Discover some of the best kept secrets in the Lone Star State when you wind your way through Texas Hill Country! Saddle up in Bandera, the Cowboy Capital of the World, and ride through the serene landscape. After your ride, head to Medina for a slice of homemade pie in the Apple Capital of Texas. Continue your journey and seek out the German heritage of Kerrville and Fredericksburg. Next up, spot a Texas Longhorn at Lyndon B. Johnson National Historic Park. Then make a splash in the afternoon by taking a dip in Hamilton Pool Natural Preserve. Once refreshed it’s time to reflect on your Texas adventure with a wild night out in Austin.
San Antonio to Bandera
Drive less than an hour from San Antonio into Texas Hill Country and you will arrive into a different era – a town where cowboys are alive and traditions of the great West still exist. Bandera is known as the Cowboy Capital of the World. This charming town is dotted with hills, lakes, dude ranches, secluded cabins and wildlife. Take a pause, get on a horse and go on a trail ride to a chuck wagon meal. If riding isn’t your thing, head to town and kick up your heals to some honky-tonk music. Your inner cowboy/cowgirl will come alive before you know it!
Once the host of an international Apple Festival and still dotted with orchards, Medina, Texas has earned the name “Apple Capital of Texas.” This town is a must-visit on your road trip through Texas Hill Country. If the season is right, head to Love Creek Orchards to pick one of their many apple varieties. If it’s not apple picking season, still stop for a slice of apple pie that can’t be missed. If you need more apple goodies, head to the Apple Store (not to be mistaken with the computer store) for loads more apple treats.
Kerrville & Fredericksburg
In the heart of central Texas one might expect to find a BBQ festival, or cattle round up, but not a lively Oktoberfest or a popular biergarten! Texas Hill Country is home to several towns with rich German Heritage. Most notably are the towns of Kerrville, Fredericksburg and nearby Luckenbach. In the early days, this area prospered with flour mills, saw mills, farming and merchantile all started by German immigrants and town founders. Today, the town of Fredericksburg still bubbles with German influences, such as the Vereins Kirche Museum, but it has also become an epicenter for foodies to explore. Fredericksburg was awarded Best Small Town Food Scene in USA Today, but one should also not miss the food truck scene (and festival) in nearby Luckenbach, as well as the over 30 wineries in the area. Also, in Kerrville there is a wonderful Hill Country Museum located in the historic mansion of Charles A. Schreiner, an early immigrant to the area.
Lyndon B. Johnson National Historic Park and Johnson City
Learn more about the 36th United States President, Lyndon B. Johnson and head to his birthplace, ranch and final resting place at Lyndon B. Johnson National Historic Park and Johnson City. You can tour his boyhood home, his grandparents settlement cabin, his first school house and even the Texas White House (the home where he spent almost 20% of his time while in office.) If you visit on a summer evening, you may even be able to catch an outdoor movie under the stars.
Dripping Springs to Austin
About 25 miles from Austin is Dripping Springs, the Gateway to the Hill Country. This small town offers the perfect spot to grab a bite to eat, visit a handful of wineries and even sip a brew at a pub called “The Barber Shop.” Dripping Springs is also home to some of the best outdoor recreation, namely Hamilton Pool Natural Preserve for a quick dip and Milton Reimers Ranch Park for mountain biking, rock climbing and more.