Tuesday, October 1, 2019

15 Activities Hidden in Texas Hill Country

15 Activities Hidden in Texas Hill Country blog cover image

Hill Country, located in the Edwards Plateau on the Central to South part of Texas, is considered the most beautiful part of Texas by locals. There is endless adventure, from beautiful resorts to winding rivers and German-style cottages, this list of 15 Activities Hidden in Texas Hill Country is sure to impress you. Buckle up and be ready to engage in all the aspects that the Hill Country has to offer.

Southside BBQ sign welcoming hunters and bikers

1. Barbeque Pit-Stop

Living up to one of the stereotypes in Texas, barbeque pits are a common necessity you will see driving through this great State. When you are ready to grab a bite to eat, stop at places like Southside BBQ in Cherokee, TX. The pitmaster here smokes up high-quality cuts of meat right off the highway. Everyone recommends ending with a bite of the banana pudding!

circular herb gardens as the sun rises

2. Fredericksburg Herb Farm

The town of Fredericksburg is filled with German culture. The Fredericksburg Herb Farm is a great place to visit because not only do you get to experience a wonderful part of this town, but it also doubles as a lodge. Kick-off your shoes and stay in the German-styled cottages. This herb farm is located only a few blocks from shops and activities located in Fredericksburg. After a fun-filled day experiencing early German settlers’ culture, the herb farm has a spa for its guests to relax in.

classic Beatles records displayed on the wall

3. Visit in Comfort

Pun intended. After you leave Fredericksburg, Comfort is what you seek. The town of Comfort is quaint and offers many vineyards and distilleries. With only 2,363 people this town is truly a small-town with a slew of cozy shopping experiences. One tavern named Comfort Meet Market is operated by a husband and wife who love to engage and sit with their patrons. This tavern offers good food, live music, and an atmosphere that is described as “oldie but goodie”. Tourists enjoy all this town has to offer and really gives a feel for how it would be to live in such a comfortable place.

4. Swimming Holes

With many different swimming holes to choose from, one of the most popular options is Blue Hole Regional Park. Located in Wimberley, TX this natural swimming hole is surrounded by 126 acres of untouched forest and grass fields. This swimming hole grew its name when the Dobie family opened it to the public in the 1920’s. Since then, the Blue Hole was sold to a private Austin partnership group that limited its access. The village of Wimberley entered into an option agreement that allowed for public use. Today many individuals and families flock to this swimming hole to enjoy a day filled with sight-seeing, swimming, and outdoor fun.

swimmers preparing to jump into the deep blue well

5. Jacob’s Well

Another “cool-off” spot in the Hill Country is Jacob’s Well. Admittedly, this sounded eerie and the feeling was justified. The 30-foot deep artesian spring is located north of Wimberley and has claimed many divers’ lives. This local spot is still a hot commodity amongst tourists because of its natural wonders. Jump off the cliff into the well and walk up the natural stone path while you take in the beauty of the bioluminescent algae and limestone patterns.

looking up through the trees at the stars

6. Sharpen your Astronomy Skills

Being able to take in the vast night sky is truly a gift. If you live in a place that has a lot of light pollution, then you are going to want to stop at this Hill Country gem: the Tres Lunas Resort offers 112 acres of beautiful star-gazing opportunities. Once you have mapped the Big and Little Dippers, this resort offers a vanishing edge pool, gourmet cuisine, and Texas Zen ranch hospitality. The resort is friendly and will accommodate your needs for a spa weekend or to fill that void in you that wants to experience the Texas nights.

golden leaves behind the Lost Maples entrance

7. Lost Maples State Natural Area

Fall is arguably one of the most gorgeous times of the year. With the Bigtooth Maple trees in Lost Maples State Park, you will never see more beautiful foliage than this. Accompanied by the large Uvalde trees are rare birds that live here like the Green Kingfisher and the Black Phoebe. Be sure to acquire or bring your Texas State Park Pass. This will gain you unlimited entrances into the park.

