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Austin / San Antonio / Hill Country

Apex, NC
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36 posts
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Austin / San Antonio / Hill Country

My husband and I are planning our first--and hopefully not last--visit to the Austin/San Antonio area and would welcome all suggestions on what NOT to miss.

My husband is intent on buying a pair of *used cowboy boots* in 10 wide. Can you say *needle in a haystack*? Suggestions on where to buy a NEW pair, anyone? I'm hoping to find bars to hear LIVE country music, perhaps a dude ranch to spend a night or two , and of course Texas barbecue. Are there any food tours we shouldn't miss? Any great used bookstores to die for? We're game for just about anything and want to make the most of our nine day adventure. Any and all guidance is greatly appreciated.

11. Re: Austin / San Antonio / Hill Country

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Austin, Texas
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4,473 posts
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12. Re: Austin / San Antonio / Hill Country

Just to clarify, Smithville is actually not in what is considered the HIll Country, nor is it west of Austin. Smithville is southeast of Austin. The B&B Marc Z mentioned looks lovely, just note that it is not in the area Meritas was considering for her visit.

San Francisco...
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13. Re: Austin / San Antonio / Hill Country

I had lived in Austin for over 8 years, and had never visited Smithville, my mistake. I merely suggested it because of the ranch on the property, I thought it was west of Austin, my fault. I do ,however, stand by my suggestion of Salt Lick Barbeque; this alone will make the whole trip worth it.

Corona del Mar, CA
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for San Diego, Orange County, California
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14. Re: Austin / San Antonio / Hill Country

Hopefully you are traveling from SA to Austin (or vice versa) and not trying to just do day trips out of one of the other. If that is the case, I'd plan on stopping in New Braunfels, one of my favorite small towns in TX. A big part of the attraction may be the German side of me, but what ever it is, New Braunfels charms me.

We've stayed at a couple of places over the years, most recently The Faust House (and the fact it is attached to brewery had almost zero influence on me, almost). It is a restored old hotel that is just great. We've also stayed at the Gruene Mansion Inn B&B and it was lovely, but I am not really a B&B guy, it is the DWs thing so.....

We've also stayed the Schlitterbahn Resort, which is reason enough to go the New Braunfels. I think it is easily the coolest water park in the country. Trust me when I tell you that I told my three surf rat, CA beach boys that we were going to Texas..... in August..... for vacation, a near riot ensued, but at the time I was bigger so we went. After three days the boys didn't want to leave and wanted me to buy a wave machine for them when we got home. They actually asked to return to the Schiltterbahn, which we have done. The hotel there is great.

There are also a lot of great German restaurants in New Braunfels and German bakeries (grandma didn't get those hips eating yogurt). Friesenhaus is one of our favorite places to eat for any meal, but especially at breakfast and dinner. Naegelin's Bakery is one of those kind of places that gave grandma her ample form. Love their strudels.

Do hope you love the Hill Country. It is a place we have seriously looked at for retirement.

Austin, Texas
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15. Re: Austin / San Antonio / Hill Country

No reason not to buy used boots...

Gypsy Hart Cowgirl is located in Georgetown and in Fredericksburg and has tons of Pre-loved Cowboy boots that are in awesome condition. Some just like new...go to www.gypsyhartcowgirl.com and check these folks out.

Very Texas friendly folks...

Portland, OR
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16. Re: Austin / San Antonio / Hill Country

In and around Austin:

Hula Hut - Fairly close to downtown but need a car to get there. I just love the atmosphere here for sitting on the deck over the water and drinking a couple of cold ones. Food was okay but I come for the outdoor area.

Over on Lake Travis there are several restaurants over the lake on the hill. Great views and a wonderful way to spend an afternoon is to have lunch somewhere and after lunch go to the Oasis for drinks on the multi-level deck outside. The food here is not eat-worthy but the atmosphere with all the colorful umbrellas overlooking the lake make it worth a stop. This place is freakin' HUGE! As they say, everything is bigger in Texas!

Salt Lick is a must! Bring a cooler with some beer or wine to drink while you wait for a table. This place is also HUGE but the wait can be very long because people drive all the way out here for the huge plates of bbq. Friendly staff and food is good but it is the atmosphere that found a place in my heart! Live music outside on a small stage, too.

If you go to Allen's on SoCo, get ready to drop a paycheck for a pair of boots! A bit of an exaggeration but I did see many pairs over $1000 and very few under $400. But the inventory is grand!

Definitely go to Antone's for live music.

Make sure to make it over to Rainy Street for some drinks and grub. This is a very up and coming neighborhood in Austin that I found many people in Austin hadn't even heard of the last time I visited about 1 1/2 years ago. This is in a residential neighborhood and many of the older homes have been converted into cool bars and restaurants with BIG outdoor spaces. I really like this area.

Edited: 12:26 pm, January 07, 2013
17. Re: Austin / San Antonio / Hill Country

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