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10 Lesser-Known (But Just as Interesting) Hill Country Destinations You Must Visit

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When people think of the Texas Hill Country, there are several hot spots that come to mind: Schlitterbahn, the Alamo, and a visit to the State Capital are places that everyone knows about and has probably already visited. The bad thing about these destinations is that they’re usually terribly crowded. The good news is that the Texas Hill Country is positively packed with other unique attractions–many of them less popular but just as incredible.

Here are 10 lesser-known Texas Hill Country Destinations that you have to check out:

1. Cave Without a Name, Boerne

Cave Without a Name

Photo: Facebook/cwanTX

Cave Without a Name is a natural, living cavern that some say the most beautiful in Texas. The Cave is filled with spectacular formations of Stalactites, Stalagmites, delicate Soda Straws, Cave Drapery, magnificent Flowstones, Rimstone Dams, and more.

2. Jacob’s Well, Wimberley

destinations

Photo: Flickr/Patrick Lewis

Jacob’s Well is an artesian spring that releases thousands of gallons of water a day and is the second largest fully submerged cave in Texas. While the Well is closed for swimming until May, visitors can still hike around and view Jacob’s Well in the meantime.

3. The Antique Rose Emporium, Independence (near Brenham)

Antique Rose Emporium

Photo: Facebook/weareroses

Specializing in antique roses, visitors to The Antique Rose Emporium can meander among the fragrant blooms at this emporium’s retail garden center near Brenham before deciding which roses would work best in their own gardens at home.

4. Farm-to-Market Route 473, Between Comfort and Blanco

fm 473

Photo: Flickr/Steve

This scenic drive offers sweeping views of the Texas Hill Country. It goes from Comfort to Hwy 32, traveling parallel north of the Guadalupe River and crossing many creek drainages. It features scenic views from the hilltops and off to the south.

5. Enchanted Springs Ranch, Boerne

Enchanted Springs Ranch

Photo: Facebook/EnchantedSpringsRanch

Part Hollywood movie set, part animal farm, and part historic recreation, the Enchanted Springs Ranch offers a true Texas experience!

6. Buchanan Dam, Between Burnet and Llano

Buchanan Dam

Photo: Flickr/TrishZatx

Buchanan Dam’s hydro-electric dam itself is a marvel of 1930’s technology and is still the longest multiple-arch dam in America (over two miles long).

7. Hill Country Beer Breweries, New Braunfels, Fredericksburg, Blanco

Breweries

Photo: Facebook/RealAleBrewing

The Hill Country may be famous for its wine industry but beer breweries are popping up all over, appeasing the taste buds of folks who enjoy their grains with a side of hops or malt. Visit such breweries as New Braunfels Brewing Company, Altstadt Brewery in Fredericksburg or the Real Ale Brewing Company in Blanco just to get started on your Hill Country beer tour.

8. Fossil Hunting in the Texas Hill Country

Fossil hunting

Photo: Flickr/Robert Nunnally

Believe it or not, the Texas Hill Country looked very different millions of years ago. Many areas were under the ocean and those that weren’t under water were populated with dinosaurs and other prehistoric creatures. Thanks, in large part to the limestone that’s so prevalent in this area, fossils are fairly easy to find–even for a novice. Places like Dinosaur Valley State Park in Glen Rose (though, not in the Hill Country) offer visitors a chance to (literally) walk in the footsteps of dinosaurs and do some serious fossil hunting.

9. The Hunt Store, Hunt

The Hunt Store

Photo: Facebook/thehuntstore

Grab a drink, nosh on some tasty food and catch some live music–all in the sleepy community of Hunt, Texas. The Hunt Store started in 1946 as a grocery store and has grown into the hub of the Hunt community and a place to get a true taste of what living in the Texas Hill Country is all about.

10. Cascade Caverns, Boerne

Cascade Caverns

Photo: Facebook/Cascadecavernstx

Not nearly as well-known (or as crowded) as Natural Bridge Caverns, Cascade Caverns offers a chance to get “up-close and personal” with the cave. The guided tours are small and limited to 15 people with guides who are knowledgeable and friendly.