My 8 Favorite Small Towns to Visit in Texas Hill Country
The Texas Hill Country is a dream location for just about anything. Because the climate is relatively mild, the scenic views are surreal, and the outdoor attractions are unmasked, this area tops many travelers’ bucket lists, whether they live in Texas or in another state.
On my last visit to Hill Country Wines, I had an outstanding time throughout the region. This trip made me fall in love with these small towns all over again. I had been to most of them before and they are now on my list of favorite small towns to visit in the Texas Hill Country.
If you’re a wine connoisseur and want to explore the Texas Hill Country in all its glory, a great way to do that is to purchase a Texas Hill Country Wine Route Passport and visit as many wineries as you can on the list – there are over 40 to choose from. They offer four wine tours a year, starting with the Wine Lovers Celebration in February. We had a great time on this tour, tasting wines we would never have tried and meeting so many nice people along the way. I can’t wait to go back for the next one.
After a friend took me to Blanco State Park, seeing the ripples of the Blanco River flowing down the bank was enough for me to add this town to my list of favorite Hill Country towns. Because I love lavender and White is known for its beautiful lavender fields, I pushed it to the top. Can’t wait to go back to visit the lavender fields in the spring when the flowers are in full bloom. My friend tells me the state park is even more gorgeous then. If you go for Lavender, plan to see the whole city, including the park. The photo I took (above) says it all.
Pro Tip: Blanco is a small town, and if you blink you will pass through it. Be on the lookout for the Old 300 BBQ and its truck. Weather permitting, stop by for the best barbecue in town.
I’ve been here twice in a year and still can’t get enough of Boerne’s charming main street. I love the slogan they came up with to describe Main Street: “The Hill Country Mile”. It really is over a mile of shopping, dining, relaxing, sipping and savoring. If you like to shop at specialty stores, put Boerne on your list of towns to visit in the Texas Hill Country. The best things to do in Boerne aren’t just on Main Street; there are also plenty of things to see in the city, such as Cibolo Creek, which runs through the south end of Main Street. It’s a perfect place for a picnic and to watch the ducks swim and quack in the creek. If you love Texas history, a visit to the Old Jail Museum is a must. After sitting for years, new owners have arrived and transformed this former prison into a showcase of Boerne and Texas history. It’s quite a sight…and you could find yourself locked in the jail cell if you’re not careful!
Pro tip: There are two caves to visit in town. And, if you like panning for gold, as they say, plan to visit the Unnamed cave, then go through the lock. I came out with many crystals and beautiful rock formations which literally started my home rock collection.
While some may pass through this town heading to Fredericksburg on Highway 281, I say stop and explore because Burnet offers what other Hill Country towns do and may not be as busy. From scenic drives and vineyards to caverns to explore and a lake for swimming – what’s not to love? I, too, drive through Burnet when going deep into the Hill Country, but had the pleasure of exploring several out-of-town attractions and a beautiful winery in town twice.
For those who enjoy exploring outdoors, Longhorn Caverns and Inks Lake are minutes away. If you exit a little further (about 6 miles) on Hwy 29 you will come to Torr Na Lochs Vineyard and Wine Estate, which offers beautiful views of the hills and a glimpse of Lake Inks and Lake Buchanan. The moment you turn onto the road leading to the winery is a journey in itself. The history explained on the website will make you want to visit – even if you don’t drink wine. Catering options are also available. Torr Na Lochs tops my list of the most amazing wineries on our Texas Hill Country wine tour.
Pro Tip: My only advice is that you won’t want to leave Burnet!
Comfort, Texas is a welcoming city located in the middle of the Hill Country and offers many charming home rentals. When I visited earlier this year, we stayed at a quaint bed and breakfast, had a fantastic raspberry cream cheese pie at a local cafe, and enjoyed a winery on the outskirts of town. I can see why locals and visitors enjoy Comfort, Texas – a friendly little town indeed. FYI, much of the city center is closed on Sundays and Mondays and some establishments are still closed on Tuesdays, but the city does come alive the rest of the week, so plan accordingly if you go there.
Pro Tip: My next door neighbor moved to San Antonio for a job, but his wife told me she was looking forward to moving to the Hill Country. They finally got lucky and chose Comfort as their forever home. They love it there, and she found an old house to buy and fix.
5. Dripping springs
With all the outdoor attractions within a few miles of each other like the Hamilton Pool Preserve, Perdanels River, Westcave Preserve, Wineries, a Farmers Market every Wednesday rain or shine, how could i not like this place? Dripping Springs is a veritable outdoor oasis, and with 35 wedding venues, there are plenty of “do’s” in town. dripping springs is less than a 20 minute drive from Austin and is known as ‘the Gateway to the Hill Country’. I haven’t spent a lot of time here and can’t wait to go back.
Pro Tip: There’s always something going on in town, from live music to special events (or a wedding) – the locals love to brag about it!
6. George Town
“The prettiest town square in Texas” definitely put Georgetown on my list. My grandson and I went over Christmas and I can attest to his first name. Now I want to go back to see the poppy fields in the spring and attend their Poppy Festival. Georgetown has a small town vibe with several delicious local restaurants, art galleries, great shopping, and historic preservation on the square.
Inner Space CavernsLake Georgetown and San Gabriel Hike & Bike Trail are three places to put on your list to visit.
Pro tip: Depending on what you want to see, Christmas and spring are my picks for the best times of year to visit this city. There is so much to do and see these seasons.
7. Town of Johnson
I was glad I was stuck in this town for 2 days when a winter storm hit in February 2022. The place we stayed was cozy and warm, and the owner was only a text to make sure everything was okay. We were able to explore a few spots before the ice went through. The first place we stopped was Farmhouse Vineyard & Winery where we stomped in the rain to the front door being greeted by their friendly pup, Kona. We also got to sample delicious nachos at Proof & Cooper recommended by the people at the winery.
Pro tip: We found the locals to be very hospitable and eager to see the rest of the city. On a good day, the city is a pleasant walk.
8. Marble Falls
Marble Falls is side by side with Burnet and shares many of the same recognition. There are beautiful scenic views, rolling hills, great places to eat, and lots of things to do outdoors. My grandson and I spent a weekend in the fall here doing fun kids stuff like making a scarecrow out of hay and secondhand clothes at Sweet Berry Farms, then visit the Longhorn Caverns. If you love beautiful scenic lakes, you are in for a treat as they surround the city.
Downtown Marble Falls features quaint shops, a nostalgic toy store, a delicious ice cream shop with many flavors, restaurants and a winery. Plus, Marble Falls Lake is within walking distance of downtown. Many roads lead to scenic views, and RM 1431 is one of them. We were lucky to have found a nice rental just off this road.
Pro Tip: Sweet Berry Farms offers a bushel of things to do for the whole family. Spring and fall are the best times to visit.