The picturesque Hill Country of Texas is made up of roughly 19 counties. Rolling hills and valleys mark the landscape, and many, many trees line the rivers and lakes. Those who expect a flat, barren countryside may be surprised to find this green oasis, and an oasis it is. Some of the state's best wines come from wineries in the Hill Country.
The towns are peaceful, small and charming, each with unique characteristics. Fredericksburg and Kerrville are two of the larger towns, and many tourists sleep within one or the other while taking day trips to smaller towns or the big cities of Austin and San Antonio. These towns aren't alone in offering nice lodging, though . . . throughout all Hill Country are comfortable bed and breakfast inns.
With a population of close to 7,000, Fredericksburg was settled by Germans, and German influences are still present in the food, buildings and shops. In a different cultural vein, hiking and rock climbing are available at Enchanted Rock State Park, a legendary Native American place of reverence.
The valleys of Kerrville, the seat of Kerr County, are home to nearly two dozen camps for boys and girls. Cypress trees edge the Guadalupe River in 500-acre Kerrville-Schreiner Park. Kerrville is natural, but not all natural. For example, you won't want to miss the Museum of Western Art, displaying the work of contemporary cowboy artists.
San Marcos revels in its Spanish character and its college-town ways and is located along the San Marcos and Blanco Rivers. Walk its scenic River Walkway, lushly vegetated and threading through five city parks. Sportsmen enjoy hunting and fishing in the San Marcos vicinity. New Braunfels has a German influence, and is home to the famous Schlitterbahn Waterpark Resort. River trips, natural caverns and scenic drives round out the activities and attractions of the area.
Hill Country is located between Austin and San Antonio. I-35 runs north-south along its east side and US 83 runs along the western edge.