The first leg of our cross-country road trip was spent in Texas Hill Country. We took 3 days driving from our house in Nokomis, Florida doing about 450 miles a day which was too bad at all.
Although no border official exists, Texas Hill Country stretches from just north of Austin down to San Antonio and roughly 200 miles west of those two points.
This was my first time to Texas Hill Country and I have to say it unlike any other area I’ve ever visited. Imagine endless two-lane highways that roll across magnificent vistas, cross pristine rivers surrounded by mature trees and lead you to tiny old towns with unique character and culture.
Then throw in a few cowboys, random animals, a limitless array of things to do and places to eat, and you’re just starting to scratch the surface of what you’ll find in this delightful area.
We arrived in Canyon Lake on May 13. We stayed in Canyon Lake for the week at a timeshare called Holiday Inn Club Vacations Hill Country Resort located with views of the lake.
It was off-season so we were able to get a two-bedroom (although it was only the two of us) for our points.
What We Did
May 13 ~ Since we arrived mid-afternoon, we just tried to get our bareings. We visited Canyon Lake and Dam. Canyon Lake and Dam is a reservoir on the Guadalupe River. Many activities await you at Canyon Lake – from boating, hiking or just taking a walk which is what we did.
This dog seemed very concerned about me taking his photo. But he was so beautiful, I couldn’t resist.
Afterward, we drove on the other side to the Canyon Lake Marina and noticed that they had a restaurant called Baja BBQ Shack (we went back to try their amazing shrimp tacos later in the week).
Later that evening, we were rewarded with this sunset.
May 14 ~ It being Sunday and Mother’s Day, we just took it easy and did the Guadalupe River Scenic Drive.
It was a beautiful drive. The day was sunny and warm and people were out tubing and kayaking on the water.
May 15 ~ San Antonio. Our first stop was the Alamo.
After we left the Alamo. We walked a few short blocks and strolled along the Riverwalk. Countless restaurants and shops line the river at arguably the top tourist destination in Texas.
After our bellies were full with Guacamole Burgers from Rainforest Cafe, we headed to San Jose Mission (there are actually four missions, but we only made it to one).
May 16 ~ we woke to something totally unexpected on a vacation…a flat tire, and on a brand new card. We drove to the local tire repair shop and he patched it for us.
Then off we went to Austin. Our first stop was a visit the State Capitol Building located at 1100 Congress Avenue.
We walked down to the Colorado River. It was a bit overcast so I didn’t even take any photos. Boo!
Then we realized we were hungry. Austin is known for its food – everything from Bar-B-Que to TexMex. We intended to go to a Bar-B-Que, but after walking around all morning and making a wrong turn (or two), we saw The Capital Grille and made a beeline there.
I had the Wagyu Cheeseburger with Fried Egg and Crisp Onions (without the bun) with Parmesan Truffle Fries. The crisp onions I promptly gave to Gary, not because I don’t like onions … but because I was pretty sure it wasn’t gluten free.
Gary had the Seared Salmon with Avocado, Mango, and Tomato Salad with Champagne Vinaigrette. He really liked it.
We heard from the the man who patched our tire that we definitely would want to head out of Austin before rush hour started, so that is what we did. Although Austin was nice (and I’l probably want to visit again), it was much larger than I thought it would be. I was expecting a small quaint town from the way I’ve heard/read about it in the past.
May 17 ~ Our scheduled sightseeing was interrupted… Sadly the tire patch from yesterday didn’t hold and the tire is flat, flat, flat. Gary changed to the spare tire (in the rain) and then we had to find the nearest Honda dealership, hoping, they would have a tire for a brand new 2017 CR-V in stock. We spent a few hours there (luckily I had my book to read) and out we drove with a brand new tire.
May 18 – Fredericksburg is a historic German settlement surrounded by fields of wildflowers, peach orchards and wineries. Fredericksburg is also known for the staggering number of shops lining it’s Main Street.
Also, there was no shortage of restaurants.
If you can only do one thing, the National Museum of the Pacific War is the one to do. This is a national museum of Smithsonian proportions. It took us four hours to go through it at a steady pace. Most of the artifacts are original, including a Japanese submarine that attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. You’ll also see an original atomic bomb casing from the six the U.S. had left after Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Next, we drove to Wildseed Farms, a family-owned wildflower farm, has seemingly endless fields of blooms.
I had fun playing amongst the flowers.
May 19 ~ we had a quiet day just relaxing because we were hitting the road the next day. Destination Santa Fe, New Mexico.