The Texas Hill Country, located in the central part of the state, attracts tourists, nature lovers, water sport enthusiasts, and families from all over the U.S. The beautiful rolling hills, scenic lakes, unique geography and the famed Texas hospitality have marked the Texas Hill Country as a popular destination for anybody wanting a great vacation or weekend trip experience.
So much of the Texas Hill Country represents the history of the Lone Star State. It was a place of large immigration during the early to mid 1800’s and today in many ways is a living history museum within the state itself.
The Fascinating Caverns of the Texas Hill Country
The Texas Hill Country was formed about 30 million years ago by a giant earthquake. The violent quake forced limestone and granite layers to the surface and buckled the earth to form the rolling hills and valleys the Texas Hill Country is now famous for. Examples of this geologic action can be seen at several caverns. These would include the Longhorn Caverns in Burnet Texas and the Natural Bridge Caverns just north of San Antonio. Both of these are popular tourist destinations which will take you hundreds of feet underground to experience the beautiful limestone formations.
Fredericksburg Texas, in the middle of the Texas Hill Country, is one of the most popular stops for those on Texas vacations. Fredericksburg TX is a very unique and historic location with excellent restaurants (German fare is the big draw), very beautiful and serene bed and breakfast lodgings and it is the home of the Admiral Chester Nimitz Pacific War Museum.
This very unique museum tells the story of Japan’s rise to power, the beginning of the War in the Pacific and the events that led to the U.S. victory. There are also very interesting exhibits regarding the home front and the war’s effect on both Texas and the nation. Many artifacts are on display including newspaper articles, and mementos. You’ll also find a lot of information concerning individuals and their part in the war effort.
The most historic hotel in the state of Texas may very well be the Driskill Hotel located in downtown Austin.
When you tour this hotel you will marvel at the architecture, both inside and outside. This Austin Texas hotel is both a popular and fully operational hotel and at the same time is one of Austin Texas’ most historic sites. When you’re making a list of things to do in Austin Texas I would recommend you add the Driskill Hotel to your list.
Jesse Driskill purchased land at the corner of 6th and Brazos Streets for his new project of building a grand hotel. He had plenty of money from his Civil War beef operations and wanted to branch off with other investments.
The Driskill Hotel was built for a reported $400,000. Not small money today and obviously a hug sum in the late 1800’s. Driskill built his luxurious Austin hotel to compete with the palaces of New York, Chicago, St. Louis and San Francisco. When the hotel was completed it was by far the centerpiece of this frontier town being constructed of local brick and limestone with a hand laid marble floor. There was no other hotel like it in Texas at the time.
The Driskill Hotel is one of the more popular tourist attractions in Austin Texas. This historic hotel is located in the heart of Austin at 604 Brazos Street.
The Old Pioneer Mill and Guenther House in San Antonio
This mill was started by a German immigrant named Carl Hilmar Guenther who originally settled in the Texas Hill Country town of Fredericksburg. The story about the Pioneer Flour Mill is a very interesting story about German immigration into frontier Texas. At the site is a wonderful museum within the Guenther House along with an award winning restaurant. Add to this beautiful gardened grounds. The museum now houses mill memorabilia including antique baking accessories, cookie cutters and anniversary Dresden china plates which were given to customers by the mill. The site address is 203 E. Guenther Street, San Antonio.
The old Pioneer Flour Mill and Guenther House is located in the King James area of San Antonio.
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(Article and photos copyright 2013 Trips Into History)