For years, I’ve heard Texans flash enthusiasm over the Texas Hill County. It is the number one place for retirement in the state; and right now, the area is awash in wildflowers and still a while from the heat of a Texan summer. The area offers so much in recreational activities. There’s biking down not-quite-Colorado-sized mountains to shimmying up limestone cliffs that overhang green-blue water or paddling down twisting rivers.
Lonely Planet writes “New York has the Hamptons, San Francisco has the wine country, and Texas has the Hill Country. Just an hour or two from both Austin and San Antonio, the area is an easy day trip or weekend getaway.” Your visit to the Texas Hill Country and its natural beauty may inspire you to take early retirement.
When you go be sure to visit some of the frontier towns in the area that make up the Texas Hill Country.
Bandera, Texas – Bandara named the “Cowboy Capital of the World” site of bloody battles between Apache and Comanche Indians, and the Spanish Conquistadors got its name from the Bandera Rojo (red banner or flag) that flew to define the boundary between hunting grounds.
San Marcos – Like Austin and San Antonio, San Marcos was settled at the base of the Balcones Escarpment and is known as one of the primary entry points to the greater Hill Country area.
Boerne – Boerne has become a popular place for San Antonio executives to purchase land and build homes so they can live in a pleasant small town with a modest commute to the office.
New Braunfels – This tiny river town plays host to the second most populous Oktoberfest in America. The Comal River and Guadalupe River, ideal for floating, swimming, and fishing, are flowing through the neighborhoods.
Wimberley – Maybe what drives people to move here are the picturesque homes on heavily wooded land. In addition to that view, is Blue Hole, a favorite swimming spot along the main road, and Jacob’s Well, a small pool of water that goes as deep as 120 feet, leading to several underground tunnels that cave divers have explored for scientific research.
Canyon Lake/Spring Branch –Canyon Lake itself is a well-known travel destination for vacationers who want a place to relax on the lake, go swimming, or take the boat out for a weekend of fun in the sun.
Fredericksburg – As one of the capital cities of the Texas Hill Country, Fredericksburg has stayed true to its German roots over the years. However, they speak a unique dialect! Texas German came about when first-generation settlers initially refused to speak English.
Kerrville – the oldest settlement in Texas (with evidence of human life present over 10,000 years ago!).
Luckenbach, Texas – famous for its small size and big culture. With a population of three, it is officially the smallest town in Texas. However, the tiny town hosts several country music concerts throughout the year. Willie Nelson has helped keep the name of Luckenbach relevant in the country music world by throwing picnics and special concerts in this tiny town.
Blanco – About an hour west of Austin, Blanco is a sleepy town with a long history. It has the honor of being named the “Lavender Capital of Texas” and hosts a Lavender Festival in the spring. Its antique western look has inspired many to film in Blanco due to the courthouse and surrounding area. Filmmakers have used the town in the making of “True Grit.”