Travel Diary: Explorations in Texas Hill Country, Part 2

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Our explorations in Texas Hill Country have kept us on the go for most of the month we’ve been here in Austin. We wanted to take full advantage of our time here and fit in as many experiences as possible.


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Luckenbach, made famous by Waylon Jennings’ song of the same name,  can hardly be called a town. It also boasts an iconic Texas dancehall with daily entertainment, a few other establishments, and a sign that announces its population as 3. But, if you’re in this part of Texas, you should definitely stop by to see it for yourself.


We spent a weekend on a ranch that is owned by a childhood friend of Mr. MT Nest just outside of Bandera, Texas. Bandera is southwest of Austin and bills itself as the “Cowboy Capital of the World.” It’s a quiet little town all through the week and then on the weekends, folks travel from San Antonio and elsewhere in Texas to enjoy the honky tonks and other iconic western activities, such as reenactments of gunfights.  The town truly feels like The West. Nearly every man and some of the women wore cowboy hats.


Our friend’s ranch borders the Medina River. This  is one of the bridges that crosses the river.

20160220_142253ewThe Frontier Times Museum in town includes, as well as artifacts of local history, a tribute to the many Bandera cowboys and cowgirls who’ve made it big in the rodeo circuit. If you’re looking to purchase a hat, leather items, or other western wear, several shops in town are able to meet that need.

On the Saturday we were in town, a group of local musicians was playing in the social hall of a church. This was advertised on a Calendar of Events that the Visitors Center provided. So we stopped in to enjoy the local talent.


On our way out of town, we stopped to photograph a group of bison and a donkey. Like I said, it really felt like the west.

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Texas is known for its barbecue. So, while visiting Texas, we’ve tried to experience some of the best BBQ. Lockhart is called the Barbecue Capital of Texas. So, we took a trip south of Austin to Lockhart, and Smitty’s Market. They sell the BBQ by the pound and serve it on butcher paper. The BBQ was as advertised! Yum.


After sharing the BBQ and getting a to go bag to take home the rest, we walked around Lockhart checking out the shops and especially their beautiful courthouse in the center of downtown.


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San Marcos

After leaving Lockhart, we drove west to the city of San Marcos to visit it’s waterfront recreation area along the San Marcos River.


It was a warm, sunny day and people were out enjoying the river.



So was this dog.


The scenery was absolutely beautiful.


Mt. Bonnell


Hill Country actually encompasses part of Austin. Some of our Hill Country explorations have been in the hill country areas around the city. One of those areas is a park that overlooks Lake Austin and some very high end homes from one of the highest points around the city. Mt. Bonnell Park has a trail leading to the peak or you can walk up a long flight of steps to reach the top. The views are stunning.


The Oasis


DSC_0365ewLast week we celebrated my birthday by checking out the Oasis Restaurant and Bar that has the reputation of being the best place to enjoy the sunset overlooking Lake Travis.  Like Mt. Bonnell, the views are amazing and the homes visible from The Oasis are as well.


Our Hill Country adventures are soon coming to an end. We’ll be saying farewell to Austin, Hill Country, and Texas as we begin our journey homeward. But we’ll savor the memories of our experiences here for a long time to come.

Linking up with:

Foodie Friday and Everything Else

Metamorphosis Monday at Between Naps on the Porch

Inspire Me Tuesday at A Stroll Thru Life

Wow Us Wednesday at Savvy Southern Style

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

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5 Responses to Travel Diary: Explorations in Texas Hill Country, Part 2

  1. Stacey says:

    I came back to tell you my uncle was the judge in Caldwell county and oversaw the refurbishing of that beautiful courthouse. My dad is on the historic commission and helps protect all the buildings. Love that little town!


    • carolyn says:

      It is a beautiful town and the courthouse is spectacular. In our little mountain community in North Carolina, we have an open green space area and a statue in the center of our town square and our courthouse is at one of the corners of the square. Lots of town events take place on the square.


  2. Stacey says:

    Ahhh!! You were in Lockhart. ♥ My daddy is from Lockhart and lives there. Makes my heart happy to see that courthouse and Smitty’s. 🙂

    By the way, I’m pinning your posts to Thoughts of Home on Thursday but also to my Pinterest board called The Great State of Texas.


  3. Laura says:

    What a fabulous Texas adventure you are on!
    I live in South Texas in the Rio Grande Valley-

    I hope you will join us at Thoughts of Home on Thursday. This would be a fabulous contribution!

    White Spray Paint


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