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Wild West Texas

Cities in tour: El Paso, Hueco Tanks, Juárez (Mexico), Fort Davis, Presidio, Lajitas, Big Bend, Terlingua, Alpine, Langtry, Del Rio, Brackettville and Uvalde

Map Detailing Route

Texas Mountain Trail

Cities in tour: El Paso, Van Horn, Marfa, Presidio, Big Bend Park, Study Butte, Alpine and Fort Davis

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Texas Hill Country Trail

Cities in tour: San Antonio, Kerrville, Fredericksburg, Johnson City, Llano, Austin, San Marcos and Wimberley

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Lone Star Heritage

Cities in tour: Amarillo, Hereford, Canyon, Lubbock, Pecos, Odessa, Midland, Wichita Falls, Denton, Sherman and Gainesville

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Texas Pecos Trail

Cities in tour: Midland/Odessa, Monahans, Fort Stockton, Ozona, Langtry, Del Rio, Brackettville, Rocksprings and Junction

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Texas Brazos Trail

Cities in tour: Austin, Salado, Temple, Waco, Groesbeck, Marlin, College Station, Caldwell and Elgin

Texas Hill Country Trail
San Antonio

The Hill Country Trail will captivate you immediately when you visit colorful and picturesque San Antonio on the first day. The city lies at the foot of the Hill Country just below the escarpment that separates the rugged hills from the lower plains to the south and east. Now the nation’s 10th largest city and one of its top tourist destinations, San Antonio was settled by Spanish missionaries in the early 1700s. The missionaries established five missions that can still be visited today. The most famous is the Mission San Antonio de Valero, better known as the Alamo . The Alamo, of course, is the site of the famous battle between defenders of the fledgling Republic of Texas and General Santa Anna’s Mexican army. Although the Texican defenders lost the battle, the two-week siege allowed Sam Houston time to form an army capable of defeating Santa Anna. San Antonio offers superb historic and art museums. History lovers will especially enjoy the Institute of Texan Cultures at Hemisfair Park , site of the 1968 World’s Fair. The Institute spotlights cultural influences in Texas history, from native inhabitants to recent immigrants. The 750-foot Tower of the Americas in Hemisfair Park offers breathtaking views of San Antonio and the Hill Country to the west. Historic downtown San Antonio includes La Villita , the oldest permanently inhabited settlement in the nation; King William District, a collection of beautiful German homes from the turn of the century; and Market Square, a center for Mexican dining and shopping. The jewel of downtown, however, is the River Walk, a paradise of shops, restaurants and nightclubs amid tropical landscaping that offer year-round entertainment to suit any taste. Don’t miss the chance for dinner and a ride on the famous river barges, followed by shopping at Rivercenter, home of San Antonio’s only IMAX theater.

Sports lovers will find plenty to like about San Antonio, home of the NBA’s San Antonio Spurs, the collegiate football Alamo Bowl, and the Texas Open professional golf tournament.

Family activities also are easy to find in San Antonio. Six Flags Fiesta Texas and Sea World theme parks attract thousands of visitors. Brackenridge Park , the San Antonio Zoo , and the hands-on Witte Museum are favorites among locals and visitors.

Northwest of San Antonio lies Castroville. Stop first at the Landmark Inn State Historic Structure, south of the Trail (U.S. 90). The vintage inn dates from stagecoach days and still accepts guests who make early reservations. Next is Bandera , a real Old West town that caters to today’s tourists. Take your pick of modern resorts or working ranches that give guests a taste of what ranch life is really like. Most of these real-working ranches offer trail rides, campfire cookouts, square dances, hiking, and rodeos, plus hunting for white-tailed deer and wild turkey, when in season.

If time permits, take a leisurely drive to Utopia , Uvalde or Leakey , and soak in the lovely Hill Country scenery. Keep your eyes open for sinkholes, small limestone pools that replenish the Edwards Aquifer which underlies the entire region.

Kerrville and Fredericksburg

Unleash your inner Texan in Kerrville, located in the heart of the Hill Country. Relive the days of the Old West at the Cowboy Artists of America Museum, which features works from the nation’s most distinguished western artists. Experience how well-to-do pioneers lived at the beautifully restored and furnished Charles Schreiner Mansion or sample more modern luxury at the Classic Car Showcase and Wax Museum, which houses some of the most elegant cars ever produced. Kerrville’s inviting climate and spectacular scenery make it a popular spot for outdoor activities. Beautiful grounds and shaded picnic tables make Louise Hays Park a perfect outdoor getaway in the heart of downtown. A foot bridge crosses the Guadalupe River to Tranquility Island, where cypress trees tower over gently sloping grassy banks. The 500-acre Kerrville-Schreiner State Park , outside town on the banks of the Guadalupe, offers swimming, fishing and boating, campsites and picnic tables. Screened shelters and RV campsites are also available.

Kerrville plays host to a wide variety of special events throughout the year. The world-famous Kerrville Music Folk Festival celebrates the beginning of summer with 18 days of live music performances at Quiet Valley Ranch just south of town. The Kerrville Wine and Music Festival marks the end of summer, with performances by original songwriters and entertainers from around the nation, plus food and wine tastings and a craft fair. West on Hwy. 39 lie the riverside villages of Hunt and Ingram, home of some of the state’s most popular youth camps, river lodges and cottages. One look at the dramatic river, bordered by tall pecan and cottonwood trees, proves why this area is so beloved. Of special interest are the Hill Country Arts Foundation and Point Theater (summer stock) in Ingram, the shops and boutiques in “Old Ingram” on the highway just south of town, and the murals on the Moore Lumber Yard building.

Nearing Fredericksburg to the east visitors leave the Guadalupe River watershed and encounter the Pedernales (locally pronounced perd’n-al-es) River. The Lady Bird Johnson Municipal Park near Fredericksburg is an immaculate facility with abundant camping, picnicking and sports facilities – one of the state’s best small-city parks. Fredericksburg is the Hill Country’s most popular destination for antique lovers and shoppers of all kinds. Many historic downtown buildings have been transformed into quaint shops filled with antiques, gifts, fashion, food, books, wines, Texana and more. The emphasis is on originality and one-of-a-kind pieces. Start with Main Street and then stroll down the side streets to find out why Fredericksburg is a shopping mecca of international proportions. Fredericksburg remains close to its German heritage, with authentic architecture and food, and German spoken all over town. But some days are even more special, coupled with numerous events. From the mystical Easter Fires Pageant in the spring, to the Night In Old Fredericksburg (part of the oldest county fair in Texas) in the summer, to fall’s famous Oktoberfest , and finally winter’s German Christmas markets, each season brings special celebrations.

Fredericksburg’s most famous son, Admiral Chester Nimitz , is remembered at the dowtown Admiral Nimitz Museum. This centerpiece of the National Museum of the Pacific War also includes the George Bush Gallery, Plaza of the Presidents, Japanese Peace Garden, Memorial Wall and Pacific Combat Zone.