Austin Insider Guide - 2016/2017
Texas Hill Country
27 STOPS Worth Pulling Over For A HILL COUNTRY ROAD TRIP 23 miles from Austin to Dripping Springs 7 miles from Dripping Springs to Driftwood 32 miles from Driftwood to Johnson City 24 miles from Johnson City to Luckenbach 10 miles from Luckenbach to Fredericksburg 38 miles from Fredericksburg to Boerne 65 miles from Boerne to San Marcos 18 miles from San Marcos to New Braunfels 3 miles from New Braunfels to Gruene 21 miles from Gruene to Wimberley 34 miles from Wimberley to Lockhart 78 miles from Lockhart to Round Top 85 miles from Round Top to Georgetown 43 miles from Georgetown to Marble Falls Beautiful weather and picture-perfect views means it’s road trip season all year round in Austin. So put together your playlist, pack up your car and get ready to discover the small towns and heartfelt experiences of nearby Texas Hill Country. 01 Drizzle and dip your way through extra virgin olive oils and flavored balsamic vinegars at Texas Hill Country Olive Company, where the sprawling olive orchards and sweeping views of rolling countryside enchant. Dripping Springs 02 Tucked in the curve of an overhanging cavern, the breathtaking Hamilton Pool Preserve is a naturally made swimming pool that beckons you to cool off in its jade green waters or beneath the gentle rush of its waterfall. Dripping Springs 03 Mouthwatering aromas of smoky, sauce-slathered meats will greet you before you even walk in the door at The Salt Lick BBQ. Yes, folks, this is the original location, so pick an outdoor picnic table at this cash-only (ATM on site), BYOB legend, and get ready to see what all the fuss is about. Driftwood 04 Bluegrass, Americana, folk, Southern rock ‘n’ roll — it’s all onstage at the 30th annual Old Settler’s Music Festival (April 2017). Make a weekend of it, and bring your camping gear; there’s even a family-friendly camping area. Driftwood 05 Pair live music with a pint of locally brewed craft beer (such as the ultra-smooth Chocolate Pecan Milk Stout, brewed with Texas pecans and cocoa nibs) at Pecan Street Brewing. Johnson City 06 Follow in the footsteps of one of our country’s great leaders at the Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park, and tour the late President’s palatial ranch house — dubbed the Texas White House — that was once an epicenter of political activity. Johnson City 07 For a true taste of the Old West, stop by the Luckenbach General Store (a souvenir shop housed in a ramshackle 1800s post office) and the historic Luckenbach Dance Hall, still offering live country music concerts every night. Luckenbach 08 Escape to a rustic ranch surrounded by acres of serene countryside when you indulge in a day of spa pampering at The Back Forty of Fredericksburg. Don’t want to leave? It’s also a bed and breakfast, so you can stay overnight. Fredericksburg 09 Fill your face with some of the best eating around during the annual Hill Country Food Truck Festival in June. This family friendly feast also features live Americana music all day. Fredericksburg 10 Play the firm, fast greens, and navigate your way around challenging water features at the 18- hole, par 71 Lady Bird Johnson Golf Course. Fredericksburg 11 Taste the best darn pickles you’ve ever had at the famed Texas Carousel Antiques & Fickle Pickles. (And yes, they really do have antiques, too.) Boerne 12 Unwind in a healing salt cave at the luxurious Pure Sol Spa at Tapatio Springs Hill Country Resort, or play a round of golf on the Tripp Davisdesigned course. Boerne 13 Swoon over pristine vintage automobiles at Dick’s Classic Garage Car Museum, or show off your own classic ride during the Monthly Cruise In. San Marcos 14 Marvel at colorful glass creations at Wimberley Glassworks, and watch local artists in action during free glassblowing demonstrations. San Marcos 15 Zoom down winding waterslides, let the kids loose in a water fantasy playground, or grab an inner tube and float down an endless river at Schlitterbahn Waterpark & Resort. New Braunfels 16 McKenna Children’s Museum is the place to let little ones explore, imagine and play in the many themed interactive exhibits. New Braunfels 17 Kick up your heels at Texas’ oldest dance hall as you move to the tunes of performing musicians at Gruene Hall, built in 1878. Gruene 18 Who’s ready for a sky-high thrill ride? Harness up at Wimberley Zipline Adventure, and fly through the air over the canyons and creeks of Texas Hill Country. Wimberley 19 Dare yourself to take the plunge into the deep, blue abyss of Jacob’s Well, a popular swimming hole (literally) among locals. Or, just enjoy the scenic view as you sunbathe on the sidelines. Wimberley 20 Take a picture of the historic Caldwell County Courthouse, constructed of eye-catching creamand red-colored sandstone, and then tour the prison cells of the castle-like Caldwell County Jail, built in the early 1900s. Lockhart 21 As the oldest barbecue joint in Texas, Black’s Barbecue knows a thing or two about slow-cooking meat to absolute perfection. Beef brisket, baby back ribs, barbecue chicken — it’s all good here. Lockhart 22 Fall in love with Tara Royer Steele’s Hill Country sanctuary, Royers Pie Haven. The Pie Queen makes her goodies from scratch with lots o’ love. Try Bud’s Chocolate Chip Pie or Ann’s Pecan Pie. Round Top 23 Go treasure hunting for rare antiques when you peruse the goods at The Original Round Top Antiques Fair, one of the largest events of its kind in the state. You never know what goodies you’ll find. Round Top 24 Subterranean adventures await at Inner Space Cavern, a behemoth cave with delicate rock formations and prehistoric fossils. Bring the kids on an underground tour they’ll never forget. Georgetown 25 At San Gabriel Park, picnic in the shade beneath 200-year-old oak trees as you take in peaceful views of the San Gabriel River, or let the kiddos run free in the great outdoors at the park’s Creative Playscape playground. Georgetown 26 Take a behind-the-scenes tour of the production facility at Flat Creek Estate Winery to learn all about the winemaking process, and continue your wine education with a guided wine tasting and a stroll through picturesque vineyards. Marble Falls 27 Get a glimpse of life on the farm as you pick your own berries, pumpkins and more at Sweet Berry Farm. Your kids will squeal with delight (and it’s okay if you do, too) as they pet farm animals, explore the seasonal corn maze and indulge in fresh, homemade ice cream. Marble Falls
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