Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Ooh and Ahh in the Texas Hill Country

Folks travel to the Texas Hill Country to remember how it feels to forget time and to-do lists. 

Along the way they commune with nature, eat and drink the country's finest and embrace the seasons.

SPRING

March-April Flowers:  In years with rain, wildflowers riot along scenic drive Willow City Loop between RR16 and FM 1323 not far from Fredericksburg.  

For those who visit in dry years, cultivated wildflower fields bloom at Wildseed Farms in Fredericksburg, 100 Legacy Drive  Fredericksburg, (800) 848-0078. 

SUMMER

From mid-May until early September, water-lovers dive into fun among 65 acres of water slides, tube chutes, water coasters, a wave pool, body boarding, children's play areas and more at Schlitterbahn New Braunfels.



In early June, multiple lavender farms open for tours during the Blanco Lavender Festival.  Everything-lavender and local arts booths entice shoppers in the historic town square.

From May-October, nature-lovers flock to the sight of 3,000,000 Mexican Freetail bats spiraling from an abandoned tunnel at Old Tunnel State Park near Comfort. Rangers teach bat facts at pre-emergence programs Thursday-Sunday.





Other travelers venture underground for a view of time made stone; and respite from summer heat.

Natural Bridge Caverns on the outskirts of San Antonio features massive caves carved by aeons of drips, plus a drive-through wild animal park at 26495 Natural Bridge Caverns Road, 210-651-6101. 



Cave Without a Name offers perhaps the least-crowded tours of fantastic cave formations.  325 Kreutzberg Road,  Boerne, 830-537-4212. 



At Longhorn Cavern State Park, visitors walk through large sculpted tunnels and hear stories of the saints and sinners who frequented the caverns in earlier times.  Between Marble Falls and Burnet, approximately 6 miles west and 6 miles south of Burnet on Park Road 4, off of Highway 281, (830) 598-2283.


Kids of all ages beat the heat with a river seat around New Braunfels, floating their cares away in the cool of the Comal River and the Guadalupe. 






FALL FESTIVALS 

Mid-October brings the Gruene Music & Wine Fest, a combination of the Hill Country's finest cheer. 

In late October, the Fredericksburg Food & Wine Fest hosts entertainment, food and wine, 100 W. Main Square, Fredericksburg.

For art in late October, folks visit historic Gruene's Texas Clay Festival where over 60 Texas artists display their wares and demonstrate their skill

In early November, Wurstfest goers fuel up on German beer and sausage  and cheer on their favorite oompah band in nights of chicken dances and who-cares celebration.  A person might even be inspired to polka. 120 Landa Street, New Braunfels.



WINTER

Late November through December, the Hill Country Christmas Lighting Trail twinkles in sweet Hill Country towns.  Most displays are free, all sparkle.

Wine-lovers know that winter is the quiet season in Hill Country vineyards and wineries, a perfect time to visit without the press of crowds.  


For a wine-country weekend, enjoy award-winning wines along the Texas answer to Napa, the Fredericksburg Highway 290 Wine Road, where more than a dozen wineries and tasting venues offer everything from sweet to fine.

There are good grapes closer to Austin too, like Duchman Family Winery and Driftwood Vineyards.   

Or find any of the 36 wineries along the Hill Country Wine Trail.



But wherever and whenever you go, you'll find fun in the Texas Hill Country.

Copyright 2009-2013 Kathleen Scott, for Hill Country Mysteries. Unauthorized reproduction is prohibited.

3 comments :

TexasDeb said...

What a fun reminder of how to shape current weekend plans and what we can put on the calendar for weeks and months yet to come. Thanks for the roundup!

Pit said...

Hi Kathleen,
Thanks for all the good advice here in this article.
Incidentally, this morning I got a wonderful book anbout the Hill Country, "Texas Hill Country" by John Graves and Wyman Meinzer.
Best regards from southern Texas, and a happy 4th of July,
Pit

Lancashire rose said...

What a great place Texas is. I am so glad we got to live here, twice!