The Texas Hill Country is chock full of fun things to do, no matter what you’re into. And many of the best won’t cost you a thing. Here are 9 free activities in the Texas Hill Country for retirees.
1. Have a picnic in Landa Park
Pick a spot under a majestic oak for a picnic of sandwiches in Landa Park, New Braunfels’ largest park. You can also reserve a grill, and make sure you bring a little something to feed the ducks.
2. Wind through River Road
“The River Road is a 20 mile winding road that takes you to most all the river outfitters in the area,” said Virtual Tourist. “There are plenty of free places to launch tubes, canoes, or just swim, but parking is difficult in peak season so beware of private property. The river drive is extremely scenic, such lush greenery and little tumbling overflows into the main river, its lovely to just pull over and enjoy the sounds.”
3. Bike through some of the most pristine land in the nation
The LBJ Country Cruise is just one of many glorious bike rides that allow retirees to get some exercise while seeing some beautiful sights.
“This ride takes you through the land surrounding Lyndon B. Johnson's family ranch, which served as his ‘western White House’ during his presidency,” said Trails. “The State Park across the river from the ranch includes a visitors center and serves as the starting point. Most of this ride follows seldom-traveled one-lane roads through farmland and ranch country, allowing the white-tail deer to be especially visible.”
More bike trail options are listed here.
4. Climb the rock
The Enchanted Rock State Natural Area is a must-see for anyone in the Hill Country. For especially adventurous retirees, the climb is well worth it for the view at the top. But the view looking directly at the rock is also a sight to behold.
5. Enjoy some music
In or near Fredericksburg? Head to Adelsverein Halle at Markplatz for a free concert in the park on Sunday nights from 6:30 to 8pm. Bring your own chair if you prefer to sit, and your dancing shoes if you’ve got the music in you.
6. Hang out in a legend…with a legend
Gruene Hall is Texas' oldest continually operating and most famous dance hall and is home to many a famous performer. You might get to see a legend like Willie Nelson play a surprise show. You can also catch some great live music offered regularly. Free shows are scattered throughout the month, so be sure to check their calendar.
7. Check out a choo-choo
Head to the New Braunfels Railroad Museum, “a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of railroad artifacts and education.” Exhibits include a steam engine locomotive and a Pullman dining car.
8. Take a hike
The Love Creek Preserve in Medina is just one hike that shows off the gorgeous terrain of the Texas Hill Country. The 1,400-acre Love Creek preserve “contains a 4.5 mile trail and a stand of big tooth maples” plus numerous bird species including golden-cheeked warblers. If this hike is too strenuous, check out more options here.
9. Browse to your heart’s content
Gruene Market Days is offered on the third full weekend of each month February through November and the 1st weekend of December. The free event features more than 100 artisans offering handmade crafts and packaged local fare, plus free live entertainment. Visit Gruene's website for additional info.