As we traveled east, we encountered mesas and lots of hills. North and west of San Antonio is the Texas Hill Country, an area we have grown to love. The area is filled with live oak, mesquite, and cypress trees, springs, rivers, lakes, waterfalls, limestone, pink granite, small charm-filled towns, and wildflowers (in season).
A few of my favorite towns in the Hill Country include:
- Fredericksburg: a town settled by Germans, with much of the German influence evident today. In Fredericksburg you will find:
- National Museum of the Pacific War. What's that you say? Museum of the Pacific War in south Texas? Why, oh why, would it be there? Because someone named Admiral Nimitz grew up in Fredericksburg. The admission to the museum includes two days because it is such an extensive collection, starting with the factors leading up to WW II, going all the way through WW II, all the theaters, then the signing of the Japanese surrender on board the USS Missouri.
- Vereins Kirche/Pioneer Museum
- Maibaum (May pole)
- Wild Seed Farms: one of the nation's largest working wildflower farms. Spectacular blooming gardens in the spring, fun gift shop.
- Enchanted Rock State Natural Area
- Gillespie County wineries and vineyards
- Many antique stores
- Treue der Union Monument
- Old downtown streets filled with historic markers on the buildings
- Joshua Springs Preserve: Picnic areas, river, walking trails, event center
3. Wimberley attractions
- The Blue Hole: A gorgeous swimming hole, frequently ranked as "One of the 10 Best Swimming Holes in Texas.
- Mt. Baldy (Prayer Mountain): Challenge yourself hiking the stairs to the top. Go for the view, the exercise, and take your camera!
- Cypress Creek Nature Trail: Walk along Cypress Creek. (Note: This trail may have been damaged by the flood in October 2013 - check locally before going.)
- Jacob's Well Preserve: much touted, but not a lot to see. When we were there, the swimming hole was overgrown with green algae everywhere except where the spring came out. The well can pump thousands of gallons per minute into Cypress Creek from its underground caverns. This is one of the longest underwater caves in Texas and an artesian spring. (Note: The October 2013 flood damaged the rock ledge on one side of the well.)
- Fun shopping, dining and exploring in this historic town
- Austin: state capital. Especially visit Barton Springs and Lady Bird Lake
- Gruene (pronounced "green")
- Pedernales Falls State Park: interesting look at a river that can become a raging torrent in a downpour
- Hamilton Pool: another fantastic Texas Hill Country swimming hole. Get there early! There are only 70 parking spots, when they're full you have to wait in line in your car until someone leaves, then one car at a time enters as people leave.
- Johnson City: Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park
- Stonewall: Lyndon B. Johnson State Park and Historic Site. Take a driving tour of Lyndon Johnson's Ranch and tour the Texas White House.
- Krause Springs: Beautiful pool AND a natural swimming hole, butterfly garden, picnic area.
- McKinney Falls State Park: two swimming holes, one at each waterfall
|Krause Springs - swimming pool|
|Krause Springs - swimming hole with waterfall|
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