Texas Hill Country weekend getaways are plentiful. The Hill Country is just chock full of things to do: see for yourself through these awesome photos.
From staying in the beautiful city of Austin, the capital of Texas, to exploring the numerous Texas getaway spots, you will find plenty to do in Hill Country.
Austin can be summed up in one word: cool. I’ve lived in Texas for almost 40 years (gasp!), and Austin has always been a fun place to be, whether you are a college student, a resident or a visitor. It is also a vibrantly, active city.
The river runs through the center of downtown (but it is known as Town Lake, or Lady Bird Lake), and nature exists right in the heart of the city. People are jogging, paddleboarding, kayaking, walking…and there are dogs with their owners everywhere. I love kayaking and have been on Lady Bird Lake many times.
One of the most remarkable things to do in Austin is to see the bats. Free-Tailed Mexican Bats migrate to Texas yearly, from March to October. Bats are necessary for the environment, but most people just love to see them fly from under the Ann W. Richards Congress Avenue Bridge at sunset. Austin is the largest urban bat colony in the world (yes, I said the world!). People come from all over to watch a million and a half bats take to the skies at sunset.
There are so many ways to view them in Austin. Visitors can watch from the bridge, from kayaks and boats on the Colorado River, and from buildings in downtown. Get there early for a good spot because the bats come out at sunset, and they emerge on their own time. Bat Conservation Intl has all the information on where and how you can watch the bats!
Things to Do in Hill Country
Staying on or around a lake is among the magnificent Texas Hill Country getaways. These are also day trips from Austin. There are several lakes to choose from, the most famous being Lake Travis. But, there are others like Canyon Lake and Lake Buchanan, too.
Lake Buchanan is small, but on the shore of the lake is Fall Creek Vineyards, in Tow, Texas. Fall Creek often has events, and my favorite is the grape stomp in late summer. Texas Hill Country happens to be very similar to the wine country in France, so many vineyards have popped up. You can even go on the Texas Wine Trail.
Hamilton Pool is a traditional swimming hole in the Texas Hill Country. About an hour outside Austin, Hamilton Pool is a fun hike and beautiful to see. It empties into the Pedernales River, spilling over limestone outcroppings to create a 50-foot waterfall. The pool is about a mile from the entrance. It is Hill Country, so the trail meanders up and down, up and down. The path is rocky and uneven with plenty of gnarly roots.
Hamilton Pool is one of those places where generations of people have enjoyed the “swimming hole”. The water is cool and green and looks inviting, but unfortunately, there are times when one cannot swim because of high bacteria levels. I imagine Lyndon B. Johnson, a Hill Country native, cooling off in the waters of Hamilton Pool.
A trip to Krause (pronounced Krausey) Springs is a must. The privately-owned 115-acre property is listed on the National Registry of Historic Sites and is a famous Hill Country swimming hole and camping destination. Krause Springs is located about 30 miles northwest of Austin and is a day trip or a destination in itself.
There are 32 springs at Krause and several of them feed the manmade pool and the natural pool which flows into Lake Travis. It’s a refreshing swim during the hot Hill Country summers, and it is also quite beautiful. If you want to camp, there is primitive tent camping as well as 24 RV sites with water and electricity hookups. Be sure to see the Butterfly Gardens and sit to enjoy the wind chimes.
Jacob’s Well is in near Wimberly, Texas. You need reservations to swim here, so be sure to call first. I cannot think of a better description than ” most significant and largest continually flowing karstic spring in the Texas Hill Country,” as shared on their website.
Wildlife depends on the spring, which forms the headwaters of Cypress Creek, a few miles north of Wimberly. Limestone cliffs and native vegetation surround the spring with enchanting beauty for visitors of all ages. I hope you enjoy this popular year-round recreational area and educational, ecological resource. There are 81 acres to explore, so go early!
Texas Hill Country for Animal Lovers
If you are an animal lover, that is a bonus to Texas Hill Country weekend getaways. There are always animals, wild and domesticated, dotting the landscape. The most recent excitement I experienced in Hill Country was stopping the car to look at an actual herd of Longhorns. The ranch was off of Route 281, which is the “back way” to Austin. The owner came out and introduced me to the herd. It was amazing to be so close to them.
The owner said that Longhorns are very chilled out, but caution is necessary because of their horns, which could hurt a person pretty severely, I imagine. He says he goes out in the field with them all the time.
Just another unexpected treat on a Hill Country weekend getaway!
Article Written by Tam Warner Minton of Travels With Tam!
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