Things to Do

Texas Railroad Lovers’ Road Trip Through the Hill Country

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If you love locomotives, can’t get enough cabooses, and rave for railroads, you need to take this trip through the Texas Hill Country. From train rides to spooky, abandoned tunnels, you can experience railroads in the Texas Hill Country in a new way. Don’t miss this Texas railroad lover’s road trip through the Hill Country.

Hill Country Flyer Train

Austin Steam Train Association's Train Travels Most Weekends

Photo: Facebook/Austin Steam Train

Ride the rails on a restored diesel train with the Austin Steam Train Association. Train rides occur regularly on weekends, though tickets tend to sell out quickly. If you don’t know which ride to take, opt for the six-hour Hill Country Flyer. It takes two hours each way with a two-hour lunch break between. This ride gives you the chance to travel as people once did in the 1950s or 1960s. Don’t miss this opportunity to take a ride into history.

Old Tunnel State Park

An Old Railroad Tunnel Has Turned into a Bat Cave

Photo: Facebook/Old Tunnel State Park – Texas Parks and Wildlife

Visiting Old Tunnel State Park gives you a rare chance to see a Texas railroad tunnel. Due to the gently sloping landscape of the Hill Country, train tunnels are not very common. The train that ran to Fredericksburg once ran through this tunnel, but over time, many rail lines were decommissioned, including this one. Today, millions of bats make their homes in this tunnel from May through October. Try to visit when you can watch a bat flight. Seeing millions of creatures flying out of the tunnel at sunset will be a memory you will cherish for life whether you include yourself among railroad buffs or not.

Texas Transportation Museum

Texas Transportation Museum has exhibits on Texas railroad history

Photo: Facebook/Texas Transportation Museum

Explore a variety of types of transportation people have used through history, including trains at the Texas Transportation Museum in San Antonio. Your $10 admission gets you into the museum and it gets you a train ride around the property. Visit here if you have young budding railroad buffs because this museum has exhibits for the entire family.

New Braunfels Railroad Museum

New Braunfels Railroad Museum

Photo: Facebook/New Braunfels Railroad Museum

The New Braunfels Railroad Museum lets you get up close to both miniature trains and full-sized cars. Historic models give you a glimpse into the past, but you can also see current trains. Due to the museum’s location on active Texas railroad tracks, you will likely see modern trains pass by. Don’t miss this chance to juxtapose the past and present of train travel in Texas. And one of the best parts of a visit to this museum is the free admission.

The Antlers Inn

The Antlers Inn Lets You Stay in Cabooses Overnight

Photo: Facebook/The Antlers

Have you ever had a hankering to catnap in a caboose? In 1901 The Antlers Inn in Kingsland started life as a hotel for riders along the Austin and Northwestern Railroad from Burnet to Llano. But 21 years later, a fire destroyed the train depot, taking the Antlers Inn’s business. The following year, a private owner purchased the hotel and lived in it with his family for the next 70 years. In 1993, the family sold the hotel to its current owners who restored it to its original use and brought cabooses as additional sleeping quarters. These train cars sleep entire families in comfort and give you a great chance to have your own retreat next to Lake LBJ. A stay at the Antlers Inn is the perfect way to cap off a road trip through Texas railroad history in the Hill Country.