It’s the height of summer in the southern plains and all you want to do is find some sort of water in which to wallow. Just thinking about Pedernales Falls State Park makes it feel ten degrees cooler here. And you have to see it!
Now, Texas Hill Country is spectacular and there are several parks in the area, and so much to see and do! We visited in early June when the temperatures in the day had begun to climb into the 90s and were so refreshed by the cool water and carpets of wildflowers.
The campground offers water and electrical hookups for large and private camp sites well shaded by oak trees. There are many hiking trails along the river but the real draw is the falls. The Pedernales river cascades over bare rock into pool after pool. This is a great place for exploring with kids and is easily accessible for all ages and abilities. You will need to be aware of flash flooding in hill country, it happens very quickly, so watch the water levels and get to high ground quickly if you notice a rise in water levels.
Pedernales State Park is a 15 minute drive from Johnson City, a cute little hill country town. Johnson city is named for President Lyndon Johnson and is home to the Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park. The portion of the park located in Johnson city contains the president’s boyhood home and the original settlement of his family. A 20 minute drive along US 290 will take you to the Lyndon B. Johnson Ranch, also a part of the historic park. Here you can tour the original “western white house.” Our daughters were pretty rambunctious that morning, so we opted to limit our visit to the grounds, and it was great! The Sauer-Beckmann farm is a living history site located within the ranch property which has all original and well-preserved farm buildings from the late 1800s but more importantly, they have farm animals, which you can interact with just as if you lived on the farm.
Our daughters had blast visiting with the chickens in the yard and even brought eggs from the coop to the kitchen for the reenactors to use in the kitchen. The farm is absolutely lovely and the kids would have stayed all day.
Early June in the ranch was breathtaking, the simple beauty of the blanket flowers stretching as far as the eye can see is something I will never forget.
Pedernales is also a great location from which to foray into hill country towns and cities. Blanco, TX is a lovely small and arty town and home to a lavender festival in mid-June. The park is about an hour drive to Austin, San Antonio, and New Braunfelds.
Do you have a favorite Hill Country memory or sight to see? We’d love to hear about your experiences.
Happy glamping, y’all!