Travel Diary: Explorations in Texas Hill Country, Part 1

DSC_0196 title wOver the past few weeks we’ve been exploring the Texas Hill Country, taking day trips from Austin to towns and attractions in the surrounding regions.  Texas Hill Country is an area of Central and South Texas that includes 25 counties. We’ve enjoyed hitting the highlights of each town we visited.

LBJ National Historical Park

Our first venture out of Austin was to visit the Lyndon Baines Johnson National Historical Park which is actually located in two small towns west of Austin. The park includes the boyhood home of Lyndon Johnson in Johnson City and a portion of his ranch where there are other buildings of significance in the life of the man who became the 36th United States president, including his “Texas White House.”

DSC_0011ewBoyhood Home of Lyndon Baines Johnson in Johnson City, Texas

The boyhood home where LBJ grew up in Johnson City has been restored to look as it would have during the time he lived there.



About fifteen miles away from Johnson City, in Stonewall, Texas, is the LBJ ranch. Part of the 2000 acre ranch, including the portion where the Texas White House is located, was donated by Johnson’s heirs and later became the National Historical Park.

DSC_0088ewTexas White House

DSC_0092e2wThe Pendernales River passes through the ranch. The front of the house has a beautiful view of the river.

DSC_0032ewAlso on the ranch land in the Park is the one-room school house where LBJ attended school.

DSC_0046ec2wThe Johnson family cemetery, where both LBJ and his wife, Lady Bird, are buried is also within the park.


On another day trip we visited the town of Fredricksburg which is even further west of Austin. Mr. MT Nest, who is a lover of military history, visited the National Museum of the Pacific War while I wandered the Main Street shops.

DSC_0349ecwThere are some perfectly adorable stores on Main Street and I just loved the iconic architecture of the buildings. There is an old Five and Dime Store and they have an interesting assortment of merchandise. Even the way they do business is a throwback to an earlier era. They don’t accept credit cards of any sort, but they will take cash or a check.


Fredricksburg was originally settled by German immigrants and has a number of restaurants serving delicious authentic German foods. We enjoyed a great lunch in one of those restaurants, the Old German Bakery & Restaurant.

20160208_135459ewThe area around Fredricksburg is in the heart of a network of Texas Hill Country Wineries. We visited several of the wineries and participated in tastings. During February, there was a promotion going on that we took advantage of. For a one-time charge, we received a Winery Passport and could do a tasting at any of the wineries for no additional charge. The passport was good for three weeks and more than 20 of the wineries were participating. We visited 8 of the 20 wineries over the three-week period. And, even though the winery pictured above wasn’t on the list, we just had to make a stop when we saw that sign.

20160214_155045e2cwSome of the wineries have entertainment on weekends. It’s an enjoyable way to spend an afternoon, sipping a glass of wine and listening to music.

New Braunfels/Greune

DSC_0270eclwNew Braunfels is southwest of Austin. The historic area of New Braunfels is Gruene (pronounced Green). In Greune the claim to fame is the historic Greune Dancehall. This is the oldest continuously operating dancehall in Texas. It was built in 1878.

Greune Collage wIn an old cotton gin building with river views, The Gristmill Restaurant serves up Texas fare, beer and cocktails, and live music in the courtyard while you wait for your name to appear on the chalkboard signaling your table is ready.

Pickle Collage wThere are more cute little shops in Gruene. My favorite was the Fickle Pickles Store where you can taste samples of their sweet, spicy pickles.

During our explorations in Texas Hill Country, we’ve experienced good food, live music, quaint little towns, beautiful scenery, and interesting people. Fun times for sure! More to come in another post.

Linking up with:

Inspire Me Tuesday at A Stroll Thru Life

Wow Us Wednesday at Savvy Southern Style

The Scoop at Stonegable

Metamorphosis Monday at Between Naps on the Porch

Thursday Favorite Things Blog Hop at Peonies and Orange Blossoms

Thoughts of Home Thursday at White Spray Paint

Inspiration Gallery at The Chronicles of Home


This entry was posted in Our Blessed Life, Travel. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Travel Diary: Explorations in Texas Hill Country, Part 1

  1. Jemma says:

    Good Morning!
    Thank you so much for sharing this Texas post with us on Thoughts Of Home On Thursday!
    I just love the Hill Country!


  2. Stacey says:

    We love our Texas! Fredricksburg is so much fun. 🙂

    Thanks for joining these Texas girls for Thoughts of Home on Thursday. We love this post.


  3. tennisqueen says:

    I’ve been to all of these fun places and I agree that Texas Hill country is a fun weekend getaway and so pretty! Lots of fun things to explore.


    • carolyn says:

      We’ve always wanted to visit Austin. Have been to Dallas and San Antonio, but this was our first trip to Austin and the surrounding area. It’s my favorite!


  4. lulu says:

    The Hill Country is such a great Texas get away. I know all those places you show.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s