For many people, Texas evokes images of drab, dusty desert scenery. Surprisingly, however, the Texas Hill Country is one of the most lush, green areas in the Southwest. Frontier settlers chose the area for the fertile land and generous water supply, and today's travelers will find the Hill Country to be the perfect romantic getaway for a vacation steeped in history, regional gourmet cuisine and a slower pace of life.
Experience Old World Fredericksburg
In 2008, the New York Times said Fredericksburg "might be the next best thing to crossing the Atlantic." Located just 70 miles from Austin, this charming town was founded by German settlers who arrived in 1846 and proceeded to model it "like the German villages along the Rhine, from which many of the colonists had come," according to the city of Fredericksburg. Today, Fredericksburg has historically preserved homes and a quaint "Marktplatz" (downtown area) with numerous shops, galleries, music clubs, wineries and restaurants. Fredericksburg also hosts numerous festivals, including the Wildflower Celebration and "Night in Old Fredericksburg," which showcases local culture, cuisine and history. There are numerous romantic bed and breakfast accommodations in Fredericksburg, such as the Alte Welt Bed and Breakfast, a historic home built in 1915 with two luxury guest suites (one with a hot tub), located in the center of town. Guests seeking privacy will also appreciate the absence of an on-site host at this establishment. Management can provide special romantic gift baskets with varying themes such as relaxation products, edibles and chocolates. Alte Welt Gasthof Bed and Breakfast 142 E. Main St. Fredericksburg, TX 78624 888-991-6749 texas-bed-n-breakfast.com
Dance at Luckenbach
Fredericksburg visitors shouldn't miss seeing historic Luckenbach, a wide spot in the road made famous in a song by Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings. Luckenbach showcases acoustic country western musicians every day and on Friday nights hosts a Texas style dance with a live band in the Luckenbach Dance Hall, one of the oldest in Texas. Find out about the latest lineup by visiting http://www.luckenbachtexas.com.
Relax on the River in Greune
Pronounced like the color green, the small community of Greune is located in a lush setting along the Guadalupe River, just 25 miles from San Antonio. Founded in 1878, this historic town offers guests a variety of romantic activities, including wine tastings, antique shopping in the quaint downtown and numerous festivals held throughout the year. The Greune Mansion Inn Romantic accommodations in Greune include the Greune Mansion Inn, a historic luxury retreat that offers guests "a chance to sleep in Texas history." The quiet inn has 30 individual units with their own private entrances, baths and porches. The inn is located within walking distance of the Guadalupe River, five restaurants, shopping on Main Street and the historic Greune Dance Hall. The Gruene Mansion Inn 1275 Gruene Rd. New Braunfels, TX 78130 830-629-2641 gruenemansioninn.com
Rising Stars at the Greune Dance Hall
The Greune Dance Hall is the oldest dance hall in Texas and has often featured famous country western musicians while they were still rising stars, including Lyle Lovett and Willie Nelson. Live music happens daily, with occasional cover charges for only the most well-known acts, which typically perform on weekend nights. Gruene Hall 1281 Gruene Rd. New Braunfels, TX 78130 830-606-1281 gruenehall.com
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