8. Tube the Medina River

The Medina River is a wonderful place you can escape to and relax. The Medina River Company in Bandera, TX offers tube and kayak rentals as well as a shuttle service. Depending on how long you want to float, the shuttle service offers multiple drop-off zones. When you’re done, enjoy some barbeque at their on-site BBQ truck “Chicken Charlies”. The company just asks that you respect the natural surrounding and not bring styrofoam chests or glass bottles.

a multi-level waterfall surrounded by trees

9. Gorman Falls

During the wet season in Texas, the Gorman Falls must be on your list of places to see. The falls are located within Colorado Bend State Park in Bend, TX. The towering 60-foot waterfall is complimented with limestone rock just like Jacob’s Well. It is a hike up to see the falls so be sure to pack your hiking shoes and dress accordingly.

hikers on the trail below Enchanted Rock

10. Enchanted Rock

One way to end the day is to sit atop the pink granite Enchanted Rock and watch the sunset. This gorgeous and serene experience is in Enchanted Rock State Natural Area just outside of Fredericksburg. A truly magical place like this deserves to be on the list. Here, you can hike, rock climb, picnic, geocache, and study nature but no biking or swimming is allowed.

water falling quickly between tall, wet rocks

11. Hamilton Pool

The Hamilton Pool Preserve is located on a 232-acreage park in Dripping Springs, TX. This preserve is a natural swimming hole like the Blue Hole and Jacob’s Well. It also is characterized by having a waterfall that drops into the box-like pool complimented with the same limestone patterns as previously mentioned watering holes. This pool is very photogenic because it looks as though it is part of an underground cavern. Due to its popularity in between March and October, you must obtain a reservation prior to your outing.

12. Peach Pickin’

There is nothing quite like biting into a ripe, freshly-picked peach. The way the juice flows down from your hand and onto your arm as you quickly try to wipe it off your chin. In Texas, the peaches are bigger and better. Take your friends and family over to the peach capital in Stonewall, TX. Businesses like Burg’s Corner offers a variety of different peaches ranging in sweetness and sizes. Get a basket and start picking to enjoy the full experience of Texas peaches.

a geared-up visitor shaking dirt through a sifter

13. Topaz Digging

The official gemstone of Texas is Topaz and it can only be harvested from the granite hills and creek beds of Mason County. In earlier days the Topaz was easier to find but with its growing popularity, farmers need to dig deeper and understand what they’re looking for. Topaz will look like frozen water or broken glass and come in a variety of colors including blue, orange, brown, green, beige, and red. Even if you don’t find topaz, the experience of digging and collecting is enough to enjoy yourself.

14. Hideaway Horseback Riding

Another bonafide Texas resort experience is The Hideaway Ranch & Retreat located in Bluff Dale, TX. This ranch spans over 155-acres in the Hill Country and has 10 cabins scattered through the woods along with endless amenities. Enjoy a true cowboy experience and see the land on horseback. The Hideaway offers a limited amount of horseback rides every weekend at just $50 per guest. Each guest must be at least 10 years of age and there is a 240-pound limit. If you are under 18, you must have a guardian accompany you. The Hideaway will ensure your safety by guiding you on horseback and most importantly they want you to have fun!

15. Bluebonnet Browsing

To find the best places to stop and take in the beauty of Bluebonnets, it is best to ask a local. Have a bite to eat at one of the many cafes in Hill Country and put bluebonnet fields on the list. Bluebonnets start to bloom mid-March and continue through late spring. Try to find a field that hosts other native flowers to capture the true essence of a Bluebonnet field.

Adventure awaits in the Lonestar State. Don’t let its formidable reputation scare you away. There is so much beauty in this State and with different hidden gems, there is something for everyone in your family. From plunging swimming holes to the fruits of the hills and gems in the dirt, Texas Hill Country is a place serenity and absolute beauty.