Let us put "JOY" in your travel!
Just outside the bustling artistic scene and nightlife of the capital city of Austin, travelers can discover a wealth of natural wonders. Fascinating creatures, brilliant flora, and some of nature’s most interesting creations surround the Highland Lakes region only a short drive from the city center.
Bird Watching Delights – See Bald Eagles Nesting by Cruise
Enthusiast flock alongside Highway 29 about 9 miles east of Llano, TX every winter to spot baby bald eagles peeking out from their nests as both parents take part in switching roles from food provider to nest watch guard. To view the nesting eagles in an exceptional fashion, head to Canyon of the Eagles Nature Park just outside of Burnet, and sign up for the Vanishing Texas River Cruise’s Bald Eagle Tour. Float along the lake and the Colorado River to see the eagles and a myriad of other bird species along the shoreline. The park itself additionally features miles of hiking trails and an observatory for outdoor enthusiasts.
Become Enchanted at Enchanted Rock
By far the most visited and captivating rock in Texas, Enchanted Rock is encompassed within a state park and typically fills to visitor capacity each day. Arrive early to obtain a pass and begin the trek to the top of this millions of years old granite dome. Gentle terrain allows even toddlers to reach the summit and soak in unadulterated, 360-degree views of the hillside upon arrival. A few miles of groomed trails teem with Texas native creatures, and rock climbers can take on the challenge of the natural scaling areas surrounding the park.
Walk Amid Wonderful Wildflowers Over Wine
Several exquisite wineries in the Highland Lakes grace the shores of the lakes, while others are nestled into the more remote countryside. However, many of the wineries boast patches of brilliant bluebonnets, Indian paintbrushes, and other fragrant and beautiful blossoms in the springtime. In particular, March through May produces massive patches that appear along most highways and country roads throughout the region. Choose a winery, enjoy a tasting, and head back out onto the road to discover another flourishing of blossoms on the way to your next destination.
Get Lost at Longhorn Cavern State Park
With two nature-filled trails to explore, Longhorn Cavern State Park is a great place to discover Texas’ native flora and fauna. Stop by the visitor center for an exploration map guiding you to marked areas and offering detailed information about each site and the creatures that inhabit it. Take time to explore the magnificent Longhorn Cavern to learn about it’s unique history and unique formations. Tours occur daily in the constant-temperature cave, and seasonal chamber concerts take place in one of the chambers.
There is an endless array of nature-oriented sites and activities to enjoy, and if you really want to escape the trappings of city life for a few days consider booking one of the accommodating vacation homes at Highland Lakes.
Lynn Louis enjoys playing and working at the Highland Lakes, and promoting the area to visitors who may otherwise miss the wonders of this part of the beautiful Texas Hill Country.