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Austin and Hill Country weekend

St. Joseph, MO
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Austin and Hill Country weekend

My first trip to Austin is coming up. Considering the things I've associated with the area for a long time, I think first about LBJ being president at the time I started following the news. On my arrival midday Saturday, I'd go to the LBJ Library, then stay parked there while looking around the UT campus.

I see that the Austin Fine Arts Festival will be happening downtown. I'm not too interested in it, but I'm wondering about logistics around it. I'm thinking of getting downtown a little after the festival shutting down at 5; their site mentions free parking at City Hall and One Texas Center garages; so would I expect City Hall, being closer, to be fine for evening parking? I'd get whatever sense I can of the 5th-6th Street area and the music scene; from what I've seen, maybe see a show at Antones and not be out too late.

Early Sunday, if the weather's o.k., go to the LBJ Park and Ranch for a couple of hours. What else can reasonably be done to get a sense of Hill Country in this short time? In a guidebook, I'm seeing Enchanted Rock, Fredericksburg, Pedernales Falls, and the Devil's Backbone of Rte. 32. Pick among these given the time constraints.

Back in Austin, get a sense of the South Congress area. Then anything Monday morning before a midday return flight? I'm interested in any thoughts and recommendations on the plans.

Long Island
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1. Re: Austin and Hill Country weekend

Last year, my family and I stayed on the Southwest side of Austin. We visited Enchanted Rock and Fredricksburg over the course of a day. We headed to ER around 9am - I believe it was about 1.5-2hrs from where we were . We hiked to the top of the Rock, then headed back to Fredricksburg for food and shopping. If memory serves, we were back in Austin around 5pm. We were traveling with a child and had no agenda, so that was a leisurely pace. If you are stopping in Johnson City for the LBJ spots, that would be a pretty packed day. And just keep in mind the travel time on either end of the day.

Georgetown, Texas
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2. Re: Austin and Hill Country weekend

Just keep in mind that the weekend you are going to be there April 13-15, is Wine and Wildflower Trails down in the Fredericksburg area. Traffic will be a bit busier so factor that in when planning your drive.

Marina, California
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for Tucson
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3. Re: Austin and Hill Country weekend

It depends on what you like. Enchanted Rock is not worth it if you're not willing to hike up it. If you just look at it from a distance, it's just a big rock, but you realize its scale when you hike it.

Pedernales Falls is imperative, I think. Beautiful place!

Fredericksburg is kind of touristy and kitschy. If you like antique stores or German restaurants, then you should go to Fredericksburg. There are other Hill Country towns though.

SoCo doesn't take that long to see and the main walking section is only a couple of blocks. Very cool stores, and the best pizza in Austin at Home Slice, I think. Be sure to spend some time at Town Lake though.

Austin
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4. Re: Austin and Hill Country weekend

Hot dawg! You've done your research better than most Austinites. I still think some folks here don't know about the free parking under City Hall.

Your itinerary is great and well thought-out.

Maybe try to see the bats depart the Congress Ave. bridge near dusk.

I recommend either Pedernales Falls or driving the Willow City Loop. Perhaps you can do both. Given that the wildflowers are lovely this year, you should get all you can out of your Hill Country trip.

My out-of-town parents rave about the LBJ Ranch. It's a winner. I'm taking them and my sister's family the same weekend you are in town; perhaps we'll run into you!

As the other poster said, Fredericksburg has limited appeal. We still haven't found a favorite restaurant there (and I love German food); eating, to me, is the only reason to stop there.

While at UT, you should check out the Ransom Center. My favorite is its Erle Stanley Gardner (Perry Mason) study, "stolen" from near my hometown.

Given the LBJ thread running through your trip, you should try to visit the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center on Monday morning. (Even if LBJ wasn't part of your trip, I'd recommend it, especially this time of year.)

Have fun.

St. Joseph, MO
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5. Re: Austin and Hill Country weekend

Thanks, this is all helpful; looks like Pedernales Falls is the place to go among my choices.

6. Re: Austin and Hill Country weekend

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