Exploring the Texas Hill Country around Canyon Lake

There is so much to see and do in the Texas Hill Country we could have stayed a month and not seen in all. Unfortunately, we only had about two weeks to explore this beautiful area in the heart of Texas. The hill country includes San Antonio and Austin and extends west about 200 miles. Driving through the area on mostly twisting, two lane roads we saw canyons and creeks, dance halls and wineries, historic sites and ranches, quaint small towns and old homesteads, green grass and more wildflowers than I ever imagined. We dined on barbeque and schnitzel and I bought a cowboy hat!

Our first home base in the hill country was Cranes Mill, a beautiful Corps of Engineers park on Canyon Lake near New Braunfels. We enjoyed driving on the country roads to explore the area. The bluebonnets were really starting to bloom and we saw more and more each day.

The first order of business was to eat some Texas Barbeque. One of my brothers lived in San Antonio for a few years and told us not to miss the Salt Lick in Driftwood, Texas. We started out our first full day in the hill country driving the back roads to have our first taste of brisket, ribs, sausage and turkey. After our delicious lunch we stopped to visit the Dr. Joseph Pound homestead. Dr. Pound and his family settled there in 1853 and raised 9 children. His descendants lived in the home continuously until 1983.

On a beautiful sunny Friday we took a drive to Luckenbach and a winery near Fredericksburg.

We enjoyed touring the LBJ State Park and Historic Site in Stonewall. Lyndonย  Johnson was our 36th president and spent much of his presidency at his ranch on the Perdanales River. Adjacent to the ranch is the Sauer-Beckmann Living History Farm, a working farm which recreates a Hill Country farm at the turn of the 20th century.

The driving tour of his ranch goes around the air strip where he would land in a small plane he called Air Force One Half because Air Force One was too large to land on the landing strip. President Johnson left the ranch to be enjoyed by all the people so there is no charge to tour the park.

We also enjoyed visiting some of the towns in the area. Many of the older buildings in the hill country are made of stone because of the lack of wood for building.

On a sunny Palm Sunday we strolled through the town of Gruene where we enjoyed music at one of the oldest dance halls in Texas. Our Sunday drive continued to the artistic town of Wimberley and a walk along the banks of the Cypress Creek.

While driving around we passed many interesting ranches and the Albert Dance Hall and Twin Sisters Dance Hall. Although we were still a little early to see the bluebonnets in all their glory we enjoyed seeing patches of them beside the roads.

When we weren’t sightseeing we enjoyed our large lake front campsite at Crane’s Mill.

13 thoughts on “Exploring the Texas Hill Country around Canyon Lake

  1. Beth, great post on a great area of our beautiful US! We love the Texas Hill Country and even gave some serious thought to moving there! You captured the area beautifully! Great shots! Drive safe and enjoy the rest of your trip. Years ago we saw Willie in concert, what a hoot that was!


    1. Thank you! Sheila, he was playing at the Whitewater Amphitheater with Merle Haggard while we were there. I never was able to get a picture of the sign. We saw him about 35 years ago! I’m way behind in my posts. I have another week of hill country to blog about.


  2. You should post your photo of the fence and Mustang on Theresa’s Thursday blog called Good Fences!! If you would like the web addy let me know.


  3. That is a proper texas barbecue you have there:) Looks amazing, makes my mouth water! The architecture of some of the old houses in Fredericksburg looks really nice! I like the details of the stone buildings:)

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  4. Oh, you had me at barbecue. Having lived in the midwest for most of our married life we sure did enjoy our barbecue, and we sure do miss it up here. I also had a flash of great vacation memories when you spoke of San Antonio. Fun and beautiful place. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  5. That is some mighty fine looking Q there! My mouth is watering!

    Looks like you had a great time in Hill Country. Seems our plans have hit a snag and we’re heading NE from Harlingen when we leave here at the end of the month instead of staying another month. We’ll have to put our plans for Hill Country on hold till perhaps next year.


  6. You and Henry sure eat well when you are traveling. Now I am hungry for ribs. Beth, you do a great job planning your trips. Maybe you need to plan my next one for me. ๐Ÿ™‚ Love the hat!


    1. Sherry, we like to try food we can’t get at home. Texas barbeque sauce is different from ours and they don’t do pulled pork. Loved the brisket and the ribs were out of this world delicious! I love my hat, too!


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