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 by way of this picturesque portion of the Hill Nation. It’s simple to move an ideal summer time day splashing within the Satan’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. More and more, nevertheless, there’s loads to do on land as properly. A rising variety of wineries, cafes, retailers, 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 gained’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 reminiscent of Fredericksburg or Galveston.
Eat + Store
Overlook Restaurant at Canyon of the Eagles
The best place to take pleasure in a hen’s-eye view of the sundown over Lake Buchanan, this upscale eatery has expansive home windows and a giant deck. Two standouts have been the kiwi fried rooster and the seafood Cobb salad with shaved salmon and shrimp.
This modestly sized white-brick storefront beckons with show instances of candy concoctions, every extra tantalizing than the following. The pecan English toffee is the primary attraction. Select from darkish, milk, or white chocolate, or take dwelling a decadent jar of toffee topping to drizzle on ice cream. Homeowners Michele and Steve Parsons are beneficiant with the free samples; there’s additionally a espresso bar and a comfortable seating space. The Parsonses additionally personal Third Road Treasures, the ethereal present store subsequent door, the place you’ll be able to browse ceramic tchotchkes, jewellery, and the like.
Crazy Gals Cafe
This quirky breakfast-and-lunch place is common with locals, which is at all times a very good signal. The four-egg omelets and the chocolate chip pancakes are divine. Whilst you’re consuming, take a second to admire the handcrafted tabletop designs, which embrace a bicycle constituted of buttons and a guitar buried beneath acrylic.
Highland Arts Guild and Gallery
This eclectic mixture of artworks is the creation of greater than sixty native artists and volunteers. Stroll the shows and select a chunk 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 satisfy.
House of Cheese
Open since final fall, this fromagerie sits on Marble Falls’ heart courtyard and peddles cheeses which are pungent, creamy, and distinctive. Cease in for a pattern of the Prairie Breeze aged white cheddar (or the rest that fits your palate), and also you’re prone to keep for a charcuterie plate and a bottle of wine.
Sugar Mama Cookies
A bakery that celebrates moments of pleasure, this cafe is embellished with strung-up photographs of pleased clients biting into candy treats. The stuffed cookie—it’s really two cookies filled with frosting—is as massive as a plate and ideal for 2.
Style + Toast
Flat Creek Estate Winery & Vineyard
Beneath new possession this yr, Flat Creek is increasing and innovating. The eighty-acre property is attractive, with a jaw-dropping tasting room and a lined outside space providing sweeping winery views. Sit and sip the Tremendous Texan, a mix of sangiovese, montepulciano, primativo, and petite syrah, or strive the aglianico, one of the crucial often requested wines. The property can be dwelling to a championship-level disc golf course, which is open to the general public.
Perissos Vineyard & Winery
A beautiful cease with indoor and outside tasting choices, Perissos gives a particular roussanne aged in acacia for six to eight months. It’s the identical type of wooden used to construct the tabernacle talked about within the Bible—therefore the drink’s nickname, the holy wine. Guests come again for the viognier and the daring Italian Stallion. Even on a busy weekend, the vineyard doesn’t really feel crowded.
Torr Na Lochs Vineyard & Winery
Homeowners Karen and Blake DeBerry have chosen Mediterranean varietals which are properly tailored to Texas’s scorching, arid local weather, reminiscent of sangiovese and malbec. The tasting room’s hilly setting (Torr Na Loches interprets to “hill over lakes”) gives beautiful views. On a scorching summer time day, strive 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 preserve you sipping.
Wedding Oak Winery
Town of Burnet wished a tasting room, and Marriage ceremony Oak obliged. With out having to drive out to a winery, you’ll be able to pattern the favored Bridal collection of candy wines, or strive any of the eleven new wines—sure, eleven—that debuted in April 2022.
Eagle Eye Observatory
Metropolis folks might be blown away by the darkish sky and the brilliant constellations at this lookout, which is situated on the Canyon of the Eagles resort and has a sliding roof that opens to the heavens. Shows begin at 10 p.m. Wednesday by way of 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.
Inks Lake State Park
Work up a sweat on the three.4-mile out-and-back Satan’s Spine Nature Path, 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 Satan’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 lease old-school paddleboats and take a look at the lovable Ranger Station retailer.
Longhorn Cavern State Park
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 in regards to the historical past of the cavern, when Melancholy-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.
Spider Mountain Bike Park
The one chairlift-served mountain bike park in Texas gives 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 problem, 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 beneath you.
Vanishing River Cruise
Should you do something on the water, it must be this. Hop on this double-decker boat for a calming experience 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, trying to find solar. Spherical a nook and gasp as an surprising waterfall reveals itself among the many limestone cliffs. On the eighteen-mile scenic wilderness cruise, you may see cows and wild hogs grazing on a sandbar the place Comanches as soon as got here to chill off. Within the winter, bald eagles nest on the cliffs.
Canyon of the Eagles (Burnet)
As you wend your manner up Ranch Highway 2341, the turquoise waters of Lake Buchanan instantly seem. Your resort is simply forward, and also you’ll be greeted there with a private shuttle to your cabin. Coated decks with rocking chairs are the proper place to chill. For a extra rustic expertise, pitch a tent within the resort’s primitive campground or pull up your RV.
Container City at Spider Mountain
This newly constructed property options transport containers reworked into trendy 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 outside bar with stay music, cornhole, and a enjoyable rustic vibe.
The Verandas Guest House
Sit in a rocking chair on the wraparound porch and be at liberty 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 allure to every non-public suite, which incorporates a lounge, giant bed room, and toilet. Each keep right here features a breakfast voucher to make use of at one in every of a number of native eating places.