Hotel at a Glance: Microtel Inn & Suites by Wyndham
Microtel Inn & Suites by Wyndham is just a 15-minute drive from downtown Austin. The newly built hotel shares its grounds with a massive Cabela's, where you can pick up fishing, camping, and other outdoorsy supplies for excursions into nearby Texas Hill Country.
- In-room amenities: flat-screen high-definition TV and free WiFi
- Texas-size waffles anchor the hotel's free continental breakfast.
- Go swimming in the outdoor pool
- Award winner: The hotel received TripAdvisor's Certificate of Excellence in 2014; guests loved the clean, comfortable rooms and proximity to Austin and Texas Hill Country.
Texas Hill Country: Pastoral Landscape of Ranches, Rivers, and German-American Towns
A picturesque region of rolling hills and valleys covered in bluebonnets, the area of central Texas known as Texas Hill Country has been compared to the landscape of Tuscany by the New York Times. Texas Hill Country is a backyard playground for nearby cities, as it lies just west of Austin and northwest of San Antonio. Urbanites often escape here for the weekend to enjoy the slower pace and beat the heat—the region's slightly higher elevation means it's often less humid. With many state parks and spring-fed rivers, the Hill Country is also a haven for outdoorsy types; activities range from fishing and tubing to rock climbing. The Enchanted Rock State Natural Area is popular thanks to its main attraction: a gigantic pink-granite dome in the middle of the park.
Among the Hill Country’s major towns, Bandera best captures its cowboy spirit. It’s not uncommon to catch an open rodeo in the summer or to see a ranch hand riding to the store on horseback. The town is also surrounded by dude ranches where you can get a taste of the local lifestyle. Just north of Bandera, the town of Fredericksburg is also worth exploring. Along with New Braunfels, it was one of the main settlements of local German immigrants in the 1840s—a heritage that visitors can still see today in the “Willkommen” signs hung on shop doors.