Central Texas: where hill country meets that irresistible Texas feel, where you can enjoy wine tasting one day and head to a rodeo the next. There’s endless fun awaiting Texas locals and visitors alike, so here’s our guide for how to spend seven great days in Central Texas.
First, spend a day traveling back in time with Austin Steam Train’s moving museum. These restored trains date back to the early 1900s and now provide a perfect day trip for any Austin resident or visitor. They have everything from beer rides to zombie mysteries to a Christmas train ride for the whole family, featuring hot cocoa and Santa Clause. See the hill country while experiencing a ride that is equal parts relaxing and exciting.
Now that summer is over, you can enjoy Hamilton Pool without the substantial crowds. This is one of Austin’s most beautiful and well-known swimming holes; get there in the early morning during the fall to unwind and enjoy a moment of solitude.
Devote a day to Waco, Texas, an unassuming and splendid city to spend the day in. Head over to Lake Waco Wetlands, where you’ll find beautiful grassy marshes and floating docks positioned for simply observing the beautiful wildlife. For a completely different experience try Magnolia Market, where owners and the stars of HGTV’s hit show Fixer Upper restored an abandoned silo, which now sells custom-made furniture. The property also hosts food trucks, a garden, and a play area for the kids.
Eat some Tex Mex from places like Matt’s El Rancho or Chuy’s. Order the enchiladas, fajitas and puffy tacos, with hot salsa and margaritas on the side.
If you’re in the mood for spending the day in a charming small town, drive to Fredericksburg, where Texas meets German influence. Stroll down Main Street for some great places to eat and unique shops, where you might just find the perfect antique trinket. Visit some Texas wineries; if you don’t know which ones to hit, try a limo-led wine tour with Texas Wine Tours and their knowledgable drivers.
If the timing’s right, attend a Texas rodeo, like Rodeo Austin or Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo, and witness working cowboys, competitive bull riding, and live country music. Most of the rodeos take place in March, when the weather is nice in Texas, so grab those dusty boots and head on down.
If you’re more into antiquing, flea markets, and restoring the old, then head to the massive flea market at Canton, also called First Monday Canton, to find your next hidden treasure – along with funnel cakes and large turkey legs. The permanent and visiting vendors sell everything from unique home furnishings to rare collectables. This is largely considered the most popular flea market in Central Texas, and it’s open Thursday through Sunday before the first Monday of every month.
Whether you take on this whole list or choose to stick with the nice views and wine, you’ll find each activity holds equal parts excitement and Texas charm.