Cultural Heritage · cultural itineraries · food and wine itineraries · Historic Towns · intercity transit · museums · travel plan

Texas Hill Country Small Towns

Fredericksburg, Gruene, Lockhart, Luckenbach, Poteet, Round Top and Wimberley

Fredericksburg is known for its German heritage, antiquing, wineries, Oktoberfest celebration and the Enchanted Rock, a massive bald dome of Texas granite that is a hiking, bouldering, and spelunking destination.

The Starting Point to Visit Texas Hill Country Wineries

Founded in 1846, the town is also notable as the home of Texas German, a dialect spoken by the first generations of German settlers who initially refused to learn English. The birthplace of Admiral Chester Nimitz, the Fredericksburg Historic District was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1970.

Gruene is a historic community between San Antonio and Austin, home to country’s oldest dance hall, the Gruene general store, numerous bars and antique shops, tubing and rafting outfitters. Built in 1878 by Henry D. Gruene, Gruene Hall by design has not physically changed since it was first built.

Lockhart was originally called Plum Creek. The town’s economic growth began with the arrival of the railroad in the late 19thcentury and its role as a regional shipping center for local cotton. Lockhart has several claims to fame: Barbecue Capital of Texas, the Dr. Eugene Clark Library is the oldest operating public library in the state, a Victorian post-frontier American town and host to many film sets.

Luckenbach is a laid-back music and entertainment destination. Its oldest building is a combination of general store and saloon. First named Grape Creek, the name comes from the German words lucken (gap) and bach (stream), it was first established as a trading post, one of a few that never broke a peace treaty with the Comanche with whom they traded. Today Luckenbach maintains a ghost-town feel with its small population and strong western aesthetic.

Poteet is south of San Antonio and is home to the Strawberry Festival with country music, live auctions, a rodeo, a carnival, and strawberry-themed foods.

Round Top is a town with artists, antique shops, and bed & breakfast inns nestled between Austin and Houston on U.S. 290. Originally named for early settler Nathaniel Townsend, the town was renamed since the postmaster lived in a house with a round tower. Renowned for its antique show, Royers Café pies and its arts scene. Every summer, the town hosts students at the Festive Hill music institute and the Shakespeare program, which provide symphonic and theatrical performances for locals and visitors; the Winedale Historical Center is just down the road from Round Top.

The James Dick Foundation for the Performing Arts and its Round Top Festival Institute were founded in 1971 by world-renowned concert pianist James Dick. Begun with a handful of gifted young pianists in rented space on the town square, the project is now an internationally acclaimed music institute for aspiring young musicians and distinguished faculty.

Festival Hill contains major performance facilities, historic houses, extensive gardens, parks and nature preserves. Through its singular collection of rare books, manuscripts, archival material, music and historic recordings, photographs and objects, Round Top Festival Institute is also known as an important center for research and scholarly study.

Wimberley started as a trading post settlement near Cypress Creek in 1848, Over the years, the local mill was expanded to process lumber, shingles, flour, molasses, and cotton. Today, it hosts arts, crafts and other events.

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