Just outside of Austin, Burnet County is sure to charm with its ample supply of wildlife and natural beauty.

Inks Lake State Park is a great camping spot with its deep blue water, gorgeous rock outcrops and striking sunsets. There are 200 campsites and 22 cabins available. It’s also a great place to take a hike or take the boat out.

Balcones Canyonlands National Wildlife Refuge is the place to be if you’re looking to spot exotic species. The deep, clear-water pools are not only important sources of water for wildlife during a drought, they are often the last refuge for the hardy fish that remain. The refuge also harbors 245 bird species for part or all of the year.

At Longhorn Cavern State Park, the path to the caves is through a set of stairs that are old and worn. You descend further and further down until you look up and there’s a hole in the sky. There are a lot of stories to be found below ground level – from an old moonshining business to ghosts, to daring escapades.

Fort Croghan is an interactive museum where guests are invited to explore preserved remnants from the 1800s. Reenactors show off a blacksmith shop, an old powder house and various log cabins that belonged to Burnet County’s pioneers.

For a bite to eat, the Trailblazer Grille is rowdy, loud, and fun. An attentive wait staff serves up the basics. Be sure to check out their pecan pie.

Canyon of the Eagles is a resort nearly 19 miles outside Burnet. It’s situated on the north shore of Lake Buchanan and is part of a 940-acre nature reserve. Wall-spanning windows in the rooms give guests a view of either the shimmering lake or the courtyard. It almost feels as though you’re back at summer camp, except far more luxurious.

The Eagle Eye Observatory is operated by the Austin Astronomical Society. Its in-house astronomer is happy to answer any question you may ask as you enjoy a night sky nearly untouched by light pollution.

Smythwick Castle & Lodge is a taste of a fairytale in Marble Falls. Its stone fireplaces and unique old-world brick courtyard will add romance to any adventure you may choose to have there. It’s dripping with gold and classical beauty.

For one last outdoor adventure, board the two-deck Texas Eagle II for the Vanishing Texas River Cruise to learn the ins-and-outs of the Colorado River, local folktales and scientific facts about the surrounding wildlife.

You can learn more about these and other Texas destinations in the travel issue of Texas Lifestyle magazine.

 

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