Shop Wimberley Arts
Over the years, Wimberley has become a haven for talented artists and craftspeople, but don’t be fooled into thinking you have seen it all after you’ve browsed the shops and the galleries in the square. While many talented artists display their works there, a number of local artists invite you to visit them at their studios to watch them work. You won’t want to miss the hand-blown glass demonstrations at Wimberley Glass Works, the amazing glass sculpture of Bill Meek, the innovative works of Casaba Glass, the fine craftsmanship of furniture-maker Gary Weeks, or the fine metal art of Perry Bernard.
Pedernales Falls State Park and Hamilton Pool
For millions of years the waters of central Texas have worked the native limestone into stunning landscapes that provide beautiful places to hike and swim. The Pedernales River has been sculpting the Llano uplift to create the gently sloping Pedernales Falls. You can get a wonderful view of the falls from the scenic overlook, or hike down and explore them up close. There are also areas for swimming and picnicking in the park. Next, enjoy the shaded trail that takes you to the clear blue spring water of Hamilton Pool, and relax under the waterfall that cascades down from one side of this canyon and collapsed grotto. Also a wildlife preserve, Hamilton Pool is home to some rare plant an animal species, including the golden-cheeked warbler.
LBJ Ranch and Fredericksburg
If you are looking for a taste of Texas in the classic sense, there is no better place to visit than the Lyndon Baines Johnson Ranch. This working ranch has all the things Texas is known for- longhorns, cowboys, and a look at the life of a true Texas original. It also includes the Sauer Beckmann Farmstead which is a working farm restored to its original 1918 condition and run exactly as it did at that time. For an interesting contrast to the ranch that highlights the diversity of Texas, take a short drive to Fredericksburg. Perhaps the best-known German town in the Hill Country. Enjoy the shops and restaurants along the main street for a blend of old and new world style. Visit the Markt Platz to see the Vereins Kirche and then stroll down to the Admiral Nimitz Museum, dedicated to veterans of the Pacific war to better understand the rich culture of this region.
“Devil’s Backbone” and Canyon Lake
One of the best ways to experience the beauty of the hill country is to drive, and one of the best scenic drives takes you down Highway 32. This stretch of road just south of Wimberley got its nickname for the way it curves through the hills. You can follow it all the way to Blanco, or stop at Canyon Lake for some outdoor recreation. With three separate beaches, picnic sites, boating and fishing, you can spend the day enjoying the sun, and then stop at the overlook to watch the sunset.
Wining and Dining
The favorable climate of the hill country makes it an ideal for producing wine. If you are an enthusiast of good wine or good food this is just the tour for you. Beginning at the Cana Cellars Winery in South Austin, this trip winds its way to the vineyards of Spicewood, Flat Creek, Texas Hills and more. Finish your tour at Blair House Inn in Wimberley for the finest dinner in the hill country. Blair House offers a five-course dinner prepared by the chef with the freshest ingredients for you to enjoy. Please remember, many of the vineyards are only open on weekends and Blair House only serves dinner on Saturday evenings (Reservations Required).
Botanical Gardens and Barton Springs, Austin
Celebrating the diversity and the beauty of nature, the Botanical Gardens at Zilker Park feature several unique garden styles, including a xeriscape garden that highlights native flora, the trail of flowering plants that attract butterflies, and the Taniguchi Oriental garden. This peaceful Japanese garden with gentle waterfalls, and traditional teahouse emphasizes the delicate balances that abound in nature. Finish your tour of Zilker park with a dip in one of Austin’s landmarks: Barton Springs Pool. This spring-fed pool is open all year and maintains its temperature at a refreshing 65 to 68 degrees. Some people actually claim that regular dips in Barton Springs have added years to their lives.
State Capitol and Texas History Museum, Austin
For anyone visiting Austin, the State Capitol building is always at the top of the list. Made from local pink granite, it marvelously crafted in every detail down to the custom designed door hinges. Tours are given throughout the day to provide visitors with information about everything from the workings of the State Legislature to the art on the chamber walls. After you have toured the Capitol complex, don’t forget to take the short stroll down Congress Avenue to the brand new Bob Bullock State History Museum. The museum features fabulous exhibits, encompassing the military, social, and political history of Texas. The museum also offers interactive exhibits for children and an IMAX theater.
Natural Bridge Caverns
Just on the north side of San Antonio, about 30 miles from Blair House, you will find one of the most impressive caverns in the region. The tour of natural bridge caverns follows a path down into the cavern to its lowest point about 180 feet below the surface. The knowledgeable guides are full of interesting facts about the geological wonder. If you really want to go off the beaten path, they offer tours of the South Cavern that has been left in much the same condition as when it was discovered. The starting point of that tour is a narrow mine shaft that lowers visitors straight down about 100 feet. This tour is not for the faint-of-heart and reservations are required. Also, be prepared to get really dirty you may want to bring a change of clothes.
New Braunfels and Gruene
The Guadalupe River, which flows through central Texas, has long been one of the most popular recreation locations in the area. Every year thousands of people grab their inner tubes or kayaks and float past the towns of New Braunfels and Gruene. If you are looking for a way to while away a hot Texas afternoon, a relaxing float down the river might be just the thing. But, if you would rather stay dry, you can spend the day wandering through the quaint shops or visit the newly open Museum of Art and Music. In the evening you can enjoy a romantic dinner overlooking the river and the dance the night away at Gruene Hall, one of the best-known dance halls in Texas.
San Marcos Outlet Shopping
The novice shopper may be completely overwhelmed by the sheer volume of stores, but the die-hard discount shopper will think they have gone to heaven! San Marcos offers not one, but two outlet malls with name brand stores for every possible shopping desire. Originally focusing on fine china and clothing, this ever-expanding venue recently opened an entire wing dedicated to furniture and home décor. This is not shopping for the faint of heart so wear comfortable shoes, and bring your credit cards.
This is just a small sample of the many ways to spend your Hill Country vacation. You may also want to try one of the favorite pastimes of our visitors–Relaxing! Enjoy a long hike around the inn grounds. Get a massage by one of our massage therapists. Take a refreshing Sauna, or grab a book and rest in one of our hammocks under the trees. No matter what you are looking for, you can find it in the Texas Hill Country and Blair House!