Spring Break in the Texas Hill Country
Padre Island and the beach are the best known destinations for Spring Breakers in Texas. They can be a little crazy and filled with too many drunken college kids for some of us. Most of the surf staff has kids these days, so we decided to plan out our break into the Hill Country. With 10 days of freedom there were many options to choose from. Our fist destination is going to be officially outside of the Hill County, West into the desert and the Big Bend area. Our destination, the town of Marfa Texas. It’s small artistic community best known for the fake Prada Store in the middle of know where. We went big time and got a nice house in town on Airbnb. All the room in Marfa were booked when we hatched this idea, so we didn’t have much of a choice. Almost every hotel and motel room in the region was also booked. It’s a 400 mile drive from our home base in Austin and we will get to see many sites of the Texas Hill Country we have not visited.
Big Bend Nation Park
Big Bend is one of the largest and most remote wilderness areas of any of our great nation’s nation park. It sits on the Mexico border with access to the Rio Grande River and is filled with remote campsites, a Golf resort, and a few other places to stay without a tent. There are outfitters for horseback riding and river rafting, and a few places to put in your own canoe or kayak. It a huge rugged area with many areas requiring a quality 4×4 for access. It’s about 90 miles from our fancy house in Marfa. One other attraction on our to-do list is to visit the ghost town of Terlingua.
Marfa is an odd place, but was fun. It can be a little tough to eat at many of the restaurant without a reservation. Most of the town is also closed on Monday and Tuesday, so that made the trip also more difficult. Our day in Big Bend was great. A long drive, a few hours at the Gost town, and 2 hours on Horseback made the day an epic adventure. I’m anxious to go back when I can spend more time there.
Places to stay in Big Bend
Camping in the Park – There are many places to camp in the Park. Most are very remote, and some need reservations and a quality 4×4 for access.
The Big House in the Park – It’s nice but you have to book way in advance
The Bunkhouse – Boys in one house, girls in another house. Hostle style accommodations.
Hotel There is one hotel in the park
Resort There is one Golf Resort in the park
Hotels\Motel in the Ghost town.
Airbnb Toilet for rent. Yes there was just a bath house on a small piece of land where you could setup your camp right near the park.
Other towns near the Park: Marfa, Alpine, and Marathon are all a little over an hour from the park. Terlingua is right next to the park, but only has a limited amount of accommodations. Presidio is right next to the west side of the park, but a border town without much of a tourism footprint.
The Guadalupe River
The Gudaalupe is probably my favorite place in the Texas Hill Country. The big tourist season officially kicks off during spring break. The river starts to fill with tubers about this time as the weather heats up. There are two main options for staying on the river. The campgrounds that also have cabins, or you can AirBnB a fancy house. We got a few buddies together and sprung for the house. The nice houses on the river normally have dock like features where you can launch your canoe or kayak. If you don’t want to bring your own you can also rent equipment on the river. It famous for their trout fishing, tubing and drinking, amphitheaters and live music. It’s just a few miles from New Bransfels, so you can also stay there and make a trip into the heart of the river for the day. Just 50 miles or so from both Austin and San Antonio, it’s also a popular day trip destination. The homes on the river are very nice, large and expensive. We are only staying 2 nights and slip the cost with 3 families, 12 people total, and the total bill was about $800 a night.
Spring time is when the bass start to spawn and the bite comes alive. White bass in the Pedernales is a famous fishing spot. I’ve caught some monster white bass near the dam of the other lakes of the Colorado during the spring. For a few years it was tough to fish for the stripper in Bucannan, but that lakes are full and this should be a great time to give that a shot.
Party at the Lakes
In the summer time party coves like Hells in Lake Travis and the flats of Horseshoe bay fill with party barges, cruisers, wave runners, and just about anything that floats. It’s best described as a Mardi Gras Like scene on the water. I have never gone out during the spring time to check this out, but the water is still a little cold in the lakes this time of year. We might make a trip out between Marfa and the Guadalupe river. The ski boat needs a little TLC before we hit the water.