Texas State Travel Guide/Hill Country
Welcome to the heart of the Lone Star State - the Hill Country region. Here, you’re not only in the middle of Texas, but you’re also at the center of everything Texas has to offer. You’ll find beauty all around you. The Hill Country is home to rolling hills that dominate the region, a breathtaking display of wildflowers found along roadsides in springtime, year-round lush green landscapes and plenty of splendid lakes and rivers beckoning you to take a dip or cast your line.
This region begins in west Texas in Crockett County, and stretches east to Austin, the state’s capital in Travis County. Mills County is the region’s northern point, and Kinney, Medina and Uvalde counties make up the southern border.
Austin, the jewel of the region, is host to many outstanding attractions and points of interest. History buffs can sate their desire for knowledge at places like the granite dome of the State Capitol building, which is taller than our nation’s capitol, the Lyndon B. Johnson Library and Museum or the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum. While you’re here, don’t miss the University of Texas at Austin campus (one of the largest in the country) and Zilker Park with its famous spring-fed Barton Springs pool. Do a little browsing at the eclectic shops found along South Congress Avenue.
There is, of course, no shortage of shopping opportunities everywhere you turn. Starting in San Marcos, you’ll find Prime Outlets and Tanger Outlet Center, which is the largest factory outlet complex in the state. Just north of San Marcos in the town of Buda, you’ll find Cabela’s, the eye-popping outdoor recreation mega-store that’s so large there’s a two-story mountain and gigantic fresh-water aquarium inside its two-story layout. There are also great antique stores found in cities like Burnet, Wimberly, Dripping Springs and more.
If water sports are more to your liking, you’ll find plenty of opportunities here. There are almost two dozen magnificent state parks here, most of which are located along lakes or rivers. So, if you like to fish, swim, waterski, pitch a tent and camp near a lake or river bank, you’re definitely in the right region.
But there’s so much more, beginning with the exciting Schlitterbahn water park in New Braunfels. Located alongside the spring-fed Comal River, Schlitterbahn features all kinds of water rides and activities for the whole family. It has been recognized as the top water park in the country for seven consecutive years. There’s also the Lyndon B. Johnson National Historic Park in Stonewall, which features the reconstructed childhood home and final resting place of the President. Down the road in Fredericksburg, you’ll find the National Museum of the Pacific War, which tells the story of Admiral Chester Nimitz and features displays and exhibits detailing the American and Japanese battles in the Pacific Ocean during World War II.
The region is also filled with heritage and historical museums, amazing underground caverns, historic structures providing a glimpse into the lives of early Texas settlers, wineries offering tours of their vineyards and wine-making facilities, wildflower and nature attractions, dude ranches that allow guests to relax or have a true cowboy experience, and plenty of venues to enjoy some quintessential Hill Country cuisine and music.
Enjoy the heart of Texas and have a great time in the Hill Country!