Most guests to Burnet County, within the Highland Lakes area about an hour northwest of Austin, come for the water. Boating, fishing, and swimming are the primary attracts on the string of seven turquoise Colorado River reservoirs that wind via this picturesque portion of the Hill Country. It’s straightforward to cross an ideal summer season day splashing within the Devil’s Waterhole at Inks Lake State Park, waterskiing on Lake Buchanan (pronounced “Buck-cannon” by these within the know), or in search of bass and catfish on Lake LBJ. Increasingly, nonetheless, there’s a lot to do on land as effectively. A rising variety of wineries, cafes, outlets, and even the state’s solely mountain bike park with a chairlift all beckon. Between the cities of Burnet (“It’s Burn-it, Durn-it. Lurn-it!,” because the locals received’t hesitate to remind you) and Marble Falls, that are separated by a simple fifteen-minute drive, there are greater than sufficient methods to spend an idyllic weekend right here, all whereas avoiding the crowds that flock to extra touristy spots equivalent to Fredericksburg or Galveston.
Eat + Shop
The excellent place to take pleasure in a fowl’s-eye view of the sundown over Lake Buchanan, this upscale eatery has expansive home windows and an enormous deck. Two standouts had been the Kiki fried hen and the seafood Cobb salad with shaved salmon and shrimp.
This modestly sized white-brick storefront beckons with show circumstances of candy concoctions, every extra tantalizing than the subsequent. The pecan English toffee is the primary attraction. Choose from darkish, milk, or white chocolate, or take dwelling a decadent jar of toffee topping to drizzle on ice cream. Owners Michele and Steve Parsons are beneficiant with the free samples; there’s additionally a espresso bar and a comfy seating space. The Parsonses additionally personal Third Street Treasures, the ethereal present store subsequent door, the place you may browse ceramic tchotchkes, jewellery, and the like.
This quirky breakfast-and-lunch place is common with locals, which is all the time a great signal. The four-egg omelets and the chocolate chip pancakes are divine. While you’re consuming, take a second to admire the handcrafted tabletop designs, which embody a bicycle made out of buttons and a guitar buried underneath acrylic.
This eclectic mixture of artworks is the creation of greater than sixty native artists and volunteers. Stroll the shows and select a bit that may remind you of your Highland Lakes getaway. A full 90 % of every sale’s proceeds goes to the artist, who you could even get to fulfill.
Open since final fall, this fromagerie sits on Marble Falls’ middle courtyard and peddles cheeses which might be pungent, creamy, and distinctive. Stop in for a pattern of the Prairie Breeze aged white cheddar (or anything that fits your palate), and also you’re prone to keep for a charcuterie plate and a bottle of wine.
A bakery that celebrates moments of pleasure, this cafe is adorned with strung-up images of completely happy prospects biting into candy treats. The stuffed cookie—it’s really two cookies filled with frosting—is as large as a plate and excellent for 2.
Taste + Toast
Under new possession this yr, Flat Creek is increasing and innovating. The eighty-acre property is attractive, with a jaw-dropping tasting room and a coated out of doors space providing sweeping winery views. Sit and sip the Super Texan, a mix of sangiovese, montepulciano, primativo, and petite syrah, or attempt the aglianico, one of the crucial steadily requested wines. The property can also be dwelling to a championship-level disc golf course, which is open to the general public.
A stunning cease with indoor and out of doors tasting choices, Perissos provides a particular roussanne aged in acacia for six to eight months. It’s the identical form of wooden used to construct the tabernacle talked about within the Bible—therefore the drink’s nickname, the holy wine. Visitors come again for the viognier and the daring Italian Stallion. Even on a busy weekend, the vineyard doesn’t really feel crowded.
