Things to Do

7 Things to Add When Making Your Texas Hill Country Bucket List

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Exploring the heart of the Texas Hill Country should be on everyone’s bucket list. There’s no lack of things to see and do in this majestic part of our great state!

The tiny towns and two-lane roads, which drift out west of Austin, make up the heart of the Texas Hill Country. There are unexpected gems everywhere you look, some which many native Texans have yet to discover. The country sides are full of winding rivers, waterfalls, and creeks that flow through the bald cypress trees. Don’t miss out on seeing the beauty of glistening lakes cupped in limestone canyons, and the many rustic German towns with such fine names as Fredericksburg, New Braunfels, Boerne, and Kerrville just to name a few.

Here are some places which should be added to your Texas Hill Country bucket list:

1. Wrap your lips around some genuine Texas Hill Country BBQ.

Texas BBQ


In Texas, barbecue is more of a religion than a meal — and we take it very seriously. Eating authentic Texas BBQ is a definite must, and the Texas Hill Country is not lacking in places to choose from. Don’t forget the beans, coleslaw, cornbread, and all the sides. No matter where you travel in this beautiful part of Texas, you’ll come across some wonderful places, many which have been around for decades. Make sure you’re hungry when you go inside. These Texan folks love to spoil their customers and have them leave with smiles on their faces and their bellies full.

2. Stop and smell the wildflowers.

Hill Country bluebonnets


Normally, all highways, freeways, and roads serve a practical purpose: primarily to get you from point A to point B. However, in the the Hill Country, that’s not always the case. Driving through this part of Texas you’ll view the most beautiful wildflowers, vistas, rolling hills, large wide open pastures, lakes, and unusual and often mysterious pieces of nature which has been around for centuries.

In springtime, wildflowers adorn nearly every corner of the landscape. The most beautiful are usually found on Farm Road 1323, which heads west off US 281 just three miles north of Johnson City. For an even more dramatic drive, take the dirt roads and head towards the hills where you’ll see the most unique rock formations with unusual shapes. This will be where you will see and hear the most beautiful nature. Farm Road 337 is in the southern part of the Hill Country, west of San Antonio. It goes into the nicest of towns such as Medina, Vanderpool, and Leakey. There’s always something fun going on in these towns.

3. Spend some time in Fredericksburg and Comfort.



Point your car south to Fredericksburg where there’s an abundance of shopping (new, vintage, and antique), and the town is full of history, which will be of interest to everyone. Walking past the Sunday homes are an adventure in itself. Make sure you stop and visit at the roadside fruit and vegetable stands.

Also nearby is another town which belongs on your bucket list. This quaint little town is called Comfort, Texas. This urban community has so many interesting things to see and do. As you walk around this fun little town, you will see a tavern called Comfort Meet Market. You’re guaranteed to have a great time in there. It’s filled with the friendliest townspeople, and they’ll be happy to share all of the legends of years’ past, the best places to eat or visit, and entertaining stories of interesting facts which only the locals know. There’s always some great live entertainment provided. This is a baby boomers delight; you may never want to leave.

4. Cool off in Spicewood.

Kruse Springs in Spicewood

Photo:  Kelly and Skip Town

If soaking up some sun and cooling off in some fresh water is what you’re looking for, then head on over to Kruse Springs in Spicewood for the day. This 115-acre park has 32 springs plus a man-made swimming pool. There’s even a water rope swing if you need a bit of an adrenaline rush.

5. Soak up some live music in Luckenbach.

Luckenbach, Texas by Dan Pancamo

Photo: “Everybody’s Somebody in Luckenbach Texas!” by Dan Pancamo

Music plays an enormous part of the Hill Country culture. You can find some talented musicians in nearly all of the towns you’ll vsisit. If you’re into country and western songs, no doubt you have probably heard the famous tune about Luckenbach, Texas. Well, now you can see this iconic town in person. It’s tiny, but you’ll have fun rummaging through the old general merchandise store and post office. There is more to do in there than you can shake a stick at. There’s also a cozy little dance hall there. Under the-radar setting, you’ll find the Alamo Springs Café which is—as the owners claim—”inconveniently located in the middle of nowhere.” On weekends, local bands play on the outdoor stage. If its food you’re after, this is the best Texas food around… everything is homemade, hand battered and flavored just like we Texans like it.

6. Kayak to your heart’s content.

Medina.river, Bandera,kayak,kayaking,cypress

Photo: Flickr/texasparkswildlife

Add kayaking down the Medina River to your list. It’s a stunning view, and you can go all the way to Bandera County on the river. The Medina River doesn’t get the crowds like the Guadalupe, so you can have most of it to yourself as you spend several of hours of serenity listening to the sounds of nature in a kayak rented from the Medina River Company.

7. Star gaze until the stars fade.

Stargazing by Brandon Mangan

Photo: Brandon Mangan

Now if you love stargazing, (and who doesn’t?) you’ll find this famous song to be true “The stars at night are big and bright, deep in the heart of Texas”. Go to Tres Lunas Resort, which is a 112-acre spread that sits on a ridge with a small man-made light. But the night sky is just one reason to visit. The rooms are furnished in a style that could be called Tex-Zen—Western rustic décor.