12 Things to Do in Texas Hill Country

  • Adventure
  • on FEBRUARY 3, 2016
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Texas Hill Country isn’t all about cowboys, meat, and longhorns. There’s plenty of art, culture, gourmet food and, yes, even a thriving wine scene. If you’re heading out to the Lone Star State, explore some of the most interesting things this area has to offer.

Grab a Plate

Image Source: Yelp

The Inn at Dos Brisas Restaurant 
10000 Champion Drive
Washington, TX 77880
(979) 277-7750
TripAdvisor: 4.5 stars, 56 reviews
Reservations: Required at least 24 hours in advance for diners not staying at the inn

Tasting your way through Texas Hill Country can give visitors an authentic feel for this corner of Texas. For an elegant meal, the restaurant at The Inn at Dos Brisas uses all farm-to-table ingredients with a focus on locality and availability. The menu changes daily, but duck, bison, lamb, and rabbit have all graced the restaurant’s plates.
Insider tip: Wine lovers rejoice: there’s a 7,000 bottle wine cellar.

Image Source: Yelp

316 East Austin Street
Fredericksburg, TX 78624
(830) 307-3336
TripAdvisor: 4.5 stars, 262 reviews
Reservations: Not accepted except for reservations for large parties (6-10 people) at the Stammtisch

For a more laid-back meal, Otto’s on East Austin Street gives a German twist to Texan staples. Duck and quail with rich German touches like spaetzle and sauerkraut adorn the menu, along with cheesecake boasting candied pecans. Despite the feast-feel of the food, the eatery is small and intimate enough to suit a romantic dinner.
Insider tip: To satisfy an artisan sausage craving, order the smoky, savory Wurst Platte.

Image Source: Yelp

The Salt Lick
18001 Farm-to-Market 1826
Driftwood, TX 78619
(512) 858-4959
TripAdvisor: 4.5 stars, 1,659 reviews
Reservations: Not required but recommended

Texas knows its barbeque, and few eateries know it better than The Salt Lick. This humble ‘cue joint offers cafeteria-style plates filled with brisket, cobbler and macaroni and cheese. Order everything family style for a true taste of this genuine Texas feast.
Insider tip: Grab a bottle of local wine or beer from the area’s many stores—the The Salt Lick is BYOB.

A Cold One, or Two

Image Source: Yelp

Pecan Street Brewing
106 East Pecan Drive
Johnson City, TX 78636
(830) 868-2500
TripAdvisor: 4 stars, 214 reviews

If wineries aren’t quite your thing and you’d rather basque in hoppy goodness, a brewery should be on the list of stops through Texas Hill Country. Pecan Street Brewing brews its owns Belgians, IPAs, wheat beers, and ales, plus you can grab a bite while tasting your way through their offerings. There’s even a Holiday Ale flavored with pumpkin and local pecans for a seasonal taste. Opt to sit in the German-style biergarten for an authentic and fun atmosphere while enjoying a brew (there’s even a dance hall for when, you know—beer happens).
Insider tip: The dance hall offers live music Friday through Sunday.

Image Source: Yelp

Real Ale Brewing
231 San Saba Ct
Blanco, TX 78606
(830) 833-2534
TripAdvisor: 4.5 stars, 32 reviews

If visiting Blanco, pin Real Ale Brewing onto the itinerary. Water from the nearby Blanco River is the first ingredient for the brewery’s beers, which are unpasteurized and unfiltered. Tours of the facility can run a bit long, so be prepared to walk a bit. If just popping by for a drink and a bite, bring the pets—the brewery is dog friendly.
Insider tip: Stop by the brewery on Friday, between 3 and 4 p.m. There are free tours—with a free endless beer tasting!

The Old, Dusty, Wine Trail

Image Source: Inwood Estates Winery & Bistro

Texas Wine Trail
Johnson City, TX 78636
(872) 216-9463
TripAdvisor: 5 stars, 4 reviews

With more than 46 wineries varying in proximity from a mile to several miles between each other, the Texas Hill Country Wineries trail offers a chance to explore some of the area’s offerings, while checking out the lovely countryside. Anytime of year is a winner for an adventure down the wine trail: wildflowers in spring; romantic events in February; and wine month in October. Wineries differ, but several offer grape stomping as well as outdoor spots to sit and enjoy the mild temperatures that come in the springtime.
Insider tip: Stop by Inwood Estates Winery & Bistro Thursday through Sunday for barbecue brisket and ribs.

