The Texas Hill Country is like holy ground for people who need an escape from their fast-paced lives.
The moment you enter the Texas Hill Country, your state of mind changes. You begin to breathe and relax. Everything slows down. The transition happens ever so slightly that you won’t even notice it. A Texas drawl sneaks into your speech, a craving for smoked meats tugs at your belly, and a country tune playing on the radio instantly connects you to the sweet spot of Texas. The place we like to call home.
Get set, Go!
The Texas Hill Country is known for its wineries, barbecue joints, and dance halls. It is an outdoor enthusiast’s dream filled with dude ranches for horseback riding, state parks for camping and hiking, and designated areas for hunting.
The region is surrounded by creeks, lakes and rivers which makes the Hill Country the perfect location to enjoy water sports like boating, fishing, tubing, and water skiing. For leisure, you can spend a day exploring craft shows, festivals, farmers markets, antique shops, and luxury boutiques.
If sightseeing is your thing, the Texas Hill Country is home to several historical sites, museums, and art galleries. Mouse over pictures for descriptions.
This is one place where you will never be bored. You can choose your level of engagement from a jam-packed weekend to a relaxing spa retreat. It’s up to you how you want to vacation, but I suggest planning multiple visits to truly experience the beauty of this Texas treasure. So let’s get set, and go!
Where to See. Eat. Stay.
Begin your adventure with a drive along the Texas Hill Country Trail to experience hilly terrain, winding roads and majestic ranches. I love entering the Hill Country from San Marcos off I-35 and taking Ranch Road 12 to Wimberley. The two-lane pastoral roads guide you through some of Texas’ most beautiful countryside. Not too far from Wimberley is a lovely stretch on Market Road 150 that goes from Kyle to Driftwood. Creeks, cattle, and vintage landmarks along this path always cause me to pull over for photos. But it’s the Willow City Loop near Fredericksburg that attracts visitors in droves during bluebonnet season. It’s simply breathtaking!
After you exit the Willow City Loop on TX-16 S, head to Fredericksburg for shopping and lunch. If you have time, check out Enchanted Rock, Luckenbach and Pedernales Cellars Tasting Room while you are in the area.
Be sure to take a day trip near Austin and stop by the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center to learn about the LBJ Wildflower Center's 288 acres that preserve Texas native plants, trees, and wildlife. The hiking trails and gardens are perfect for mediating and connecting to nature. Take binoculars and enjoy bird watching.
When you get hungry, barbecue is a must! The Texas Hill Country is the BBQ capital of the world. I suggest indulging in a BBQ crawl or mix it up with Southern comfort foods and farm-to-table cuisine. Wear your stretchy pants when you visit because Texans love to eat! Here are a few suggestions to get you started:
Kent Black’s Barbecue in San Marcos. Settle in with a sampler’s feast consisting of a beef rib, two slices of brisket, a link of jalapeño sausage, and a pork rib. Be sure to compliment your tray of meat with a side of mac and cheese, coleslaw, bread, and a glass of sweet tea.
Bluebonnet Café in Marble Falls. Go Monday-Friday at 3 pm to 5 pm for Pie Happy Hour for a taste of their legendary homemade pies. Or stay for dinner and try the chicken-fried steak with gravy served with three sides and a basket of fresh baked rolls.
The Restaurant at Sage Hill in Kyle. Feast on a 3-course, prix-fixe, farm-to-table gourmet meal. All products are locally sourced or grown from their gardens and chef-prepared daily. Dinners are open to the public by reservation only. So come here for a special occasion or romantic evening!
In Wimberley, the Blair House Inn provides first-class hospitality and luxury accommodations for guests who need to escape from their busy lives. 22 tree-topped acres, prayer stone lined trails, and tranquil gardens create the perfect environment to reconnect with mates and self. Blair House Inn’s nationally known on-site cooking school offers 2-day and 3-day themed, hands-on classes that are ideal for the vacationing food enthusiast.
In Kyle, the Sage Hill Inn is a compound of simple pleasures, good food, and modern luxury. It’s perfectly located– slightly off the beaten path, yet within close proximity to attractions, towns, and wineries. You can have it all: the luxury of a spa resort and the intimacy of a bed and breakfast. What make this place so special are the organic gardens, the well-marked hiking trails, and their farm-to-table restaurant. Be prepared to be spoiled!
In Stonewall, Rose Hill Manor is a beautiful plantation home located 15 miles from Fredericksburg and surrounded by wineries, museums, and shopping. They offer several private, luxury cottages with panoramic window views. Rose Hill Manor is the place for couples wanting a romantic weekend, an elegant cornerstone for mother-daughter trips, and a safe haven for anyone seeking a bit of peace and quiet. I love the chef-prepared, southern comfort cuisine makes this bed and breakfast a Texas treasure. It’s no wonder Rose Hill Manor has been featured in several travel magazines for their food and wine!
Never a goodbye
Every time I visit the Texas Hill Country, I discover something new. It’s always different, yet the same which makes leaving the Hill Country a hard thing to do. But in the Texas Hill Country, it's never a goodbye. It's a "I'll see you next time!" Because you know, you will be back soon for rest and relaxation.
I hope you love the Texas Hill Country as much as I do.