country destinations. Explore artifacts at the National Museum of the Pacific War, go hiking at nearby Enchanted Rock and rest your head after a day of adventure at one of the lovely Bed and Breakfast accommodation choices.
A picturesque area with shady oaks and winding roads, Wimberley is a compact town with loads of charm. Nature lovers can visit the famous Blue Hole Regional Park and Jacob’s Well for stretches of cool water or take a scenic drive to Devil’s Backbone, while those who rather stay nearby can purchase hand-blown glass from Wimberley Glass Works and sip on wine at the Wimberley Valley Winery. Captivating art galleries, shops and performing arts venues dot the area, while Old Baldy Mountain leads to a sweeping panoramic vista that will take your breath away. Don’t miss the migrating birds at The Edwards Plateau or shopping experience for cowboy boots at the famous Wild West Store.
Located right outside of Braunfels and 25 miles north of San Antonio, visitors flock to Gruene, pronounced “Green,” due to its array of vibrant shopping, dining, and recreation opportunities. A thriving historic district, Gruene offers a glimpse of Texas history and stands proudly on the National Register of Historic Places. Antique lovers find plenty of unique treasures, while music lovers and river sports enthusiasts will have plenty of activities to fill their vacation itinerary. The city is also home to the oldest dance hall in Texas, where famous legends like Willie Nelson and George Strait have performed.
The hometown of President Lyndon Johnson, Johnson City is known as the “Crossroads of the Texas Hill Country.” Visit the Lyndon B. Johnson National Historic Park and the Sauer-Beckman Living History Farm to take a look back in time and tour the “Texas White House.” Swim in the pristine waters of Pedernales Falls State Park and unwind with an adult beverage at the Pecan Street Brewing and Garrison Brothers Distillery. For a unique experience, head to the Exotic Resort Zoo to observe over 500 wild animals and 80 species spread across 137 acres of lakes, creeks, and forest.
A small community 13 miles away from Fredericksburg, Luckenbach originates in deep western roots where you can visit a working saloon, dance hall, and postcard-worthy general store. Boasting big name performers such as Willie Nelson and Lyle Lovett, country music is popular, and the area hosts a variety of live music events throughout the year. The town’s motto “Everybody’s Somebody in Luckenbach” still rings true, as this small town is a place where songwriters and music lovers flock to in order to pay homage to some of the biggest music legends in Texas.
A small town with lots of charm, Kerrville offers excellent dining, shopping and a quaint historic downtown district and main street perfect for a day of exploring. Don’t miss the fascinating exhibits at the Museum of Western Art before indulging in one of the area’s many recreational opportunities. Outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy the tranquility of Kerrville, where you can go hunting, fishing, birding, and hiking, while those in need of a bit of culture will be spoiled for choice with excellent museums, theaters, and art galleries. Home to exciting musical and theater arts groups, the city is also home to the annual Texas State Arts and Crafts Fair.
Named after Braunfels, Germany, New Braunfels is located on the three-mile Comal River. New Braunfels is also popular for its array of family-friendly attractions. Head to Landa Park to spot giant oak trees and walk along scenic walking trails, or spend an afternoon indulging in a round of mini-golf or trying your hand at catching a fish at the pier. The city is also home to the famous Natural Bridge Caverns, and wild animal experiences can be found at the Animal World Snake Farm Zoo.
The biggest town between Austin and San Antonio, San Marcos is known for its array of budget-friendly shopping opportunities. Boasting some of the best outlet malls in the country, visitors who come here will also find outdoor adventures available, where they can spend the day tubing, canoeing, swimming, and fishing. Visit the crystal-clear Aquarena Springs, go outlet-mall shopping at Prime Outlet or head downtown for an abundance of bars, restaurants, boutiques and music venues.
Located around 25 miles west of Austin, Dripping Springs is often referred to as the Gateway to the Texas Hill Country. Boasting beautiful landscapes of rolling hills and deep creeks, it’s a scenic area away from the hustle and bustle of the city. The Hamilton Pool Nature Preserve is a must-see attraction, where visitors can go hiking or swim through its picturesque natural water pool. Taste some authentic Texas BBQ at Salt Lick BBQ, or sample some of the award-winning olive oil at the Texas Country Olive Company. History enthusiasts might enjoy browsing the Dr Pound House Museum, the city’s oldest building with public tours available.
Popular for its prime location, Marble Falls is near five picturesque lakes and some of the state’s top wineries. With rich Texas history, visitors will find an abundance of outdoor activities to choose from in addition to excellent shopping opportunities. Whether you want to go sightseeing, golfing or spend time outside, Marble Falls has it all. Lake LBJ Marina is home to a water park open throughout the summer for swimming, while Lake Marble Falls is ideal for fishing. Pace Bend Park is filled with hikers and bike enthusiasts, while those who want to spend a night under the stars will find plenty of camping facilities available.