Boy am I glad I live in Texas. Having endured brutally frigid northern temps in my youth, I can no longer imagine the unhappy challenge of wading through three-feet deep piles of snow to get from my front door to the mailbox. While a few cold snaps don’t typically discourage our rugged southwest spirit here in Austin, it probably took the glorious wildflowers to get many of us out and about this year. With temperatures now reaching into the 80s, the sun shining, and a few lazy clouds drifting in the sky, there is no excuse. May is a great month to be in Austin!
Clear air, warm breezes, and lengthening days are perfect for exploring our wonderfully diverse Central Texas environs, and our issue this month is here to help get you out there. We’ll take a tour of some of our Hill Country gems and give you a preview of the adventure that awaits you only a stones throw away.
While the town names of Wimberley, Marble Falls, Bastrop, and Fredericksburg are generally familiar to most Austinites, it always amazes me how many folks have never visited these communities or spent any meaningful time exploring their charm. All of them feature wonderful local activities—from hot air balloon festivals to speedboat races. In these towns, wonderful restaurants and great shopping in quaint, specialty stores is the norm and experiencing good old-fashioned Texas hospitality is the wonderful takeaway. Some of these places are even in relative proximity to one other; meaning you can navigate between them, winding though ranch land and undulating countryside vistas on roads spotted with peach stands and segue to classic Texas watering holes.
But as rewarding as each of these destinations is to arrive at, getting there is at least half the fun. You could get to Wimberley by braving I-35 or head west on Highway 71 to get to Fredericksburg or Marble Falls. Or, you could get there the old fashion way—by wandering through the rural road system of our glorious Hill Country.
Stop in at Luckenbach, listen to some live music, and buy a T-shirt. Drive the incredible Willow City Loop outside of Fredericksburg—passing by lazy, grazing longhorns. Pull over on a hilltop view to marvel at the rainbow-carpeted valley floors below. Slowly sift your way through Sunrise Beach or Granite Shoals along the shores of Lake LBJ and stop to grill some hot dogs at one of the many public parks along the lake.
If you’re the sporting type and want to squeeze in some physical activity, take your bike or kayak along. Or just throw some fishing poles and bobbers in the car, pick up a license, and catch your dinner. And if you can pull a weekend out of your hat, stay at one of the many B&B’s, get a home cooked meal, and lose yourself in the simple joy of exploration.
Every one of these adventures is right around the corner, waiting for you to make the journey. Whichever road you choose, may the journey bring a smile to your face and leave you with memories not soon forgotten.
Keep Austin Fit,
Lou Earle, Publisher, CEO