Stretching from the northern suburbs of San Antonio west to the western edge of Travis County, the Texas Hill country, with its lakes, streams, and rugged hills is considered the most beautiful part of the Lone Star State. Whether the interest is in the state’s history, or just enjoying some of the most beautiful scenery west of the Mississippi River, a visit to this area is unforgettable.
Here are some of the places that are musts on the itinerary of anyone traveling to the great state of Texas.
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center: Former first lady, Lady Bird Johnson, and actress Helen Hayes founded the National Wildflower Research Center in 1982, devoted to the protection and preservation of North America’s native plants and landscapes. Later named the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, it is a place of woodlands and sweeping meadows designed to introduce visitors to the natural beauty and diversity of our native plant species. It is also a research center of the University of Texas at Austin. The center is located at 4801 La Crosse Avenue, Austin, Texas.
The Alamo: Located near downtown San Antonio, the Alamo, originally named Mission San Antonio de Valero, the Alamo is one of the most famous landmarks in Texas history. Construction began on the mission in 1718, and it served as a home to Spanish missionaries and Indians converted to Christianity for nearly 70 years. It is best known for being the place where 189 Texans, fighting for Texas’s independence from Mexico, held their stand against the army of Mexican General Santa Anna, only to be defeated on March 6, 1836, leading to the famous phrase ‘Remember the Alamo,’ and hardened the resolve of the army under the command of General Sam Houston and the eventual defeat of the Mexican army and Texas independence. The mission, which is open to the public, is located at 300 Alamo Plaza, San Antonio, Texas.
The National Museum of the Pacific War: The National Museum of the Pacific War, a three-acre site located near the historic Nimitz Hotel in Fredericksburg, Texas, is dedicated to the memory of American forces that fought in the Pacific Theater during World War II, and to Admiral Chester Nimitz, a native of Fredericksburg. The museum is on 340 East Main Street in Fredericksburg, a city in the Hill Country that can be reached by driving west on I-10 from San Antonio and then north on US Highway 87. Fredericksburg is also about a two hour drive due west of Austin on US Highway 290.
Enchanted Rock State Natural Area: A great place for hunting or rock climbing; Enchanted Rock State Natural Area is a state-run wilderness area at 16710 Ranch Road, 965 18 miles north of Fredericksburg. Except for times when it’s closed for wildlife management activities, it’s open year round from 8 am to 10 pm.
Natural Bridge Caverns: Not all of the Hill Country’s amazing sights are above ground. The area is home to hundreds of caves, and one of the most interesting is Natural Bridge Caverns near New Braunfels. Discovered in 1960, this underground wonderland offers a variety of diversions for those interesting in exploring the world ‘beneath the earth.’