Owners Karen and Blake DeBerry have chosen Mediterranean varietals which might be effectively tailored to Texas’s scorching, arid local weather, equivalent to sangiovese and malbec. The tasting room’s hilly setting (Torr Na Loches interprets to “hill over lakes”) provides beautiful views. On a scorching summer season day, attempt the Afternoon Delight, which the DeBerrys name “sangria with out the sugar.” Don’t depart with out tasting the tempranillo, which has a touch of clove that may hold you sipping.
The metropolis of Burnet needed a tasting room, and Wedding Oak obliged. Without having to drive out to a winery, you may pattern the favored Bridal sequence of candy wines, or attempt any of the eleven new wines—sure, eleven—that debuted in April 2022.
City people will likely be blown away by the darkish sky and the intense constellations at this lookout, which is situated on the Canyon of the Eagles resort and has a sliding roof that opens to the heavens. Presentations begin at 10 p.m. Wednesday via Sunday, and are a steal at $10 per individual. An astronomer will use telescopes and computer-enhanced imaging to assist find your zodiac signal and all these constellations you discovered about in class.
Work up a sweat on the three.4-mile out-and-back Devil’s Backbone Nature Trail, which passes a number of small waterfalls and a wildlife viewing station earlier than climbing to scenic views of the water. Conclude your hike by becoming a member of in a time-honored Texas custom: leaping into the Devil’s Waterhole from a precarious rocky perch. (If eight-year-olds can do it, so are you able to—and swimmers usually cheer each other on.) Take a naturalist-led stroll for an opportunity to identify the endangered golden-cheeked warbler, which nests solely in Texas, then hire old-school paddleboats and take a look at the lovable Ranger Station retailer.
Descend into this historic river-carved cavern, the place tiny bats sleep overhead. The lighting makes this stroll surreal, as flashlight beams bounce off rocks and spotlight every crevice. Your information will let you know concerning the historical past of the cavern, when Depression-era bands as soon as performed belowground, and well-dressed attendees danced and dined within the largest a part of the cavern. In some areas, you’ll duck till your again hurts; in others, you’ll pressure your neck gazing up at towering ceilings.
The solely chairlift-served mountain bike park in Texas provides routes for all abilities ranges. This common spot is a draw for youths and journey seekers. The path names offer you a touch as to their stage of issue, from Itsy Bitsy to Stinger; boat and cabin leases are additionally on provide. The views from the elevate solely get higher as you ascend the mountain, with Burnet County unfold out under you.
If you do something on the water, it must be this. Hop on this double-decker boat for a soothing trip on Lake Buchanan and the Colorado River. This waterway was as soon as dry; now submerged willow timber attain their branches out of the water, looking for solar. Round a nook and gasp as an surprising waterfall reveals itself among the many limestone cliffs. On the eighteen-mile scenic wilderness cruise, you would possibly see cows and wild hogs grazing on a sandbar the place Comanches as soon as got here to chill off. In the winter, bald eagles nest on the cliffs.
Canyon of the Eagles (Burnet)
As you wend your approach up Ranch Road 2341, the turquoise waters of Lake Buchanan all of a sudden seem. Your resort is simply forward, and also you’ll be greeted there with a private shuttle to your cabin. Covered decks with rocking chairs are the right place to chill. For a extra rustic expertise, pitch a tent within the resort’s primitive campground or pull up your RV.
This newly constructed property options delivery containers reworked into fashionable cabins, some stacked to accommodate bigger teams. Onsite is Peddler’s Pies, which cranks out yummy wood-fired pizzas with a large number of toppings, and Templeton Tavern, an out of doors bar with reside music, cornhole, and a enjoyable rustic vibe.
Sit in a rocking chair on the wraparound porch and be happy to make use of the kitchen to whip up a meal at this visitor home, centrally situated in Burnet. Creaky hardwood flooring, floral wallpaper, gold draperies, vintage furnishings, and a clawfoot tub deliver attraction to every personal suite, which includes a lounge, giant bed room, and toilet. Every keep right here features a breakfast voucher to make use of at one in every of a number of native eating places.