internationally recognized botanic garden displaying 650 native plants including bluebonnets.
For your first beer stop try a traditional farmhouse ale at Jester King. Sitting on a 60-acre working farm on the western edge of Austin, Jester King Brewery
produces about 3,000 barrels a year of small-batch artisanal beers. The brewmaster uses herbs like rosemary, horehound and lemon beebalm grown on the farm to give the beers a subtle taste of the Hill Country. Sit at a picnic table underneath the shade of a huge oak tree and enjoy one of their signature sour Belgian lambics.
Hop on Highway 290 and drive west for 90 minutes to Wildseed Farms
in Fredericksburg. The nation’s largest working wildflower farm is free and open to the public seven days a week. The family owned farm has more than 200 acres of wildflowers with several acres devoted to bluebonnets. This is a must-stop during wildflower lover.
The long stretch of highway between Austin and Fredericksburg is famously known for the wineries, but there is definitely so much more. Altstadt Brewery
recently opened as the lone brewery on Highway 290. This newbie to the Hill Country beer scene began brewing beer in 2017. The 58,000 square-foot brewery housed in a three-story German Tudor style grand clock tower will open to the public in the summer of 2018. Altstadt mixes old-world European brewing techniques with state-of-the-art digital brewing systems to create the perfect German beer. The brewery is one of four in the United States to follow centuries old, labor-intensive practice of fermenting beer in open fermentation vessels. They brew beer in accordance with the historic 16th century German beer purity laws making beer with only four ingredients – German hops, barley, yeast and water.
Willow City Loop
Between Fredericksburg and Llano on U.S. Highway 16, the terrain changes from gently rolling hills to rugged canyons with jagged cliffs. The 13-mile Willow City Loop smack in the middle of the two towns is one of the most beautiful drives in Texas. The two-lane country road winds through deep canyons, high hilltops and meandering streams with phenomenal panoramic views year-round. These views are especially breathtaking when the meadows are full of blue, yellow, pink and orange wildflowers!
A word to the wise, this is not a hidden gem. On weekends the bumper-to-bumper traffic can impede the tranquil beauty of nature’s wildflowers. If you enjoy serenity with your wildflower viewing, take this drive on a weekday.
A 30-minute drive east of Llano on Highway 29 is Burnet, the “Bluebonnet Capital of Texas.” The town has it all for the perfect bluebonnet photo – sweeping landscapes, fields brimming with colorful wildflowers, gently rolling hills and sparkling lakes. Each April, Burnet hosts a Bluebonnet Festival
drawing 30,000 people to celebrate all things bluebonnet.
Just east of Burnet is Liberty Hill. The small town has not one, but two breweries. Brothers Patrick and John Peck opened the San Gabriel River Brewery
on seven acres near the San Gabriel River. The nano brewery makes nine beers ranging from a hefeweizen to a honey porter to a Texas red. Can’t decide which one to choose? Grab a tasting of four five-ounce samples.
A few miles away, the family owned and operated Bull Creek Brewing
offers beer lovers a great selection. The Iron Balls Imperial Stout is a dark medium body beer that pairs well with BBQ while the malt and honey Boudica Braggot Ale is the brewmaster’s homage to the Eastern Hill County. Bring lunch, sit on the patio and sip one of the brewery’s nine beers while deciding which bluebonnet pictures to post to Instagram first.
Driving on scenic Highway 281 from Burnet and Marble Falls, you pass an abandoned two-story stone house in a field of bluebonnets. Known as the “Bluebonnet House,” it is one of the most photographed homes in Texas. Farther east near the shores of Lake Travis is the 400-acre Turkey Bend Recreation Area notorious
for its bluebonnet fields. Finally, the nearby Muleshoe Bend
is often referred to as the “Field of Dreams” for its glorious fields of wildflowers.
You do not have to feel guilty about finishing the