When it comes to Texas vacations, cities like Austin
tend to get most of the attention. While the trendy town is certainly worth a visit, it's far from the only thing you need to see on your next trip to the Lonestar State. Llano, for example, is an amazing little town, balancing the quiet natural beauty of Texas Hill Country
with more than a handful of quirkiness and charm.
Where is Llano, TX?
Sitting by the Llano River, the eponymous seat of Llano County rests atop the Llano uplift, a one-of-a-kind rock formation created by granite pushing its way through the surface. You'll probably spot a few examples on your drive into town, hopefully including the massive pink granite dome that is Enchanted Rock.
Things to Do in Llano, TX
Despite being nearly a thousand miles apart, Llano has a lot in common with the quirky Utah town of Moab
. Both towns are small, isolated, and built around stunning geological formations, and both have a rich local culture to explore! In Llano's case, a historic district on the south side of town provides a wealth of amazing attractions to explore.
The Red Top Jail is over a century old and still features its original spooky hanging gallows. Double back across the Roy Inks Bridge and check out the Dabs Hotel, known for housing the notorious robber duo, Bonnie and Clyde. The historic railyard district provides even more atmosphere, as does the LanTex Theater (though the old-fashioned marquee belies the modern movies you'll find on display). If you're feeling especially brave, you can venture out to Baby Head Cemetery - or play it safe and shop for some "Llanite" granite at Enchanted Rocks and Jewelry.
After so much exploring, you'll doubtless need to refuel - why not take in some delicious Texas barbecue
? Cooper's Old Time Pit Bar-B-Que offers an authentic outdoor pit cooking experience, with an impeccable pecan cobbler for dessert. Inman's Kitchen offers even more savory fare, along with their signature turkey sausages. If you're up for something less intense (and inexpensive) the non-profit Fuel Coffee House provides free burgers on Saturday evenings. Hang out and make some friends before returning to your comfortable vacation rental!
Day Trips and Festivals in Llano, TX
The most obvious destination near Llano has to be Enchanted Rock. The granite monolith sits right near Moss Lake and a small creek, providing a breathtaking backdrop for hiking, climbing, and camping. If you're visiting in the wintertime, head to Highway 29 for a chance to spot migrating bald eagles, then continue on to Buchanan Lake for a fun day of fishing, boating, and more
Don't worry if you miss out on bald eagle chicks hatching - there are fun things awaiting you in the Llano area year-round! Artists and musicians flock to Llano during the spring, with rodeos, jet-ski racing, and fireworks during the summer.
If you're a wine connoisseur, a 38-mile drive south will bring you to the lovely wineries of Fredericksburg
. Plan your visit during the fall to catch the famous Fredericksburg Oktoberfest and make memories with the whole family.
Whenever you visit our vacation rentals in Llano, you'll be sure to have an unforgettable time!
Photo Credit: Christopher Rose via Flickr