Image Source: Yelp

Texas Wine Tours
3021 South State Highway 16
Fredericksburg, TX 78624
(830) 997-8687
TripAdvisor: 5 stars, 104 reviews

For more of a guided tour, you can visit three wineries for only $89 during weekdays with Texas Wine Tours. The guides can accommodate groups from two to 20, for comfortable, small-batch enjoyment of the countryside, the wine, and the atmosphere.
Insider tip: When trying to fit as much into a visit as possible, head out on the Brew Wine & Spirits Tour, which features one brewery, two wineries, and one distillery.

Peak into the Past

Image Source: Facebook

Pioneer Museum
325 W. Main
Fredericksburg,TX 78624
(830) 990-8441
TripAdvisor: 4.5 stars, 124 reviews

For a glimpse into what Texas Hill Country had to offer early settlers, stop by the Pioneer Museum. An outdoor collection of houses, stores, and barns, the interactive historical complex is a educational, entertaining choice for kids and families. The self-guided tour also gives visitors a chance to listen via audio tour as they explore more than 300,000 artifacts from the era.
Insider tip: Most of the exhibits and buildings are outdoors, so plan accordingly during the summer months.

Take a Dip or See the Sights

Image Source: Yelp

Wimberley Blue Hole
100 Blue Hole Rd
Wimberley, TX
(512) 660-9111
TripAdvisor: 4.5 stars, 168 reviews

If you’re in the Lone Star state during the heat of summer, the Wimberley Blue Hole is a refreshing way to beat the heat. Fed by natural springs from the San Gabriel River, the water stays cool all year round. The folks in the area are passionate about this hidden gem, staving off real estate developers who’ve wanted to build in the area for years.
Insider tip: Unleash your inner child: there are rope swings for daring jumps into the blue hole.

Image Source: Yelp

Enchanted Rock
16710 Ranch Rd. 965
Fredericksburg, TX 78624
(830) 685-3636
TripAdvisor: 4.5 stars, 986 reviews

Getting out in the Texas wilderness is doable just about any time of year, thanks to the mild fall, winter, and spring weather. For a brisk walk and breathtaking views, head to Enchanted Rock where, after checking in at park headquarters, you can backpack out to the pink granite dome where picnicking, star-gazing, and taking in the countryside dominate the agenda.
Insider tip: This is a steep and challenging hike. While rewarding, it may not be the best for children.

Take a Train or Head Underground

Image Source: Yelp

Cave Without A Name
325 Kreutzberg Rd.
Boerne, TX
(830) 537-4212
TripAdvisor: 4.5 stars, 140 reviews

The Cave Without a Name in Boerne has six tours to choose from, each making its way through the constantly cool, 66-degree cave filled with natural formations like stalactites and stalagmites. This nameless natural wonder is also less well-known when compared to other caves in the area, so there’s usually an opportunity for a more personal experience, free of the crowds.
Insider tip: There is a rock-breaking machine to check out. Pick your rock, and they’ll slice it in half for a one-of-a-kind souvenir.

Image Source: Yelp

Hill Country Flyer
401 E. Whitestone Blvd.
Suite C-100
Cedar Park, TX 78613
(512) 477-8468
TripAdvisor: 3.5 stars, 21 reviews

The Hill Country Flyer, a train that makes its way through the heart of Texas Hill Country, is available for daytrips. The whole family will get a kick out of crossing the San Gabriel River and stopping in Burnet during the 66-mile roundtrip journey. After all: when was the last time you were on a real train? The historic railway cars are most comfortable in the early spring and fall when the weather isn’t too warm.
Insider tip: During your trip, there will be a two-hour layover in Burnet, so check out the local food options for a bite and stop by several of the historic shops in the town.

With plenty of natural beauty, down-home food, and a curious branch of American history all its own, Texas Hill Country is an oft-overlooked but thoroughly rewarding destination for travelers curious enough to peek into a unique piece of the American West.


WineCountry Collective

WineCountry is made up of a dedicated and passionate team of wine, food, and travel aficionados. We diligently explore regions, both near and far, to curate the best ideas and resources. Whether you're musing over your next wine escapade, planning a romantic weekend away, embracing the Wine Country lifestyle at home, or are simply looking to be entertained for a moment, trust us to be your comprehensive guide.