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15 Things You Didn’t Know About the Texas Hill Country

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From famous lawn gnomes to haunted highways, the Texas Hill Country boasts a ton of interesting facts and attractions. How many of these did you know?

1. We Have Castles

15 Things You Didn't Know About the Texas Hill Country

Photo: falkensteincastle.com

Three beautiful castles are nestled in the Texas Hill Country. They are relatively new structures, but they have the feel of their larger European counterparts, especially Falkenstein Castle in Burnet. Smythwick Castle in Marble Falls is the smallest property, and Castle Avalon in New Braunfels is inspired by Arthurian Legend.

2. Ghost Stories Abound

15 Things You Didn't Know About the Texas Hill Country

Photo: Flickr/Nicolas Henderson

If you’re interested in the paranormal, just take a drive around the Texas Hill Country. Check out the creepy Dead Man’s Hole in Marble Falls, the haunted Driskill Hotel in Austin, or take a ghost tour of New Braunfels.

3. Dig for Topaz

15 Things You Didn't Know About the Texas Hill Country

Photo: masontexastopaz.com

Topaz is the state gem of Texas, and you can only find it in Mason County. Gem hunters usually find clear or blue-tinted stones close to the surface around granite outcroppings in creek beds and ditches. Three Mason County ranches offer public topaz hunting: Bar M Ranch, Garner Seaquist Ranch and Lindsay Ranch. They charge by the day, and you keep anything you find.

4. Haunted Highway

15 Things You Didn't Know About the Texas Hill Country

Photo: Flickr/Adventures of KM&G-Morris

Devil’s Backbone is a popular, scenic drive through the Texas hill country is so haunted, it has appeared in books, TV shows and is the subject of a feature film. Legend says it is haunted by a Native American cattle herder named Drago, a wolf spirit, a miner’s widow, a wolf, Confederate soldiers, Spanish monks, and an especially creepy apparition that likes to make an appearance on the hoods of the cars driving along Purgatory Road.

5. Guinness World for Most Guitar Players – Luckenbach

15 Things You Didn't Know About the Texas Hill Country
Photo: Flickr/Shinta Bonnefoy

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