What to see in the Texas Hill Country

After spending a few days in Fredericksburg at the Lady Bird Johnson Municipal Campground, we decided to wander around a bit. Here is the story of what to see in the Texas Hill Country.

Cartoon Cowboy Saloon

508 FM 473
Comfort, TX 78013

We took a brief side trip to visit the quirky and unusual Cartoon Cowboy Saloon, the headquarters for JP Rankin, the famed Cartoon Cowboy cartoonist. This off-the-wall place is a delightful and unique attraction built along a country road, mainly in the middle of nowhere.

What to see in the Texas Hill Country

The Cartoon Cowboy Saloon is not an actual saloon. It is, however, a terrific location to take fun photos of the saloon and visit with some of the property owners, the friendliest guys you’ll ever meet. Be sure to sign the visitor’s log while you are there.

We hope to return here later in the year to join the Texas Independence Day Celebration event. It sounds like a great time to me. Click the link above for information.

When we left the Cowboy Saloon, we couldn’t find a place to turn around in the RV, and since we were towing the Jeep, we could not back up either. As a result, we had an exhilarating drive through some tiny back-country roads just at sunset. I am now always on the lookout for deer crossing our path.

We finally made our way back to a major road after twenty minutes or so. Still, I was just a little nervous about encountering another deer on the highway in the hilly terrain at dusk. We do not want to experience that again!

Luckenbach – where everybody is somebody

You know all about Luckenbach, even if you are not a Texan, right? It was, of course, made famous in 1977 by country singer Waylon Jennings’ wildly popular song “Luckenbach, Texas (Back to the Basics of Love).”

Kit Patterson, the grandson of the writer and humorist Hondo Crouch, owns this community. Luckenbach was sold to Crouch in 1971 by the previous owner Benno Engel.

You can listen to live music almost every day, as was the case the day of our recent visit. We sat outside on a weekday afternoon with probably thirty other visitors and enjoyed excellent live music. Today, the town is host to many private celebrations and public events.

Today, the town has two main buildings: a souvenir store and saloon combination and a great dancehall. A large parking lot that can accommodate significant events is also available here.

290 Wine Castle at Chateau de Chasse

The 290 Wine Castle is the only winery we stopped to visit during this trip. I know we must have passed at least 20 wineries from Fredericksburg to the 290 Wine Castle, but we decided a castle was worth checking into.

Yes, this is an actual replica of a castle. The winery is spacious, with a second-floor dungeon, and has a massive deck in the back with majestic 360-degree views. A resort hotel is in the works now on the property and will soon be open for travelers in this area, making this a full-service winery.

What a great afternoon! This winery does not grow grapes or make its wine. Instead, it gathers wines from Europe and China, and Texas winemakers. The wines I sampled were all delicious. I was hard-pressed to choose a favorite. I did finally make a choice and a wine purchase.

By the way, Yolo Texas was filming a segment, Good Knight from Johnson City, here at the same time as our visit. Yolo Texas is an entertainment travel show specific to Texas. I am now a great fan of this show and look to these videos for travel ideas.

Enchanted Rock State Natural Area

Steve and I are not particularly physically active seniors, but we aren’t afraid to climb a hill here there or go on a sunny day hike. However, my short, round grandmotherly legs were excited about doing this hike.

The pink granite dome of Enchanted Rock covers 640 acres, and the slope up to the top of the dome is just a little bit steep. Visitors must register at the park headquarters and pay a small entry fee.

There is a 4.25-mile trail around Enchanted Rock, but we chose to hike straight up as most everyone else did. Climbing to the top is equivalent to walking up 45 flights of stairs, and the climb has an average incline of 30 degrees! I did not know these facts at the time of our climb.

I am, however, incredibly proud of our efforts to climb to the top, even if I did not quite reach it. We started our climb late in the afternoon, and when I had about ten minutes or so left to climb, I noticed the sun was rapidly setting.

Therefore, we decided it would be less than wise to climb down in the dark, so we did not continue to the top. The view on the Rock is spectacular, and I recommend you do not miss it if you have an opportunity to visit. We did okay for folks in their 70s, I believe. Another trip, another day, right?

Enchanted Rock is a pluton defined as “a body of intrusive igneous rock.”

There are several legends about the Enchanted Rock. You can read about these colorful stories at the Texas State Historical Association Handbook of Texas website.

Glen Rose

This quaint little town is where we camped for the next few days. Glen Rose was settled in 1849 by Charles Barnard, but the first store did not open until 1859.

“Whiskey woods capital” is the name for this area during prohibition because of moonshining done here! In addition, Glen Rose, at one time, was known for its mineral springs and the healing qualities of those springs. The town at one time was a well-known health center.

The beautiful and historic courthouse in Glen Rose burned down in 1892, just a year after being built. The new courthouse suffered damage from a tornado in 1902.

Dinosaur Valley State Park

Dinosaurs in Texas? Yes, it appears so. The State Park has hundreds of visible dinosaur tracks that have become fossilized and are on display in the shallow areas of the Paluxy River. We took a couple of short hikes to see this incredible history with our own eyes.

Dinosaur Valley State Park is a popular recreation destination for fishing, camping, hiking, and even horseback riding. We would love to have camped here, but there was no availability shown online, as is often the case with State Parks.

Big Rocks Park

This fun park gets its name from the monstrously huge rocks found here along the Paluxy River. It’s an excellent place for photos, a place for kids to climb and play, and for families to picnic or swim. A river walk runs from this park to Heritage Park.

Oakdale RV Resort & Motor Court

Oakdale campground and motor court opened in 1925 and boasted what was at that time the largest swimming pool in Texas. The RV sites here are large, well-spaced, have full hook-ups, and all amenities campers might require. We enjoyed our stay at this old-style family campground.

The dog park, an essential item for us, is just tremendous. The office staff is amiable and helpful. The office even has handmade tamales for sale. We purchased a dozen and enjoyed them immensely.

Oakdale hosts RV rallies, events, and even family reunions regularly. I discovered that Oakdale is on the National Register of Historic Places, a rare honor for a private RV park.

Storiebook Café

We just stumbled upon this little gem of a restaurant. It has a library theme and décor; books are everywhere. I cannot remember being so comfortable at a restaurant! Our lunch, broccoli cheese soup, BLT and Reuben sandwiches, and homemade pie were outstandingly delicious.

The Storiebook Café is a place I could hang out in for hours and hours. I took photos of several eye-catching book covers and titles to track them down, and I am excited to discover what new tales I found there.

I expect it may seem as if we willy nilly wander about in our home on wheels without much of a plan. That is the plan. We choose a destination that has an attraction that catches our interest. Then we check to see what else we can see and learn about that particular place.

I do not often mention geocaching in our travels, but the geocaches we do find always take us to the most unique and historical sights that we would never have known about if not for this fun hobby. Geocaching is a great hobby, sport, activity for the whole family or just you all by yourself.

What to see in the Texas Hill Country

2 thoughts on “What to see in the Texas Hill Country

  1. I love keeping up with your travel adventures, but I miss seeing you in person!

    1. Thank you for reading! We need to meet for lunch in the big city, don’t we?

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