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Texas Side Trip – Big Bend National Park

Exploring the Texas Hill Country in an RV

Texas is loaded with adventurous opportunities and while Rockport makes the ideal base, taking a few short road trips will reveal many of the state’s most beautiful places. From Palo Duro Canyon to the Hill Country, you can spend a lifetime exploring here without seeing everything. Hikers, naturalists, hunters and anglers can all stay busy year-round. Throw in the multitude of cities with art museums, fine dining and cultural attractions and it’s hard to beat the Lone Star State while cruising the open highways in your RV.

Tracing the Guadalupe River

The river just happens to terminate in San Antonio Bay, not from downtown Rockport. This creates the ideal road trip by following the general course of the Guadalupe River with stops to camp along its banks.

You can visit the Victoria Riverside City Park and explore the 4 miles of riverfront with trails, boat ramps and golf course. The variety of activities makes it entertaining and the distance from Rockport is perfect for a few days of relaxation before the next leg of driving.

After the park, you can follow the river to Guadalupe State Park which places you in the heart of the hill country. The park sits between San Antonio and Austin and is a short 10-15 minute drive east of Boerne. Primitive camping is available, or you can use the electric and water hookups for you camper. The park has numerous miles of hiking trails and many visitors come for the fishing and paddling opportunity. Beware of peak summer season however as tubers can overtake the river.

Enchanted Rock State Park

You can visit the German influenced town of Fredericksburg before driving 15 miles north to the Enchanted Rock State Natural Area. Fredericksburg is loaded with Bed and Breakfast options for travelers wanting a short break from the camper. Some may allow dry camping on their property as well.

You can also camp in the park while exploring the trails. Climbing the Granite Dome that towers over the park is a major attraction and it draws visitors from around the state. Keep in mind that rock climbers must register with the front office before pursuing any routes. Hikers have 11 miles of trails to explore as well. Several hike-in only campsites are setup for backpacking. This presents a great option for serious hikers who really want to get away. You must register for the backcountry campsites in advance.

Additionally, you will find multiple primitive campsites and large group campsite area.

Cave Without a Name

Technically this isn’t far from the Guadalupe River but it deserves a visit regardless of your Hill Country route. Located in Boerne, this massive limestone cave has six underground rooms and you can actually see the Guadalupe River running underground. While it stands as only the 7th largest cave on the Texas Cave Trail, the river running underground is incredible to view and is worth the trip in itself.

Schlitterbahn Waterpark

Traveling with kids? Or maybe you just love the water and want to cool off. The Schlitterbahn waterpark is a sight to see and a place worth the experience. The park is built around the Comal River with miles of water and some serious water slides. The blue Master Blaster Uphill Slide towers above the park but numerous pools and slides are available for every comfort level. The water is all spring fed from the river system and it stays at a perfect 72-degrees. When the summer heat has you sweating, the water is still perfect and cold enough to cool down.

Attached to the waterpark is a resort with lodging that includes your admission to the park. Not a bad deal for a day or two layover during your Hill Country tour.

Lyndon B Johnson Historic Park

This is actually a National Historic Park run by the National Park Service. Located just outside of Johnson City, the park runs through the historic years of LBJ’s presidency. You can visit his childhood home, browse his car collection and learn his life inside and outside of the presidency. It’s an intimate portrait of an American president throughout his entire lifetime.

The LBJ ranch is one fascinating stop on this tour and the location is where he was born, raised and where he retired after the presidency. LBJ is buried on the ranch and his wife lived out her years on the ranch as well. Self-guided tours are an option but attending an official tour is educational and packed full of interesting history.