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A Hill Country Vacation

It's hard to beat a vacation in the Texas Hill Country because there is so much to see and do - everything from airborne activities to camping and caves to golf and go carts to wineries and wildlife parks. The hardest part of a vacation in the Hill Country is trying to decide what do and getting over the frustration that there's not enough time to do it all. You could spend months in the Hill Country and not run out of things to do. Here is our list of some of 25 Fun Things To See & Do in the Hill Country

Lockhart State ParkLockhart State Park Golf CourseWe started our Texas Hill Country vacation with a stop at Lockhart State Park for some camping and to play their 9 hole golf course and try some Lockhart BBQ. Lockhart State Park is small but does have some full hook-up sites as well as some tent sites, volleyball courts, a small stream that is great for fishing, and a swimming pool. The Lockhart Golf Course is fairly traditional with what you see is what you get holes, fair country conditions, and a couple fun holes. When we ask for recommendations on where to eat, the standard answer was "Lockhart is the BBQ capital of Texas with two of the top rated BBQ restaurants in Texas." So the decision with easy - but we were a little disappointed but the sides were good and the price was really reasonable!

Stuffed with BBQ ribs, chicken, sliced beef, and sausage plus beans and cold slaw, I slowly broke camp and headed to Austin to cool off in our daughters new pool and spend some time on Lake Austin and Lake Travis enjoying their new boat - where did they all of a sudden find all this money to spend, I didn't see an oil well or a money tree in their back yard! And why don't they share some of this new wealth with the parents? I guess just enjoying their new toys and spending time with them and the grandkids is enough!

Just another boat house on Lake AustinLake Austin (read our review of Lake Austin) is one of our favorite lakes because there are some good restaurants on the water (Ski Shores, County Line, Abels, and Hula Hut), some huge beautiful homes to ah and ooh about, a party cove, and typically some smooth water for boarding. We enjoyed some good BBQ at Country Line, listened to some music at Ski Shores, and taught the grandkids how to kneeboard. And we broke in the new boat with spilled beer, chips on the floor, and hydrilla around the prop. Lake Austin is having a tough time with hydrilla this year and it plays havoc with your prop - but all you typically have to do is stop and gun it backwards and in most cases you'll get rid of it.

Sunset from Cafe BlueThe next day we spent the day on Lake Travis - cruising by some more huge homes, people watching in the best party cove in Texas, searching for smooth water to kneeboard (hard to do on Travis), and enjoying a great meal and sunset at Cafe Blue. Lake Travis is about 25 feet down but there is still plenty of water and lots to do - the low water level has created some new islands and beaches! Two days in the sun and now I'm looking like a lobster!

From Austin it was a short drive to the Horseshoe Bay Marriott on Lake LBJ where we had signed up for a tour of the new Summit Rock golf community. We were joined by our two daughters and their families, my brother and his fiancee, plus two more couples who are good friends. We all had agreed to take a 90 minute tour of Summit Rock and paid $149, which got us: a round of golf for two on the new Jack Nicklaus Summit Rock golf course or a spa treatment, two nights of lodging at the Horseshoe Bay Marriott, $100 dinner credit, and two hours of jet ski use. What a great deal! The food was delicious (a prime rib buffet or lots of other choices), the one bedroom condo was comfortable, the two pools were outstanding, the Summit Rock golf course is fantastic, the waverunner ride was fast A toast from Thomas Michael Rileyand fun, and there were lots of games, laughs, and giggles. What a good time. Here is a link to the review of one of our new Top Rated Private Texas Golf Courses, Summit Rock Golf Club. Now I'm a sore red lobster!

From Lake LBJ it was a scenic drive to Kerrville for Thomas Michael Riley's Red Neck Riviera Music Festival (my red sunburned face fit in well!), camping at one of the best RV parks in Texas, and some great golf. This weekend was what we hope was the first of many Red Neck Riviera Music Festivals at Buckhorn Lake RV Resort - the music was great, the crowd was fun and friendly, and Buckhorn Lake Resort was a perfect host. Read our review of Red Neck Riviera Music Festival to learn more about why you should add this event to your calendar. Between the music we played two great Kerrville golf courses - here is a link to our review of Comanche Trace's Hills Course and Riverhill Country Club.

Riverhill Golf ClubBuckhorn Lake RV ParkComanche Trace Hills Course

From all the golf, late night partying, and dancing the two step, it was time to slow down the pace, devour some more Advil, and get a good nights sleep. First stop was Guadalupe River State Park where we enjoyed a couple nights camping, swimming in the Guadalupe River, and playing some golf. Here is a link to our review of Guadalupe River State Park and the nearby The Club at Rebecca Creek Golf Course and the outstanding hidden gem River Crossing Golf Club.

The Hawk at Rebecca CreekGuadalupe River State Park River Crossing Golf Club

Blanco River at Blanco River State ParkGolf hole at Vaaler Creek Golf ClubFrom Guadalupe River State Park it was a short 30 minute drive to Blanco State Park where our Austin daughter and her three kids joined us for a couple days. The noise level went up but we had a good time camping, playing games, and swimming in the Blanco River. Before they arrived we snuck in a round of golf at another outstanding golf course. Read our review of Blanco State Park and Vaaler Creek Golf Club to learn more.

Feeding the water buffaloOn the way to our next stop at Canyon Lake, we stopped at Exotic Zoo Resort to get up close, pet, and feed a variety of exotic and endangered wildlife. We all, including the grandkids, loved our ride through the 300 acre park. We learned alot about a variety of animals and specifically that water buffalo Log Cabins at Jacobs Creekhave huge long ugly gray tongues and bad breath and the ostrich loves to steal the whole bucket of food from you. Here is a link to our article on this fun tour at Exotic Zoo Resort.

Next up was a two day stay at the Log Cabins at Jacobs Creek on Canyon Lake. The Log Cabins at Jacobs Creek were comfortable and convenient to the lake, restaurants, and nightlife. Canyon Lake is one of the deepest and clearest lakes in Texas and during the week it seemed like we owned the lake, which means we found some good coves for swimming and lots of smooth water for boarding and were the only people enjoying a good lunch over looking the lake at Silver Lake Marina. Check out our review of Canyon Lake and our map of Canyon Lake to help you find ramps, lodging, party coves, and more.

We checked out of the Log Cabins at Jacobs Creek and headed south to where the dam at Canyon Lake creates one of the best recreation areas in Texas - the lower Guadalupe River. It's the best spot in Texas for tubin', fishin', swimmin', campin', drinkin', partyin', and enjoyin' the scenery, wide variety of lodging, good restaurants, and lots more fun things. Someone had told us about some unique lodging so we booked a tree house at River Road Treehouse and loved it - conveniently located, unique, well appointed, clean, and comfortable!

During our two day stay we enjoyed some Mexican food and Margaritas at Las Barcas, lunch on the deck at Greune River Grill, great Eggs Benedict at Sadler's Bakery, some toobing and swimming in the Guadalupe River, and a round of golf at Canyon Lake Golf Club.

All too soon it was time to say good bye to the grandkids and hit the road for a boring week at home before setting off again.