My travel suggestions for Texas are limited. I’ve been there several times, did Dallas and the history around JFK’s assasination but it was a long time ago and before I started journaling.
My highlights below are for the Hill Country and San Antonio based on two trips I took in 2016.
Texas Hill Country
Where Is It?
Texas Hill Country is the central part of the state known for the rolling plains and grassy prairies of the Edwards Plateau. It’s west of Austin and north of San Antonio, so those are your closest airports. Hill Country is all about the drive, so depending on where you live driving in might be the way to go.
You can reference the map above when starting your research. I was headed to Hill Country during Oktoberfest so my first destination was Fredericksburg which has a large annual Oktoberfest festival.
Fredericksburg has a German heritage, thus the festival but is also know for wineries. It has a charming town square (marketplatz) with both German and Western shops and food.
There are several accommodation options around the village, and a good place to check for B&Bs.
The Okotberfest was awesome and is spread out over a large section of the town center. Had a blast and can’t wait to return. Some of the best fest food I’ve had in the U.S.!
I’m not much of a country music fan. Those who are will be hearing the lyrics of the famous song….“let’s go to Luckenbach, Texas. Waylon and Willie and the boys..” (Definitely download it if you don’t know it to get the vibe._
Had never heard of this place but it was a gem of a find. Interesting history – its named after one of the first settlers to this area, a German by the name of Jacob Luckenbach.
Today it is an off-the-grid live music venue, bar and general store in the middle of nowhere.
I took a drive and visited late in the day. There was no official entertainment that day but there was a local improve guitar circle happening which was very cool.
I can imagine this place would be a wild western party if a popular or nationally known act was the headliner..hope to see that someday.
Don’t dress fancy. This is not Nashville. This is laid-back, dusty, worn-out cowgirl boot wearin’ Hill Country.
Old Tunnel State Park
This is a little sunset excursion near Fredericksburg. I remember the drive was long and windy to get there but beautiful.
The Old Tunnel is an abandoned railroad tunnel that now serves as a condominium for around 3 million Mexican free-tailed bats, who come out at sunset daily from roughly May to October.
A reservation and ticket are required in order to stay in the park during their evening flight.
A really great hike in this area is Enchanted Rock. I got up at dawn to get started, both to avoid crowds and to see the sun rising over this pink granite dome.
Park of the hike is up the sheer sides of the dome, very doable but steep, same on the way down.
Saw lots of different birds hanging out on the ledges and trees along the way. Two thumbs up!
After your morning hike, reward yourself with a hearty German breakfast at Old German Bakery and Restaurant.
Also notable in this area was Otto’s, an more upscale and romantic choice with outdoor seating. Had a truly exceptional meal here. A little break from brats and kraut (not that you ever need a break from brats and kraut).
Nightcap – Hondo’s On Main – an old west vibe, great drinks!
Nightcap at Hondo’s On Main
Another fantastic Hill Country town with German heritage and a destination-worthy Oktoberfest.
Welcome to Wurstfest – the closest thing I’ve seen to the real festival in Munich (see my Germany page). This is a fairgrounds-sized multi-weekend event that has it all – huge beer pavilions, live polka and accordion music, shopping and food food food. Best potato cakes ever, and that is a rare thing to get at a German festival.
San Antonio may be a bit touristy but its an ideal romantic getaway weekend. Stroll the Riverwalk, eat quality Mexican food, take a night time boat ride through the canals. This little destination has it all for couples. Its about a 90 minute drive from the Hill Country so not a bad combo for an extended weekend.
The Alamo (Mision San Antonio de Valero)
A worthwhile and interesting historical stop during your stay in San Antonio. I’m pretty sure I walked to it from my Riverwalk hotel. Spent an hour or so here and listened to the informational presentations.
Outside the Bend
The main area of the Riverwalk is actually a bend in the river. Most of the hotels and restaurants are clustered around this bend.
You can walk along the river quite a way – I think nearly 2 miles – to downtown San Antonio to see the gentrified town center. Take a cab back to save your legs.
Beer lovers will want to make a visit to Southerly Brewery. Excellent raw bar and restaurant located inside the lovely Hotel Emma (if you don’t want to stay on the Riverwalk, I’d stay here for sure).
This concludes my travel in Texas page. Y’all come back now!