Illustrations © Bryan Spear
Splash | CENTRAL TEXAS REGION
$6 park admission
Take a selfie with either of the parks waterfalls in the background.
At McKinney Falls State Park, Onion Creek flows over limestone, splashing down into pools below. Tucked into East Austin, just 13 miles from the state Capitol, it’s a great place to swim, fish or listen to the park’s upper and lower waterfalls.
Parks | CENTRAL TEXAS REGION
$3 park admission
Take a selfie with the park’s namesake plant, the dwarf palmetto. You’ll find them growing under trees all over the park.
Find the tropics in Central Texas at Palmetto State Park. Besides the flowing San Marcos River, the park has an artesian well, an oxbow lake and swamps. With so many water sources, Palmetto State Park is a haven for animals and plants, and a great place to swim, tube, fish, hike, bike or just study nature.
Wildlife | CENTRAL TEXAS REGION
$5 park admission
Snap a selfie in front of the Park Road 1C sign at either end of the road.
Park Road 1C, a 12-mile stretch of hilly road between Bastrop and Buescher state parks, shows nature’s rebirth at its finest as you cruise through old-growth areas and forested areas recovering from fire in the Lost Pines.
History | CENTRAL TEXAS REGION
Take a selfie in front of any of the four missions south of the Alamo on the trail.
Everyone remembers the Alamo. But there are four other Spanish colonial missions along the 10-mile San Antonio Missions hike and bike trail: Concepcion, San Jose, San Juan and Espada. Along the route, see other aspects of life at the missions, including acequias (irrigation systems of dams, gates and canals), labores (agricultural fields) and the aqueduct at Mission Espada.
QUIRKY | CENTRAL TEXAS REGION
Take a selfie with the ‘Henge or one of the Easter Island heads.
In 1989, Doug Hill gave his neighbor Al Shepperd an unused limestone slab. Shepperd propped it upright … and then started having ideas. That’s how Stonehenge II, a plaster and wire mesh replica that’s almost as large as the original, wound up in a field outside Ingram (before being moved to town). For a history twister, the site also features twin 13-foot-tall Easter Island heads.
BONUS | CENTRAL TEXAS REGION
Snap a selfie with a slice of any of their delectable homemade pies.
Every Hill Country visit should include a slice of pie at thein Marble Falls.