“If Texas is indeed a state of mind, the Hill Country is the reason why.” That’s what Fodors had to say about this special, scenic place, and we have to say we agree.
In this area of approximately 40,000 square miles sandwiched between Austin and San Antonio, elevations range from around 600 feet to more than 3,000 feet above sea level, which creates a tableau for some truly spectacular views. Highlighted by their “defining feature”—the hills—said Fodors, there are also towering trees, vast valleys, lush expanses, and sparkling rivers.
And that’s not even mentioning the “karst topography, “a landscape formed from the dissolution of soluble rocks such as limestone, dolomite, and gypsum,” said Wikipedia. Karst topography is responsible for the caverns that are found throughout the area (Inner Space Caverns, Natural Bridge Caverns, Bracken Cave, Longhorn Cavern State Park, Cascade Caverns, Caverns of Sonora and Cave Without a Name) and which provide a whole different kind of amazing view.
Knowing where to find the best views in the Hill Country can make your exploration and adventures even greater. Here is a rundown of places you’ll want to check out.
This natural wonder close to Fredericksburg is a great reason to stop, stare, and climb to the top. “For a dramatic Hill Country landscape, many visitors go to Enchanted Rock, an enormous meatloaf-shaped piece of granite outside of Fredericksburg,” said the New York Times.
“Less well-known but equally spectacular,” said the New York Times, Pedernales Falls State Park will give you endless opportunities to see and appreciate the Hill Country’s natural scenery. “Cutting through a shallow canyon, the Pedernales River tumbles down a series of limestone shelves, with the water collecting in turquoise pools among giant boulders,” they said. “The soundtrack — the rumble of cascading water — is just as exhilarating as the view.”
The Hill Country, especially near New Braunfels, is often compared to Tuscany. Jaunt over to Dripping Springs to gaze out onto olive groves with rolling hills in the background, and you might think you’ve landed in Italy.
Edwards Plateau Formation
“The Edwards Plateau is an uplifted and elevated region originally formed from marine deposits of sandstone, limestone shales, and dolomites 100 million years ago during the Cretaceous Period when this region was covered by an ocean,” according to Texas Parks & Wildlife.” The natural formations here at Garner State Park offer spectacular sights including limestone cliffs, dramatic bluffs, gorges, and enormous cypress trees. Climb to the top of Old Baldy and you’ll also get a view of the Frio River.
Fall is a favorite time to visit the Hill Country, and especially Lost Maples because of the multicolored foliage, but a trip here is worth it year round for the “several groves of bigtooth maples (that) still stand from a time when the climate was much cooler and moister, protected in canyons from the wind and heat,” said My Scenic Drives. You may also see some great wildlife with “gray fox, white-tailed deer, armadillo, raccoon, bobcat and javelin, and the park is a bird watchers paradise, featuring over 300 species including the endangered black-capped vireos and golden-cheeked warblers. There are a few hiking trails to absorb the incredible, rugged scenery.”
Head to Cibolo Nature Center in Boerne for 100 acres and numerous trails offering the best Texas Hill Country scenery split into four distinct ecosystems: riparian forest, live oak savannah, tall-grass prairie, and spring-fed marsh.
Devil’s Backbone Overlook
Wimberley is a quaint, charming place to spend some time, and it’s even more rewarding if you head there via Devil’s Backbone Overlook. On this meandering drive, you can expect to see rolling hills, sweeping valleys, and native trees.
Ranch Road 337
This scenic drive from Bandera to Leakey is also considered one of the best places to enjoy Hill country views. This route features broad views with some of the most dramatic scenery around.
Back Roads Texas especially likes the drive out of Medina towards Vanderpool along 337. “It offers some of the best views of the Texas Hill Country and provides some very interesting stops along the way,” they said. “Hwy 337 seems to dead end into Hwy 187, but just turn right, go through the small community of Vanderpool and follow 187 to Hwy 337 west to Leakey.”
The drive from Dripping Springs to Gruene
This is one of the most beautiful drives, chock full of of hillside views as well as well as sparkling vistas of the Guadalupe River. If you haven’t yet had the opportunity to enjoy a meal at The Gristmill, stop by, ask for a table outside overlooking the river, and discover why this is one of the Hill Country’s favorite restaurants.
From Gruene, it’s just a short drive to The Crossings in New Braunfels, the newest single-family community in New Braunfels featuring new homes in the Hill Country from leading national builder Lennar Homes. From this new 288-acre community, you can gaze out onto the Hill Country and feel far removed from the hustle and bustle. Yet, The Crossings’ location offers easy access to I35.
The Crossings features two new Hill Country neighborhoods, Brookside II and Camden Collection, with 16 different floorplans ranging from 1,600 to 3,117 square feet. Three to four bedrooms, open floorplans, gourmet kitchens, and spacious gathering areas are offered, with the addition of upscale new home features including GE Energy Star® stainless steel appliances and granite countertops in the kitchen; window coverings; and landscape package with fully sodded yards, backyard fencing, irrigation system with rain sensor, and covered patio, per plan, included at no extra cost.
The Crossings also boasts great onsite amenities including a swimming pool, grassy play areas, and walking trails.
For more information, visit The Crossings or click below to see all floorplans.