Written by Jeremy Puglisi
Texas Hill Country serves as the perfect country retreat for city dwellers from nearby Austin and San Antonio—and for visitors from around the country. This rustic and romantic region of the Lone Star State is also perfect for RV owners and roadtrippers of all stripes. The dusty rolling hills are easy to navigate while towing and the roads are sleepy and surrounded by wildflowers. Your road trip will include great historical sites, charming shopping, local cuisine, live music, and almost endless options for sampling great Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon from one of Hill Country’s more than 50 wineries. The region is also blessed with an abundance of great campgrounds, so finding a basecamp for your RV should be easy.
Filling up at one of these legendary gas stations should be your first off-the-hook Texas Hill Country experience. Buc-ee’s is unlike any other gas station out there. The bathrooms have won awards for cleanliness and the food—tacos, pulled pork, brisket, and Buc-ee’s legendary Beaver Nuggets are just a start. If you need to pick up a cooler, a cast iron skillet, or some charcoal, Buc-ee’s has also got you covered.
If you are traveling with kids and looking to plan a Texas Hill Country excursion that is fun for the whole family, then you should consider parking your RV at this ridiculously fun Jellystone Park. The kids will be more willing to go for a morning hike or tag along to a winery if they are coming back to waterslides and laser tag at the campground. With basketball, volleyball, ping-pong, disc golf, billiards, and tetherball on the menu, the sports facilities will please kids of all ages.
The Fredericksburg RV Park is a reliable and centrally located option for travelers who are looking for peace and quiet after a long day of exploring Texas Wine Country. They offer 100 reasonably-sized pull-through sites that all have full hookups, gravel pads, and concrete patios. The bathrooms and common areas are immaculately clean. Consider booking at least 6 months in advance if you plan on visiting during wildflower season from March through May.
If you want to dive into the wine culture of Texas Hill Country, your first stop should be Pontotoc Vineyards, where owners Carl and Francis Money can take you to school. Carl will tell you all about his vineyard and seven others that are unique to Texas. They grow Tempranillo grapes, and if you time your visit just right, you may get to join in on the harvest. This is a wonderful family spot, with room for your kids to run around while you enjoy a glass of wine or sangria. Messina Hof Winery & Resort is another great stop, and note that they are a Harvest Host spot, so you can spend the night in your RV if you are a member. Also check out Six Shooter Cellars, Fiesta Winery, Armadillo’s Leap, and Vintage Cellar. If you want someone else to drive you from stop to stop, WineRoad 290 has organized tours to join.
Fredericksburg is an absolute hub for all of the best things that Hill Country has to offer. This charming little city has an exciting combination of traditional food culture and contemporary farm to table trends. But authentic German cuisine is a must. The Auslander is a regional favorite and has been serving up delicious food for more than 20 years. We recommend the Bavarian potato skins, the Reuben sandwich, and perhaps most ardently, anything on the menu that ends with the magic word “schnitzel.”
RV owners should not miss a stop at Camp Hayden, a boutique camping-themed clothing and accessories store with a vintage look and feel. Classic Coleman lanterns, camp stoves, paddles, and canteens line the walls. The shelves are filled with camping books, mugs, and vintage style t-shirts guaranteed to bring your favorite camping memories back to life.
This museum honors Admiral Nimitz, Fredericksburg’s native son and Commander in-Chief of the Pacific Ocean’s Allied units during World War II. Tickets are good for 48 hours and you could easily spend a full day or more exploring the Plaza of the Presidents, Memorial Courtyard, Japanese Garden of Peace, and other impressive displays at this off-the-beaten-path, world-class museum.
Wildflowers are a big deal in Fredericksburg, and one of the best places to enjoy them is Wildseed Farms. This 200-acre farm grows, collects, and sells seeds from all Texas wildflower varieties. An on-site winery offers some dining options with plenty of room to park an RV.
History buffs won’t want to miss a trip to the Lyndon B. Johnson State Park & Historic Site, aka “The Texas White House.” This is where President Johnson was born, spent significant time during his life, and was buried in 1973. Visitors are able to tour this National Park Service site in the privacy of their own cars and hop out to explore the family cemetery and the ranch itself. Note that a permit must be obtained before taking a self-guided tour of the property.
If you are in the mood for some fresh air and a hike you can’t do any better than Dinosaur Valley State Park. This state treasure is not technically in Hill Country, but it’s close enough that it shouldn’t be missed. It is amazing to see fossilized dinosaur footprints in the river beds but the whole park is filled with opportunities for outdoor recreation. If you are feeling ambitious you can work up a sweat on the trails, or you can just take it slow and find a lazy swimming hole and cool off on a hot Texas day.
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