West of Austin and north/northwest of San Antonio lies the Texas Hill Country, true to its namesake with rolling hills and deep valleys. Settled in the 1800s, the Hill Country offers a diverse yet rural population who enjoy living the way things used to be. Many of the early settlers were liberal minded Germans who were fleeing after the Revolution of 1848 and with them they brought Old World tastes and traditions that one can enjoy by pulling into town. Towns like Fredericksburg offer beer gardens, markets and restaurants that celebrate this diverse populace. Their stalwart rock homes of the 1800s pepper the countryside and it’s much en vogue in recent years to restore these old settlements. Many of the ranch owners can trace back to these settlers and can be seen working their fields and livestock during the day and enjoying the fine dining in the evenings, true of so many of the small towns that bustle with energy. This energy has supported the establishment of extensive wineries across the region known as the Texas Hill Country Wine Trail, leading the New York Times to rank the Hill Country as the #1 travel destination and comparing it to Tuscany and the south of France. The Texas Hill Country has also been named the fastest growing wine destination by travel site away.com.
The richness in culture, heritage and Old World charm is unique in that it is only minutes from two of the largest cities in Texas: San Antonio and Austin. In fact, many CEOs and businessmen now call their ranches home and commute to their jobs in the city. Many of the area’s most impressive architecture lies in the mansions and compounds built on Hill Country ranches. Local airports and landing strips make it possible for the who’s who to live comfortably amongst the grand landscapes and clear, spring-fed rivers. This easy proximity to town is also the reason for the Hill Country and the ranches therein becoming fodder for recreation rather than actual ranching. Streams have been developed into large lakes for fishing and boating, exotics have been imported from Asia and Africa and hunting has become big business.
The region is exceptional for children and many children’s camps have supplied the fantastic memories that feed the urge for many of these CEOs turned ranchers and city dwellers turned country-folk to have made the transition. » Read more: Texas Hill Country Ranches