Discover the Underrated Nature of the South Texas Hill Country

Spanning 262,000 square miles, Texas is the second largest state in the United States (Alaska) and features far more natural hotspots than most travelers realize. When you think Texas, do you think of sprawling lakes and vibrant greenery? Do you think of beaches and charming small towns? That’s only the beginning.

Global Discovery Vacations offers several Texas resorts spread across the Lone Star state, including some in the alluring Texas Hill Country, and each of them give you access to amazing wonders. And what might those be? Here are the places you’ll most want to visit.

Bandera

Enchanted Rock. Photo courtesy of Barbara Shallue/Texas Hill Country.

Known as the Cowboy Capital of the World, Bandera is definitely a step back in time. But this Western frontier has some great natural features around, making it a great hub for those traversing Texas Hill Country. Most notable of these is the Enchanted Rock in Fredericksburg. Legend has it that a Spanish conquistador put a spell on this this pink dome, creating ghost fires at the top. In reality, it’s the reflection of wet rock – a real sight to see!

You can also take a scenic drive through the “Swiss Alps of Texas,” which is an 85-mile loop that takes you through scenic hills and over the Medina and Sabinal Rivers. Dude ranches, deep canyons and 2,000-feet-plus elevation await.

Suggested Resort: Flying L Hill Country Resort

Lago Vista

Lago Vista is a gorgeous watery retreat, just 20 miles outside of Austin, Texas. The town sits on the north shore of Lake Travis, so the area is ripe for outdoor buffs and water lovers – there are rich greens and blues as far as you can see.

The narrow lake is surrounded by several parks, with Place Bend and Hippy Hollow being among the most popular. The area is as nature intended – pure, colorful and free for you to roam (though some areas do have entrance fees).

Suggested Resort: Shores at Lake Travis

Lake Conroe

Lone Star Monument and Historical Flag Park. Photo credit: Conroe Convention & Visitors Bureau.

This area isn’t officially part of the Texas Hill Country, it has the same wonderful landscapes and points of interest. Less than an hour north of Houston is Lake Conroe, a 21-mile lake offering watersport staples: jet skiing, paddle boarding, cycle boats, fishing and more. The Lone Star Monument and Historical Flag Park here is a great stop for some local history.

Go even deeper into the landscape at the Sam Houston National Forest, a 163,000-acre area ideal for bird watching, fishing and biking. And though you may not think of Texas as a state with good hiking opportunities, you haven’t tried the Lone Star Hiking trail (dubbed the “Jewel of Texas”). It’s 128 miles of untamed forests, lakes and wildlife, and is the only long-distance National Recreation Trail in Texas.

Suggested Resort: First Fairway at Walden

Though some areas in Texas are still recovering from the lingering effects of Hurricane Harvey, we know the communities will make a full recovery. In the meantime, there are thousands upon thousands of scenic miles to explore near some of our resorts – so search for “Texas – Inland” and get to bookin’!

What’s your favorite outdoors spot in Texas? Let us know in the comments below!

Top photo courtesy of member Donald K.

Corey is a writer from Overland Park, KS, and has been with Global Discovery Vacations since September 2013. Once a sportswriter, he traveled the country and became proficient in airport security line etiquette and leaving items in hotel rooms.

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