Don’t be shocked, but the Hill Country is rather hilly, from lush rolling green hills to dramatic, craggy landscapes populated by cacti and scrub trees. Lakes abound and spring-fed rivers flow through bluff-filled greenbelts—a natural for swimming, hiking, mountain biking and rock climbing. Several spectacular caves reside here, as well. Like Cascade Caverns, boasting glistening drops of water on the Diamond Ceiling, a nine-story-high underground waterfall and rare wildlife, too. Another fun feature is the brilliant color of Texas wildflowers, which make for a great family photo opportunity.
The most rustic and refined that Texas has to offer not only coexist here, they somehow make perfect sense: High tech and hippie. Cowboy and cosmopolitan. Even the State Capitol Building in Austin is just blocks from 50,000+ students at The University of Texas. And two minutes in any colorful Hill Country town will put a smile on your face as you see what spirited, independent-minded folks you’ll encounter.
Although five million visitors visit the 30-plus Hill Country wineries a year, it’s still a surprise to some that wineries abound here. Grape vines were cultivated in Texas as far back as the 1600s, making this one of the oldest and most prolific wine-growing states. Of course, a heavy influence of German and cowboy culture in the area, like Fredericksburg and Johnson City, means you can also count on a variety of excellent beers and oh-so-festive beer gardens – if that’s more your style.
While you’re here, seek out many unique attractions like Schlitterbahn Water Park on the spring-fed Comal River. Of course, this area is loaded with great music venues...from the thriving music scene of Austin to the classic dance halls of towns like Gruene, where you can honky-tonk yourself silly. There’s also plenty of world-class shopping, outlet malls and charming antiques to be discovered in towns like Dripping Springs and Wimberley, plus endless opportunities to enjoy Hill Country cuisine.
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