Roll into the Texas Hill Country

See a part of Texas you might not have expected, the hill country, where wildflowers bloom on the rolling countryside, some of the ranches welcome guests, and Western fare coexists with German cuisine.

Visit the Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park and see some of what the late president loved about the Hill Country. Click on “Nature &Science” for a small photo gallery and descriptions of the ranch’s plants and animals.

Near the park, Johnson City offers places to stay and things to do and see, including parks, golf courses, the Blanco County Fair &Rodeo and hunting. And be sure to look down the left side of the page to link to the photo gallery.

A few miles west of the Johnson ranch in the heart of the hill country, Fredericksburg boasts antiques shops and art galleries, wineries and a wildflower farm. Click on “Plan Your Visit” to find the local visitors’ information, including suggestions for day trips. And look under “Outdoors” for info on RV parks and hunting preserves.

Then get a broader view of the area from the Texas Hill Country Visitor Center, which has information on towns such as San Saba, “the Pecan Capital of the World.” As an alternative, go to the bottom of the page and look for “Visitor Bureau Listings” for direct links to local Web sites including New Braunfels, founded in 1845 by German settlers.

If you’re there this fall, New Braunfels’ German heritage is celebrated at the town’s annual Wurstfest Oct. 29-Nov. 7.

Places to stay in the hill country range from the romantic to the rustic for travelers who want something other than the usual motel fare. “Hill Country Accommodations” has links to bed-and-breakfasts, ranches, country cottages and a category called “Lodging with a View.”

Enjoy the outdoors with a little help from Wildernet, where you need to check Texas in the “State” menu and then click on “Texas Travel Regions” to find hill country information for hiking, cave exploring, water sports and wildlife watching.

Explore a little more by visiting the state’s official Texas Travel and looking under regions and driving tours. Then take a look at the offers from Texas Park &Wildlife, where clicking on “Find a Park” will take you to a “State Park Guide” and finally a “State Park Directory,” which breaks the state down into regions.

Roger Petterson, Associated Press

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